The present crisis in Hungary was preceded by an unusually long period of tranquility. We should first examine the roots of this exceptional political stability lasting over a quarter of a century.
We have to start by stating a historical fact. In 1956-1957 Hungarian society suffered a total defeat: It was unable to salvage any of its independent organizations formed in October— November and was left without recognized leaders and spokesmen. When five years later those in power embarked upon the path of gradual consolidation they did so not under societal pressure, but rather for the sake of convenience. The defeated society had no political groups capable of criticizing the consolidation determined from above and countering it with a proposal of reconciliation from below....
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