Goulash Communism

Goulash Communism (Hungarian: gulyáskommunizmus), also commonly referenced as Kadarism or the Hungarian Thaw, refers to the variety of communism in Hungary following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. János Kádár and the Hungarian People's Republic imposed policies with the goal to create high-quality living standards for the people of Hungary coupled with economic reforms. These reforms fostered a sense of well-being and relative cultural freedom in Hungary with the reputation of being "the happiest barracks"[1] of the Eastern Bloc during the 1960's to the 1970's. With elements of regulated market economics as well as an improved human rights record, it represented a quiet reform and deviation from the Stalinist principles applied to Hungary in the previous decade.

The name is a metaphor derived from goulash, a traditional Hungarian dish. Goulash is made with an assortment of unlike ingredients, it represents how Hungarian communism was a mixed ideology. Also, how it no longer strictly adhered to Marxist–Leninist interpretations as in the past.[2]  This period of "pseudo-consumerism" saw an increase of foreign affairs and consumption of consumer goods as well.[1]

Origins

Flag of the Hungarian Revolution (1956)
The flag used for the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Hungarian Revolution of 1956

János Kádár (fototeca.iiccr.ro)-(cropped)
János Kádár was the Premier of Hungary during 1956-1958 and 1961-1965.

The historical accounts leading to and including the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 created an atmosphere for Goulash Communism to commence. Mátyás Rákosi headed the Hungarian Communist Party until its demise in the 1956 revolution. Rákosi modeled Hungarian Communism after Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. In that sense, he helped implement an extensive industrialization of the country. With the quick change to industry brought an initial surge of the economy, but ultimately left many people with worse living conditions. In 1951 the Hungarian people had to utilize a ticket system to purchase basic supplies.[3] After the death of Stalin in 1953, the Soviet Union wanted a change in leadership in Hungary and recommended Imre Nagy. Imre Nagy took steps in his government towards "political liberalization" so much so in 1955 he was ousted from his position in the government by Rákosi, who had the backing of the Soviet Union. Imre Nagy did come back and lead the government during the 1956 revolt.[4] During the months of October and November 1956 the people of Hungary revolted against the political and economic situation that was thrust against them.[5] The Soviet Union reacted with military force and extinguished the uprising, while also changing the command of the state to János Kádár as general secretary in 1956.

János Kádár

János Kádár joined the communist party while it was still illegal in 1931. He was arrested for conspiracy shortly after. A decade later he rejoined the party in 1941 but went unto hiding until the end of WWII, when Hungary was turned communist after the occupation of the Red Army of the Soviet Union, by the "blue-ballot" elections. He started openly practicing communism and worked throughout the new communist government of Hungary until he was arrested for the third time for allegedly being a "secret agent"[6] against the party. After Stalin's death, Imre Nagy released many people from prison, one of which was Kádár. He was released and rehabilitated. He became popular due to being a victim of Stalin's purges, a proof that he stood against the former Rákosi administration. In July 1956 he was elected to the Hungarian politburo. In October 25, 1956 he was elected in the midst of the revolution to the position of first secretary of the party. Finally on October 31, 1956 he was nominated the first secretary of the new Hungarian Socialist Worker's Party. The Politburo of the Soviet Union then summoned him to Moscow where they nominated him to be the new leader of Hungary. He had major influence in the political affairs of the country until 1988.[6]

Ideology

Goulash Communism showed a far greater concern for public opinion and an increased focus on the present well-being of the citizens than had been the case in the period preceding 1956. It provided a wider latitude for dissent than was the case in the rest of the Soviet bloc, in the words of Kádár, "who is not against us is with us."[7] This modified the role of the Communist Party in the development of socialism, now interpreted as "serving" rather than "commanding", reduced the formality of relations between the party and the populace at large, increased the scope of societal self-expression and self-management, and refined the guiding Marxist–Leninist ideology with modified means of dissemination. Marxist–Leninist ideology is invoked in the desire to reform as seen in Imre Nagy's "Reform Communism" (1955–1956). He argues that Marxism is a "science that cannot remain static but must develop and become more perfect".[8]

He attributes Marx to having created a method, meant to guide yet not entirely encompass socialism or its development. "The theory of Marx – as Lenin stated – gives general guiding principles, which must be utilized in Britain in another fashion than in France, in France differently than".[8] This interpretation was not shared by the Soviet leadership, Nikita Khrushchev's response to Hungary in 1956 and Leonid Brezhnev's to Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the resulting Brezhnev Doctrine stating that though "each socialist country had the right to determine the concrete form of its development along the path of socialism by taking account of the specific nature of their national conditions… the Soviet Union would not tolerate deviation from the principles of socialism and the restoration of capitalism".[9]

In 1962, six years after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the 8th Congress of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party declared the period of "consolidation of socialism" after 1956 to be over and that the "foundations for the establishment of a socialist society" had been achieved, which enabled a general amnesty of most people sentenced in connection with 1956. Under János Kádár, the party gradually curbed some of the excesses of the secret police and repealed most of the restrictions on speech and movement enacted in the Mátyás Rákosi era. In their place, the party introduced a relatively liberal cultural and economic course aimed at overcoming the post-1956 hostility toward the Kádár government.[10] In 1966, the Central Committee approved the "New Economic Mechanism" which eased foreign trade restrictions gave limited freedom to the workings of the market and allowed a limited number of small businesses to operate in the services sector. Though liberal in comparison to Soviet socialism, the first relaxation of economic control was far from posing the same threat as the 1956 reforms. Official policy employed different methods of administering the collectives, leaving the pace of mechanization up to each separately.[10] Additionally, rather than enforcing the system of compulsory crop deliveries and of workdays credit the collectivizers used monthly cash wages.[10] Later in the 1960s, cooperatives were permitted to enter into related and then general auxiliary businesses such as food processing, light industry and service industry.[10]

The result was a regime that was far less authoritarian than other Communist regimes, and certainly less so than the first seven years of undisguised Communist rule in Hungary. Generally, Hungarians had much more freedom to speak, write, and travel than their counterparts in the Soviet bloc. For instance, samizdat publications were tolerated to some extent, and conversations with foreigners did not attract much official scrutiny. However, while Kádár's regime was somewhat more humane than most of its counterparts, it was not a liberal one either. As in all Communist countries, the MSZMP retained a monopoly of power. Under the principles of democratic centralism, the National Assembly did little more than give legal sanction to decisions already made by the MSZMP and its Politburo. While having somewhat more latitude than in other Communist regimes, the media were still subjected to restrictions that were fairly onerous by Western standards. The secret police operated with somewhat more restraint than in other Communist states, and far more restraint than the AVH, but were still a feared tool of control.

Policy

Internal Affairs

Soon after János Kádár gained power following the military intervention by the Soviet Union, he had to control the state and force the peace. He did this through violence, he had his government imprison or execute protesters. There were even mass shootings of people, in the end he was responsible for hundred of deaths. After having quelled the uprising Kádár and his government released they had to create a major break from the past regime of Mátyás Rákosi. The goal of their "soft dictatorship"[6] government was to create peaceful and prosperous living conditions for the people of Hungary through reform. In a show of his change of character he gave a speech with his famous line, "Who is not against us, is with us," in 1961.[6]

In 1962, six years after the Hungarian Revolution, the 8th Congress of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party declared the general amnesty of revolutionaries imprisoned since 1956.[10] In 1968, the Central Committee approved the New Economic Mechanism, an act to reform the economics of Hungary. It influenced businesses, letting businesses grow in a horizontal integration instead of only vertical. In turn businesses were able to source their raw material and export excess product. The Act loosened central planning allowing businesses to have more say in their suppliers and economic decisions. The New Economic Mechanism achieved the goal of raising living standards throughout the state.[3] Throughout the majority of the 1960's and 1970's the people enjoyed more cultural freedoms and a reduction of ideological pressure from the state.[4] Hungary's economic resources were mobilized to better satisfy consumer demand by providing a more extensive assortment of consumer goods. Some economic reform measures were introduced to integrate limited market mechanisms into the framework of the planned socialist economy. An unfortunate result of this policy were rising economic stresses and high indebtedness which became evident by the late 1980's.[3]

Foreign Affairs

After the reconciliation of Hungary from the revolutionaries János Kádár's government created a deal with the Soviet Union where they would control foreign affairs while Kádár could employ his domestic control. Through this compromise the Soviet Union used Hungary as a rare opening between the Communism East and the Capitalist West.[11] Hungary started trading and enacting transactions with the West. Much of the capital fueling the Goulash Communist period came from Western capital.[3] Also fueling the reforms was an oil trade between Hungary and the Soviet Union. One main reason why Hungary could not keep Goulash Communism into the 1980's was the reliance on these foreign revenues. In the mid-1970's an oil crisis hit Hungary forcing them to draw more loans from Western countries to pay to inflated oil prices. This oil crisis led to price increases of basic commodities across Hungary and in turn by 1985 the standard of living started decreasing for the first time since the introduction of Goulash Communism.[3]

The increase in cultural freedoms coupled with increase of living standards and a relatively openness to foreign affairs led to an increase of consumption of consumer goods through Hungary. For example people started buying private televisions, cars and dreamed of owning and consuming more. Their demand was not easily met and the phrase "Kicsi vagy kocsi" was used to express frustration, it means "the choice between a baby and a car". Even so there were influxes of Socialist cars and other consumer items all across the state. In 1964 multiple foreign embassies opened in Budapest. Also being a comparatively well-off country in the Eastern bloc, Hungary was the destination for tourists from other communist nations for whom visits to the West were much more difficult.[1]

See also

General

References

  1. ^ a b c Nyyssönen, Heino (2006-06-01). "Salami reconstructed". Cahiers du monde russe. 47 (47/1-2): 153–172. doi:10.4000/monderusse.3793. ISSN 1252-6576.
  2. ^ V. Matveev, Yuri; V. Trubetskaya, Olga; A. Lunin, Igor; Y. Matveev, Kirill (2018-03-23). "Institutional aspect of the Russian economy regional development". Problems and Perspectives in Management. 16 (1): 381–391. doi:10.21511/ppm.16(1).2018.36. ISSN 1727-7051.
  3. ^ a b c d e Benczes, István (2016-02-26). "From goulash communism to goulash populism: the unwanted legacy of Hungarian reform socialism". Post-Communist Economies. 28 (2): 146–166. doi:10.1080/14631377.2015.1124557. ISSN 1463-1377.
  4. ^ a b Stearns, Peter N. (1993-12-21). "Encyclopedia of Social History". doi:10.4324/9780203306352.
  5. ^ Guha, Martin (2008-09-19). "International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2nd edition)2008298Editor‐in‐Chief William A. Darity. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2nd edition). Detroit: Thomson Gale 2008. 9 vols., ISBN: 978 0 02 865965 7 $1,080 Also available as an e‐book (ISBN 978 0 02 866117 9)". Reference Reviews. 22 (7): 17–19. doi:10.1108/09504120810905060. ISSN 0950-4125.
  6. ^ a b c d "Merriman, Nicholas John, (born 6 June 1960), Director, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, since 2006", Who's Who, Oxford University Press, 2007-12-01, retrieved 2019-04-22
  7. ^ Citation needed
  8. ^ a b Stokes, Gale, ed. From Stalinism to Pluralism: A Documentary History of Eastern Europe Since 1945, (Oxford, 1996), pp. 81-93.
  9. ^ Janos, Andrew C. East Central Europe in the Modern World: The Politics of the Borderlands From Pre- to Postcommunism, (Stanford, 2000), pp. 267.
  10. ^ a b c d e Stokes, Gale. The Walls Came Tumbling Down: The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, (Oxford, 1993), pp. 81-7.
  11. ^ Poggi, Isotta (January 2015). "The Photographic Memory and Impact of the Hungarian 1956 Uprising during the Cold War Era". Getty Research Journal. 7: 197–206. doi:10.1086/680747. ISSN 1944-8740.

External links

ASEAN Declaration

The ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration is the founding document of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It was signed in Bangkok on 8 August 1967 by the five ASEAN founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and communist insurgency within their own borders. It states the basic principles of ASEAN: co-operation, amity, and non-interference. The date is now celebrated as ASEAN Day.

Arms race

An arms race occurs when two or more nations participate in interactive or competitive increases in "persons under arms" as well as "war material". Simply defined as a competition between two or more states to have superior armed forces; a competition concerning production of weapons, the growth of a military, and the aim of superior military technology.

The term is also used to describe any long-term escalating competitive situation where each competitor focuses on out-doing the others.

An evolutionary arms race is a system where two populations are evolving in order to continuously one-up members of the other population. This concept is related to the Red Queen's Hypothesis, where two organisms co-evolve to overcome each other but each fails to progress relative to the other interactant.

In technology, there are close analogues to the arms races between parasites and hosts, such as the arms race between computer virus writers and antivirus software writers, or spammers against Internet service providers and E-mail software writers.

More generically, the term is used to describe any competition where there is no absolute goal, only the relative goal of staying ahead of the other competitors in rank or knowledge. An arms race may also imply futility as the competitors spend a great deal of time and money, yet end up in the same situation as if they had never started the arms race.

Asian Relations Conference

The Asian Relations Conference took place in New Delhi in March-April 1947. It was hosted by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who then headed a provisional government that was preparing for India's Independence, which came on 15 August 1947. The Asian Relations Conference brought together many leaders of the independence movements in Asia, and represented a first attempt to assert Asian unity. The objectives of the conference were "to bring together the leading men and women of Asia on a common platform to study the problems of common concern to the people of the continent, to focus attention on social, economic and cultural problems of the different countries of Asia, and to foster mutual contact and understanding."

In his writings and speeches, Nehru had laid great emphasis on the manner in which post-colonial India would rebuild its Asia connections. At this conference Nehru declared: "... Asia is again finding herself ... one of the notable consequences of the European domination of Asia has been the isolation of the countries of Asia from one another. ... Today this isolation is breaking down because of many reasons, political and otherwise ... This Conference is significant as an expression of that deeper urge of the mind and spirit of Asia which has persisted ... In this Conference and in this work there are no leaders and no followers. All countries of Asia have to meet together in a common task ..."

Exercise Verity

Exercise Verity was the only major training exercise of the Western Union (WU). Undertaken in July 1949, it involved 60 warships from the British, French, Belgian and Dutch navies. A contemporary newsreel described this exercise as involving "the greatest assembly of warships since the Battle of Jutland."

Glasnost

In the Russian language the word Glasnost (; Russian: гла́сность, IPA: [ˈɡɫasnəsʲtʲ] (listen)) has several general and specific meanings. It has been used in Russian to mean "openness and transparency" since at least the end of the eighteenth century.In the Russian Empire of the late-19th century, the term was particularly associated with reforms of the judicial system, ensuring that the press and the public could attend court hearings and that the sentence was read out in public. In the mid-1980s, it was popularised by Mikhail Gorbachev as a political slogan for increased government transparency in the Soviet Union.

Guerrilla war in the Baltic states

The Guerrilla war in the Baltic states or the Forest Brothers resistance movement was the armed struggle against Soviet rule that spanned from 1940 to the mid-1950s. After the occupation of the Baltic territories by the Soviets in 1944, an insurgency started. According to some estimates, 10,000 partisans in Estonia, 10,000 partisans in Latvia and 30,000 partisans in Lithuania and many more supporters were involved. This war continued as an organised struggle until 1956 when the superiority of the Soviet military caused the native population to adopt other forms of resistance. While estimates related to the extent of partisan movement vary, but there seems to be a consensus among researchers that by international standards, the Baltic guerrilla movements were extensive. Proportionally, the partisan movement in the post-war Baltic states was of a similar size as the Viet Cong movement in South Vietnam.

History of Hungarian animation

The history of Hungarian animation begins in 1914 and carries through to the modern day. Starting with short promotional cartoons prior to the two World Wars, Hungarian animation underwent a sporadic and halting development during the turbulent war years which were characterized in large part by the emigration of much of the field's top talent. This exodus slowed dramatically during the 1950s when the Hungarian Communist Party took power and the Iron Curtain took shape.

With Communism came nationalization of the Hungarian animation studio—a fact that was to prove a mixed blessing for the nascent industry. While political pressures would strongly dictate the kinds of topics that animation could cover in the early years, state funding meant that even the relatively small postwar nation would be able to prove itself on the international stage. Indeed, subsequent to the 1956 revolution, the softening effects of Goulash Communism helped enable artists to begin to express themselves such that by the late 1970s, Pannónia Film Stúdió would rank among the top 5 major cartoon studios alongside Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Soyuzmultfilm, and Toei.With the end of Communism in 1989, state control of the animation industry dropped away and market forces prompted the rise of numerous independent animation studios. Lacking state funding and receiving mixed international response, Hungarian animation studios today have had to develop financing strategies consisting largely of working as production and development companies performing labor-intensive animation activities such as compositioning and inking for foreign studios. Despite this, Hungarian films continue to be produced every few years.

Hungary–Russia relations

Hungary–Russia relations refer to bilateral foreign relations between the two countries, Hungary and Russia. After the Second World War, Hungary and the Soviet Union became economic and military allies; both were signatories of the Warsaw Pact. The relations between both countries were damaged in 1956 due to the Soviet intervention in the revolution occurring in Hungary. However both countries reestablished diplomatic relations after the breakup of the USSR.

Hungary has an embassy in Moscow and two consulate-generals (in Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg). Russia has an embassy in Budapest and a consulate-general in Debrecen.

Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Husák's Children

Husák's Children (in Czech: Husákovy děti, in Slovak: Husákove deti) is a term commonly used for a generation of people born in Czechoslovakia during the baby boom which started in the early 1970s, during the period of "normalization". The generation was named after the President and a long-term Communist leader of Czechoslovakia, Gustáv Husák.

Jamaican political conflict

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Johnson Doctrine

The Johnson Doctrine, enunciated by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson after the United States' intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, declared that domestic revolution in the Western Hemisphere would no longer be a local matter when "the object is the establishment of a Communist dictatorship". It is an extension of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Doctrines.

János Kádár

János Kádár (; Hungarian: [ˈjaːnoʃ ˈkaːdaːr]; 26 May 1912 – 6 July 1989) was a Hungarian communist leader and the General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, presiding over the country from 1956 until his retirement in 1988. His 32-year term as General Secretary covered most of the period the People's Republic of Hungary existed. Due to Kádár's age, declining health and declining political mastery, he retired as General Secretary of the party in 1988 and a younger generation consisting mostly of reformers took over.

Kádár was born in Fiume to a poor family. He never met his father, who left his mother when he was young. After living in the countryside for some years, Kádár and his mother moved to Budapest. After quitting school, Kádár joined the Communist Party of Hungary's youth organisation, KIMSZ. Kádár would go on to become a prominent figure in the pre-World War II communist party, even becoming First Secretary. As leader, he dissolved the party and reorganised it as the Peace Party. This new party failed to win any popular support for the communist cause and he would later be accused of dissolving the Hungarian communist party. With the German invasion of Hungary, the Peace Party tried again to win support from the Hungarian populace, but failed. At the time of the Soviet occupation, the communist movement led by Kádár was small.

As the Communists took over Hungary in 1947-48, Kádár rose quickly through the Party ranks, serving as Interior Minister from 1948 to 1950. He took part in the trial and interrogation of former secret police chief László Rajk, one of the most infamous show-trials in the post-war Eastern bloc. In 1951, he was imprisoned by the Stalinist regime of Mátyás Rákosi, but was released in 1954 by reformist Prime Minister Imre Nagy and became a rising star in the Party once again. On 25 October 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution, Kádár replaced Ernő Gerő as General Secretary of the Party, taking part in Nagy's short-lived revolutionary government. However, on 1 November he broke with Nagy over the latter's decision to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact; secretly defecting to the Soviets. When the Soviets crushed the Revolution on 4 November, they selected Kádár as the next leader of Hungary. After the Revolution was crushed, Kádár initially presided over a reign of terror, ordering the execution of many participants in the Revolution (including Imre Nagy and his close associates) and the imprisonment of many others. However, he gradually softened his approach as the years passed, often granting individual amnesties, and moderating his regime's overall governing style. By 1963, the last prisoners from the Hungarian Revolution had been released.

As leader of Hungary, Kádár was a team player and took care to consult his colleagues before acting or making decisions and his tenure saw an attempt at liberalising the economic system to put greater effort to build up industries aimed at consumers. His rule was marked by what later became known as Goulash Communism. A significant increase in consumer expenditures because of the New Economic Mechanism (NEM), a major economic reform, reintroduced certain market mechanisms into Hungary. As a result of the relatively high standard of living, a favorable human rights policy and more relaxed travel restrictions than those present in other Eastern Bloc countries, Hungary was generally considered the best country to live in Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War, also expressed in the informal term "the happiest barrack". On 6 July 1989, an ill Kádár died after having been forced to retire. Kádár was succeeded by Károly Grósz as General Secretary on 22 May 1988. Grósz would only serve a year in this post due to the fall of communism in Europe in 1989.

While at the helm of the People's Republic of Hungary, Kádár pushed for an improvement in the standard of living. Kádár engaged in increased international trade with non-communist countries, in particular those of Western Europe. Kádár's policies differed significantly from those of other communist leaders such as Nicolae Ceaușescu, Enver Hoxha and Wojciech Jaruzelski, all of whom favored authoritarian governments that suppressed and punished opposition severely. However, Kádár's policies could not overcome the inherent limitations of the communist system and were viewed with distrust by the conservative leadership of Leonid Brezhnev in the Soviet Union. Kádár's legacy remains disputed, but he was voted in a survey carried out by Median in Hungary in 2007 as the third most competent politician behind István Széchenyi and Lajos Kossuth who could solve the problems of Hungary.

Lange model

The Lange model (or Lange–Lerner theorem) is a neoclassical economic model for a hypothetical socialist economy based on public ownership of the means of production and a trial-and-error approach to determining output targets and achieving economic equilibrium and Pareto efficiency. In this model, the state owns non-labor factors of production, and markets allocate final goods and consumer goods. The Lange model states that if all production is performed by a public body such as the state, and there is a functioning price mechanism, this economy will be Pareto-efficient, like a hypothetical market economy under perfect competition. Unlike models of capitalism, the Lange model is based on direct allocation, by directing enterprise managers to set price equal to marginal cost in order to achieve Pareto efficiency. By contrast, in a capitalist economy managers are instructed to maximize profits for private owners, while competitive pressures are relied on to indirectly lower the price to equal marginal cost.

This model was first proposed by Oskar R. Lange in 1936 during the socialist calculation debate, and was expanded by economists like H. D. Dickinson, Abba P. Lerner and Fred M. Taylor. Although Lange and Lerner called it "market socialism", the Lange model is a form of planned economy where a central planning board allocates investment and capital goods, while markets allocate labor and consumer goods. The planning board simulates a market in capital goods by a trial-and-error process first elaborated by Vilfredo Pareto and Léon Walras.The Lange model has never been implemented anywhere, not even in Oskar Lange's home country, Poland, where Soviet-type economic planning was imposed after World War II, precluding experimentation with Lange-style economy. Some parallels might be drawn with the New Economic Mechanism or so-called Goulash Communism in Hungary under Kádár, although this was not a pure Lange-model system.

Magyar Narancs

Magyar Narancs (Hungarian Orange in English) is a weekly liberal magazine with a strong satiric tone appearing on Thursdays in Hungary. It is informally referred to as Mancs (Paw in English) which is a joking abbreviation of the name. The magazine was first published in October 1989. Its headquarters are in Budapest. The language of the magazine is unique in that it uses everyday speech and not the formal language of most Hungarian journalism. It has a great effect on the Hungarian liberal-libertarian intellectual society. It includes articles mainly on politics, culture and sociology.

NDF Rebellion

The NDF Rebellion was an uprising in the Yemen Arab Republic by the National Democratic Front, under Yahya Shami, between 1978 and 1982.

New Economic Mechanism

The New Economic Mechanism (NEM) was a major economic reform launched in the People's Republic of Hungary in 1968. Between 1972 and 1978, it was curtailed by the prevailing winds of Eastern Bloc politics. During the subsequent decade, until the revolutions of 1989 ended the era, the NEM's principles continued to affect the Hungarian economy, even in cases where the "NEM" name was not emphasized. Because of the NEM, Hungary in the 1980s had a higher ratio of market mechanisms to central planning than any other Eastern Bloc economy. The ratio was different to an extent that was politically challenging to bring about in the Soviet sphere because of the ideological mixture it required. The name Goulash Communism was jokingly (but tellingly) applied to this mixture. The Hungarian economy under the influence of NEM principles was widely viewed as outperforming other Soviet Bloc economies, making Hungary "the happiest barrack" in barracks communism. Many Soviet and Eastern European people enjoyed going to Hungary (for example, on work assignments or on vacations) because of the economic and cultural environment there.

The tensions and harmonies between market mechanisms and central planning, with neither having sole control, are a perennial challenge in all societies that temper capitalism with socialism or vice versa. In some ways Hungary's economic reform channels comparisons with the Chinese economic reform, in the sense that both were qualitative challenges to a Stalinist type of system—and thus that such reforms were not politically feasible in most of the Soviet Bloc.

Péter Zilahy

Péter Zilahy (born 1970 in Budapest) is a writer and performer whose prose and poetry has been widely translated and who has often used photography, interactive media and performance art in his work.

Ulbricht Doctrine

The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.

East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.

Western Bloc

The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".

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Pre-dissolution reforms
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