a revolution which never was: from state socialism to multinational capitalism

by Tamás Krausz

Towards a historical interpretation of the change of regimes in Eastern Europe

The title summarizes the main argument that I will develop in my presentation. Eastern European mainstream literature sacrificed the historical approach in order to shamelessly glorify the events of 1989-1991. In the theoretical, historical, economic and political literature on the history and consequences of the change of regimes, there is a fierce struggle among the different schools (labeled as discourses and narratives) for the “right” terminology. Nonetheless, the free competition of ideas seems to me illusory. The mainstream literature dismissed Marx’s theory of social formation as an unverifiable “grand narrative”, and excluded it from the set of competing paradigms. This exclusion can be closely linked with a previous development.

1989

In the 1980s, Marxist theory was equated with the legitimating ideology of the state socialist system, which was widely criticized at the time by Eastern European dissident intellectuals. After the change of regimes this criticism developed into a new legitimizing ideology, which was used to justify the rule of the new elite. The real aim of the attempts to discredit Marxist theory in general in Eastern Europe was to divert attention from the crucial issue of the transformation of property relations. The distribution of state property, which in the old times was called the property of the people, was inseparable from the issue of power relations. Therefore, the issue of the distribution of state property had a decisive role in the formation of the new nation states as well. Continue reading “a revolution which never was: from state socialism to multinational capitalism”

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the workers’ councils of 1956 – by tamas krausz

A lecture by Tamas Krausz, a communist based in Budapest, about the 1956 Hungarian revolution, its workers’ councils and forms of workers’ self-management

1. Prehistory[1]

The history of the workers’ councils of 1956 cannot be understood without the history of the Hungarian working class. The intellectual-political and socio-cultural development of the Hungarian working class has been shaped by diverse and complex historical processes in the interwar period. The counter-revolutionary system of Horthy destroyed and criminalized the 1918-1919 revolutionary tradition of the workers’ councils of the Hungarian working class, it banned the communist party and it declared in the name of the sanctity of private property that communal property – which was defined as the essence of socialism from Marx and Lenin till Zsigmond Kunfi, Justus and Lukács – was a sinful idea. Continue reading “the workers’ councils of 1956 – by tamas krausz”