Another nationalist and anti-foreign tirade from Viktor Orbán

Another March 15, another speech by Viktor Orbán. It seems that even Mother Nature is on this man’s side because this morning, when he delivered a nearly half- hour long speech in front of an enthusiastic crowd, it was sunny and warm. By the afternoon, when the opposition was supposed to have its gathering, the weather had turned nasty–rain and high winds. The demonstration had to be cancelled. Pro-government commentators suggested that the gathering was cancelled not because of the storm but because the opposition was unable to assemble a large enough crowd.

The Orbán government’s attempts to roll back history began almost immediately after Fidesz won the election in 2010. They undertook a major construction project, returning the large square in front of the parliament building to the way it was before March 19, 1944, when the German troops “occupied” Hungary. That meant, among other things, that all the statues that were placed there after 1944 had to be removed. Those that got damaged during the war had to be refurbished. The statue of Mihály Károlyi, the president of the First Republic (1918-1919), had to be removed not only because the statue was erected after that date but because, echoing the charges of the counterrevolutionary regime of Miklós Horthy, he is accused of dismembering Greater Hungary. The statue of perhaps Hungary’s greatest poet was also banished: Attila József was sent to the lower bank of the Danube where few people will see him. An incredible amount of money was sunk into this project. It was finished just in time for the country’s national holiday, three weeks before the election. The square is now open to the public.

The celebrations that began in the square were followed by the highlight of the day, the speech of Viktor Orbán in front of the National Museum. Why the National Museum? Because, according to common wisdom, it was here that Sándor Petőfi recited his famous poem “Talpra magyar, hí a haza!” (Rise Hungarian, the Fatherland calls!) It was hard to estimate the size of the crowd from the video, but it was large and enthusiastic. Lots of Hungarian flags sold for about three euros. Polish flags were abundant as well. Orbán has many friends in Jarosław Kaczyński’s far-right party who make their yearly pilgrimage to Budapest on March 15.

As for the crowd’s enthusiasm. Viktor Orbán’s charm is firmly grounded in his nationalism. Nationalism might have been a progressive movement in the nineteenth century but by the twentieth it was discredited, mainly because of the extremes to which Hitler’s Germany took it. Orbán’s nationalism consists of profuse praise for those Hungarian virtues that make Hungarians superior to all others. Yet these superior Hungarians need protection because outsiders want to keep them down. There is one man who will not only save them but will ensure that they have the happiest future in the history of the nation.

Orban March 15, 2014

This is what Hungarians have heard day in and day out over the last four years. If nationalism is “an infantile disease,” as Albert Einstein thought, it seems that the admirers of Viktor Orbán haven’t quite grown up yet. I fear that there will be a rude awakening one day, but for the time being there seems to be great enthusiasm for a continuation of the status quo. Program? No, there is no program, but the people who watched the celebrations don’t care. Everything was fine in the last four years and life will be even more wonderful in the next four. Isn’t it extraordinary? Every economic indicator shows that the last four years were at best years of stagnation, that poverty is widespread, and that living standards have dropped.

There was not much new in today’s speech. Weak and cowardly nations have no future. But Hungary is different. Led by Viktor Orbán, the country has fought against its adversaries: the financial world, imperial capitals, even natural disasters. “This is a strong and brave nation” but “outsiders don’t want to see a strong and successful Hungary.” His government defended people from the monopolies and “imperial bureaucrats.” It is a “country that broke the locks that seemed unbreakable,” an act that “made those who thought nothing of us respect us.”

The bashing of foreigners continued: “Our history teaches us that, if necessary with work, bravery and blood, it is we who must write our own history. We learned that when freedom is brought by a foreigner, it can also be taken away.” And further: “Foreigners used to put down our revolutions but there were always those who helped them from within.” This man foments hatred of other nations (and accuses the opposition of collusion) while using their money to his and his friends’ enrichment. But when money is brought by a foreigner, it can also be taken away. Then Orbán would learn how costly it can be to write, and re-write, the “nation’s” history.

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Rise up, Ukraine
Guest
Several notable leftists raised some alarming points regarding Ukraine. The first is a member of the famous “Galamus group” of which our own Eva is also a member. The article on Galamus writes: ” Aki támogatta, hogy a mintegy 80 százalékban albán többségű Koszovó leszakadjon Szerbiáról, annak nem lehet kifogása az ellen, hogy a 60 százalékban orosz Krím hátat fordítson Ukrajnának.” This is a clear attack on America by Galamus and essentially states that if Russia had to stand by ildly while Kosovo declared independence then the same principle applies here. http://www.galamuscsoport.hu/tartalom/cikk/366182_elment_a_hajo_de_nem_tegnap Even more importantly the former German chancellor outed himself as a strong supporter of Putin. Interestingly enough he used the EXACT SAME argument as the Hungarian Galamus Group did, in favor of putin. Mr Schroeder accepted that Russia’s intervention was in breach of international law but compared the Kremlin’s action to his own government’s military support for the NATO bombardment of Serbia during the Kosovo crisis in 1999. “We sent our plans to Serbia and together with the rest of NATO they bombed a sovereign state without any UN security council backing,” Mr Schroeder insisted, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10697986/Merkel-fury-after-Gerhard-Schroeder-backs-Putin-on-Ukraine.html This essentially means that Putin’s position has powerful supporters both in the… Read more »
petofi
Guest

@Eva

“…but there were always those who helped them from within.”

Interpreting this as a reference to the opposition (ie. ‘communists’) is generous, perhaps naive. I’m afraid it’s worse than that: in the crude manner echoing Hitler and the Nazis, the Hungarians who know the ‘code’ knew that this referred to the unmentionable–the jews.

gdfxx
Guest
Rise up, Ukraine : Several notable leftists raised some alarming points regarding Ukraine. The first is a member of the famous “Galamus group” of which our own Eva is also a member. The article on Galamus writes: ” Aki támogatta, hogy a mintegy 80 százalékban albán többségű Koszovó leszakadjon Szerbiáról, annak nem lehet kifogása az ellen, hogy a 60 százalékban orosz Krím hátat fordítson Ukrajnának.” This is a clear attack on America by Galamus and essentially states that if Russia had to stand by ildly while Kosovo declared independence then the same principle applies here. http://www.galamuscsoport.hu/tartalom/cikk/366182_elment_a_hajo_de_nem_tegnap Even more importantly the former German chancellor outed himself as a strong supporter of Putin. Interestingly enough he used the EXACT SAME argument as the Hungarian Galamus Group did, in favor of putin. Mr Schroeder accepted that Russia’s intervention was in breach of international law but compared the Kremlin’s action to his own government’s military support for the NATO bombardment of Serbia during the Kosovo crisis in 1999. “We sent our plans to Serbia and together with the rest of NATO they bombed a sovereign state without any UN security council backing,” Mr Schroeder insisted, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10697986/Merkel-fury-after-Gerhard-Schroeder-backs-Putin-on-Ukraine.html This essentially means that Putin’s position has powerful… Read more »
gdfxx
Guest

Eva S. Balogh :
@gdfxx, We should also mention that Schroeder works for Gazprom.

Right, which basically means that he works for Putin.

Member

Rise up, Ukraine :
Several notable leftists raised some alarming points regarding Ukraine…
This is very dangerous indeed, these people need to be stopped.

Umm. May I ask what do you mean by stopping?

Paul
Guest

“Orbán’s nationalism consists of profuse praise for those Hungarian virtues that make Hungarians superior to all others. Yet these superior Hungarians need protection because outsiders want to keep them down.”

Which is why he is so successful and his speeches are listened to so uncritically – this is EXACTLY what most Hungarians think.

petofi
Guest

Paul :
“Orbán’s nationalism consists of profuse praise for those Hungarian virtues that make Hungarians superior to all others. Yet these superior Hungarians need protection because outsiders want to keep them down.”
Which is why he is so successful and his speeches are listened to so uncritically – this is EXACTLY what most Hungarians think.

People who take this in think like children….are children…

Member

OT: “From 15 March anyone taking photographs in Hungary is technically breaking the law if someone wanders into shot, under a new civil code that outlaws taking pictures without the permission of everyone in the photograph.”
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/14/hungary-law-photography-permission-take-pictures
Good luck to the Hungarian photo reporters, as well as tourists. I think the homeless should just wonder into the shut as tourists are taking pictures, and ask for money and call the police if they do not pay!
(Imagine the sport photographers at a marathon?)

tappanch
Guest

For nostalgic Hungarian speakers:

I would like to share with you an address where you can find a huge amount of Radiokabare performances by Abody, Brachfeld, Hofi, Salamon, you name it.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/vwlxv8unsxb3i1h/1_teljes_cimlista.zip

unzip the .zip file, save the obtained .htm file & enjoy!

IXO
Guest

OT, for those who read Hungarian. This is mostly about the roma, but not necessarily. It shows why Fidesz is winning and why the left goes nowhere with anything sophisticated.

http://nyomorszeleblog.hvg.hu/2014/3/15/409-nagyobb-teljesitmenyt/

Ron
Guest

Some1 :
OT: “From 15 March anyone taking photographs in Hungary is technically breaking the law if someone wanders into shot, under a new civil code that outlaws taking pictures without the permission of everyone in the photograph.”
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/14/hungary-law-photography-permission-take-pictures
Good luck to the Hungarian photo reporters, as well as tourists. I think the homeless should just wonder into the shut as tourists are taking pictures, and ask for money and call the police if they do not pay!
(Imagine the sport photographers at a marathon?)

Unfortunately, the homeless are gone from the city center (banished if you like), and as result a potential lucrative business for then does not exists, but may be a business for some old Fidesz hags to upgrade their pensions?

Btw on Friday I was near the large synagoge at the Dohany utca, and police were interrogating photographers (at least I noticed photo and video camera’s on these people), and I assume this was for security, but never thought it was due to this “new” law.

LwiiH
Guest

Eva S. Balogh :
@#Rise-Up Ukraine, If I may correct you. It is not Galamus says that but Endre Aczél. I was indeed a founding member of Galamus but I don’t have to agree with everything that it appears that.
In my opinion, Putin is breaking international law. Ukraine’s territorial integrity was guaranteed. Serbia’s wasn’t.

The Crimea was addressed by the Budapest treaty of 1994 of which Russia was a signatory. In the UN Security council yesterday the Russian’s spouted the same bull that year hear all aggressive nationalist institutions seem spout. No one I believe is against the Crimea holding a referendum but clearly not under these conditions. Heck,, there have been several of them in Canada w.r.t Quebec sovereignty. However Quebec wasn’t being occupied by a foreign country at that time.

@Ron, since very phone is a camera and every teenager I know uses the phone to takes 100s of photos and then posts them online… this could get very interesting. I have been approached by security guards in the past when walking in a mall with a camera.

Abar
Guest

I’ve been reading the comments on this blog for a while and a few things just do not make sense. Some people here, clearly think that MSZP is just perfect as a political party.They are not corrupt. Not corrupt at all! They do not have any scandals they did not make any mistakes between 2002-2010 governing. They did literally everything right and nothing wrong. They can do no wrong as far as some people here are concerned. I just don’t understand that such a perfect political party how on earth is not getting at least 80% of the votes? In the 2010 election and ever since.

It is a mystery that such perfection is not rewarded by the voters with landslide victories instead of landslide defeat.

glory
Guest

This guy has been a Jobbik member of the European Parliament. Nice CV.

No wonder Jobbik supports Russia.

For those who do not speak Hungarian, the guy’s CV reeks of KGB and/or the Hungarian services.

http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kov%C3%A1cs_B%C3%A9la_%28politikus,_1960%29

Member
According to all the examinations I’ve taken, oral and written, I speak Hungarian fluently. However, since I began learning the language in my mid-20s, I speak with an American accent. I must admit, the occasional mispronunciation and grammatical error does creep in to my speech. More and more Hungarians – shopkeepers, public transport workers, etc. – have decided to express their opinion of my inferiority. It normally starts with a smirk. Then, there’s some kind of provocation – for example, they overcharge me for the goods I’m buying. When I remonstrate in Hungarian, they start barking at me as if I were a dog, insulting me, telling me to get back where I came from. This doesn’t happen every day, but in recent months, such incidents have occurred about once a week. After one such incident, I asked for the complaint book. The nice man told me it doesn’t exist (which is a lie). Orban did not invent this attitude, he simply manipulated it and expanded it. His leadership has created a new word in the international lexicon: Hungarrogant. That refers to the smirking, petty attitude of people who want to deal with their persistent feeling of inferiority by putting… Read more »
borat1
Guest

seal driver:

“That refers to the smirking, petty attitude of people who want to deal with their persistent feeling of inferiority by putting others down.”

Why is this behavior any different from that of the poor white folks in the US who still vote for the republicans (even though rational choice theory would suggest that they should vote for big government Democrats)? Ok, their behavior is changing, but then let’s say their behavior in the 1960’s?

People do feel that they are inferior (or are losing their previous, perhaps imagined superiority) and need to compensate. Facing reality must be avoided at all costs. Is this big news?

Orban is just a politicians who literally would do anything to get the vote. He is a populist.

Ron
Guest

Eva the picture you used in which context it was taken. It looks like Hitler accepting greetings.

Guest

Re Schröder (our former German chancellor) and Putin:

Ever since getting on Putin’s/Gazprom’s payroll he has behaved like a clown – and most leftists don’t agree with him when he says:

Putin is a flawless democrat – in German: ein lupenreiner Demokrat!

This is one of the most often quoted sentences in German politics and smirked upon – everybody wonders that Schröder could be bought so easily.

If it weren’t so sad it would be funny!

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

From Humanity via Nationalism to Bestiality
Franz Grillparzer

I saw yesterday morning in Budapest very poorly dressed Hugarians holding the Hungarian Flag high going to hear the leader of the postcommunist maffia. Orbán gives them something more valuable than material welfare, He gives them the feeling to belong to the wonderful Hungarian “Volksgemeinschaft”, to be able to look down on the homeless, the Roma and of course the hated Jews. So instead of a good standard of life they are allowed to hate those who are not happy with the great leader.
The end of the story, Hungary will become like Argentina. Only without the potentiality of that country.
And then they will again complain about beings victims.

Nádas
Guest
If the various March 15th rallies are an analogy of things to come, Hungary really is in trouble. As noted in the article, the weather – as had been forecast – was sunny and pleasant in the morning, turning cold, blustery and rainy by mid-afternoon. The Összefogás substitute rally at Petőfi tér in front of the poet’s statue, the traditional location of past official commemorations (but probably too small for Orbán’s adoring, paid crowds) drew barely a couple hundred diehards, and of the big-name scheduled speakers only Gábor Fodor was on hand to give a mild, almost apologetic speech. Gyurcsány showed up late to scattered applause as the crowd was breaking up, but only spoke to a few individuals while cameras rolled all around him. The robust Jobbik rally, by contrast, held a short while later in the blocked-off intersection of Bajcsy-Zsilinszky and Andrássy út by Deák tér, and accompanied by the dulcet sounds of the appropriately named Romantikus Erőszak (“romantic violence”) band, drew thousands. Not all, of course, were right-wing true believers, many were simply curious, I’m sure. But judging by the number of voices returning the “szebb jövőt!” greeting and all the Nagy Magyarország and Székely flags, the… Read more »
GW
Guest
Abar, if you’d actually been reading this blog, you’ll find very little affection for the MSzP, a party with a difficult (but now quite distant) past and a mixed record in office, including some cases of petty corruption and lackluster management (but both, as bad as they could get, were several scales of magnitude less than the present Fidesz government) but also a solid commitment toward moving Hungary into the western community of market-oriented democracies, So, here you will not find enthusiastic support for MSzP but rather a critical and pragmatic recognition that MSzP is necessarily going to be part of the only alternative coalition possible to return Hungary to a democratic path. The situation is dire: Hungary is now run by a massive cleptocracy, committed to authoritarian and secret government, creating a ruling ruling class via the transfer of land and wealth and privilege to its cronies (in turn, making the poor in the countryside and city into the indentured servants or serfs of their new Fidesz landowners), distancing itself at every step from its natural allies and benefactors in the west in favor of authoritarian Russia and China (remember it’s the EU that is giving Hungary money, while… Read more »
Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Some1 :OT: “From 15 March anyone taking photographs in Hungary is technically breaking the law if someone wanders into shot, under a new civil code that outlaws taking pictures without the permission of everyone in the photograph.”http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/14/hungary-law-photography-permission-take-picturesGood luck to the Hungarian photo reporters, as well as tourists. I think the homeless should just wonder into the shut as tourists are taking pictures, and ask for money and call the police if they do not pay!(Imagine the sport photographers at a marathon?)

Shouldn’t all CCTV cameras, indoor and outdoor, be banned accordingly?

petofi
Guest
Seal Driver : According to all the examinations I’ve taken, oral and written, I speak Hungarian fluently. However, since I began learning the language in my mid-20s, I speak with an American accent. I must admit, the occasional mispronunciation and grammatical error does creep in to my speech. More and more Hungarians – shopkeepers, public transport workers, etc. – have decided to express their opinion of my inferiority. It normally starts with a smirk. Then, there’s some kind of provocation – for example, they overcharge me for the goods I’m buying. When I remonstrate in Hungarian, they start barking at me as if I were a dog, insulting me, telling me to get back where I came from. This doesn’t happen every day, but in recent months, such incidents have occurred about once a week. After one such incident, I asked for the complaint book. The nice man told me it doesn’t exist (which is a lie). Orban did not invent this attitude, he simply manipulated it and expanded it. His leadership has created a new word in the international lexicon: Hungarrogant. That refers to the smirking, petty attitude of people who want to deal with their persistent feeling of… Read more »
petofi
Guest

Hungarians–a bestial lot.

Anyone know a good translation for ‘szelhamossag’?

Guest

@petofi:

Humbug? Funnily this word is the same in German and English!

Also: Con, busha, deception …

the nutty prof
Guest
If you wanna understand Orban and Jobbik, see what is going on in Turkey and in Russia. The weekend Financial Times has good articles about both of them. The Turkish town where prime minister Erdogan spent 13 years in his youth thinks it is a question of honor to defend Erdogan and if anything after the corruption charges half of its local supporter base (69% in the last elections) got even more militant. The world would collapse if Erdogan did not win and the locals are making sure that he will (at least in this town). Erdogan’s power struggle is with another islamist, the self-exiled Gulen. Old-school seculars or leftists seem to have lost their relevance entirely. So, despite all the scandals people actually care about deeper issues, like honor, face, nation, islam, not some Western concoction like corruption or good governance. In Russia, meanwhile, a German expat tells the story that it is now impossible to get any work done as everybody follows the Ukrainian situation instead. But the issue is very touchy as all Russians support Putin and these would be the open-minden Russians working at a German multinational. But it’s about national honor, the holy fight against… Read more »
HiBoM
Guest

Seal Driver, your experience is the absolute inverse of mine. Being able to speak the language is the key to opening even the stoniest Hungarian’s heart. So I really am at a loss to understand why you have been having such unhappy experiences. Contrary to the impression you get reading some comments here, face to face, Hungarians are almost always extremely warm and friendly people, even those whose political views belong in the rubbish bin.

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