Quasi-Militant Democracy as a New Form of Sacred in Poland During the Corona Crisis

Joanna Rak

Abstract


This article aims to explore the political mythology created by the Polish government and its subservient organizations with an aim to legitimize quasi-militant democracy as a new form of sacred in the populist discourse during the pandemic. Drawing on theories of political myths and on intertextual qualitative document analysis, the research shows that the sacred appeared in political myths which proved to be an efficient means of gaining public support for all sorts of efforts that undermine democracy. The conspiracy myth established social divisions and produced effects along with the interrelated myths of the savior, unity, and the golden age. The government took on the role of a savior whose mission was to deliver Poles “the people” from the hostile “others” that put their lives and health at risk. Those who desire social and economic help and do not want to be excluded from the community, must submit to the yoke of the savior. The unity myth rested on the vision of Poles as the government’s followers who exposed and reported transgressions for the good of the community. All the limitations to which Poles complied and the denunciatory actions they took were oriented towards the golden age of a strong state, providing social and economic security unique in the post-pandemic world.

Keywords


populism; political myths; quasi-militant democracy; anti-democratic measures; legitimacy; state discourse; political communication; Covid-19 pandemic; Poland.

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