Spread of indifference and hate in Hungary

The events of the last few days have been shocking reminders that something has gone very wrong in Hungary in the last few years. Hungarian society has been poisoned by monstrous ideas. And it seems that the more the present government feels threatened, the more vicious it becomes in the hope of appealing to the beast in all of us.

Sometime ago I read about a study of the Orbán government’s social policy which appeared in the prestigious Journal of European Social Policy. It was written by a member of ELTE’s Faculty of Social Studies, a faculty whose existence has been threatened by the latest “university reforms.” She maintained that the present Hungarian government has no coherent social policy. One finds elements of neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, and etatism, all at the same time. She came to the conclusion that “the only aim of the government is the punishment of the poor.” What an indictment.

In a recent editorial in HVG, “Hate the weaker!,” the author recalls those instances when the Orbán government incited hatred against the homeless, the unemployed, and now the refugees. This government went so far as to change the constitution to legalize punishment of homeless people. The government pared back unemployment insurance benefits to only three months. Welfare payments have been cut to practically nothing, while public works programs are used to influence electoral outcomes. And now here are refugees arriving with only the clothes on their backs.

The government is inciting the population against foreigners in general even though in January 2014 only 1.4% of the population consisted of foreign nationals. Although the government talks about the huge numbers of applicants for refugee status, in 2014 only 360 political refugees received permission to stay in Hungary. These incitements are intended to divert attention from the incompetence (and worse) of the government, but their negative effect on the psyche of the population is immeasurable.

A lack of compassion is discernible among Fidesz politicians, even when working-class Hungarians are the victims. The other day a 21-year-old girl was murdered while working in one of the stores allowed to sell tobacco products. Her murderer, a young boy as it turned out, killed her for 22,000 ft. ($80.00). The interiors of these stores cannot be seen from the street. Their windows are covered; the doors are solid and cannot be left open. All that in the mistaken notion that young people, just by glancing at packs of cigarettes through the shop window, will take up smoking. As a result, the number of robberies at these stores has been far above the average. But at least until now no shopkeeper was killed. But here we have the first victim of this ludicrous new law. The owner of the store where the tragedy happened had enough. He decided that he is taking off the protective material from the shop windows of all his stores. He cares not whether it is against the law. He will not endanger the lives of his employees. One death was more than enough.

Will the government change the law which clearly serves no purpose and endangers lives? A reporter for Hír24 was all set this morning to ask the opinion of Fidesz politicians as they arrived in parliament. One after the other, starting with the prime minister, they went by without a word and without the slightest sign of sympathy for the victim. A few muttered that they had no time to say anything. Up to now over 200 comments have appeared commenting on this video, and practically all of them are highly critical of the whole Fidesz lot. One recurring accusation is that they were elected by the people and have an obligation to answer reporters’ questions. Another charge is that these Fidesz politicians refuse to answer because they haven’t yet received their orders from above. They simply don’t know what the “right answer” is. And finally, there are many who believe that Viktor Orbán and his minions are incapable of admitting that their decisions could be wrong. These people also predict that the law will not be changed.

How much does Fidesz’s anti-immigration policy stem from racist prejudices? The first reaction is that it has nothing to do with prejudice. Fidesz is not a racist party. Viktor Orbán is just using the anti-foreign card for political purposes. It is only Jobbik, the far-right neo-Nazi party, that owes its popularity to openly racist, anti-Roma and anti-Semitic ideology. But then what can we make of what happened today at a press conference given by László Pósán, a member of Fidesz since 1992 and a member of parliament from 1998?

Pósán is a historian who became an associate professor of history at the University of Debrecen after receiving his Ph.D. in 2000. He is a medievalist who specializes in the German principalities and has written a book on medieval Germany. This illustrious professor of history told journalists that to allow people of different cultural backgrounds to settle in Hungary would have very serious consequences. After all, what would parents think if their child, returning home from school, “was surrounded by six African blacks making threatening gestures?” Naturally, he fully supports Viktor Orbán’s ideas on immigration. If this isn’t racism, I don’t know what is.

For good measure he told a few horror stories about the Debrecen internment camp for political refugees. According to him, at one point there was a fight inside of the camp that was so serious that “600 policemen had to be called to the scene.” Well, being a historian myself, I  looked into the 2013 incident in the Debrecen camp. Apparently the camp was terribly overcrowded. Some of the inmates didn’t even have a bed to sleep on. They had to be satisfied with a mattress on the floor of the cafeteria. The fight broke out as a result of a football game between two different groups. As for the number of policeman, Index heard about 100-150, but they could not confirm the number. So much for Pósán’s 600 policemen.

The Debrecen refugee camp in June 2013

The Debrecen refugee camp in June 2013

On the other hand, while I was searching for details about the fight in the Debrecen camp, I found a 2009 article, also by Index, which perhaps tells us more about the real state of affairs than Pósán’s exaggerated story. It was about an Afghan refugee who jumped from a second-floor window, trying to commit suicide. He didn’t die but broke an arm and a leg and damaged his spine. He was to be sent back to Greece and, when the police arrived for him, he jumped. He was first caught in Greece, from where he escaped to Serbia. He was arrested in Serbia and spent 70 days in jail. It was at that point that he headed to Hungary, where he asked for refugee status. He was promised that after ten days he would be sent to Debrecen as a refugee waiting for approval or rejection of his case. Instead, on the thirteenth day after his arrival he was told that he would be sent back to Greece. Apparently, the treatment of refugees in Greece is much worse than in Hungary, and he certainly didn’t want to go back to Afghanistan where he feared for his life. He claimed that his father had already been murdered by the Taliban, and he was afraid that he would be next. His long journey from Afghanistan to Greece, Serbia, and Hungary indicates to me that he was most likely telling the truth. He was not a “megélhetési bevándorló” or, to use Miklós Haraszti’s English rendition, an “occupational immigrant.” A few hours after the suicide attempt 27 Afghan refugees began a hunger strike to protest against and try to escape the fate of deportation.

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steve397
Guest

Out of the total population of Hungary, apparently there are 1.4% foreigners or at least those who were born abroad and about 0.43 % are Jews. How on earth these numbers show that Hungarians are endangered in their country I do not know, but I am very happy that the future of Hungary is ensured, now that we are told that the Jobbik party is not even similar to the Nyilas party of yesteryear’s.

Peter Janos
Guest

Wrong.

pull the other one
Guest

Yes, Peter Janos, I agree, you are wrong.

An
Guest
Eva, thank you very much for writing this post. This post is especially hard hitting and shows what is the most destructive about this regime. Many commenters like to point out how Hungarians are xenophobic, racist, and prejudiced… and that is true. I do believe that Orban is guilty of exploiting such sentiments for political gains, but I think he is guilty of more, as by using these he is reinforcing, instigating, and strengthening such attitudes. I’m sure I brought this up on this blog before, but it is possible for leaders to influence popular sentiment, to incite hatred and prejudice. And this is what Orban has been consciously doing ever since he is in politics. If anyone has any doubts about how easy it is to divide people and increase friction among groups, have a look at a famous experiment in social psychology that took place in the 50s (Robbers Crave). In this experiment researchers brought together 24 11-12 year old boys who previously have not know each other. They randomly assigned them to two groups and started to do activities with each group that was to increase group bonding (at this point the groups did not know about… Read more »
Member

This consultation letter, that they are going to send out, is just great. We will have a signed affidavit from 2 million Hungarians that they are officially racist.

Too bad there was no national consultation in 1944. We could have had a nice historical document today about Hungarian anti-Semitism …

petofi
Guest

Precisely.

So, we are ‘shocked’ by the death of one girl, are we?

How shocked was Hungarian society when brave Hungary sent 350,000 more jews to Auscwitz than the nazis asked for in 1944?

Not a one.

Please, let’s have a few more seconds of reflection before we blurt out these nonsensities…

LwiiH
Guest

From what I’ve been told from people that have been in these camps is that the past, supplies to refugee camps are picked through by those responsible for distributing them before distributing the left overs. No idea if that is still happening.

Webber
Guest

Government doesn’t just react to public opinion, it helps form it. Fidesz is not just reflecting commonly held views, it is actively encouraging racism.

Webber
Guest

Here are some of the “terrible” results of immigration to Hungary – and some of these people came from AFRICA:

Zorán (Stevanović), born in Belgrade:

Delhusa Gjon, born in Budapest to a Greek-Albanian father:

Fekete Pákó (Lapite Oludayo), born in Nigeria, who has been popular among working-class people in Hungary for decades:

Sena Dagadu, born to a Hungarian mother in Ghana. Sena is currently popular in Budapest. Her albums sell abroad, as well:

Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre.

Peter Janos
Guest

Do not forget: None of them represent the high (elite culture). They are only parts of entertainment industry.

Webber
Guest

So what?
Really, Peter Janos, WTF is it with you?

pull the other one
Guest

Right, Peter Janos, they would never be allowed to succeed among the elite, since the native-born elite would never allow it, so they must be content with making people happy and not mucking up the country. Maybe if some immigrants were given policy-making jobs, we wouldn’t have the incredible mess we now have.

TeamBritanniaHu
Guest

In the nineties, we (British teachers) experienced a lot of what I would call ‘bureaucratic obstructiveness’, but were generally made very welcome and were able to make a valued contribution. Now I spend most of my time sitting at home on the internet (as now) for fear of meeting more xenophobia and indifference. I feel isolated and alienated, and have even (virtually) given up learning Hungarian. It’s the indifference which depresses me so much – most Hungarians are sleepwalking through each day, seemingly unaware of what is happening to their great little country, or pretending it’s something it clearly isn’t. If it wasn’t for my family, I would have left long ago. Maybe it’s different in Budapest, but then London is different from the rest of England when it comes to xenophobia, but it is not the majority population, and I wouldn’t want to live there either. I find the ‘little England’ mentality depressing too.

Webber
Guest

A shame you’ve given up learning Hungarian. You’re missing interaction with some people who don’t speak English. Some of them can be very pleasant indeed – salt of the earth. Of course there are yobbos too, but you meet them no matter what.
Your life will be much richer if you speak Hungarian. Xenophobes (yes, I meet them too) won’t care either way.

Peter Janos
Guest

Little country? Before 1920, Kingdom of Hungary had much bigger territory than Great Britain and Irish isles combined… Check it in the old Encyclopedia Britannica 1911.

Webber
Guest

Peter Janos – Hungary is a little country now. Deal with it.
If your intention was to give someone a history lesson – wtf?

pull the other one
Guest

Mongolia is much larger, physically, than Hungary ever was, but it has a very small population and is practically insignificant in almost every way. Of course, that was not always the case, but it certainly has been for along time. Lithuania was a major power (along with Poland) for a time a few hundred years ago, but it is small and insignificant now. Population and power are what are important, so it has been a long, long time since Hungary was anything other than a “little” country.

Peter Janos
Guest

Lithuania was not major power in medieval era. It was only local power. ITs economic societal infrastructural development was very slow. It was also too periferic far from European cultural centers. Litthuanian population was always little. Even Poland had little population (3M in the mid XVth century.) But not only their economy (inland revenues of kings ) and population, buttheir military strength was lesser than medieval Hungarian power.

doracsegei
Guest

Team BritanniaHu,

Do you remember the Prayer of Francis of Assisi?

“Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”
“Where there is injury, pardon.”
“Where there is despair, hope.”
“Where there is darkness, light.”
“Where there is sadness, joy.”

Persevere!

spectator
Guest

Do you remember the lyrics of Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman (For Massenet)”?

‘Cause when love is gone, there’s always justice.
And when justice is gone, there’s always force.
And when force is gone, there’s always Mom. Hi Mom!

From the record “Big Science” – 1982.

MusicLover
Guest

When I lived in Hungary, I used to rail against the “little England” mentality but after my Hungarian wife and I moved back to the UK 8 years ago, we found it is outdated and untrue. We live in a very rural, non-cosmopolitan area and we have not experienced a single event or comment that betrayed “xenophobia” in all that time. People of all social classes are welcoming and while many people have concerns about immigration, some of which are quite legitimate, some less so, the reality on the ground is that England is a very different place to how you imagine it. Strangely, your decision to “stop learning Hungarian” strikes me as quintessentially “little Englander” and if you have been there since the 90s, I can’t help wondering what you have been doing all this time. Is it possible that the problems you experience with Hungarians have more to do with your attitude than them?

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

European parties who proudly talk about having Christian values protect Orbán & Co.

Peter Janos
Guest

Wrong. Only 83.7% of the citizens of Hungary considered themselves as Hungarians according to the census of 2010. So Hungary is already an officially multiethnic country. Hungarians remember Treaty of Trianon (1920) when the country was dismantled/fragmented between immigrants (romanians serbians etc..) The cause of the Hungarian immigrant phobia based on Treaty of Trianon.

pull the other one
Guest

Romanians, Serbs, Slovaks and others were in the Carpathian basin long before the Magyars arrived, so calling them “immigrants” is a derogatory piece of propaganda. I’m surprised that Eva is allowing your lies to remain on this site.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Peter Janos, Romanians and Serbians were not immigrants, but constituted in some parts of the Hungarian part of the Habsburg monarchy the majority.

Webber
Guest

I believe Peter Janos is referring to the silly old argument that Hungarians lived in the Carpathian Basin before Romanians and Serbs moved into it, and that although Romanians and Serbs lived in old Hungary for long centuries, they were still “immigrants” in 1920.
A counter-factual argument (therefore slightly silly too), is that if minorities were not treated as outsiders in old Hungary by people more than a century ago who pushed the very argument PJ is using, those minorities would not have wanted to separate the lands they lived in from the country in 1918 (and well before, in some cases).
Even more silly is the false historicism that places blame for all sorts things “Hungarians” think or feel today on the Treaty of Trianon (I know quite a few – the majority – who get through most situations in their lives without thinking of it).

Elektrone Motyo
Guest

“silly old argument that Hungarians lived in the Carpathian Basin before Romanians and Serbs moved into it” – what is silly in that? The Metropolis of Ungro-Wallachia was created in the 14th century and the first archbishop was installed only in the early 1500-s, thus if we stay with the facts it is clear that the Romanian migration to Hungary started in the 14th century and took a large scale when the Turkish pressure became stronger in the 15th century.

Webber
Guest
It is fine if it is just a point of historical debate with little to do with things today. It is absolutely silly for all sorts of reasons if it is used as an example of why people today think as they do. I’ll just give you a parallel example: Hungarians, also, were immigrants, and it’s just possible that when they immigrated to the Carpathian Basin they pushed out some Slavs and killed Prince Svatopluk II. If you want to argue that this “led to a millennium of slavery for the Slovaks, oppressed by these migrants” and so is the ultimate source of xenophobia among Slovaks today, I’ll laugh out loud, and call the argument silly. I will also say that the problem is with your artificial construct, “millennium of slavery,” and that you are using a rather twisted and simplistic historical narrative to create a certain emotion. As to Romanians, whom you mentioned, let’s leave aside the totally pointless arguments about the ethno-genesis and original homelands of Romanians, for which there is no definitive evidence anywhere and probably never will be (no sources, no proof). If I we agree that Romanians came after Hungarians, we still must agree that… Read more »
Peter Janos
Guest
In the reality, the late-nomadic Vlachs (romanians) migrated from Bulgaria and South-Eastern Serbia to the present-day territory of Romania in the 13th century. The nationalistic daco-romanian continuity myth (which is the compulsory curriculum for children in romania) is not generally accepted by western academic scholars. That’s why all major Western Encyclopedias (E.Encarta, E. Britannica, E.Americana, German Brockhaus, French Larousse etc…) mention the romanian state-supported daco-romanian myth, but they are also mention the reality: the Vlach migration from the Balkans in the 13th century. Vlachs (medieval romanians) were the latest people who introduced the literacy in Europe, and they were one of the latest shepherd nomadic people in Europe. (There were no orthodox bishopry in medieval Vallachia & Moldavia, most of the monks and priests had to be „imported” from Serbia). Due to the lack of literacy and own history writting (medieval chronicles) until the 16th century, the poor romanians had to built up a so-called “speculative history-writting” (or fabricated history), where speculations based on earlier speculations and fictions etc.. There are no material proofs (cemetries cultic places) which can support the romanian (vlach) existence in present-day territory of romania before the 1200s. There are no CONTEMPORARY written documents about the… Read more »
seinean sabisan
Guest

@Peter Janos: “WERE WERE YOU HIDING for 800 years dear “daco”-romans?”

In South-Eastern Europe, obviously. We have a discrete nature – you know. We just popped out of the blue in History just to piss off people like you.

Anyway it is great to see you stressing how much progress we made since the middle ages and, even more, from the early 19-th century.

Thanks for emphasizing that for everyone to know, Peter Janos. Good PR is precious.

And – just for the fun of it – if – after the last year referendum – Scotland would have left the UK, Romania – with an area of 238,391 sq km – would have overpass the UK…

PS – I recommend the new movie “Aferim !” by Radu Jude ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aferim! )

Peter Janos
Guest
VLACHS (Romanians) WERE THE LATEST NOMADIC ETHNIC GROUP IN EUROPE. Vlachs were known as late – nomadic people in medieval chronicles. The first romanian vlach churches were built only around the turn of the 13th and 14th century. No known archiutecture existed before that period. The romanian literacy and chronicles appeared only in the 16th century.USE Google books! (The word’s largest digitalized library, the largest collection of printed books) See the google book results (search the british american candian authors about medieval romanians Vlachs): Carleton Stevens Coon: The races of Europe, Page 614 ” Vlach colonists are nomads living in black tents like those of … A greater variation is found in the cephalic index; on the plains of Moldavia and Wallachia, and in the Dobruja” Robert William Seton-Watson: A history of the Roumanians: from Roman times to the completion of unity, page: 12 “The Roumanians undoubtedly preserved their nomadic habits to a very late date, as is proved by the existence of Vlach colonies in Moravia (the so-called “Little Wallachia” — long since completely Slavised)” Mandell Creighton, Justin Winsor, Samuel Rawson Gardiner: The English Historical Review page:- 615. “He shows that the Vlachs of the Balkan peninsula throughout the… Read more »
Webber
Guest

I congratulate you. That must be the first time a Hungarian nationalist has approved of anything R. W. Seton-Watson wrote.
You’ve also just repeated the Daco-Romanian continuity theory (Seton-Watson liked it a lot) by repeating Norman Angell’s lines – or didn’t you realize Bulgaria occupied Transylvania BEFORE the arrival of the Hungarians?
It’s clear you’ve mastered secondary literature on Daco-Romanian continuity.
I suggest you read István Schütz now, for a rebuttal.
DO you have anything relevant to say about current politics?

Peter Janos
Guest

Bulgarians have never lived in Hungary. Bulgarian turkic(!) speaking military elite conquered some parts of the later Hungary. Thats all.

Member

Handa-banda, gallimathias. Bravo!

Elektrone Motyo
Guest

I hardly know any Hungarian who would be xenophobic, Eva. But every Hungarian with the right mind knows, that migration is not good. Why? Because those people who have to flee their homes would rather stay there, but they can not. So uncomfortable questions have to be raised:
1. Who causes crisis in those regions, who pays for that?
2. Who benefits from the migration of people who own nothing but their lives?

After all we know, that Hungary is neither initiator nor benefactor of the migration, thus we must act accordingly. Treating refugees with respect is without doubt a basic obligation, but there must be a clear sign sent towards those who are concerned that we disapprove migration, and we would rather seek for solutions at the origin of the problems. Or let’s express it clearer: Let the USA, UK, France and the other ex-colonial powers clean up the mess, that they caused in Asia and Africa.

Member

A Plea for Onomatous (Non-Anonymous) Postings

It is fully understandable, and fully justified, that those who live in Hungary or have family in Hungary and fear reprisal for openly criticizing Orban or Fidesz should post anonymously.

But for those not at risk of reprisal, it is important now that we post openly, reinforcing with our names and reputations the views we post and the information we provide, as Miklos Haraszty has done (and as Eva Balogh and a few others have been doing all along).

To post anonymously, needlessly, is to play into the hands of Orban/Fidik’s insidious regime’s tactic of secrecy and fear.

(Stand prepared for the usual FUD attacks by Fidesz and its trolls, inventing and spinning disinformation to seem to discredit you — http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/797-Quod-Erat-ad-Demonstrandum-QED.html — but publicly eliciting and exposing these tediously predictable smear campaigns will do far more to harm and discredit Fidesz than its targets.)

Stevan Harnad
Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences, UQAM
http://crcsc.uqam.ca
Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter
http://www.hungariancharter.com/directors.php
External Member, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
http://mta.hu/members_of_has?PersonId=19105

Webber
Guest

I can’t speak for others. I can say I understand and sympathize with most people here who are using pen names.
I would be perfectly happy to let you, personally, know who I am (we’ve never for met, but have common acquaintances), but I can assure you that my identity is really not important. That may be true of others. We, the unimportant, are most vulnerable.
You, with a name and reputation, are relatively unassailable.
So, for some of the reasons you’ve listed above and for others you have not, I would not like to have my identity revealed here.

Member

@Webber, if you are in any way at risk from Fidesz reprisals, of course you should remain anonymous. My message was to those who are posting anonymously without any real need to do so. It does not matter if they are not well-known: the important thing is that they should speak openly instead of appearing to be afraid to speak the truth under their own names.

Guest

Just an observation:

We’re a few years beyond the fall of the Wall and the collapse of the Soviets. Took a while but the eventual poisons from those events managed to rise not only in Hungary but in all of Europe as well.

Hungary now in the Union is understanding how being involved in a more globally interconnected world necessitates confronting her vulnerabilities in identity. It’s evident she is not a confident one if it follows that ‘hatreds’ need to be disbursed against populations.

Orban suggests to me he is one who keeps an eye on the European ‘Zeitgeist’ especially with the rise of far-right parties. He looks like a Dylanistic ‘weather-man’ who seems to know which way the wind blows. Better if there was more perspicacity on the immigrant problem. Current ‘medieval’ thinking is of the past. But isn’t that past what makes Europe go ’round? Its poisons are sure hard to shake.

Reality Check
Guest

A scandal that is getting very little attention.

Tobacco shops and agricultural leases, and now national park land give-aways to their cronies.

http://www.greenfo.hu/hirek/2015/04/28/elfogadtak-az-alkotmanyellenes-tervezetet-szabad-az-ut-a-foldrablashoz

http://www.bbj.hu/economy/govt-passes-bill-on-national-parkland-management-rights_96646

Eva, please cover this issue that has been flying under the radar. Hungary has 10 national parks on which a majority of their acreage has now lost protections. Management decisions about most of the area of these parks will now be under the National Land Trust (Nemzeti Földalapkezelő Szervezet (NFA). Instead of scientists and conservationists guiding the management of the parks, decisions will now be made by an administrative unit whose goal is to develop land for agricultural and other uses.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Just heard the news on Ö1 Radio, Viktor Orbán for death penalty in Hungary. Shame on him, shame on those who protect him and who proud themselves to stand for “Christian values”

Webber
Guest

I am beginning to think that this idiocy about immigrants and (now) the death penalty is a desperate attempt to get people to look away from the Quaestor and other broker scandals and the planned sale of National Park land, which have exposed corruption of a gobstopping scale, even by dismal Hungarian standards.
Orban may be mad as a hatter, but there is no way that he could convince his merry band of thieves to introduce the death penalty. They would lose EU funding the moment he did it.

petofi
Guest

Correct, of course.

But investigative reporting in Hungary is a joke.

Has anyone asked Szijjarto if the placement of monies at Quaestor was subject to a commission; and what that commission would be; and where that commission would go to?

Has anyone asked Orban why the placement of government monies with private firms
should not be illegal? If not before Quaestor, than certainly after? Is legislation being prepared?

Hungarian political/investigative reporting is laughable.

Olga is a good looking dame, but she’s as frighted as all the other Hungarian ‘pygmies’.

Prikulics
Guest
“I am beginning to think” Wake up, pleeease. It was nothing more than a plot to divert attention away from these stories — and it worked. Buda-Cash is gone, Questor is yesterday’s news, investors were bailed out. Case closed. Crises management A+. Moreover Orban can now express legitimately, since this is a current crises on a European level his rather popular views on immigrants. Common hatred is one of the most important ways to forge a community. Nobody cares about death penalty, I agree it’s really a desperate idea — Orban at least should have waited until the next grisly crime committed by a gipsy (too bad for him immigrants don’t tend to kill people in Hungary), the timing wasn’t perfect. I wonder what comes next. Putting gipsies in cordoned off communities? Erecting walls Israeli style? I think Orban haven’t squeezed out all the juices from the blacks, so I think the theme will continue. As Gabor Török would say: perfect thematization, — the entire Left is left speechless, as usual. And re the power of discourse there is no worse thing that can happen to anybody than being ignored. Having said that I don’t think Orban can outJobbik Jobbik.… Read more »
Guest

The proposed harsher treatment of refugees and the death penalty speculations of Orbán seem to me a kind of threat:
We don’t agree with the EU policies and want to leave!

The racism that “Janos Peter” shows here is typical – “we Hungarians are superior” and we want our Empire (that didn’t exist …) back!
I propose banning him if he comes up again with similar crazy ideas.

Re the questionnaire:
I would propose an additional question.
Which immigrants do you hate the most?
Albanians
Arabs
Kosovars
Niggers
Pirez
Would be interesting to see the results …

Coming from a country that has always had minorities/immigrants and on the other hand a lot of emigrants too I find the position of Fidesz (and Jobbik of course too) atrocious!

petofi
Guest

‘Janos Peter’ is probably a troll.
Like others of the kind, they attempt to hijack the blog.
Just from the sheer proliferation of his entries, this seems to be so.

Guest

My last comment was lost …
I agree with Prikulics but I can add something re the death penalty.

When my wife heard about that murder in the tobacco shop she immediately said:
That was Orbán’s fault!
That crazy idea of having no windows of course attracts thieves (and murderers …). Though we don’t smoke I sometimes go into one of those shops to buy cigs for friends in Germany – the price difference is at least 20€ per carton so that pays for some of our gas when we travel to Germany …

So Orbán is trying to divert again from the ridiculous law on cigarette shops that he’s responsible for!

Any way the way that Fidesz is turning more and more into a fascist party is remarkable – the German magazine SPIEGEL (not one of Orbán’s friends anyway …) has a scathing report on that crazy idea by our Hungarian “Liliputin”:
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/ungarn-orban-erwaegt-einfuehrung-der-todesstrafe-a-1031124.html
Orbán is called a right wing Nationalist who wants to/is thinking about to leave the EU …

Elektrone Motyo
Guest

Spiegel? Since Ulfkotte, the Greman mainstream media has lost every piece of credibility.
Orban is cleverly manipulating the liberal media. Orban knows very well how to upset these people and bind their resources. It is called “Zermürbungstaktik”.

Istvan
Guest

Before the death penalty moratorium in the year 2000, the US State I live in, Illinois had executed 360 people, 358 men and two women since 1779 when a man named “Manuel” was convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Chicago which is of course Illinois’ largest city in 1990 had 849 homicides with the death penalty in place, in 2014 with the death penalty removed Chicago had 432 homicides.

The death penalty will do nothing to prevent homicides in Hungary, it is not a deterrence to the act of murder. Just looking at the data indicates Hungary as a whole has a very low murder rate, only 133 murders in the entire country in 2010 for example. Budapest’s homicide, rate per 100,000 people is about 2.1% on average, Chicago’s is closer to 18.5 murders per 100,000. Orban is an exploiter of foolish people’s fears.

Escongio
Guest

Too many sentimental patriotic Christian Hungarians are in denial.

Orban’s convoluted empty Finkelstein inspired speeches are enough to melt their hearts.

Anti-USA, and anti-EU incitement will be forgiven.

Russian deals are welcome.

Information on corruption is rejected.

Only a miracle can save Hungary, this time.

petofi
Guest

Who says that it/they deserve saving?

Guest

You know it’s kind of tough to see the place kind of sliding inexorably into an abyss. Magyarorszag looks like it needs a ‘savior’.

Guest

Eva, I just want to say that this is one of your best posts ever, which is saying something indeed. Full of righteous indignation and is a scathing critique of the moral bankruptcy of the current regime. It is a shame, though not a surprise, that many of the comments here are full of such off-topic issues to do with a past that while still having an influence, is indeed just the past. We are confronted today with an un-Christian Hungary that one can only weep. I understand the power and importance of history, but whatever has gone before, when one sees the utter lack of compassion or mercy on display today, we can only but cry.

And leaving aside the moral outrage that people good and true should feel at the utter heartlessness so readily and callously on display by those entrusted with leading the nation, what about the purely pragmatic notion that diversity and immigration is actually a good thing that will ultimately benefit all Hungarians from the grumpy nénis of Újpest to the young, energetic of Debrecen. It is possible to love Hungary and wish for more foreigners/immigrants. Strange I know, but true.

Kavé
Guest
Radio Free Europe has an interesting interview with an employee of one of the Russian “Troll Factories” that hire people to monitor Facebook and comment forums in order to derail and control political discussion. http://www.rferl.org/content/how-to-guide-russian-trolling-trolls/26919999.html The strategy includes the use of sock-puppet “villains” and one who supplies links, as well as the “demotivator” who provides ready made graphics to demoralize those who participate in the discussion. It seems that under FIDESZ the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and NER have taken wholeheartedly to the practice. Peter Janos’ line of argument follows the method in a somewhat haphazard form. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/02/putin-kremlin-inside-russian-troll-house Trolling isn’t new, but back in the print media days you had to get past an editor – a professional arbiter of what should appear in print to be disseminated – in a newsroom before a letter to the editor or op-ed could reach the printed page. Opinions had to pass a wall of accountability and acceptable writing, arbitrarily defined by the Editor. Personally, I am happy to have Eva serving as the editor of this forum. Trolls are a function of PR: they don’t have a natural right to see “their” opinion published any more than an ad agency has a right… Read more »
An
Guest

Wow, truly Orwellian. I’m sure the Hungarian operation is not much behind. Thanks for posting the links!

Member

Troll Times

The two articles on Russian trolling were interesting, but by now all of this is very familiar, and one can usually spot the trolls a mile away. (Exercise: there was a tag-team of Turul trolls in the above exchanges: one was obvious. Which was the other? And was there a third?)

Even without the filter of recognized longstanding honest HS posters who do not keep switching their pseudonyms, the TTs are dead give-aways. One was a true-believer troll; the other a cynic, seasoned in sowing doubt and confusion. In the US there are unpaid Tea Party trolls who just get off on this sort of thing. It’s a real draw for borderline personalities for whom this an irresistible way to act out…

spectator
Guest

Just to divert your attention: is child-labor allowed in the armed forces of Hungary?

Or just Orbán visiting the premises and wearing a honorary uniform..?
Couldn’t help but notice the rightmost black-clad figure.
Any ideas?

spectator
Guest

Regarding this nonsense about migrants and the full-blood Hungarians: if only the latter were allowed to live in Hungary during the centuries, there wouldn’t be more truly – or Turuli(!) – Hungarians than the readers of this blog!

Come on, just how many “Hungarian heroes” should we throw out ot once from our history, who happens to be “migrating” into Hungary?

Think about it, maybe the next János Hunyadi, alias Ioan de Hunedoara – now might called like Jüan Hyundai – already on his way to become the true Hungarian what we going to be proud to another hundreds of years – who knows?

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