This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book demonstrates that the very ideology of equality, which stands at the core of socialist rhetoric, has been undercut by the state itself in building its own apparatus of power. It deals with a discussion of the evolution of the Polish political party system. Yet the constraints, international as well as national, preclude very clearly any basic departure from the commanding position occupied by the Polish Communist party—the Polish United Workers' party. The preoccupation of people within system with the legitimacy of the state is the most difficult component for those outside Poland to accept when contrasted with the fact that for vast components of Polish society, if not the majority, the state is conceived to be illegitimate. Agriculture, however, is only one area of the social changes characterizing postwar Poland.