“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t”: László Kövér’s vision of Hungary’s future

I’m becoming convinced that the most important Fidesz leaders actually believe their own propaganda. And that is truly frightening.

László Kövér returned to Hungary invigorated from his visit to South America and immediately began a media campaign.

 

He gave a couple of television interviews, made a speech at a conference of Fidelitas, the organization of the younger generation of Fidesz supporters, and since he always liked history and knows so much about it, gave an impromptu history lesson to high school students in Hódmezővásárhely.

At all of these appearances Kövér used language that is really inadmissible in better circles. A seasoned politician with a modicum of manners and political tact would never speak like Kövér did.

It is hard to know where to start. Whether with his assessment of Mihály Károlyi who “if Hell exists, he is surely sitting there tied to a chair watching his own statue.” Or, with the falsification of his own life when he told the students that it was in 1984 that he could first travel to Western Europe and he explained these innocents that he had to ask for a piece of paper “from communist traitors, from the friends of Ferenc Gyurcsány” in the Communist Youth Organization (KISZ) saying that he was “a good comrade.” What he naturally didn’t mention to the youngsters was that he himself had been a member of KISZ and after graduating from law school in 1986 worked for a research institute attached to the Central Committee of the Communist Party (MSZMP). So, he couldn’t have been such a bad comrade after all.

Otherwise, Fidesz is planning a “road show” in which the party leaders will try to convince Hungarians that in spite of all appearances to the contrary the Fidesz government is extremely successful. Kövér, it seems, will play a central role in this media blitz. It is hard to predict how successful the road show will be because it is becoming patently obvious that the Orbán government is doing a poor job at governing. Their economic policies are disastrous and their zealous attempts at “re-educating the masses” seem to meet greater and greater resistance.

What is the central theme of this campaign, at least in Kövér’s interpretation? First and foremost that Fidesz’s current policies provide “the last chance” for the country. What kind of “last chance” was Kövér talking about? Although his train of thought is often muddled, the chance that mustn’t be missed is “a chance to recover the remnants of the country’s sovereignty.” And if they lose this battle “the failure that follows will be the failure not only of the government but of the whole nation.”

Who is the enemy that must be conquered? The IMF, the banks, the international financial centers. “These circles try everything in their power to prevent Hungary’s winning this war.” The situation is similar to that of 1956 when the Soviet Union couldn’t allow the Hungarian revolution to succeed because that would have meant rebellions everywhere behind the iron curtain which the Soviet Union could ill afford. These financial enemies of Hungary are afraid that other countries, realizing the success of Hungary, will adopt the methods used by the Orbán government. Then, naturally, the financiers’ power would be diminished if not altogether destroyed. Hungary is leading the battle against the capitalists and the banks.

These international financial circles treat Hungary as if it were a colony that can be exploited and from which they can pump out money endlessly. Hungary must win this war and, once the battle is won, Hungary’s “most important strategic goal is to remain far away from the troubled outside world.” As László Lengyel, an economist and publicist, noted, “the leader of Jobbik couldn’t have said it better.” But these words also hark back to István Csurka (MIÉP) who made a comparison between the oppression of the Soviet Union and that of the international financial centers when he said that in 1956 “there came the tanks and now come the banks.”

One doesn’t have to be an economist or a financial expert to predict that if Kövér and his friend Orbán really mean what they say failure is certain. Hungary’s economy is connected to the outside world in a million and one ways. It is a country without much in the way of natural resources, and the engine of the Hungarian economy is based on export, mostly to the troubled world of the European Union. Kövér also failed to mention the billions and billions of euros the European Union has pumped and is still pumping into the Hungarian economy.

As Lengyel said, and I borrowed from him, this is the talk of a mad man who is trying to build up a seemingly coherent picture of the world in which Hungary is fighting for the last remnants of its independence. The problem with the picture is that it has no foundation in reality, and therefore a strategy that is built upon on it must necessarily fail.

I would like to console László Kövér that his beloved nation will survive the failure of Fidesz. It will be battered as a result of incredible mismanagement but thank heaven the “unity of the nation” under one flag that Fidesz wanted so much has not yet become reality and most likely never will.

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Member

Kover is indeed a very sick man. He is a lier and an opportunists. The facts about his lies are hard set in his speech. He, Orban and Deutsch were great supporters of the Communist party as well as many of their comrades, so this whole spiel only works on those who are already converted to Fidesz with no questions asked. He could first travel to Western Europe is his other lie from the same speech. it was not a hard task to get a blue passport by 1984. People regularly travelled to Vienna vy this time. Maybe he did not have the money for the bus fare to cross the border. lol
As we learned the last week also, Rozsa Hoffman lied about the whole education reform (forty pages attachment just surfaced that is radically the opposite of all her promises), Orban still did not deny his “Do not listen what I say” speech to foreign dignitaries about the election, Kover tries to pull one too. Who a heck would ever trust these magicians? Well, Hungarians will.

Paul
Guest

There is no line between Fidesz and Jobbik, certainly not any ‘clear blue water’, one just fades into the other. Sometimes at a much earlier ‘point’ than might have been expected.
I wonder if Orbán actually believes any of this madness – or is he just using nutters like this for his own end? If so, he is (once again) playing with fire.
There’s a major PhD thesis in psychology waiting to be done on how OV went from the young man who made ‘that’ speech and the Nagy reburial, to the padded cell of self-belief and infallibility he occupies now.
PS – I was puzzled by “there came the tanks and now come the banks” as this sounds quite neat in English, but presumably was originally said in Hungarian. Until I put it through Google Translate and out came “jött a tankok, és most jönnek a bankok”.
It can’t be too often that something like this works in both languages!

Paul
Guest

‘and’ should be read as ‘at’.
You wouldn’t believe how many times I spell check and proof read my posts!!

An
Guest

@Paul: “how OV went from the young man who made ‘that’ speech and the Nagy reburial, to the padded cell of self-belief and infallibility he occupies now.”
I don’t think he changed much in personality… he was self-important and all-knowing then, he is that way now. He happened to be on the “good” side then… but he always says what he thinks the masses are most receptive to. He is all about rhetoric. It was anti-Soviet, anti-communist talk then, it is anti-capitalist, nationalistic talk now (and keeping up the anti-communist rhetoric too… well, can’t blame him, it worked so well once).
His personality didn’t change, unfortunately, public sentiment did.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

An: “I don’t think he changed much in personality… he was self-important and all-knowing then, he is that way now. He happened to be on the “good” side then… but he always says what he thinks the masses are most receptive to. He is all about rhetoric.”
Exactly. He hasn’t changed a bit. I even hated his speech then.

Johnny Boy
Guest

“I’m becoming convinced that the most important Fidesz leaders actually believe their own propaganda.”
You are an extremely slow learner.
You should finally realize that not all politicians are like MSZP who always lie as they see fit. Some politicians talk seriously, they genuinely stand behind their views.

Johnny Boy
Guest

“I even hated his speech then”
Of course you did.
You were perfectly happy with the Soviet army occupying Hungary.
They were keeping your comrades in power, after all, who would have never stood a chance without an oppressing foreign army.

Paul
Guest

For JB black is the new white.

Member
JOhnny Boy: “You should finally realize that not all politicians are like MSZP who always lie as they see fit. Some politicians talk seriously, they genuinely stand behind their views.” -> While talking about Fidesz. I know, i know repetition is boring but we must do it for the benefit of those who live in denial. All below is FACTUAL. Kover, Orban and Deutsch were great supporters of the Communist party as Young Communists. So were many of their comrades took advantage of all the perks that were offered to young communists. This speech that I was in the communist party to destroy it from the inside is laughable. This whole spiel only works on those who are already converted to Fidesz with no questions asked. Kover’s sentence that he was only able to travel to Western Europe in 1984 is an other lie. It was not a hard task to get a blue passport by 1984. People regularly travelled to Vienna by this time. Maybe he did not have the money for the bus fare to cross the border. lol As we learned the last week also, Rozsa Hoffman lied about the whole education reform (forty pages attachment just… Read more »
Sackhoes Contributor
Guest
Johnny Boy: It’s hard to take you seriously when you talk utter nonsense. For example, you write of Eva Balogh: “You were perfectly happy with the Soviet army occupying Hungary. They were keeping your comrades in power, after all, who would have never stood a chance without an oppressing foreign army.” Eva, as a young college student was heavily involved with the 1956 Revolution and when it was brutally put down by Kadar and his Russian allies, and she sensibly escaped. She knew that if she stayed, the reprisals against her would have been brutal. She was not alone. 250,000 of us joined her in choosing freedom. So she escaped and went to Canada (and eventually found her way to Yale University in the US.) In the United States her political views are probably considered liberal and if she votes, she probably votes as a Democrat. But in the United States it is NOT considered un-patriotic to express your opinion, left or right-wing, liberal or conservative. No one questions your loyalty, your patriotism or your right to free speech. On the political scale Eva is probably to the right of me and I disagree with some of the things she… Read more »
Gábor
Guest

Kövér didn’t even notice the strong irony in his story about “travel restrictions”. Actually, he admitted that he was a good comrade, those bloody, monstrous, evil communists corroborated it. If he is right about the nature of the system, than this is the proof that he was one of those communists as well. That’s the problem with painting such a black and white portrait of an era.

Somló
Guest

Kövér was more than just a KISZ member. He was active in military counterintelligence (elhárítás) in the early 80s, writing reports to communist officials on his fellow soldiers.

Odin's lost eye
Guest

Mr Sackhoes Contributor, Fidesz have appointed two little trolls to upset the discussion in this blog.
Firstly there is that nurk Joseph Simon. His task is to try to redirect the discussion and steer it away from the topic we are examining.
The second is ‘Johnny Boy’ his task is to insult contributors so that they do not want to participate as contributors in this blog
There is a new phase in the authorities battle with dissident blogs which is coming. It is to install ‘site blockers in all ISPs. Unfortunately for Hungary the US government and much of the west have banned the sale of these things to outsiders.

Pedant
Guest

Just for the record, what Csurka said was: ‘out went the tanks, in came the banks’ (“Elmentek a tankok, megjöttek a bankok.”), not “there came the tanks and now come the banks.”

Odin's lost eye
Guest

Now the ‘Banks’ will soon be leaving because of the ‘Cranks’! Hum Ho what a victory.

Johnny Boy
Guest

Sackhoes Contributor: her sentence that he hated Orbán’s speech is a tell-tale.
No need for any other words.
And this perfectly corresponds to what she writes today.
Everybody, EVERYBODY in the democratic community praised Orbán’s speech and that speech was a huge cornerstone in Hungary’s regime change. As the circumstances were right, it practically made the Soviets pack and go away.
She simply disgusts me. No help on that. She isn’t worth any more words.

Member
I hated Orban’s speech. I hated it because there was no admission of guilt for the presence. THere was no self-critique. Orban used the funeral as an opportunity to build his career. As today, he always blames others for his incapability to form the present. The present rests on Mr Orban’s shoulder (as his unwillingness to “revolt” against the communists while he was a Leader of the local Young Communist section). His speech was for the West, not for Hungarians. He needed money to run for elections, and he knew exactly what was expected from him. One thing I would love to quote here is very timely: “Mind a mai napig 1956 volt nemzetünk utolsó esélye arra, hogy a nyugati fejlődés útjára lépve gazdasági jólétet teremtsen. A ma vállunkra nehezedő csődtömeg egyenes következménye annak, hogy vérbe fojtották forradalmunkat, és visszakényszerítettek bennünket abba az ázsiai zsákutcába, amelyből most újra megpróbálunk kiutat találni. ” “To date 1956 was our nation’s last chance to step on the road of western progress to create economic prosperity. The pressure from the group of bankruptcies that lies heavily on our shoulders is a direct consequence of the fact that our revolution drowned in blood, and was… Read more »
Member

Odin: “Fidesz have appointed two little trolls to upset the discussion in this blog.”
I would not give so much credit to Joseph Simon. He is acting on his own, and he really does not contribute to much to the articles discussed.
As for Johnny Boy… I think he is a strong Fidesz member, and just Fidesz, he is unprepared. He would love to block Eva, but then again, this is her blog, so who would he attack. Even when he says he block people, he does not, but he cannot bring up facts against reason, facts and logics, so he retreats by pretending not to care. (Like Orban’s two famous denials: “Technically the released documents of him benefiting his wife’s and friend’s with State money were not from the Minutes of an official meeting, but he never denied the content. He told foreign dignitaries that he is lying to Hungarians to win the election “Do not listen to what I say”. He never denied saying that but said he will not get involved with the USA’s soap operas. LOL)

Eva S. Balogh
Guest
Some1: “I hated Orban’s speech.” In this case I’m not alone! What people admired in the speech was the blunt demand for the Soviet troops to leave the country. However, by that time the Németh government had already negotiated with the Russian about the withdrawal of the troops. What I hated in the speech most was the theme of the extra coffin. Apparently that was Kövér’s idea who more or less wrote the speech. Orbán’s job was to make it shorter. Orbán-Kövér claimed in the speech that in that empty coffin there lies the future of his generation. They were the ones who suffered so much under the regime. Well, that was an outright lie. Orbán was born in 1963, the year when Kádár announced that those who are not against the regime are with them. The real victims of the regime were those who were already adults in 1948 and those for whom the change of regime came too late. The former group, like my grandparents and parents lost everything they worked for all their lives. To the second group belong my contemporaries who were too old to start again and within a few years they were retirees with… Read more »
Member

I didn’t hate that Orban speech in 1989. I hate it now …
By then we had no idea what this scruffy, unshaven, bigmouth fellow will turn into.
In June 1989 it was pretty cool that somebody said things like ‘the MSzMP is responsible’ and ‘start negotiating the withdrawal
of the Russian troops’. 2 years earlier you could have been fired from your job for saying the same thing.
It was also nice, when he warned that a bunch of people, who condemned the ‘counter-revolution’
not so long ago, lined up at the funeral. I think it was uplifting. I think it wasn’t the intention of the
speech to ignore the suffering of the older generations. The speech (whoever wrote it) just said
that young people will be screwed for 20 years or more (he got that right).
It was too bad that the guy read the whole thing from paper, rarely looking up for eye contact,
but that’s just the same dumb Orban we know today.
But of course it was not “a huge cornerstone in Hungary’s regime change” as our turul monkey put it.
It’s also ridiculous to say that the speech made the Soviets pack their bags. They were already packing.

Gabriella
Guest

EB: “One doesn’t have to be an economist or a financial expert to predict that if Kövér and his friend Orbán really mean what they say failure is certain. ”
These madmen have a lot of blind followers in Hungary, who will not wake up, until something will  drastically go wrong. I would welcome some low level failure as soon as possible.

Member

Mutt Damon: “2 years earlier you could have been fired from your job for saying the same thing.”
And so was I. People who actually spoke up had some problems (like Rajk Jr.,) Let’s face it, the changes in Hungary did not happen because of the “opposition”. It happened because of the changes in the Russia.

Jim
Guest

That’s right, Eva — Orbán knew at the time of his speech that the government had already negotiated the Russian troops’ withdrawal.

Member

Orban was the Chameleon on the pole on this painting: http://bit.ly/sS5usg
The painting was ordered by the current right wing government. First I thought a joke. I wish …

Guest

Here is the complete picture gallery:
http://fngaleria.hir24.hu//3/48791/0/1
These pictures are so unbelievably bad – we were laughing right now with tears streaming down …
People all over the world will poke fun at those strange Hungarians- it’s a real shame!

Sackhoes Contributor
Guest

Johnny Boy: I know I am wasting my breath on you, but I’ll say it anyway… I was also surprised by Eva’s harsh comment on Orban’s 1989 speech. At the time, caught up in the historical moment and the pathos of the ceremony I thought Orban made a remarkable speech. I never heard of him before and had no measure of the man. But this is not the issue.
What I object to is your nastiness, your lack of respect for anyone else’s point of view. You are a miserable rat.

Paul
Guest

“our turul monkey” – excellent!

Paul
Guest

My favourite is the WWI picture – as Éva says “What a happy little war with all those hussars and prancing horses.”
It looks more like Sunday in the park circa 1890, than anything resembling a war (compare and contrast with the WWII picture).
I’m also intrigued with the Red Republic one. I’m surprised OV allowed this to be selected – unless I’m missing something horribly obvious, this is a very ‘positive’ view of a terrible period in Hungary’s history.
Not only is it a regime I would never have expected OV to approve of, but, if any Hungarian really was to blame for the full horror of Trianon, surely it was Kun?
Without the delay and distraction of his revolution (and the wholly negative effect it had on the Allies), Hungary might have had a chance of truly negotiating the redrawing of the borders. But, by the time Kun had been removed and ‘order’ restored, it was far too late.

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