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From Solidarity to Sellout
The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland

 

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From Solidarity to Sellout
The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland

by Tadeusz Kowalik (Author)
Eliza Lewandowska (Translator)

 

Paperback

ISBN: 9781583672969

 

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From Solidarity to Sellout: The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland by Tadeusz Kowalik and translated by Eliza Lewandowska (Paperback) (ISBN: 9781583672969)

"The meandering (and still unfinished) itinerary of the East-European transformation from planned to market economy has never been told with such detail, sobriety and clarity. This study by Tadeusz Kowalik, the most prominent among the close observers and acute analysts of the most seminal episode of recent European history, is bound to become the standard reference for all future inquiries into the manifest and latent alternatives of the on-going and perhaps unfinishable search for good society and its workable economic model." Zygmunt Bauman, professor of sociology, The University of Leeds, England

In the 1980s and 90s, renowned Polish economist Tadeusz Kowalik played a leading role in the Solidarity movement, struggling alongside workers for an alternative to “really-existing socialism” that was cooperative and controlled by the workers themselves. In the ensuing two decades, “really-existing” socialism has collapsed, capitalism has been restored, and Poland is now among the most unequal countries in the world. Kowalik asks, how could this happen in a country that once had the largest and most militant labor movement in Europe?

This book takes readers inside the debates within Solidarity, academic and intellectual circles, and the Communist Party over the future of Poland and competing visions of society. Kowalik argues that the failures of the Communist Party, combined with the power of the Catholic Church and interference from the United States, subverted efforts to build a cooperative and democratic economic order in the 1990s. Instead, Poland was subjected to a harsh return to the market, resulting in the wildly unequal distribution of the nation’s productive property—often in the hands of former political rulers, who, along with foreign owners, constitute the new capitalist class. Kowalik aptly terms the transformation from command to market economy an epigone bourgeois revolution, and asks if a new social transformation is still possible in Poland.

Tadeusz Kowalik (1926-2012) was an economist, public intellectual, and political activist. He studied under Oscar Lange and was editor of Lange’s works, as well as the works of Michal Kalecki (with J. Osiatyński). He held important academic posts in Poland and abroad and was the author of many books and articles. Beginning in the 1970s, he was an active leader of the Polish workers movement and, later, in the Solidarity movement and the Union of Labor party.


In the 1980s and 90s, renowned Polish economist Tadeusz Kowalik played a leading role in the Solidarity movement, struggling alongside workers for an alternative to "really-existing socialism" that was cooperative and controlled by the workers themselves. In the ensuing two decades, "really-existing" socialism has collapsed, capitalism has been restored, and Poland is now among the most unequal countries in the world. Kowalik asks, how could this happen in a country that once had the largest and most militant labor movement in Europe? This book takes readers inside the debates within Solidarity, academic and intellectual circles, and the Communist Party over the future of Poland and competing visions of society. Kowalik argues that the failures of the Communist Party, combined with the power of the Catholic Church and interference from the United States, subverted efforts to build a cooperative and democratic economic order in the 1990s. Instead, Poland was subjected to a harsh return to the market, resulting in the wildly unequal distribution of the nation's productive property--often in the hands of former political rulers, who, along with foreign owners, constitute the new capitalist class. Kowalik aptly terms the transformation from command to market economy an epigone bourgeois revolution, and asks if a new social transformation is still possible in Poland.


 

ISBN 1583672966
ISBN13 9781583672969
Publisher Monthly Review Press,U.S.
Format Paperback
Publication date 14/09/2012
Pages 270
Weight (grammes) 449
Published in United States
Height (mm) 210
Width (mm) 140