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.