In a blog entry from news website Truthdig, reposted by the Washington's Blog, the reporter and author says nationalist sentiments have been gaining in strength in Poland since conservative Law and Justice (PiS) swept to power in the October elections.
“PiS is rapidly rolling back constitutional rights. It blocks state media coverage of the fading political opposition, especially the Committee for the Defense of Democracy (KOD), which has held a series of protest demonstrations,” Hedges writes.
The reporter repeats the words of Polish journalist Jarosław Kurski, from daily Gazeta Wyborcza, who said that the government, which refuses to publish sentences of the Constitutional Court, “paralyzes” the country’s top court, “which has been reduced to announcing its sentences on the internet without any legal effect. It is a very dangerous time.”
The sweeping changes that the ruling party has pushed through in recent months brings the nation closer to other European countries “devolving into proto-fascism,” Hedges writes, pointing to the “destruction” of democracy in Hungary under Prime Minister Viktor Orban alongside neofascist groups gaining ground in France, Great Britain, Greece, among others.
Hedges says that after a “rabidly xenophobic, racist, Islamophobic and homophobic” movement took control in Poland, it began spreading hateful rhetoric against the outsider, labeling them as diseased and barbaric, while glorifying those obedient to the leadership, those the authorities see as “true” patriots.
“This lurch to the right will be augmented in Poland later this year with the establishment of an armed militia of more than 30,000 whose loyalty, it seems certain, will be to the ruling party,” Hedges writes.
The US journalist says that the ruling party seeks to rewrite history in an effort to revive a myth of Poles as “solely heroic victims” of World War II, and “rebury the truth” about anti-Semitic crimes perpetrated by Poles during and shortly after the war.
“The nationalist myth is appealing to most Poles, not only those humiliated and marginalized by neoliberalism,” which arrived in Poland following the collapse of communism in 1989, Hedges says. “It is used and manipulated by Polish proto-fascists in an attempt to compensate for the loss of social cohesion,” he adds.
Long-time activist, author, journalist, Chris Hedges is a host of a TV programme for Russian news channel RT.
RT, the Kremlin's English-language TV channel formerly known as Russia Today, is regarded by many as a propaganda mouthpiece aiming to promote Moscow's interests.