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(MARCH 2018)

The politics of the current ruling coalition in Poland is based on fuhrerprinzip and is carried out in the spirit of predatory vitalism; it is authoritarian, chauvinistic and extremely arrogant. It’s NEARLY fascist and we abhor it! (1)

As in fascist countries of XX century, their politics is not driven by any positive idea or ideal; it is driven by hatred: for individual rights and liberties, for democracy and the rule of law; for the spirit of Enlightenment, Europeaan civilisation and last - but not least - for the life-stance and values of secular humanism. All they want is power in itself, total power that most fully expresses itself in the brazen humiliation of everyone outside of their own camp. That is why, they need enemies ad invent enemies. Hatred they feed on cannot exists without enemies, internal and external.

The members of the ruling party deliberately and explicitly show hatred and disdain for all those who reject or simply criticize their politics – people of “worse sort” – as they call the other half of Polish society.

They violate the dignity and rights of women, life-stance, sexual and national minorities, intellectuals and virtually all “Others”– who refuse to worship their “Duce” and his camarilla.

Similarly, they resent and disregard other nations, recently mainly Jews, but also Germans, Russians, Ukrainians, and – actually - all other Europeans. The only country they seem to respect is the post-communist dictatorship of Belorus.

Hatred and disdain constitute the core of their personal and political identity but it is also a political instrument used to strengthen their ties with the most backward and proto-fascist Poles, mainly - though not only - Catholics from the rural areas of the Polish “Bible Belt” in the East and South of the country. Hate and fury showed by the members of the ruling coalition express the feelings of those people; they really feel that this government cares about them; that it is their government.

The ruling regime has already abolished the independent judiciary, turned public media into a propaganda machine and threatened to nationalize the private media owned by foreign corporations. It taps phones without the court control, tolerates and encourages police brutality and creates the units of the so-called “territorial defense units” - its own militia armed with the most modern guns and composed partly by neo-Nazi groups.

First and foremost, this government is the enemy of women and their rights. It refuses to support women victims of domestic violence and threatens to impose a total ban on abortion. Divorce is still legal but the minister of justice has just announced that he will drastically increase the court fees to discourage women from seeking a divorce.

Instead, all ministers and other government institutions support with millions of dollars the most backward, anti-women and anti-Semitic catholic churches and related neo-Nazis groups, including those who celebrate Hitler's birthday and explicitly call to murder the so-called communist. During demonstrations, the police bother and detain only anti-fascists, although it is the promulgation of fascist slogans that is forbidden by law in Poland.

We abhor the politics and culture of the current government, at the same time, however, we are fairly critical of the opposition, as, in our opinion, it is not concerned enough by the fact that the ruling coalition, despite its proto-fascists politics, enjoys the support of approx. 40 percent of Poles. True, it is a dictatorship, but a dictatorship supported by more people than all opposition parties together. Some Poles call it "demokratura" – a democratic or populist dictatorship. That is why, in our view, the strategy and tactics of the opposition that simply follow the example of the anti-communist opposition of the nineteen-eighties are not adequate in today’s Poland. We need to protest and demonstrate, but first of all, we need to talk to people who do not understand liberal democracy and – how else! - do not care about human rights and liberties.

The mentality of most Poles has been shaped under the influence of the Catholic Church and its irrational, authoritarian culture. These people have not yet discovered the value of individual identity and personal dignity. They are socially and politically "immature" in the sense Immanuel Kant spoke of maturity as the condition of the Enlightenment. However, what they really miss is not the courage to think for themselves! They’ve never even realized that they could think independently, that it would be of any value! They need to discover their personal autonomy and understand why it would be good for them and their families.

We do not renounce political protests but first of all, as our mission statement reads, we foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry and humanist values. We promote the idea of a new, democratic and liberal Enlightenment, as we are confident that human-friendly, liberal democracy is not possible without humanist culture.

(1) This short sentence raised some controversy, so I've decided to capitalize the word "nearly". However, the readers should not conclude that this opinion is extremely radical and rare in Poland. It is shared by many liberally minded people in Poland. For example, more than year ago almost the same opinion was expressed by a respected political scientist, prof. Roman KuĽniar, first in the most prestigious political weekly "Polityka", next in many other media, including radio station "Tok FM", where he said inter alia the following:

"It is a variety of fascism with some neo-communist instincts."

- "Fascism is being built in Poland," he stressed. - "Kaczyzm" (the word created after the name of their leader Kaczynski) is a variety of fascism. You have to look at the definition of fascism as it was in the 1920s in Italy - he added. As he emphasized, the understanding of fascism in Poland is "contaminated" by what we know about German Nazism. What arises in Poland is definitely a form of fascist regime - repeated former director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs. - "Kaczyzm" is undoubtedly a variation of fascism, only with neo-communist instincts - he stated.

If you want to understand better the meaning of fascism we have in mind, we also recommend to read an essay titled “Ur fascism” by Umberto Eco. It is available here: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/

Another point of controversy is the word “abhor”. Some of our friends find it “too strong”. I disagree, though of course it’s very emotional - deliberately. I understand that not all, even in humanist circles, feel the same or that some friends are simply afraid to admit it in public. However, I have decided to use it simply because it truly describes the feelings of hundreds of thousands or even several million of Polish people, both believers and unbelievers. Secondly, by using this word, I want to show the readers what is the “temperature” of the current crisis in Poland and how deep are cultural and political divisions here.

Andrzej Dominiczak, Beata Karalus, Joanna Hańderek, Krzysztof Simieński, Daniel Wróblewski, Waldemar Sadowski, Wojciech Krysztofiak, Krzysztof Tanewski, Monika Szymańska, Barbara Lipińska, Andrzej Lipiński, Radosław Czarnecki.

The statement is signed by names only because not all mebers of Humanist Association and Club sapere Aude fully agree with some points; some others agree but think that the language of this statement is too radical. A few are simply afraid to sign it.

Towarzystwo Humanistyczne
Humanist Assciation