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anarchism in Hungarian Revolution (1956)

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The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 can be seen as an excellent example of a functioning anarchy, perhaps even of successful communism. From October 22 1956 Hungarian workers refused to obey their managers or their government. Claiming sovereignty for their own workers councils they organized economic, military and social production on an increasing scale. An example of the anarchic social organization was that vast sums of money were freely donated for injured revolutionary fighters; and that this money was left unattended in the street for days at a time. Peasants supplied the workers with food on a voluntary basis. Between October 22 and December 14 Hungary's economy and society was governed by the democratic opinion of workers councils and voluntary associations. These councils constantly increased in scope and depth, eventually forming a Central Workers Council of Greater Budapest (CWC-GB), with intellectual and student associations affiliated to the body. The attempts to form a national Workers Council were crushed by Soviet military violence. The workers councils fought off one invasion by the Soviet Union between October 23 and 28, and fought a second invasion to an armistice of exhaustion between November 3 and November 10. After this time the Soviet Union negotiated directly with the Workers Councils. However, arrests of the primary and reserve leaderships of the CWC-GB, and massive reprisal executions and deportations of Hungarian revolutionaries lead to voluntary dissolution of the CWC-GB as it was no longer able to uphold its aims and ideals. Sporadic resistance by Hungarian revolutionaries and workers continued until mid 1957. Only one self-proclaimed anarchist, the Marxist playwright Julius Hay (Hay Gyulia), was involved in organizing the revolution. Most revolutionary Hungarians adopted their own "anarchist" way of organizing spontaneously.

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