The Beginning of Agoral Gatherings in Poland and Their Macro-Systemic Political and Economic Consequences: Events of Lublin July 1980

Adam Biela


The aim of this study is a psychological-historical analysis of the sequence of events in recent Polish history, in which Lublin July 1980 played a key role as a mental bridge between the first visit-pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to Poland 2-9 June 1979, and the strikes of “Solidarity”, which began in August 1980 and culminated in the signing of strike agreements with the authorities of the People’s Republic of Poland in Gda?sk, Szczecin and Jastrz?bie Zdrój. We have shown that the behaviour of the participants of the strikes in state enterprises in the Lublin region allows for their qualification as agoral gatherings, with their moral and cultural patterns rooted in the phenomena of psychosocial meetings between Poles and Pope John Paul II. We have shown that the events in Lublin have become a field for the psychosocial exploration of democratic behaviours in striking factories—in the face of the power of the totalitarian system in the People’s Republic of Poland. In this way, Lublin July 1980 became a link for social learning based on moral, patriotic and religious values—which led to “Solidarity” strikes all over Poland. These strikes were another link in the process of realization of self-determination of the Polish people as a sovereign state. The power of agoral processes created by the “Solidarity” movement in August 1980 did not manage to stifle any repressive tactics and strategies of the authorities of the totalitarian system, including the horrors of martial law in Poland. The movement applied the principle of non-violence to overcome totalitarian violence, which collapsed like a proverbial “house of cards,” first in Poland, and then throughout Central and Eastern Europe. It led to peaceful change in the psychosocial, political and macroeconomic situation of countries such as Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, the GDR, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Albania.

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