The 4th of June, or two parallel universes

By AjAWas
9th Jun 2016

Having observed what happened on Saturday the 4th of June, on the 27th anniversary of the 1989 election, and having listened to the commentary on the subject, one cannot help the impression that we are dealing with two parallel worlds which coexist in our four dimensional reality and yet, they have very little in common.

A logically reasoning spectator could say:

“Since the end of the World War 2 the Polish State operated under the imposed, unwanted system. The Polish Nation fought the foreign regime to regain independence and sovereignty in all ways possible – be it military action carried out by what was left of the Polish Underground State forces, or protests in the years 1956, 1968, 1970, 1976. Each of those events was yet another battle with the foreign to the Polish Nation authorities, unfortunately each of them unsuccessful to the Polish Nation. Although, over the years it became apparent that the authority was weakening, and eventually the first victory happened when the Solidarity emerged as a result of the strikes in 1980. And another loss which was the 13th of December 1981 and the Martial Law that followed by.

To those who were observing this reality at the time it could have seemed that there was no chance for a change, but unexpectedly the number of geopolitical shifts occurred, and with them yet another opportunity to win. And this chance was made the most of. After the strikes in 1988 the opponent was weak enough not to use the repression.  Then, the successful battle at the Round Table talks. The regimists took a few more steps back, and not only the Solidarity was re-legalised but also the date for the first, partially free, election was set.

The election day, the 4th of June 1989. Everyone was perfectly aware that this was only partially free election, and so no one was certain of the result, no one could know what would happen next. There was no way of knowing that. And then, ecstasy, euphoria and pride! The Polish Nation had won this battle spectacularly, and it won it without breaking any rules. The opportunity was exploited to the fullest and there was no room for accusations of acting unfair. What is more, an additional battle was won. The document known as the National List got destroyed, and not because of the dishonest action of the opposition, but because of the open civil objection to it. Those gigantic victories set of a chain of similar events that snowballed from then on because the opponent was withdrawing completely. Further gains included ‘Your President, our Prime Minister’ which was the first non-communist government in the Eastern Bloc, the Balcerowicz’s plan and the transformation of Poland, first free presidential election in 1991, the new Constitution enacted in 1997, joining the NATO in 1999, joining the EU in 2004 – these were the next battles won by the Polish Nation, and undoubtedly it was the 4th of June that initiated them all. Eventually the entire war had been won.’

That’s what a logically reasoning observer could say.

The attitude of the current government is nothing short of bizarre. According to them the 4th of June 1989 elections is insignificant, because it was only partially free. It changed nothing, nothing followed, and not even all noticed it. The Minister of National Defence at the press conference claims that he never heard of the June election, in spite of the fact he would have never become the Minister of National Defence had it not been for the result of the June 1989 election. The leader of the ruling party celebrates the anniversary of one of the governments being removed from power, and the one he particularly liked at the time, whilst he ostentatiously forgets that he was voted into the Parliament as a result of the 4th of June elections. Head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister calls the public administration to work on the anniversary of the 4th of June. Mr President, on the other hand, goes on a trip abroad to pray somewhere in Italy, and when interviewed by the press he does not mention the importance of the 4th of June election, instead he lists all the errors that followed by. Both of them ignore that fact that they perform their current function as a consequence of the 4th of June election. There is no need to quote the comments of the remaining representatives of the Polish government and their supporters. They would make quite a thick document that would serve best as the kindling.

Why is it then that only the members and sympathisers of one political party ostentatiously belittle the anniversary of the 4th of June elections? Why every single one of them – and no one else – does not recognise this anniversary and ostentatiously ignores it? It is hard to fully comprehend this, but one conclusion becomes increasingly obvious. Not without a reason and for weeks now, it is being stated during the parliamentary speeches made by the oppositionist, but also in the commentaries made by political observers and even during private conversations that the return of the Polish People’s Republic is looming. There is something to it. We see similar terminology, rhetorics, argumentation. The same verbosity mixed with invectives towards the opponents. Phrases such as “firebrands”, “crawling contr-revolution” are highly analogous with the current terms such as “the worst sort’’ and “the rebellion”. Where do these aggression and lust for vengeance come from then? The answer may be shocking. “Red” is still alive. “Red” received such a heavy beating in the year 1989 that he still hurts and perceives that defeat as a blot on his escutcheon. “Red” lost his power and, as he could not counteract it, he hid hoping to one day take revenge. This is the reason why “red” does not acknowledge the anniversary of the 4th of June 1989.

Maybe those of you who do not acknowledge the 4th of June 1989 as an anniversary worth celebrating will say loudly and clearly that you long for the era of real socialism, that you liked those years the most, that you loved the strict control over the society. Some of you seem to be clones of the secretaries of the Polish United Workers’ Party from the era that ended for a just reason. One could suspect that if not for the 4th of June 1989, many of you would now be secretaries and other prominent members of the governing Polish United Workers’ Party. Even if you do not wish for the return of this past era, the mentality originating in the PPR is visible in all of your actions. You ooze the spirit of real socialism – maybe not the ideology itself, but definitely the behaviour patterns. You have the same mentality and the same attitude towards reality.

One could stop here, but there is one issue which deserves a special mention, an issue which should outrage every single rightful Pole. It is the demeanour of the President and it deserves to be condemned. Mister President, why did you flee our country on the 4th of June? Who did you promise you were going to be? Was it not “the President of all Poles”? What does your office represent now? An outhouse of the chairman’s cat’s basket? Why did you talk about some unprecised mistakes which took place after the 4th of June 1989, avoided truthfully answering the questions of the journalists and taking a stance on the elections? Are these hundreds of thousands – if not more – of citizens who celebrate the anniversary of the 4th of June 1989 not a fraction of these SOVEREIGNS you keep referring to? Mister President, you have, gently speaking, embarrassed yourself. Even amongst your opponents, not many suspected you of such pettiness. Were you not ashamed to make those statements?

I could keep bringing more facts, events and opinions, but more importantly each of us should bethink what we aim for, what surrounds us, what we should and should not believe in. Dear fellow compatriots, it is time to put our thinking caps on and decide to which “parallel universe” we belong to. One should not expect ready answers- each of us has to decide for themselves.

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