In April something was bugging me… a familiarity amid the COVID lock-down status & another time… I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until a dear friend reminded me.
Many U.S. states are acting like the early 1980s and the imposition of Martial law in Poland to target the Solidarity movement. Subsequently I wrote about it on a Twitter thread, because the parallels were really quite remarkable.
Both Poland circa 1980 and the U.S. friction in 2020, center around fragile economic issues. Both were an outcome of state control; and the key connection is government targeting control over the workers.
In both examples the state took exclusive control of the economic and social state of the citizens, and the courts provided no option for redress. In both examples the state locked down the citizens and would not permit them to interact with each other.
In 1981 the government in Poland initiated Martial Law and citizens were forced to communicate underground. In 2020 a considerable number of U.S. state governments locked-down citizens in similar fashion and banned citizen assembly.
In 1981 in Poland the communist regime used economic psychological pressure, selecting workers permitted to earn wages. Those workers identified as “essential” to the state. In 2020 many State governors selected workers to earn an income by designating them “essential” to the state.
In 1981 in Poland; communication amid the Solidarity Movement was forced underground. In 2020 many oppressive State governors demanded social media remove public content adverse to the interests of the Stay-at-Home confinement orders. Big Tech complied with the authoritarian dictate.
In 1981 Polish authorities arrested anyone organizing protests against the authoritarian state. In 2020 numerous authoritarian officials arrested citizens for non-compliance with unilateral dictates. From a New Jersey governor arresting a woman for organizing a protect; to an Idaho mother arrested for allowing her children to play at a park; to a Texas salon owner arrested for operating her business.
In 1981 Polish authorities had a program for citizens to report subversive activity against the state. Snitching. In 2020 New York City, LA and numerous state and local officials started programs for citizens to report non-compliant activity against the state. Similar snitching.
In both 1981 Poland and 2020 USA we also see media exclusively creating ideological content as propaganda for the interests of the authoritarian state (controlling citizens).
Interestingly, as we begin to see the American people saying “enough”, and openly defying the authoritarian state. There’s another parallel that is comparable, enlightening and quite remarkable.
Just before the authoritarian state in Poland collapsed there was a rapid movement for the citizens to take to the streets in defiance of state control. I remember watching with great enthusiasm as I saw a very determined Pole shout on television:
…”we take to the streets and today we realize, there are more of us than them”…
Fast forward more than thirty years later and those glorious voices are prescient. The power of the government comes from the people; or as we say in the U.S. “from the consent of the governed.” Thus the underlying principle behind our defiance.
If the people will lead, the politicians are forced to follow:
If one person refuses to comply, government can and as we have witnessed arrest them. However, if tens of thousands rebuke these unconstitutional decrees, there isn’t a damn thing government can do to stop it…. and they know it.
If one barber shop opens, the owner becomes a target. However, if every barber shop and beauty salon in town opens… there is absolutely nothing the government can do about it.
If one restaurant and/or bar opens, the state can target the owner. But if every bar and restaurant in town opens; and if everyone ignores and dispatches the silly dictates of the local, regional or state officials… there isn’t a damned thing they can do about it.
The power of the local, regional or state authority comes from the expressed consent of the people. As soon as the majority of people deny that consent, those officials and state authoritarians lose all of their power. Yes, it really is that simple.
Go live your best life.
You’re worth it.
PS. Another similarity – ultimately the key control issue, the heart of the battle in Poland, came down to an election finally held in 1989. Likewise the key control issue, the heart of battle in the United States will come down to an election in November 2020.
(For more from the author of “DEFIANCE – There Are More of Us Than Them” please click HERE)