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Journal of Politics

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The recent unrest in Poland is not simply a struggle between the workers and the regime over political freedom and economic reform. A basic cause of the unrest, as in past years, is the failure of the regime to balance adequately the conflicting policies of promoting long-term investment in industry, raising the standard of living, and reducing social class inequalities. Each of these policies represents a major goal of the regime, and of socialist ideology. The regime has not been able to emphasize all three goals simultaneously, and has shifted resources and attention from one to the other over the years. But the shifts themselves are disruptive and were a major factor in the unrest in 1980 as well as earlier years.


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