A tanulmány a rendszerváltás jelenségét a modernizáció összefüggésében kísérli meg értelmezni azon kutatások eredményeire alapozva, amelyek a XIX. század elejétől kapitalizálódni kényszerülő hazai fejlődést több modernizációs korszakra bontják. Ezen kutatások nem csupán a kiegyezés utáni vagy a két világháború közti időszakot tekintik modernizációs korszaknak, hanem az állam-szocialista berendezkedést is, továbbá az 1989–90-es rendszerváltást követően máig kialakult-kialakított félperifériás globálkapitalizmus-variánst is. A szerző felveti, hogy a rendszerváltó politikai elit különböző csoportjai vajon ebben a történeti perspektívában közelítettek-e a nyolcvanas-kilencvenes évek fordulójának kihívásaihoz, avagy ezek halmazából indulataiknak, érdekeiknek, felkészültségüknek, ideológiáiknak stb. megfelelően önkényesen válogattak-válogathattak. Ugyanis, ha a rendszerváltó politikai osztály nem a reálviszonyoknak megfelelően definiálta a korszak kihívásait, akkor egyáltalán nem meglepő, hogy nem adott rá adekvát választ, és így a társadalom minden területét hosszú ideje átható újratermelődési zavarok, az őket kísérő súlyos feszültségek és konfliktusok nem utalnak másra, mint a legutóbbi rendszerváltásunk válságára, netán kudarcára. A tanulmány ennek kapcsán számos fontos kérdést vet fel – például, hogy az állami-szövetkezeti tulajdon privatizálása önmagában már kapitalizmus-e, hogy a „piac” politikai akarattal „bevezethető-e”, avagy „kiiktató-e” a társadalomból stb. – melyeken talán érdemes elgondolkodni.
The paper discusses the frameworks and development of the introduction of the Euro in Central Europe, with a focus on pre-entry countries (Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Croatia). The main elements of monetary integration maturity are the state of real-integration (possibilities of large saving in transaction costs), meeting the criteria of functioning market economy and the single market; macro-economic stability and meeting the Maastricht criteria; and shortcomings of absorption (integration) capacities of the EU. Controversial questions are also discussed, such as requirements concerning inflation, the budget deficit or exchange rate stability. The paper argues that the countries under scrutiny show diverging courses of action and policies, public support is also unclear, and the interests of TNCs and political elites contradict each other. Cultural, legal, security or emotional factors will pay a key role in eventual adoption, and prospects also depend on the solution of the current debt and migration crises.
The paper considers the comments of museum visitors on the earliest book on Bulgarian history (1762) to which Bulgarian historians have given the significance of pillar of the “national revival” and examines them as sources for the analysis of how people perceive the past. The comments do not refer to the exhibit as historical artifact, but much more as evidence for historical continuity and as a symbol of the common past and national affiliation. They bring the past into the present and put emphasis on its political and cultural meanings for the present. Although separate individuals wrote their own comments, they reproduced ideas from a shared historico-political knowledge. They reflected the scholarly presentations and evaluations of the past and the festive rhetoric of public commemorative celebrations as well. The past is perceived through a lens of collective concepts acquired and maintained by means of institutionalised activities such as academic research, schooling, and rituals. From another point of view, the comments are evidence for the impact of the cultural management of cultural and political elites on popular understanding.
In spite of the remarkable political mobilization and disciplined ethnic voting of the Hungarian minority in Romania, major political objectives, seen by the political elite of the community as critical for the cultural reproduction of Hungarians in Romania, have proven to be unreachable since 1989 through the instruments of participation in the country’s political life. The paper explores the historical and contemporary reasons that contributed to this failure, and identifies conditions that could trigger a change. Various political projects of the Hungarians in Transylvania seeking integration on their own terms into the Romanian state since 1920, together with the circumstances that lead to their failure, are critically assessed. Based on considerable research conducted between 1995 and 2006, conflicting identity structures and competing ethnopolitical strategies are identified that divide the Romanian political community along ethnic fault-lines. The consequences of the divide are evaluated from the perspective of normative political philosophy and an answer is offered to the question which refers to the grounds on which Hungarians in Transylvania could (or could not) be considered part of the Romanian political community. The paper concludes by identifying alternative ways out of the current situation.
In the 16th–17th centuries the Ottoman conquerors of the occupied territories of Hungary gradually established their own intitutions. Together with the military, dervishes also appeared and generally settled outside the defended city walls. Owing to the sparsity of source material, the lives and activities of these dervishes and their monasteries are less known. The present study attempts to collect and present all the data concerning the Bektaşi convents in Ottoman Hungary. Five monasteries are known to have existed that undoubtedly belonged to the Bektaşi order: two in Buda, one in Eger, another one in Székesfehérvár and one in Lippa. It is most likely that the convent of Yağmur Baba in Hatvan, that of Muhtar Baba in Buda, and perhaps that in Szolnok also had Bektaşi affiliations. This relatively small number may probably be augmented in the future, since many more Babas had monasteries and shrines in Ottoman Hungary, whose biographies and affiliations still await further research. Obviously, the political elite in Ottoman Hungary considered it important to support the Bektaşi dervishes; they fostered the building of convents and provided them with endowments. Thus, in addition to the pronounced presence of the Bektaşis in literary monuments, and the reputation of Gül Baba preserved throughout the centuries, the presence of Bektaşi convents in Hungary also testifies to the significant role played by this dervish order in the cultural life of Ottoman Hungary.
This paper studies the law pertaining to political parties in Hungary, from the viewpoint of establishing and maintaining of political pluralism. In the period of 1989–1990, the transition from the one-party system to the democratic and pluralistic state of law could be followed up relative to the development of the law pertaining to the political parties, which is based on the rules that foreclose the contingent development of unconstitutional political system.The paper reviews the concept of the political party according to the constitutional law, the normative framework of functioning and the regulations of the internal organization of political parties. The provisions of primary importance concern: a) equality of political parties, b) forbidden purposes and instruments, c) rules of incompatibility, d) state subvention. Rules concerning the internal organization require the openness and the prevailing of democratic will-making also inside the political parties, so contribute to the maintaining the democratic competition of political parties.The author emphasizes the factors that determine multiparty-system, and argues that electoral thresholds and the effective method of state-financing of political parties contest the principle of equality and harm the fair-competition. Thresholds and subvention are both based on the effectiveness of political parties-though being capable to prevent the party system and the parliament from fragmentation, nonetheless, they prefer extensively, if not unconstitutionally, the political parties in the Parliament, so they can be seen as being designed to protect the current political elite.
The earliest Jewish literary works in Hungary were late-medieval religious writings in Hebrew, and literary contributions in the Hungarian language only began to appear toward the middle of the 19th century. The first generation of Hungarian-Jewish writers firmly believed in the viability of a dual Hungarian and Jewish identity and in the prospects of Jewish and Hungarian coexistence, and these two concerns have remained central to Hungarian-Jewish literature ever since. Jewish emancipation was warmly supported by the intellectual and political elite of Hungary, and Jewish Hungarians gained full civil rights in 1867. However, to their bitter disappointment, they were soon facing a rapidly rising tide of anti-Semitism that ultimately led to the Hungarian Holocaust, in which over half a million Jewish Hungarians perished. Some Hungarian-Jewish writers responded to the rising tide of anti-Semitism with a classical dual identity position that censured assimilation involving a denial of Jewish identity, others responded by attempting to deliberately shed their own Jewish identities through conversion to Christianity or by becoming Communists, a handful of others by opting for Zionism, and in one controversial instance, by advocating the adoption of an ethno-national minority identity. After the Holocaust, many among the remnant Jewish Hungarians believed that Communism would help resolve the core existential questions facing them, but the studious silence of the totalitarian regime about the Holocaust merely left these sores festering in an unresolved limbo for decades. Curiously, the regime eventually did permit the publication of Fateless by Kertész, undoubtedly because of its anti-Nazi message, and quite missing the irony that its resolute anti-totalitarianism applied equally to them. During the 75 years between Emancipation and Holocaust, the magnitude of Jewish contributions to Hungary's literature, journalism, scholarship, culture, science, industry, banking and commercial enterprise had been almost without precedent in the annals of diaspora Jewish communities, and post-Holocaust Jewish Hungarians continue to play a prominent role in the literary, cultural, political, and academic life of contemporary post-Communist Hungary. However, the core issues of dual identity and co-existence that were first broached with such optimism in the middle of the 19th century are still unresolved and are likely to engage the attention of new generations of Hungarian-Jewish writers into the foreseeable future.
From the Calvinist church of Nyírbátor (dedicated to St George in the Middle Ages) the Hungarian National Museum purchased the monumental stalls of a total of 48 seats in 1933. The two parts – both defective – were set up along the northern and southern walls of the church. The dissembled elements of the first rows of the seats were stored in the sanctuary. From the two incomplete stall wings one complete set of choir-stalls was assembled by transferring the marquetry dorsal panels from the southern wing to the northern wing and the original two-row stalls was thus reconstructed. The northern choir-stalls are still part of the permanent historical exhibition of the National Museum, while the incomplete southern stalls are on display in the Báthory István Museum in Nyírbátor. Following the reconstruction work with attention in the Museum, Magda Oberschall Bárány wrote a monograph of the stalls (1938), describing their ideal state, without discussing the structural questions. Important points in the history of the stalls are still unknown. It is not known since when they had been in the Calvinist church, and a more puzzling question is what the function of such a monumental construction was in the parish church of a small country town. The first mention of the stalls dates from the early 18th century. They were repaired a few times over the 19th century at the end of which nascent art historiography also discovered them. The idea of transferring them to a museum was raised several times.
The inscription says the stalls were commission in 1511 by three Báthory brothers: István, György and András, all three actors in the political elite of the late medieval Hungarian kingdom. (Their father András I [†1497] was the brother of the voivode of Transylvania and lord chief justice István II [†1493] and of Miklós I, the humanist bishop of Vác [†1506].) Nearly all elements of the canopied stalls are covered with ornamental carvings, the dorsal panels of the back row being adorned with inlaid designs. The latter include ornamental compositions, allegorical scenes, and illusionistic depictions of half-open cabinets with books and ritual objects on the shelves. Among the marquetry designs are the panels with the Báthory coats of arms and the inscription about the origin of the stalls. On account of the all’antica motifs, the perspectivic trompe l’oeil compositions and the high quality of the whole work the choir-stalls of Nyírbátor are on a par with the finest Italian stalls of the period. They were probably made by Italian masters working in Buda. The – presumed – Hungarian specimens of the kind have perished; the only stalls whose stylistic elements are in kinship with the stalls at issue are the early 16th century stalls in Zagreb cathedral. There is written evidence that a set of the stalls in Zagreb cathedral (1507) was made by Johannes Nicze Florentinus, who also worked in Pest. Despite several attempts, so far no name can be associated with the stalls of Nyírbátor.
The study presents a case that can be taken as a model of the political conception of the publicity of art in post-1956 Hungary. It is related to Lajos Kassák, the emblematic figure of progressive Hungarian art from the 1910s, who was tolerated by the Kádárian regime as a writer but rejected as an artist. The paper explores the problems of presenting Hungarian art abroad from an angle of art policy. In February 1960 a noted gallery owner in Paris, Denise René wished to exhibit Lajos Kassák's works. According to regulations, the permits of the Ministry of Culture and the Hungarian National Bank had to be obtained for the transportation of the pictures abroad. The Bank permit covered both taking the pictures out of the country and selling them. The process of obtaining permission was administered by the Hungarian National Gallery, as no private person was allowed to exhibit abroad without an institutional background. Kassák being a universally respected personage of the Hungarian art scene, it appeared only natural for the most prestigious Hungarian art institution to back up the cause of his Paris exhibition. There were no doubts about the smooth management of the case since the Hungarian reviewer of Kassák's art in the exhibition catalogue was the general director of the National Gallery who was also the secretary general of the Association of Hungarian Artists. Everything appeared to be progressing as planned, but as time passed, it was less as less probable that Kassák would be given an exit visa, since Nóra Aradi, a hard-liner department head at the ministry suggested to her superiors that they should not support Kassák's personal trip to Paris of reasons of cultural policy. Since the pictures arrived in Paris, the exhibition could not be cancelled. Two things could be done: to keep Kassák at home, undertaking to face a minor international scandal, and to punish those responsible for it. Kassák did not get an exit visa and for “breeching of authority” all the ministry personnel involved as well as the directors of the Kossuth Press printing the catalogue and the National Bank were called to the book. Disciplinary action was initiated against Ödön Gábor Pogány, general director of the National Gallery. True, the director violated some legal rules, but his gravest mistake as a faithful cadre was not the ignorance of formalities but the failure to cooperate with his party and ministry superiors about a delicate issue of art policy. In his catalogue text the director picked that strain in Lajos Kassák's complex art to praise highly to the west European public which was simply ignored by that-time Hungarian communist art policy as non-art. This preface was written by a person with whose knowledge and agreement the cultural leadership of that time wholly ignored Lajos Kassák as a visual artist. That he was fully aware of his “deed” is clearly proven by meaning his Kassák laudation for the French public alone, without publishing it in Hungarian. He was fully aware that Kassák was “exportable” to the West, but not “presentable” at home. He thus did far more than commit a simple disciplinary offence. His deed exposed a contradiction, suggesting to the cultural politicians that there were two kinds of art policy in Hungary – one for domestic use and one for abroad. This tendency had to be stifled, not only because it caused a great uproar among artists at home that non-figurative art was prohibited but Kassák's abstract works were allowed to travel abroad. (A few years later, however, this double-dealing came to fundamentally characterize the Hungarian cultural policy concerning visual arts.) The Kádárian regime found Kassák a contradictory person. Though his art did not satisfy the canon of the new regime, his international reputation and prestige in the art community earned him a “silent respect”. Because of his leftist, social democratic past he preserved his authority in the eye of the political elite many of whom including János Kádár knew him personally. His art in general and his commitment to abstraction, however, prevented him from becoming a favourite of the regime. The paradigmatic art of the period was socialist realism, though not in its original sense prevalent in the fifties. Essentially, abstract art was still branded as formalism and its practitioners were squeezed out of the art scene. That applies to Kassák, too. His exhibitions were banned even when he was honoured by the highest state award, the Kossuth prize, for his writings. So it appears that the regime wished to resolve the embarrassingly contradictory situation around Kassák by decorating him. Acontributory factor to the denial of Kassák's exit visa to the vernissage in Paris was the fact that the French capital was a hub of the Hungarian emigration. Among the organizers and visitors of the exhibition there were many who had left the country after the 1956 revolution and were sharply critical of Kádár's system. As can be seen, the years 1959–60 were a highly turbulent period in Hungarian politics. Retaliations were still going on for the revolution, Imre Nagy, premier of the revolutionary government was executed a year earlier. There was purging on the art scene as well: the association of artists was disbanded and then reorganized, and the institutions of the art life were adjusted to the ideas of the new era. The way of Kassák was treated part of the great “tidying up”: it was more important for the regime to appear consistent and ideologically pure than to bother about the domestic and foreign criticism.