Kádár’s 15-point program for restoring socialism (1956)

On November 4th 1956, as Soviet troops were making their way to Budapest to crush the Hungarian Uprising, János Kádár declared the formation of a counter-revolutionary government. In a radio address, he unveiled a 15-point program for winding back Imre Nagy‘s reforms and restoring socialism in Hungary:

Hungarians, brothers, patriots, soldiers, and citizens! We must put an end to the excesses of the counter-revolutionary elements. The hour of action is here. We are going to defend the power of the workers and peasants and the achievements of the people’s democracy. We will bring about order, security and calm in our country. The interest of the people and the nation is that they should have a strong government, a government capable of leading the country out of its grave situation. That is why we have formed the Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government. The program of this government is as follows:

1. The securing of our national independence and our country’s sovereignty.

2. The protection of our people’s democratic and Socialist system against all attacks. The protection of our Socialist achievements and the guaranteeing of our progress on the road of building Socialism.

3. The ending of fratricidal fighting and the restoration of internal order and peace. The government will not tolerate, under any pretext, the persecution of workers for having taken part in the recent events.

4. The establishment of close fraternal relations with every Socialist country on the basis of complete equality and noninterference. The same principle governs their mutual economic relations and assistance agreements.

5. Peaceful cooperation with every nation, irrespective of its social order and form of government.

6. The immediate and substantial raising of the living standard, particularly of the working class. Better housing for the workers, factories and institutes must be enabled to build apartments for their employees.

7. Modification of the Five Year Plan, altering the methods of economic management, taking into consideration the country’s capacity so that the living standard can be raised as quickly as possible.

8. Elimination of bureaucracy and broad development of democracy in the interest of the workers.

9. On the basis of the broadest democracy, worker management must be inaugurated in factories and enterprises.

10. The development of agricultural production, the abolition of compulsory deliveries, and assistance to individual farmers. The government will firmly liquidate all illegalities committed in the field of agricultural collectives and [land] commission.

11. The securing of democratic elections in the old organs of administration and the Revolutionary Councils.

12. Support for retail trade and artisans.

13. The systematic development of Hungarian national culture in the spirit of our progressive traditions.

14. The Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government, acting in the interest of our people, our working class, and our country, requested the Soviet Army Command to help our nation in smashing the dark reactionary forces and restoring order and calm in the country.

15. After the restoration of order, the Hungarian government will begin negotiations with the Soviet government and with other participants of the Warsaw Pact on the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary.

Workers, peasants, intellectuals, youth, soldiers and officers – support our nation’s just struggle, protect our people’s democratic system! Disarm counterrevolutionary gangs, line up behind the Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government. Resume work without delay. Working peasants, defend the land. Working youth and students, do not allow yourselves to be misled. Only the people’s democracy can secure your future, therefore, protect it! Hungarian workers, the prerequisite for the realisation of our justified economic, political, and social endeavours is the defence of the people’s democratic power, the restoration of order, the resumption of work and production.

It is for this that the Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government is fighting and is calling on every unselfish son and daughter of the Hungarian Fatherland. Workers, brothers, truth is on our side. We will win.”