The vocabulary and imagery of Polish politics since 1970 reflected the hopes and fears generated by rapid and intense socioeconomic and political change. The December 1970 workers' disorders which toppled Wladyslaw Gomulka from power brought forth bright slogans and promises of "a new political style." 1 First Secretary Edward Glerek and his associates proclaimed "We are building a second Poland" and hailed the transition to "mature" or "developed socialism." By the mid-1970s, however, such optimism appeared unwarranted and seemed designed instead "to reassure both the elites and the masses about the maintenance and survival of a system faced with the unforeseen and unpredictable consequences of reaching the postindustrial stage." 2 The confrontations and convulsions of 1980-1981 again raised possibilities for reform and "renewal," but these objectives were subverted by the imposition of martial law recently announced by General Wojciech Jaruzelski on December 13, 1981. Jaruzelski's claim that Poland had moved to "the edge of the abyss" provided a stark contrast to the connotations of the developed socialism doctrine that dominated political discourse during the 1970s. 3