The anniversary of the 1956 revolution has been overshadowed by a political crisis in Hungary with violent clashes between anti-government protesters and the police. The government of the Hungarian Socialist Party is headed by Ferenc Gyurcsany a former Stalinist turned ‘successful businessman’. Tamás Krausz is an editor of Eszmélet, a left-wing journal opposed to the “pro-capitalist left and national conservative right”. He explains what’s happening.
Over the last 18 years neo-liberal economic projects have produced a deep social decline and impoverishment of millions of people across the region. The traditional left and working class movement is dead; the new left is pushed to the periphery. In Hungary the parliamentary “left”, the bourgeois “socialists” are integrated into the new capitalist order as a component of the ruling elite (pursuing privatisation etc).
The “socialist”-liberal coalition government despite being in power for several years has postponed addressing the serious financial problems of the country. Hungary's budget deficit is 10 percent of the gross domestic product this year the highest percentage in the EU.
The infamous admission of lying by the prime minister which sparked the current crisis is that he admitted putting off the plans for reform until after the recent elections. This saw the government re-elected. After five years the coalition are set to introduce a Brussels neo-liberal project, the austerity basket. With the basket Gyurcsány reveals that he is a good pupil of the Brussels bureaucracy. The rightist nationalist opposition which lost the elections are exploiting this neo-liberal attack on social welfare (education, health system etc) and are trying to get in power using the argument that the prime minister lied.
But in reality all the fractions of the ruling political elite has been lying for 18 years. The biggest lie was that they promised the people they would catch up with the western standard of living. But even today the ruling elite and their intellectual representatives and ideologists don’t talk about this lie. They celebrate themselves as heroes of the change of regime instead of admitting that the new regime is not a more humanistic society. But more poverty, no greater freedom for people who have no money and property; the new regime arose from the theft that was privatisation, with more illiteracy and unemployment.
The nationalist opposition with social demagogy has stirred up the far right, neo-fascists. Well organised groups from neo-Nazis to the Hungarian arrowcross forces. [Pre-war fascists]. Contrary to how the liberal press portrays the recent events they are not about anti-globalisation or anti-capitalism, instead they want to remove “communists”, Jews, gypsies etc. These neo-fascist forces turned the anniversary of the 1956 uprising into a tragic-comic performance. This new far right is the fist of the nationalist opposition, of national capital, such as the national agricultural capitalists who are in concurrency with the multinational capital.
In Hungary, as in the whole of Eastern Europe the capitalist restoration produced a very fragile bourgeois democracy — semi-peripheral capitalism gave birth to a monstrous political society in which there is difficulty in clearly separating rightist political forces from far rightist. For example in our country Orbán deputy Pál Schmidt (a Hungarian Haider) spoke at a meeting of neo-fascists; and the president of Hungary Sólyom participated in people carrying flags symbolising the arrowcross movement, which in 1944 assisted in the Holocaust.
The neo-fascist forces are not the losers of the change of regime — the real losers are at home in housing estates and await what will happen with the austerity-basket, will Gyurcsány do compromise with them or will he follow strictly the agenda of the institutions of multinational capital. If Gyurcsány cannot improve his position on the left, the political polarisation will grow stronger, after that there could be a “Weimar-isation” of Hungary.