Talk:Goulash Communism

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I suggest merging this article with "The happiest barrack" article, under the Goulash Communism title, since this name seems more common. Barabum 21:51, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

copied from my talkpage: (Zello 21:54, 26 July 2006 (UTC))

Goulash communism[edit]

Comeon, Zello, this editing war is unnecessary. Despite our obvious ideological disagreement I think I have found a feasible compromise in my last edit in mentioning both dates (1956 and 1962) and qualifying them respectively. I made it clear in the article that what is sometimes (and mostly in the West, in contrast to your assertion but I didn't revert this edit of yours because I consider it to be rather unimportant) and in a quite silly way referred to as "Goulash Communism" was characterised mainly by greater concern for public opinion and present material well-being. And this "turning point" (to use your terminology) started right on November 4, 1956 with the establishment of the Revolutionary Workers' and Peasants' Government under János Kádár and reached its first peak in connection with the national party conference in May 1957. That this happened simultaneously to the measures known as the "consolidation of the people's power" and the "suppression of counterrevolutionaries" is true but doesn't change it a bit, these being two different things in my opinion.
Besides: you may have noticed my extreme caution in referring to "the events in the fall of 1956" to avoid any accusation of being POV. So please be fair, too, and accept the compromise of mentioning both dates.
And believe me, you do not have to teach me Hungarian history (especially concerning its socialist period) - I already know it very well by myself. Yours, --Elsmlie 14:33, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I have now even added 1962 a second time in brackets, now it reads: between 1956 (or on other accounts 1962 respectively) and 1989. And furthermore it says (already in my original version): events in the fall of 1956 and the reforms implemented in their aftermath. Aftermath can (if you wish) also mean a few years after the event, for example since 1962. --Elsmlie 14:57, 26 July 2006 (UTC)


Here is a reference that gulyáskommunizmus was only established by Kádár in the middle of the 60's not from 1956. The period between 1956 and 1962 was characterised by the repression after the Revolution.

"A jelenséget értelmezve elfogadható az a megállapítás, hogy a „gulyáskommunizmus” kibontakozása egybeesik a kádári hatalom teljeskörű konszolidálódásával, hiszen az életkörülmények érzékelhető mértékű javulása ennek a hatvanas évek közepétől a hetvenes évek végéig tartó periódus politikájának az alapját jelentette. A fogyasztói orientáció kialakulása azonban nyilvánvalóan nem „menthette meg” a szocialista rendszert, hiszen ennek társadalmi-gazdasági hatásmechanizmusa a létező szocializmus működési elveivel ellentétes irányba mutatott."

"A korszak első részét „gulyáskommunizmusnak”, második szakaszát pedig „fridzsiderszocializmusnak” is nevezték. Ezeknek a meghatározásoknak irónikussága önmagában is jelzi a vonatkozó társadalmi helyzetek felemásságát, a látszatot és a valóságot."

Written by historian Tibor Valuch, see http://www.rev.hu/html/hu/kiadvanyok/mitoszok/valuch.html

Another reference:

"A Kádár-korszakról szóló kortárs leírások ugyancsak a hatvanas évek első felére datálják „a nagy kompromisszum” megszületését; ekkortól kezdik Magyarországot úgy emlegetni, mint a hruscsovizmus mintaállama, a gulyáskommunizmus országa, ami a későbbiekben „a szocialista láger legvidámabb barakkja” jellemzéssel bővül. Ezek a jelzők majd negyedszázadon át, a rendszer bomlásának nyilvánvalóvá válásáig, az összeomlás előestéjéig állandósultak."

from "Magyarország a XX. században, Volume I", written by György Gyarmati, see: http://mek.oszk.hu/02100/02185/html/45.html

Your claim that gulyáskommunizmus began in 1956 is totally misleading as the main features of that period was "appeasement" and encouragement of personal consumption as the name clearly shows. Between 1956 and 1962 the policy of Kádár was absolutely different. Zello 21:50, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

By your latest edit you have (one more time, judging from the history of your talk page) proven to be unfortunately unwilling to engage in a serious discussion, let alone to find a compromise. Bringing in some second-rate Hungarian quotes (for instance, I cannot and will not accept texts stemming from the site rev.hu as serious evidence) doesn't make your arguments any more convincing - I could come up with a host of counterarguments but I deem such an effort to be useless in the face of your obvious refusal of any kind of compromise.
And what is more, you even did not not shrink away from the deliberate affront of changing my "events in the fall of 1956" to the "1956 Hungarian Revolution". I'm reverting one last time, go ahead if you can't bear it.
PS: I never wrote about "appeasement" (talking about the much more general and neutral concept of "public opinion" instead) and I fail to see the concept of "appeasement" "clearly shown" in the name gulyáskommunizmus ! And the "encouragement of personal consumption" is in no way contradictory to what you call "repression of the revolution" and therefore did not only start in 1962 (whatever on the contrary your wise sources may suggest).
--Elsmlie 23:40, 26 July 2006 (UTC)


Both Tibor Valuch and György Gyarmati are well-know scholars and university teachers. The second book was edited by Ignác Romsics - the best expert of 20th century Hungarian history today. These are first-class references, and I don't see any reason why not to believe them. How can I accept your version when I have two serious historians who states that gulyáskommunizmus began in the middle of the 1960's and NOT in 1956? This is the standard opinion in Hungarian historiography - if you have sources that claim the opposite than present them.

Rev.hu is the homepage of the 1956 Institution of Historical Studies, a well-know Hungarian scientific institution, established exactly for the study of the 1956 Revolution and the Communist era. It is an absolutely reliable source of information.

1956 Hungarian Revolution is the commonly accepted name, not obscure "events". The French Revolution is the French Revolution not the "events of 1789" - you misunderstood NPOV.

So I won't accept your "compromise" as it is falsification of history according my knowledge and the reliable sources I presented. Zello 00:23, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Agree with Zello. NPOV should apply when there are approx. equal (and objectivelly undecidable) weights for the two sides. This is not the case. What can be mentioned though is that Kadar definitelly had in mind the experience of 1956 when he started to loosen up in the early 60's Barabum 03:54, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with that phrasing. Zello 11:09, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

To qualify my compromise solution as a "falsification of history" is an enormous insolence that I cannot tolerate. Besides, I know about the academic credentials of your "authorities". But just because someone is a "scholar" doesn't mean that he has to be right or that he will not present facts in a (deliberately or accidentally) crooked way. So, I do not have to have faith in every "university teacher". By the way, I am a "scholar", too, and you don't believe me. So what ?
"Agree with Zello. NPOV should apply when there are approx. equal (and objectivelly undecidable) weights for the two sides." This is a funny statement coming from someone who said of himself that he started this article because he wanted to learn about the matter. But as I may infer from your standpoint, Zello is your preferred teacher whereas I am an unreliable source. Very interesting...
And finally the "compromise" Barabum suggested, namely to mention "that Kadar definitelly [sic !] had in mind the experience of 1956 when he started to loosen up in the early 60's" is sheer anti-communist nonsense of the most primitive sort which I in turn declare to be a total "falsification of history". --Elsmlie 15:55, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Dou you have any real evidence against the credibility of Valuch, Romsics and Gyarmati? By the way three people reviewed the article since yesterday and two of them made contributions Zello 17:40, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Elsmlie, yes, Zello so far is my preferred teacher, since the best I read from you are statements like "sheer anti-communist nonsense". I honestly want to hear your stronger arguments. I also stand by the NPOV-related statement. Just because (say) I am anti-communist and you are pro-communist, this does not mean that a compromise statement is a NPOV statement. There are things in life that are proven and accepted as wrong; such as communism, fascism, terrorism.Barabum 16:46, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Your outrageous and shameful equation says it all. No further comment is necessary because even the "strongest arguments" couldn't help such ignorance. And don't be afraid of further attempts from my side to teach you history since I am not going to contribute to this article any longer. --Elsmlie 18:11, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

It's outrageous that some people still think that communism is better than fascism and terrorism. But I would say it's good for those naives who have never experienced the age of rough governmential terrorism & soft brainwash such as gulyáskommunizmus, not to mention the horrible effects of dilettantism of the elite. If Elsmlie and other pro-communists really knew communism, they wouldn't be pro-communist.

Anyway after this theoretical introduction, I say I agree with Zello and Barabum. The period of gulyáskommunizmus was a peaceful and for the people - in a way it was possible in a socialist country - a prospering one for the people. This couldn't have started on the final day of the revolution, since for years Kádár and his fellows were busy with dealing with "coutner-revolutionary elements" and other internal threats. After their situation became stable, was it possible to employ a new social strategy to cope with the distress of the people.

PS. Avoiding the name 1956 Revolution is a typical disgusting communist/socialist/post-communist feature. Communist POV IS POV too.Mathae 16:11, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Merged "The happiest barrack" with "Goulash Communism". I removed some redundancy among the articles, and also with the History of Hungary.

I removed the reference to Communist Poland: it is not clear if this was used to describe Hungary from Poland, or it was used in reference to Communist Poland. Also, I think a citation is required. Barabum 22:07, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Pörkölt Communism now redirects here ;-) István 05:09, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

They use that phrase?! lol...you know, between Goulash Communism and Salami Tactics, I'm beginning to understand the meaning behind all those "Hungary/hungry" puns...K. Lástocska 04:21, 22 November 2006 (UTC)