Stagnant COVID-19 statistics have grown definitely boring; nonetheless, I've got a new passion, Democracy Index published by "The Economist". It is a reading that brings me to many profound musings and illuminations. First of all, I discover that we (they) had been ranked below Hungary already last year, even before the current crisis truly began; and certainly much below Czech Republic, a country that also had its own mushkila siyasiyya, to call it like this. It will be with a great impatience that I expect the new ranking. Will we (they) (formerly ranked 6,62 over 10) descend below Papua New Guinea (formerly ranked 6,03)?
A morbid contemplation. All Eastern Europe is at risk, even countries I would so gladly see spared, such as Romania. They deserve better than a simple repetition of the History we know.
History is pitiless, nonetheless. And all peoples get what they deserve (do they? also Swedish fascists who still get their deepest green colour on the map accompanying the ranking?). For sure the index is biased; it has its own criteria, that are those of the white man. I wonder if there exist a ranking evaluating the degree of compliance with political reality among the populations. Saudi Arabia would be near the top of the ranking (at least used to be, since some things tend to deteriorate lately), and Poland only slightly beneath. I don't know about North Korea, what do they feel? But I know several Chinese.
So how is it? Do we occupy the place in the ranking that we actually choose? At the deepest of our hearts and souls, at the most normal of our everyday decisions, ways of coping, ways of doing things? The ways we smile? The ways we live in communities? The ways we reject those we decide to marginalise?
I have no doubt that new Polish reality will be among the most enjoyable, at least at the beginning, for large groups of the population. They will indulge in simple pleasures, such as, just to give an example, the abuse of one's wife. Or even more simple, basking in hostility toward any chosen victim of the day: be it a nurse or a female doctor. Could stoning be introduced under a Catholic regime? I have no doubt they might enjoy it greatly.
There had been time when the population of the Netherlands greatly enjoyed ripping apart someone accused of treason. The details volatilised from my head. Was it one of the brothers de Witt? Johan de Witt? Cornelius de Witt? Or both? And still it was called their Golden Age.
Perhaps the true stake of History is not about democracy, or ambient hostility, or the surrounding chaos. It is about books and paintings, and such things.
And perhaps what torn me and my country apart is not the democracy, nor any political issue. In the first place, it is all about the ambient mediocrity: of its universities, of its literature, of its intellectuals, if we (they) have any. For we (they) used to have Barbara Skarga, and now we (they) have Magdalena Środa... To be honest, I've never read any book of Barbara Skarga. Does Magdalena Środa write books? Or only those opinion essays in "Gazeta Wyborcza"? Of those, yes, I've read several.
I've checked right now on Google. Yes. Magdalena Środa writes books. On dignity. A typical intelligentsia term, repugnant to me. For I have no dignity, never had. I lived in a society of contempt since my childhood. People used to spat on me when I was eleven, and I was either called or implicitly considered a prostitute for a greater part of my life. Once upon the time, we (they) believed our dignity will be restored with the fall of the communism. Nonetheless, it was not. I've always earned my living as a university professor; nonetheless, for many people around me, it could be reduced to the basic ontological condition of being a whore. For sure, they thought, it was "through bed" that I made my career. Otherwise, how? And coming from such a family? Certain things simply cannot be... Last time I learned from someone I am a whore was less than a week ago, in "Gazeta Wyborcza"'s comments. This is why I implore you, Professor Środa, talk to me of dignity! Talk to me smooth, with a velvet voice of a Polish lady inteligent.