Założenia ideowe programu Stronnictwa Pracy w świetle katolickiej nauki społecznej

Andrzej Siwiec


The Labour Party was founded in 1937 as a merger of PSChD and NPR. If only due to the time in which it initiated its activity and functioned (until 1946) it cannot boast of any meaningful political successes. It seems, however, that having an outstanding intellectual potential (especially after it had merged with the Union in 1943) its programme had some prominent successes.

As we learn from the programme, LP tended to unify all the Poles who in their views adopted Christian, national and democratic ideas; it sought to launch many social, economic and political reforms in the spirit of justice, law and order. Strictly speaking, this is the ideological creed of the LP. The foundation of that ideology therefore were the following five principles: Christian, national, democratic, the principle of social justice and of law and order.

The LP advocated cooperation between the state and the Church - the two institutions, independent and autonomic as regards their activity and rights, the two perfect communities. These institutions are interrelated, for they organize the lives of he same persons and societies.

Its programme distinguished between the nation and the state. It is nation that provides the conditions of social life and personal improvement for every man, relying on a complete and versatile system of culture. Now the state should safeguard the values of nation and make the formal conditions of how to utilize them and how to preserve them and multiply. It follows that although these are different communities, they are complementary.

The LP rejected any incomplete understanding of democracy, wherein only narrow groups have a real influence on socio-political life. Therefore the postulate of democracy have a moral character for the LP, not formal. For it is a responsibility for the common good that is at issue here, and that requires appropriate social and educative processes at work. Democracy is a social virtue, and this must be exercised.

The programme lay a particular stress on the postulate of agreement between the positive, written law, with the moral Christian principles implicated by natural law, and the legal sense that a nation has. If we question the necessity to agree these inseparable categories of law, then we shall face discrepancies between them, and we are threatened with a serious disharmony and social unrest.

The principle of social justice, the last ideological pillar of the LP, is the consequence and necessary supplement of the democratic idea. Social justice orders human acts toward the social good and, in the same manner as that good contains in itself all the individual goods, social justice contains all the other categories of justice (commutative, distributive and legal). In the programme the idea of social justice is based on private property, on a proper distribution of the social revenue, and human labour must be ranked higher. Thus by the agency of public institutions the whole of social life must be keyed to the demands of the norms of social justice.

Thus defined ideological assumptions converge, in principle, with the social teaching of the Church and, broadly speaking, with the Catholic social doctrine. Furthermore, it seems that yet another thesis has been confirmed here. it is the thesis that says that the social doctrine of the Church has an applicatory character and is able to inspire some innovative ways to solve socio-political problems.

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