Presidium, Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party
On the 1st of January 2012 a new constitution came into force in Hungary. In connection with it the Western press has published many materials saying that what is happening now in Hungary, “leads to impoverishment of people” and ”threatens democracy and tightens the government’s grip on the media and the judiciary despite criticism from Europe and the United States”.
On the 2nd of January a large demonstration took place at the Opera house in Budapest. The official organiser of the demonstration, the newly formed Solidarity movement, has a couple of dozen members. Its leader is the former president of the trade union of army and police servicemen, he himself is a former army officer trained among others in one of the US military institutes.
Behind the demonstration one can find the Hungarian Socialist Party and liberal forces and also the „civil” organisations, formed by them. In this demonstration did not take part any civil organisation which really struggle against poverty, to protect families, against eviction, etc., or for example traditional student organisations? Neither the movements of agricultural workers, nor trade-unions were present. Among the slogans of that demonstration you can find nothing about a new labour code, no protest against the IMF pressure and intervention. The reaction of western media to these events results from the same sources which earlier have supported the former social-liberal government and their austerity policy.
But what is really going on in Hungary?
1. In April 2010 the conservative Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union won the parliamentary elections and replaced the former government of socialist-liberal forces led by the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP).
The parliamentary parties consider the elections of 2010 as a turning point in Hungarian history. The Fidesz declares that it was the „beginning of a new revolution”. The socialists and its allies consider it as the „beginning of autocracy and dictatorship”.
2. The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party has the opinion that the real historic change took place not in 2010 but in 1989-1990 when socialism was destroyed in Hungary. It was a capitalist counterrevolution. The power of the working class was replaced by the power of capitalist forces. State owned industrial factories and banks, agricultural collective farms were privatized. Hungary joined the NATO in 1999 and entered the EU in 2004. The capitalist system based on private economy and bourgeois democracy was stabilized.
It was the change from socialism to capitalism that lead to the general impoverishment of the Hungarian people. Hungary has a population of 10 million. 1, 5 million Hungarians live under the poverty line which means that they live of an income less than 200 euros a month. Almost 4 million live of an income of 250 euros per month. The official number of unemployed is 0, 5, in reality there are about 1 million people without any chance to get a job.
The limitation of democracy began not in 2010 but in 1989-1990. Political forces fighting against capitalist system, first of all the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party do not have access to public media. Red star, hammer and sickle – ”as symbols of tyranny” – were banned in 1993. In 2007 the whole leadership of the HCWP was accused of “libel made in public”. Anti-communist campaigns have taken place regardless of which bourgeois party is at the power.
3. The Hungarian capitalist class has different parties to express their interests. On one hand it is the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union which expresses the interests of conservative, nationally minded part of the capitalist class. It is traditionally orientated on Germany.
On the other hand there are the Hungarian Socialist Party and the Party „Politics Can Be Different” which represent the liberal and social democratic part of capitalist class. They are closer to the United States and Israel.
The fight between the two parts of Hungarian capitalist class has deep historical roots. Before 1989 there were two main streams of the anti-socialist oppositional movement, the nationally minded conservative line and the liberal tendency. In 1990 the first capitalist government was formed by the conservatives. At the same time the liberals agreed about a long-term cooperation with the Hungarian Socialist Party, a rightwing social democratic party. Many of the leaders of this party are coming from the former socialist period but they fully changed their position and many of them became rich capitalists.
After destroying the socialist system the capitalist forces created a new political structure which existed untill 2010. It was based on the following principles:
– The nationally minded conservative forces and the liberals together with the socialists will rotate in the power.
– None of them can have absolute power.
– They prevent any anti-capitalist forces from entering the parliament.
– All of them will respect obligations in connection with NATO and EU and there will be no discussions on foreign political issues.
All the parliamentary elections between 1990 and 2006 demonstrated a clear equilibrium between the two groups of parties. The situation changed dramatically after 2006. It became clear that the Hungarian capitalism is in deep crisis. It had three main reasons. First, the Hungarian economy fully depends on foreign capital. Second, the Hungarian people are poor, they have exhausted their reserves. Third, corruption became a serious problem, paralyzing the normal functioning of state.
By 2010 the capitalist forces realised that the socialist-liberal forces cannot guarantee the internal stability of capitalism, are not able to prevent social explosions. That’s why they decided to change the socialist-liberal coalition and to open the way before the Fidesz.
The main task of the conservative Fidesz, and its government headed by Viktor Orban was to prevent any developments similar to the events in Greece. The Fidesz won the elections with social slogans (full employment, social security etc.). The majority of the people were deeply unsatisfied with the socialist-liberal government. The Fidesz could easily manipulate them and to get a two-third majority in the new parliament.
4. The conservative government has been realising changes in different directions:
They strengthened their own class-basis. The Fidesz put its people on all positions in the political life, media, and culture. They declared their idea to create a new middle-class.
They satisfied the nationalist forces in Hungary by introducing double-citizenship for people of Hungarian nationality living abroad, introducing new memorial events connected with the Trianon peace-treaty of 1920.
They took a clear turn to conservative and nationalist tradition in politics, culture, and education.
They decided to prevent a social explosion by different means. First, they introduced a new Labour Code which gives very wide rights to the capitalist owners and turns workers practically into slaves. Second, they divided the working masses by giving serious money to railway-workers and raising the minimal salary. Third, they concluded an agreement with the leading confederations of trade unions. They could save their privileges and at the same time gave up real class-struggle.
The new government launched a general anti-communist campaign. In 2010 the Penal Code was changed. They declared that communism and fascism are the same and those who reject the „crimes of communism and fascism” can be sentenced up to 3 years of imprisonment. (Until now there have not been any legal sentences.)
In the last days of 2011 a new law was accepted regulating the process of transition to the new constitution. Among other it declares that the period of socialism (1948-1990) was illegitimate, full of crimes. Leading personalities of the socialist period can be accused and sentenced. Their pensions can be reduced. The law contains a general statement: the contemporary Hungarian Socialist Party as legal successor of the ruling party of the socialist period has responsibility for all what had happened at that time. It is not clear yet what consequences it can lead to.
5. The socialist-liberal forces have launched recently serious counterattack against the government.
The Socialist Party took over many social slogans and demands of the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party. They began to use red colour which the traditional colour of communists.
The socialists and the liberals began to create new civil organizations and movements. In October 2011 the Solidarity movement was created with clear pro-socialist orientation.
They introduced a new demand: down with the Orban-government! Their program is to create a new socialist-liberal government.
6. The United States of America has openly interfered into the internal affairs of Hungary. The US ambassador in Budapest criticises openly the official government and supports the position of the socialist-liberal forces. Secretary of State Clinton made the same in her letter on 23 December 2011. The letter was published by the liberal press.
7. The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party considers:
Hungarian capitalism is in crisis. The general crisis of capitalism in Europe makes the Hungarian situation even worse and unpredictable.
The Hungarian capitalist class understands that if the euro system or the EU itself collapses, it will lead to social explosions even more dramatic than in Greece. They understand that people are unsatisfied and many of them consider that socialism was better that the actual capitalism.
Both the conservative and the socialist-liberal groups of capitalist class want to prevent any social explosion. They are different not in their main efforts but in the methods they want to use.
What is now going on in Hungary, it is on one hand a common fight of the capitalist class against the working masses, on the other hand, a struggle between two groups of the capitalist class. Even more it is a struggle between the leading capitalist powers, the US and Germany for European dominancy.
The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party does not support any of the Bourgeois parties. We declare that the main problems of working people are unemployment, low salaries, high prices, exploitation, and uncertain future. These problems are the consequences of capitalism. The capitalist governments cannot and do not want to solve them.
The only solution of the problems of working people is consequent struggle against capitalism and fight for socialist perspective.
The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party does not support the mass-demonstrations of the socialist and liberal forces. Their aim is not to change capitalism. Their aim is to change the conservative capitalist government with a socialist-liberal capitalist government.
The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party does not support the Fidesz either. Their aim is not to create socialist society but to reform and strengthen capitalism.
The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party considers its obligation to explain people that there is only one way to solve their problem. We should fight against capitalism.
We want to be present everywhere there are working people. We want to help them in small things in order to get their confidence in great things.
We will unveil all efforts of revisionist and opportunist forces which want to manipulate working people and to win them for the social democracy.
There is not any revolutionary situation in Hungary. But things can turn worse in Europe and in Hungary. That’s why we prepare the party, our members and units for more radical class struggle which can happen at any time.
We are convinced that it corresponds to our common position agreed on the 13th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties.
*note: This document, and many others, are available here on the English version of the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party website.