To skip this introduction and go directly to read Adam Chmielewski’s In-Depth Analysis “Academies of Hatred – Part 1,” click here.
I tried to highlight in my post on Monday how the “Bauman Affair” challenges Polish democracy. The extreme right is working to turn public debate, to give priority to the politics of retribution for “repressions past,” as it enacts “repressions present.” The comment to the post clearly illustrates this.
But to understand this development, to understand the depth of the challenge to democracy in the recent upsurge of extreme right agitation in Poland, requires a close analysis of its social and political setting, which Adam Chmielewski, the Chair of the Department of Social and Political Philosophy of the University of Wrocław, one of the sponsors of Bauman’s lecture, explores in his two part post. He provides an informed insider’s analysis of the clear and present danger to democracy and academic freedom in Poland. Part 1 today. Part 2 on Friday.
In today’s post, Chmielewski explains the deep symbolic significance of the lecture in Wroclaw and shows how the right of center mainstream is supporting neo-fascism, both intentionally and unintentionally. While the leader of the main opposition party PiS (Law and Justice), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, openly applauds the “patriotic protesters,” the governing party PO (Civic Platform), a pro-Europe, normal, conservative, neo-liberal party, has supported what Chmielewski depicts as academies for hatred in the extensive development of Poland’s soccer infrastructure. Chmielewski shows how politicized soccer hooligans are the storm troopers of Poland’s far right. In his next post, he deepens his analysis, addressing: the support the new right is receiving on the university, Poland’s relationship with the Nazi legacy, and the ineffectiveness of cultural programs beyond soccer.
I find all this surprising, upsetting and bewildering. I have difficulty in discerning how profound the threat is. I see an unsolved puzzle. The people of Poland have experienced in the last twenty years unprecedented affluence, a well-institutionalized democratic system, and close and creative integration into the European system. In many ways, things have never been better. Yet the ghosts of the past: populism, xenophobia and anti-communist paranoia, added to new demons, homophobia front and center, are on the rise. The political system is now shaky, cultural accomplishment is compromised, and the dark side of nationalism threatens social solidarity and Poland’s relationships with its neighbors, both to the east and the west. In the best of times, the worst of times are on the horizon, a tragedy in the making.
To read Adam Chmielewski’s In-Depth Analysis “Academies of Hatred – Part 1,” click here.