What comes after Poland's martial law
If the official Polish claim, after just two weeks of martial law, is correct and open worker resistance is now limited to one coal mine in southern Poland, the military regime would seem close to victory.
But within victory lies another challenge that may prove even greater:
After emergency rule is lifted, what then?
Already it is clear that the ''renewal'' that Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski has pledged will survive martial law will be very different from what went before.
In a televised speech to the nation Christmas Eve, the Communist Party chief and military leader emphasized that ''renewal'' would emphasize ''socialist democratization.'' That means the Communist Party and not the independent union Solidarity will be central to the process.
In announcing martial law Dec. 13, General Jaruzelski said it would be lifted as soon as the country was calm. Solidarity, the main target of the crackdown, was not dissolved, he said, but only suspended.
Even as he spoke, resistance in the Baltic ports, where the union was formed last year, seemed to have been contained. By Christmas Day, only the colliers at the Piast mine in Silesia were said to be holding out.
But even the crumbling of Solidarity resistance and the yielding of this last stronghold of the miners will not solve Poland's economic and political problems.
Will the shock of martial law persuade Poles to return to work - and to work much more conscientiously than they have done in the past few years?
General Jaruzelski denounced as a lie Western reports of ''tens and hundreds'' of fatalities. But the seven victims at Katowice could be quite enough for Poles who, only 12 months earlier, finally stood before monuments to the many who died in 1956 and 1970.
Still more important, how much influence will General Jaruzelski and other moderates have on the whole scope of ''renewal''?
During the two weeks of martial law there have been many reports of old-guard hard-liners getting back into prominence in the party. Already there are hints of a thorough party ''cleansing'' and reorganization along orthodox lines.
A new tussle between moderates and hard-liners is on the way. Despite General Jaruzelski's reassuring words, it is far from certain that the moderates will or can come out on top.
Solidarity obviously will be very different. It is already clear that long-debated draft legislation on worker self-management will be rewritten to fall far short of the total workers' control demanded by union militants.
Any new law will confirm that managers and directors are wholly responsible for their enterprises. Workers' participation in their appointment will probably be limited to the kind of consultation and right of veto practiced in Hungary.
After their year in the shadows, the hard-liners will demand some stronger form of censorship - to block at least the freest outlets permitted only a few months ago.