Looking at the internal dynamics and movement mobilization efforts of the Social Serf-Defense Committee (KOR) in Poland in the late 1970s, the study evaluates two dominant theories of the role of intellectuals in political education and social movements–”Lenlnian” and “Sorelian.” The study combines the examination of KOR's program, structure, and internal divisions, with a quantitative content analysis of its primary channel of communication with workers, the journal Robotnik (The Worker), compared to the Coastal Worker (Robotnik Wybrzeża), the quarterly journal of the Initiating Committee of the Coastal Free Trade Unions (CFFU), an immediate precursor of Solidarity. KOR's social-democratic wing shaped the group's approach to workers, and to the publication of Robotnik. This resulted in an inconsistent strategy of movement mobilization. CFTU's activity was necessary to help KOR regain focus on free trade unions. The data support neither the Leninian nor Sorelian belief in the origins of Solidarity. Several years of cooperation and coalition building between the worker activists and the radical intellectuals resulted in both oppositional organizations undergoing a reciprocal learning process.
Research Article| June 01 1996
Terms of Endearment: Intellectuals and Workers Mobilizing for a Social Movement
Communist and Post-Communist Studies (1996) 29 (2): 185–212.
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Marek Payerhin; Terms of Endearment: Intellectuals and Workers Mobilizing for a Social Movement. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 June 1996; 29 (2): 185–212. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0967-067X(96)00005-0
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