The party was founded in 1992 due to the fragmentation of the Labour union of Farmers “Self-defense”. The party is evidently a populist party with anarchical and agrarian influences. The most important person in the party was its chairman, Andrej Leper. Leper's party role was very strong: he could decide on the exclusion of any member of the party and he was the most important person when it came to policy-making. SRP's aversion to that free market and the liberal economy is because the party views these as being antithetical to traditional values and especially harmful for rural areas. Those activities whose goals are centred on accumulation of profits and predatory competition, commercializing and perverted consuming are defined by the party as “evil activities”. SRP opposes globalization, especially the influence of private capital and private banks. Most of the party's voters were located in rural areas that were strongly impacted by the post-communist transformation. The highest level of disillusion in these areas was reached around the year 2000. Not unexpectedly, therefore, the general dissatisfaction of voters resulted in the best election result (10.3%) for the party.
Election manifesto 2005
The manifesto mostly reacts to Poland's early membership of the EU. The manifesto fulfils the populist precondition. The most important policy dimension is the focus on defending the national interest, national culture and national identity. The national emphasis follows on from the anti-liberal emphasis and opposition to globalization. This opposition is not principally caused by regional or agricultural issues but in the defence of the national identity. The party's strong anti-globalization agenda is directed to Washington as the “birthplace of globalization”. The key international organizations do not consider the national sovereignty of their member states and that is also harmful for Poland. International capital flows harm the Polish people too. All citizens who want to rescue Poland must vote for Self-defense, as the introductory motto of the manifesto has it, and this clearly corresponds to the national policy of the party. The party is against any further promotion of neoliberal theory in the economy. International capital flows degrade Poland, just as the colony of transnational companies does too, and Poland is not able to defend its national interests. Poland should be shown greater respect from western countries. Self-defense supports a stronger national economy and national ownership of Polish companies, and at the international level Poland should protect its economic interests. The focus on developing a universal goodness party is one of its basic left policy ideas. Its European policy is not in principle negative. SRP demonstrates a positive attitude to European integration and also to possible entry into monetary union. But the principle motivation is to ensure Polish national interests. The Euro must be gains bringing, otherwise the party will not change its rather negative position.
Election manifesto 2007
The early election in 2007 did not bring about any significant change in Self-defense's policy agenda. The party maintained its anti-globalization positions, together with the emphasis on national interest and identity. Although the discussion about the Lisbon Treaty arose, the election manifesto does not reflect this qualitative change at all. SRP primarily bases its manifesto on domestic policy issues and the internal erosion of the society. The most important issues are the promotion of national identity, national culture, the strengthening of national sovereignty and the rejection of the contemporary economic system. Self-defense argues that the neoliberal economic system misuses Polish resources and does not bring any positive gains for Poland. Its support for the EU is more in a practical and technical way. Although Self-defense promotes an ambivalent attitude towards the EU, there are some issues where the party supports the EU line. Although the party rejects European integration, in principle the party is not against integration. SRP supports the integration of sovereign states but not the creation of a deeper, supranational institution. An interesting point is the requirement to renegotiate the entry conditions of Poland into the EU in order to strengthen national sovereignty and the national interest.