Militant Labor Organizations and Democratization in Communist Poland and Corporate Mexico. Two Studies in Worker History

Author: Comack, Martin
This study considers two contemporary movements of militant labor and their effect upon the democratization of their respective societies – Solidarnosc, the Polish Solidarity union, and the Frente Autentico de Trabajo, the Authentic Labor Front of Mexico. It provides illustrative examples of the leading role of workers organizations in the development and establishment of a democratic society.


“The present study…is an unusually sophisticated and nuanced examination of democratization processes in Communist Poland and the corporate Mexican state with the focal point being the contrasting role of trade unions in the two countries… Martin Comack deals with these issues with a quality of analysis, level of knowledge and ability to thread his way through the maze of competing forces of relevance that is most impressive.”
-Dr. William Crotty,
Emeritus Professor of Political Science,
Northeastern University

“This work is a unique and scholarly contribution to the genre of democracy, not least in contrasting and drawing conclusions from the experience of communist Poland and the corporate Mexican state, with the emphasis being upon the juxtaposition of the respective roles of trade unions in these two countries. Comack’s vibrant and stimulating study assesses two examples of militant unionism, one in a totalitarian culture and the other in a quasi-democratic setting… it is an important and comprehensive contribution to a debate as to contemporary events and their causes in bringing about democratic change.”
-Dr. Glen Reynolds,
University of Sunderland

Table of Contents

Foreword by William Crotty
1. Democracy, Democratization and Labor Movements
2. Poland: Nationalism and Democracy
3. Communism in Poland: The Saddle on the Cow
4. Polish labor and the Communist State
5. The Post-Stalin Era: Dissent and Conflict
6. The Worker- Intellectual Alliance: The Rise of Civil Society
7. Solidarity
8. The Military Coup: Solidarity Underground
9. The Triumph of Civil Society
10. Solidarity and Democracy
11. The Mexican Revolution and Mexican Labor
12. The Corporate State
13. Rebellion in the Ranks
14. The Authentic Labor Front
15. The Erosion of the Corporate State
16. The Resurgence of Civil Society
17. Solidarnosc and the Frente