It is argued that social vacuum and atomisation typical of the Polish People's Republic (PRL) have recurred as vacuum and atomisation of the new democratic society. The observed symptoms include lack of social trust in Poland, use of social capital to pursue particularistic goals at the cost of common interest, erosion of extended horizontal bonds, decline of working environment (and the lack of working environment in case of the unemployed), pathology of power among local self-government authorities, within party and corporate systems, corruption, political and economic clientelism. The authors have outlined a number of sources of social atomisation such as Poland's historical legacy, persistent social instability, pessimistic attitudes, individualistic egoism, trauma of transition, 'cultural vacuum', axiological and normative chaos.
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