Saving freedom in an era of new totalitarianisms
Today’s world provokes many unhappy reflections. We observe the machine of Chinese totalitarianism growing in strength, the growing aggression of Russian imperialism, as well as the vigor and massiveness of Islamists.
The question of the cleaning lady in front of the PiS headquarters on Nowogrodzka Street in response to the feat of Ms. Lempart may be a symbol of sheer wonder at the achievements of people who are leading the contemporary revolution of madmen and call themselves authorities1. The question contains the surprise and indignation of a person whose effort deserves recognition, who is needed to make our life look decent, and who is thoughtlessly disrespected. The cleaning lady’s reflection at Nowogrodzka Street has a broader meaning than merely an assessment of the transpired event.
We are contemplating primitive outbursts of celebrities, we are debating nonsense, and the reality that passes by is not as shallow and unproblematic as it might seem to us. When looking at the talking heads, we may miss the meaning of the really important images. They say we live in a pictorial culture. And do we really remember the picture of the Bundeswehr marching in front of the outgoing Chancellor Merkel at night with torches in our hands? Do we still recall the video with Adam Michnik kissing General Jaruzelski with words full of elation and love? What do these images really mean?
Civilizational pests come from many sources. It may be the lust for power, greed, pride or ideological blindness, or it may be a combination of several motives. If these are the motives of ordinary people, they can probably only harm their loved ones or themselves. But it’s much worse if it comes from the decision makers that appear in newspaper headlines. The scale of the damage in those circumstances can be quite tremendous. Today’s world has an inclination towards many unhappy reflections. We observe the machine of Chinese totalitarianism growing in strength, the aggression of Russian imperialism, and the vigor and massiveness of Islamists. We see imperial pride fueled by ideological fuel and a lust for power and money. The Western world is plunging into a revolution of madmen who waste power and money in order to implement a new, completely detached vision of man – free from cultural, moral, and even biological limitations. A man who does not know what’s worse, discrimination against women, homophobia, misogyny or transphobia, a man who wants to win against women in a race and who shoves himself into women’s bathrooms, but fights against female discrimination.
An important phenomenon on the battlefield with Western civilization is verbal burglary. It is not a new phenomenon, it was invented by communists who proved that they were “democrats” benefiting from the achievements of “science”, simultaneously violating all divine and human rights. Cultural Marxism today takes advantage of some of the “accomplishments” of the communists, for example by using the distorted term “fascism” as an epithet to stigmatize opponents. The “democrats” here are still those who prefer to impose their will on others, where “progress” knows no bounds, neither does “freedom”, which is, of course, a “conscious necessity”. The “Middle Ages” is still a vogue term symbolizing backwardness, and if someone’s views are viewed as wrong, then there is a proud allusion to the standards of “the 21st century”. The revolution of lunatics introduced a myriad of other verbal deceits. “Tolerance” and “non-discrimination” are the greatest achievements of the modern word-thieves of the middle generation of revolutionaries. The opponents must be accused of imaginary fears. Hence the various “Islamophobias” and “homophobias”. The topic of “ozone depletion” has gone out of fashion and been replaced by the fight against global warming. Young people, on the other hand, are shocking us with new ideas that cut them off from serious conversation about the matters of the world.
So, in all seriousness, the most dangerous thing is to convince people that there is no truth, and that principles stemming from the Decalogue are out of date, that the defense of the Ten Commandments is, as I read somewhere, “church bullshit”, that paradise is “beyond good and evil”. It is also easy to convince people who are manipulated by such words that this paradise will be guided by the senders of such messages in order to achieve universal happiness. Instead of universal happiness, however, we will see a catastrophe and then it will be too late to remind ourselves of the infamous cleaning lady’s reaction: “What is going on here? Who did all this?”
1 A video of a cleaning lady complaining that the leader of the Women’s Strike – Marta Lempart – smeared the premises with red paint in a protest against the government, effectively ruining all the work she put into cleaning the premises of the party headquarters went viral in Polish media. The cleaning lady asked “What’s going on here? Who did all this?”, insisting that Ms. Lempart should clean the mess she made by herself, which Ms. Lempart refused to do.
This article was published in January 2022 in “Do Rzeczy” magazine.