the wounds of the newly established democratic political institutions. The Catholic Church's drop in popularity is connected to its fundamentalist policies, particularly to force highly repressive anti-abortion legislation on an unwilling public. When the popularity of other institutions goes down, that of the military remains high.
As long as there is no direct clash between the military and the civilian authorities, the present situation should cause no alarm. But the state of public opinion in Poland will likely work against democratic institutions if they get involved in a conflict with the military. Poles do not favor a military regime. Neither do the military officers. However, dangers to the stability of democratic arrangements usually come more from the failures of democracy than from the manifest will of soldiers for political power. It is, therefore, particularly important for Poland, as well as the other young democracies, to find solid and workable arrangements in the area of civil-military relations. If economic transformation fails and the present civil-military arrangement comes under stress, the military may once again be pushed to assume a more prominent political role. To this author's way of thinking, if such a scenario ever materializes, it will be because of the inability of the civilians to solve Poland's problems, rather than because of the military officers' desire for political power.