“Everybody sees that PiS has crossed a certain line and nothing will be the same any more,” Tomasz Siemoniak, deputy leader of the biggest opposition party Civic Platform said. The parliament was surrounded by hundreds of police, some of whom were carrying rubber bullet guns.The useless EU seems powerless to do much to warn the PiS regime that if it should continue to chip away at destroying the pillars of Poland's democracy that there will be severe consequences. Neither the Venice Commission nor the EU Parliament seem to have much power to deter regime fanatics.
The huge danger for Poland in 2017 will be the continued fragmentation of the EU and the focus of most attention on Brexit, the French elections and the migrant crisis should Turkey open the floodgates once more. Kaczynski is no doubt playing for time and hoping he can exploit the EU crisis to impose regime power further.
Many in the West of Europe are largely unaware of the chilling fanaticism of PiS. It is not impossible that opposition protesters could be forcibly banned from freedom of assembly in future. The bill to prohibit this and allow only for public gatherings endorsed by state and church was only watered down at the last moment.
The Defence Minister, Antoni Macierewicz, has coordinated volunteer defence battalions in to a 'territorial army'. A defence ministry communique revealed that this reserve army was intended not only for use against 'the Russian threat' but also against Muslim threats and that posed by 'anti-state activists'.
Deploying an armed militia against protesters clearly would meet the definition of an authoritarian state akin to that of the national-communist regime of Gomulka and Gierek, one where ZOMO was unleashed upon those protested against it and where strikers were shot dead those armed with weapons.
The anti-communist credentials of the PiS regime are largely bogus, hence the systematic and paranoid attempt to smear former Solidarity leaders opposed to Kaczynski as 'collaborators'. The regime only detests the left-wing symbolism and ideology of the People's Republic; a far-right version of the same is preferred.
PiS is not, as the Western media keep casually repeating, a conservative government. It is a far-right radical clerico-authoritarian regime based on the idea it represents 'real Poles', a narrative undepinned by a retarded and infantile narrative of 'heroes' ( such as the dead Lech ) versus sneering 'traitors' such as Lech Walesa.
Central to this is the Orwellian rewriting of history during the communist period and that of Solidarity to emphasise the role of Kaczynskis beyond recognition and to airbrush out those who have opposed them. Sickly ideological fantasies are to be taught at 'fact' in history lessons at school just as under the People's Republic.
Kaczynski cannot call his primitive lunge for complete power as a revolutionary overthrow, though he might see it as a counter-revolution against 'cultural Marxists' and the PO and Nowoczesna, both bizarrely smeared as being 'communist' or 'left wing' contrary to the evident fact both are very far from being either.
The retarded political discourse within Poland's 'populist' right has all those not adhering to ultranationalist positions as being 'communist' as a way of marshalling the anger of those who have not benefitted enough from the post-communist transition. The neoliberal economic model has failed in Poland as elsewhere.
The leading opposition to PiS, other than the enfeebled liberal and liberal-conservative parties, comes from Kukiz 15, one that took the most youth votes in the October 2015 elections. Kukiz predictably blames the continued hardship and poverty on 'communists' and, of course, 'Jewish bankers' like George Soros.
Poland is returning in many ways to the style of politics that emerged in the 1930s, even down to the revival of antisemitism. Kukiz politicians have formed a body explicitly named after Roman Dwowski's Endecja: rather than looking east for the enemy, as PiS does as well as to Germany, it sees Russia as a future hope.
Far from being a new Pilsudski, Kaczynski has more in common with Gomulka. The difference this time is Poland is not even under the threat of foreign domination. Yet PiS continues, through its abject fear of the modern world, to seek the recreation of a Poland free from alien elements and devoted to Catholic fundamentalism.
In the fanatical pursuit of this deranged state, PiS has relentlessly demonised opposition as enemies and has shown it is prepared to be ruthless and aggressive in the process. Uncertainty and fear is hanging over this land and the picture is steadily getting darker by the day in this bleakest December of 2016.