Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Camp Poland. Enforcing collectivism through collective responsibility

On the day of the second round of presidential elections in Poland, 24 May 2015, the polls were closing at 9 pm. The law requires that the so-called electoral silence holds from midnight on Friday night until polls are closed on Sunday, the election day. However, an elderly lady died at a polling station in a village near the southern border. The voting at that station was extended by one hour and a half. The law requires that no exit polls or results of vote counts are reported until all polling stations are closed.

Thus results of exit polls were reported at 10:30 pm instead of 9 pm. While to some this might seem a consequence of petty legalism it really is an exercise of collective responsibility.

Electoral silence in Poland is similar to curfew in a state of emergency, under marshal law or in a concentration camp. People are trained to cease an activity or engage in it at precise time on orders issued by the central command. If an individual or a small group of prisoners in a concentration camp breached a camp rule, no matter how small and unimportant the violation, all prisoners could be forced to stand outside in the heat or cold and do whatever the commandant ordered.