Courtesy Reuters

The Choices in Hungary

THE information coming out of Hungary is so conflicting and so strongly colored that world opinion is bewildered. Yet it is important that democracies understand events there aright. The author of these pages stands outside the political struggles of present-day Hungary; his only aim is to give an objective picture of what is going on in that tortured country.

Twenty-three years ago, when the White terroristic system of Admiral Horthy was recognized and supported by the western Powers, thus achieving a semblance of legitimacy, the propaganda apparatus of Budapest was successful in the United States in distorting the truth and presenting all Hungarian democratic efforts as a continuation of the unfortunate Bolshevik revolution of Béla Kun. I was glad at that time to have an opportunity of presenting the essential features of the Hungarian tragedy in the pages of this review. My conclusions were that without a complete democratization of Hungary, resulting in a new internal and external policy, a new war in Central Europe was inevitable; and that the only hope that the Danubian and Balkan nations would escape becoming victims of foreign imperialistic schemes lay in their establishment of a free-trade Danubian Confederation.[i] Later on, I tried to show that the nationality struggles in this region had led to the dismemberment of Hungary along the lines of the Trianon Treaty, foreseen by Louis Kossuth as early as 1850.[ii] Finally, I emphasized the social and moral bankruptcy of Hungary under the system of the latifundia.[iii]

Today, following Hungary's conquest by the Russian Army, the danger of misunderstanding by the west lies in the tendency of both Communists and progressive anti-Communists to present the picture of the new Hungary in terms that are too schematic.[iv] The viewpoints of the anti-Communists are roughly analogous to the ideology of the former Second International and of the Mensheviks, respectively, and oversimplify the situation -- probably because both are still influenced by the original Marxist outlook. For the Communists, of course, the liberation of Hungary

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