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The Self-Governing Republic: a Critical Review of the Major Reforms Proposed By Solidarity

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The present contribution is an attempt at a presentation and preliminary analysis of the major proposals contained in the Solidarity program. The rise of Solidarity (the union) called into question the very cornerstones of the communists' ideology: Lenin's concepts of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the Communist Party as the vanguard of the working class. Thus, those in power lost their doctrinal legitimacy. It is not surprising that the ultimate goal of Solidarity was to change the communist system into a democratic one. The union wanted to carry out the transformation by peaceful means, aware of the complexity of both the internal and external situation. This caused some Solidarity proposals to become obscure and inconsistent. Nevertheless, two proposals were of great significance and differ from any other democratic concepts: self-government both in the management of enterprises and in the Seym (the Polish Parliament). These were far-reaching proposals envisaging changes leading to essential constitutional consequences. Though the imposition of the "state of war" on 13 December 1981 disrupted the process of their completion, they comprise a bold offer, not only limited to the second party of the social agreement signed on 31 August 1980.

Affiliations: 1: Fordham University New York


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