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Thanks to the efforts of the government… Column by Maciej Wierzyński

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That was the first sentence of the gas bill I got with a huge package of PGNiG promotional materials, which included the bill. I learned from it that I had to pay seven thousand by June 12, 2023. And so little, because on another sheet I was informed, in the same gentle tone of a paramedic speaking to a psychiatric hospital patient, that in other towns – I guessed it was about those few territories where the power of President Obajtek had not yet reached – I could gas to pay over thirty thousand – writes Maciej Wierzyński in his column.

In the same sheaf of paper, in small print, so small as to be almost unreadable, there was information that I had an overpayment of over a thousand zlotys. This looks like the so-called robbery in broad daylight, because I was not informed anywhere that I could pay a thousand and a bit less and use the saved money to send my granddaughter to a summer camp or go to the waters for a few days myself. No difference, but still…

Anyone who does not read the fine print will not understand that he leaves President Obajtek, i.e. in practice the government, with his money for a few months, with which the government can do whatever it wants. Later, they will credit this money to me as new debts, but for now they can play with my thousand on the stock exchange, they can lend it at usurious interest, and they can also, which cannot be ruled out in advance, spend this money on some noble cause, for example, a library in the name orphanage Mariusz Blaszczak for children – victims of war Ukraine with Russia. You can equip such a library with a selection of the President’s political journalism. Of course, provided that the election does not omit the President’s key political thoughts on the disastrous effects of alcoholism on the birth rate in our country. Of course, not every alcoholism, but the specific alcoholism of Polish women in their thirties. These considerations, commonly known as the “truth about hitting the neck”, are a fundamental contribution to the diagnosis of the state of the Polish soul in the first half of the 21st century.

But enough of the jokes about the President, let’s move on to serious matters. It seemed to me that there is one area of ​​which I have an idea as such: the media. It turns out that I don’t know much about the media either, because the media I used to know have gone down in history. And I do not understand them at all, not because I am a child of real socialism and that media such as in the People’s Republic of Poland do not exist. Unfortunately, I do not know the media that exist today, because the Internet and the development of social media meant that the media about which I would have something to say, i.e. media such as in the People’s Republic of Poland, are of interest to only a few historians, and young people are satisfied with fairy tales about the People’s Republic of Poland told by the so-called witnesses of history. These fairy tales are generally funny and harmless, unfortunately they overlook the fact that these times had comic aspects, but on the whole disgust, fear and servility prevailed. In a review of a book on the history of the GDR in The Economist, I read that sentimentalism and relativism distort the assessment of “repulsive dictatorships.” In my opinion, this unfortunately happens not only to historians of the GDR.

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But back to my remarks about contemporary media. Jerzy Baczyński, a great editor-in-chief and publisher of “Polityka” in one person, recently wrote that according to Jarosław Kaczyński “There are no independent journalists, just like there are no objective judges, independent professors, professional civil service, etc. – everyone (…) serves someone or something, follows orders.” In my opinion, the misfortune is that not only Kaczynski thinks so. Too many politicians think so.

So do many people who know the weaknesses of human nature. As these weaknesses were exposed, the democratic system produced safeguards against the temptations of authoritarianism. Example: In the United States, there was initially no limit to the number of terms a president could serve in office. It wasn’t until Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a fourth term, and his rivals feared that the President’s ambitions were not over, that Congress passed the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which stipulated that the presidency could be held for only two terms. Until then, such a restriction had functioned only as a common law.

Governments PIS should teach us that the temptation to abuse power is ubiquitous, and it is prudent not to believe that the politicians we support today will not succumb to that temptation tomorrow.

Opinions expressed in columns for tvn24.pl are not the editorial position.

OTHER COLUMNS BY MACIEJ WIERZYŃSKI

Maciej Wierzyński – TV journalist, publicist. After the introduction of martial law, he was released from TVP. In 1984 he emigrated to USA. He was a scholarship holder at Stanford University and Penn State University. He founded the first multi-hour Polish-language Polvision channel on cable television “Group W” 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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