Tuesday, October 24, 2006

After The Exposure Of The Cult Of Personality

One book in random stuff I've read: On Communism: In Defense of the New Course, by Imre Nagy (English Translation: Frederick A. Praeger, 1957). I do not claim any expertise on their lives and times. But I find intriguing communist reformers, like Nagy and Alexander Dubcek, who tried to make no-longer-actually existing socialism into a worthwhile system. I guess they sincerely wanted to live in a society in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

I think one can see in Nagy's book that his context is after Nikita Khrushchev's 20th Party Congress speech. Nagy frequently complains about some of his Hungarian comrades, who claimed to have signed onto reforms, but, according to Nagy, worked to undermine them. I also thought interesting Nagy's complaints that Hungarians had not seen increases in their standard of living, despite the economic growth over the period before his writing. Apparently, the growth had been unduly concentrated in heavy industry. Maybe Nagy would have had an opinion on my game.

I realize Nagy's book is a primary document, and he probably felt constrained in what he could argue. Apparently, he felt he had more freedom to maneuver than turned out to be the case.

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