History and Class Consciousness
My trip to Świdnica left me much to ponder. Many ordinary people, I thought, were either uncomprehending of the dimensions of the economic transformation, or else hysterical about them. My old friend Lityński, on the other hand, seemed a bit too sanguine. Further, I didn't think he realized that common ignorance and fear represented a profound problem both for economic reform and for democracy, a problem that had to be addressed politically. He seemed to think that the government's reform package would prevail because it was rational, a kind of enlightenment prejudice. It also appeared that he and the first Solidarity government were overlooking the emergence of a new class structure and class consciousness in democratizing Poland. They were simply ignoring the crystallization of distinct and competing interests in the society they were transforming.
Class conflict was becoming a normal part of societal life in Poland,