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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 22, 1973

HUNGARIAN POLITBURO RESOLUTION ON FIGHT AGAINST 'HOSTILE PROPAGANDA'

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    "Hungarian Politburo Resolution on Fight against 'Hostile Propaganda'," May 22, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL 288 f. 5/611 ő. E. Obtained by Csaba Bekes. Translated by András Bocz. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121576
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[Politburo resolution]

1. The Politburo accepts the report. It states that the system of analyzing hostile propaganda has been established on the basis of the resolution of the Politburo and fulfills its tasks.

2. It is the achievements of socialist development and the main aspects of socialist public thinking that play the most decisive role in shaping Hungarian public opinion. The fight against hostile propaganda—due to earlier Party resolutions—has become more lively, argumentative, polemical and sophisticated. The organs of the mass media have played a key role in this development both at home and abroad. However, due to the change in the balance of power, the easing of tension, and the widening range of contacts between the two world systems we expect that the ideological fight will sharpen, and hostile propaganda and bourgeois ideological subversion will intensify.

3. The fight against bourgeois propaganda is part of our entire political and ideological work. We need to counter the effects of this propaganda by representing and convincingly arguing for our achievements, ideas and values, and by providing creative responses to questions raised in real life. Our work cannot be restricted to merely rejecting bourgeois propaganda, and the fight should be fought from an offensive, positive position rather than from a defensive stand, using every tool that is offered by our domestic policy and by the propaganda campaigns targeting foreign countries.

In addition to the press and the radio we should make better use of the television as a tool, provide verbal information for members and non-members of the Party, and utilize political training and the mass organizations and movements so that our people can be amply protected both ideologically and politically against hostile propaganda.

Investigations should be conducted as to how efficient our political and propaganda work is among the emigrants living in Western countries. Efforts should be made to exert an influence on the intelligentsia of capitalist countries (especially in Western Europe) that shape public opinion by means of high-quality publications (newspapers, books, scientific studies, etc.).

4. With regard to the main lines of the offensive of hostile propaganda, our political work lays emphasis on the following aspects at this stage:

– The permanent and changing elements of our policy constitute unity; they cannot be set into any opposition.

– The socialist nature of our society is getting stronger in every area; the socialist elements of public thinking are constantly increasing.

– The relationship between the Party and the people is good and is based on confidence; the domestic political situation is stable.

– We rely on cooperation and firm unity with the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries based on firm principles so that we can serve our national and international interests and protect our security and sovereignty; the Hungarian-Soviet friendship is unbroken.

– Peaceful coexistence between countries with a different social system means cooperation as well as fighting at the same time. We are ready to act against any shortsighted, sectarian isolation but will never allow the ideological differences to be obscured, nor make any concession to anti-Marxist views.

– We endorse the exchange of cultural values between nations living under different social systems, and promote the expansion of tourism and information flow, but reject any endeavors that are based on the principles and practice of the cold war and the false theory of the free flow of information and ideas.

– With regard to developments in tourism, we stress the importance of state discipline, responsibility and the obligations of our citizens, and we will firmly hold our citizens accountable for their behavior both at home and abroad.

5. In order to strengthen our fight against hostile propaganda, we intend to accomplish the following:

a) establish a more coordinated and operative system of monitoring and analysis followed by drawing the necessary conclusions. The observations made at different places should all be used for the preparation of coordinated reports that include every possible aspects of monitoring work.

The various departments of the Central Committee that take part in the analysis should summarize their work and ensure that their results are utilized in the reports in a systematic way. In the future the state office of Church Affairs and the National Information Council should also prepare reports on any hostile propaganda efforts that can be observed in their sphere of activity, and if needed, other state and social bodies and organization should do the same concerning their experience in this respect.

More thematic evaluations should be prepared in relation to certain important events. The bodies concerned should investigate the activities of hostile propaganda targeting the various classes and layers of our society, with special attention to the bourgeois propaganda targeting our young people. The analyses should investigate how the division of labor works between the various outlets of bourgeois propaganda (e.g. radio stations) and what sort of other tools this propaganda intends to utilize in addition to the outlets of mass media: tourism, relations with emigrants, propaganda among the national minorities.

The quarterly reports should be continued, but it is also important to process the incoming reports and any other information on a daily basis. To that end, the monitoring of hostile radio broadcasts should also be developed. The personnel problem that hinders the full utilization of the monitoring radio station in Gödöllő should be promptly resolved. The full content of monitoring should be sent to the Hungarian Institute of Foreign Affairs. This Institute should be turned into the scientific center of the long-term analysis of hostile propaganda.

The information materials concerning hostile propaganda emanating from different sources should be coordinated, such as the press reviews prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the confidential materials of the Hungarian Press Agency and the various reports that process the materials published in the newspapers of the Hungarian emigration.

b) The experience gained from the analyses should be used more effectively in our domestic political work and foreign propaganda. By unveiling the slanders and false statements we should deprive bourgeois propaganda of its credibility. We should do our best to exert an influence on the public opinion of the capitalist countries by presenting our own arguments and facts. In the meantime we should be aware of the danger of letting the enemy decide what questions and issues should be raised in our work. We should generally refrain from direct disputes and engage in arguments only if it is justified by our political interests.

Taking into consideration all the experience gained through the analysis of hostile propaganda and building on the quarterly reports made for the leading bodies, we should prepare materials which contain data, arguments and facts that can be used to refute any falsification and assist the fight against hostile propaganda and send them to lower-level Party organizations through existing information channels.

Regular recommendations should be made as to what sort of tasks should be performed in our political work in order to counter the effects of hostile propaganda effectively. We should specify concrete tasks in this respect for the mass media organizations working at home and ad- dressing a foreign audience.

The special tasks of each relevant area (such as tourism, political work concerning the emigrants, the national minorities, etc.) should be regularly analyzed in the fight against hostile propaganda.

The Institute of Social Studies should take an active part in the analysis of hostile propaganda and point out the relationship between the bourgeois ideological subversion and this propaganda in its research studies and reports.

c) We should expand our cooperation with our fraternal Parties. This should be achieved gradually, in a sensitive manner, through bilateral negotiations with each Party. We should offer the option to the Parties of all the European socialist countries (except for Albania) that, in addition to the use of our existing channels for the exchange of information verbally, we are ready to send them a written bi-annual report on our experience with hostile propaganda. We should also urge similar cooperation with those of our Western fraternal Parties in whose countries hostile propaganda against our country is very sharp (Italian Communist Party, French Communist Party, German Communist Party, the Communist Party of the US, Austrian Communist Party).

6. The Politburo proposes that the Propaganda Committee should review the system and methods of the press-administration involved in countering the effects of hostile propaganda and take a position on its modernization.

7. The Politburo deems it necessary to establish a new political post at the department of Propaganda of the Central Committee with the function of implementing the provisions of the resolution and coordinate the analysis of hostile propaganda.

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