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Grudzień '70 in Poland - the Stalingrad of communism in Central Europe


Ifor Bach

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December 17th is the anniversary of one of the most significant events in the opposition to totalitarian rule in Central Europe. On December 17th, 1970, a crowd of 20,000 striking shipyard workers and ordinary Szczecinians registered their displeasure at rising food prices, and a massacre of workers in Gdynia earlier in the day, by burning down the headquarters of the local P.Z.P.R. Communist party.

December ’70 in Szczecin – the Stalingrad of communism in Central Europe | The Szczecinian
 

ffc

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December 17th is the anniversary of one of the most significant events in the opposition to totalitarian rule in Central Europe. On December 17th, 1970, a crowd of 20,000 striking shipyard workers and ordinary Szczecinians registered their displeasure at rising food prices, and a massacre of workers in Gdynia earlier in the day, by burning down the headquarters of the local P.Z.P.R. Communist party.

December ’70 in Szczecin – the Stalingrad of communism in Central Europe | The Szczecinian
There is a moving monument to the brave workers of 1970 in the Gdansk Shipyard, where 20 000 striking workers were confronted with armed oppression when they tried to protect their pay and conditions. The communists really did not know how to deal with such discontent. They should have followed the capitalist route and simply closed the shipyards down and thrown all the men on to the scrapheap of dole payments, unemployment and emigration. How many people work in the shipyard today?

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/05/gdan-m29.html
 
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Partizan

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There is a moving monument to the brave workers of 1970 in the Gdansk Shipyard, where 20 000 striking workers were confronted with armed oppression when they tried to protect their pay and conditions. The communists really did not know how to deal with such discontent. They should have followed the capitalist route and simply closed the shipyards down and thrown all the men on to the scrapheap of dole payments, unemployment and emigration. How many people work in the shipyard today?
Not to mention the Solidarity 'trade union' that emerged a decade later.
 

Shqiptar

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There is a moving monument to the brave workers of 1970 in the Gdansk Shipyard, where 20 000 striking workers were confronted with armed oppression when they tried to protect their pay and conditions. The communists really did not know how to deal with such discontent. They should have followed the capitalist route and simply closed the shipyards down and thrown all the men on to the scrapheap of dole payments, unemployment and emigration. How many people work in the shipyard today?

Poland: Last shipyards in Gdansk threatened with closure - World Socialist Web Site
So the only options are Stalinist totalitarianism and unbridled, dog-eat-dog capitalism?
 

Ifor Bach

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There is a moving monument to the brave workers of 1970 in the Gdansk Shipyard, where 20 000 striking workers were confronted with armed oppression when they tried to protect their pay and conditions. The communists really did not know how to deal with such discontent. They should have followed the capitalist route and simply closed the shipyards down and thrown all the men on to the scrapheap of dole payments, unemployment and emigration. How many people work in the shipyard today?

Poland: Last shipyards in Gdansk threatened with closure - World Socialist Web Site
None. The shipyard has been closed.

I've just been to a commemoration of the anniversary. The President of the city and the region were not invited. The local Solidarność (Solidarity) committee said they could not guarantee their safety.

Present day Solidarity are protesting against massive rent rises in the city. They plan on marching to Szczecin City Hall this afternoon.
 

Honecker

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Poland has had 2 decades of capitalism and the place is now an even bigger sh1thole than under communism. The population of Poland today is actually lower than 20 years ago.
 

Analyzer

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Poland has had 2 decades of capitalism and the place is now an even bigger sh1thole than under communism. The population of Poland today is actually lower than 20 years ago.
Probably has something to do with the fact that England has had five centuries of the free market, and wages are higher there.

The good news is that after New Labour nearly bankrupting Britain, wages in England have been trending below the inflation rate for years, and Poles are returning home to push up population numbers again.
 

Jack White

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Poland has had 2 decades of capitalism and the place is now an even bigger sh1thole than under communism. The population of Poland today is actually lower than 20 years ago.
Calm down Eric. We've never had either Communism or Capitalism, and this place is arguably a bigger sh1thole than twenty years ago.

Less of the old ''post hoc, propter hoc'' silliness. Good man.
 

Jack White

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Probably has something to do with the fact that the UK had five centuries of the free market, and wages are higher there.
And not really a deeply embedded democracy either. It takes time. Poland has fabulous possibilities, but we may not see it anytime soon.

The cynical contempt in which so many of the people hold their political class, it makes our lads look like legends.
 

Analyzer

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Calm down Eric. We've never had either Communism or Capitalism, and this place is arguably a bigger sh1thole than twenty years ago.

Less of the old ''post hoc, propter hoc'' silliness. Good man.
We had "Cronyism" as an ideology. Multiple parties tried it. In fact it is clear that they still are trying it.

Plus Union bosses. Plus IBEC careerists. Quango directors. Student politicians. Professional classes.

Right across the board "Croyism" is the dominant political ideology in Ireland.
 

Trainwreck

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. They should have followed the capitalist route and simply closed the shipyards down and thrown all the men on to the scrapheap of dole payments, unemployment and emigration.
Under capitalism, competing shipyards would have picked up the skilled labour, as long as the workers weren't simply demanding too much.

In fact under capitalism, the best workers would have already moved to competing ship makers exhibiting higher productivity and hence higher wages.
 

ffc

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Under capitalism, competing shipyards would have picked up the skilled labour, as long as the workers weren't simply demanding too much.

In fact under capitalism, the best workers would have already moved to competing ship makers exhibiting higher productivity and hence higher wages.
That's right they all moved to China, you know, the communist country.
 

Jack White

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Under capitalism, competing shipyards would have picked up the skilled labour, as long as the workers weren't simply demanding too much.

In fact under capitalism, the best workers would have already moved to competing ship makers exhibiting higher productivity and hence higher wages.
And that, children, is why the more capitalist we all become the harder we find ourselves working, and the more our incomes are rising in cons...

Oh, wait.
 

Trainwreck

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And that, children, is why the more capitalist we all become the harder we find ourselves working, and the more our incomes are rising in cons...

Oh, wait.

You believe you work harder (whatever you mean by that) and have lower income than your grandparents?
 

ffc

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You believe you work harder (whatever you mean by that) and have lower income than your grandparents?
courtesy of trade unions, socialist policies on health, education, wages and social welfare provisions, all fought tooth and nail by the capitalist.
 

Jack White

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You believe you work harder (whatever you mean by that) and have lower income than your grandparents?
No. But I don't believe your textbook fairystory either.

My grandparents were able to rear large enough families on single incomes. Many, many families are today struggling to do the same with both partners working, and far fewer children.

People expected less, and got on with less. My grandparents were very happy and content in themselves, in each other, and in their lives. Without ever seeing Lanzarote, a new car, or a fiver for a pint of stout.

Significantly higer incomes have not made people significantly happier. What we have here now, is a poverty of expectations.
 

Trainwreck

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courtesy of trade unions, socialist policies on health, education, wages and social welfare provisions, all fought tooth and nail by the capitalist.
So you have higher income because employers have been simply made to pay more?


So, how have businesses stayed in business if they have to pay so much more in wages than they did in your grandparents' day? How did the extra cost not drive them out of business?
 

Jack White

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So you have higher income because employers have been simply made to pay more?


So, how have businesses stayed in business if they have to pay so much more in wages than they did in your grandparents' day? How did the extra cost not drive them out of business?
Because they charge more ?
 

Trainwreck

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No. But I don't believe your textbook fairystory either.

My grandparents were able to rear large enough families on single incomes. Many, many families are today struggling to do the same with both partners working, and far fewer children.

People expected less, and got on with less. My grandparents were very happy and content in themselves, in each other, and in their lives. Without ever seeing Lanzarote, a new car, or a fiver for a pint of stout.

Significantly higer incomes have not made people significantly happier. What we have here now, is a poverty of expectations.
How big was the house your grandparents lived in?

Did they have heating?

How much hot water did they use?

What did they eat? Did they eat a lot of meat, especially things like lamb or beef or lots of fruit?

Did they have a car?

How full were their wardrobes and what quality of clothing did they have? Did they buy new clothes often?

Did your parents get more hand me downs than new clothes?

Did they ever eat in a restaurant?

How often would they go to the doctor?

Did their parents get hip replacements or similar surgery?
 
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