It is really difficult to inquire who first started speaking about the Polish-Polish war. Whereas one can be sure that this formulation was created by mass media

What is the phenomenon, today called a speech of hatred and when did it appear in Poland? It is only known that it exists because media are insistently trying to convince us about it and, additionally, they use the speech themselves. It is interesting, when they pass information – like Moliere’s Mr Jourdan, who was surprised to discover that for over 40 years he speaks in prose – that, first of all, these are them which are applying this instrument, to inspire, foster and impose a language of hatred.

Nobody knows that he speaks this language

Linguists and experts of Polish language have troubles with defining a source and defining the intensity of the contemporary Polish speech of hatred. Maybe the reason is the fact that they also find it often difficult to free themselves from their own beliefs and political fans. Prof. Jerzy Bralczyk, for example, (n an interview for the journal ‘Fact’) minimizes its meaning, thinking, that judging the pronouncements of politicians, one cannot say about the speech of hatred, but only about human emotions and opinions expressed in anger (he meant, among the others, the words of Lech Wałęsa about Lech Kaczyński: ‘our president is a fool’ and similar insulting opinions of Stefan Niesiołowski). But – as prof. Bralczyk notes –it is something different to use invectives, that is, insulting people, and it is something different to persuade into a crime, for example, persuading into shooting at people.

Prof. Michał Głowiński says (in an interview for ‘Newsweek’) that the very words can be dangerous, and the most dangerous word in today’s campaign of hatred is the word ‘war’ which questions the elementary community and country in its today’s form and insists on the existence of ‘enemies’, divisions and social precipices. Introduction of the word ‘war’ into the contemporary Polish political context is assigned by prof. Głowiński to Jarosław Kaczyński and his offensive and defensive reaction to the Smoleńsk catastrophe. And he does it in quite a confrontational-hateful style, by eloquent, but not very adequate comparison: ‘Roman Dmowski hated sanitation in the 30s. But despite his ideological madness he did not say anything about the war in Poland. Dmowski is a politician unfamiliar to me, but it was a politician of high class than the chairman of the Law and Justice party’.

‘Creeping coup’ of the rightist party

It is really difficult to inquire who first started speaking about the Polish-Polish war. Whereas one can be sure that this formulation was created by mass media. Because their free nature looks so and - as they explain – the information that a dog has bitten a man is worth nothing but the fact that a man has bitten a dog – is just something! But today it is not really known who is biting whom. And media are gaining a desired propaganda success; a large part of the society have already managed to persuade others into belief that the speech of hatred – is an obvious thing for leftist-liberal journalists – used only by the rightist and conservative politicians, announces an approaching cataclysm of nationalism, xenophobia, homophobia, enslavements and many other miseries.

The key evidence for a deeply rightist origin of the speech of hatred and for horrendous danger coming from it, was to be a pronouncement of a director Grzegorz Braun about the necessity of shooting at some journalists, which was repeated in media on ad nauseam – irresponsible and in fact deserving the propaganda non-existence. And prof. Bralczyk must have meant this persuasion into shooting at people, because nobody today wants to remember the effective, unfortunately coup against the life of Marek Rosiak in the office of the Law and Justice party in Łódź and the words of hatred said by an assassin. But at that time media suggested that the chairman of the Law and Justice party is to be blamed for everything (personally it was Kaczyński), because he causes an atmosphere for aggression.

The situation was worsened also during arresting the would-be assassin Brunon K. Praising the professional action of the Inner Security Agency, media suggested immediately that this would-be terrorist might have principals, and it was said that undoubtedly he was an exanthema of the atmosphere of hatred spreading in Poland, that is, the Polish-Polish war promoted by the extreme rightist party.

In 2012, as an example of danger of hatred the November Independence march was also used, this time ended with a meeting organised by this not big, in fact, the extreme rightist party, during which the necessity of reforming the Third Republic of Poland at the round table was discussed. Media started intensively frighten that the extreme rightist party wants to annihilate democracy…So, this is what, in the opinion of media, today there is the fierce Polish-Polish war about. Here the first prime minister of free Poland Tadeusz Mazowiecki says about the ‘creeping coup’, and today ‘very correct’ Stefan Niesiołowski says about the fact the Law and Justice party is setting Poland on fire, that today a danger for Poland is not the leftist party (with Kwaśniewski and Palikot), but just the Law and Justice party (with ‘mentally ill’ Kaczyński).

From ‘a thick line’ to Smoleńsk

The Polish-Polish war, using the language of hatred is, in fact, a long-term, media campaign of frightening the ‘incorrectly’ thinking people. Its beginnings are in the area of a ‘thick line’, crossing out and blurring a clear picture of new Polish reality. During 20 years every attempt of clearing and explaining met with an attack of propaganda, using methods tried out in the previous epoch against a class enemy: ridicule, mockery, assigning the worst intentions and unclear political plans to those all who do not agree with the leftist-liberal dogmas and a newly-gained upstart ‘Europeanism’ of Poles. Experts, commentators and leading publicists were fervently fulfilling their mission of defence of the country against ‘insane people’, ‘backward environment’, and over years more and more frequently also against the Church.

So, today everybody – paradoxically unanimously – are complaining: there is no dispute in Poland, there is no public debate, there is war. This thesis is enforced into Poles’ minds at every time – in the name of the old propaganda principle that a water-drop is hollowing a stone – just those who avoid any essential discussions (which do not take place even in the Seym by the cause of the coalition). The so-called opinion-authorities are trying to persuade everybody into belief that everything is a quarrel and everybody who thinks in a different way is considered as insane or backward-thinking, and unable to think in an open way, shielding with the ‘myth of Smoleńsk’. Demanding far-going explanations of the causes of the Smoleńsk catastrophe was thought to be a provocation of the Polish-Polish war, as the main sign of the speech of hatred. Whereas, for example, the statements that Jarosław Kaczyński sent his brother into death in Smoleńsk is not this kind of speech (Janusz Palikot); they do not raise a scandal and protests of publicists and politicians who consider themselves as decent people.

It is sufficient to think independently

A characteristic thing is a fact that the more signs of independent thinking, withdrawing from a choir – independent media, out of the so-called the main trend, various social initiatives growing in power and events, like, for example, the march in the defence of the Television Trwam – the more fierce attacks from the ‘correctly’ and ‘rightly’ thinking people are. Applying the martial rhetoric, one could say about a mass attack here. The main media would willingly exclude people thinking differently if they were not afraid of being accused of non-professionalism.

Although it happens that they do not have any problem with it as well. Recently a debate has been becoming more and more one-sided, which is suggested for example, even by a public radio station, and by some opinion-weeklies. Maybe is it for fear – as respectable publicists and experts of political science warn- against not only verbal confrontation which may take place in Poland sooner or later, in their opinion? Or maybe, ladies and gentlemen, is it a sign of whim of Wańkowicz?

It is easy to notice that the speech of hatred is used, nearly intuitively by just those who warn against it or frighten with it. Prof. Radosław Markowski says (in TOK FM radio station) about an intentional action ( it is obvious to whom it belongs), whose purpose is to cause a situation when there would be ‘bloodshed’, so that somebody would be beaten or even killed…The scared sociologist of the main trend is comparing the present situation in Poland with the war in Yugoslavia.

Poles did not express such a hatred even towards the communists just after the year 1989 – states Aleksander Smolar, the president of the Batory Foundation. Maybe it is so, but nobody is measuring today’s level of hatred, and even nobody is trying to analyse it in details (at least in media and politics). Basing on the intellectual laziness of the addressees of information, already-prepared schemes of thinking are suggested, public enemies are pointed at, who are sowers of hatred and who ‘wants to control and imprison everybody’. This kind of frights get not only under dark thatched roofs, but also to bright salons. Deep divisions – which media report without any satisfaction – divided the polish families, friends in such a way that in a while there is going to be a civil war (it is a warning of Roman Giertych).

It seems that media present this ‘collapse’ of the society in a far-fetched way and they are raising the atmosphere, either to the political order of their owners, or in the name of specifically understood professionalism (war more interesting than peace, evil more attractive than the good).So, there is an agog expectation for some dramatic events. And only some experts of political science are cooling raised emotions, saying that one can expect war among publicists of opposite groups sooner than a kind of a dramatic escalation of moods in the society (dr. Rafał Chwedoruk).

An announcement of the end of hatred

In order to prevent the hatred spreading in Poland, the governing Civil Platform party submitted a project of an Act last year about the so-called speech of hatred. In fact the article 256 KK was complemented, which is supposed to sound as follows: ‘Somebody who publicly promotes fascist or another totalitarian system of a country or calls for hatred towards a group of people or a person because of their national , ethnical, race, political, social, natural origin or acquired personal features or beliefs, undergoes a fine, freedom restriction or imprisonment for 2 years’.

Fr. Prof. Czesław Bartnik expresses his anxiety on the pages of the newspaper ‘Nasz Dziennik’ that if neither an individual nor a group can be attacked for their social origin, they will not probably be allowed to evaluate negatively various theories, trends or social schools, like Marxism, liberalism, social atheism or nihilism. The prohibition of expressing negative opinion about people of any beliefs is also dangerous – about rebels, destroyers of religious, social, moral, cultural, national and patriotic life. It can be understood also as a prohibition of proclaiming the Gospel, regardless to beliefs of a particular person or a group of people, forming attitudes, upbringing, reprimand, disciplining, educating, giving humanistic facts, etc. There has never been such an idiotic formulation throughout the history before! –prof. Bartnik summarizes the efforts of the Civil Platform Party.

So, if the regulatory ambitions of the present ‘politicians of love’ are successful in the future, boundless, dehumanized correctness will appear. The wonderful world, in which nobody will be courageous enough to be ‘tormented’ by the Smoleńsk catastrophe.


"Niedziela" 7/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl