A Republic of distrust. Rethinking contemporary Polish Experience

In her Nobel lecture Olga Tokarczuk reminded us that „he who has and weaves the story is in charge.”
The politics in contemporary Poland is largely founded on the narrative of distrust. That narrative brought to power the country’s present scaremongering rulers.
Those currently in power sow distrust in liberal democracy and its values – they violate the constitution, stir up distrust of elites, and make attempts at bringing the judiciary to heel, while staging judges bashing propaganda campaigns. Distrust of European law and European institutions is part and parcel of this process.
The narrative of distrust weakens and threatens to disenfranchise civil society, and it blurs the line between law and lawlessness. In actual fact, it also weakens those in power.
The present pervasive pessimism about the future reinforces the distrust in the ruling class – not only in Poland.
However, a balance between distrust of rulers and trust in them is part of democracy’s constitutional identity.