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Thursday, July 18, 2024

So as not to kill each other. Column by Maciej Wierzyński

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I warned you that I would write about books that no one reads. And I just came across such a book.

This book was even a candidate for the Marcin Król award, but it didn't win it, even though it should have. I didn't even come across any discussions. The dog with the lame leg didn't notice this book. It's a pity, because it's interesting and timely. It is titled “Let's Make an Agreement on Poland”. They were just like that elections, so – it would seem – we agreed on Poland. Unfortunately, in fact, we agreed not on Poland, but on the party that would rule our country. We haven't found out how he wants to rule, what to defend, what kind of Poland he wants to build.

Everyone repeats over and over that Poland should be strong and democratic. Nobody wants a weak and undemocratic Poland.

It's been like this for decades. Even under socialism. At the beginning of his rule, Edward Gierek said that he wanted “Poland to grow stronger and people to live prosperously.” Every politician repeats such promises and generalities – none of them will openly say that they are an enemy of democracy and none of them will say that people's lives should be worse, not better. That's why politicians prefer to promise pears on willow rather than say, like Churchill, that nothing good awaits the British under his rule. Well, it was a war.

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Fortunately, there is no real war in Poland, but there is an ideological war between two tribes. The tough warriors of these two tribes think that it would be best to turn it into a real war as soon as possible and start slaughtering, or at least imprisoning, those who think differently.

The book “Let's Make an Agreement for Poland” will not appeal to such people, because it says directly that we are different. He even considers it a natural state and wants to perpetuate it, claiming that different people can live in one country. Years ago, prof. Maciej Kisilowski from Vienna, one of the initiators of the book recommended here, referred to Switzerland for example. This reference has disappeared from the current edition.

I suspect it disappeared due to caution. Even in your dreams, you shouldn't look too far. Obviously, “Poland is not Switzerland”, but I will answer: “what, you can't even dream anymore?”

Kisilowski was one of the three initiators of the Social Contract Incubator, an association which, after six years of work, with the participation of 130 participants from different parts of the world, declaring political views “from the left and liberals, through the Christian Democrats to the conservative right”, produced a collection of texts constituting “a proposal for democratic changes”. political system of the Republic of Poland in the spirit of the power-sharing agreement. These changes aim to strengthen self-government and decentralization. The condition is the adoption of a new constitution. Antoni Dudek, Maciej Kisilowski and Anna Wojtyniuk are convinced that although it will not be easy, it is necessary to make such an effort, because in their opinion “Poland's problem is the poorly designed system of our country.”

However, changing the regime is a revolution, and revolutions are rarely peaceful. In Poland, such a miracle happened, although not everyone agrees, in 1989. According to the dissatisfied, in 1989 there was a successful conspiracy between the communists and the leftist part of the opposition, and the costs were borne by the bewildered Polish nation. I think that today it would be even more difficult to find people willing to conspire. The political class as a whole is doing too well in Poland today to risk anything. All he can do is passionately discuss the differences between Tusk and Kaczyński. I don't see many people willing to do so in society either.

However, I hope, there will come a time when we will not move on without changes. So it's worth talking about them now. If you are interested in such a conversation, please read the book “Let's Make an Arrangement for Poland”.

Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis from the European University Institute in Florence wrote about it: “I am walking through a new Poland conjured by twenty-eight realist dreamers…”.

For starters, it's a good walk.


Opinions expressed in columns for tvn24.pl do not constitute the editorial office's position.

Author:Maciej Wierzyński

Maciej Wierzyński – television journalist, publicist. After the introduction of martial law, he was released from TVP. In 1984 he emigrated to USA. He was a scholarship holder of Stanford University and Penn State University. He founded the first multi-hour Polish-language channel Polvision on the “Group W” cable television in the USA. In the years 1992-2000 he was the head of the Polish Section of the Voice of America in Washington. Since 2000, editor-in-chief of the New York “Nowy Dziennik”. Since 2005, he has been associated with TVN24.

Main photo source: TVN24

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