Adam Michnik

    is a Polish writer and journalist, the founder and editor-in-chief of the daily Gazeta Wyborcza. He lives in Warsaw and has been visiting professor at Princeton University. His publications in English include Letters from Freedom: Post-Cold War Realities and Perspectives; The Church and the Left; and Letters from Prison and Other Essays. Commenting on the results of the latest general election in Poland, Adam Michnik said: “Our society has shot itself in the foot. But we can’t be offended at democracy, democracy must be respected and from this perspective we mustn’t say the election was rigged, that it’s the work of the secret services. No, this is how the Poles voted and now it is our job to watch this government closely while wishing it success. Not in its intended revolution of our system and institutions, but making sure they don’t fritter away our country’s achievements. For I am worried that this government may do Poland harm. […] I understand that where there is a strong xenophobic potential a government must take it into account. Xenophobia is like sex: it’s something you do but not something you talk about. But if the leader of a political party that is leading in the polls says that refugees are bearers of some kind of parasite, that is dreadful. It is really bad for the reputation of the state, society and the nation. What does a peasant do when a storm destroys his crops? He sews new seeds. We have four very difficult years ahead of us. I have no doubt that this government won’t be like various recent governments, rather it will behave in a way similar to the last time they were in power. There will be provocations, there will be surveillance. Politics will be replaced by a special services operations model. When I imagine the state model that is ahead of us I fear it will be Putinism in Polish national colours.“