Tony Cliff

Useful Placidities

(Summer 1964)

From International Socialism (1st series), No.17, Summer 1964, pp.31-32.
Thanks to Ted Crawford & the late Will Fancy.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Poland, Bridge for the Abyss
Richard Hiscocks
OUP, 42s.

This deals with the development of Poland since the war. It concentrates largely on her position in the Soviet bloc, on the nature of the October changes, and the reaction against them. It is particularly useful for describing the retreat from October: the attack on ‘Revisionism,’ including the introduction of censorship (pp.265ff.), the raising of work norms accompanying the raising of the price of meat and other necessities (pp.288-9), and the castration of the Workers’ Councils that rose in October (pp.279-81). However the book suffers largely from a tendency to identify explanation with justification. The result is a placid, passive commentary on events.

Last updated on 10 April 2010