Volume 3 Number 11
Poland '- Working for a Human Community

01 December 1990

Polish journalist Boguslaw Chrabota is a spokesman for the Krakow Industrial Society. He writes:
The destruction of the work ethic has been common to all countries of the socialist experiment. For many reasons Poland's economy was the most ruined. Now an attempt has been made to transform the Polish economy from a socialist system to a free market one. Privatization, a partial convertability of currency and monetarist methods to check hyperinflation have all been employed. There is no alternative but for former communist countries to take prompt action to counter the collapse of their economies. But according to what formula?

The experience of communism was not only a criminal experience, uprooting traditional values, but was first and foremost an experiment on the human being. Man was no longer a holy creation of divine spirit but a mere piece of matter. Therefore he was no longer an individual personality, created in the likeness of God, but an element of mass and class. The uniqueness of man became lost in plurality. He became a cypher, a building block within approximations, plans and misleading generalizations.

Yet the societies of Eastern Europe were inherently rooted in tradition. In Poland the heritage was Latin, with its gems of democracy, respect for freedom, a noble gradualism, and the balance between the values of individual and social will. Work was organized by motivations evolved from centuries of Latin civilization. They included religion, morality, personal reward and satisfaction. Such stimuli, which encouraged the individual to work hard and effectively, were interrelated and inseparable. They exerted a manifold influence on the economy and helped create a human community through work. It was not a secular society but one based upon the authority and presence of God and was therefore also seen as a leasehold.

In Poland, since the very beginning of our national recovery, there has been a struggle for the restitution of these values. Now the conditions are gradually being satisfied.

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