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Solidarnosc - was it a sell out to the West?

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Post 09 Jan 2015, 08:49
Solidarnosc, Poland - wasn't it just a sell out to the Western capitalists?

Perhaps I have this wrong, but how did this party actually help Poland?
Post 11 Jan 2015, 05:34
Moved to a more appropriate forum
Post 11 Jan 2015, 08:47
I remember all the hype when I was a kid, thought it was supposed to be a good thing - but seriously, doesn't seemed to have helped the people in Poland much
Post 11 Jan 2015, 10:21
Good question. From what I gather, many Poles supported Solidarnosc because its was seen as independent movement of workers against the pro-Soviet government that became even more unpopular after General Jaruzelski declared martial law in 1981. My understanding is that Socialist Poland was having problems with its economy in the 1970s and 1980s due to having to pay back loans from Western banks that had been taken out by the government. This forced the Polish government to raise prices on consumer goods and lower wages to pay back the debt.

I think many members of Solidarnosc were genuine in their idealism and hoped that they could reform socialism to make it more democratic and responsive to the needs of the working class. However, things in Poland did not work out that way and their leadership eventually threw their lot in with capitalism and the West. So, I suppose in the end Solidarnosc did sell out to the West.

My Polish friends tell me that Poland is doing better than many other former Eastern Bloc states but there are still plenty of problems in the country. Polish workers still move to Western Europe and North America seeking work and there is now a lot more inequality and precariousness to life than there was under socialism. However, most Poles I know are strongly anti-socialist, due to a mixture of Russophobia and religious opposition to socialism (most Poles are Roman Catholics and the Church is a strong part of their national identity even if they do not attend mass regularly).
Post 15 Jan 2015, 09:45
ok, so is there much of a Communist/Socialist movement in Poland these days?
Post 15 Jan 2015, 12:40
The problem in POland is that communism was perceived (righly so) as Soviet foreign domination over Polish affairs. It wasn't Polish, it was Soviet. It was something alien to the Polish character. Solidarity was in reality a trade union trying to represent every Pole; it won one election and then collapsed as a electoral force.
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