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(en) Poland, The teachings of the Hungarian revolution Leszek Nowak [machine translation]

Date Mon, 13 Nov 2017 07:50:25 +0200

The Hungarian revolution is circulating in Poland quite popular stereotypes: brave, but insurgent Hungarians instigated the uprising, Nagy bowed under the pressure of the fevered crowds and exonerated the Warsaw Pact, provoking the Russians eventually to aggression. In the background of this stereotype lies the conviction of the superiority of the organized revolution of Solidarity over the chaos of the Hungarian revolution. And as is usually the case with stereotypes, it more obscures than it explains. ---- It was not at all that our revolution was organized, and the Hungarian constituted an uncontrollable element. Both were arranged, but on different rules. ---- The Hungarian revolution has proven not the first and not the last - that the convictions of the revolutionary chaos that are subjected to organizational rigor are sucked out of the finger (state ideologues). Already in the first days of its existence, Hungary was covered by a network of workers' councils.

Crews spontaneously chose the most trustworthy people to administer in their interest and on their behalf in the face of the collapse of state-owned structures. The council handled the work of factories and transport, dealt with the distribution of food, and issued newsletters. They were the organs of grassroots self-organization. And they faced a strong resentment on the part of all political parties, both communist and newly formed parties, referring to the old, dissolved years of dictatorship. Nothing unusual. The structure of the political party - and that of each party - is directly opposed to the structure of self-government or council. The party is a miniature of the state: it has leaders, has a mechanism organized on the basis of obedience from above to the bottom, has finally members of the uninformed in the complexities of the political game, which takes place at the top of the camera and manipulated without much difficulty by professionals. The party is organized to take over the state power, that is, its officers can receive a monopoly on the means of exercising power, and thus become rulers. And that is the real interest of the party apparatus - ideology, whatever content it is not, acts as a cover that conceals this mesmerizing pursuit. Political parties are a natural form of organizing current or potential rulers, councils or self-governments are the natural form of organization of the masses. This was shown in Hungary after the Soviet aggression. All non-communist political parties disappeared without a trace. The workers' council, on the other hand, was persistent.

They carried out a general strike, one of the best organized in the history of the labor movement. In the streets of Hungarian cities a few thousand Soviet tanks were helplessly helpless, but the factories did not produce anything. There were no trains, trams and buses, and post offices and telephones accepted orders only with the consent of the council. Kadar was controlling only the officials and nobody else. The 200,000-strong Russian army was enough to suppress the resistance of the insurgent insurgents, but it could not resume its social life in Hungary. They could only do it.

Kadar meets with the workers' councils and, at the cost of canceling the general strike, makes some concessions. Local governments receive official recognition in their official speech:

"The workers' government should be allowed in all factories and enterprises. Democratic elections will be guaranteed in all existing administrative bodies and revolutionary councils "(cf. Ch. Harman, Bureaucracy and Revolution in Eastern Europe, London 1974).

He also promises to set up an independent journal - an organ of self-government. The councils conduct official negotiations with the cadre administration, and even directly with the Russians (among others on the suspension of deportation to the USSR), and their activists receive from the military authorities Soviet passports to travel in the occupied country. The Central Workers' Council of Budapest is established, which organizes life in the recently paralyzed capital. All major decisions of the Council are approved by the General Assembly of Workers' Crews, and the mandates of its members are subject to revocation at any time by the decisions of the General Meetings. A general conference of representatives of local governments is being prepared.

But it does not come to her. On December 3, 1956, the Soviet tanks surrounded the building in which the deliberations took place. The authorities decided to rehearse with the masses. The response was again a general strike. Hungary again froze. On December 15, the death penalty for "incitement to strike" was introduced, the first sentences were made. In spite of the wave of terror, the strikes continued until the second decade of January 1957, sometimes transforming into an open struggle with the "forces of order." In the end, the exhausted people succumbed, the strikes ended. Kadar has also tried bribery, recognizing the existing councils, only to accept the "leadership role of the party." In response, the Central Council of Budapest dissolved:

they do not give us "no other role than the execution of government orders. We can not make demands that contradict our mandate (...). We believe that extending our existence could mislead our members. We therefore return our mandates to the workers "(ibid.).
What arouses admiration, even from the perspective of a quarter of a century, in which quite a lot in the socialist world has happened, the enormous will of resistance in people condemned from the very beginning of loneliness, and therefore inevitable defeat. Hungarian workers were fighting two months after the Soviet aggression! They did not scare thousands of dead, tens of thousands arrested and deported, and did not overwhelm the sight of thousands of tanks and hundreds of thousands of victorious soldiers. In the hopelessly from a military standpoint, the conditions were able not only to paralyze the power but also to take over the administration of social life.

We must not avoid difficult questions if we really want to learn from history. So let us ask directly why the scale of the resistance of the working masses in Poland - with all due respect for those who heroically defended factory halls and mines before the ZOMO cohorts - was much weaker after the dissolution of the Solidarity authorities than in Hungary? And despite the fact that there was no bombing of the streets in Warsaw, even if the guns were used at all, it must be said, seldom and cautiously, in comparison with the Soviet counterrevolution in Hungary.

It may be assumed that if the martial law was introduced in Poland in December 1980, perhaps in March 1981, the response of the Polish masses would be no worse than that of Hungary. So what happened this year that in December 1981 the masses did not appear in defense of Solidarity so much as how ready it was to do it a year ago or maybe even in March of this year? The answer to this question, as I think, appeals to two factors. The first is the dismantling of the economy as a result of - conscious or only defensive - actions of the triple-class. I have written about it several times (it was also mentioned in the first part of this collection), so I will not discuss the matter with the conclusions relevant to the matter discussed. The conclusion is: the suffering of the masses has lost faith in the effectiveness of the anti-crisis measures of Solidarity;

However, this does not explain the matter fully: Solidarity was not only a means of improving the economy and a factor leading to improvement of the living standard. Do not avoid difficult answers. Let us recall a certain fact from September, 1981. The printers working for the Gdansk Region of Solidarnosc proclaimed a strike against their inattentive demands. Strike against your employer - NSZZ "Solidarnosc". The response of the management - from what is known about it, it was rather about a part of the leadership of the Union - was determined: sent the boycott - because it is necessary to specify - armed with pipes and keys "brought order." On the anniversary of its existence, the workers 'union has suppressed the workers' strike by force.

No, I do not want to argue that it was because of this that the mass support for "Solidarity" weakened. Not many people knew about it. I want to assert that something important in the internal structure of our Union must have changed since such a shameful decision could have been taken and executed, since the outraged members of the Presidium of the National Commission denied expressing their condemnation only in the backdrops of the convention at that time, The price of cigarettes was echoed, but no one shouted that the workers 'union was violating the workers' right to strike, as there was no storm in the independent trade union press. About what changed in the Union, I wrote many times in the days of "Solidarity" (see also part two of this collection): Our union underwent a progressive bureaucratization, Over the course of the months, our non-communist political elites gained in us the form of self-organization of the masses similar in their origins to the system of Hungarian councils, transformed into a structure closer and closer to the political party. And I want to assert that it was not unnoticed downstairs among the member states. And the people are instinctive dislike for all political parties, understanding that whatever they say about themselves, whatever they declare in the programs, they still do what corresponds to the interests of the party elites. The interests of the elites gathered around our Union, not the masses, were responsible for making the most important decisions - for example, who would have the enormous power of running the trade unions - in the privacy of the bricks and cabinets. The interests of our political elites, not the masses, After all, it was easier for them to influence the "leader" and his surroundings than the general assembly of factories or universities. The interests of our elites, not the masses, corresponded to the concept of the "national salvation government" of autumn 1981. All this happened somewhere in the bizarre regions of the "great politics" of which the average member of the Union knew little about it. exactly none. The only thing that matters is that the Union is moving away from them, that it becomes part of the distant game of political forces that have developed in the country, that it is increasingly busy with "big politics" and less and less of its own interests. Does not that explain it, added to the discouraging and overpowering misery that when the three gentlemen finally set off for the attack,

The basic science of the Hungarian revolution sounds so. The form of a centralized trade union is poorly suited for capturing the struggle of the masses with a system of triple control in organizational faults. Such relationship must sooner or later become an alternative state able and willing to play the political game with the competent state. A game that takes place over the heads of its members, causing only the destruction of their revolutionary potential until the authority becomes capable of dissecting them with no greater risk of being exposed to the might of the gray people. The only form of organization that these people defend to fall is the form of councils or self-governments, their own self-organization: loose federation of bodies representing the crew, which, without negotiations and laws, simply take over the management of enterprises and administer them according to the will of their electors; A federation that does not organize strikes against the tri-power (implementing its strategy of economic decomposition in this way), but organizes its work with the just distribution of its effects; a federation that does not have the "chiefs" (who heard of the leaders of the Hungarian revolution) to reach the heights of the highlands, but whose upper cells coordinate the activity of the basic cells; The federation, which does not particularly care about press spokespersons and their own image on the so-called. world, but it is true that every main link has its own means of expressing its opinion completely independently of the activists whose duty it is to criticize; federation of local governments,

Tell someone: anarchist utopia. He who sovereign or aspires to say, or someone whose ideologies serve to justify and hide such interests in the fits of supposed "praxeological necessities", impose old millennial schemes as unconditional and obvious. In the vision of a centralized structure leading up to the "chief", who is supposed to see better from his heights, there is nothing obvious in this type of vision. It is obvious here that the interests of all those who in their structure work on their power, position, prestige and popularity. And the alternative: loose, bound by praxeological precisely, not the sovereign, ties the federation of self-governments is not utopian, proves the Hungarian revolution. Concluding Poland's Six Months with Hungary's Three Months, Which of the forms of organization of revolutionary people is more effective. The effectiveness of the organization of the revolution is measured in one way: the support of ordinary people. Let's make the next mass organization more supportive of Solidarity.

Leszek Nowak
August 1983

Originally the text was published on the portal Lewicowo.pl
The above text from the set of reprint articles Leszek Nowak entitled "Neither revolution nor evolution", issued by the émigré publishing house Slovo-La Parole, without giving the date and place of issue (in fact, Paris 1985). In 1984 he went to Frankfurt am Main with the same title, and presumably the text was printed there as a first edition. For the needs of Lewicowo.pl, the article was published and edited by Wojciech Goslar. In the photo the crumbling statue of Stalin in Budapest during the events of 1956.

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