Rule by the people is a basic pre-condition of the popular democracy. It is, de facto, the legitimatisation of state socialism prevailing in contemporary Poland. However, its ideological impact and its practical application do not necessarily coincide. Performance of the rule by the people has been restrained by the party's claim to limitless and unconditional leadership, over-growth of bureaucracy and state dominance of economy. Corrections of the system finally proved insufficient and the need for basic reforms incontes table.