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The Polish Question: Andropov’s Answer?

  • George Kolankiewicz

Abstract

There can be little doubt that the events in Poland over the last decade or so which culminated in the Polish August had a profound effect upon the Soviet Union and Poland’s other bloc partners. At the very least it provoked genuine self-examination as to the possible likelihood of something of the same nature emerging from within their own societies. If nothing else, it made them focus upon their dissimilarities, and therefore immediately brought the question of the Soviet model of socialism onto the agenda. This reflection was all the more urgent in that Solidarity was, in the main, a spontaneous working-class movement seeking reform within existing institutions. It was backed by a significant section of the membership of the ruling Communist Party, which in the process underwent the most profound internal auto-criticism of any similar party to date. At the same time, the Solidarity principles galvanized organs of mass democracy which were generally considered as long since atrophied. They were also able to effect a degree of mass mobilization, societal participation and genuine creativity at all levels of society and within most of its segments, the key to which the ruling élites must have despaired of ever finding. And yet once found, this key was thrown away and the door shut once again.

Keywords

Trade Union Polish Experience Polish Question Soviet System Socialist Legality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
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Copyright information

© Leonard Schapiro and Joseph Godson 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Kolankiewicz

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