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(en) Hungary, Barricade anarchist Collective: Our remarks… [On THE HUNGARIAN SOURCE by Cornelius Castoriadis]

Date Thu, 23 Jun 2005 22:33:35 +0300

According to Henri Simon, a former comrade of
Castoriadis, he (Castoriadis) left the terrain of
Marxism in the 60’s, and during the 70’s he
participated in the spreading of anti-Marxist
ideology. Some day it would be worthy of writing about
the relationships between Marxism and the communist
struggle. Now we only add some remarks to the quite
interesting article of the already „anti-Marxist” (if
we accept the characterization made by Henri Simon)
Nowadays we often write, discuss, talk with each
other about the proletarian uprising of 1956 in
Hungary. We would like to call the attention of those
comrades to this important event who don’t know the
general characteristics of the Eastern European
proletarian revolutions, of those struggles, whose
experiences we must take into account in order to go
beyond the idiotism of history lections and centralize
our forces. In the last time we have discussed with
several ouvrierist groups which always divide praxis
and theory, but this behaviour led them to the
„forgetting” and direct throwing-out of the past
experiences, and only focusing to the present. Of
course, this leads to a completely false and
undialectical activity (to the rejection of the
communist program), which ends in a self-justifying
behaviour and exhibicionist actionism and – by
worshipping the physical wage-workers – in the
fetishism of the working class… Some of these mistakes
were also made in the past by several Hungarian
comrades. We talk here first of all about the comrades
in the workers’ councils who ignored the unsoluted
dilemmas of the council movement, and continued at the
same point where their direct predecessors got stuck
during the revolutionary wave of 1917-1923 and the
Spanish revolution. Because this article is related to
other texts about 1956 written or commented by us, we
won’t dwell on the treatment of this problem, since we
tried to perform this task in those texts.
Castoriadis does the same as 20 years before: in this
article, he lifts out of the events again the idea of
self-management, but he makes mention of the
importance of destroying the existing social system,
and rejects the parallel dualistic power which would
be wielded on the one hald by the „new bolsheviks” and
on the other hand by the working class. In such a way,
he clearly points to the puppet-role of Imre Nagy who
chases after the masses and licks its boots if
necessary. Imre Nagy was a mini-Lenin, who – being a
smaller stratege as the old „boss” – find himself
quicklier on the rubbish heap. The piercing look of
Castoriadis also perceives that the left-wing cannot
do anything with the revolution – today it is even
more valid than in those times. Today the
self-justifying bourgeois forces qualify the events as
a general popular uprising (yesterday they said it had
been a counter-revolution), and push its real
proletarian content into the background. The author
overestimates the ’56 revolution in his article, and
calls it the only total revolution, the struggle
against the total bureaucratic capitalism. We know the
basis of his statement – but his starting-point is
false. If the revolution is not world-wide it will be
necessarily defeated. By reason of the class forces,
the struggle of the insurgents in 1956 was sentenced
to failure – even if the walls of capitalism after the
second world war cracked in many places. The events in
Hungary also showed that the capitalists become strong
and solidary if their interests are the same. In his
essay, Castoriadis attacks the left-wing ideologists
and shows that they are animals trained to the power,
the servants of capital – Ernest Mandel and other
Trotskyists are good examples for that. The biggest
virtue of his text is, that it draws the attention of
the reader to the process of the proletariat’s
self-organization. But because of his false
bureaucracy-theory, he separates the intellectuals
from the proletariat, and puts them into a special
box. Doing so, he rows to the water of the new left,
and reduces our struggles to sociological clichés. His
terminology fits to this, so he writes about the
self-organizing of the people – instead of
class-organization (the concept of the people for him
means the exploited class, but why does he mistify,
maybe his bureaucracy-theory captured him once more?).
His new-leftism and ouvrierist ideals lead him to
deadlock. He and other serious authors scarcely make
mention of the struggle of street groups. (These
struggles were absolutely no more unorganized than the
workers councils. Their weakness was the same as that
of the councils: decentralism. We would like to stress
the internationalism of the fighters from the Tuzolto
street, the internationalism of those, who hoisted
also the red flag – contrary to their comrades from
other groups, who knocked down the red stars, for
example.) Castoriadis demonstrates well, that the
origins of the Eastern European class struggles are
identical (of course, this is true in general, but in
different levels of deepness). The characteristic of
this area (until 1990) was – and in this aspect, it
differs from other places – that here the proletariat
had to recognize that the bolshevik party (which
expropriated the working-class movement) is nothing
else than a „red bourgeoisie”, the bottom pillar of
the capitalist class. The result of the 1956
revolution is not enough, if we would like to judge,
to what extent the proletariat in Hungary was
counscious or spontaneous. They had a democratic
behaviour, they had recognized only a part of their
class enemies, they attacked Stalinism but didn’t
destroy the bolshevized capitalist system, they often
negotiated with its representatives and let themselves
influenced by them. The numerical superiority
suppressed the revolution, and the white terror put
down even the smallest buds of self-organization. But
the red cocks continues to crow…

Barricade Collective, June 2005

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