Some Problems of People’s Democracy

by Matyas Rakosi

General-Secretary of the Hungarian Working People’s Party

Hungary is the youngest of the People’s Democracies. Essentially, this is due to the same reasons that made Hungary Hitler’s last satellite, but it is also because for a long time after the liberation we underestimated the strength of the enemy. Here it was only after two and a half years of hard work that the Communist Party could win the backing, not only of the industrial workers, but of the majority of the working peasants, the progressive intellectuals and the small businessmen.

Until we had, with three years of hard and bitter work, convinced the working people of the truth of our cause, until we had exposed the attempts of the old capitalist order to climb back into the saddle, the question was not decided whether the country would go on the road of the People’s Democracy or of bourgeois democracy. The liberating supporting arm of the Soviet people is not enough in itself. It is also necessary – as with the proletarian dictatorship – that the Communist Party should be acknowledged as their leader, not only by the class of industrial workers, but also by its allies, the working peasants, small craftsmen, small shop-keepers, and progressive intellectuals. We expressed this at the time by saying that the Soviet Union had struck the chains from our hands, but that she could not build democracy in place of us. We would have to do that ourselves.

And, until we won the great majority of the working people, there was in our country, too, a sort of “dual power”, as there was in 1917 in Kerensky’s time: there stood one beside the other, interwoven and struggling with the other, the old that pulled towards capitalism, and the new that strove for Socialism. The struggle was decided for Socialism, for People’s Democracy, but we shall need many years’ hard work yet, much help and mutual aid from the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies, finally to consolidate the results we have achieved.

The People’s Democracies came into being with the help and support of the Soviet Union; their strength was increased by mutual aid. They can only secure their continued existence and further development in the face of threatening, sabre-rattling imperialism, if they rely on the Soviet Union and on each other. Anyone who leaves this community has, by this step in itself, ceased to be a State of the People’s Democracy and a builder of Socialism, and inevitably crashes back into the camp of the capitalists and the imperialists. The six months’ history of the treachery of the Yugoslav leaders provides spectacular proof of this.

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