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solidarity of poland

September 1, 2012

    
       

From Solidarity to Sellout: The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland
Tuesday, 31 July, 2012 5:37 PM
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From Solidarity to Sellout: The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland by Tadeusz Kowalik
    
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From Solidarity to Sellout

The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland
by Tadeusz Kowalik

We were sad to learn that Tadeusz Kowalik died on July 30, 2012, just as this English edition of his book was coming off press. Monthly Review Press is proud to make this important volume available to the English-speaking world, and we hope our readers will gain from Kowalik’s knowledge and insight.

“The rise of Solidarity, a working class movement of protest at the austerity policies of the Polish Government in the 1970s and 1980s, shook the Communist world. At the center of that movement’s policy and ideological discussions from 1980s was Tadeusz Kowalik, Poland’s leading political economist. In this book he relates how the Solidarity initiative and the political transformation that it wrought was taken over by free-market enthusiasts who have condemned Poland to a quarter of a century of economic stagnation, mass unemployment, and poverty. His scholarly book is an authoritative account of how the Polish transformation betrayed the Polish working class and its aspirations.”
—Jan Toporowski, professor of economics and finance, SOAS, University of London

“A dramatic and excellent book. It reflects the bitter disappointment of the author, a hero of the Solidarity Revolution in Poland, and a superb economist. Anybody who is interested in Central Europe and the post-communist transformation has to read it.”
—Ivan Berend, distinguished professor of history, UCLA; former president, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

“Only with this vision of one of Solidarity’s first key economic advisors can we understand what has happened in East and West Europe when building capitalism trumps providing even minimal social welfare.”
—Jane Curry, professor of political science, Santa Clara University

“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.

    
solidarity to sell out cover
366 Pages | $17.95
Buy this book!
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Copyright © 2012 Monthly Review, All rights reserved.
MR email logo

 

    
       

From Solidarity to Sellout: The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland
Tuesday, 31 July, 2012 5:37 PM
From:
“Monthly Review Press” <press@monthlyreview.org>
Add sender to Contacts
To:
kassar_hyd@yahoo.com
From Solidarity to Sellout: The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland by Tadeusz Kowalik
    
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
New from MR Press!

From Solidarity to Sellout

The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland
by Tadeusz Kowalik

We were sad to learn that Tadeusz Kowalik died on July 30, 2012, just as this English edition of his book was coming off press. Monthly Review Press is proud to make this important volume available to the English-speaking world, and we hope our readers will gain from Kowalik’s knowledge and insight.

“The rise of Solidarity, a working class movement of protest at the austerity policies of the Polish Government in the 1970s and 1980s, shook the Communist world. At the center of that movement’s policy and ideological discussions from 1980s was Tadeusz Kowalik, Poland’s leading political economist. In this book he relates how the Solidarity initiative and the political transformation that it wrought was taken over by free-market enthusiasts who have condemned Poland to a quarter of a century of economic stagnation, mass unemployment, and poverty. His scholarly book is an authoritative account of how the Polish transformation betrayed the Polish working class and its aspirations.”
—Jan Toporowski, professor of economics and finance, SOAS, University of London

“A dramatic and excellent book. It reflects the bitter disappointment of the author, a hero of the Solidarity Revolution in Poland, and a superb economist. Anybody who is interested in Central Europe and the post-communist transformation has to read it.”
—Ivan Berend, distinguished professor of history, UCLA; former president, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

“Only with this vision of one of Solidarity’s first key economic advisors can we understand what has happened in East and West Europe when building capitalism trumps providing even minimal social welfare.”
—Jane Curry, professor of political science, Santa Clara University

“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.

    
solidarity to sell out cover
366 Pages | $17.95
Buy this book!
 follow on twitter | facebook | forward to a friend
Copyright © 2012 Monthly Review, All rights reserved.
MR email logo

 

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