The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / History  % width posts: 79

Nowa Huta and other achievments of PRL (People's Republic of Poland)


AdamKadmon 2 | 508
11 Mar 2011 #31
Almost twenty years ago in the BBC there was a Poland radio programme entitled: What legacy has communism left?

When I was a small boy in the primary school, there was in circulation a trick question: Which weighs more a pound of gold or a pound of feathers? I think this the question has something to do with the views exchanged in the last 20 years in countless TV and radio stations: these views and thoughts are so light that they are like the feathers, but unlike the feathers in the trick question, they will vanish into thin air and nothing will remain, nothing will come of them. On the contrary, each and every sentence of the discussion below is important due to its connections with past experience, the experience not only of the two participants, but of many, many people who lived under communism.

The views below can be best confronted with our own ones. To agree with everything that was said would be a failure, because every teacher would rather expect his/her students use their own mind rather than rely on their teachers' thoughts, that's why I have added some comments.

Here goes the transcript of the discussion. The parts in bold are most interesting for me:

Translation: The third promise of communism: The acknowledgment the iron law of historical necessity, i.e. that history goes on in a definite direction, one needs only to understand that necessity and in this way one can become a free man - in other words, one experiences freedom by submitting oneself to the necessity.

Comment: For me it is too abstract. But if I understand it well, the promise eliminates anxiety, because people know the future. But if so, then since the time of Khrushchev the only beacon light for communism was capitalist America:

youtube.com/watch?v=RCZks2F3Gf4

Before Khrushchev, Soviet communism evolved from Lenin (in the first word war a German agent) whose only hope was to bring communism back to Europe because this was the only place in which, according to theory, it could take roots, then there was Stalin, who reinstated kind of red tsarism. Now the promise is still the same: If we try hard, then some day we may approach America's level of development. So I do not see any iron law of historical necessity here, and I do not see any promise, maybe there is one, but only in philosophical sense.

Translation: One human need is the need of security, the other is the need of freedom, both are naturally at odds with each other. This conflict is insurmountable and not only restricted to communism. Therefore one cannot preclude other kinds of despotic rule when the trade off between individual freedom against security is strongly tilted to the last one.

Comment: Noam Chomsky sees this communist-like tilt for the sake of safety in the control exercised by big corporations and in the government surveillance after 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Translation: There is a danger that like in the case of fascism in the former DDR, when the neo-Nazi tendencies came back, the same may happen in the case of communism - the children or grandchildren of nowadays anti-communists may some day become communists. Therefore we should avoid de-communization on the surface only. In today's criticism of communism dominates the utilitarian criticism kind of communism introduced poverty... and today's poor will answer - no, democracy introduced poverty. The main problem of communism lies deeper - the only alternative for communism is Christianity proposing freedom and other concept of history - not as a fatalistic necessity but also other proposition for experiencing of property - where private ownership is not at odds with communal one... but current polish

Christianity is astoundingly rather continuation of some communist stereotypes, come over to Christianity, i.e. both in the lust for power and in accepting the notion of history as fate. And one thing that astounding me more and more is that some Catholics are more afraid of freedom than they used to afraid of communism. After communism one should be wiser not more stupid.

Comment: Catholic priest and professor did not mention those Catholics he had in mind. Catholics of Radio Maryja?

Translation: I have a view of history that has one good point it consists of one sentence and states: people will always have a good reason to kill themselves. I do not believe that there is or there will be the final solution to all human problems or that we will be living in a society without conflicts and struggles - such is the human condition that this will never happen, or if you like, we are programmed in such a way that this will never happen.

Comment: If one thinks that people were killing, are killing and will be killing themselves, than I do not see any reason why he should condemn atrocities of communism or any other political system because of its humanity or inhumanity; does this have something to do with the scale of atrocities? - he did not say anything about it. Maybe one should understand Kołakowski's words as the consolation of pessimism, i.e. expect the worst and you won't be disappointed.
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
11 Mar 2011 #32
other achievements of PRL

The Five Year Plan ;)
Havok 10 | 912
11 Mar 2011 #33
Poland but there are plenty of other ways in which you can help out here. What do you say?

Why should I help? To be treated like a mushroom again?

Do you know what mushrooms are, harry?

.....You keep'em in dark tiny room and feed'em sh!t.
Ironside 51 | 11,339
12 Mar 2011 #34
I see PRL as a big waste of effort. Any achievement had been negated by the fact that PRL was Soviet's colony.
rybnik 18 | 1,461
17 Mar 2011 #35
(forgive me if I am repeating a sentiment) Simply put I feel Nowa Huta was itentionally placed just outside Krakow to figuratively and literally "spit" on the Krakowskie inteligentia. It was meant to be a constant reminder to those, who thought they knew better, that Stalinism is here to stay and that the proleteriat rules.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
13 Apr 2011 #36
Nowa Huta

guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/04/new-europe-poland-family-life - New Europe: the life of a Polish family

The last few years have been an era of flux for both the town and the Baniaks. Nowa Huta, or "New Steelworks", was built from scratch in 1949 by the new communist government. It was to house the 30,000 workers at the factory from which the town takes its name; for decades, Nowa Huta, a place of vast grey housing blocks and wide, wide roads, was considered an icon of socialist town-planning, an up-yours to nearby religious, academic Kraków. The steelworks themselves were named after Lenin. The central square, when viewed from the air, formed a soviet star. And, for a while, there were no churches.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
13 Apr 2011 #37
... and everyone lived inside a big chimney, yay!
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
13 Apr 2011 #38
New Europe: the life of a Polish family

"He now earns 4,400zl a month (about £960) in his PR job"
That's good money in Poland
Harry
13 Apr 2011 #39
Shows how much you know! The average wage in Poland as a whole is 3,403zl, it's higher than that in places like Warsaw and Krakow.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
13 Apr 2011 #40
Yes, Nowa Huta was an accomplishment; at least the Communists were building something...However, the Stalinist style architecture is not to my taste...In the pictures I see of it now, at least there are trees and greenery, as it was very barren looking in those videos.

The city was basically built to house the steel workers at the big plant there, no?...And to provide some scientific and cultural centers for education?...Of course, the Communist politics and world view came into play, because they built it as a contrast to Krakow, no, which contains much Polish history and tradition?

Problem with all the Communist projects is they were anti-God and anti-human in the sense of sheer size for size alone, like Tower of Babel...A supposed glorification of Communism's 'triumph of the will of man'...Which is ironic, since Communism was designed to crush the will of the individual human being.

However, the construction shows that state planning can work, but it becomes grotesque in a sense when done on a monumental scale...Reminiscent of Hitler and Speer's ideas for 'Third Reich' architecture...This architecture hideous, although Hitler created a very good, human design with the VW beetle.

Thank God we now have a better environmental consciousness, and today's architects can temper such grandiose excess in their planning, leaving more breathing space...I think Communists hated trees, also.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
13 Apr 2011 #41
i think that zagospodarownie przestrzenne in Krakow is a huge mess...bez ladu i skladu....
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
13 Apr 2011 #42
the Communist politics and world view came into play, because they built it as a contrast to Krakow, no?

They actually built it upwind from Krakow, hoping that the smoke would destroy Krakow.
that's what I was told by locals.

The city was basically built to house the steel workers at the big plant there, no?

Yes.

In the pictures I see of it now, at least there are trees and greenery,

And it is huge, from one building across a bit of green, then a sidewalk, then another bit of green, then two lanes of traffic, then another bit of green, then a tram line and the same the other side, it's huge.

The town planning deserves a mention, spider man would be proud.

Poland Kopernik
rybnik 18 | 1,461
13 Apr 2011 #43
I remember a HUGE statue of Lenin very near a tramstop. One night in late summer of 1978 two American friends of mine went to "explore" Nowa Huta. We had never seen a statue that big! It needed to be climbed. So, my friend from Buffalo, New York and I climbed onto the pedestal and mimicked Lenin's pose(walking with hands clasped behind his back, if I recall correctly)..What I was most impressed by and remember to this day was the reaction of the passerby Poles: shock, amusement and silent applause. We had no idea what we were doing. lol Later, back in the dorm we were reminded frequently by the Polish students of our good fortune.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
13 Apr 2011 #44
I remember a HUGE statue of Lenin very near a tramstop

yes, in a beret... ;) i remember too, it was big, and the Plac Centralny looked very empty when they took it down... but it's pretty out there now...
rybnik 18 | 1,461
13 Apr 2011 #45
I remember something on his head. Was it a beret? Lenin in a beret? Maybe. I will definitely take a look when I visit....Are there any statues of him around anywhere? Maybe in some commie amusement park? ;)
pgtx 30 | 3,156
13 Apr 2011 #46
I remember something on his head. Was it a beret? Lenin in a beret? Maybe

it was some kind of a hat... actually he was holding it in his hand... anyway... no, there aren't any Lenin's statues anymore... or are they? :)
rybnik 18 | 1,461
13 Apr 2011 #47
You know. I think you may be right. He had it in his hands which were behind his back. Right? :)
pgtx 30 | 3,156
13 Apr 2011 #48
yes, and he was walking... :)
not they organize small concerts in this place....
rybnik 18 | 1,461
13 Apr 2011 #49
yes, and he was walking... :)

Right! Boy, I'm glad we cleared that up ;) ....what was/is the name of this plac?
pgtx 30 | 3,156
13 Apr 2011 #50
Right! Boy, I'm glad we cleared that up ;)

i know! i wouldn't sleep! :)

what was/is the name of this plac

Lenin's and not it's Reagan's...
rybnik 18 | 1,461
13 Apr 2011 #51
Really?! Plac Reagana?
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
13 Apr 2011 #52
yeah you would have thought people got over it by now...
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Apr 2011 #53
Shows how much you know! The average wage in Poland as a whole is 3,403zl, it's higher than that in places like Warsaw and Krakow.

Huh? Dude you're been there for a few years and in one place so shut up! It depends on the region, different region different average wages. Warsaw yea but Warsaw is 2x more expensive to live in. My aunt a college educated woman who's been working for over 20 years in a good position, government job makes 2200 a month. In Lublin, in Podkarpackie, Podlaskie and many other provinces your 3403 is a dream for most people. Like I said, if our buddy from the article makes 4,400 zl a month it's good money in Poland.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
14 Apr 2011 #54
In Lublin, in Podkarpackie, Podlaskie and many other provinces your 3403 is a dream for most people.

However, it's quite normal in places like Dolnoslask, Wielkopolska and so on.

My aunt a college educated woman who's been working for over 20 years in a good position, government job makes 2200 a month.

Can't be that good if she's only earning 2200 a month. I have a good idea as to the salaries in public institutions - and 2200zl is very much the kind of salary for a clerk who simply processes papers and doesn't have to make any decisions.
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Apr 2011 #55
Urzad Gminy, she decided who gets money in her gmina for welfare also goes to places that have been let's say damaged by floods and decides if they get money for it. In her gmina in Podkarpackie that's how much they pay. Her husband works at a steel mill as a welder and makes like 1800zl. So it all depends on the job and what region you work in. People in economics, in marketing in big cities or who own their own business make serious money.
Harry
14 Apr 2011 #56
you're been there for a few years

Wrong: I've been here for more than 15 years (in that time you've visited Poland what, three times?)

and in one place

Wrong again boy: I've lived in five different cities in Poland.

My aunt a college educated woman who's been working for over 20 years in a good position, government job makes 2200 a month.

Twenty years in a good position and 2200 a month? Yeah right!

In Lublin, in Podkarpackie, Podlaskie and many other provinces your 3403 is a dream for most people.

I was in Lublin last month: there was no shortage of people spending their money and prices were most definitely not half Warsaw prices.

Like I said, if our buddy from the article makes 4,400 zl a month it's good money in Poland.

You know nothing. But I know plenty of people here who make 4,400zl a week.
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Apr 2011 #57
I was in Lublin last month: there was no shortage of people spending their money and prices were most definitely not half Warsaw prices.

The whole 3 months wow you must have mingled with tons of people and from all walks of life.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
14 Apr 2011 #58
I was in Lublin last month: there was no shortage of people spending their money and prices were most definitely not half Warsaw prices.

That's right - 3400 wouldn't be great to live on in Lublin. Plenty have to, but it wouldn't pay for more than life's basics.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
14 Apr 2011 #59
know plenty of people here who make 4,400zl a week.

legally?
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Apr 2011 #60
Exactly. His 3,300 nationwide "average" is far from average in eastern Poland, barely 2,700 zl is average. And that's just for people who can actually find work, unemployment is at 20%, and those people are barely able to live, what about the retirees and disabled from work? 4,400zl is much more than average even in the wealthier regions.

Average wages in 2010
Mazowieckie 4243,62 zł
Śląskie 3598,76 zł
Pomorskie 3331,44 zł
Dolnośląskie 3321,00 zł
Małopolskie 3135,70 zł
Wielkopolskie 3104,43zł
Zachodniopomorskie 3063,74 zł
Opolskie 3053,61 zł
Świętokrzyskie 2920,81 zł
Lubelskie 2869,35 zł
Lubuskie 2868,65 zł
£ódzkie 2853,35 zł
Podlaskie 2852,36 zł
Kujawsko-pomorskie 2843,65 zł
Warmińsko-mazurskie 2709,53 zł
Podkarpackie 2702,70 zł


Home / History / Nowa Huta and other achievments of PRL (People's Republic of Poland)
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.