Polish United Workers Party

   The Polish United Workers Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza—PZPR) presided over the People’s Republic of Poland from its foundation in 1948 until its collapse in 1989. Formed by virtue of a Soviet Union–stimulated monopolizing merger between the Polish Workers Party and the Polish Socialist (Social Democratic) Party, the PZPR initially embraced Stalinism. This gave way following the turmoil of the 1956 Polish Uprising, at which point the party repudiated much of its Stalinist past and committed itself to a more moderate form of MarxismLeninism. Despite the PZPR’s devotion to Moscow, there remained scope for limited ideological independence, allowing oppositional groups to remain relatively prominent. This helped pave the way for the events of the 1980s when the Solidarity trade union rocked the PZPR to its core, and forced it first into reforms and then out of existence. By January 1990, the PZPR’s Marxism had gone the way of its grip on power, and it remolded itself into the Social Democracy of the Polish Republic (Socjaldemokracja Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej—SdKP), in which guise it became a principal member of the Alliance of the Democratic Left.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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