Conversations with a Polish populist – globalisation, class, “transition” somewhat closer to the skin

The author of the study has examined the history of a group of workers, working in a home appliances manufacturing and other companies in Wroclaw between 1997 and 2007, and who were related to trade union Solidarity. He tries to answer the important question how the attitude of skilled and semi-skilled workers in East and Central Europe, maybe the most significant social segment in the society, developed to reject more and more bitterly the liberal elites that were their allies in the 1980s, while – lacking a credible left wing in politics – they became more and more open to neo-nationalist ideologies and parties propagating them. In the frame of a deep interview made with a worker-activist the author also tries to present what were the "self-defence" strategies applied by the workers in the storms of re-structuring and privatisation and how these strategies failed.