05 May 1980

Informal lecture on the real political system of Poland

In the morning we have our history exam. The question is "Communist takeover in Eastern European Communist countries". The wording is a bit convoluted, even recursive.

In the evening I am in my room studying for the next exam on "Political Systems" when Stefan pops in and tells me not to waste any time with this nonsense. Things are not like what they teach us. He sits down and goes on for a long time with a most interesting monologue on "real politics" in Poland, ie on how the HQ of the Communist party decides everything and sends orders down the chain of "democratic centralism", all the way to the lowliest head of a small party cell in the countryside.

Most interesting indeed, even if I won't be able to use this material in the exam tomorrow. But who cares? I learned more tonight about Poland's political system than in all of our classes put together.

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