I’m sure that most of you are familiar with early Soviet history when the regime’s aim was the creation of a superior Soviet man. Viktor Orbán’s regime is embarking on something similar, and naturally it will be the schools that will be responsible for educating this new patriotic, religious, moral Hungarian breed.
Today’s western culture is rotten to the core: secular and immoral. However, a few years of Hungarian schooling will produce an entirely different Hungarian population. These new Hungarians will be the perfect products of the newly introduced school system where children will have to take either religion or ethics classes in addition to classes on the traditional virtues of courtship, family life, rearing children, and learning to be faithful to one’s spouse “till death do us part.” In addition, the whole educational system will be permeated with “patriotism.”
That kind of education was the ideal of the Horthy regime, but it didn’t work then and it will not work now. Perhaps even less so. Today’s teenagers are a far cry from teenagers attending gymnasium in the 1920s or 1930s. In those days most of the high schools were in the hands of religious orders who imbued their charges with religious devotion and morality. Religious education was compulsory even in public schools and girls had to learn to darn socks, knit, crochet, and cook a little. Between the two world wars many boys had to take military training.
All this is coming back. There will be compulsory religion or ethics classes in grade seven and in grade eleven. The original suggestion promoted by Fidesz-KDNP politicians, among then László Kövér, even wanted to introduce ethics or religion in kindergarten. One can never start early enough! However, by high school students will be able to discuss such weighty questions as capital punishment and the difference between good and evil. They will be introduced to Aristotle’s Ethics. Origo reported that among other things pupils will also learn about such political concepts as liberalism and conservatism. Given the philosophical underpinnings of the Orbán regime, it’s pretty easy to imagine how these classes will be skewed.
But that is not all. For example, students will have learn about “courtship,” about the “relationship between man and woman” and apparently about “bringing up baby” including how to put diapers on. I can only hope that boys will be taught the art of diapering and girls “basic military skills,” which will be also compulsory.
The whole curriculum will be imbued with “patriotism.” In plain language, it will be saturated with nationalism. This nationalism can take really bizarre forms in Viktor Orbán’s Hungary. A separate commissioner was appointed by the prime minister whose only job is the spread of “the culture of horses.” Since the early centuries of Hungarian history the horse was an important part of life and warfare. And because Hungarians were known in Europe to be excellent horsemen today’s nationalists are working very hard to make Hungary a “horse nation” again. This commissioner came up with the idea of introducing horsemanship in schools. The kids would learn not only how to ride but also how to take care of horses. As a former undersecretary of the ministry of education jokingly said, “Sure, the kids will be riding along on their horses on the “Nagykörút,” the outer “Ring” in Pest!
As we know, riding is an expensive hobby, but according to the commissioner it is not as expensive as all that. Moreover, European Union money will be spent on the project. The poor EU! Do people in Brussels know what the Hungarian government wants to spend their money on? The whole thing is outrageous especially since far too many Hungarians, for example, don’t know how to swim!
Military training and horsemanship in schools is enthusiastically supported by Csaba Hende, minister of defense. He is reinstating military high schools and according to plans high school students can even matriculate in the subject. As for the horses, he is all for it. Hence here is a cartoon about him and the horses.
My sweetheart is so handsome, not an officer just an infantryman, the soldier of Viktor Orbán
And the frightening thing in all this is that the far right’s harebrained ideas about horses and early Hungarian history coincide with the Fidesz government’s ideas about education. Three men belonging to the Eurasia Solidarity Foundation are setting out on horseback for Kazakhstan, looking for “relatives.” Here are our explorers:
I’m a bit puzzled by that 1848 hussar uniform. What is it doing in Kazakhstan? There are other puzzling aspects of this trip. How will the horses cross the Black and Caspian Seas? Moreover, the three (and horses as well?) will fly from Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, to Tehran. The Iranian destination indicates that these three are linked to Jobbik, a party with close, perhaps even financial, ties to Iran. Here is their route:
Among the patrons and advisors of the Eurasia Solidarity Foundation one can find Sándor Lezsák (Fidesz, earlier MDF), deputy speaker of the house; Mihály Varga (Fidesz), finance minister in the first Orbán government and undersecretary in the prime minister’s office; and Sándor Fazekas (Fidesz), minister of agriculture. Jobbik and Fidesz are tied to each other in hundreds of ways. As I have often said, one never knows when Fidesz ends and Jobbik begins.