My comment following Niall Ferguson’s article “Science fiction has become dystopian fact” in The Times, 22 September 2019, about 8:30 pm local time.
My earlier comment was blocked. I will try again.
I would encourage everyone to read “Russian Minds in Fetters”, London: George Allen and Unwin, by the Polish writer and statesman Stanisław Mackiewicz. There is also a more recent edition by Routledge, 2018. He applied to visit the Soviet Union through official channels and having finally received permission, traveled there in 1929. The book is an account of his experience during the trip. The book withstood the test of time remarkably well, as I had to acknowledge few years ago following my own and my family’s experience with the next stage of totalitarianism in Poland. I warmly recommend it.
While Orwell’s 1984 is a very valuable work of fiction, it is just that: a work of fiction. It should not be taken as a substitute for a real-life experience.
Huxley’s idea that the totalitarianism of the future is likely to be of the “love your servitude” type is generally correct, as is evident in Eastern Europe. Rumours about a democratic transition in countries such as Poland, for example, are vastly exaggerated.
There is an abundance of evidence contradicting the official dogma of the “democratic transition” in Eastern Europe. Let me give you just one example.
My wife was fired from her job of a pianist and piano teacher in the State School of Music in Zielona Góra in Poland in Autumn 2015, using a document fabricated by the Occupational Health Service. The document stated that my wife cannot continue performing her job for unspecified health reasons. The key was a psychologist’s opinion, who accused my wife of having unspecified “delusions”.
We have submitted detailed evidence to the Prime Minister of Poland and to the Minister of Justice, who is also the Prosecutor General. Other Ministers, the Minister of Health, and MPs were informed as well.
Everyone knows that there is no such thing as a scientifically valid procedure of assessment of someone’s psychological ability to do the job of a pianist and piano teacher (and almost any other job, save for the very few narrow tests). Everyone who received our correspondence is perfectly aware that a crime has been committed by the named health service ‘specialists’. We have sound recordings of my wife two conversations with the psychologist. We submitted this evidence to the country’s top authorities.
Nothing happened. Silence, save for the falsifications carried out by the local prosecutor office.
We have informed members of the European Parliament as well. Hundreds of them. No result.
The idea of Occupational Health Service was created under the Communist dictatorship. The officially declared aim of this organisation was to care for the health of the workers by subjecting them to compulsory health checks. However, it was also a tool that could be used to deny a job or to fire someone an under the guise of caring for that person’s health. A typical Communist trick.
A 1996 Ministry of Health ordinance included a vague clause that allowed any physician conducting the health check to ask for an arbitrary additional examination, an absolute carte blanche. This ordinance is still in force today. How is it possible that no one seems to notice its contradiction with the rights declared in the constitution?
The answer to this question is very simple. Constitution in Poland is a purely declarative document. It has no legal consequence. The very concept of law, such as it is understood in an average western democracy, does not exist.
A referral from one physician to another is nothing out of ordinary. The trick here is that the person controlled by the Occupational Health Service has no say in the matter. A refusal may lead to losing one’s job under the excuse of not having submitted a valid health certificate to the employer. Under the conditions of this ‘health check’ the person’s constitutional and legal rights are taken away. You become a prisoner.
Both Nazi and Communist concentration camps had their own health service as well. One could also call it an “occupational health service”. A negative opinion of someone’s health in Auschwitz, for example, meant the termination of employment and physical liquidation.
Contemporary liquidation administers a death of a social type. If you eliminate someone from public and professional life, it is as if this person had been liquidated physically as well. This is the current state of affairs in Poland and most likely in other Communist countries.
This is just one example.
So, as you look into details, it turns out things are completely opposite to what is declared publicly. This discrepancy persists regardless of who is currently in the PM’s office.
This means that the perception of what really happened or not happened in Eastern Europe is in a state of a cognitive catastrophe.
My wife and I are carrying out a project on critical narrative analysis, organised social violence, and criminal state. This was not our entirely free choice. We had to embark on it quite reluctantly.
Remember all those happy chirps about the ‘end of history’?
(This has been written by a former associate professor of Physics at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, currently a humble shop assistant in London, UK)