Some thought on the use of power in Poland

The contentious and confrontational form of government pursued by Mr.Kaczynski and his friends is as divisive and harmful to the fabric of Polish society as Brexit or the Chilcott Enquiry are to the British. The British have the saving grace that both Brexit and the Equiry were monumental exercises in democracy, even if the referendum was a catastrophic misjudgement, which it may well prove to have been. Such an exercise would be unthinkable in Poland for one reason: what is meant in Poland by the exercise of power.

I think it is worth reflecting on how Mr. Kaczynski seems to regard power. His use of it, not dissimilar from the way the Roman church exercises power in Poland or, indeed, the way many businesses are managed, is rooted in an arcane understanding of what power is and, thus, what it means to govern. His style seems to be more suited to the murderous conditions of a de Medici Florence than of a reasonably advanced democracy.

Clearly, he feels that he is working against the clock and that this justifies his use of coercive tactics in order to achieve his evangelical mission. However, leaders who resort to coercive force are invariably those who feel the most insecure in their hold on power. Of course, it is perfectly possible that he has no other concept of the use of power. Where would his example be found? However, this narrowness will, ultimately, lead to his downfall. Why so?

The way people in the developed world respond to power has dramatically altered. The strong man of Hollywood blockbusters is no longer valid. Society works best when it is bound together by a civil code of behaviour in which people feel empowered by the people in power. Empowerment and empathy are the real sources of power whether political, domestic or commercial. Mr. Kaczynski only has experience of the first.


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