This article aims to present the discursive processes that were
used to justify the path chosen to implement the social
and economic transformation to capitalism in Poland.
Special attention is paid to the role of elites in shaping
a public discourse which legitimized the signiicant pauperization
in society and growth of income inequalities as being
conditioned on individual defects and the “civilizational
incompetence” of those at the bottom of the social structure.
hese citizens of Poland were presented as a constraint
and obstacle to achieving a faster pace of modernization
processes. his has inluenced the thinking of politicians
involved in policy-making at the national level, as well
as the attitudes of those involved in the implementation
of welfare measures at the local level. Furthermore, it has
contributed to the unspoken consensus of all mainstream
political parties over the neoliberal reforms in the economy
and social policy.