A document that purports to be the platform for Communist hard-liners acknowledges deep splits in the party and makes a strong appeal to renounce the policy of dialogue and agreement that authorities had pursued with the independent trade union movement Solidarity.
Blaming Poland's crisis on deviations from socialism and increased contacts with the West under the party's previous leadership, the paper calls for purges of "revisionist forces" in the party--including several top members--and urges the party to toughen its position before relaxing martial law.
Among those singled out for criticism are former party leader Stanislaw Kania, who initiated negotiations with Solidarity, and current Deputy Prime Minister Mieczyslaw Rakowski.
Failure to get tough now, the report says, will mean a return to the infighting and political and economic erosion that plagued Poland during the party's struggle with Solidarity.
The six-page document, apparently printed professionally on high quality white paper, is titled "The Stand of the Left Wing of the Polish United Workers' Party on the Events of Dec. 13 and on Key Problems of the Party." It uses the term "left" in the Marxist-Leninist sense of not permitting deviations from a strict ideological line. The paper, unsigned and datelined "Warsaw, January 1982," has been circulating among top party members.
A ranking party hard-liner confirmed the authenticity of the report. He said it is being delivered to party hard-liners and others the group hopes can be won over to their side.
The paper, said this source, is important both for its timing and for its attempt to cover the full scope of the hard-liners' program, ideology and goals.
Some Western analysts have speculated that the document may be an attempt at disinformation--to paint the hard-liners as so inflexible that the stern actions taken by Polish leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski look moderate in contrast.
But senior party and government sources continue to suggest in conversations that identifiable factions in the party remain at odds over how to deal with such key questions as the future of the now-suspended Solidarity union, the economy and the party's own program.
The hard-liners claim to have gained some strength in recent months but they are still far outnumbered in the party by groups that favor or have favored in the past greater flexibility in dealing with Solidarity or with the sentiments represented by Solidarity. In general, the party's opposing wings are said by Communist sources to be wary of each other and uncertain of their respective strengths.
This may help explain why the Central Committee, the party's top policy-making body, has not held a meeting since martial law was declared Dec. 13. There have been reports that preparations are being made for such a meeting.
Both hard-line and moderate groups seem to agree that the Polish party drifted off its correct Marxist-Leninist course in the 1970s under former party chief Edward Gierek. A disastrous economic policy, based on mounting Western credits for misplanned projects, left Poland's privileged more privileged and its poor poorer, according to the generally accepted assessment of that period.
Sharp differences among party members emerge, however, in assessing what went wrong after the rise of Solidarity in August 1980.
While the moderates argue that Solidarity did itself in by becoming a political instrument of extremist forces, the hard-liners say party leaders who agreed to negotiate and grant concessions to the union must share the blame.
The "line of agreement" pushed by party moderates last year is described by the hard-liners as "a suicidal policy of concessions to open counterrevolution" which saw the authorities "surrendering one position after another, disintegrating the party, destroying its will and capacity to fight."
Besides internal forces, "Poland's broad opening to the West" is also cited by the hard-liners as endangering the country's true interests.
"That is the reason why the foiling of counterrevolution in Poland met with such brutal reaction of American imperialists whose plans had been dashed," says the hard-liners' report.
Ex-party chief Gierek, and a number of those who ruled with him, have already been called to account for the errors of the 1970s. They were interned in December at the same time Solidarity's leaders were taken to detention camps.
But the hard-liners argue that Kania, who replaced Gierek as party leader in September 1980 and negotiated with Solidarity during its first year, in addition to the main architects of Kania's policies--Rakowski and two Politburo members, Kazimierz Barcikowski and Hieronim Kubiak--ought to be similarly punished for continuing Gierek's policies.
One test in coming weeks of the strength of the hard-liners will be their ability to dislodge Barcikowski and Kubiak.
The introduction of martial law is described as a "dramatic necessity which had no alternative in the defense of socialism." It was the final consequence of a policy of "compromises and concessions," the hard-liners' paper says.
Gen. Jaruzelski, who replaced Kania as party leader last October, is praised for eventually cracking down. There are also kind words for the Army.
But the paper warns that Poland is not yet free of harmful elements. "Forces hostile to socialism in Poland are still dangerous," the paper says. "After overcoming the shock and temporary surprise they will undertake open or covert struggle against the authorities for power, especially after martial law is lifted."
For this reason, the hard-liners advise against too rapid a phasing out of martial law or too hasty a release of internees. At the same time, they voice concern that the Army's dominance under martial law is inhibiting new development of the party.
"This passive role of the party in social-political life during martial law," says the document, "makes it impossible for the party to regain its credibility, trust and authority."
The paper expresses a disappointment that since the imposition of martial law, "literally nothing has been done to improve the internal situation in the party."
Drawing on the language of Marxist theoretical argument, it continues: "The introduction of martial law saw the Polish United Workers' Party unprepared for effective activity and torn by deep division into the left wing, the revisionist and opportunist right wing, and a passive center. Under the joint name of the PUWP there exist diametrically different irreconcilable political trends. So it is not the same party nor the same ideology for all its members."
The hard-liners claim to have reinforced their faction last year by organizing into territorial cells called Rzeczywisosc Clubs. The clubs rally around a weekly paper of the same name, the start of which has been attributed to Politburo member Stefan Olszowski.
But the hard-liners' report also acknowledges that the forces and influence of the party's "right wing" are still considerable.
No mention is made in the document of the future size of the party, which has lost half a million members in recent months, according to official figures. Some hard-liners are known to want to shrink the party even further, from its reported current membership of 2.6 million down perhaps to 1 million hard-core cadres.
But it is more likely that the membership will total closer to its old 3 million mark once a process of purges and new recruiting runs its course.
"If the period of martial law turns out to be a period of lost chances for the party," the hard-liners warn, "the party will emerge from it seriously weakened, incapable of fulfilling its historic role . . . .
"In consequence," the paper concludes, "that would mean not only new implications for Poland but also for the whole international workers' movement."