The reality of the nightmare
Privatization and unemployment
„At first the workers of Ózd were told that they could retain their workplaces, then they were told that only certain parts of the factory would be closed and the privatization would create new workplaces and they would be trained for a new profession in order to come up to the new technological demands, and so on, every day a new lie. For these people, for Hungarians as well as for other East-European millions, the turn from one-party dictatorship to democracy means simply, that now more politicians lie than before” – wrote the spring issue of the democratic newspaper „Reportage”. And the illusions of the working class collapsed… The „fantastic trip” from the one-party-democracy passed over to its direct continuation, where it’s not just one party which interferes in your life, but the totality of the bourgeois forces, which are today not less unable to solve their crises as earlier. Every rubbish and dirt settles on us, we will die earlier, we are sent to their wars – which are directed against us, we suffer from their floods, their dog-days, we freeze to death, we die of hunger: this is their vale of tears…
This writing wants not merely to describe a process, but wants to encourage everybody to organize ourselves jointly in order to burn up the world of capital, we, the ordinary, oppressed proletarians.
Otherwise, we are nothing else then data, numbers and information in the statistical almanacs of the bourgeoisie…
The transition in Hungary is the process of the capitalist re-organization, which aimed at the reinforcement of the accumulation of capital. The party-state collapsed, and modern capitalism appeared. The goal of privatization is the acceleration of the movement of commodities and capital, the perfection of competitive spirit. The total bourgeois (state) property – which was created by the working class but which was expropriated by the masters of capital – contained 1860 enterprises (the total value of which was equal to 2600 billion forints), and the value of the firms, privatized until the end of the ’90s, were equal to cca. 2000 billion forints. In 1986, a „bankruptcy law” was established, and those enterprises, which showed deficit, were artifically „pumped” with capital (Láng Machine Factory, Ganz-Mávag, the mines in Tatabánya etc.). Already at the end of the Kádár-epoch the property of the enterprises Tungsram, Ganz Electric Current, Ganz Railroad Vehicle Factory, Ózd Metallurgical Works, Hungária Insurance Company etc. went into the hands of „foreign capitalists”. A lot of people naively thought that with the „compensation law” the past owners – who were „deprived of their private property” by the Bolshevik state – will be recouped – it did not happen. In spite of this, once again the old-new ambitious bourgeois locusts and their satellites could step on the way of the further capital increase. Privatization slowed down, the „foreign” bourgeois hyenas stayed away for a little time, unemployment increased, in 1991, for example, it became two times bigger and reached 7 per cent, and the initial enthusiasm of the working class turned into disappointment. This area was also transformed from the mortuary of Bolshevik democracy into the prison camp of liberal democracy.
The secret of the Bolshevik full employment myth was out, uncertainty became the master when the proles were drinking their evening beer and watching TV – they started to worry about their workplaces. Unemployment rate in 1993 was equal to 13 percents, this ment the lack of footing for 650-700 thousand wage-workers. The movement of capital became faster: at the beginning of the transition, the „foreign bourgeoisie” owned 10 per cent of those property, which was expropriated from us earlier by the state. One and a half million workplaces disappeared, the number of registrated unemployed workers grew from 47 thousand to 650-700 thousand (as we have mentioned already), a lot of wage-workers drudge illegally. According to the official data, between 1995 and 2003, the rate of employment grew by 345 thousand, while unemployment decreased by 150 thousand, the number of not-registrated unemployed people is about 200 thousand. Between 1990 and 1995, 500 thousand people retired. In the study of a team of sociologists we can read: „The Middle-European economies try to adapt theirselves to the capitalist world economy, it can be supposed, that the biggest part of possibilities of work in heavy industry and in mining will close down.” Their predictions came true, shadow-towns and the slums from the beginning of the 20th century revived, the former state-capitalist industrial towns – „the prides of our party” – became the empires of erosion. Tatabánya, Ózd, Miskolc are the constats of capitalist horror, the indifferent proletarians living there endure with patience – the question is, until when. Because their future is just as hopeless as their past – unless we destroy the capitalist world, which fattened from us.
In 1985, 60 thousand workers drudged in the iron-smelting industry in Hungary, their number decreased to 9 thousand until 2002. In general, the worsening of the conditions of the industrial working class have become frightful: the number of workers employed in the processing industry was cut down by the capitalist rationality from 1.7 million to 1 million, in the building industry from 400 thousand to 270 thousand, in the mining from 120 thousand to 13 thousand. Such death factories as Ganz-Mávag, Csepel Works, Rába Works and others were closed. „Their is no job, that’s the truth, you can ask however much people, but I tell you, everybody says the same. There’s no job, people just stand and talk with each other, they scold the system and the new managers.” (From the statement of a prole.) During the history, the bourgeoisie always wanted to use unemployment for its own goals, the wages of the workers were brought down, the working class was egged on more effective labour, the members of which were divided and threatened with the spectre of unemployment. Today, in 2005, the unemployment rate in Hungary is 7 per cent, that is 2 per cent smaller than the EU-average, but – because of the low wages and the huge taxes – the living standards are very low. (In the central part of Hungary – which Budapest also belongs to – the brutto average salary of the manual workers is 104 thousand forints, from which they receive 74 thousand; the brutto average salary of the mental workers is equal to 235 thousand forints, and they get 136 thousand. In the northern part of the country, in the poorer areas, the brutto wage for manual workers is 90 thousand – they get 70 thousand; for the brain workers, 170 thousand is the brutto salary, and they receive 105 thousand. But they often do not get it in time. These data are from 2004.)
More and more people take their chance in the western labour market, this is also characteristic to the capitalist sharks, who try to remove their enterprises to those places which are more favourable for them. In 1992, a peculiar bourgeois trick was started, the „Employee Part-owner Programme” (MRP), the essence of which is the following: „The MRP is such a technique of privatization, which made it possible for the employees of the former state-owned companies, to become owners in organized way or – in juridical sense – individually by those firms, where they are employed” – wrote a left-wing scribbler. 283 MRP-organizations were formed, in 1999, 200 from them were still functioning, in the following years these miserable attempts to integrate the workers kept stalling, then started to stagnate. There’s a typical case related to this, which is mentioned by a journalist: one quarter of the wage-workers by the Tungsram factory of General Electrics in Újpest (a northern district of Budapest) established their own Ltd. They drudge approximately for 2/3 of the average salary – we get the information. With the support of MSZOSZ (social democratic trade union), the lobby for workers ownership goes on. In 2000, there were 187 companies with wage-worker shares. This covers about 70-80 thousand workers. The line goes from Henkel Hungary Ltd. to Auchan, the bourgeois and their exploited privatized together in a lot of places („holy peace between classes – Eduard Bernstein, Lenin, Bill Gates and the dream factory exchange glances”). There are companies at which the workers – through their MRP-shares – are the sole owners (Herend China Manufacture, Ribbon and Cord Factory Share Company). The „foreign” capital investment rushed to the country: between 1990 and 1995, the number of „foreign” firms increased from 5 and a half thousand to 25 thousand (most of which are in the joint ownership of both Hungarian and foreign owners), and in the next years mammoth and transnational companies gradually also appeared – quarry hunters from Germany, Austria, Italy, USA and so on. A characteristic fact: until 1997, 1859 state companies had been liquidated. Until 2004, the international bourgeoisie invested 3.4 billion euros to enterprises in Hungary, the Hungarian locusts invested 3.2 billion to their foreign business. The „international capitalists” pumped about one half of this invested money into the processing industry (the production of trams, vehicles, real estate, food etc.). The GDP decreased until 1993, from 1997 it has grown by 4-5 per cent. Today one million members of the working class live from less than 50 per cent of the average income, the number of homeless people are between 30 and 50 thousand, the data lie at random, the Christian polecats and their organizations intensively stupefy the „people of dustbins” with their donations and syrupy tales, joined by the various left-wing punchinellos with their humanist activities.
The next squealing sentences were stated by one of the bourgeois ideologists, the former pampered cretin of the state-party, today national-socialist Imre Pozsgay: „Another part of the Hungarian bourgeoisie also didn’t come into being as a result of its own accumulation of capital, that means by an organical evolution. Already at the beginning of the 90’s, the influential parties made an effort to place their clients to leading positions at the state banks and enterprises. This shows indirectly, that the rotation of the economic elite accelerated already in this period: at the end of 1990, a half of the economic elite was assigned to new posts, in 1994, already nearly 80 per cent of it. Moreover, in the financial elite, the rotation was even bigger. Part of the economic elite probably was not assigned to leading posts because of its professional knowledge, but because it had mutually beneficial connection-capital, which tied it to one or more parliamentary parties. So, when its enterprise was privatized, it got ’advantage in position’ if it wanted to buy it, and if not, it helped to choose the purchaser, which seemed to be optimal both for it and for its party. In both cases, it became part of the clientage of its party. This clientage-organizing activity of the parliamentary parties ran through the past decade.” The abolition of agricultural co-operatives, the liquidation of metallurgy and steel industry in Hungary (because these branches of industry lost the competition of capital or were incompetitive from the beginning) produced a significant unemployment. A big share of the not-privatized companies got ruined and became bankrupt. 1 million people were fired – liberal capitalism wanted to show its superiority over bolshevised capitalism this way.
About reformism, trade-unions…
(„We would like our Trade Union to take part in the fight for new order that would guarantee pluralism and democratic rights, work and good payment for it.” This „wonderful and touching”, silly, counter-revolutionary statement was written by the Polish trade union„Workers’ Initiative”, which is a member of the „Anarchist Federation”.)
It’s time to state that we create by no means a myth about the working class, we reject the stereotype of the proletarian man with oil on his hands, who fights proudly, shoulder to shoulder with his companion, the tractor-driver proletarian woman, for the better conditions of life. Even if the sources of the disgusting Bolshevik falseness of socialist realism and the „proletarian myth” of the currents fighting for workers’ autonomy are not the same, these two flow into the same river, into the maintaining of the world of exploitation and labour. They both conserve the capitalist relationships and maintain the status quo. The first commands us, proles to the work-benches by its Bolshevik party and sucks our blood. The partisans of workers’ self-management – and this contains also the ouvrierist currents with their artificial federalist falansters weakening the fighting unity of the proletariat, with their practice of limiting the terrain of our exploitation to the workplaces, and with their trashy, syndicalist, popular frontist, „proletarian”, anti-intellectual politics – send us to the fatherland of exploitation by their false slogans and self-management (by the absolutely mendacious myth of „The factory is yours, you work for yourself”). In the long run, it is no matter, what these very effectual ideologies and their practice have understood from the critique of value – exchange value, exploitation – alienation, private property – property, in one word: from the critique of the world of labour, if in fact they leave the fundamental pillars of capitalism unchanged.
We must attack not only the capitalists, but also the other preservers of capitalism, that member of the working class who is a model of adaptation, who is fascist, liberal, social democrat, Bolshevik or trade union-member – as necessary –, who has a democratic attitude to the system both in his behaviour and in his ideology. It would be quite superficial and biased to attack only the capitalists because they oppress and exploit us – we let them to do this, we endure this, fear and pray for waking up tomorrow calmly again, and for starting a new day of capitalism. Class solidarity is the basic condition of our struggle, and – taking a look to Hungary – we can find only quite weak marks of it. This article wants to show – among others – that our class bears the burden of capitalism in a servile manner also in this region. We cannot have partial conquests: the gaining of higher wages, the shorter labour-time, the various „social benefits”, the enforcement of rights (of any kind) and also the forming of a trade-union in the paunch of capital. But we also have to beware of the artificial pumping of pseudo-radicalism and hurrah-optimism. At first, there is no reason for these, secondly, our struggle can be understood only in its world process, and accomplishes itself in the dialectics of „setbacks and advances”. We have to self-organize, not only in the workplaces, but we have to set the totality of revolution against the totality of capitalism, what means: out from the factories, out from the workplaces, out to the street, to the squares, to the mews, to the parks, to the fields, to the lands, out from the flats and schools, out from the churches, out from the museums of capitalism, out! We have to take back our real lives jointly and in a self-organized form from the wolfs of capitalism – we have to smash and set on fire the whole world of capital outside in the squares and inside in the heads. Let the past burn on the bonfire accompanied by the smile of the actual season. We have to end the era of illusions, if not, then we will meet the „era of barbarism”. From the strike of the Polish miners to the street-fightings in Bolivia – we are in the streets everywhere, and have to keep in mind the universal character of our struggle! It is only this context, in which it is worth estimating the position of the working class in Hungary.
What is about the trade-unions, they always pushed the wagon of the capitalists, of course, they do this also today, but – among others, because of the lack of membership – they cannot be effective in the fight for their demands, they always need the financial support of the bourgeoisie, this help is given them by the bourgeois parties – so its a joke to speak about any kind of independence. After 1956, the Bolshevik party had demanded from the workers to be trade-union members, but this demand died since. During the transition, Magyar Demokrata Fórum (this party expressed then a „third road” and was born from the alliance of the left- and right-wing nationalists) and the social democrats were competing with each other for the favour of the trade-union and workers’ council movements – which were led by the bourgeois ideology –, of course, this was because of the forthcoming elections. Privatization and unemployment touched first of all the industrial working class, so the trade-unions have become weak among it – there was simply no need for them. They could maintain their existence only where the strong industrial working class continued to dominate: at the railroad and the energy sector, for example. The trade-unionist lobby still exists, and at the time of elections a lot of trade-unionist politicians fly to the Parliament on the list of the Hungarian Socialist Party. „The property, infrastructure of the trade unions have remained considerable still after the transition. MSZOSZ with its branches had a bigger property and more developed infrastructure than all the parties together” – wrote about them their historian. They have really kept their power during the transition to the fatherland of the new happy-making capitalist principles. But this power cannot compose an independent force, and the trade-unions always „fight” for their interests as the satellites of this or that bourgeois party. The parties also need the trade-unions as a voting base – this way, the picture is ready. „Capital (money) is needed for the campaign of the socialists. Trade unions are needed for settling the result of the match” – formulated a leader of the Metal Workers’ Trade Union exactly and aptly.
After 1990, every fifth wage-worker left the trade-union, altogether 80 per cent of the trade-union membership exited from this „earthly heaven”, because they experienced that their organizations hadn’t taken a stand for them (privatization, dismissals etc.). In spite of this, several thousand trade-unions sponge on the workers in Hungary (an older source speaks about 3600 trade-unions). Theoretically, the labour time is 8 hours, but the road to the workplace and back adds 2 more hours to this, and for our reproduction we have to sleep, eat and drink, live sexual life, have fun and improve mind – with these we get also the necessary ideological clyster.
So it is not the task to artificially divide the world of labour, the planet of exploitation into labour-time and free-time, because in capitalism everything is determined by the circulation of reproduction. God, fatherland, family, labour, exploitation, alienation, war, famine, freezing to death…
Black labour – or which labour isn’t dark?
After the transition, about 200.000 wage-workers moved to Hungary from the neighbouring countries hoping to find better conditions of survival. About 300.000 „foreign” wage-workers illegally live here from hand to mouth. The rate of employment is much less than the international average, according to the capitalists, a workforce equal to about 400 thousand people „is missing from the labour market”. The authorities harras black labour, of course, because it does not pay the taxes.
One data source says, that in Hungary between 1990 and 1994, 1.4 million workplaces out of 5 million were liquidated. In most of Eastern-European countries, the real wages are less than 25 per cent of the average real wage in the EU. The labour market of modern, „brilliant” capitalism often becomes a real market of the unemployed wage-workers. For example, in one of the most busy squares of Budapest, Moszkva square, the proles „wait for their employment” every day. Not far from this market, there’s a food market also with meat, apples, fried dough, poppy-seed, fish… From early morning, hundreds of totally exploited workers stand there and wait for the opportunity of drudging 10-12 hours, which makes it possible to survive until tomorrow. In 1997-1998, there was a wage-slave market approximately in every fifth town and village. On the Moszkva square, proles from Rumania, from the Ukraine, from Russia and from Hungary compete with each other, during the regular police-raids they disperse, and then return to the square. They bargain over the wages, which fluctuates between 3000 and 5000 forints. (We could say, that’s the average, but these exploited have nothing besides this, maybe relatives somewhere afar in miserable hovels, who wait the money for food from them.) They are employed on buildings or do gardening labour.
Everyday fascism follows their lives, the nationalists would like them to go back where they have come from – since for the nationalists, „Hungarian commodity”, „Hungarian labour-force” is always more desirable as „foreign”. On the one hand, nationalism is generated by the right-wing of the bourgeoisie, but the liberal and left-wing camp – competing with the right-wing – accepts the game and generates it further. The nationalism of the Bolshevik party called Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party finds its echo in the leading oppositional party, the far-rightist Fidesz, and we could continue to enumerate the examples for long.
The statistical data about the minimal living standard and about the salaries are absolutely useless in most of the cases, because the capitalist class „takes back” with the inflation everything it had apparently lost. According to data from 2000, there are 300 thousand „foreign” workers in Hungary, the Chinese wage-worker market is considerable with its labour-force equal to 15-20 thousand people. A big part of them work in the commerce and catering trade, their bosses are usually those Chinese bourgeois, who moved to here because of the better conditions of exploitation. It’s an old practice of the capitalist to move to places where they can make bigger profit. After a time, it was completed with the lending of labour-force, the essence of which is to give to opportunity – if needed – to put a big labour force quickly and effectively to the „racks”. The bourgeois who borrows takes the labour-force over, undertakes the various administrative burdens. (A prole said about this: „I work here for ten months. I know that my salary is the same as that of the mate working next to me, who is not a lended sweater, I get lunch-ticket and travelling contribution. Yeah, I don’t get premium. I feel mostly the absence of security, I will never get used to the fact that at the end of the month my contract expires and I must dread whether it will be prolonged.”) But why the capitalist enterprise have made this step? 1. The borrowed wage-worker makes it possible for the company to flexibly adjust itself to the actual circle of custormers. 2. Before Christmas, for example, much more orders come to the entertaining-electronical industry, the circulation in the market becomes faster, the profit of the capitalist is much bigger than in the other months of the year. 3. In a long term, the borrowed labour force is cheaper. The wage of the borrowed worker is usually the same as that of the „native” prole, but the borrowed worker pays himself 20 per cent of the travel price, he/she doesn’t get assistance for his/her children’s education and also doesn’t get other forms of benefit which is given to the „native” by his capitalist master.
The youth of the working class is standing also in front of a beautiful future, the rate of unemployment within it is 19 per cent. According to a statistics from the past year, a worker needs 53 thousand forints for subsistence – in the reality, this is enough only to avoid dying of hunger. The average cost of living of a working-class pair is 93 thousand forints in a month, the same for a proletarian family with two children is 154 thousand forints. From netto 45 thousand it is impossible to make both ends meet, this pocket-money is less to 8 thousand than the average cost of living.
The positions of the working-class pensioners is also bad: an old man/woman (often a wreck of his/her life) have to live through from 48 thousand, two old proles from 88 thousand, at the same time the smallest pension is 23 (!) thousand forints. In the proletarian districts (and slums), the workers’ families which don’t pay the rent are usually evicted, and the authorities always emphasize the cases of the people with gipsy origins, strenghtening this way the everyday fascism. Besides this, the separating of the working-class people with gipsy origins is permanent everywhere – in the schools, in the workplaces. They are mostly afflicted by unemployment – from about 600 thousand gipsy people (most of which are members of the working class) approximately 30 per cent is unemployed (for a big part of the population, they are „a gang of stinking thieves”, which would steal also the stars from heaven – the bourgeois stereotypes work this way).
The living standards have fallen enormously in comparison with that of the Kadar-regime. But the market and its assortment are significantly bigger. You can find everything on the racks of democracy, but the prices of the capital’s „high quality products” are very high, and they leave for us only the fat-watered meat, the washy wine, the coarse tobacco, the diluted milk, the sour, inedible bread, those packaged products whose warranty is over and other dainties… – which are also very expensive (1 kg of bread costs 200 forints, 1 kg of pork costs 800 forints, 1 litre of milk costs 150 forints, 1 box of cigarette costs 400-500 forints and so on). Electricity, heating are expensive, life is expensive. We are forced to eat-drink absolutely unhealthy things (what is not unhealthy in capitalism?), such things, which the bourgeois wouldn’t give ever to his pig. We must buy them at a high price, and tomorrow morning we must be punctual. This is the essence. And then we reach the hospitals, since we are mentally-physically perishable commodities which go bad quickly, and here a new trauma (and not the plain, as the movement song says) is waiting for us. The nurse-workers’ wages are low and they have to drudge like cattle, there are too few beds (according to some statistics, the number of beds corresponds with the level of 1966) and you will quickly be trundled to the cemetery, but the your proletarian relatives have to pay for the funeral. On the holy sea of culture: the books, newspapers, movie, theatre, library are terribly expensive, and so is the pretzel, which is thrown to us – gobble, prole! The prices of books sometimes reach the western level and the same is true for the CD-prices – it’s good that you can „pirate”. The days of sick-leave have become less: earlier you could be absent for 3 days unjustified, now you can do that for 1 day – after that, you find yourself on the street. The terror of democracy accompanies us also on the public transport, where the muscle-brained asses (the King Kong hirelings of the transport company) can beat you black and blue if you don’t have a ticket. The public transport is expensive, and the company which has a monopoly, raises the tarifs as it likes.
The membership of Hungary in the NATO and the EU didn’t change anything in the menu of capitalism, capital continues to enlarge its markets and abolishes its past restrictions, putting an end to those obstacles which were rational for it earlier but today stand in the way of capital circulation. The membership in the NATO gave a punch to nationalism, we can remember the outbreak of the war in Yugoslavia, when only the class-struggle elements (which will be mentioned below) fought on an internationalist basis against the war of the ruling class. The left-wing intellectuals whimpered and grunted, they published some dazed manifestos in the brave spirit of Mother Theresa, while politically and economically they were absolutely interwoven with the bourgeoisie. The Hungarian Stalinists with their solidarity with Milosevic had blazed fire up against the American/NATO imperialism, and they continued to do that in the next wars. The nationalists came forward with the myth of the „thousand years old Hungarian field” (which has been made complete in their minds through the ancient history of Hungarian commodity, education, culture), and hand in hand with the Stalinists, they pull the integrated part of the working class about. Each of them create arbitrarily a picture of the enemy (USSR, USA), and they cannot understand that globalization did not start at 1990 but at the debarkation of the conquistadors.
In this sense, the social-democratic/liberal line is more professional, they aren’t romantic but make an out-and-out Realpolitik, and they do the dirty labour as far as they can. And it can happen, that this task will be taken over by a conservative government, which will be no less demagogic and populist than its predecessor. So in the big political carnival, the citoyen of the Horthy-epoch meats the „man-in-the-street” of the Kadar-regime, the arrow-cross men (Hungarian Nazis) meat the members of the ÁVO (which was a kind of secret police during Rákosi), this way we get a ravishing, sentimental kitsch-parade, which is, nevertheless, spilt with a huge portion of the ice-cold capitalist rationality. If we take a socio-photo, we can get such a motley picture about the reality in Hungary.
Opposition, class struggle, integration...
Today class consciousness is vague in Hungary, a big part of the working class shrink back from using some basic historical proletarian concepts, and would like to throw these concepts back to the obscurity of the past. But these concepts express the essence of the struggle of our class, and they cannot be „out-of-date” as far as the communist society hasn’t been produced by the world of exploitation. Such concepts are the class struggle, communism, proletariat. The majority of the working class identifies communism with the capitalist bolshevism of the Kadar-epoch, but there are also a lot of exceptions. One of the historical features of this area is, that at the same time when we fought against capitalism, the party-state „expropriated” the class struggle. Of course, this was a play-acting, which sent the working class to sleep. Counter-revolutionary organizations continue to sit on the working class, first of all the trade unions, which – as the most vigilant social democratic remainders – today also have a lot of victims among the workers. The necessity of the trade unions – the vampires of the proletariat – for the ruling class is always detemined by the deepness of the contradiction between the capitalists and the working class, the value of the trade-unions’ share is proportional to that.
The strikes of the past 15 years have always been directed by some of the lobbies which do „protection of the workers’ interests”, usually a trade union. Their demands have never crossed the boundaries of democracy. In 2000, there were 5 registrated strikes, 6 were in 2001, 4 were in 2002, 7 were 2003, 8 were in 2004, the number of the participants in these strikes is nearly equal to 70 thousand. These data are quite revealing. But we recall the statements of a social democratic ideologist, who, of course, cannot be accused of being a revolutionary. The paid scribbler writes: „After 1998, the trade union protests didn’t really embarrass the government. These protests remained within the structure, at most, they wanted to change the roles or the cast.”
But it is also true, that because of the transition, those small anarchist-communist cells also have appeared in Hungary, which existed during the Kadar-epoch at most as buds. These communist currents are usually small in their numbers, but these active organizations and their efforts, of course, met the general internationalist endeavours. When we write a report about the position of the working-class movement in Hungary, we must by all means point to the fact, that, after all, the „passive working class” has produced its militants, and – first of all, because of the internationalism of the committed fighters – its activism gained continuity. In the nineties, the press and the leaflets of Anarcho-Communist Action (Gravediggers’ Class-struggle League) and the cell of the Internationalist Communist Group appeared in Hungary – as important signs of proletarian activism. Since then, the various anarcho-communist cells have divided and grown – these cells radically opposed bolshevism, anti-fascism, social democracy, liberalism, that means: democracy, capitalism, the dictatorship of value. These avant-garde groups did not let the real class-fighter movement to disappear from the scene.
But what on the other side happens in the name of „anarchism”, is a mere left-wing puppet-show, commercial competition and market. We can feel as in the whirlpool of a comedy on the fair, and the usual roles turn up in the „dramatic version of anarchism”. They would like to make from the struggle of our class a mere primitive subcultural idiotism, they behave like barnstormers with their pseudo-squats, they pick out from the heritage of ’68 the situationist movement (which their egoism has misunderstood), and they ride in the value-market of capitalism as an empty, alienated leisure hobby. They dissolve their real dissatisfaction on the counter-cultural market which works as the twin of the Auchan supermarket-chain. They, and not the real anarchist movement must be thought of, when we quote the opinion of Bordiga: „the anarchists are the social democrats of our times”. The Trotskyists are present in this area from the birth of Trotskyism almost permanently – except the Kadar-epoch – and they continuously make their petty counter-revolutionary activity. Since the end of the Kadar-regime, the Fourth International tried to collect a membership and – with its arbitrary understanding of 1956 – to glorify and to propagate in its press the former brilliance of the Bolshevik party. Then the local section of the Socialist Workers’ Party appeared, with its eager newspaper-making (their paper was called Solidarity – it is a joke in itself since they were Trotskyists) and disgusting church-building, with their direct participation in each social conflict and with their exhibitionism. This institutionalised movement couldn’t become deeply rooted here, their lunatics and priests infiltrated into the ATTAC, and for today, they „build the better future” – the prisons of the working class – together with their twin brothers, the Leninists-Stalinists and other leftists of the same kind.
As a result of the transition, the accumulation of capital by the beneficiaries of privatization, the old-new bourgeoisie have increased, the wage-workers’ salaries have fallen as the roller coaster, one and a half million workplaces have been liquidated, one million wage-workers have become unemployed, several hundred thousands have been forced to retire, the capital produced by the proletariat was at first expropriated by the state ruled by the Bolshevik slave-drivers and their twin brothers: social democrats, liberals, Nazis, and then they have sold it out, so now the working class is standing here skinned, crippled and sweated.
But what did we wait from them? LABOUR, BREAD – the misery of wage labour, so, that’s it! In Hungary, thousand of workers can calmly be fired, because the ruling class meets no serious resistance, and if there are still some mix-up, then the trouble is no more than a protest against the loss of status. The trade unions bark as vigilant watch-dogs but they don’t bite (of course, they are not held for that), sometimes there are some strikes which have been reported earlier, then the proles confined into the panel houses go home contented, to build further the objectified dreams of their objectified lives. The working class and its movement (which have been milled during the Kadar-epoch) today fall as an avalanche into the camp which is led by the left-wing bankers, „defenders of their interests”. The self-management propagating left-wing, also active today, says its prayers and begs the masters of capital: for workers’ ownership, for shares. But the aim of obtaining and defending the workers’ ownership was never anything else than the defence of the workplaces – because of that, we reject the workers’ self-management, and when we write about the „losses” of the working class, we emphasize that it „have lost” these things always within the world of exploitation. These so-called losses are disturbances between capital and labour, we have to break out from this cage! No partial success can lead out from the jails of labour and alienation, so we don’t argue against privatization – that would be mere reformism –, but we argue for the communist revolution! We experience day by day how the ruling class sits down to us and restricts our space of life, but we don’t need a symptomatic treatment, we don’t fight for actual political goals. Let politics go to hell, our struggle goes for the abolition of value! Down with workers’ autonomy! Down with the demagogic social democratic fancies and slogans! The slogans rejected by us are parroted off by the whole Hungarian nationalist left-wing beginning with the bourgeois Eszmélet journal with its social democratic Marxism, which left-wing doesn’t want anything else than the left of the world in general: a reformed, humanist latrine – the world of capitalism with its totally objectified mammoth plant. They look for and they find alternatives within the hall of capital rotten to the core. The row goes from the neo-Trotskyism of the ATTAC to the far left, which get at the working class with their stinking ideology and build a church with the integrated, servile members of the working class, who think that they’ve found a real community. Often the activists from the working class dig their own graves when they enter into a capitalist vampire-organization.
The working class also very rarely fights in an organized form against the rapidly worsening standard of life, the inflation, the measures of the capitalist power. Class solidarity is a scarce phenomenon, the reason for that is, that the exploited seldom goes further in mind from its own state of life and discover himself/herself in the other exploited. However, the working class is dissatisfied in general, each tries to fight in his/her subjective level against his/her reality, and from the carrion-eating nationalists to the above mentioned leftists, the capitalist defenders of property – „the riders of discontent” – stand sentry.
As a rare exception, we can mention that in 1994, 16 proletarians from the tannery in Pécs had refused working, because they had considered their wages to be low – they were immediately fired. In a former text we have already reported about the seizure of factory at Cyklon-Brestal, and the refusal of labour by the proletarians employed by the Kerkamenti Saw Ltd. in Lenti was also a refreshing exception in 1994. The press permanently reports about strike preparedness from the Malév (Air Transport Company) to the BKV (Budapest Transport Company), sometimes even about strikes, which are quickly put off. So, the working class here is also discontent and lives very badly, but its reality cannot delude it with pink dreams, with fairy-tale for long, because its reality is a horror.
Obviously, the whole working class must come to itself, but the signs are disquieting all over the world. We would have like to show a clear picture about the situation in here, contributing by this to our common struggle, taking the measure of our forces and weaknesses. Unfortunately, we could say very few about our forces, however, we are neither embittered nor pessimistic.
In New Orleans and its environs, the proletariat plunders and wages war on the natural elements created by the capitalist society. It’s good to see that our class hasn’t lost its vital force and burgles the shops of democracy, but at the same time we mustn’t forget that we are afflicted by the beastly avidity of capital, by the tsunami, by the floods, by the earthquakes, by the droughts, by the famine and by thousands of other capitalist curses. All these are accompanied by our continuously decreasing standard of living, our exploited lives compose a real horror: we are cattle on slaughter-houses – as the army of capital thinks about us – but our tasks are not few: let’s act, to send their false notions together with their world system to hell!