Corruption in Poland as a result of the 50 years of "communist rule". Law and justice - but what about honesty?
According to many, Poland is not only one of the most corrupted countries in Europe, but the most corrupted one. Even the former US secretary of state Zbigniew Brzezinski, commented on the subject during his recent visit to Poland in his speech (in Polish) after the death of the Pope.
The communist system, although its ideas were exciting, unfortunately was not embraced nor understood by the people. It either came too early, or the people were simply not able to understand how good it was if applied properly. The ownership of the means of production by the state meant to the great majority of Poles that they did not belong to anyone. "We are the state," some were saying, "thus, nothing improper, if I take home a bit of my property. It is not stealing, you can't steal something that belongs to you."
The Poles, not unlike any other nation, are selfish. Everyone for himself, this is why capitalism works, and communism doesn't. People look after their own property; they don't look after the state's property. In that situation the factories, agriculture, etc were left on its own. No one cared.
On the other hand, the country of "workers and peasants" disrespected the very people it was meant to represent. The educated communist elite was in charge. The people with university degrees enjoyed high incomes and high standard of living while the "working class" was exceedingly poor. The state controlled media lied about the state of the country, about ambitious plans and achievements that were simply false. Everyone lied to each other. And the ruling class gave the worst examples of how you should act. The people in power were speaking with double-tongues; on one hand extolling the virtues of the honesty in a socialist state, on the other hand, stealing like crazy, promoting their own interests in the society, giving the best jobs to family and friends and so on.
The "cheating" system does exist even in other countries, but in the East, in Poland, it was a party doctrine. Join the communist party, be a consummate liar, collect the riches, climb up the ladder. Bribes and lies were an accepted method of gaining success - stealing from the state, a rule.
No wonder that fifty years of this kind of indoctrination resulted in a warped nation. As Abba sang, "Money, money, money" - nothing else mattered.
Formally Poland as a member of EU follows the same set of laws as the other of its members, in practice, the old system is still in place. Since the same people, already educated and in charge during the "socialist" era are still in power, nothing has changed. The former president Mr. Kwasniewski was a communist party member, as an example. Socialism, democracy - the name of the systems may change, all the career politicians care about is to survive. And survive they did.
Almost no one was given the sack, although, the members of the secret police, police, justice system, etc have had held their positions during the "old times" working well within the old system. The Polish laws are supposed to comply with the EUs, but law is one thing, justice yet another. The best proof of the current situation in Poland is the arrival of a new party that finds the need to call itself: "Law and justice". (Funnily enough no one, in this context, talks about honesty.)
It seems the party means that although the laws exist, they are not being applied in a proper way, and although Poland has a justice system, it does not administer justice, as it should.
For any Pole it is obvious that this is the case. The talk about scandals and corruption, that includes even the President (Kwasniewski) and his wife, is the most common subject in the media, that itself is not immune from accusations. It has taken fifty years of "socialism" to create a "new socialist people" (which spells as cheats and an opportunists), the question now is, how long will it take to create an honest one.