Cooperativism and Democracy

Selected Works of Polish Thinkers


The Cooperativism and Democracy, edited by Bartłomiej Błesznowski is not purely a scientific book, but rather a guide which shows how scholars and activists wrote about the community, social participation and the politics in Poland in the early 20th century. The book contains a selection of texts in socio-political thought, led by the work of one of most important Polish thinkers – Edward Abramowski, socialist, philosopher and psychologist. Polish cooperativism can be inspiring to both contemporary researchers and political activists in Europe post the economic crisis, which brought about a crisis of faith in political and economic institutions. These works have a chance to become a significant voice in the debate over the relationship of contemporary economics and politics.

Contributors are: Edward Abramowski, Fr. Stanisław Adamski, Bartłomiej Błesznowski, Zygmunt Chmielewski, Zofia Daszyńska-Golińska, Maria Dąbrowska, Jan Hempel, Jerzy Kurnatowski, Romuald Mielzarski, Remigiusz Okraska, Maria Orsetti, Adam Próchnik, Marian Rapacki, Franciszek Stefczyk, Edward Taylor, Stanisław Thugutt, Stanisław Wojciechowski, and Jan Wolski.

First published in Polish as Kooperatyzm, spółdzielczość, demokracja. Wybór pism by Wydawnictwo Uniwerstytetu Warszawskiego in 2014. The current work includes an additional chapter ‘Through Cooperatives to the Future Order’ by Zofia Daszyńska-Golińska.

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Biographical Note

Bartłomiej Błesznowski, Ph. D. (1983), University of Warsaw, Assistant Professor of Sociology, is one of the creators of the research project 'Traditions of Polish Cooperativism' and co-editor of Genealogy of Contemporaneity. A History of Ideas in Poland 1815–1939 (WUW, 2015).

Table of contents

Acknowledgements List of Illustrations About the Contributors 1 Utopia in the Service of Modernity: On the Sources of CooperativismBartłomiej Błesznowski 2 From Self-Help to the Vision of New System: An Outline of the Material and Ideological Development of the Cooperative Movement in Poland to the Year 1939Remigiusz Okraska

Part 1: Cooperativism and Democracy

3 The Social Ideas of CooperativismEdward Abramowski 4 Clasped Hands With of without the IdeaMaria Dąbrowska 5 Solidarism as a Doctrine of DemocracyJerzy Kurnatowski 6 On Uniting the MovementRomuald Mielczarski 7 Through Cooperatives to the Future OrderZofia Daszyńska-Golińska

Part 2: The Aims and Functions of Cooperativism

8 Woman, Whose Name is Millions (On the Responsibilities of Women in the Cooperative Movement)Maria Orsetti 9 The Social Aims of CooperativesStanisław Thugutt 10 A National Ideology of CooperativismStanisław Wojciechowski 11 An Economic Program for Consumer CooperativismMarian Rapacki 12 The Concept of Cooperativism Cooperativism as the Organization of Relatively Weak Economic ElementsEdward Taylor

Part 3: The Social Bases of Labor Cooperativism

13 Consumer Cooperatives and Trade UnionsJan Hempel 14 Work CooperativesJan Wolski

Part 4: Universal Cooperativism or Labor Cooperativism

15 The Universal or Class Nature of CooperativismMarian Rapacki 16 The Ideology of Labor CooperativismAdam Próchnik

Part 5: The Agricultural Cooperative Movement and the Stefczyk Savings and Loan Fund

17 The Past and Future of the Farmers’ Agricultural and Trade CooperativesFr. Stanisław Adamski 18 The Position of Cooperativism in AgricultureFranciszek Stefczyk 19 The Farming Cooperative and Its DevelopmentZygmunt Chmielewski

Part 6: Housing Cooperativism 20 The Importance of Cooperative HousingTeodor Toeplitz 21 “Glass Houses”: An Experiment in Cooperative LifeAdam Próchnik Bibliography Personal Index


All interested in the history of modern social movements in Central and Eastern Europe, especially academic researchers and social and political activists worked on idea of cooperation and mutual aid.


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