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1. Patronage and Corruption in Communist Poland

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Chapter Summary

Economic breakdowns, during which living standards were drastically threatened, precipitated working-class rebellions that took place under Communist rule in Poland. These crises occurred in a system that kept most people on the edge of an economic precipice, leaving them little margin for reductions in living standards. In response to the angry discontent engendered by the continual inability of the economy to perform, the government had regular recourse to its instruments of repression and to retain tight controls over everything: speech, association, organisation, publication, who advanced socially and economically, among other things - all of which created more discontent. This chapter considers how this system functioned and failed, as well as explains the context within which an opposition arose. The so-called nomenklatura referred to a list of names that were considered politically reliable and subject to formal approval by the Communist Party. Patronage and corruption spread throughout this system and society.

Keywords:Communist Poland; corruption; nomenklatura; patronage system



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