Solidarity: republican, Catholic or postmodern movement?
Added: 2017-10-30
Added: 2017-10-30
Paweł Rojek

Text from: Polska Solidarności. Kontrowersje, oblicza, interpretacje, OMP Kraków 2011[1].



The problem with Solidarity is that it was a very diverse and apparently incoherent movement. It is not even clear what Solidarity was. Was it a class, national, political, religious or cultural movement or all of that together? It is not even evident who made Solidarity, what its views were and what symbols it employed. This movement brought together people of various communities, at times with conflicting interests, and formulated a peculiar political agenda, an eclectic combination of socialism, Catholic social thinking, and liberalism, and used clearly inconsistent symbols as it resorted to national, religious and class resources.

What to do with such a disorderly social phenomenon? Many commentators would rather disregard those inconsistencies and, instead, interpret Solidarity in one excluding mode. The things that did not fit in one interpretation would be viewed as anomalies of little essence. Due to the huge diversity of the movement, everyone would find something for themselves in it. Jakub Karpiński ironically claimed that:


“Western leftists saw a working-class movement that brought together millions of people, witnessed by the plaster figure of Lenin at the Gdańsk Shipyard, whom nobody hurt. A proponent of Mr. Reagan and Mrs. Thatcher saw [...] an anti-Communist movement on an incredible scale. A liberal saw millions of people that put freedom in practice. [...] A Catholic primarily pointed to [...] the authenticity of workers’ religious experience. A nationalist and a patriot then took note of red and white banners[2].”


Hence the interpretations of Solidarity as, for instance, a working-class[3] protest, a human rights movement[4], a rebirth of the civic society[5], a national uprising[6] or a religious resistance.[7] Solidarity theories like these also include the official Marxist reading of Solidarity as a just rebellion of the working class against the distortions of Socialism[8]. Each of those readings put Solidarity on a Procrustean bed of its own assumptions and disregarded elements that would not fit in it.

The diversity and inconsistency of Solidarity might be taken in good part, i.e. without reducing it to any ready-made concepts. Some authors have noted that the movement was exceptional and transcended formulas that proved successful elsewhere. Timothy Garton Ash wrote as follows:


“[…] what happened in Poland does not fit in any of the Western ready-made formulas and [...] we should adapt our concepts to fit in the Polish revolution rather than manipulating Polish revolution so that it fit in our categories.[9]


One should therefore carefully look into all tensions within Solidarity and offer a reading that will in some way elucidate the peculiarities of this movement rather than disregarding them. With this perspective, these peculiarities shall be viewed as primary features of the movement rather than its anomalies. This paper is to address the attempts at a non-reductive reading of Solidarity.

I am going to discuss three attempts at interpreting Solidarity with select categories, namely: republicanism, Catholicism and postmodernism. The republican ideas of freedom and equality facilitate development of communities that comprise members of diverse social groups, with varying views and conflicting beliefs. Such a take on Solidarity, explaining its diversity and inconsistency, was offered, among others, by: Paweł Śpiewak[10], Dariusz Gawin[11], and recently by Elżbieta Ciżewska[12]. One may also try to elucidate Solidarity’s peculiarities by comparing those peculiarities to the peculiarities of the Catholic Church. Members of the Catholic Church, like members of Solidarity, are connected by their confession and participation in sacraments rather than their political views, social status, education or other abstract features. Such a view of Solidarity had been first offered by Ireneusz Krzemiński and then further developed by Dariusz Karłowicz.[13] The most controversial is the reading of Solidarity as a postmodern movement that has recently appeared in the Kraków Pressje community[14]. Within this perspective, the discourse of Solidarity seems to be a small narrative, one that gives up the claims to legitimize other narratives and explain the entire reality, something that allowed it to bring various communities, ideas and symbols together. I believe that all of those categories point to the same thing: Solidarity connected diverse and incompatible perspectives. This unique nature of Solidarity’s discourse can also be analysed with the terms of the semiotics of culture, which I sought to do in my book Semiotyka Solidarności[15]. As far as the argument presented therein is correct, those employing the concepts of republicanism, Catholicism and postmodernism say essentially the same thing, and they also say what I do.




         I would like to first present Solidarity’s three most important inconsistencies, which can be found within social, ideological and symbolic realms. These inconsistencies were especially striking compared to the official reality, where one social class (a working class in an alliance with peasants), ideology (Marxism-Leninism), and set of symbols (popular and national) prevailed, as validated by law. Solidarity brought together various social classes and groups, ideological traditions, and symbolic codes. In this sense, one can argue that Solidarity came to replace the universal state that the particularistic Polish People’s Republic was not[16].

         However, before I go on to cover these inconsistencies, I would like to point to the fundamental peculiarity of the very nature of the movement. It has been noted on many occasions that Solidarity was in fact a mix of three movements: a class movement, a political movement and a national movement[17]. Solidarity was a trade union, a democratic opposition and an independence organization. Jerzy, a Solidarity activist and engineer from Warsaw, one of interlocutors of Alain Touraine’s team, offered the following scheme to account for the complexity of the movement[18]:








Demokratic Movement                                  National Movement



Solidarity was devised as a Chalcedonian combination of those three aspects “without mixing up, modifying, dividing or disconnecting them,” though it took some actions as if it had been a trade union, and others, as if it had been a democratic movement, and still others – as if a national movement. There is ample evidence that the proportions of its components changed as the movement evolved. The August Strikes broke out due to a price increase, and the following year, the Convention of Solidarity overtly called for free elections. The transition from “the revolutionary” to “the national” was, as Marcin Kula demonstrated, very clear[19]. However, the movement, arguably, did not lose its complexity until the very end.

It seems that at least one more circle should be added to Mr. Jerzy’s scheme: a cultural movement. Solidarity rested on other traditions, values and symbols than the government did. The difference was especially in the role and the position of religion. There were also profound differences in the way the government and the opposition interpreted reality, as I sought to demonstrate in Semiotyka Solidarności. The government allowed only one point of view, as opposed to Solidarity, which did many: the government’s culture was binary, and the opposition’s – ternary[20]. Since the binary culture is typical of Russia, and ternary culture – of Western Europe, the conflict between the government and Solidarity was a cultural conflict.

         The nature of Solidarity can be easily explained via the nature of the Communist regime, which it opposed. The Communist state was an economic, political and cultural monopolist and represented interests of a foreign regime. Therefore, the movement opposing that power had to combine social, democratic, cultural and pro-independence demands.

         This threefold, or actually fourfold, nature does not entirely reflect Solidarity’s specificity. The varied formula of the union led to its exceptional diversity in many dimensions, particularly in social, ideological and symbolic ones. It is this diversity that some researchers tried to shed light on by means of categories such as republicanism, Catholicism and postmodernism, which I am now going to discuss.


1. 1. Social composition


The first particularly striking feature of Solidarity was its social diversity. The movement was made up of people of various social classes and groups with different, or at times even conflicting, interests. The activists were well aware of how unique their organization was. The Agenda adopted at the 1st National Delegates Convention comprised the following words:


“The Independent Self-governing Labour Union ‘Solidarity’ brings together people of diverse world views and political and religious beliefs, irrespective of their nationality. We are united by the protest against injustice.”[21]


What best reflects this social diversity is an event that happened at the HSW Hall of the Gdansk Shipyard, as covered by Timothy Garton Ash:


“There was hunched, ascetic Andrzej Gwiazda and his wife Joanna; there was 27-year-old worker Bogdan Lis, working at the same factory as Gwiazda, slim, focused and black-bearded; there were statue-like Henryka Krzywonos and Anna Walentynowicz, “the Mother Courage” of the Shipyard; and then there were delegates from Tri-City’s major plants [...]. Among them stood a young, bearded man who reminded me of young Marx. He was a Catholic editor of ‘Bratniak’. “Oh, so it is you who publish the magazine,” I heard a worker ask him. “I just wanted to ask you about something you wrote…” The young Marx could have only dreamt of a situation like this”[22]


Indeed, it is hard to find a common thread between Solidarity members and activists. The activists included both young and old, women and men, educated and uneducated, city dwellers and small town dwellers, blue collar and white collar workers, Party members and non-partisan activists, religious and non-religious folks, intellectuals and priests. Officially, the only feature shared by members of Solidarity was that all of them were employed (after all, it was formally a trade union), although Solidarity was connected with students’ and farmers’ organizations, which made the movement truly universal.

         The social complexity of Solidarity have been discussed on many occasions before. It is the major obstacle in analysing the movement from the class perspective. It seems that even the additional analytical concept introduced by Jacek Kurczewski, i.e. “new middle class,” does not allow us to adequately interpret the social composition of the movement.[23] As argued by Jan Kubik, in the face of the huge diversity of the movement, any attempts at answering the question Whose work is this? Workers’, intellectuals’ or someone else’s? are doomed to failure[24]. As foreseen by Tadeusz Szawiel even before the August, the movement was based on “ethos groups” rather than classes[25]. What connected those people were subtle cultural criteria, the ‘protest against injustice’ mentioned in the Agenda, which, however, was not necessarily associated with any structural or demographic variables.


1. 2. Ideology


If social diversity baffled sociologists, then the ideological inconsistency stirred distaste among historians of ideas and social philosophers. The evidence abounds that political and social ideas of Solidarity cannot be convincingly interpreted with traditional categories of left-wing or right-wing politics, conservatism, liberalism or socialism. The main feature of the “political agenda” of Solidarity was eclecticism[26]. Solidarity was well aware of its own inconsistency and was happy to admit it. The very onset of the quoted Agenda furnishes the following statement:


“Solidarity draws upon Christian ethics, Polish national tradition, as well as the working-class and democratic tradition of the working world, the latest stimulus for action being an encyclical on human work written by John Paul II. Solidarity as a mass organization of working people is also a movement for the nation’s moral rebirth.”[27]


This fact is reflected by Timothy Garton Ash’s observations from the Convention of Solidarity:


“Solidarity’s ideological set-up has posed a difficult and troublesome problem to Western ideologists of all stripes! One day, delegates overtly welcomed a committed socialist Edward Lipinński; another one, they voted to adopt Rev. Józef Tischner’s sermons for an official document of the Convention. Red mixed with white, ice mixed with boiling water”[28].


Solidarity’s political doctrine was a syncretic combination of various theoretical themes and practical demands. Deeply internalized by activists, socialism was combined with social Catholic thinking, national thinking, moral conservatism, elements of moral renewal, passionate messianism and archaic democratism. Furthermore, the research regarding Solidarity activists shows that Solidarity activists had enormous problems defining their own political views[29]. What is a unique testimony to the ideological melange that characterized Solidarity thinking is the ground-breaking Declaration of the 1st Convention of Delegates. Besides the demand for free elections, economic reforms and access to the media, the declaration also comprised demands for truth, justice and... coal[30].

         Many commentators identified Solidarity’s conceptual patchwork and most of them thought of it as an expression of the movement’s ideological immaturity. Solidarity press slammed the eclecticism of the Agenda even as it was being drafted[31]. Some of Solidarity’s intellectuals and leaders would recognize the multi-layered nature of the movement as a major value[32]. Krzysztof Mazur has recently recalled press articles by a sociologist and Solidarity activist Ludwik Dorn[33]. Dorn wrote that within Solidarity’s political culture “the widespread recognition of ideas that fundamentally define public life, the so-called ‘fundamentals’, comes with non-ideological political pragmatism.”[34] Connecting Solidarity members, the fundamentals were identity symbols and some very general experience-derived beliefs about social life. Fundamentals made up unity that accommodated vast ideological diversity. From Solidarity’s perspective, the differences between the right, the left, liberalism and socialism were of no significance as the movement was geared towards the goals that Solidarity members largely agreed about. Ideological issues could be put aside. Dorn might have been the first author to use the term “non-ideology,” subsequently applied on many occasions by other authors to discuss Solidarity[35]. Solidarity’s ideas were non-ideological as they did not make any coherent whole, nor did they completely cover social life.


1. 3. Symbolism


The diversity and inconsistency of Solidarity also manifested itself in the symbolic realm. Social diversity and ideological eclecticism resulted in a real cacophony of symbols, codes and meanings. Signs originating from various languages coexisted in one place and time and none of them monopolized the overall message.

What probably best illustrates this symbolic melange was the decor of the HSW Hall at the Gdansk Shipyard where the historic deal was negotiated. Let me quote Timothy Garton Ash’s words again:


“The talks were launched at the HSW Hall, long and illuminated by neons. Wałęsa sat in front of the director, between a schooner model one can see at yacht-clubs and a Lenin statue. [...] They sat under the national flag and a cross. On the left-hand side was a bust of Vladimir Lenin, whose name was given to the Shipyard; its pedestal provided a perfect stand for empty tea cups.”[36]


This is not all, though. Further details about the décor of the historical hall have been provided by Wojciech Giełżyński and Lech Stefański, authors of the first Polish book about the August.


“The stone-sculpted Lenin listens to workers’ talk. A white eagle, a cross and Poland’s national flag hover over the podium. There is a piano, a typically Polish instrument, too, and a mysterious white-blue-white flag. There always has to be some mystery in Poland: some say it is a St. Mary flag, others – that it is a shipyard flag.”[37]


Photographs taken around the time of the strike show that in the hall there was a design of a monument commemorating killed shipyard workers; first a drawing, then a miniature, and finally quite a big model. On the wall, there was a memorable Solidarity logo and the slogan “21 x YES,” alluding to the Communist slogan “3 x YES” of 1946. Many pictures show a wooden figurine of worker who raises their hands in a gesture of victory[38]. We can find a similar blend of symbolic motifs in many of Solidarity’s symbolic activities, especially its historical politics.

Solidarity apparently combined symbols from various contexts. The design of the HSW Hall shows that the movement did not reject the official state and ideological symbolism (Lenin remained in place), did put emphasis on national values (the coat-of-arms, flags, the colours of the sign) and complemented them with religious symbols previously absent from the public realm (crosses, Pope’s portraits, public religious services). What is more, the movement demonstrated certain universalist aspirations, stressed its own local origins (the schooner and the shipyard flag); and although primarily aimed at pursuing current goals, it made references to tradition (the monument model). All of that resulted in an eclectic mix, with none of the symbols clearly prevailing over the others[39]. Solidarity was simultaneously a movement that was class-related, political, pro-independence, religious, universal, local, expedient and geared towards long-term resistance.

The symbolic inconsistency was one of Solidarity’s most striking features[40]. Just as ideological inconsistency, the symbolic inconsistency was often regarded as a sign of activists’ immaturity or false consciousness. However, authors such as Jan Kubik pointed out that the symbolic heterogeneity allowed Solidarity to extend its range of influence. Since none of the codes dominated the overall message, Solidarity’s symbolism was able to accommodate representatives of diverse social groups[41].

         I believe that the multi-layered inconsistency of Solidarity described above was one of the movement’s most characteristic features. The meetings at the HSW Hall in August 1980 and Olivia Hall in September 1981, and even meetings at underground activists’ hiding spots following 13 December 1981, were attended people representing various communities, views and using various symbols. Solidarity had a truly universal nature, that is, to use the concepts scrutinized herein, it was “a shared” and “Catholic thing,” i.e. something common, a community that resembled pre- or postmodern unions rather than a modernist party- or army-like organizations.




         I am going to discuss three previously mentioned categories that might be used to account for Solidarity’s peculiarities specified in the previous section, namely: republicanism, Catholicism and postmodernism.

It shall be noted that these are not the only methods that can help us solve the mystery of Solidarity. Similar results were yielded by existential and phenomenological studies of Solidarity delivered, respectively, by Ireneusz Krzemiński and Zbigniew Stawrowski. The former pointed to Simone Weil’s concept of rootedness and argued that a rooted community does not need its members and their views and symbols to be homogeneous[42]. The latter, elaborating upon certain themes from Józef Tischner’s Etyka solidarności, pointed to the occurrence of two kinds of bonds – one based on awareness of having one enemy (a political bond), the other based on shared values, i.e. an ethical bond. As acceptance of fundamental values does not necessarily go hand in hand with social, ideological and symbolic cohesion, ethical communities may be very diverse internally[43].


2. 1. Republicanism


         The first concept that could supposedly help us understand Solidarity’s inconsistency is republicanism. The first author who offered a republican reading of the movement, Paweł Śpiewak, overtly claimed that traditional and Western angles are unsuitable for analysing the movement, and so he resorted to republican concepts[44]. Śpiewak combined republicanism with Polish traditions of Nobles Democracy. The similarity between Solidarity and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth has also been observed by many other authors.[45]

         Republicanism comes in handy in investigating the activity and thought of Solidarity as, despite its suffix, it is none of an ‘ism’ at all. It is a record and generalization of the political experience accumulated since the time of the ancient poleis, as opposed to ideologies developed by doctrinaires out of touch with reality, as argued by Elżbieta Ciżewska. In her view, the republican tradition is best suited for analysing Solidarity as “it is a set of practices and views of social life rather than a coherent system.”[46]

Republicanism rests on the republican notion of freedom. Interestingly, the shortest definition of freedom is included in Solidarity’s prefix “Independent Self-governing Trade Union.” The first demand of the strike in Gdańsk was to establish free trade unions. However, state authorities did not agree to adopt the term “free trade union” since it implied that other trade unions were not free. The government thus proposed to replace the word “free” with a term “independent and self-governing.” The dockers would then recall: “Barcikowski talked to us like a father: boys, ‘free’ seems somewhat inappropriate, let’s put it “independent.”[47] The party dignitary thus unwittingly explicated the republican notion of freedom, which stands for the lack of dominance and for self-governance. Elżbieta Ciżewska also observed that Solidarity’s enormous success was:


“[…] that it overcame the dichotomy intolerable for republicans, namely the one between positive and negative kinds of freedom, political freedom and the kind of freedom experienced in private. The Solidarity synthesis corresponds to two aspects of freedom recognized by contemporary theorists of republicanism [...]. Freedom appears, on the one hand, as the lack of arbitrary interference, not being subject to dominance [...], and, on the other, self-governance, or being one’s own master, capable of setting rules on one’s own [...]. These two themes can be found in the name of this trade union [...][48].


With the negative concept of freedom, merely ‘independence’, that is a degree of liberty allowed by those in power, suffices; what is essential in the positive concept of freedom is “self-governance,” i.e. executing the will of the people, rather than liberties themselves; republicans want both – they want freedom from arbitrary interference from the authorities and freedom to decide their own affairs. In the Republican spirit, Solidarity could not be content only with the private concept of freedom promoted by the Communist government. It demanded the right to participate in public life and valued public freedom more than private freedom, something typical of traditional Polish republicanism.[49] Hence liberals’ evident focus on citizens’ participation and embracing elements of direct democracy[50]. In addition, Solidarity recognized boundaries of interference from any authorities in line with natural law and its foundational values.

The Republican community brings citizens together regardless of their social positions, political views or identities. Participation in the republic requires an agreement about the minimum values that provide everybody with the right to equally participate in public life. A community built in this fashion can be varied and incoherent in all other respects, virtually to any degree. This is the great asset of republicanism, which is suitable for developing political communities in ethnically and culturally diverse populations such as Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the United States and Switzerland.[51] The concept of republicanism can be thus used to account for the specific inconsistency of Solidarity. Its relevance shows that the movement essentially played a role of a universal state, as opposed to the Polish People’s Republic, although it is the state that should be republican, not trade unions, which are particularistic by nature.

         Many authors interpreting Solidarity in the republican spirit have observed that this nature of the movement implied recognition of a broad range of identities and views of debating citizens. As argued by Paweł Śpiewak,


“This was a movement, or an association, that, most importantly, activated collective communication so as to provide everybody with the right to be listened to, the right not to be excluded from the general debate because of their views and opinions, and to recognize this right as a precondition for “establishing a properly functioning society.”[52]


Bronisław Świderski argued that Solidarity’s republican ethos led to its developing a “pluralist system of communication”[53], “a multivocal way of communicating”[54]. Consequently, as claimed by Dariusz Gawin,


“The element of public discourse, the power of which was unleashed in August, would subvert all social divisions and make them irrelevant. The language of solidarity transcended social divisions, all hierarchies and differences. Deprived of symbolic violence by nature, it did not divide, hierarchize or exclude; instead, it brought together.”[55]


In its interpretation of the movement, Elżbieta Ciżewska reached similar conclusions. The Solidarity revolution was meant to “publicize” and “citizenize” freedom, which naturally implied the demand for freedom of speech.[56] “Solidarity,” claims Ciżewska, “unleashed a torrent of words”[57]. The author also notes the organic nature of the Republican community. Solidarity activists saw their movement as a heterogeneous, organic community rather than a homogeneous, mechanical human mass. The differences between movement members were meant to contribute to its unity rather than endanger it[58]. Solidarity was literally a corporation, a political body. This is similar to the concept of the Church as the mythical body of Christ.


2. 2. Catholicism


         The peculiar nature of Solidarity might also be accounted for by pointing to its similarities to the Church. The role of religion, the Church and the Pope within the Solidarity movement has been long recognized by many authors[59]. However, Dariusz Karłowicz has put forth a much more far-reaching argument on the structural similarity between the Church and Solidarity[60]. This is related to Karłowicz’s overall argument about the effect of theological concepts on political notions, especially in the Polish cultural context. Unfortunately, the way it is put, Karłowicz’s argument fails to elucidate the peculiar diversity of Solidarity as he employs quite a Manichean view of the world. It seems, however, that his argument can be readily reframed so as to use Solidarity’s Catholicism to account for its heterogeneity.

         Religion as a source social, ideological and symbolic diversity of the movement had been previously recognized by Ireneusz Krzemiński. In his view, the influence of the Church, contrary to what might be expected, did not unify the movement; it did not impose any ideas or symbols.


“The effect of the Church was then peculiar because adoption of the religious point of view [...] provided Poles with freedom and tolerance for each other, or readiness to recognize diversity and complexity of the social realm; it was a surprising ground for spontaneous and widespread understanding of the significance of pluralism in community life[61].


It thus seems that, for Solidarity, religion played a role of a fundamental value, the acceptance of which provided access to the heterogeneous community. Religion was one of Ludwik Dorn’s fundamentals, too.

Krzemiński’s observation corresponds with the nature of the Church. The community of believers, as taught by St. Paul, is a body rather than a mechanical aggregate of parts, a body assuming heterogeneity, or diversity, of its members (Romans 12, 4-8; 1 Corinthians 12, 12-27). Similarly, the Catholic discourse is not ideological, something that both its critics and supporters often disregard. Just as republicanism, Catholicism is none of an ‘ism’ at all, the word ‘Catholicism’ being, as argued by Alain Besançon, an Enlightenment neologism. The Church does not offer any comprehensive vision of a good society or a good life. It rather points to boundary conditions of such visions and allows an astonishing diversity of specific solutions[62]. There is a profound theological reasoning behind it. “Grace,” to quote St. Thomas, “transcends nature, and so it can be neither a substance nor a substantial form. It is an accidental form, instead.”[63]. This means that there is no such thing as a specifically Christian life, specifically Christian institutions and discourses or a specifically Christian culture. Grace recognizes what is already there rather than creating new things. Supernaturality is not, as Cardinal Henri de Lubac asserted, some über-nature[64]. Therefore, with minimum cohesion at the level of denomination and sacramental life, the Church allows a broad range of views, positions and options. The Catholic narrative is intrinsically incomplete and does not cover or structure entire reality. Asked about Christian dietary rules, St. Paul simply said: “let everybody stick to their beliefs (Romans 14, 5).[65] Reducing Christianity to a specific way of life, some narrow social, political or cultural environment is a sign of crisis and subverts Catholicism, that is the universality of the Church[66]. The concept of Catholicism as an incomplete doctrine has permeated both official documents [67]and pastoral practices.[68]

It seems that this concept of the Church can be a model of Solidarity. Members of the movement were connected by shared ethical experience and actions rather than some abstract social or philosophical features. Similarly as the Church, Solidarity was therefore, as Karłowicz claimed, “a universal and non-elite community,” affiliation with which was “entirely independent of the circumstances beyond the control of an individual such as their origin, social position and wealth.”[69] For this reason, it was capable of accommodating members with diverse views. Their unity was organic rather than mechanical. It thus turns out that the structure of the Church is isomorphic to the structure of Solidarity. In both cases, we have to do with some insignificant common denominator of beliefs, values and practices and a great diversity within all other realms. The Church is a supernatural body, in which various organs, responsible for diverse functions, co-exist; it cannot be reduced to a coherent community defined by some abstract social or cultural features. Solidarity was, likewise, a large heterogeneous community built by diverse structures, each following different logic and goals. The logic of the Church, just as that of Solidarity, is “who [...] is not against you is with you” (Mark 9, 40, cf. Luke 9, 49-50)[70].

         Dariusz Karłowicz’s formulation of the argument on Solidarity’s resembling the Church emphasized the relationships between the Church (unity with the world) and the outside world rather than relationships within the Church (internal differentiation). Solidarity was meant to constitute itself against the threatening world, and so it aroused a profound sense of perfect unity. In Karłowicz’s view, the Manichean distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’ emerged quickly, too.[71]


“We recall the August as a realization of the myth of political agape that united people of all estates and biographies. The popular image of that time shows no traces of cracks, varying views or factions, something that the life of the huge political movement abounded in.”[72]         


Ultimately, following the martial law in Poland, Solidarity’s unity was built almost exclusively in opposition to the common enemy. This state of affairs contributed to further unification of attitudes and views within the movement rather than their differentiation.

         It seems that Karłowicz’s account corresponds to the ecclesiology of the ‘persecuted church of Solidarity’ rather than its triumphant procession at the time of its legal operation. He also argues that the dualistic and Manichean themes emerged only after 13 December 1981[73]. It thus seems that the earlier version of Solidarity had been structured in line with the previously mentioned corporate model. This model allows us to elucidate the peculiar diversity of the movement while at the same time recognizing its essential unity. What is more, the adoption of the inclusive organizational model of the ‘Solidarity church’ apparently affords refutation of Marek Cichocki’s objections to Karłowicz’s concept.[74] Cichocki also noted that the reading of Solidarity as the Church leads to excessive idealisation of its experience and makes it seem unique and incapable of having real impact under ordinary circumstances. It is so if we associate the Church with unity that excludes differing views. However, if we think of the Church as an organic community, united yet heterogeneous, then Solidarity is brought back down to earth and can continue to inform political activities.

         It is also worth noting that the ecclesial reading does not exclude the republican reading. Karłowicz argued that the term ecclesia had once simply meant the assembly of polis citizens. The original concept of the Church had owed much to the Greek tradition of political thinking[75]. If the Greek Republican practice impacted the shape of the Church, and the church impacted the shape of Solidarity, then Solidarity takes after both the Church and Republicanism. It is also worth noting that both Greek political community and the Christian religious community were pre-modernist in nature. This observation brings us to another analytical concept: postmodernism.


2. 3. Postmodernism


The third concept that might facilitate the analysis of Solidarity’s diversity is postmodernism. As I mentioned previously, it is the latest idea furnished by the Kraków community of Pressje. The idea met with a violent opposition from Polish and foreign intellectuals, but it seems that this objection is largely based on misunderstanding. No wonder, the use of an ambiguous category such as postmodernism always comes at a risk of a huge conceptual confusion. Not only did the authors associated with that community touch upon postmodernism, but they also pointed to ‘post-Enlightenment’[76], ‘anti-dogmatism’,[77] ‘eclecticism’[78] and ‘anti-globalism’[79] of this movement. Their overall thought, it seems, remains unchanged, though.

The key idea behind postmodernism is the argument about metanarratives coming to an end. What are metanarratives? The term occurring in Jean-Francois Lyotard seems ambiguous, as does the sense of the argument about the end of metanarratives. “This idea,” says Lyotard, “has a legitimizing power since it is universal. It structures all strata of human reality”[80]. It thus seems that a narrative might legitimize select phenomena, not all of them, or cover everything without legitimizing anything. The legitimizing narratives can be referred to as “absolute,” and non-legitimizing ones, as “relative.” In addition, narratives might be either complete or incomplete, depending on whether they “structure all realms of human reality” or not. The meaning of “completeness” and “incompleteness” is similar to the one they are assigned in mathematics. A system is complete if and only if for each sentence A: either A or ØA is a theorem of the system. Hence, a system that is complete addresses all questions, and an incomplete one leaves some questions unanswered.

In the light of those considerations, four kinds of narratives can be distinguished: complete and absolute; incomplete and relative; absolute and incomplete; and relative and complete:








Relative and complete 



Absolute and incomplete





The first type of narratives corresponds to Lyotard’s ‘metanarratives’, and the second one, to his ‘small narratives’. One of the metanarratives in this sense is Marxism-Leninism, which, on the one hand, claimed an absolute status and, on the other, sought to address all questions possible. The problem is with the two other kinds of narratives that the author of The Postmodern Condition disregarded. One of them is, for instance, Catholicism, a doctrine that construes other doctrines and refuses to be interpreted, and is incomplete as it does not address all questions. In terms of completeness, such narratives are not metanarratives. If postmodernism is about ‘the end of metanarratives’, then Catholicism is of a postmodern nature, as shockingly as it may seem. The fourth narrative type, ‘relative and complete narratives’, might not occur in nature. It is definitely hard to point to any convincing example of such a narrative.

Postmodernism, that is ‘the end of metanarratives’, may consist in the emergence of small narratives or narratives that are absolute yet incomplete. Which of the two senses might be the postmodern Solidarity? It seems that the authors of Pressje meant the latter. Solidarity’s discourse has some absolute elements, too, but it was essentially incomplete. For this reason, it was capable of combining various groups, ideas and symbols.

Wojciech Czabanowski and Błażej Skrzypulec point out that the Communist ideology and the state constructed based on it were thoroughly modern phenomena. In opposing the state, Solidarity did not construct a new political project; it deconstructed the previous one. It supported small narratives rather than coming up with a new metanarrative.


“Solidarity’s aesthetics and arguments are completely different from the designed metanarrative of the modernist socialism, with the leading role of the working class. The leading working class of Solidarity belongs to the rhizomatic thought, one full of surprising connections. Solidarity is not the kind of thinking that positions itself as an opposite binary against the opposition, which it sided with during the Polish People’s Republic. It is more of Verwindung with a number of spontaneously added elements, crowned with a Mother of God badge pinned onto Lech Wałęsa’s jacket lapel[81].


As part of their ideological offensive, the Communists had removed eagles’ crowns, put up Lenin statues to replace Piłsudski statues, taken crosses off the walls and put up portraits of Bierut. It comes as pretty natural that trade union strikers should have brought the once order back – put the crowns in place, replace monuments, burn the portraits and put up crosses again. But Solidarity did not do so. The crosses were mounted with new nails, the workers removed pictures of crowned eagles put up on Shipyard’s walls by provocateurs, and pensive Lenin remained in place (though, as we know, he served as a stand for cups). The strikers transcended Communist symbols instead of replacing them; they subverted them rather than inverting them; they followed the logic of Verwindung rather than Überwindung[82]. In the case of Solidarity, the counterrevolution had no characteristics of a revolution, against which it raised.

According to Czabanowski and Skrzypulec, Solidarity was a small narrative, but they also argue that the end of metanarratives does not necessarily leads to relativism. In their opinion, small narratives may consider themselves as absolutely true even without having means to convince others of their veracity. It seems then that they see Solidarity as an absolute and incomplete narrative in the above sense.

         Although Krzysztof Mazur invokes post-Enlightenment rather than postmodernism, his arguments in many respects correspond with the stance of Czabanowski and Skrzypulec. Just as them, he suggests that the departure from completeness of Enlightenment does not need to entail resignation from absoluteness. Mazur claims that:


“By rejecting Enlightenment axioms, the uneducated trade union activists demonstrated real freshness of thinking, and their agenda may come as an important voice in the debate on the end of metanarratives that goes on in Western civilization these days.”[83]


Mazur argues that political agenda of Solidarity was based on some principal beliefs derived from the experience of joint action. These beliefs were far from Enlightenment dogmas, but they were accepted as absolutely true and correct. Save for the acceptance of those fundamental principles, Solidarity was marked by extensive ideological freedom, which led to the peculiarities of the movement discussed in the first section of this study. For this reason, we can speak of material and formal post-Enlightenment nature of the movement: the former consisted in the movement adopting assumptions conflicting with Enlightenment (Mazur discusses six points of their difference with Enlightenment principles). The latter, then, consisted in the incomplete nature of Solidarity’s political agenda (Enlightenment was a great, complete narrative).

The postmodern take on Solidarity has sparked fierce objections. The editors of Pressje published critical voices of prominent Catholic intellectuals: George Weigel, Michael Novak and Archbishop Roland Minnerath. “I believe that the account of Solidarity as a pre-modern or postmodern movement contributes little to our understanding of it,” says Weigel. Novak adds that: “A movement that shook the world [...] cannot be, I believe, defined solely with philosophical terms that will place it within a narrow ideology.” At last, the Archbishop of Dijon said: “Solidarity was rather a modernist phenomenon, aimed at recovering freedoms proposed by the Enlightenment and realized in the liberal world.”[84] The interpretation by young Kraków conservatives met with equally sharp critique in Poland: Bronisław Wildstein, generally favourable to the activity of the Pressje community, said:


“The idea to read the national confederation that Solidarity was through the somewhat wilted intellectual news from Jean-Francois Lyotard and Gianni Vattimo, must encounter objection. It is hard to resist the impression that this comes with a lot of flashiness typical (not only) of youth, something that prompts juxtapositions of incompatible phenomena to present an original idea and impact collective memory”[85].


It is hard to resist the impression that this opposition resulted in most cases from misunderstanding. This is evident especially in statements of Western intellectuals. Weigel argued that it makes no sense to call Solidarity a postmodern movement because “politics rarely, if ever, works according to some abstract concepts.” In a similar vein, Novak wrote that “Solidarity was real, concrete, human,” [86] and so it could not have been postmodern. However, the objection against thinking of politics in abstract terms and the desire to capture a concrete, real dimension of Solidarity were major driving forces behind the postmodern interpretation. Bronisław Wildstein’s polemics is no different[87]. The concept of a confederation that he uses evokes an image of a non-uniform, unstructured, republican, pre-modern movement based on practice rather than abstract terms. Apparently, such a movement can be accounted for in terms used by the authors of Pressje as a postmodern movement.

It is worth noting that the ecclesial reading encompasses the republican reading, and the postmodern reading encompasses both. Both republicanism and Catholicism are incomplete doctrines, that is, in the adopted sense, postmodern. Both republicanism and Catholicism are pre-modern formations, and postmodern terms are much more suitable for accounting for them. At last, it is worth pointing out that the structures of a republic, the Church and Solidarity are strikingly similar to each other, which comes evident when we compare them with 20th-century mass parties or large hierarchical enterprises, organizational manifestations of modernism. However, while republics and the Church for many centuries have maintained a premodern character, Solidarity was a postmodern movement as it emerged within a context of dominance by a modernist political project.





I have sought to juxtapose three original attempts at describing and elucidating the phenomenon of Solidarity. The movement in question was marked by unprecedented diversity and evidently inconsistent social composition, ideology and symbolism. The concepts of republicanism, Catholicism and postmodernism have been introduced to conceptually harness Solidarity’s diverse structure. I believe that authors employing those concepts in part say the same thing, that is they demonstrate that Solidarity was a unique combination of unity within plurality: unity of the few fundamental values and plurality of numerous side views and symbols. The combination of these three concepts within an account of one phenomenon can be thought of as a distant echo of diversity within Solidarity.

At last, I would like to point out that Solidarity’s diversity may also be precisely accounted for by means of terms offered by the theory of cultural semiotics of the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School[88]. Yuri Lotman and Boris Uspiensky put forth a couple of slightly differing classifications of semiotic systems[89]. These classifications can be combined and generalized to provide a classification into ‘binary’ and ‘ternary’ systems. Within binary semiotic systems, the significance is made by internal recoding, the internal perspective prevails, and the relationship between the signifying and the signified is considered to be essential. It is the opposite with ternary semiotic systems, in which significance is made by external recoding, the external perspective prevails, and the relationship between the signifying and the signified is regarded as arbitrary. In other words, binary semiotic systems are of an apriorical nature as they do not allow other points of view and formulate a dichotomous vision of the world, and ternary systems are empirical as they accept other points of view and allow neutral concepts of the world. Lotman and Uspiensky used this distinction in their studies on the history of Russian culture and reached very interesting results[90]. The theory of binary and ternary systems is ideal for dissecting the dispute between the regime and its opposition. The Party’s discourse was of binary nature, whereas Solidarity’s discourse was ternary. On the occasion of invoking this theory and looking into relevant historical materials, we can refute the famous argument from Jadwiga Staniszkis, who claimed that Solidarity’s discourse was the reflection of the Party’s discourse[91].

It seems that the perspective of the semiotics of culture may further expand the angles discussed herein. Both republicanism, Catholicism and postmodernism are ternary discourses, as was Solidarity’s culture. The combination of those numerous perspectives within one study can be viewed as a distant echo of unity within Solidarity itself.



[1]I would like to sincerely thank Elżbieta Ciżewska, Michał Łuczewski, Krzysztof Mazur, prof. Zbigniew Stawrowski and Bronisław Wildstein for their engagement in discussions and feedback, which helped me develop the ideas presented herein.

[2] J. Karpiński, Solidarność przeżyta i przemyślana, in: D. Gawin (ed.), Lekcja Sierpnia. Dziedzictwo Solidarności po dwudziestu latach, Warsaw: IFiS PAN 2002, pp. 7-8. The above quote comes from E. Ciżewska, Filozofia publiczna Solidarności. Solidarność 1980-1981 z perspektywy republikańskiej tradycji politycznej, Warsaw: Narodowe Centrum Kultury 2010, p. 23.

[3] L. Goodwyn, Jak to zrobiliście? Powstanie Solidarności w Polsce, translation: K. Rosner, Gdańsk: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza 1992; D. Ost, Klęska Solidarności. Gniew i polityka w postkomunistycznej Europie, translation: H. Jankowska, Warsaw: Muza 2007, cf. M. Bernhard, Nowe spojrzenie na Solidarność, translation: W. Mart, “Krytyka” 1992, No. 38, pp. 231-245.

[4] J. Kurczewski, The Ressurection of Rights in Poland, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1993.

[5] I. Słodkowska, Społeczeństwo obywatelskie na tle historycznego przełomu. Polska 1980-1989, Warsaw: ISP PAN 2006.

[6] I. Słodkowska, Najdłuższe polskie powstanie, “Więź” 2005, No. 7, pp. 18-28.

[7] Cf. M. Osa, Stwarzanie Solidarności. Religijne podstawy polskiego ruchu społecznego, translation M. Bizoń, “Pressje” 2010, No. 21, pp. 96-117; M. Łuczewski, Pan i Ożywiciel Solidarności. Anatomia odgórnej rewolucji, “Pressje” 2010, No. 21, pp. 118-129.

[8] Referat Komitetu Centralnego Polskiej Zjednoczonej Partii Robotniczej wygłoszony przez Stanisława Kanię, in: IX Nadzwyczajny Zjazd Polskiej Zjednoczonej Partii Robotniczej 14-20 lipca 1981 r. Podstawowe dokumenty i materiały, Warsaw: Książka i Wiedza 198, pp. 19-72.

[9] T. G. Ash, Polska rewolucja. Solidarność 1980-1982, translation M. Dziewulska, M. Król, Res Publica, Warsaw 1990, p. 197. This quote has recently been recalled by E. Ciżewska, Filozofia publiczna Solidarności, op. cit., pp. 8-9.

[10] P. Śpiewak, Alexis de Tocqueville i Hannah Arendt o Solidarności, in: P. Śpiewak, Ideologie i obywatele, Warsaw: Więź 1991, pp. 218-227

[11] D. Gawin, Sierpień 1980 w świetle tradycji republikańskiej, in: A. Sułek (ed.), Solidarność: wydarzenie, konsekwencje, pamięć, Warsaw: Wyd. IFiS PAN 2006; D. Gawin, Solidarność − republikańska rewolucja Polaków, in: D. Gawin (ed.), Lekcja Sierpnia. Dziedzictwo “Solidarności” po dwudziestu latach, Warsaw: IFiS PAN 2002, pp. 161-188.

[12] E. Ciżewska, Filozofia publiczna Solidarności, op. cit.

[13] D. Karłowicz, Solidarność jako Kościół, in: D. Karłowicz, Koniec snu Konstantyna. Szkice z życia codziennego idei, Kraków: Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej, Księgarnia Akademicka 2004, pp. 189-211.

[14] Cf. Czabanowski, B. Skrzypulec, Postmodernistyczna Solidarność, “Pressje” 2010, No. 21, pp. 18-25; K. Mazur, Aideologia Solidarności, “Pressje” 2010, No. 21, pp. 26-35; P. Rojek, Postmodernizm, katolicyzm, Solidarność, “Pressje” 2010, No. 21, pp. 6-15.

[15] P. Rojek, Semiotyka Solidarności. Analiza dyskursów PZPR i NSZZ Solidarność w 1981 roku, Kraków: Nomos 2009.

[16]Cf. J. Staniszkis, Ontologia socjalizmu, Kraków-Nowy Sącz: Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej, Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu w Nowym Sączu, Wydawnictwo Dante 2006, p. 219 for the particularistic nature of socialist realism.

[17] Cf. classical formulation in: A. Touraine, J. Strzelecki, F. Dubet, M. Wieviorka, Solidarność: analiza ruchu społecznego 1980-1981, translation A. Krasiński, Warsaw: Europa 1989, pp. 43-63.

[18] Ibid., p. 81.

[19] Cf. M. Kula, Narodowe i rewolucyjne, London–Warsaw: Aneks, Więź 1991, pp. 273-311.

[20] P. Rojek, Semiotyka Solidarności, Op. cit., chapters 5-6.

[21]The Agenda of Solidarity adopted by the 1st Convention of Delegates, “Tygodnik Solidarność” No. 29, 16 October 198, an insert, p. 1

[22] T. G. Ash, Polska rewolucja, op. cit., pp. 25-26.

[23] J. Kurczewski, Dawny ustrój i rewolucja, “Res Publica” 1980, No. 7, pp. 42-57.

[24] J. Kubik, Czyje to dzieło: robotników, intelektualistów czy kogoś innego? Kontrowersje wokół pochodzenia i składu społecznego Solidarności, translation E. Nalewajko, I. Pańków, “Kultura i Społeczeństwo” 1994, No. 1, pp. 175-188.

[25] T. Szawiel, Struktura społeczna a postawy i grupy etosowe. O możliwościach ewolucji społecznej, “Studia Socjologiczne” 1982, No. 1-2, pp. 157-178. This study dates back to as early as 1979.

[26] The term “political project” instead of “ideology” has been proposed by Krzysztof Mazur, an author of the best analysis of Solidarity’s political thought: Projekt polityczny ruchu społecznego Solidarność (lipiec 1980 − grudzień 1981), an unpublished doctoral thesis produced under the supervision of prof. dr. hab.  Bogdan Szlachta, Kraków: Jagiellonian University, Institute of Political Science and International Relations 2010. I would like to sincerely thank Krzysztof for making his dissertation available to me.

[27] Agenda of Solidarity, op. cit., pp. 1-2.

[28] T. G. Ash, Polska rewolucja, op. cit., p. 146.

[29] J. Staniszkis, Poland’s Self-Limiting Revolution, Princeton: Princeton University Press 1984, p. 135.

[30] Declaration of the 1st Convention of Delegates, 2 October 1981, Resolution 28/81, “Tygodnik Solidarność” 1981, No. 25, p.1.

[31] M. Król, O “Tezach” kilka uwag krytycznych, “Tygodnik Solidarność” 1981, No. 11, p. 6; A. Ajnenkiel, Tradycja: jaka i po co?, “Tygodnik Solidarność” 1981, No. 6, p. 15.

[32] A. Paczkowski, Tradycja: jaka i po co?, “Tygodnik Solidarność” 1981, No. 6, p. 15; S. Kurowski, W sprawie tez programowych Solidarności (1). Inspiracje i źródła programu, “Tygodnik Solidarność” 1981, No. 4, p. 5; S. Kurowski, W sprawie tez programowych Solidarności (2). Wartości ideowe, “Tygodnik Solidarność” 1981, No. 5, p. 9. Cf. also E. Ciżewska, Filozofia publiczna Solidarności, op. cit., p. 327.

[33] K. Mazur, Projekt polityczny ruchu społecznego Solidarność, op. cit. Cf. K. Mazur, Aideologia Solidarności, op. cit.,

[34] L. Dorn, Solidarność jako ruch ideowy, in: L. Dorn, Niepodległość pracy, Warsaw: Ośrodek Badań Społecznych NSZZ Solidarność Region Mazowsze 1981, p. 75, as quoted in: K. Mazur, Aideologia Solidarności, op. cit., p. 27.

[35] Cf. E. Ciżewska, Filozofia publiczna Solidarności, op. cit., p. 324; P. Rojek, Semiotyka Solidarności, op. cit., p. 136; K. Mazur, Aideologia Solidarności, op. cit.

[36] T. G. Ash, Polska rewolucja, op. cit., pp. 20, 25.

[37] W. Giełżyński, L. Stefański, Gdańsk. Sierpień 80, Warsaw: Książka i Wiedza 1981, p. 80.

[38] Solidarność: Sierpień 1980, photo Z. Trybek, R. Wesołowski, S. Ossowski, Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Morskie 1990, photo 22, 90, 158, 224.

[39] Cf. B. Świderski, Gdańsk i Ateny. O demokracji bezpośredniej w Polsce, Wyd. IFiS PAN, Warszawa 1996, p. 143.

[40] Cf. classical study by B. Baczko, Polska czasów Solidarności czyli eksplozja pamięci, in: B. Baczko, Wyobrażenia społeczne. Szkice o nadziei i pamięci zbiorowej, translation M. Kowalska, Warsaw: PWN 1994, pp. 193-247 and M. Meller, Rola myślenia o historii w ruchu Solidarność w latach 1980-1981, in: M. Kula (ed.), Solidarność w ruchu 1980-1981, Warsaw: NOWA 2000, pp. 219-268.

[41] J. Kubik, Czyje to dzieło?, op. cit., pp. 187-188.

[42] I. Krzemiński, Solidarność. Projekt polskiej demokracji, Warsaw: Oficyna Naukowa 1997, pp. 152-177.

[43] Z. Stawrowski, Solidarność znaczy więź, in: Z. Stawrowski, Solidarność znaczy więź. W kręgu myśli Józefa Tischnera i Jana Pawła II, Kraków: Instytut Tischnera 2010, pp. 102-103.

[44] P. Śpiewak, Alexis de Tocqueville i Hannah Arendt…, op. cit., p. 219.

[45] W. Karpiński, Amerykańskie cienie, Paris 1983, p. 52; A. Walicki, Trzy patriotyzmy. Trzy tradycje polskiego patriotyzmu i ich znaczenie współczesne, Warsaw: Res Publica 1991, pp. 11-12; N. Davies, Boże igrzysko. Historia Polski, translation E. Tabakowska, Kraków: Znak 1999, p. 1088; T. G. Ash, Polska rewolucja, op. cit., p. 143; B. Świderski, Gdańsk i Ateny. O demokracji bezpośredniej w Polsce, op. cit., p. 139.

[46] E. Ciżewska, Filozofia publiczna Solidarności, op. cit., pp. 333-334. Cf. K. Mazur, E. Ciżewska, Filozofia publiczna Solidarności (rec.), “Pressje” 2010, No. 21, pp. 218-221, p.74.

[47]As quoted in: S. Kowalski, Krytyka solidarnościowego rozumu. Studium z socjologii myślenia potocznego, Warsaw: PEN 1990, p. 74.

[48] E. Ciżewska, Filozofia publiczna Solidarności, op. cit., pp. 135-136.

[49] Ibid., p. 138.

[50] I. Krzemiński, Solidarność, op. cit., p. 167.

[51] Cf. W. Czabanowski, M. Zabdyr-Jamróz, Trzy dyskursy sejmujące. W poszukiwaniu polskiego eidosu, “Pressje” 2010, No. 22-23.

[52] P. Śpiewak, Alexis de Tocqueville i Hannah Arendt…, op. cit., p. 224.

[53] B. Świderski, Gdańsk i Ateny, op. cit., p. 136.

[54] Ibid, p. 137.

[55] D. Gawin, Solidarność…, op. cit., p. 174.

[56] E. Ciżewska, Filozofia publiczna Solidarności, op. cit., p. 118

[57] Ibid, p. 129.

[58] Ibid, p. 177-179.

[59] M. Łuczewski, Pan i Ożywiciel Solidarności, op. cit.; E. Ciżewska, Religijność Solidarności okiem socjologa, “Teologia Polityczna” 2009-2010, No. 5, pp. 184-196; M. Osa, Stwarzanie Solidarności, op. cit.; J. Gowin, Kościół a Solidarność, in: D. Gawin (ed.), Lekcja Sierpnia, op. cit., pp. 13-38; Z. Stawrowski, Jan Paweł II a solidarność, in: Z. Stawrowski, Solidarność znaczy więź, op. cit., pp. 120-152.

[60] D. Karłowicz, Solidarność jako Kościół, in: D. Karłowicz, Koniec snu Konstantyna. Szkice z życia codziennego idei, Kraków: Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej, Księgarnia Akademicka 2004, pp. 189-211.

[61] I. Krzemiński, Solidarność, op. cit., pp. 162-163. Cf. G. Bakuniak, Sens ludzkiego doświadczenia, czyli pamięć ludzka jest figlarna, “Aneks” 1986, No. 41-42.

[62] Cf. Jan Paweł II, Centesimus annus, No. 43, 46.

[63]  ST I-II, 110, 2 ad 2, St. Thomas Aquinas, Suma teologiczna, t. XIV. Nowe prawo i łaska, translation R. Kostecki, London: Veritas 1972, p. 84.

[64]  H. de Lubac, O naturze i łasce, translation J. Fenrychowa, Kraków: Znak 1986, especially pp. 49-53. Cf. the discussion on nature and grace as described by Paweł Milcarek in “Christianitas” 2010, No. 44, pp. 167-212.

[65] Cf. A. Badiou, Święty Paweł. Ustanowienie uniwersalizmu, translation J. Kutyła, P. Mościcki, Kraków: Ha!art 2007, p. 107.

[66] A. Besançon, Pomieszanie języków, in: A. Besançon, Świadek wieku. Wybór publicystyki z pierwszego i drugiego obiegu, t. II, Fronda, Warsaw 2006, p. 265.

[67] Cf. for example Sobór Watykański II, Lumen gentium, No. 92; John Paul II, Centesimus annus, No. 43, 46.

[68] Cf. for example St. Josemaría Escrivá, Rozmowy z Prałatem Escrivą. Kochać Kościół, translation J. Jarco, Katowice-Ząbki: Księgarnia św. Wojciecha, Apostolicum 2006, p. 50.

[69] D. Karłowicz, Solidarność jako Kościół, op. cit., p. 192.

[70] Elsewhere, Jesus says: “he who is not with me is against me” (Mathew 12, 30; cf. Łk 11, 23); this statement applies to an attitude towards Jesus himself rather than to his disciples. On Earth, the divine state and the human state are mixed together, and the “presumption of community” should be applied.

[71] D. Karłowicz, Solidarność jako Kościół, op. cit., pp. 193, 199.

[72] Ibid, p. 193.

[73] Ibid, pp. 193, 200.

[74] M. A. Cichocki, Solidarność jako Lud Boży, in: M. A. Cichocki, Władza i pamięć. O politycznej funkcji historii, Kraków: Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej, WSE im. ks. J. Tischnera 2005, pp. 73-93.

[75] D. Karłowicz, Solidarność jako Kościół, op. cit., p. 190. Cf. W. Jaeger, Wczesne chrześcijaństwo i grecka paideia, translation K. Bielawski, Bydgoszcz: Homini 1997, pp. 36-45.

[76] K. Mazur, Aideologia Solidarności, op. cit., p. 33.

[77] Ibid, p. 29.

[78] Ibid.

[79] K. Posłajko, Solidarność i antyglobalizm, “Pressje” 2010, No. 21, pp. 46-50.

[80] J.-F. Lyotard, Postmodernizm dla dzieci, translation J. Migasiński, Aletheia, Warsaw 1998, p. 30

[81] W. Czabanowski, B. Skrzypulec, Postmodernistyczna Solidarność, op. cit., p. 23.

[82] G. Vattimo, Postnowoczesność i kres historii, translation B. Stelmaszczyk, in: R. Nycz (ed.), Postmodernizm. Antologia przekładów, Kraków: Wyd. Baran i Suszczyński 1996, pp. 133, 136.

[83] K. Mazur, Aideologia Solidarności, op. cit., p. 26.

[84] R. Minnerath, M. Novak, G. Weigel, Co wy z tą postmodernistyczną Solidarnością?! Rozmawia Karol Wilczyński, “Pressje” 2010, No. 21, p. 76.

[85] B. Wildstein, Nieopisana Solidarność, 22 November 2010,,567882.html.

[86] R. Minnerath, M. Novak, G. Weigel, Co wy z tą postmodernistyczną Solidarnością?!, op. cit., p. 76.

[87] Cf. W. Czabanowski, B. Skrzypulec, Nieustająca świeżość przywiędłych nowinek. W odpowiedzi Bronisławowi Wildsteinowi, 9 December 2010 r.,

[88]  P. Rojek, Semiotyka Solidarności, op. cit. For more information on the Tartu-Moscow School. Cf. B. Żyłko, Semiotyka kultury. Szkoła tartusko-moskiewska, Gdańsk: słowo/obraz terytoria 2009 and P. Rojek, Jak była zrobiona tartusko-moskiewska szkoła semiotyczna?, “Stan Rzeczy” 2011, No. 2 (in print).

[89] Y. Lotman, Kultura i eksplozja, translation B. Żyłko, Warsaw: PIW 1999; B. Uspiensky, Poetyka kompozycji. Struktura tekstu artystycznego i typologia form kompozycji, translation P. Fast, Katowice: Śląsk 1997;  Y. Lotman, Struktura tekstu artystycznego, translation A. Tanalska, Warsaw: PIW 1984; Y. Lotman, B. Uspieński, O semiotycznym mechanizmie kultury, translation J. Faryno, in: E. Janus, M. R. Mayenowa (ed.), Semiotyka kultury. Warsaw PIW 1977, pp. 147-170.

[90] Y. Lotman, B. Uspiensky, Rola modeli dualnych w dynamice kultury rosyjskiej (do końca XVIII w.), translation B. Żyłko, in: B. Żyłko (ed.), Semiotyka dziejów Rosji. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Łódzkie 1993, s. 17-61.

[91] Cf. J. Staniszkis, Formy myślenia jako ideologia, translation G. Lewicki, “Pressje” 2010, No. 21, p. 85.

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