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Hungarian Revolution
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You are currently reading a thread in /his/ - History & Humanities

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Was the 1956 uprising anti-Communist or pro-Communist?

I've heard people make both arguments. It seems like the people wished to institute non-authoritarian socialism free of Russian meddling, but a lot of capitalists insist the revolution was against the very idea of Marxism.

What was it?
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>>527866

armed workers took over factories and kicked out the 'management'

go figure
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>>527888
Interesting.

So there was no effort to "side with America"?
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>>527866

>hunt down and kill communists in the street
>boo a politician when he refers to them as comrades instead of citizens
>rip down statues of communists and communist symbols physically cut out of flags
>bitterly fight the red army when they invade to put a communist puppet back in power
>it was pro-communist
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>>527924

They were begging for help from America but Eisenhower wasnt interested.
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>>527866
Pro-communist

It literally established worker councils in the style that the Soviets were originally supposed to be. It was anti-Soviet, and hardly the first movement against pseudo-imperialist Soviet control. There's a reason this became the event that created the designation of "tankies" to describe Soviet-supporting "communists."
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>>527924

well... side... ill tell you how my mom described it to me fro a ex-yu standpoint

>listened to them on the radio, they were calling for help, calling for anyone who can hear, saing please help us, we need medicine, we need weapons, help us, they are killing us all - this went on for a few days then the broadcasts stoped

there was no attempt to 'side' one way or another, the needed help from anybody, nato, nonaligned, whatever, they got some help from yugoslavia, so soviets put the red army on the yugoslav border on drava and danube and even shelled the interior, they got a little help from the czech/poles but that didnt finish well either, europe had no fucking idea what to do, and america couldnt even do anything about it because MAD
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>>527935
Killing soviets, destroying soviet symbols, and fighting soviet politicians is a legit step towards communism though.
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>>527969

this
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>>527935
but they themselves instilled communists as leaders

also >>527949
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>>527969
how the fuck is it pro-communist to oppose the most powerful communist state?
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>>527978

When the entire political field is filled with nothing but communists, its hardly surprising they put a communist in power.
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>>527969

>the way towards communism is to kill communists and smash their symbols

Oh wait, this is one of those "My specific brand of communism has never been tried" things isnt it?
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>>527992
Because most non-Soviet intellectuals even at that time recognized that the Soviets fell far off the path of actual Communism, and instead used it as an excuse to exert imperialist control over their neighbors for exploitation purposes. Communism is the ideology whose designed goal is to combat exploitation like that: nothing about what the Soviets were doing in that regard had to do with communism.
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>>527997
If by "specific brand of communism" you mean the definition you can find by googling for two seconds or actually reading, yes.
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>>527994
If "they" were Capitalists, surely they would have instituted one of their own
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>>527997
The Hungarian Revolutionaries believed that the Soviets were basically fascists

By being authoritarian, they thought that the Soviets were actually anti-Communist and worse than the Americans
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>>527992

well see, it happens in history, sometimes, these bizare things like, capitalists fighting capitalists, feudals fighting feudals, nationalists fighting nationalists, mercantile empires fighting mercantile empires etc... no shit tho these things happen all the time
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>>527997
It's not even classifiable as communism or even socialism if there is a basic failure to put and control of the means of production in the hands of the working class. It's not "muh specific brand," it's that it fails to meet the most basic definitions of what the ideology is, and uses the rhetoric and imagery to legitimize an authoritarian state not unlike the way many fascist movements appropriated that very same imagery.
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>>527992
The way I leaned it, the soviets fucked up the whole communism thing when Stalin decided to repeal NEP after Lenin's death. Most communists belived that capitalism was necessary as a transitional system to bring in true communism. From there on communism was just used as an excuse to subjugate post-war eastern Europe. The most powerful communist state was not really communist, it was more akin to a dictatorship.
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>>528028
>>528033
>>528044

>the soviets weren't communists.
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>>528061
Why don't you try using arguments to prove us wrong instead of greentexting?
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People were fed up with Stalinism, but they didn't want to get rid of Socialism alltogether.

Imre Nagy was a reform communist. He briefly became Prime Minister after Stalin's death. He softened the insane economic policies of the previous leadership, becoming very popular. After things started escalating with the West again in 1955, Nagy was removed from office. People were demanding his return up until and during the revolution.

Had the revolution actually succeded and the Soviets didn't intervene (a near impossible scenario, mind you), Hungary might have drifted further from the Soviet model, becoming more like Yugoslavia. But it still would have been a socialist country.
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>>528061
If they failed to meet even the most basic tenants of what the ideology is based on some fairly simple objective measures, then they simply aren't it regardless of what they claim to be to save face.
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>>528075
This. There's a weird doublethink about this.

Marxist-Leninism totally discredited socialism because of it's economic failure, and we can tell it was socialist because they had a red flag, and a communist party, and subscribed to marxist ideology.

But China's economic success doesn't counter this example, because even though they have a red flag, and a communist party, and subscribe to marxist ideology, they're 'not really' communists.
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>>527997
Not really

The kind of communism that the Hungarians advocated HAD been tried. In France in the 19th century, in Spain in the 1930s, and in Hungary itself just after WW1

The Soviets were very good at imposing THEIR specific brand of communism on the peoples they subjugated, even though it's not much like what Marx would have wanted
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>>528074
isn't stalinism the most common form of socialism?

how does it differ from the socialism in Venezuela, Cuba, or pre-Stalin USSR?

it all seem the same. state violence, no elections, no free speech, etc
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>>528067

but its just one of those questions isnt it

>was the spanish inquisition christian?
>how can they be called christian if they act like sadistic murderous fucks and break all the basic principles of the gospels?
>well, they sure as fuck werent muslim...
>oh well

one could easily argue that various groups within the french revolutionary movements and especialy later political and govermental organisations were antidemocratic, antieglitarian etc... i mean they still used slaves and considered women to be inferior and shot cannons on protesting workers and pesants etc... its always the same animal farm deal

but i actualy agree soviets werent 'realy communist', since the workers had control over fuck-all

you could say yugoslavian self-management forms were much closer to 'realy communist', but then there was always a clear and generaly acknowledged political control from upstairs

socialist chile came close to being 'realy communist' etc..

but see what i mean? how come there are never any arguments about weather some economy is 'realy capitalist' ?

tho i think i remember some threads like that back when all that 'realy free market' thing was popular when the crisis struck in 07/08, i remeber people arguing and calling each other retards and imbecils over the notion that USA is/isnt 'realy capitalist' and what 'realy capitalist' is or is supposed to be
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>>528087
There's also a doublethink given that those countries called themselves republics and democracies, and everyone accepts it was bullshit.
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>>528061
They called themselves Communists in the same way that North Korea calls themselves Democratic

Most people assume the USSR is the be-all, end-all of Communism for two reasons:

1. The US government opposed both the USSR geopolitically, and Communism ideologically, because the US is a very capitalist country.
2. The USSR tried to impose its violent brand of Communism on every socialist-leaning country, and opposed every country which tried less authoritarian communism or socialism
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>>528119
Communism is a somewhat vague term but has some very easily objectively verifiable characteristics. Countries that don't fit that criteria have no place being called communists. Just like we know soviets were objectively non democratic just by using the definition of the word. Terms with more subjective criteria or without any defined characteristics are a bad comparison.
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>>528167

yes but at the same time to say that marxism wasnt the ruling ideology in soviet union and that hence soviets were not in some sense communists would be ahistorical

definitely the average soviet citizen would disagree with the idea he lives in a non communist state

that would be like saying there was never any buddhism in bactria because that brand of buddhism dont make sense in wiev of pali kanon or wathever, its a bit streched

we might say soviets were a pseudo-communist state capitalism, that mght be a way
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With all the Soviet Communism discussion here, it seems to me that the Soviet Union did try and put workers in control of the means of production, just in a very indirect way of state ownership and single party "democracy". The deal with the Hungarians is that they were communists, but wanted it done differently and away from the Soviets. It was anti Soviet Communism, but pro communism.
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>>528291
And by "very indirect" you mean not in control at all i presume.
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>>528303
>elect officials
>have officials run production
>you now run production, via them, who you have on a leash
Now just fuck that system up in general, and you've got it
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>>528317
>workers having a say in soviet "elections"
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>>528337
Fucked up communism is still communism. Just not not fucked up communism.
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>>528119
>was the spanish inquisition christian?
Well, they believed in Christ as the son of God and believed in the dogmatic principles of the Catholic Church: they were just bad Christians who acted effectively as a puppet organization of the Spanish Monarchy. That being said, how one classifies individuals is different than how one classifies a larger society: the doublethink that an individual can hold doesn't really work at the societal level, as you can only truly measure the ideological stance of a society based on it's actual actions/policy. In the case of places like the Soviet Union, it was operated effectively as a state capitalist entity rather than a socialist one.

Capitalism ultimately operates as the current status quo, We don't really question whether something is or isn't capitalism because it represents a system (albeit with a diverse set of variants as to its management) that effectively encompasses everything that isn't socialist by most's understanding: the means of production owned by a minority of private interests, accumulation of capital, etc. Whether that be state controlled or free markets, it still represents an objective position when it comes to the ownership of the means of production, and most societies today firmly fall on the capitalist side of this dichotomy. Obviously I'm simplifying here, but the position of near ideological hegemony of capitalism means it doesn't NEED to justify or legitimize itself as being true to any set principles or goals.
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Hungarian here.

First you have to see that 1950-1953 in Hungary mirrored the worst years under Stalin in the USSR. Black cars arriving at night, brutal tortures by the state security, purges, show trials.

Forced collectivisations caused the countrys first famine in history, economic conditions in general was abysmal due to huge military buildup and need to pay reparations + upkeep costs of stationed soviet troops.

After Stalins death with Nagy becoming pm things started to soften and there was a slight democratization process and amensty.
But Rákosi and his circle remained powerful and by 1955 grabbed the power back. However they faced the issue of Nagys reforms - they just couldn't revert all things, Overall they faced an upset crowd witin a general eastern block climate that yearned for change.

By 1956 revolutino was in the air. During memorials huge crowds gathered in Budapest and all over the country - the reburial of top party member who was executed nominally for being spy - actually due to internal strif -e attracted 200 thousand people.

The very spark was a solidarity protest held for Polish workers in Poznan, which then quickly escalated. The events of October 23 would fill a book but basically state security started shooting people and things got out of control, state radio besieged, Stalin statue toppled over (my grandfather was there btw).

Disregarding the revolutions course now, so you ask what did they want. I don't think there was a single clear goal upheld by everyone, except to end the purges and oppression. There was simply no thinking time for the revolutionaires to work out the goal. Many wanted soviet troops to withdraw thats also sure. Nagy itself was of the reformist wing of the Party, my grandfather personally hated him too. Most would say Nagys goal was a Titoist like country, but after soviet troops attacked the country everyone just wanted to get out this shitbowl called eastern block and communism.

cont. -->
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>>528291

the problem isnt that it was 'indirect' so much as the 'megalomaniacal mass murdering monolith' thing that the soviet communist party was

i mean, lets say you have a library in a town, now the obvious thing is that everione can use and enjoy the books specificaly because they arent 'somebodies' but 'everibodies indirectly' and for that you need some institutions like the library itself

but if by entering the library on command you will be ordered what to lend and how to read it and how much you will love respect and obey the librarian and theres only three books in a thousand coppies each and two have been written by the librarian, and yove read them allready, and if it turns out you read too well or too fast your eyes get gauged out, and the last guy who missed the return date got killed along with his entire family after publicly confessing he is a corrupt pdf downloader, then something is seriously off
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>>528376
There probably would have been elections held after a succesful revolution.

But again it depends at which phase it ends. If somehow very early we may have ended up with a reformed communist country and still within the warsaw pact.

If by some miracle USSR at the end says. fuck it. we probably would go on Austrias way.
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Also it depends on demographics. a Factory worker probably wanted some proper communism like thing, peasents who got robbed of their land something more democratic, akin to the few years we had after WW2.
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>>527938
Actually nobody helped because of the Suez Crisis was happening at the same time.
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>>527866
>Was the 1956 uprising anti-Communist or pro-Communist?

These following parties which would have achieved dominance in 1957 were pro-communist (as in workers councils towards the abolition of value) list in order of electoral return:

Social Democratic Party ("Interior")
Student's Party / MEFESZ|DISZ / Petofi society (Lukacs' daughter)
Smallholders
Peasants
Communist Party (Nagy)

These post November 3 organisations were communist in the sense above:
Greater Budapest Central Workers Council leaderships 1-3
Lawyers council
Writers council
Journalists council
HDIM (Underground illegalist Nagy communist party, organised by Miklos Gimes).

It is worth remembering that the only organisation able to call off the resistance was the Workers Councils, who kept the strike going until the waves of arrests and executions grew too large and it was obvious that the Soviets had stabilised the situation.


The workers councils were organising faster than the parliamentary parties by the way, and had a greater legitimacy.
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>>527938
>They were begging for help from America but Eisenhower wasnt interested.
You mean the United Nations.

>>528074
>Had the revolution actually succeded and the Soviets didn't intervene (a near impossible scenario, mind you)
Leaving the warsaw pact was the tipping point in the Political Committee. Not even Mikoyan and Zhukov could fight the majority line on that point.

>Hungary might have drifted further from the Soviet model, becoming more like Yugoslavia.
It is really unlikely that the revolutionary social democratic party members, the "interior" party, are going to back down and let a nomenklatura rule.

>>528113
>isn't stalinism the most common form of socialism?
No.

>>528291
Marxist conceptions of ownership are about functional control, not abstract legalism.

>>528376
>The very spark was a solidarity protest held for Polish workers in Poznan, which then quickly escalated.
HAY Gyulia was running around organising workers councils out of the Journalists and Petofi society long before this. DISZ branches had already been captured by MEFESZ.

>Disregarding the revolutions course now, so you ask what did they want. I don't think there was a single clear goal upheld by everyone

NO IT COULDN'T BE THE WIDELY COPIED MEFESZ STUDENT'S POINTS.

fuck me.

>Most would say Nagys goal was a Titoist like country
Yes, but Losonscy<sp.> and Gimes and Hay and the Journalists and the Soc Dem factory councils who pulled Nagy by the nose from October 26 when he got free didn't. They wanted collectivisation of the means of production under workers control and the abolition of the value form.

>but after soviet troops attacked the country everyone just wanted to get out this shitbowl called eastern block and communism.

No, they fucking didn't. They wanted United Nations overseen neutralisation like Hungary with a maintained socialism, ala the student's points.
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>>528391
>There probably would have been elections held after a succesful revolution.
Depends entirely on the fight between the SDP "interior" and the SDP "exile," with the students and Nagy party probably supporting the workers councils.

>If somehow very early we may have ended up with a reformed communist country and still within the warsaw pact.
About the best you could have got was if Nagy mobilised the Honved and closed all the borders while encircling Soviet mobile units ala Poland. Pal Maleter was just too noble to do that.

>>530095
>Actually nobody helped because of the Suez Crisis was happening at the same time.
Actually nobody except the Soviet Union helped, and they helped the Kadar traitors.

Britain and France were unable to help regardless of Suez. They lacked the power. Even if they had it, they were unable to help because NEUTRAL AUSTRIA WAS IN THE FUCKING WAY.

The United States was disinclined to help due to Ike, and the CIA RFE/RA radio section went wildcat during the period.
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>>527997
The Soviet Union said it was communist. It must therefore be communist.North Korea call themselves the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. North Korea must therefore be democratic. I take it you're also promoting your own specific brand of democracy?
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>>527992
actually fairly communist, if you look at how the Soviet Union was organized and acted both domestically and internationally.

Are you saying Tito wasn't a communist?
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>>528113
Venuzuela had/ has elections you prong.
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>>530288
>Are you saying Tito wasn't a communist?
Quick check: did wages exist? Yes? Then no.
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>>530302
Parliamentary elections are a really good sign that proletarian democracy doesn't exist.
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It was anti-communism if you consider the USSR to be communist. There were definitely socialist ideas that were being promoted, but those were nationalistically motivated. Hungarian culture is very much at odds with Communism, it stands in contrasts to Catholicism, the culture of competitiveness, and desire for individual and national independence.

Most older Hungarians hate communists, which is why the right wing has such an easy time winning. All they need to do is call the opposition a bunch of commies and Hungarians collectively go "oh yea, fuck those guys".

Which reminds me, fuck the reds and fuck any Russians who think Communism didn't ruin their country and eastern Europe forever.
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>>527888
>kicked out soviets whip crackers and appealed to nato for aid
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>>528113
>Venezuela

Venezuela isn't Socialist at all, it's Social Democratic Orthodox Keynesianism with a huge dose of Populism. Price controls and everything Venezuela does were all in place in first world countries in the 1920s, 1930s. Also Venezuela does have elections and free speech. Most of the media in Venezuela are anti-Maduro/Chavez.

>Cuba

Cuba is technically Stalinist, but has its own quirks built for it's material reality, just like China/Maoism as well. They are just regional versions of Stalinism.

>pre-Stalin USSR?

Pre-Stalin is a mixed bag, it was still authoritarian politically (look at what happened to other Socialists and Anarchists) but was much more socially progressive than Stalins reactionary conservatism. For example, Gay Marraige and Polyamory were completely legal in early 1920s USSR, also Russian Avant Garde was in full swing.
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>>530614
>>kicked out soviets whip crackers and appealed to nato for aid

I've not seen a single factory council address to NATO. I've seen a lot of discussion that right wing regional areas and the "general population" of the capital wanted UN intervention. But this NATO shit comes out of nowhere in the documentary record.

The workers councils, by the way, rang up the prime ministers office and kicked him, daily, about honouring the student's points.
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