The Survivors

After the defeat of the revolution the trade unions and the social democratic party were allowed to function and, except for a few matterful analyses, the fact remained that they had nothing to do with class struggle. The Bolsheviks had to reorganize their party.1 heir Viennese leadership started to elaborate the lessons of the defeated revolution in Vörös Újság (‘Red Journal’) which was published as the supplement of the journal of the Austrian Communist Party, entitled Die Rote Fahne. The journal Kommunismus was also published in Vienna, in which one part of the communist movement was trying its wings against the Comintern. György Lukács, with his own avantgarde Marxist tune, also wrote for this journal, but later it was liquidated by the Bolsheviks due to its „leftist” deviations. It’s not by accident that we mention this important area of Görgy Lukács’s theoretical activity, his fruitful period for the communist movement: then was forming the exciting, lively, dialectical analytical conception of his book Történelem és osztálytudat (‘History and Class Consciousness’), of which effect returned within the Hungarian movement principally in Attila József’s, Pál Justus’s activity and in of the so-called oppositionists.

At this time the circle of proletarian militants hallmarked by Lajos Kassák also remained active. They were under the influence of a specific Proletkult approach and were unable to break with their attempts at the unification of „proletarian art and communist revolution”. After the defeat of the revolution the activists, who had been active in Kassák’s circles and by the different journals connected to them, also had to emigrate and their revolutionary impetus decreased. Avant-gardist art had an increasing effect on them and they started to propagate an ageless, „all-human, humanistic scale of values which is above the social classes”, so they increasingly stood away from class-militancy. „The journal Ma (‘Today’) by its political position and by its ideology was communist and it’s still that, but beyond that something else, too. Human, that is universal.” – wrote Kassák in the period of the emigration and this confession shows their relation to the revolutionary movement. The members being active by the journal always changed, later many of them (most of the former committed hard core) became activists of the Bolshevik movement, others sunk into the delight of bourgeois aesthetics. Their products later became part of self-realizational egoism, art treasures of museums. The journal Ma (‘Today’) and its circle was still active in Vienna in the early twenties, but their activity was very confused. They were proclaiming eternal revolution, were attacking social democracy, however, they misunderstood Bolshevism what they regarded as revolutionary fellow-passenger. Due to that their activity, instead of the revolutionary whirl, was confined into a relatively more peaceful area their impetus decreased, thus instead of revolutionary attempts, satisfaction of artistic creative urge became of primary importance. However the journal, as the manifestation of one fraction of the proletariat, in retrospect is a sweet gleam of the period of the white-terror. Their commitment (since that remained still unquestionable) and their increasingly mere verbal radicalism not permitted their evolution, as „they could fight in the revolution of art”, but they increasingly became bit players of real revolution, of communist war.

The others stayed in Hungary also made a motion in this period. The white-terrorist regime made a call that the working class must avoid any actions and in reply to this on May Day in 1920 there were several strikes in the factories. In June the Alliance of International Transport Workers called upon the world-proletariat to boycott all the works which would benefit the white-terrorist Hungarian state. The boycott started on 20th of June, the trading railways were stopped. In reply to this the Hungarian bourgeoisie stopped the export of the foodstuff. Before the boycott the miners in Tokod and in Tatabánya already went on strike, they demanded higher wages, several miners were arrested by the police. The two actions, however, didn’t join. When the call for the boycott was made the miners had already been working. Soon after the boycott ended, too. Since the Entente bourgeoisie „put pressure” on the Alliance of International Transport Workers which yielded under the pressure and stopped its adventurous but unsteadfast action. It entered into negotiations with the Entente bourgeoisie, and as usual, the trade union pulled in its horns, went back into the piggery to chaw the pigwash.

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