Based on extensive use of primary sources, this book provides an analysis of Solidarity, from its ideological origins in the Polish "new left," through the dramatic revolutionary months of 1980-81, and up-to the union's remarkable resurgence in 1988-89, when it sat down with the government to negotiate Poland's future. David Ost focuses on what Solidarity is trying to accomplish and why it is likely that the movement will succeed. He traces the conflict between the ruling Communist Party and the opposition, Solidarity's response to it, and the resulting reforms. Noting that Poland is the one country in the world where "radicals of '68" came to be in a position to negotiate with a government about the nature of the political system, Ost asks what Poland tells us about the possibility for realizing a "new left" theory of democracy in the modern world.As a Fulbright Fellow at Warsaw University and Polish correspondent for the weekly newspaper "In These Times" during the Solidarity uprising and a frequent visitor to Poland since then, David Ost has had access to a great deal of unpublished material on the labor movement.
Without dwelling on the familiar history of August 1980, he offers some of the unfamiliar subtleties such as the significance of the Szczecin as opposed to the Gdansk Accord and shows how they shaped the budding union's understanding of the conflicts ahead. Unique in its attention to the critical, formative period following August 1980, this study is the most current and comprehensive analysis of a movement that continues to transform the nature of East European society. David Ost is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the translator of "The Church and the Left: A Dialog" by Adam Michnik.
David Ost is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the translator of The Church and the Left: A Dialog by Adam Michnik.
Preface Abbreviations 1. The Style of Solidarity Right and Left A Postmodern Politics 2. Civil Society and the "Third Road" Capitalism and Civil Society State Socialism and Civil Society The "Third Road" 3. The Genesis of Political Opposition in Poland: 1944-1970 Opposition in the Era of "People's Democracy" Stalinism and Post-Stalinism The Demise of Revisionism: 1968-1970 4. Opposition and Civil Society: 1970-1980 Late Post-Stalinism and the Turn to Civil Society Politics and the Reconstruction of Social Ties Anticipatory Democracy Politics and the Problem of the State 5. Politics, Anti-Politics, and the Beginnings of Solidarity Independent Unions: Government Resistance (Buying off strikers with wage increases Offering a reorganization of the old unions instead of the creation of new ones Trying to limit new unions to certain regions Repackaging old unions as new ones) Signs of Hope The Structure of Solidarity The Significance of Solidarity's First Period 6. Solidarity, Democracy, and Neocorporatism Neocorporatism and Democracy The Turn to Politics The August Turning Point Last Attempts at a Political Solution A Neocorporatist Proposal The Final Weeks 7. The Poverty of Martial Law: Limping Toward Reform Organizing an Underground Church and State Amnesty and Disarray The Right-Wing Critique of Solidarity Referendum and Reorganization The Party Moves Toward Reform Toward an Anti-Crisis Pact 8. The Viability of an Accord The Basis of Soviet Acceptance Poland and the "Spanish Road" Epilog: The New Solidarity Postscript Notes Bibliography Index