In the trap of the peripheral capitalism - Polish economists vs the Great Depression
Added: 2017-10-30
Added: 2017-10-30



The reconstruction of the Polish state after World War I confirmed the strength of the Polish national idea. However, the task of ensuring that the reborn state is based on sound economic foundations proved to be very difficult (Aldcroft 2006; Tomaszewski, Landau 2005). Before 1914, the Polish territories were located in three countries: Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary. All three parts had strong economic links with the countries which partitioned Poland earlier, so they lacked interconnections which had been limited by numerous decades of separation. Consequently, Poland's rebirth involved severing of the well-established links. Before World War I the textile industry from the Russian part of Poland used to buy raw materials from the Russian Central Asia, and the markets for its products were also in the Russian Empire. Creation of the Soviet Union severed those links, as a result of which the textile production in Poland in 1938 was smaller than in the same area in 1913. On the other hand, before the war Greater Poland and Polish Pomerania were the breadbasket for the German economy, and a similar role was played by the Austrian part of Poland for the centre of the Habsburg Monarchy. The part of Upper Silesia that Poland received was closely linked with the German economy. What was also important, to some extent, was extraction of the crude oil in the Austrian part of Poland, which was sold in other parts of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. All those links were severed by the new borders, and, what is more, both the Soviet Russia and Germany pursued hostile economic policy towards Poland. Paradoxically, the fall of the republic and the beginning of Hitler’s rule meant easing Germany’s anti-Polish economic policy, but, at the same time, the Germany’s policy of autarchy, with the inconvertible German mark, blocked the possibility of mutually beneficial trade. Poland's southern neighbour, Czechoslovakia under President Masaryk, also pursued a protectionist trade policy, and isolated itself from Poland by means of a tall customs barrier. Lithuania had neither diplomatic nor trade relations with Poland as long as until 1918. Only two of Poland’s neighbours, namely Latvia and Romania, demonstrated a friendly attitude to it. They were, however, poor agricultural economies, so they could not guarantee intensive trade exchange. Suffice it to say that after the first official visit to Romania, Marshal Piłsudski decided to give to the Romanian Army a stock of boots from Polish warehouses, because not every Romanian soldier had a pair.

Severing of the pre-war economic relations was just a part of the problem, as the war damage also played an important role. The industrial installations were seriously damaged during the German-Russian as well as Austrian-Russian fighting during the first years of the war. The intensive war economy in the Polish territory destroyed also agricultural resources, as huge rural areas were completely ruined. Let’s point out that the war activities in the Polish land which began in August 1914 ended as late as in October 1920, when the Polis-Soviet truce took effect. In such a situation, what the Polish economy most urgently needed was the reconstruction of the trade relations with abroad, as well as the influx of capital to Poland, which was deprived of it. These were the main objectives of the Polish monetary and fiscal policy after the end of the series of wars. After the period of the post-war hyperinflation, the Polish government conducted a series of stabilisation actions in the years 1924 - 1927, raising taxes, cutting costs and establishing a new currency, namely the Polish zloty, which replaced the currency of the transition period, i.e. the Polish mark. Contrary to the Polish mark, which was just the paper money, the złoty was issued on the basis of the gold and foreign currency reserves collected by the Bank of Poland, being a new institution entitled to issue the currency. Thus Poland joined the attempts at rebuilding the system of the złoty undertook by the European countries in accordance with the resolutions adopted during the Genoa Conference in 1922 (Aldcroft 1986). For a country cut off both from markets for its products, and sources of credit, it was a huge sacrifice. Financial assistance was finally achieved in 1927, once Poland was granted the stabilisation loan, which was issued through a consortium of central banks with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, being the leading lender (Landau 1963). The repayment of that loan was a fiscal burden for Poland, which, at that time, still incurred significant expenses to keep its army. At this moment, it is worth pointing out that in the 1920s Poland had the third most numerous army in the world (the biggest one was the Red Army, followed by the French Army), which was the result of the concerns about the Soviet expansionism and German .revisionism.

During the interwar period, academic economists in Poland supported the programme of financial stabilisation and country’s development on the basis of the influx of foreign capital. Its main advocates included Adam Krzyżanowski, a professor of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Feliks Młynarski, a deputy-governor of the Bank of Poland and, subsequently, a professor of Warsaw School of Economics. Both of them were the Polish delegates who took part in the negotiations on the stabilisation loan in 1927, and both of them believed that the negotiations were their great achievement. Krzyżanowski, who was a particularly influential person, was considered to be the leader of the so-called Kraków School, which was in favour of classical laissez-faire. Two important persons in that group included Kraków-based professors: Adam Heydel and Ferdynand Zweig. A similar stance on the economic policy was taken by Edward Taylor, a professor of Poznań University, Roman Rybarski, a professor of Warsaw University, and Władysław Zawadzki, who was a professor of economics in Vilnius and then in Warsaw. The above-mentioned academics were the leaders of the milieu of economists in the interwar Poland (Kowalik 1992; Grzybek 2012). As a matter of fact, they did not have much in common when it comes to the theory of economics. Krzyżanowski and Zweig were electricians without a clear methodological orientation, but, undoubtedly, they were among supporters of the quantity theory of money. Rybarski and Heydel were in favour of the Austrian approach to the theory of economics, whereas Taylor was mainly interested in empirical research, and, when it comes to theoretical issues, was in favour of neoclassical economics, as advocated by Johan Bates Clark. Finally, Zawadzki was under influence of the general equilibrium theory put forward by Walras and Pareto. On the other hand, Młynarski, who was a financier rather than a scholar, was in favour of the quantity theory of money of Irvin Fisher, which he promoted in Poland. What the most influential Polish economists had in common was the conviction that Poland, being a poorly developed country destroyed by the war, needed fast accumulation of capital, and that such accumulation may be effective only in the private sector. For this reason, they advocated limiting the budget expenses to the minimum and state’s withdrawal from running commercial companies. Most of them criticised such solutions as universal pension and health insurance, as well as unemployment benefits, due to the fact that they were believed to slow the accumulation down. They also clearly used the crowding-out theorem with respect to the budget expenditure, which, due to its influence on the interest rates, leads to a drop in private investment. The various versions of the quantitative theory of money recognised by Polish economists emphasised neutrality of money in the long term, allowing the possibility that the monetary expansion may lead to a temporary increase in production and employment rate. However, they unanimously claimed that stable economic growth can be achieved in the easiest way with a balanced budget and stable prices, which can be guaranteed by a sound monetary system, i.e. one in which the national currency is issued on the basis of gold and foreign currency reserves (currencies which can be directly exchanged to gold). What was added to those demands was the expectation of lower customs barriers in the international trade, which was supposed to ensure markets for Polish products.

What was common for the above-mentioned academics was the belief that if Poland follows those rules of economic policy, foreign capital owners will gain trust in Poland and invest here. Trust was a frequently used term in Polish works on the economy during the interwar period. The Polish government, supported by university economists, was ready to sacrifice a lot in order to stabilise the budget, currency and gain trust of foreign investors. For this reason, during the Great Depression Poland did not devalue its currency or introduce any limitations of the outflow of capital, hoping that the freedom of capital flow would inspire trust in Poland, and after the period of capital withdrawal a time would come when it will start flowing to Poland again. Economists supported a deflation policy which consisted in a reduction of the budget expenditure and salaries in the public sector, which would be accompanied by continuation of a strict monetary policy. In the face of the growing problems, the well-respected economist Władysław Zawadzki was appointed to the government first in 1931 as the deputy minister of treasury, and in the years 1932 - 1935 he was in charge of Poland’s economic policy at the side of the ailing Marshal Pilsudski. The deflation policy used at that time – also called the strategy of adaptation to the crisis – was probably one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the Polish economy. For the following years, the production, employment rate and salaries kept falling, and, at the same time, foreign capital flowed out of the country. The fact that the value of the Polish currency was kept at the same level in gold helped foreign investors withdraw their capital without incurring any loss (Knakiewicz 1967; Tomaszewski, Landau 2005). One of the consequences of that process was cases of forced nationalisation of industrial facilities which had been abandoned or neglected by their foreign owners. Poland’s behaviour was in contrast to that of the Anglo-Saxon states, as in 1931 the British decided to resign from the sterling’s fixed exchange rate to gold, which led to the currency’s devaluation. In the USA, one of the first important decisions taken by President Roosevelt was to devalue the dollar against gold. Both decisions were disastrous for the countries in the Eastern Europe, which kept their currency reserves in dollars and sterlings, as their banking systems crashed, and export shrank. The economic rebirth of the Anglo-Saxon countries was, to a significant extent, possible at the cost of poorer European states. In such a situation, Poland was not able to defend the złoty’s convertibility, and in 1936 it introduced currency limitations which, in practice, led to clearing settlements in foreign exchange, although the złoty was not formally devalued. Once that decision was taken, the authorities, together with Deputy Prime Ministers and Treasury Minister Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski, began investment expansion financed from budget receipts and loans granted by state banks. It seems that abandoning the Treasury View led to good results, but its general assessment is difficult, as the recovery period lasted just over three years, and was brutally discontinued by the outbreak of the war.

The programme for development of the Polish economy proposed by the milieu of academic economists reflected the mainstream economic beliefs at that time. It seems that the development concept adopted at that time by Poland could succeed on three conditions: namely, lasting and universal international peace, liberalisation of international trade and effective operation of the global financial system. None of them was met in the 1930s, so Poland pursued a policy of adaptation to a non-existent system. However, the Polish elites were not the only ones which adopted such an approach: the belief that World War I made the humanity aware of the absurdity of war was quite widespread; return to the gold standard was a commonly declared objective of the biggest European countries, confirmed by the arrangements of the Genoa Conference in 1922. The situation was the worst in the area of international trade: as numerous borders which did not exist before appeared in Europe, a protectionist policy became common, and high customs tariffs were introduced also by the USA. The policy of stabilisation and later of deflation pursued by the Polish government during the Great Depression was based on the belief that humanity’s shared interest is to establish an order which would resemble the best years of the gold standard which dominated the global economy for, more or less, thirty years before the outbreak of World War I. Today that period is called the first globalisation, on the analogy of the second globalisation, which happens nowadays. However, during the twenty-year interwar period the return to the regime of international economic cooperation proved to be impossible. What was more favourable for a single country in those conditions was to adopt a non-standard policy rather than adapt to the system which was expected to take shape in the future. The gravity of Poland’s situation consisted in the fact that as the country had a peripheral position in the global economic system, it had limited possibilities of increasing its manufacturing potential, even if a better economic policy had been pursued. Without links with the global economy Poland was not able to make any significant economic progress. Those who analyse Poland's position during the Great Depression also indicate purely political aspects of its economic policy. This was due to the fact that the alliance with France of 1921 was the basis of the Polish security policy, and another aim of the cooperation with France was to provide the Polish army with more arms. In such a situation, Poland under the rule of Marshal Piłsudski, tried to keep the interest of the French capital in investments in Poland. That was one of the reasons for which the value of the Polish currency was pegged to gold. This was due to the fact that France was in charge of the gold bloc, which defended the gold standard system, and Poland’s participation in it seemed to contribute to French capital’s interest in investing in our country (Wolf 2007).

At the end of the 1920s, the end of the economic boom was expected, but no one anticipated an economic downturn at such a scale. What exemplifies an optimistic outlook on the future of capitalism is the speech delivered by Krzyżanowski at the First Convention of Polish Economists in 1929. The text was printed in Polska koniunktura w świetle teorii przesileń i przewidywań (Krzyżanowski 1931, 515-551). The cycle theory presented in it was based on the concept of existence of relatively regular fluctuation between the market interest rate and average profit. It is very similar to the theory put forward by Knut Wicksell, which is based on the differentiation between the natural and market interest rate. According to Krzyżanowski, competition between entrepreneurs and wage pressure in the period of booming economy encourage companies to invest in fixed assets, and, at the same time, bigger profits increases the supply of savings, which leads to a drop of the market interest rate below the profit rate. The resulting excessive investment cannot be financed from relevant savings, which leads to bankruptcy of certain companies, as well as lower production and employment rate. Another interest rate hike leads to bigger savings, which is followed by more investment and another turn of the cycle. Krzyżanowski was convinced that an increase in capital per one employee will reduce the range of economic fluctuations, but they will never fully disappear. Therefore, while anticipating the crisis, whose first symptoms were already visible, he assured that it was just a temporary distortion of the growth trend. It seems that Michał Kalecki was right when he wrote that the mainstream economists, both Anglo-Saxon and Polish ones, preached “capitalist utopia” at that time. The first reactions of academic economists to the Great Depression were consistent with their core beliefs. They recommended a deflation policy which consisted of a reduction in budget expenditure and restrictive monetary policy, and supported a cut in nominal wages as a means to improve companies’ situation. The crisis seemed to be well-anticipated and short-term.

The event which undermined in Poland the belief that the economic depression would end soon was the sterling’s devaluation in 1931. The Great Britain, which in 1925, at the price of numerous sacrifices, returned to the sterling’s fixed price in gold, resigned from it, leading to devaluation of its own currency (Tomlinson 1990, Morys 2013). Some Polish economists came to the conclusion that due to the fact that a big player adopted a policy aimed at impoverishing its neighbours, smaller countries did not have much choice and should do the same. Such a belief was reflected in the memorial entitled Projekt naprawy finansowej i skarbowej, prepared by Zweig and Krzyżanowski and presented to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Poland in 1932. Krzyżanowski reprinted that text in the collection of his works entitled Dolar i złoty, published in 1936. The authors suggested stopping the unfavourable economic phenomena by means of devaluation of the Polish currency. At the same time, the fear of inflation forced them to adopt the concept of “devaluation without inflation". Currency devaluation, apart from improving the trade balance, was expected to result in dishoarding of the gold and foreign currency reserves, which after losing their value would end up on the market, supporting the economic recovery. Those phenomena were, together, supposed to bring about the inflation impulse, which should be counteracted by increasing Bank of Poland’s interest rates. Such assumptions made the Zweig’s Krzyżanowski’s plan very cautious and far from a programme of stimulating the economy by great investment projects. The Kraków-based economists did not move away far from the orthodoxy of the 1920s, but demonstrated a lot of common sense, understanding that in view of no possibility of achieving the optimum status one needed to look for second-best solutions.

Polish economists were aware of the fact that Poland’s economic revival depended on the operation of the system of international cooperation. The need to lower the protectionist customs tariffs was mentioned by Krzyżanowski, Zweig, Heydel and Młynarski. The latter was also an author of numerous works on the international financial system. Młynarski, who was inspired by the works of Irving Fisher, believed that a purely fiduciary currency controlled by central banks would have been the best solution in the area of the monetary policy. However, as countries are attached to currencies based on gold, there is a need to reform the international gold-based foreign exchange system in such a way as to create additional purchasing power to boost the international economy. The series of works published by Młynarski during the Great Depression includes a project of an international financial order which was very similar to the Bretton Woods system established after World War II (Młynarski 1931; 1932; 1933). Młynarski argued that the collapse of the international trade was mainly caused by the policy pursued by the countries which recorded a trade surplus, i.e. the USA in the first place. It accumulates gold reserves and does not want to invest them in countries with trade deficit. At the same time, using such aggressive protectionism, the USA prevents the above-mentioned countries from getting rid of the deficit.. One of the consequences of that approach is the fact that the countries with the deficit are not able to accumulate foreign currencies which they could use to repay the debt they have towards the countries with the surplus. A solution for this problem would be a loan fund which would extend significant loans to the deficit countries, as a result of which they could improve their trade balance. Such a fund could be established by conducting a simultaneous devaluation of the main world currencies, and the gold reserves freed thanks to it could be earmarked for an international loan fund. The gold reserves could formally remain the basis of the currency system, but the gold should not end up in circulation. Apart from numerous technical details, the plan put forward by Młynarski is based on the same concept as the one which was implemented in the form of the International Monetary Fund (Grzybek 2012, Głowiński 2012). After years Charles Kindleberger said that the factor which extended the Great Depression was the lack of the last-resort lender, which would have prevented the deflation spiral at the international scale. The Great Britain was not able to play that role, whereas the USA did not want to do it at that time (Kindleberger 1973). In view of the foregoing, the best Polish economists came to the sad conclusion that without the will of the world powers Poland was doomed to the trap of peripheral capitalism.

A brand-new and very original macroeconomic theory was created in Poland during the Great Depression outside the circles of the academic economics. It was developed by Michał Kalecki, a modest analyst at the Institute for Business Cycle and Price Research at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Warsaw. Kalecki did not have bigger connections with the academic economics, as he studied at the technical university, but dropped out due to the difficult financial situation, and for a few years earned a living doing various temporary jobs. His social views were very radical, as he was a communist sympathizer, but never actually joined the communist party, even after World War II, when he was an advisor to the communist government in Warsaw. The fact that such a person was employed by a government institution must have been the making of Edward Lipiński, a professor of Warsaw School of Economics, who was the Institute’s organiser (Toporowski 2013). Little is known about Kalecki’s inspirations: by the early 1930s he had read works by Mikhail Tugan – Baranovsky and Rosa Luxemburg, probably also Marx himself. Undoubtedly, however, the academic economics was never highly rated by Kalecki. Only when he worked on his theory, did he become aware of papers by Albert Aftalion, Jan Tinbergen and Ragnar Frisch, whose findings frequently coincided with his theory. What Kalecki read at the early stage inspired him to think in terms of aggregate values and looking at issues of effective demand in global terms. After very few inspirations Kalecki put forward his theory of business cycle which was a macroeconomic theory based on the principle of effective demand; the same one which was later used by Keynes as the main idea of his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. The essence of Kalecki’s theory is sometimes summed up in the sentence: workers spend what they earn, capitalists earn what they spend. Kalecki’s basic model analyses society divided into two social classes: workers and capitalists. If we assume that workers do not save, and capitalists divide their income between investment and their own consumption, then the global demand on the market will be the total of these two values, and in the equilibrium the production equal to the demand in terms of the market value will be manufactured. The factor which leads to significant fluctuations of production and employment rate in this system is capitalists’ investment decisions. In the most preliminary form, Kalecki’s macroeconomic theory was present as early as in the series of articles published in the years 1931-1932 in Przegląd Socjalistyczn, a low-circulation journal published by a group of radicals whose political sympathies lied somewhere between communism and social democratic left. Important intuitions concerning the cycle were included in the article entitled Obniżka płac w czasie kryzysu of 1932 (Kalecki 1990, 41-44). A reduction in wages was part of the standard anti-crisis set recommended by supporters of the quantitative theory of money – in Poland, in particular, by Kraków-, Poznań- and Warsaw-based economists. In the 1932 article, Kalecki discussed an economy in which capitalists reduce workers’ wages, thus achieving higher profits. In order to keep them, however, they do not immediately cut prices, and, at the same time, capitalists’ income is divided equally into consumption and investment, as a result of which the total demand for consumer goods decreases, and certain part of investments is located in stocks of ready-made goods. Thus the total value of the production becomes smaller, and the income structure adapts to it. Kalecki analysed the situation in terms of a game between huge social groups, and in his opinion immediate decrease in prices in the context of workers’ lower wages could help sell the stocks stored. Such a process will need time, however, so if the capitalist are not strongly opposed by the workers over the reduction of wages, this transition period will change into a permanent condition (Kalecki 1990, 42-43). Capitalists will believe that what will solve the problem of excessive stocks will be further wage cuts, which will again reduce workers’ purchasing power, leading to deflation. At that time Kalecki did not suggest a solution on how to put an end to the crisis, but he undoubtedly believed that workers’ struggle for their rights was an anti-crisis factor. He also demonstrated a certain general conviction that it would be possible to overcome the depression tendencies of the capitalist system as part of the socialist political system.

Writing articles to Przegląd Socjalistyczny, Kalecki worked on his business cycle theory, and that work resulted in the publication in 1933 of a booklet entitled Próba teorii koniunktury (Essay on the Business Cycle Theory), published by Institute for Business Cycle and Price Research, which at that time employed the author (Kalecki 1990 a, 65-108). It formally included only the cycle theory, which, however, constitutes a new macroeconomic theory, similar to the one put forward later by Keynes. Kalecki based his theory on specific assumptions, and presented it in a precise mathematical model. He disregarded the issue of the economic growth, assuming that each cycle ends up in the return to the previous state. He also assumed that the supply of ready-made goods during the cycle is permanent, workers consume their whole income, whereas capitalists invest from the profits they receive and earmark the remaining profit for consumption. The size of the production depends on the investment demand, which is made up of the workers’ consumption, capitalists’ consumption, and accumulation of gross capital (i.e. including the replacement of used assets). Fluctuations of the production size depend on the size of investment, which, in turn, follows profit fluctuations. During the cycle, an increase in profits leads to more orders for capital goods, which, however, will be delivered only after some time. More capital increases the production, employment rate and income, which increases profits, leading to further orders. Due to the delay between the order and delivery of capital goods, the biggest capital growth takes place once profits have already fallen. Consequently, while at the peak of the business cycle the accumulation of the capital exceeds the needs connected with its replacement, then during the depression the supply of capital goods are too small to replace the capital. It seems that the delay between the order and delivery of the capital played an important role in Kalecki’s model. As regards this issue, he cited an article published earlier by Jan Tinbergen, in which similar delays were interpreted as a cause of business cycle fluctuations in the shipbuilding industry. Moreover, Kalecki noticed similarities between his theory and the previous cycle theory developed by French economist Albert Afatalion. Let's point out that in Kalecki’s model what is the main pro-cycle factor is fluctuations of investment, which result from the capitalists’ reaction to changes in the profit rate. Kalecki also noticed a potential role of the interest rate, but in order to simplify the model he assumed that we, all the time, deal with the market rate, which is itself the function of the profit rate, i.e. there is no central bank intervention. Recognising the investment decision as the main factor which determines changes of the total production and the open use of the principle of effective demand were one of the basic elements of Keynesian macroeconomics, which was presented in his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published in January 1936. However, contrary to the Keynes theory, Kalecki’s work of 1933 did not include the monetary theory, explanation of the interest rate and the theory on the function of consumption (which was replaced by the assumption that workers consume their whole income). It can be said that the Keynes’s book included a more developed theory than Kalecki’s concise work. However, the latter was more precise and coherent than the work by the British scholar. This is due to the fact that in the case of Keynes the polemical talent outweighed the theoretical precision, which led to the legendary ambiguity of the General Theory and a vast number of its interpretations.

From today's perspective, Kalecki’s theory was an important scientific achievement (Sawyer 1985; Lopez, Assous 2010; King 2002, 35-65). It was not noticed by his contemporaries, so there was no debate about the new theory, because in general Polish scientists completely did not understand Kalecki’s point, and he was ignored abroad. Despite the legend repeated until today it was not caused by the fact that Próba teorii koniunktury was published in Polish. In the same year Kalecki presented its German version at the convention of econometrists in Lejda, and then it was published in French and English. If the publication of a new macroeconomic theory in three main congress languages was not able to draw economists’ attention to it, the reason must have been that the author was quite unknown. In addition, due to the fact that he used a different, advanced mathematical form the older generation of economists did not understand the content of Kalecki’s works. On the other hand, Keynes’s General Theory immediately became the subject of heated debates, as its author for some time had already been one of the most famous economists in the world. Kalecki expected that the new economic theory will be created in Sweden, which is where he went in 1935, after receiving a grant from Rockefeller foundation.. In Sweden he read Keynes’s treaty, and immediately went to the Great Britain to meet the author. However, Keynes was quite disgusted with Kalecki, and did not feel like looking for similarities between Kalecki’s theory of business cycle and his own macroeconomic theory. After spending some time in Cambridge, Kalecki settled down in Oxford, where during World War II he worked at Oxford Institute of Statistics. Kalecki’s works were published in the best English language economics journals, but for a long time he was perceived as a person who popularised Keyner rather than a highly original and creative theoretician of economics. One could say that the fact that he was from Poland was not the main reason which prevented Kielecki from gaining recognition, but it, undoubtedly, contributed to him being ignored by the Western European elites.

The fate of the Polish intellectual legacy is paradoxical as the fate of Poland in general. After decades of the communist utopia rule, in 1989 Poland made another attempt at implementing the capitalist utopia. This time the circumstances were more favourable. The international peace proved to be built on solid foundations, and integration with the European community helped find markets for Polish goods as well as take advantage of flows of foreign capital. The second globalisation is wider than the first one, and it also seems that it is not at the risk of a sudden collapse, which was the case for the former. Poland’s economic development is perceived as success, which indeed has solid foundations. In the years 1995 - 2015, the GDP increased in Poland 2.2 times. It involved, however, a lot of sacrifices, as the country underwent a long and painful recession, masses of workers were unemployed, and income of the majority of workers remains relatively low. The trade unions, including “Solidarity”, supported the return to capitalism, and even Kalecki’s disciples participated in its restitution. Jerzy Osiatyński, who published Kalecki’s works, was the minister of finance who introduced VAT in Poland. If both workers, and intellectuals did not resist the return to capitalism in a quire ruthless form, it resulted from disappointment and tiredness of numerous experiments and longing for adoption of solutions which have been tested in the world.




Recently added articles


This website is a part of the project entitled ‘Polish Political Thought and Independence: A Program for the Promotion of Polish Intellectual Heritage Abroad’, generously funded
by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland as A part of ‘Public Diplomacy 2017’ programme, component ‘Collaboration in the field of Public Diplomacy 2017’.
Design by Stereoplan