The second significant current is the party Green Left (Zöld Baloldal). The Green Left is an association of the Hungarian Workers’ Party of 2006 (Magyarországi Munkáspárt 2006, member of the European Left) and the group Green Left. The party participated in the elections of 2010 and 2014, without, however, being able even to put together a list of candidates anywhere. Similarly, in the elections for the local councils, it has rarely managed to put forward its own candidates. In these cases, the party calls upon its sympathisers to vote for either the Hungarian Workers’ Party or its breakaway, the Hungarian Workers’ Party of 2006.
The third camp in the anti-systemic left consists of anarchist and anarcho-communist groups, which are competing amongst each other. These groups attack both the state and any traditional form of political organisation. This camp embodies the idea of the left as political subculture. Happenings reported in the liberal press are more important to many of them than mass action. The representatives of this camp see themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist.
All these groups are closely connected to those anti-capitalist traditions of the region, which, through the self-organisation of society want to disconnect themselves from capitalism. Those traditions can be traced back to the years of 1945-1945, and later Solidarnosc in Poland, to 1905, 1917 and 1989-1991 in Russia and the Soviet Union, to the self-organised workers’ councils and workers’ committees which strove for the socialisation of state property. Under the pressure of the neoliberal global order and the capitalist restoration in Eastern Europe, however, it is hardly possible to powerfully reconnect to these radical experiments of civil society.
Meanwhile even in 2016, 60 years after the insurrection of 1956, the Hungarian state expends great energy in disowning the memory of 1956. A propaganda campaign as has never been seen before, alongside mega-conferences at universities, are spreading the Fidesz-program of “national understanding” and the message of legitimising the current system. At the same time, since 1989, the tradition of the workers’ councils of 1956 is being either completely concealed or falsified. This serves as more evidence for the extreme weakness of the labour and trade union movement even 25 years later.
Q: Can you see a political perspective in attempts by the left to draw upon nationalism?
Tamás Krausz: With its hostility towards the EU and the Euro, national romanticism does not lead leftwards, but drives the entire region towards the type of national popularism embodied by Viktor Orbán. Compared to the EU, the national state does not exhibit any progressive features, but it rather obfuscates the struggle between different parts of the bourgeoisie, and for some on the left it replaces thoughts about how to transcend capitalism. Similarly, the romantic form of communism does not hold any adequate solution for those social experiments that aim for the global transcendence of capitalism. There is no perspective without widespread social resistance.