I National Congress of “Solidarity” Gdansk 1981 —a contribution to analysis
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Graduate School for Social Research
Publication date: 2006-03-30
Polish Sociological Review 2006;153(1)
The I National Congress of Delegates of Independent Self-Governing Trade Union “Solidarity [NSZZ “Solidarnos´c´”] meeting in Gdan´sk in September and Ocober, 1981 is considered the crowning achievement of the “Solidarity’s” organizational and ideological development. No serious and comprehensive monography has yet been written, historical or sociological. The lack of a complete text of the eighteen days of talks was one of the reasons. A shorthand report of the first tour which has been made available recently makes it possible to make some preliminary analyses of the Congress’ topics and dynamics, behaviour of the delegates and mechanisms of their decision-making. It also permits to describe their “union-like” way of thinking as well as understanding and practicing democracy. The author of the article recalls the basic statistics of the community of delegates—a sui generis trade union elite. He moreover poses questions regarding the scale of the secret services’ [SB] controlling the course of the Congress. The author favours the assumption that it was surprisingly negligible.
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