University of Gdańsk
In this paper I would like to analyze the emergence of “Solidarity” movement in Poland from the perspective of Ernesto Laclau’s and Chantal Mouffe’s theory of hegemony. I would like to emphasize the process of construction of two opposing camps, namely the “Solidarity” and the communist camp. Creation of “Solidarity” linked many diverse and often contradictory demands and ideologies, but also retroactively, changed the way, in which the history of Poland after the end of the World War is perceived. This change allows us to see all isolated acts and cases of resistance against the communist regime as a manifestation of a single historic force, which, in the end, was able to manifest fully in creation of the “Solidarity” and later, in bringing down the communist regime. Vis-à-vis that force, and at the same time, another historical actor – the communist regime, has been given its ultimate shape. My main thesis is, that the idea of Polish constant opposition towards the communists, as well as the perception of the communist party as an “alien” regime, devoid of any legitimization is an effect of the hegemonic process, which has structurized the political field in the early 80s. Although the link of equivalence, connecting the demands of diverse social groups has vanished with the advent of neoliberal policies of the nineties, this dichotomic split remained, and was in some ways aggravated as a result of a democratic political struggle.