The pattern of the Communist conquest of power in Eastern Europe and of the transformation of society under Soviet Communist direction is well known from the stories of a number of political leaders who were worsted in that struggle and are now in exile, as well as from western diplomats and journalists who watched the process take place. In the case of Hungary, the former American Minister, H. F. Arthur Schoenfeld, has described in these pages the Soviet moves which culminated in the fall of the coalition government headed by Ferenc Nagy in May 1947 and the assumption of full control by the Communists. [i] During the past year, however, it is the Communists themselves who have been our best sources of information. By their frank admissions they have succeeded in confirming and documenting the accusations which others have made against them. Their willingness to make such revelations may be attributed, first, to their assurance that their control is now secure, and second, to the split between the Kremlin and Tito, which has led to a reaffirmation of loyalty to Stalinist orthodoxy on the part of other satellite leaders and to a speeding-up of the process of sovietization in those countries.

The most revealing of recent expositions of Communist theory and practice in Eastern Europe is an article which appeared in the March-April 1949 issue of Tarsadalmi Szemle, a Marxist "scientific" periodical of the Hungarian Workers' Party (Communist). Its author is Jozsef Revai, the leading theorist of Hungarian Communism, former editor of Szabad Nep, the Party newspaper, and presently Minister of People's Culture. Revai's article, a reprint of a speech made to the Party leaders, was intended as a guide for their activities. It was published under the title, "On the Character of Our People's Democracy." In publishing it, the Communist leadership apparently considered that the contribution it would make toward indoctrinating the Party membership outweighed the possible disadvantages in disillusioning those Hungarians who might still be uncertain as to Communist aims and in providing propaganda weapons to the western Powers. Subsequently, however, all copies of the magazine in which the article appeared are reported to have been recalled by the Hungarian Government.

Revai seeks to show that "People's Democracy," the type of régime established in the satellite states under governments which nominally are coalitions but which actually are dominated by the Communists, is in fact the "dictatorship of the proletariat though not in the Soviet form." In doing so, he makes it clear that the Hungarian Communist leadership, whatever its public pronouncements and tactical deviations, has not swerved from its pursuit of the eventual goal -- the achievement of Socialism on the model of the U.S.S.R. He reveals that Communist participation in the postwar coalition government was used as a means of destroying the "bourgeois" parties, that in this program the Communists had the invaluable support of the Soviet Union, and that having won power they could not share it with any other party, class or group, not even with the "working peasantry." This picture emerges with particular clarity from his list of "mistakes" made by Hungarian Communists in the period since the end of the war, mistakes which were made apparently because the Kremlin had not at that time laid down a clear line. The author indicates that Hungary will proceed on the road to Socialism through "economic and cultural construction" and, if necessary, through "oppression and violence," since the Hungarian Communists can rely on the Soviet Union to prevent a civil war.

The full text of the article, in translation, follows:

I want to speak about a problem, the problem which was mentioned today by Comrade Rakosi in his review, and which was dealt with in his recent memorable article -- the problem of the dictatorship of the proletariat.[ii] Comrade Rakosi's statement affirmed that the People's Democracy is a dictatorship of the proletariat, though not in the Soviet form, that our People's Democracy fulfills the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

This problem, Comrades, is a decisively important one, though it must be said before the Central Party Leadership that it was not given the attention by the Party officials which it deserved.

It is obvious, however, that Comrade Rakosi's statement, which was announced almost simultaneously with similar statements by Comrades Dimitrov and Bierut, was of decisive importance. In the thesis that a popular democracy is a dictatorship of the proletariat, though not in the Soviet form, there was included a summary of the evaluation of the results of more than four years of struggle on our part and of the substance of our future tasks.

Why was greater attention not paid to this problem by the Party officials? It is worth while to examine this phenomenon, which shows the relative underdevelopment of ideological thinking in our Party. It is true that Party members thirst to learn and are ambitious to improve themselves, and yet, the feeling for theoretical questions is not sufficiently developed. Concern with theoretical questions remains too much a preoccupation of the seminaries and Party schools and has not become the driving force of Party practice in its everyday work. Theory does not occupy the rôle it ought to; in many cases it means only dead knowledge, instead of a perspective or guide for practice. Very often we are overburdened with practice, and often we find ourselves living from day to day. It is correct that the problems of economic construction, the tasks of everyday Socialistic work, are central in our interest, but this should not be carried so far that our senses become blunted to the problems of politics or power.

It is obvious that the statement "the People's Democracy is a specimen of the dictatorship of the proletariat" is not an announcement to make a great fuss about. But if we don't have to make a great fuss about it, we don't need to hide it, to deal with it in secrecy. And the decisive factor is the necessity to make known inside the Party the importance of this statement, of this fact. For, Comrades, we are not speaking about a plain theoretical statement, but about a really practical problem. If we make it known within the Party, in the working class, that the People's Democracy is the dictatorship of the proletariat, then this becomes and should become a further resource of the effort to build Socialism, of the struggle against class enemies, and of the defense against the imperialists.

I believe it is not unnecessary to examine the statement that our People's Democracy, and people's democracies in general, mean the dictatorship of the proletariat though not in the Soviet form. It is obvious that our People's Democracy has not been from the beginning a dictatorship of the proletariat, but became so during the struggle.

The development of our democracy is nothing else than a struggle which began with the goals of destroying Fascism, of realizing our national independence, and of steadily executing civic democratic tasks, and which was transformed subsequently into a fight against the big fortunes, and then against the whole bourgeoisie; in a fight against capitalism, aiming first at the expulsion of capitalistic elements and of the capitalistic class, and then at their liquidation. Our transformation began as an anti-Fascist, national, civic democratic one, and it became deeper and larger and developed during the struggle into a Socialistic transformation.

Our state, therefore, has not been from the beginning a kind of dictatorship of the proletariat. We should take into consideration the fact that we were for a long time a minority in the government, that until the fall of Ferenc Nagy, the government of the democracy consisted not only of such elements as the kulaks, but of the representatives of the bourgeoisie and the agents of the imperialists as well.[iii] Let us take into consideration the fact that the 1944 platform of the Independence Front was in essence only the program of the anti-Fascist, anti-feudalist, anti-German, and bourgeois-democratic transformation and that it pressed only one claim against capitalism: nationalization of the mines, that is, the resources of the earth. Let us take into consideration the fact that in the economy of the People's Democracy, until the year of the transformation, the middle of 1947, the capitalistic elements were dominant in the nationalization of the industry and banks.

The fact that the Hungarian People's Democracy, as a kind of dictatorship of the proletariat, is the result of a development brought about through tough class struggles, is treated also in our Party platform, in spite of the fact that the platform does not mention the dictatorship of the proletariat. According to our platform, with the liberation of the country, and the fall of the power system of the big landlords and big capital, the working class, the whole of the peasantry and therefore the rich peasants as well, and the anti-German faction of the bourgeoisie took over the power. "With the German threat removed, the destruction of feudalism and the resolution, step by step, of the problems raised by the struggle against big capital, during the fight against the reactionaries and with the intensification of international differences, resulted in the ousting from power and from the government of the representatives of the capitalists as well as most of the representatives of the exploiters of the rural districts. Today in Hungary -- our platform says -- the working class and its ally the working peasantry are in power."

Do you think, Comrades, that our transformation, in its first phase, before it became a Socialistic transformation, was anything else than a bourgeois-democratic transformation? By no means. You know very well that the working class was represented in the government and in the apparatus of power. We were a minority in Parliament and in the government, but at the same time we represented the leading force. We had decisive control over the police forces.[iv] Our force, the force of our Party and the working class, was multiplied by the fact that the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Army, were always there to support us with their assistance. In the first phase of our transformation, when we struggled directly and apparently only for a steadfast achievement of bourgeois-democratic tasks, we fought as well for the establishment and assurance of the conditions which made possible the Socialistic transformation. The change in the development of our People's Democracy into the dictatorship of the proletariat began with the destruction of the right wing of the Smallholders' Party, with the liquidation of the conspiracy and the fall of Ferenc Nagy. Then the kulak became an enemy, then the leading rôle of our Party and the working class was strengthened. But the struggle for the transformation of Hungary along anti-capitalistic and Socialistic lines was initiated long before, when in the spring of 1946 the Left Wing Bloc, under the leadership of the Communist Party, succeeded in the fight for the nationalization of heavy industry; when, in the fall of 1946, the Third Congress of our Party announced the watchword: "We are constructing the country, not for the capitalists, but for the people." Ferenc Nagy resigned at the end of May 1947, but Comrade Rakosi's address, held in the Angyalföld district of Budapest, giving the watchword, "Let's make the rich pay," and initiating the struggle, not only for the control, but for the nationalization of the great banks, was held on May 7. Our Three-year Plan, mentioned for the first time before Christmas of 1946, by Comrade Gero, was not directed straightforwardly and openly against capitalism as a whole, the whole bourgeoisie, but it was already connected with the tasks of the struggle against big capital. The Socialistic change of our transformation, the period during which our People's Democracy developed into a kind of dictatorship of the proletariat, extended approximately from May 1947, the fall of Ferenc Nagy, to January 1948. This is the glorious year of the change, when the majority of the working class lined up behind the Communist Party and when at the First National Conference of Party officials, the watchword of the Third Congress, "We are constructing the country not for the capitalists, but for the people," was changed to the new, victorious watchword, "The country is yours, you are constructing it for yourselves." This development, our development into a dictatorship of the proletariat, was crowned and definitively assured in June 1948 by the destruction of the right wing of the Socialist Party and establishment of the unified Workers' Party.[v]

We must ask the question, whether we were able to see clearly, whether we were aware, during the struggle, of the nature and direction of the changes occurring in our people's democracy, in the character of our state. No, comrades, we did not see it clearly. At most we were feeling our way in the right direction. The Party didn't possess a unified, clarified, elaborated attitude in respect to the character of the People's Democracy and its future development. We must point this out, exercising self-criticism. And we must emphasize the fact that we received the decisive stimulation and assistance for the clarification of our future development from the Communist (Bolshevik) Party of the Soviet Union, from the teachings of Comrade Stalin.[vi] The two sessions of the Cominform, the first in the fall of 1947, the second in the summer of 1948, were of fundamental help for us. The first taught us that a People's Democracy couldn't halt at any but the final stage of its destruction of the capitalistic elements, and the second showed us that the Socialistic transformation couldn't be limited to the towns, but had to be extended to the rural districts and that as regards the fundamental questions of the transformation into Socialism, the Soviet Union is our model and that the way of the People's Democracies differs only in certain external forms, and not in essence, from the way of the Soviet Union.

What were our mistakes in these questions? I think we made the following mistakes:

1. In the first phase of our People's Democracy, when the struggle was not directed straightforwardly against capitalism, when the fight for the consistent performance of bourgeois-democratic tasks was first on the agenda, we said that the People's Democracy was a plebeian, militant, consistent and popular kind of bourgeois democracy. In 1945 when the right wing of the Smallholders' Party wanted to provoke us into fighting the election campaign around the question, "Socialism or bourgeois private property?" we were not mistaken in evading the provocation. I believe we were right when on that occasion we criticized our left wing Socialist comrades, who during the Budapest election announced the watchword: "For a Red Budapest." This action served only our enemies. It was correct at that time to stress that the issue was not a choice between Socialism or bourgeois private property, but rather the following: Should we compromise with the forces of the old system, or should we liquidate them? It was correct that, in the fight against big capital, we did not stress that this was a transition into the struggle for Socialism but that the measures initiated against big capital meant at the same time the protection of small private properties. It was correct not to show our cards, but often even we forgot that the People's Democracy at this time was more than just a plebeian variety of the bourgeois democracy and that it was a step toward the Socialistic transition, which contained even then the elements of development into the dictatorship of the proletariat.

2. The second mistake was the fact that, first of all and overwhelmingly, we emphasized the differences between the development of the Soviet Union and our development into a People's Democracy, instead of stressing the similarity, the substantial identity, of the two developments.

3. As for our third mistake, we concluded from the popular and, therefore relatively peaceful, character of the development into Socialism, that we could achieve Socialism without a dictatorship of the proletariat. Or -- which was only another form of the same mistake -- we said that the dictatorship of the proletariat meant the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union, while with us in the People's Democracy it was superfluous.

4. It was also a mistake to say that we too needed the dictatorship of the proletariat for the achievement of Socialism, but considered the dictatorship of the proletariat as a form of government, which should follow the People's Democracy and therefore did not consider the People's Democracy a characteristic form of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

5. And finally, Comrades, it was a mistake to see the essence of the People's Democracy in the division of power between the working class and the working peasantry. The dictatorship of the proletariat, as it was defined by Lenin and Stalin, means that power is undivided in the hands of the proletariat and that the working class does not share the power with other classes. Therefore, it does not share its power with the peasantry. This faulty conception of the division of power was expressed in my lecture held at the Party Training Conference, where -- until Comrade Rakosi's article -- we had come the nearest to the correct conception that the People's Democracy was a transition from capitalism toward Socialism and was therefore a type of dictatorship of the proletariat. This faulty conception is expressed also in the platform of our Party, a fundamentally correct document, but by no means a fetish, which is to be amended, and corrected in certain parts, because some of the basic questions, like the Socialistic development of agriculture, its collectivization, are expressed in the platform only in a disguised form and are not mentioned by their real name.

Regarding the question of whether the dictatorship of the proletariat means the exclusive power of the working class and not the division of that power between labor and the working peasantry, let me cite Lenin and Stalin. Lenin says: "The notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat has meaning . . . only if that class is conscious of its exclusive possession of political power . . ." According to Stalin, the dictatorship of the proletariat means that that class "does not and cannot exercise power together with other classes . . ." Furthermore, Stalin adds that "the leader of the dictatorship of the proletariat is but one party, the party of the proletariat, the Communist Party, which does not and cannot share leadership with any other parties."

Is this valid for us? With us, there are not only Communists in the government, but also Smallholders' and Peasant Party members. With us, this government, this cabinet, is still a coalition government. Does this coalition of our Party with the Smallholders' and Peasant Parties mean that we exercise leadership together with them, that with us power is divided between the working class and the working peasantry?

As to this, let me cite Stalin once more: "We had been marching October-ward with the slogan of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of the poor peasantry and this in fact was practically achieved in October, inasmuch as we had a bloc with the left wing and a leadership divided with them, although then we already had a proletarian dictatorship in effect, since we Bolsheviks constituted the majority. The dictatorship of the proletariat and the poor peasantry ceased to exist formally too after the leftist S.R. coup[vii] . . . when the full leadership fell into the hands of one single Party -- ours -- which does not and cannot share the leadership of the state with other parties."

Formally, also with us there are elements of the division of power and leadership. But in fact, Comrades, it is the working class which alone is in power, in fact it is our Party alone which runs the state machine.

Of course, the fact that today we still share, though but formally, the leadership with other parties has some significance. This indicates that the alliance of the working class and of the working peasantry isn't close enough as yet, that we didn't as yet organize the peasantry tightly enough around the working class.

Does the overwhelming and unconditional power of the working class mean the exclusion of the working peasantry from the shaping of its own destiny? It does not. The power, the leadership, is undivided, but in certain important realms the working class willingly includes the working peasantry and its representatives in exercising power. Our state is ruled by the working class alone, but this state is a state of the working people and thus of the peasantry too; consequently this state is being built upon an alliance of the working class and the peasantry. However, even if the dictatorship of the proletariat is being built upon this class alliance of the working class and the peasantry, it can't be identified with it at all. Why cannot this power be exercised along with the peasantry? Because in that case the state would cease to be a weapon with which to realize Socialism. For the peasantry, even its working part, is halfheartedly for private property and halfheartedly for the coöperatives.[viii] It vacillates. It should be supported, led, educated and assisted in order that it accept the way to the coöperatives. This leadership, education and assistance must be given by the state, too, and that is why power cannot be divided with the peasantry. Furthermore, vacillation concerning the matter of the Socialist progression of the village means at the same time hesitation between capitalism and Socialism, uncertainty in the fight against the kulak, vacillation in the fight against imperialism. But a state transforming itself into Socialism, a state fighting against the kulak, a state that is to protect itself against imperialism, a power dedicated to oppressing anti-class attitudes, must not vacillate.

That is the reason, Comrades, why we must liquidate the concept that the working class shares its power with other classes. In this concept we find remnants of a viewpoint according to which a People's Democracy is some quite specific kind of state which differs from the Soviet's not only in its form, but also in its essence and functions.

However, the fact that power is exclusively possessed by the working class isn't to be chattered about everywhere. We do not intend to mislead the peasantry but equally don't wish to strengthen reactionary elements. Toward the peasantry, we should stress -- what is true -- that in important fields even the dictatorship of the proletariat includes the working peasantry in wielding power, that the dictatorship of the proletariat is being built upon the close alliance of the working class and the peasantry; of course, not upon any kind of alliance, but upon one building Socialism.

I shall mention briefly what consequences should be drawn from the realization that our People's Democracy is a variation of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

To begin with, the power in possession of the working class must, in the interest of the shaping of Socialism, the oppressing of class enemies and the defense against imperialism be still much more decidedly and severely exercised than it has been up to now. "Dictatorship" also means the exercising of force in oppressing enemies. The realization that the People's Democracy is a variation of the dictatorship of the proletariat arms us with the knowledge that, in fighting this class enemy, those organs destined to apply this force must be rendered more effective and unified than they are.[ix]

We are conscious that the dictatorship of the proletariat does not merely consist of the exercise of force; its essential functions also include construction; to conquer allies for the proletariat, and to unite them for Socialist production. In our case, thanks to the fact that we can rely upon the Soviet Union and so can be spared from a civil war, the foremost function of our dictatorship of the proletariat is a task of economic and cultural construction. However, this does not mean at all that the functions of oppression and violence also appertaining to the dictatorship of the proletariat should be overlooked as secondary.

Rendering innocuous the agents of the imperialists, and the oppression of the class enemy within, are not at all secondary tasks; on the contrary they are conditions of the work of building Socialism. Furthermore, we must also clearly realize that periods may come in our evolution when the chief function of the dictatorship of the proletariat will consist of exercising force against enemies from within and from without. Whoever forgets that commits the crime of pacifism, demobilizes the Party and the working class, and overlooks the building up of our state security organization as well as our army.

When outlining the tasks which lie ahead, Comrades, we must keep in sight not only the fact that our state is in close kinship with the dictatorship of the proletariat, but also that it is still wearing the eggshells of its origin, remnants from the period of the bourgeois democratic transformation. Our dictatorship of the proletariat isn't as yet a complete, finished achievement -- we still have heavy tasks ahead before its final consolidation.

When we say "Our state is a dictatorship of the proletariat, though not in the Soviet form," it must not be meant that there is nothing in the Soviet form of the dictatorship of the proletariat to be studied and applied at home. Of course there is. The organism of our state should get closer to the Soviet-type of the dictatorship of the proletariat: i.e., in reorganizing our administration, putting an end to the dualism of that administration, making the working people coöperate more and more effectively in the administration and in exercising the power of the state. No doubt, even our Parliament has to be reformed, inasmuch as it still wears the remnants of a bourgeois, prattling parliamentarianism, the dualism of the legislative and the executive.

Comrades, on March 21 of this year we shall celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the proclamation of the first glorious Hungarian dictatorship of the proletariat.[x] For 30 years, we have been cherishing its memory, keeping up its traditions and educating our Party in a spirit of self-criticism exercised upon the faults committed in those early days. Today, in a different way from that of some 30 years ago, in entirely different and much riper circumstances, we have reached the stage where we had to stop working 30 years ago. Then the dictatorship of the proletariat lasted but 131 days; today we are in the fifth year of that People's Democracy, which developed into the dictatorship of the proletariat. In 1919 our innate shortcomings and foes from without brought the dictatorship of the proletariat to an end. This time we will win and build up Socialism.

CONCLUSION

Certain points made by Revai in his article may be summarized for the sake of emphasis:

First, the author says frankly that the Soviet Union has directed Hungarian affairs since the war -- by giving diplomatic support, by guiding the Hungarian Communists, and by exerting pressure through the Soviet Army. The Hungarian Communists were given the line to be followed at the two sessions of the Cominform in 1947 and 1948. There they were instructed to proceed without delay on the road to sovietizing Hungary, since a People's Democracy "could not halt at any but the final stage of its destruction of the capitalistic elements." The Soviet Union must be the model in the transformation of Hungary into a Socialist state.

Second, Revai admits that the Communist leaders never entertained the thought of compromise and alliance with non-Communist Parties in good faith. The alliance which existed between 1944 and 1947 was tactical. "It was correct not to show our cards." It was necessary to collaborate with the bourgeois parties, first, to liquidate "feudalism" and "big capital," and next, to liquidate the "remnants of capitalism" and the "kulaks," i.e., the bourgeois parties themselves.

Third, Revai leaves no doubt that the land is to be collectivized. There must be Socialism "in rural districts as in the towns." This was the aim of the Communists, and of the U.S.S.R., even at the time of the land reform of 1945 which divided the big estates among the peasants. Socialism on the land is to be introduced by force if necessary. In bringing this about, Revai indicates, the "working peasantry" may coöperate with the urban proletariat on terms laid down by the latter, but it cannot be permitted to share power. State leadership must be held by the Communists alone.

Fourth, the author believes that the "dictatorship of the proletariat" is in Hungary to stay. The People's Democracy, under firm Communist control, is not now "in the Soviet form," but will steadily draw closer to it.

Fifth, Revai warns that all who do not accept the Communist program are class enemies and traitors, and must be liquidated. No hope is left for any sincere attempt at compromise in order to preserve some modicum of democracy or of human rights.

In short, Hungary is today a segment of the Soviet-Communist empire. Jozsef Revai has provided not only the Hungarian Party leaders but non-Communists as well with an authoritative and extremely frank description of the methods by which this was brought about.

[i] "Soviet Imperialism in Hungary," by H. F. Arthur Schoenfeld, Foreign Affairs, April 1948.

[ii]Translator's Note: This reference is to an article by Deputy Premier Matyas Rakosi in Szabad Nep, official Communist Party newspaper, January 16, 1949. In it, the Hungarian leader cited recent statements of the late Georgi Dimitrov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and Boleslaw Bierut, President of Poland, to the effect that régimes of the "People's Democracy" in the satellite states, like the régime of the U.S.S.R., represent the dictatorship of the proletariat.

[iii]Translator's Note: These representatives of the "kulaks" and "bourgeoisie" and "agents of the imperialists" were the leaders of the Smallholders Party, which won an absolute majority of votes in the national election of 1945. They shared power in a coalition government with the Social Democrats, the Communists, and the National Peasant Party. Ferenc Nagy, in his book, "The Struggle Behind the Iron Curtain" (New York: Macmillan, 1948), recounts the many concessions which his Party made to the Communists in order to preserve the coalition, only to be pushed aside by the Communists when they found the time ripe.

[iv]Translator's Note: From the very start, in 1944, the Communists assured themselves of effective control of the Ministry of the Interior and of the police. Thus they were able to exercise arbitrary power throughout the country and prepare the way for seizure of power even though a coalition government was in office, with the Smallholders' Party holding the presidency, the premiership and about half the posts in the Cabinet.

[v]Translator's Note: The "destruction" of the Social Democratic (Socialist) Party was brought about by arrests and the persecution of those leaders who attempted to maintain the Party's independence, and the absorption of the remainder. Arpad Szakasits, the left-wing Socialist leader, was rewarded for his amenability with the Presidency of the Republic. Communist tactics in penetrating the Socialist Party in order to capture it, and Szakasits' part in the betrayal of his own Party, are revealed by G. Marosan, at present a member of the Cabinet and a leading Communist, in the Cominform journal, For a Lasting Peace, For a People's Democracy, June 15, 1949. During the war, he says, members of the illegal Communist Party "continued their work in the Social Democratic Party." And he states that as early as 1944 "Szakasits concluded an agreement with the Communist Party for a united front and on the question of unification after the country's liberation."

[vi]Translator's Note: This open admission of "decisive assistance" by the Soviet Communist Party to the Hungarian Communists in guiding the destruction of "capitalist elements" and in pointing out the path to Socialist construction, coupled with the earlier admission of the help rendered by the Soviet Army, contradicts Soviet and Hungarian professions of concern for Hungarian "sovereignty" and complaints of Anglo-American interference in Hungary's internal affairs.

[vii]Translator's Note: The Social Revolutionaries (S.R.'s) were the revolutionary agrarian party in Russia. Stalin's reference is to a revolt led by the left wing of the S.R.'s early in 1918 against the Bolsheviks, with whom they were associated in the government for a short time after the October revolution.

[viii]Translator's Note: The word "coöperative" is undergoing the same kind of treatment at the hands of Communist propagandists that the word "democracy" has undergone. The process of forcing farmers to pool their land is called forming "coöperatives," instead of "collectives," in order to make it more palatable to the peasantry and to confuse world opinion. As Revai indicates, the goal is "Socialist transformation" in the rural districts as well as in the towns. To the peasants, who had received land through the land reform of 1945, the Communists now offer war on the "kulaks," and a subordinate position in a régime directed by the proletariat, i.e., by the Communist Party.

[ix]Translator's Note: In other words, it is the duty of the dominant Communist Party to use the machinery of the state to oppress and liquidate "class enemies." These "enemies" consist of large segments of the population, embracing millions of individuals, to whom the régime concedes no human rights whatever. The doctrinaire Marxist approach apparent in Revai's remarks reveals the difficulties facing outside attempts to induce the régime to secure human rights and fundamental freedoms to the Hungarian people, as it is obligated to do under the Peace Treaties.

[x]Translator's Note: The shortlived dictatorship of Bela Kun, proclaimed on March 21, 1919.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now