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By Raymond Taras

Ideology in a Socialist country describes the alterations within the ideology of Poland's rulers from the October occasions of 1956 to the lifting of martial legislations in 1983. Ideology has been the most debated and equivocal techniques in social technological know-how, but this is often one of many first makes an attempt to ascertain it in a scientific, longitudinal and empirical manner. Dr Taras analyses how relevant rules of Marxism-Leninism (the best position of the occasion, get together impact on alternate unions, the church, tradition and technological know-how) have been interpreted through Poland's political leaders. Ideological switch, he indicates, represents the manager skill followed through, the regime to answer a postwar cycle of crises. The rulers' ideology is additionally associated with political advancements in different socialist states (the 1968 Czech reform flow, Soviet doctrinal shifts). Taras concludes that due to either exterior and inner components, ideology in Poland underwent a mix of variations, strategies and reification that has produced a brand new hybrid and hugely risky ideology - Leninist Marxism of People's Poland. This places the tumultuous Polish occasions of 1981-3 into ancient point of view and makes a speciality of the reaction of the get together management to the problem of team spirit, and of martial legislations.

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Extra resources for Ideology in a Socialist State: Poland 1956-1983

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For example, policy on intraparty democracy, which may have involved institutional reforms, did change, but shifts in operative ideology were confined largely to differing interpretations of the principle of democratic centralism. Likewise the leading role of the party may have signified many things in practice but fewer things at the ideological level. That is why a study of five primary problem-areas (the party, industrial democracy, church-state relations, culture and 44 Ideology in a socialist state science, and societal values) is viable.

Crucial to this framework was the distinction between an organisation's official (or formal) ideology and its leaders' operative (or informal) ideology. The first consisted of 'publicly stated or printed programs and pronouncements of goals and means, phrased in the symbols common to the original doctrine or to its officially sanctioned adaptations'. The second was composed of basic, often unstated, assumptions made by leaders, which represented 'a compromise between means and ends or . . between power considerations and original doctrines'.

It could be argued that the problem might have been avoided by including in our analysis only those statements made by given high party officials. Two points can be made here. Firstly the weight of a political leader's remark is also subject to mutability, depending on his or her political standing at any particular time. Moreover we would have to undertake a separate study of the composition of the 'power elite' and of the distribution of influence within it in order to overcome the shortcomings that arise when official discourse is conceived in this way.

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