Strong social opposition against the communist system in Poland in 1980 led to the establishment of the Commission for Economic Reform. Meanwhile, numerous projects of transformations prepared by several groups of economists, and referring to the conceptions launched in 1956-1958, proposed a systemic reform, severing all ties with the injunction-distributive system and preferring a model of self-governing and self-financing enterprises within a centrally steered system. Aware of their responsibility for the state, the economists and practicians insisted that the regime undertake decisive pro-reform steps. The outcome of the discussion and seven extensive reform blueprints was a project entitled The Trends of Economic Reform, accepted both by the Congress of the Party and the Sejm. The pro-reform economists, and in particular members of a team headed by L. Balcerowicz, which devised the most advanced project of transformations, made it clear to the communist authorities that no 'feigned' reforms would be accepted. The article presents a detailed comparison of transformation projects from the 1980-1981 period. The conducted analysis demonstrates that their authors as a rule supported the introduction of the principles of market socialism and a system of parliamentarian democracy within the framework of socialism (it was believed that such a transformation was plausible and necessary in order to abolish the impact exerted by the Party nomenclature on the economy). The reformers agreed to a further functioning of an economy dominated by state enterprises, but steered indirectly (the parametric system) by an economic centre. Central planning was to consist of delineating the strategic directions of the development of the country, while state enterprises were to become liable for their activity so as to retain profitability and programme their own development upon the basis of the financial means achieved by the workers.
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