The Polish workers fought for themselves and their families and won a victory for all of us. In coming issues of Dissent we will try to report extensively on the social basis and political meaning of that victory. Here (we are about to go to press) it is only necessary to pay tribute to the men and women of Gdansk and Szczecin and Lodz and the mining towns of Silesia who defied their masters and the foreign masters of their masters and testified so bravely to the value of freedom.
Their success is fragile and uncertain; their fight is not over. Already, no doubt, party bureaucrats are plotting the destruction of the new trade unions, for no power is so threatening to the Communist party as the organized power of the workers. But look at what has already been achieved! Against all the odds, against the supposedly growing, almost hegemonic power of the Soviet Union, against the totalitarian regime, against the modern state, a few hundred thousand workers have, for the moment at least, prevailed. In the face of the most advanced forms of repression, they have used, and used successfully, the oldest weapons: human solidarity and steadfastness....
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