Polish Tycoon Roman Kluska: The Pandemic is Being Used Against the Middle Classes and Traditional Church
Roman Kluska, considered Poland’s richest businessman in the 1990’s, shares his views as a committed Christian on the current ills of Western societies, deriving from what he describes as a progressive return of socialism.
Technology entrepreneur Roman Kluska is a prominent figure of the post-communist era in Poland.
He has recently been noted for his strong public stances on the management of the coronavirus pandemic by world governments, which he believes — as he reaffirmed in this interview with the Register — are accelerating the implementation of socialism in most Western countries.
Born in 1954 under the Polish People’s Republic, he founded in 1988 (on the eve of the collapse of the communist regime) Optimus, a private company for the manufacture and sale of personal computers, which quickly established itself as a leader in the Eastern l Europe’s market. In 2002, Kluska was arrested by Polish authorities and charged with tax fraud, for which he was eventually cleared and compensated for unjustified detention. This high profile case, which revealed the deep flaws in regulation and tax services of post-communist Poland, also marked a slow return to the rule of law in the country.
Kluska remained a very popular public personality the years that followed, notably for his many philanthropic activities, often in the religious field. In particular, he was the main sponsor in the construction of the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Krakow (where St. Faustina Kowalska is buried). He was also the founder of publishing house Prodoks, in 2001, with the aim of promoting books based on Christian values.
His popularity led him to be considered by several political circles as potential president of Poland in 2005, but Kluska eventually declined to run. In 2007, as Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński’s special adviser for economic affairs, he oversaw a program known as the “Kluska Package,” meant to simplify the economic life of the country.
You have sounded the alarm in some Polish media recently about the risk of a return of socialism in the West, facilitated in particular by governments’ response to the coronavirus crisis. Why does this frighten you so much?
I think I am fairly competent in this area because I am of certain age, and I lived for a significant part of my life under real socialism. More than that, I had worked in this system after graduating from university for a dozen or so years. I have gone through an entire career path, from an entry-level employee to the deputy director of a large state-owned company. Up close, on both sides — as an employee and a manager — I was able to learn about this system. That is why, fairly objectively, I can say that this is something you should fear. What I think is the evilest part of this system, what is most cruel to the society at large is the huge demoralization and the destruction of what is valuable in a human being and the development of his worst, basest instincts. Then of course corruption appears, together with other ills.
Through the entire history of mankind, until the dawn of real socialism, there was a simple logic: If you work hard, you improve your fate. If you are a bad person, you don’t work, you steal, you will worsen your and your family’s fate. This rule has been valid in various civilizations throughout the centuries before the advent of socialism, and it had, in some natural way, fostered the development of humanity.
On the other hand, the main message of socialism, which I remember from my childhood, was always: “Standing up or lying down, a thousand złotys, please.” Imagine what is at the foundation of this sentence: It doesn’t matter whether I am working or lying down; whether I am applying myself, or not, we all get the same. Can there be a more demoralizing system?
Why do you think that socialist ideology still attracts so many people nowadays?
The whole idea of socialism is a utopia, but this utopia is very tempting. For decades, communist ideas have seeped through, saying that you will be well-off without work. Those who are better off in that situation want to keep it that way.
The utopian slogans are beautiful. “We will take from those who unjustly have, divide it and all of us will have as much as they had.” And this slogan is seeping into the youth through official education, especially through universities in Western countries, where all kinds of ideologies are pushed through all possible channels. This empty ideology — to have without effort — was propagated and took root. Slowly, those in power also noticed that corrupting the society through it would bring them more power and privileges.
Today, the interest rates are set by central banks and the heads of banks are selected by the political powers that collaborate with central banks in every country. So basically, the politicians have everything in their power. They can print as much money as they want, as it was torn away from the gold standard and they come up with the idea that they can print this money without interest rates, because they bring it to zero or even to a negative level. It is real socialism.
As in the socialist system I knew, to make the people “better off,” political leaders printed as much money as they wanted, beautiful construction projects were designed, inflation reached hyperinflation levels and all you had left in grocery stores was vinegar. People my age remember that.
So, the economical mechanism that was implemented in the real socialist system in a small number of countries, has become the fundamental regulator in our World. Of course, the industrial power, technological development, productivity and so on, are at a completely different level and that is why the processes which in real socialism were happening quickly and were easier to notice are currently happening at a slower pace.
But in order to speed this process significantly and introduce socialism, in such a way that the society swallows it, governments know they must implement fear first.
German economist Roland Baader described it beautifully. He had a great mind and he foresaw all this. He claimed that the governments, in order to force through this enslavement of the society with a new system, must introduce a state of threat, instill fear into people. He says that it would either happen through a threat of war or some kind of epidemic, which would cause a drastic acceleration of the process.
What should be done to avoid that, at a micro-level, as citizens, and at a macro-level, as a society?
I think that the key value, at least in Poland, is family. To this extent, the current tremendous attack on family, all over the world, is to be noticed. It is under attack because it is a fundamental cell that carries values. Rooting children out from it makes it easier to manipulate the society.
We witness a massed attack against the family and the school system through some core curricula, which become more and more detached from anything that has been shaping societies for millennia. The family is our value and we should do everything in our power to protect the traditional family. It is good that homeschooling is back. Many families in the West decide to homeschool.
Secondly, the only thing we can do on a macro-scale is to expose the socialist-communist utopia, as long as there is still an ounce of freedom in the media. I suspect it will soon be further limited. If social media could ban the president of the United States, then they can silence anyone. But as long as there is a space of freedom, we need to expose this utopia and show that it is simply impossible, I know it from my own experience, I lived through it.
What should be the role of the Church in such a context?
I do not feel competent to evaluate the role and behavior the Church should have today, the Creator will do that. Regarding charity, I would like to bring up here one of my life experiences, which is diametrically opposed to what nowadays is being called for within the Church, and to a greater extent than the spreading of the truth.
When I sold my 30 companies some years ago, I received very substantial means. Much more than I needed. I decided to spend the vast majority of it on charity. I constructed many buildings, financed many different projects. After the news spread that there was this guy helping people in need, in front of my office there was a line of people every day, coming from all over Poland. They came to me to tell me about their problems, that they needed money for their child’s surgery or that a repo man was taking their things, etc. There were plenty of those needs and at that time I was moved by the simple appeal of Our Lord Jesus that “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
I was unable to check if those people were telling the truth or not, if they really had those needs or not, so I decided they were acting in good faith. Whoever came and said that in order to assuage the results of tragedy that befell him he needed 20,000 złotys [about $4,900], he would get it. Someone who had said he needed as much as 50,000 would get it. Everyone would thank me and leave. Every morning I would service a rather substantial line of people, in accordance with the message of Our Lord Jesus.
I have noticed however, that after some time, the same people to whom I had given the money to solve their problem or a tragedy, would come again. And almost every one of them would start saying that they received the money and were grateful, but their problems were not solved and they were asking for the same amount again and the problem would be solved for sure. So based on the same rule, it was impossible to ascertain what the truth was — not wanting to segregate people — I would give them the amount they asked for the second time. To everyone, without exceptions. After some time, I would see the very same people coming for the third time, with the same story. They were very grateful for what they received, but they were asking to receive the amount for the third time and the problem would certainly be solved this time around. And I, according to the Lord’s command, would give for the third time. After some time, I noticed that the same people would come a fourth time, actually it was becoming more of a demand, claiming that they were in need and were entitled to it, they were coming to get what was theirs.
So, finally I had to reflect on that. I made a very strong decision, realizing I was not doing any good, nor solving any problems. I was only demoralizing these people. I decided that nobody who asked for money would get even a złoty, with no exceptions.
Instead, I would give something more valuable to these people — about half an hour of conversation, providing lecture, heartfelt advice, encouraging them to take stock of their heart and how the Lord was looking at us and acting in our lives. As long as I was giving money, when people received it, they would thank me but never was there any return message or a phone call, or any other information regarding how the money solved even one problem.
When I stopped giving money, I gave my time instead, that is much more precious to me than money and I did it persistently. After some time, the phone started ringing and beautiful letters started to pour in. People came to truly say thank you.
In your various public statements, you’ve often claimed that the middle class in Western nations, together with the Church, is being specifically targeted by political powers. How do you explain that, and what could be the consequences of the weakening of this social group for our societies?
The system needs to purge the middle class as it is independent and it thinks. It is a social group that does not have to be grateful to anyone for what it owns, because it is due to virtues such as laboriousness, discipline and so on. It is the same type of enemy as the family and the traditional Church that are the values system upon which the large part of the middle class was built. They intuitively hold on to those values, even if they are non-believers.
Three forces stand in the way of this global, total system of enslavement and the fall of our civilization: the traditional Church, family and the middle class, which does not have to reach for this little mug that is offered by their government.
Then, of course, the corrupt government needs to walk away from the precepts of God’s law, to justify a whole lot of wicked decisions, a wicked way of life. If you follow the Revelation and its constant rules, established within the natural order by the Creator, you cannot manipulate that.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Iwo Bender and Marcin Rzegocki of EWTN Poland contributed to this report.