Contributions to the evaluation of the events which took place at 23.10.2006 in Budapest
As far as the proletariat’s resistance against the economic crisis lies dormant, the legions of fascism step on the scene. As Pal Justus wrote, the fascist movement becomes fascist only when it manages to stir the masses. This mass has manifestly come to life during the last weeks.
Some communist comrades project their revolutionary optimism into the events of 23rd of October 2006 as well, and some of their statements are based on a totally false understanding of the reality. Among others, such an absurd sentence was said by a comrade when he considered that the attack against the synagogue in Pest is a part of the class struggle. We could agree if the masses act against the catholic and protestant churches in the same way as against the synagogue but that wasn’t the case. On the other hand, the optimism of the comrades is based on the fact that we live in a society which contains the practice of exploitation in all its aspects. We think the same. The faces of those who are burning cars on the streets, who are building barricades, who are fighting the riot police – these faces are our wry faces, the nationalist face of the working class. The counter-revolutionary armies of the conservative and fascist masses – which fear for their more and more falling living standards, who are poisoned with nationalist ideology by the extreme right – fight hand to hand with their own bourgeois state order on the avenues. This mass of false consciousness is composed of a number of retired people and wage-workers, small contractors, students and, of course, unemployed. The mass, which defends the status quo of capitalism either under the strong influence of the right wing or swinging further from it. Why does this anger – which was suppressed by the exploitation for long – come to life from the side of the fascists and become a part of the counter-revolution?
The power led by the leftist-liberal MSZP is the vanguard fighter of the neo-liberal economic terror since the transition of 1990. The majority of the society, i. e. the working class, identifies leftism with neo-liberalism, while their privatized workplaces are continuously abolished and they are fired. The precariousness of the everyday life increased enormously. As a result of the free movement of the labour-force, the country has become one of the centers of the labour market in the Eastern part of Central Europe, where the eviscerated proles from the Ukraine, Romania etc. have totally become victims of the black market. At the same time, the price of the labour-force has been gradually pushed down to a level, with which the working-class’ members from here could’t compete. Already at the beginning of the 90’s, kinds of fascist beating squads visited day by day the Moszkva square, where – in the framework of a hunt against the „stinking Romanians” – these late heirs of Ivan Hejjas beat up their naked class-companions.
In addition – as a pernicious heritage of the past, as a legacy of the Kadar-regime –, the weakness, the lack of the working-class movement’s self-organization reveals itself more and more. The fact that the working-class movement – because of the party’s tutelage – moved to the museums during the bolshevik epoch, appears clearly today. Since then, the workers haven’t managed to organize themself into proletariat on social scale. As we can experience, social democracy – which discredited itself already when it was born – still collects its victims, and lulling a large part of the working class, playing the role of a tranquil and wise prophet, it preaches calmness for its voters. The evolved situation seems to be rather bleak in point of the future, and for the working class, it worsens enormously the chances of coming to consciousness, since it is the organized fascist mass which reacts now and will react in the future to the real exploitation, and it will sit on the situations. Against it, anti-fascism – which is also counter-revolutionary – already starts to awake, and small groups of social democratic intellectuals begin to manifest their democratic ideologies. The fruits of the tacticist nationalism of the ruling class’ left wing – just as the fruits of the „romantic right-wing illusions” – have ripened.
It has always been a characteristic of the fascist national romantic, to ideologize the weekdays of the exploitation of the working class, and to translate them to its own language in the spirit of its moralist, christian polecat-course. Nationalist historical horror-visions and symbols, the attachments of white terror turn up from the closed rubbish-shoots of the past – hungarist flags are flaunting in the Budapest wind. Moralist speech can be heard on the squares, the place of real working-class dissatisfaction is occupied by kitsch and national romantic. The view of the street becomes a shop-window for pseudo-historical legends. Mushy, gushy, idealized fascist critiques circulate in the public thought, which skim over the real economic exploitation and push it into the background. Through the mediation made by the press, Trianon-blasting slogans, folk-tales from the times of the Carpathian basin’s conquest are travelling around and knocking in the warrens. The fascist forces don’t have even the palest vision about the functioning of the capitalist economy after the relay of the present government, and they cannot understand that it’s impossible to turn back the wheel of history from the capitalist globalization towards the feudal fixed ideas. Their perfectly romantic dead-end goes through the myth of the „Hungarian beret” – the holy crown – into the foggy idyll of past-watching and devout wound-licking.
As the populist Fidesz admits more and more openly that capitalist Hungary is in chancery, and in the reality, the problem for the opposition is not the forced economic measures of the governmental coalition but the hiding of the facts about the real economic situation by the government, the apocalypse of the nation’s death arises in the minds of the right-wing bourgeoisie. There are many for whom Fidesz has also discredited itself, that’s why the white free squads’ emergence in the capital of the country. Fidesz already tries to flinch back carefully from the fascist masses to the parliament. At the beginning, it supported the demonstrations, but it has gradually lost the control over them, so they retreat now. Just as the bolshevik party ran behind the revolutionary masses in 1917 and suited the expectations, so did Fidesz with the angry fascist masses. But at a certain point it couldn’t march further on the road with its scrabby guards, unless it could bury also its own future perspectives of power in the melancholic deep-Hungarian graveyard. Since the fascists don’t demand that Orban and his company must take the power, but they project into the future the creation of a new Constitutional Assemby legalized by them. In this point, the schematic bourgeois formula of the seizing of power by the fascists cannot follow the usual screenplay, because the present world capitalism doesn’t need – even partly – a fascist ruling element in Eastern Europe bullying with anti-capitalist overtones, which would always try to spit into the soup of the internationally dominating and functioning capital – hence, only the wind of fascism sweeps on the streets. The fascist aspirations are pushed to the periphery; however, society is filled with nationalism. At this moment, the ruling class doesn’t need a totally fascist capitalism, but it can influence the masses of the working class with its elements; nothing else can alarm these masses but their ever more despoiled life, through which they can recognize the chess games of false consciousness. Hence, in the reality, the white counter-revolution is doomed to dying of hunger in the dictatorship of liberal democracy.
But who are these nameable fascist elements? Hungarian class society has been extremely conservative and it still is. The formerly suppressed old complaints, imagined hurts, historical myths come to life and start to influence within the forces outside (but also inside!) the parliament. A number of fascist dross (journals and books) are published, the football matches are fascist gatherings, only in Budapest there are at least 10-12 fascist bookshops. Everyday fascism continuously haunts in the Roma and Jewish questions and in the other domains of capitalist reality. The conservative aristocratism of the genteel Hungary which had been suppressed in the Soviet zone and then revived at the time of the transition, has grown strong during the last two decades. The Hungarian citizen is an outstanding defender of the party of order, and he has always actively hated the fundamental elements of the bourgeois enlightenment. His latent anti-Semitism, his social demagogy, the eager propagation of the christian-national thought and of the defence of the race gradually infiltrated into the everyday consciousness. You must pray, believe, and work trustworthily – pronounced once the watchword Bela Bangha, the militant catholic priest. The Fuhrer of Fidesz propagates today the same. And the lonely mass finds a community, half-drunken teenage girls rampage on the Fidesz-meetings, and they put the portrait of the leader on the walls of their rooms, next to the photo of Kurt Cobain. Never have got so many young people into the trail of counter-revolution through the propagation of national self-consciousness and national vital force. The right wing bungs his fans „the leftist-liberal government’s bolshevism” and a totally falsified, mendacious historical scheme.
In line with the falling of the standard of living, the chauvinist ideas buried 60 years ago have broken surface, and they make a successful career. Clomping and hustling, the extreme right defends the home market; on the food market, it gives a special support for the Hungarian products in the form of advertisement campaigns, while it preaches that „foreign capital is bad, Hungarian capital is good”. The fascist press called the prole insurgents from the French suburbs a riff-raff but it cheers the arsonists in the centre of Budapest. From a number of fascist journals, the weekly called Demokrata bears the palm, which takes on fascism absolutely openly – this is the beloved boulevard journal of the bourgeois from Buda. Religion, belonging to the church – which is composed of hundreds of fascist priests, clerics and militant preachers – is in fashion again in Hungary. And there are the fascist parties: JOBBIK and MIEP, countless fascist cultural circles, a lot of associations and – not least – the bourgeoisie of Hungary, the politics of which is the hotbed of fascism. In Hungary, even the sparrow is nationalist, although its father is from Serbia and its mother is from Morocco, but it chirps in Hungarian! The nationalists are also in dread of the fact that the country „becomes gipsy”, because „the Hungarian population” has been decreasing since 1987, while „the Roma population” has been increasing.
The fact that Hungary joined the EU also strengthened nationalism since the domination of global capital outplaced the rural contractors to the periphery of the economy. They have to bustle up very much in order to maintain their competitiveness against their foreign rivals. The small contractors were bankrupted by the network of the department stores. The parties which mythicize national capital were losing their dominant position better and better and had to change. The nationalist mini-capitalism now has to reconstitute itself in order that it could be dominant in the future. This is why the smallholders will demonstrate again with their tractors. This has been the situation since this small junk-heap has joined the EU. Those who saw, on television or on the spot, the clashes in the streets, don’t cherish any illusions. The counter-revolution has been fighting against the counter-revolution. The modernization of capital has been facing the conservatism of capital. The dialectics of enlightenment has been materializing.
The police also got into a heat, they had sized up their former act and had drawn some lessons from that. Now they were confident, were beating everybody, were shooting rubber bullets in the height of people’s head. They were savaging both fascists and others who were commemorating the anniversary of 1956. The inner city is small so everybody was being attacked by them. The policemen have been frightened therefore, as an exercising, they have been transforming into wanton militant insects just as their friends, the fascist-democrats. Some people think that now this is the return of the spirit of 1956. But in 1956, the self-conscious working class, the proletariat organized as a class, had been fighting against the bourgeoisie. In spite of their deceptive nationalist slogans, they had wanted to take control of their lives and had rejected all sorts of administratorship over themselves. The historical memory of the fascist movement is very self-mythicizing and touches up historical facts. This crowd, which has been in the streets for more than a month, would have been swept away by the proletarian uprising of 1956. After all, the proletariat had rejected both the Horthy regime and its bolshevik double, and had rejected capitalism as a whole! Therefore the references to 1956 made by nationalism and the fascists are totally absurd lies. Those few former revolutionaries who by now have become servants of fascism, in fact are opposed to their former themselves.
It may there will be change in government in the near future. In that case, the ruling class would entirely unmask itself. Provided that it won’t take economic measures against itself. This has already happened not long ago when the government, taken on running into dept, raised the salaries. It was buttering the working class up temporalily but it was possible only for a short time. World capital put the Hungarian government right. The crowd has been taken to the streets by the discontent, but some elements of the working class have been walled up by fascism between the walls of national optimism. On the other hand, the working class will experience that the extent of exploitation is getting bigger and bigger. Now white terrorist gangs are in the streets and their democrats are in the parliament. Are they an insignificant minority? Yes, for the time being. But if the living standard decreases speedily, the struggle will continue in the streets. In that situation it’s not indifferent if groups with red flags would attack the parliament or white terrorist guys, singing revisionary songs, would charge the synagogue. It’s also important whether antifascism would emerge since in that case the democratic trap would be re-created. And now we gave taste only of the Hungarian situation.
We can answer to the question of the breaking out of the expected proletarian revolution only in a speculative way. Although the experiences of the struggles of our class also contribute to this. The gradually increasing economic exploitation against the working class world-wide had never been abided for a long time by our class. This infuses hope into us, but it should be noted that the capitalist world had always been stronger and better organized than our revolutionary attempts. On the other hand the structural necessity of capital (the infinite accumulation) has been glooming the optimistic vision of future (nuclear age, wintery summers and summery winters etc.). While the prole, who is your neighbour, has not eaten hot food for more days and not long ago five beggars have died of exposure. While the workers, making haste to their workplaces, inveigh against the public transport and in the evening looking at the television, they dream their happiness into the virtual infinity. As long as the power will not be turned off. What is then? The general decomposition and miseries have to give birth to revolutionary situation and to revolutionary consciousness. If these are late, the competition of the democratic currents will occur again in the streets and this will manifest for workers the impossibility of social peace. There is no civil war in itself, there are class interests behind that. The question is, that in the process of exploitation to what extent will the false conscience break up and how strongly will the class struggle be able to emerge.
The ruling class has been using crowds of brainwashed workers for its interests. But nationalisms of various kinds also have been competing with each other and the extreme right, without effective capitalist support, will decline. Since it appears economically only in fragmental way in the bloody oasis of democracy. The reformist past has misled the working class several times, by now the meeting of the immediate aims and the real desires has to become necessary – not on the dissecting-table but – through the struggle of our class – on the red barricades!