Kwestia społeczna w Polsce 100 lat po Rerum novarum

Julian Auleytner


The author's considerations are concentrated on a diagnosis of the present social situation in Poland. He bases himself on the method which is accepted in Catholic social teaching. According to this method one has to get to know the social reality first, then evaluate it, and finally perform actions. As to the social question he notices an ethic, economical, legal, political and technical aspect. In the social question is taken he notices at the same time a subjective and objective aspect.

According to the author the primary social question in Poland is poverty. Referring to the report issued by World Bank, he quotes that in the 1980s the number of poor people in Poland raised from 3.300.000 to 8.600.000 (from 9 per cent to 25 per cent in 1987). In 1991 the number increased.

Secondly, he regards unemployment, which he calls an evil, as a social question. He is in favour of full emloyment. The author is sceptic about statistical data which deal with the number of the unemployed; in fact there are more unemployed than statistics show. Polish unemployment is different from that in the West. In Poland it is due to the restructuring of economy on the basis of the change in the structure of property; in view of Balcerowicz's economical policy, and a planned reform, the state manufactories are supposed to go bankrupt. Western unemployment occurs in the economy based on private property. Unemployment brings about uncertainty of one's own lot, pauperization of the society, homelessness and delinquency, in a word, social pathology. This problem has not been sufficiently investigated into.

The third problem is hunger for flats. Poland lacks 2.000.000 flats. There is an excessive population of the part of flats. For more than two persons there was one flat in 1988. More than 10.000.000 live in flats whose technical standard is very poor (no running water).

The fourth problem is health care. The author mentions here women who work in deletorious conditions. He says that until not long ago 5.000.000 people worked in deletorious or hazardous to health conditions.

Against this background there appeared the phenomenon of social escape (some part of the society) into privacy − minimal participation in economical, social and political life, as well as disapproval of the state authorities. The authorities do not represent farmers', workers', craftsmen's or the inteligentsia's interests.

Summing up the author claims that one should restore to human labour its proper dignity and value in economical life. „[...] the State has not been able to reform inasmuch as it is not able to undertake and solve particular social problems from the point of view of man's dignity”.

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