The future development of the Hungarian capitalism depends on the development of the international capitalism and the processes going on in the different social groups of Hungary.
1. The international capitalist forces do not want to lose Hungary. Hungary was one of the first countries changing socialism to capitalism, and it served as a demonstration of the correctness of US and German policy of peaceful counterrevolutions. This is one reason. The second is that the international capital has invested large amount of money into Hungary. Now the debts of Hungary are equal with 97% of the Hungarian GDP. The international capitalist forces would like to get back their money. That is why they are ready to help. In 2009 Hungary received 20 billion euro as standby-credit.
The IMF and the international capitalist forces want a more or less stabile political situation in Hungary, the oppression of all possible anticapitalist movements but with “EU-conform means”. The Obama-administration seems to understand better than the EU-countries that the collapse of Hungarian capitalism can lead to series of collapses in the region. They could not convince their EU-partners yet to invest much more money into consolidating Hungarian capitalism.
For the US it is quiet indifferent which group of the capitalist class rules Hungary politically. They demand from any Hungarian government absolute fidelity to US and NATO, participation in NATO military missions. In the internal policy the US administration expect a consequent and demonstrative fight against anti-Semitism, communist forces.
The leading EU-countries do not express special worry about the situation of Hungarian capitalism. According to their experience they are convinced that in a Hungary which is member of the EU and the NATO there cannot be social revolutions, not even social upraises of great measure. The different political groups of the EU express their sympathy to different political parties in Hungary. It seems that now both Germany and France are not satisfied with the performance of the Hungarian Socialist Party and would not oppose a change of government.
2. The Hungarian capitalist class consists of different groups. The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) represent the big capital closely connected with the multinational capital. They are traditionally oriented economically and politically on the US, Israel.
The coalition of the socialists and liberals has been an optimal solution for international capitalist forces for a long time. Hungary takes active part in all US and NATO inspired military actions from Kosovo to Afghanistan. The majority of the Hungarian economy was privatized, first of all sold to foreign capital, during the governments of these parties between 1994-1998 and since 2002. The government headed by the Hungarian Socialist Party has been able to split the trade unions fighting against the government and to guarantee “social peace”. The socialists were able to subordinate to the MSZP all left political and civil organisations with the exception of the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party. The coalition of the socialists and the liberals have declared fight against anti-Semitism and guaranteed excellent possibilities of development for those who belong to the Jewish community in Hungary. According to statistics of different Jewish organisation today between 50,000 and 200,000 Jews live in Hungary. The inter-marriage rates for Jews are around 60%.
The MSZP-SZDSZ government make great efforts among others to change the constitution and to declare that „Holocaust denial and public incitement of racial hatred” is considered to be criminal offence. The government, which asserts that Hungary is the place in Europe where some of the worst neo-Nazi incidents took place in recent months, planned the reform in response to public outrage at recent provocations.
In spite of all these developments the international capitalist forces are not satisfied with the actual performance of the socialist-liberal coalition. The neoliberal economic policy led to a serious worsening of the people’s standard of living. Millions are unsatisfied and begin to express their antigovernment and even anticapitalist attitude in different forms. The worsening of life conditions has strengthened two tendencies in Hungary, anti-Semitism and anti-Gypsy actions.
The Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union (Fidesz) represents much more the small and middle capitalists, although does not deny the big capital. It is more oriented on Germany and the EU generally. The Fidesz which had been originally a liberal party now is a party which tries to unify all conservative, nationalist forces. They cooperate closely with the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP).
The Fidesz during its ruling in 1998-2002 basically fulfilled the expectations of international capital. Hungary took active part in the war against Yugoslavia and the „process of democratisation” of Eastern Europe. The policy of the Fidesz government supporting the desires of Hungarian minorities in Romania, Slovakia and other countries for national autonomy led to criticism from the part of some EU-countries. The US political circles criticised the Fidesz because according to their estimation their government did not fight enough against anti-Semitism. The Fidesz while supporting the multinational capital realised a lot of measures in order to support the Hungarian capital, first of all middle capitalists.
Since 2002 the Fidesz demonstrated that it is the largest oppositional party and able to influence the political processes in Hungary. It was the organisator of large antigovernmental demonstrations in 2005-2006, initiated a referendum on basic issues of educational and health policy of the MSZP-SZDSZ government. The congress of the Fidesz declared that it is necessary to create a “new majority” including not only the traditional allies of the Fidesz but other political forces, trade unions, civil organisations, too.
At the same time the Fidesz demonstrated that they do not want to exceed the frameworks of parliamentary democracy or violate the general rules of political behaviour in the EU. The Fidesz did not support the large demonstrations of trade unions in 2007-2009 although it meant great possibilities. The idea of a new majority has not been realised and the Fidesz has not opened demonstratively towards other political parties.
The two groups of the capitalist class of Hungary represented by the basic political parties have common and different interests. All of them are interested in maintaining the capitalist system. They do not to change the existing political system. That is why the 5% limit for entering the parliament will be not changed. All groups of the capitalist class fight for better position in privatisation, in getting EU-moneys and great state investments. At the same time all of them know that their internal fight cannot threaten the common interest of capitalist class. The HSP would like to save the power, and the Fidesz would like to get it. Both of them understand that the EU allows using only parliamentary methods.
The MSZP uses different methods to save the power. First, they are interested in the activity of the Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik). The Jobbik is the storm troop of the capitalist class. They play a similar role like the MIÉP played earlier. The Jobbik fulfils different functions. Using national feelings, radical anticapitalist slogans they can manipulate the people. They are able to get votes from the Fidesz. At the same time they use other „weapons” which are not used by other capitalist forces. These are anticapitalism, anti-Semitism and anti-Gypsy slogans. They can take away votes also from the communist forces. The Jobbik registered the Magyar Gárda, the extremist paramilitary Hungarian Guard movement in June 2007 as a "cultural organization" to "prepare youth spiritually and physically for extraordinary situations when it might be necessary to mobilize the people." According to the recent report of the Progressive Institute, today in Hungary there is a greater openness towards extremist movements because of poverty and job losses resulting from the current economic crisis.
Second, the socialist try to get all left votes. They could not subordinate the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party to the MSZP but they were able to create in 2006 „the Hungarian Workers’ Party of 2006” which is a revisionist party, in words criticising capitalism but supporting the socialist-liberal government.
Third, they helped the birth of new organisations, like the party called „There can be another policy”, which together with the Humanist Party can create an alternative to the liberals.
3. Under these circumstances there are two basic ways the Hungarian society can go on: the way of capitalism and the way of socialist revolution.
From the point of view of capitalist alternative of a desisive importance is the fact that
the field of action of Hungarian capitalism is principally determined by enormouse influence of multinational capital in the Hungarian economy, by political, military and ideological dependence of Hungary from USA, NATO and EU.
Within the capitalist development – we emphasize, inside the capitalism and not as alternative to it - different courses are possible. One of it is a further subordinating of Hungary to the IMF, EU and other capitalist centres.
The Hungarian governments will serve the interests of multinational capital by liberalising fully all areas of the Hungarian market, liquidating the rests of the Hungarian enterprises, suppressing all forms of protest of the working classes. It is the way of giving up fully the national sovereignty of Hungary, the way of limitation and oppressing the democratic rights.
This policy will continue if the socialists remain at the power. They declare about it clearly and demonstrate it in the actual policy.
We have no illusions and we can not have any: this policy can be revived in some form even if the Fidesz comes to power. The Fidesz is also the party of big capital just as the MSZP, the only difference between them is that in the social base of the Fidesz are much more representatives of small and middle bourgeoisie.
The Hungarian communists should not and will not support this way. The communists should know that the neoliberal, pro-IMF way will worsen the conditions of the people, and can lead to a further radicalisation of the masses. The communists should prepare for this situation. We should fight against such development which would lead to a radical right turn in policy. There is not a real danger that fascist or even radical right forces would come to power. The actual extremist right forces are not strong enough and such a development would lead to an immediate intervention of the EU, as we could see in Austria some years ago.
But there is a real threat that the capitalist forces would use the crisis in Hungary and the strengthening of extremist right forces for establishing a “democratic dictatorship” in order to “save democracy”.
Within capitalist way of development we can also imagine such a course, which provide more opportunities for national capital, for Hungarian small and middle enterprises. Neither can we rule out the possibility, that in order to avoid mass resentment and outbreak of large-scale social conflicts capital will make some concessions to masses, will try to mitigate social and economic problems of people. In foreign policy also can happen that Hungary will pursue more balanced course while keeping main commitment to EU and NATO. For example will develop more close relations with Arab and Latin-American countries. We can observe the development of similar alternative within the capitalist system in a number of Latin-American countries.
This way is possible under the circumstances of capitalism. The actual government and the Hungarian Socialist Party are against it. The main oppositional party, Fidesz representing the interest of the Hungarian middle capitalists expresses its readiness to limit the multinational capital, to support the Hungarian enterprisers, to limit the incomes of the big capital and to give more to the wide masses. It is a question whether the Fidesz - coming to the power – will really do it or will look for a compromise with the international capital.
This way does not fulfil fully the interests of the working class and means only provisional improvements. But this way means some improvements for the working masses. It allows the HCWP to cooperate with small and middle bourgeoisie on the basis of common fight against multinational capital, supermarkets, foreign exploitation.
This course is successful if we are able to turn people resentment into organised force and thus to force capitalist governments to restrict the capital. The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party takes part in trade-unions fight, in the movement of “home defenders” (against evictions), in the civil actions in order to increase the influence of communists and to institute the forces of mass resentment.
Lenin wrote in the Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution: „The proletariat must carry to completion the democratic revolution, by allying to itself the mass of the peasantry in order to crush by force the resistance of the autocracy and to paralyse the instability of the bourgeoisie. The proletariat must accomplish the socialist revolution, by allying to itself the mass of the semi-proletarian elements of the population in order to crush by force the resistance of the bourgeoisie and to paralyse the instability of the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie.”
Another way is the way of socialist revolution. It is clear that the basic problems of the working class can be solved only on the way of the socialist revolution by overcoming capitalism. The Hungarian communists have always been on this position but since the capitalist counterrevolution in 1989-1990 we did not speak about the possibility of the socialist revolution. Now we should do it!
“The current crisis is an expression of a deeper crisis intrinsic to the capitalist system which demonstrates the capitalism’s historical limits and the need for its revolutionary overthrow.” – We can read in the common declaration communist and workers’ parties in Sao Paolo. Our parties have also declared: “Emphasizing that the neo-liberalism’s bankruptcy represents not only the failure of a policy of management of capitalism but the failure of capitalism itself, and confident of the superiority of the communist ideals and project, we affirm that the answer to the emancipatory aspirations of workers and peoples can only be found in the rupture with the power of big capital, with the imperialist blocs and alliances, and through deep transformations of a liberating and anti-monopolist character… Certain of the possibility of another world, a world that is free from class exploitation and the oppression of capital; we declare our commitment to continue the historical path to building a new society free from class exploitation and oppression that is Socialism.”
The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party will go on the way of socialist revolution. Now we consider our basic and most important task to demonstrate to the Hungarian people that capitalism is not the only way of living. We should demonstrate that capitalist will never give to us better life, never will give us any place in the parliaments. We should get them by consequent and serious fight. But this way is a realistic way and we can create a new world, socialism.
Naturally, we remember the words of Lenin: “Every revolution means a sharp turn in the lives of a vast number of people. Unless the time is ripe for such a turn, no real revolution can take place.” Now we cannot speak about a revolutionary situation in Hungary. But we can speak about the possibility that the general developments of the crisis of international capitalism and their consequences in Hungary can lead to the birth of revolutionary situation.
We consider our main task to prepare the communist party for such a situation. The historical experiments show the real revolutionary situations remain unused if the subjective circumstances do not exist at due time.
We strengthen our Marxist-Leninist education. The members and activists of the party should understand the current situation and the real meaning of the revolutionary way.
We study the historical experience of socialist revolutions in Hungary with the aim to use those experiences which can be applied today.
We study the experience of the communist parties of Greece, Portugal, Brazil, Venezuela and other countries how to organise and stir to greater activity the masses.
The party organises its leading bodies on a new basis. We are creating „local revolutionary centres” with necessary mobile informational equipments.
We create mobile „combat groups” which can participate in different demonstrations, street-actions, and solidarity-events.
We build up a new youth organisation with young people deeply devoted to idea of revolution.
We began to go directly to the factories to meet the workers. The experiences are very positive.
We are opened to all anticapitalist, antimonopoly initiatives and participate in all social actions which fight against supermarkets, against neoliberal housing policy, against ejections of those who cannot pay for gas and electricity.
We create a more effective system of alternative media, using the weekly paper Szabadsag, internet and other means. We build up a wide system of homepages of local organisations, using You Tube technology, and other modern internet-technologies.
We fight for a more effective cooperation of communist forces on the international area. The HCWP has left the European Left Party because we do not agree with the revisionist and opportunist policy of the EP. We are convinced that we need not a “new European political culture” but a very consequent fight against capitalism, for rights of the working masses. We should not only criticize capitalism but we should organise the everyday fight of the workers. We want to liquidate capitalism; the European Left wants to make it better. We are standing on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, theory and practice of the fight of the classes, the principles of proletarian internationalism. The European Left unfortunately is standing on the basis of reformism. The European Left fights against capitalism only in phrases, but in the practice it helps to strengthen the “democratic” image of the European Union, the European Parliament, and the capitalist system generally.
Lenin said: “It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more or less mysterious laws. But when it comes it moves irresistibly.” We should be prepared for it.
* Gyula THÜRMER is president of the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party)