Why has Poland’s Vistula Split canal project angered the country’s left-wing opposition?

The canal through Vistula Spit is the next example of a key investment in Poland’s sovereignty, which is why it was undermined by the opposition from the very beginning, writes Michał Karnowski

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Michał Karnowski
The first vessel went through the Vistula Spit canal on Saturday, September 17, 2022. (Source: Twitter/G. Jakubowski KPRP)

A supporter of the pro-Poland camp is subjected to tremendous pressures. Every day, he or she is attacked and insulted by a powerful propaganda machine, claiming such supporters have supposedly opted for losers, maniacs, idiots, propagandists, even lunatics. I have nothing but respect for people who can put up with this state of affairs in their social circles, work places, universities, and schools.

Many people paid a large price for their beliefs, but a change for good is possible thanks to them.

On the other hand, after some time, it turns out that those supposed losers, idiots, maniacs, and propagandists, who supposedly belong to Poland’s Law and Justice party (PiS) were 100 percent right. They made good predictions, proposed the correct solutions, and made good decisions.

We can list a number of examples, including pro-family and social programs, changes in the labor market, improved education, and lower poverty levels.

The Polish conservatives’ fight against Poland’s VAT fraud, fuel-fraud mafia, and other forms of theft have brought in tens of billions of zlotys and created a completely different budgetary situation for the country.

The ruling party also identified the threat posed by Putin’s Russia, recognizing Germany’s cynical game and the necessity to build a strong country and a powerful army to defend it.

Now, on to the latest controversy: the canal through the Vistula Spit. The canal project was not only possible and necessary but also beneficial to the economy of the entire region, making Russian blackmail and provocation impossible while displaying the power and forward planning of the Polish state.

The head of the ruling party, Jarosław Kaczyński, rightly emphasized the word “patriotism” during the opening of the canal:

“I believe that the opening of the Vistula Spit canal is the beginning of the fourth port of the Republic. It is another act of making Poland truly independent, sovereign, and a state that counts; it is also the result of willpower, inspired by patriotism.”

He said that it was about both forms of patriotism: state patriotism, which led to the conclusion that Poland cannot be dependent and must decide about its own affairs and territory, and local patriotism, which involves the inhabitants of the region.

President Andrzej Duda also put it well, saying, “I would like to announce that despite Poland’s tough geopolitical location in this part of Europe for more than a thousand years, despite turmoil and wars that often hammered us into the ground, despite millions of losses of our nation, despite the personal tragedies that Polish families and generations lived through, despite all difficulties, despite years of communism, despite everything that happened during the last 30 years, Poland is winning.”

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki underlined the symbolism of the date of the opening of the canal.

“We are opening a navigable canal; it is the path to freedom, new opportunities, and possibilities. Symbolically on the day of the 83th anniversary of Soviet aggression against Poland [Sept. 17, 1939], we are breaking the shackles of our dependence from the Soviet Union, which later became the Russian Federation.”

Yes, Poland has the desire to protect its independence, and Poland knows how to win. Poland is breaking from the shackles that were put on us after Sept. 1 and 17, 1939.

The question is why is Law and Justice the only party in Poland that sets goals and fulfills them while the majority of the political class is proposing a country that easily gives away its ambition and sovereignty.

Where does this littleness of most of those politicians and the media that serves them come from? Was all history and all national ambition erased from their memory?

No, there is more to it. They not only do not feel Polish ambition and efficiency, but they try to fight it in others. With a raging passion they try to undermine, ridicule, suppress everything that is significant, that elevates us, and builds our strength.

They believe that they are the natural masters of our nation. That is why under the democratic and liberal camouflage, there is hate towards those values, and due to these values, they have already lost a couple of elections (maintaining, however, vast power) and can lose again.

In a nation-state, the source of strength and power is a nation’s history and its efficiency in taking care of its people, while in a transnational structure such as seen with the EU, a fictional democracy reigns, as it is not possible to have a democratic system that encompasses power over almost an entire continent. This fictional democracy is coupled with a real “liberal” media despotism. In this second structure, the source of power over the locals is external. This gives rise to a lasting oligarchic system, comfortable for the privileged groups, though with a tragic final cost for Poland and Poles.

Giving in to this illusion, a large part of our elites is working against their own state with great naivety, believing in a centralist European monster built by Germany. They do not know that if this were to happen, they would soon end up on the sidelines, just as the magnates who supported the partitions of Poland in the 18th century.

That does not stop them from trying. This plan will only succeed when Polish citizens buy into the idea that they are weak, unable to act, and that their state is handicapped.

That is why the canal through the Vistula Spit irritated the opposition and sparked such anger. That is why they talked so much gibberish in response to the project.

In their eyes, Poland is to be weak, have no ambitions, and be unable to act or lead a sovereign life. Every circumstance where this is not shown to be true spoils their plans. Poland, a large country in Europe’s center, with a thousand-year tradition of statehood and a dynamic economy, wants to keep rising instead of playing the role of a low-cost workforce for Germany.

The goal of a weakened and diminished Poland would have already been achieved were it not for Jarosław Kaczyński, who continued the fight led by his deceased brother, former President Lech Kaczyński.

That is why they hate the leader of Law and Justice and all that he “delivers” to Poles, including the Vistula Spit canal itself.

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