David Ost: “The Triumph and Tragedy of Poland’s Solidarity Movement”

“To say that Solidarity was a democratic left alternative to state socialism thus does not mean that all of its leadership and members saw it that way. Nevertheless, from August 1980 to December 1981, Solidarity invented in Poland the kind of grassroots, democratic, noncapitalist, participatory social experiment that the Left has always tried to bring about. This is what should be remembered, commemorated, and highlighted today.”