Orbán buries democracy with faint praise

After Viktor Orbán delivered his speech at the Friends of Hungary Foundation on Saturday, I received two e-mails calling my attention to it. One of them included a commentary on the speech by Zoltán Bodnár, former CEO of the Hungarian Export-Import Bank and earlier a deputy chairman of the Hungarian National Bank. Lately, Bodnár can often be seen on TV as the adviser to Gábor Fodor’s liberal party on economic matters.

Bodnár called Orbán’s speech a milestone, akin to his speech in Romania last summer about illiberal democracy. “Any of you who still have doubts about what kind of a society Orbán wants … should listen to this speech.” I searched for newspaper accounts of the event but was disappointed. I couldn’t find any earthshaking revelations in the summaries of Orbán’s speech. Bodnár must be exaggerating, I thought.

Today I know what the problem was. The summary that appeared in scores of Hungarian newspapers was prepared by MTI, the official Hungarian news agency, whose management has a keen sense of what should be left out of their reports. Anything that would create an outcry both at home and abroad must be ignored. And Bodnár was right. Those missing lines would have created an uproar if they had been widely reported.

First, I will look at the speech as it appeared on Orbán’s website. I will concentrate on those sections that were left out of the MTI summary and will also point to the prime minister’s creative use of quotation marks. Second, I will call attention to some very important sentences that were uttered during the question and answer period but were not transcribed for the prime minister’s official website.

What is it that Bodnár and others found more objectionable and more telling than Viktor Orbán’s words about “illiberal democracy”?

Democracy versus autocracy

The main theme of the speech was the necessity of breaking through political taboos that prevent us from finding the right answers to real questions. Instead of listening to our instincts, “we escape to a world of voodoo and taboo away from our own questions, the questions of our own lives.” According to the Hungarian prime minister, Europe is spending its energies on sterile debates about ideology and political systems instead of trying to find answers to such important questions as “how it is possible that while Europeans–including ourselves–value democracy over non-democratic arrangements, the latter are more successful today? Will democracy in the decades ahead–as we would like to believe–be capable of providing good political leadership?” While last summer Orbán simply talked about illiberal democracies, by now he got to the point of doubting that democracy can be a viable instrument of political leadership. While allegedly valuing democracy, he testified to the superiority and even desirability of autocracy over democracy.

Viktor Orbán in his element during the question and answer period

Viktor Orbán in his element during the question and answer period

Orbán elaborated on this theme: “The European politician is inclined to suppose that the question of political arrangement is of the utmost importance because, if it is solved, the problems of reality are automatically taken care of.” I think this sentence needs a “translation.” In my interpretation, what Orbán means here is that European politicians believe that democracy is the foundation of a healthy society and economic system, but in his opinion that is not the case. Democracy itself doesn’t solve problems, and solving problems doesn’t require a democratic system.

These were the main points that were cunningly left out of the MTI summary that circulated in the Hungarian media.

While I’m still on the main body of the speech, I’d like to point out at least one instance in which Orbán falsified his source. Orbán wanted to prove that small nations actually have an advantage over large ones in this uncertain world and that therefore “Hungary has a real chance to show new ways, new means, and methods for the benefit of the whole world.” What is the supporting evidence for this contention? Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, wrote an article a couple of months ago titled “Are You Ready for the Technological Revolution?” In it Schwab claims that “the defining features of [the new post-post crisis world] is the rapid pace of technological change. It is so fast that people are even referring to it as a technological revolution. This revolution is unlike any previous one in history, and it will affect us all in ways we cannot even begin to imagine…. In this new world, it is not the big fish which eats the small fish, it’s the fast fish which eats the slow fish.” The message is that countries, regardless of their size, will be successful as long as they respond quickly to technological challenges.

Orbán the technophobe took liberties both with Schwab’s text and with the very notion of citation. He attributed the following sentences to Schwab, putting them inside quotation marks: “The era has ended in which a big fish eats the small one. From here on the fast fish will rule while the slow ones will be destroyed. In this new world nothing will be taboo, we must study and re-evaluate all practices.

“No” to an intellectual direction that is considered progressive 

Finally, let me translate a passage that can be heard on a five-minute video in which the key sentences from the speech were collected. The most valuable part of the video is the one- or one-and-a-half-minute segment from the question and answer period. From Orbán’s answer it seems that someone from the audience must have said something about the “bad communication” of the government as the reason for Hungary’s unsavory reputation abroad. Orbán corrected him. Yes, communication could have been better, but this is not the only reason for the West’s dislike of his government. Here is the relevant text:

There is an intellectual debate in Europe about which way the Continent should be heading. What its mission is. In my opinion we are on the right side of this debate, but it is not a popular one. Today those are in the majority who think that Europe should move toward the fulfillment of individual rights, and that means three things. For example, it would help our individual freedom if we could get rid of our sexual identity. They think it would further the cause of freedom if we could get rid of our national identity. They think that we would be better off if we could rid ourselves of those ideas that stem from being God’s creatures. In this case we could make decisions more freely about life’s questions. But we don’t agree. It is better if we openly admit that. In our opinion, man will not be freer if he removes the barriers imposed on him by being a created entity. [Applause] In our opinion we don’t have to get rid of our sexual identity, our national identity. Here we cannot make concessions even if our reputation suffers. In these questions we can’t lie. The truth is that we don’t agree with the intellectual direction that considers itself progressive.

At least Orbán is honest here, which is something. It doesn’t happen too often. My other correspondent, who shared his reaction with me and many others, wrote: “I’m in despair. What should we do? What can we do? Our leader went mad. I feel sick!”

In the one published reaction to the video I found these words: “It rarely happens that I have to search for words, but it has happened. I looked at, I listened to the mad speech of our leader, and even without a degree in medicine I can say: we are in big trouble.”

What can I add to that? Perhaps I should correct the blogger who thinks that something is wrong with Orbán’s mental state. No, I am convinced that he is perfectly sane and that he believes every word in this speech as well as in many others. They are all variations on the same theme, except the message gets stronger with the passage of time. I wonder when the day will come that the Hungarian people as well as the European Union decide that they have had enough.

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M.Crawford
Guest

If would be a dictatorship in Hungary , you could not speak up and mostly not in this manner.

Member

Bedlam on the Danube

Orban is getting more and more florid and symptomatic by the day. Just a question of time (even in the brainwashed Carpathian Basement) before his sinecure implodes: I hope he doesn’t get to flee with the billions he and his clan have stolen while he preached Kinder/Kueche/Kirche and Arbeit Macht Frei to the masses…

Member

…but it sounds as if he’s gone bonkers enough now that he might even choose to clamber back onto his sinking ship-of-state for one more delusional rant rather than grabbing his booty and heading for his eastward haven…

Webber
Guest

Unfortunately I fear you are right and Orban, being truly mad, will stay. He apparently feels he has a “mission,” and that only he can guide the Ark of the Hungarian people from the perilous rocks of democracy and “excessive freedom.”
He will not give up power easily. His minions have already proven willing to cheat in elections (láncszavazás, gerrymandering – poss. stuffing ballot boxes).
He may not give up power at all, until and unless he is taken away in a white ambulance.

Alex Kuli
Guest

Gerrymandering is a charge that Orban’s opponents level against him frequently. But has it ever been proven? Gerrymandering involves creating odd-shaped constituencies in order to unite supporters of the ruling party and maximize its chances of winning the district. With the possible exception of Pecs, I don’t see the “fingers,” “corridors” or other features that are typical of a gerrymandered constituency map.

I have no doubt that gerrymandering is something Orban would engage in. But I ask in all seriousness: Was there every any hard evidence of gerrymandering, and where?

Webber
Guest
Alex, there was widespread gerrymandering, and it is well documented. Look after it on your own. Just one example – look at Google maps, and look at the new voting district formed between Kispest and Pesterzsébet. To focus on it, find Wekerletelep (in Kispest), then next to Wekerle find Nagykőrösi út, and across it you’ll see Erzsébet. Now, put the little man down on Nagykőrösi út and see what the center of the district looks like (it’s a highway – there is no connection between the two sides, other than very few pedestrian bridges). Now, look at voting patterns for Erzsébet and Kispest. Erzsébet was r-wing. Except for 2010, Kispest has always voted left. In this case, the gerrymandering was counterproductive – but they did it. Similar stuff was done in E. Hungary, in which there was an attempt to isolate Jobbik supporters in certain districts- After all, the point of gerrymandering is to isolate the opposition, giving it one or two “pure” opposition districts, and leaving the rest leaning toward one’s own party. Anyway, in some places gerrymandering is legal, and it is certainly not as bad as the láncszavazás, intimidating opposition voters (some rural areas) and other cute… Read more »
Gőte
Guest
Alex: there are countless documents in Hungarian language. Right after the districts were set up there were many analyses written about how these geographical rearrangements change the political landscape. It’s not the odd shaped fingers which matter but the overall results. Fidesz redistricted Hungary so that the new districts favors it (or rather the dominant party of the right wing) overwhelmingly. As it was mentioned, however, should Jobbik be that dominant party, the system will inevitably change again. Leftist pockets were either compartmentalized so that those voters couldn’t possibly contaminate the rest or were carved up and joined with known right-leaning areas so that they would be a minority. The result of the analyses was that a united leftist opposition must prevail over the dominant party of the right wing by about 7-8% (in terms of the party list votes) and this did not even take into account the – partly forged – hundreds of thousands of votes coming from Romania and Serbia which were cast 99% in Fidesz’ favor. The left — just to form a government, which would go obviously nowhere given the staggered fidesznik people placed all over the system like into the constitutional court or the… Read more »
Alex Kuli
Guest

I’ve seen the opposition’s “well-documented evidence” and I find it unpersuasive. Fidesz won every constituency in the country in 2010 save a couple in Budapest District 13. If nearly all districts were already Fidesz in 2010, how can you gerrymander against “left” parties that weren’t getting many votes to begin with? Fidesz was already doing pretty well in many of these regions in 2006, albeit they fell short of winning them.

If they had really wanted to gerrymander, they could have linked the southern part of District 13 to District 2 and the northern part to District 3.

That’s why I asked for “hard evidence.” Webber’s description of Kispest and Pestszenterzsebet is the most persuasive I’ve seen so far.

Webber
Guest

I would assume that top Fidesz advisers understood that 2010 was a one-off – a protest vote – and that nothing can or should be taken for granted. I also assume that they want to make sure that the “mistake” of the elections of 2002 is never repeated.
I would also assume that they did and do regular public opinion surveys, using various methodology, solely for The Party’s use. (actually, I don’t assume this, I know it to be true).
Using data from those surveys, and other data collected, I would assume that they have been trying to map out voter preferences – down to the individual voter, if possible, with all possible information (name address age how leftist, how rightist etc. – this is legal in some countries, illegal in Hu.).
Armed with that information, they changed voting districts to improve The Party’s chances in 2014.
Simple, isn’t it?

Alex Kuli
Guest
Simple. But US state governments do the exact same thing every time they have to redistrict. Here, I’m not using the Fidesz argument of “Well, they do it in other countries, so why can’t we?” What I’m asking is, where do you draw the line between redistricting and gerrymandering? Hungarian courts acknowledged the need for redistricting several years before the 2010 election. It was also silly to carry on with 386 MPs in a country of less than 10 million. Fidesz could have created a multi partisan committee to redraw the districts (I say “multi partisan” because there is no such thing as “non partisan” in Hungary). This would have created logistical problems, though. Should every parliamentary party, including phantom party known as the KDNP, get a single vote on the committee? Or should the committee composition reflect the size of each party’s caucus in parliament– in which case, Fidesz-KDNP gets ⅔ of the committee votes? How about nonparliamentary parties? When I think “gerrymandering,” I think North Carolina’s District 12 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina's_12th_congressional_district) or the Texas Republicans’ attempt to remove Lloyd Doggett (D) from Congress by expanding his territory to include a non-Democrat majority (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/the-gops-strong-texas-gerrymander/2011/06/02/AGP56VHH_blog.html). It means nonsensical constituency mapping that connects… Read more »
Webber
Guest

redistricting – which is periodically necessary because of demographic changes – implies either bi- or multi-partisan cooperation in re-drawing boundaries, or some neutral body to do the work.
Gerrymandering is always done by a single party that has gained total control.
Indeed, gerrymandering happens in many parts of the US – it’s where the term was invented, after all. Some states have good redistricting practices, in others gerrymandering is the norm.
Let’s not go into the “they do it in the US too, so it’s okay” nonsense. First, they don’t (can’t) do it everywhere in the US. Second, where they do it, it’s worst practice.
Fidesz has been absolutely great at collecting worst practices from all over the Western world.

Florin Fesnic
Guest

Hello Alex,

You can also find resources in Hungarian, but here’s an example (see below).
In essence, after the 2014 “gerrymandering” (or you can call it “redistricting giving Fidesz an undue advantage”), the left won in large districts (with lots of voters), while Fidesz won in “smaller” districts (with fewer voters). If, say, the average district won by the left has 100,000 voters, while those won by Fidesz have 50,000, clearly the left is wasting a lots of votes.

Look below, compare the two figures where on the X axis you have the size of the district, and on the Y axis you have the left’s share of the vote. I think here you really do have a situation where the data “speaks for itself”:

(the two figures are called “Political Orientation and District Size in 2014” and “Political Orientation and District Size in 2010”)

Scheppele, Kim Lane, Miklós Bánkuti, and Zoltán Réti. 2014 (April 13). “Legal But Not Fair (Hungary).” The Conscience of a Liberal Blog, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/legal-but-not-fair-hungary/.

Alex Kuli
Guest

Thanks for that, Gote and Florin.

Lacz
Guest

Yes, there are analyses showing how the results of previous elections would have changed if the present system were in force. Besides, there was a system in Hungary where votes in individual constituencies cast for the losing candidate were counted (of course at a lower value) toward the party’s list whose candidate received them. This was changes so that the list of the party who won an individual constituency profits more. And the first past the post, single round, no validity and winning limit individual constituency system gives a huge win in individual constituencies (which are not as traditionally affiliated like most in Britain) to the party who eliminated all other players on its side and is facing an opposition of different parties.

Member

Hungary is like Italy in 1922. This was the scariest speech this Duche – oops, I meant Duce – ever rattled down in public.

Why was opposition silent over the weekend? The weather was too nice and they didn’t checked their Facebook pages?

I hope Orban will not be “suspended” like Mussolini was after he was booted from power …

Guest

It is surprising, and that’s putting it mildly, that a democratically elected Prime Minister of a modern European state and member of the EU should hold such views. I agree that his views are genuinely and sincerely held but that only makes it worse. Democracy, in all its many and manifest imperfections, has bought peace, stability, prosperity and freedom to Europe post-WWII. Can he not see that? Does he really want a pre-1939 Hungary and Europe? Surely not. The answer does not lie eastwards. Never has and never will for Hungary.

Ngyugat!

Webber
Guest

Eva, Orban can believe every word he ever uttered and also be insane. Being convinced that madness is reality one of the hallmarks of insanity. In the worst case, nothing really exists for Orban outside his own head. As for a very small child, it may be that the world for Orban is a sort of automaton that just reacts to him. God help us if that is his illness.

dalnok
Guest

What will happen in Hungary?

By the way, casually mentioning the name Targovice (ie. the Romanian town where Mr. and Mrs. Ceaucescu were executed) in op-eds (like on HVG) and blogs seems to be now mainstream in Hungary.

The economy cannot improve in any meaningful way (1-2% growth will not appear in every day life as meaningful improvement), people won’t be much happier under this corrupt autocrat. But he won’t give up for that’s for sure, if he’s going down, he’s taking everything in Hungary with him (except for his money stashed abroad at Audi Bank, that’s safe).

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/little-dictator-gruevski-s-end-is-nigh

Ron
Guest

Eva: What can I add to that? Perhaps I should correct the blogger who thinks that something is wrong with Orbán’s mental state. No, I am convinced that he is perfectly sane and that he believes every word in this speech as well as in many others.

Eva I think you are right, but why do I believe that you are wrong? I had to think about a movie (an old (comedy) one from the fifties), in which was a fool, who believed that everybody was a fool but him. I try to find this movie, but in stead i stumble on the jerk theory from Eric Schwitzgebel, a Professor of philosophy at University of California.

http://aeon.co/magazine/philosophy/if-youre-surrounded-by-idiots-guess-whos-the-jerk/

Ron
Guest

EVA: What can I add to that? Perhaps I should correct the blogger who thinks that something is wrong with Orbán’s mental state. No, I am convinced that he is perfectly sane and that he believes every word in this speech as well as in many others.

I think you are right, but why do I believe that you are wrong, as to his insanity? Then I had to think about a movie probably from the fifties, in which a fool believed that everybody else is a fool. When I was looking for this movie (quote) I came across the theory of Jerk from Professor Eric Schwitzgebel who is a professor of philosophy at University of California.

If he is right, then this makes sense. http://aeon.co/magazine/philosophy/if-youre-surrounded-by-idiots-guess-whos-the-jerk/

Ron
Guest

I try to comment (twice), both comments were submitted, but did not show. And what i wanted to say (assuming that this comment is posted. I post without a link), that I think you are right about the sanity of VO, but I believe you are wrong.

I had to think about an old comedy, about a fool who believed that everybody is a fool except him. I try to find the movie. Could not find it. And I stumble on an article from Professor Eric Schwitzgebel about the Theory of Jerks.

I wanted to post the link, but every time something went wrong. I post the link separately.

Ron
Guest
Ron
Guest

I cannot post the link. The name of the article is:A Theory of Jerks by Eric Schwitzgebel published on website AEON dot co

Ron
Guest

The article you can download in pdf form from here:

http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~eschwitz/SchwitzPapers/Jerks-140523.pdf

Ron
Guest

I especially like this part of the article:

I submit that the unifying core, the essence of jerkitude in the moral sense, is this: the jerk culpably fails to appreciate the perspectives of others around him, treating them as tools to be manipulated or idiots to be dealt with rather than as moral and epistemic peers. This failure has both an intellectual dimension and an emotional dimension, and it has these two dimensions on both sides of the relationship. The jerk himself is both intellectually and emotionally defective, and what he defectively fails to appreciate is both the intellectual and emotional perspectives of the people around him. He can’t appreciate how he might be wrong and others right about some matter of fact; and what other people want or value doesn’t register as of interest to him, except derivatively upon his own interests. The bumpkin ignorance captured in the earlier use of ‘jerk’ has changed into a type of moral ignorance.

Sounds familiar?

noname
Guest

Are there lots of American “friends of Hungary”? Are there any sane Americans who still “do business” with Orban (other than the paid lobbyists)?

István
Guest

Yes no name there are American in the investors in the Danube Fund including former New York Governor George E. Pataki and even Bert Walker a member of the extended Bush family. The Company is incorporated in the Caribbean. These sane Americans make a lot of money in Hungary and even more in Albania.

Andu
Guest

Nice article! I´m from Romania and my girlfriend is from Hungary so I´m pretty aware of what´s going on there… Been reading your articles from time to time for almost a year now…
It seems to me that you are screwed, since it´s spooky how far this man will go without any real resistance, either from the EU or from Hungary´s security apparatus (he´s definitely gone crazy). Remember- we went through worse things than this, and we managed to get out, I´m sure you will also manage. Sometimes you need a breakdown before you get a breakthrough.

PS: Do you think that after he will move into the Budavar, that he will also want to move the crown there? After all, he move the crown to the Parliament only after he became PM…

Guest

In a democracy people elect their leaders. Who is appointing the autocrat in an autocracy? Orban owes us an explanation in his next speech.

Webber
Guest
That question was solved by Lenin and Mussolini, separately, though at about the same time. Through some magical spiritual or material process the people find the vanguard/party, and/or the Leader/party. The vanguard or Leader are the embodiment of the people (whether as a nation or class), and as such are one with the people. They cannot be separated from the people, and so cannot be changed without doing violence to the organic/materialistic whole of national spirit/progress. Democracy, which enables the expression of particularlist and small interests (parties), is the antithesis of this organic/materialistic unity. In a democracy one elects people who represent small interests, but not the interest of the whole. In a nationalist/bolshevik autocracy, the will of the people and the will of the leadership are one. If the leadership makes a mistake, it is a mistake made by the people, and the people through the leadership can correct it. There is no need to change the leadership, just as one cannot change the eternal people. The above, of course, is a bit simplistic as an account, but I think it’s fair. Orbán is on that road. He will be impossible to democratically remove, I fear. We’ll have to… Read more »
Guest

An overwhelming number of autocrats in History claimed that they were appointed by God and most of them probably believed it.

This explanation cannot be used any more because God is dead.

Lacking a higher authority and rejecting the authority of the people the would be autocrat can only rely on himself. Therefore selfappointment is his only choice.

However, there are others who want to bestow the autocrat title on themselves. A struggle between selfappointers will take place and the worst bastard will win – Hitler, Stalin etc..

Webber
Guest

I am certain you’ll like Silone’s work – in French:
L’école des dictateurs, tr. Jean-Paul Samson (Paris, 1964).

googly
Guest

Webber,

You wrote: “In a democracy one elects people who represent small interests, but not the interest of the whole.”

Where do you come up with this garbage? It might be true of candidates for local councils, but when people vote for the leader of the nation they often think of the interests of the entire nation, and even are capable of voting against their own small self-interest.

Webber
Guest

Googly – Read that again – starting from the beginning. I was (obviously) giving a summary of Mussolini’s and Lenin’s ideas about parliamentary democracy – the ideology for establishing an autocracy.
It is not what I believe about democracy.

Elektrone Motyo
Guest

I absolutely agree with Orban’s view on nationality, gender and God. It absolutely fits to how I am thinking, and I hope that the future will show that I was right. Of course he upsets the liberalnazis, but that is also intended.

Webber
Guest
How many people have the “liberalnazis” gassed? (what a revolting term! Typical Orbán insanity). Orbán set up a strawman for you to argue with. He created a fictional European politician who is against the nation. Problem is, such politicians don’t and can’t really exist, when all elections are nation-based. Just check – European capitals are full of politicians who speak in their nations’ name. He created a fictional gender-bender who wants to change you. But the fact is that nobody could care less about your or Orbán’s gender identity, and nobody wants to change it. I suspect what he and you are actually saying is that you are uncomfortable with and want to change other people’s gender identity. Perhaps a gay person tried to pick you up once, and it made you feel somehow lastingly uncomfortable? Most of us just shrug that sort of thing off, giggle perhaps, and forget it. Rather like a woman who rejects an approach from an ugly man. It’s no big deal. If you are obsessing over it, you might want to think about why. God is also your personal business. Nobody is challenging your right to believe. Whether Orbán believes is also his personal… Read more »
The horse
Guest

The Motyo guy/girl was a troll. Let’s ignore the totally crazy.

I’m afraid Liberal Fascism is an often-used American term since Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 book.

Elektrone Motyo
Guest

you are a troll… ööh, no, you are actually a horse, which is much worse.

Member

@Webber, your postings are sensible, fair and well-informed, but why do you keep feeding the trolls? “Elektrone Motyo” should be blocked (he/she will re-appear under another alias) not reasoned with. It debases your stance if you are ready to descend to the level of obvious bigots and provocateurs.

(On another thread, there are a number of DSM 5 clinical diagnostic categories in which Orban fits (they are not mutually exclusive) — and so does Schwitzgebel’s tongue-in-cheek category of “jerk.”)

Webber
Guest

You’re right, and yet…
It may well debase me, but sometimes I can’t help reacting.

Elektrone Motyo
Guest

Webber, you basically don’t understand the severity of these subjects. These things are important and people who take these subjects seriously are often demonized, this will lead nowhere, I tell you.

petofi
Guest

Mr. Webber,

I would not much care of Orban’s mental deterioration were it not for the fact that his reach and grasp extends to everywhere that the government acts. To have a madcap, deranged, individual in charge of all decisions is a serious matter to the country and its citizens. When Orban unburdens himself of his strange notions, it has consequences, near and far, for the country. It can’ be dismissed as easily as you suggest.

Of course, if you wrote tongue-in-cheek…well, that’s another matter.

Webber
Guest

It is a serious matter, I agree. I haven’t dismissed anything easily at all.
I like humor, too.

ttt222
Guest

Orban has no mental problems.
I assume:
1. His handlers guided him to the mad policies, to create troubles to the EU and West.
2. His handlers assured him that he will remain untouchable.

This protective shield allowed him to change from a democrat into a dictator.

Webber
Guest

Why do you think Orbán has no mental problems?
And why do you assume all his nuttiest ideas come from his advisers?
Even if I accept that is right…
If someone advises you to drink a fifth (or liter) of vodka a day for the next three years, and you take that advice, who is to blame? You, or the adviser?
Who is the alcoholic? You, or the adviser?
Who was craziest? You, or the adviser?
And who is sane?

Webber
Guest

To put it another way, Orbán chose his advisers because he likes the advice they give him. Now tell me he’s not nuts.

petofi
Guest

Totally agree. (With ttt222.)

ágnes
Guest

At HVG I read a good sentence, Orban ötvözte a pávatáncot a haláltánccal.

I guess in English the rhymes don’t sound as good but it means Orban (ie. with his crazy antics at Friends of Hungary, with the “death penalty debate”, the “national consultation”) combined his famous peacock dance with the dance of death (danse macabre, which is a literary genre from the middle ages).

I think that this gulash dictator is nearing the end of his career, how it will end I don’t know, but I’m not optimistic. He is completely f***ed up.

spectator
Guest

Orbán sincere and honest?

My ass!
(Pardon my reference to anatomy!)

“Elektrone Motyo” is the living example: this is the ultimate populist weapon, these are the “core values” of the Orbanian citizen and he referring and grabbing to these, as a last resort.

He is in trouble, and he is about to step up both rhetoric and action, will attack just about anything and everything, while “calling to all” who values the above, or/and fear the loss of their sexual- national- and religious identity.

At the same time he motivating, why is necessary to take the step more openly toward autocracy, because otherwise those “internationalist atheist homosexuals” win over the God fearing homophobe nationalists…

As many times before he expertly using the basic instincts of his supporters – this is nothing more.

It used to work, remember?

petofi
Guest

@spectator

“He is in trouble.”

He is indeed, but not the way people think. I believe he’s trapped in: there’s no getting out as his handlers won’t let him leave, probably not before Hungary is separated from the EU at the least. As well, Paks has to be started and the country fully indebted for many decades to come.
And then, when the country has been transmuted to the first modern, slave state the leash on Orban will be let go. Russian colonization reborn.

spectator
Guest

In trouble, indeed – think about it: if he fell out of his position as “The Almighty”, just how could he harvest fully all the benefits of the Paks business then?
It certaily worth performing a few more af those peakock-dance steps, don’t you think?
I agree with Eva, he is in by his own will, even if some skillful persuasion was involved at certain point from his new friend.

Elektrone Motyo
Guest

Since I am being mentioned, let me answer: Orban – being a politician – is surely using his conviction to to gather supporters. Which politician is not doing this? As long, as he does not betray these core values I have no reason to doubt in his sincerity. Certainly I could criticize many wrongdoings of his government, but I can not disagree on how he views gender identity, nationality and religion.

spectator
Guest

I have mentioned your alias as to call attention how well Orbán playing on the sincere beliefs of his supporters.
The keyword here ‘playing’.
You certainly would face quite a task, if you ever tried to count just how many times this prsom has changed sides, views, ideology, even religion while pursuing his personal agenda, while realising his dream of ultimate power.
Sorry to break it to yo, but you and many more honest people with similar views, being shamelesly used for the very reason.
Sounds too bold?
Just consider for a second, how the “Russkies, go home” Viktor became the former KGB resident Putin’s best friend.
You wouldn’t thought that it was possible, even just a few years ago, would you?
Rest assured, if it was his interest, tomorrow he would introduce Konchita Wurst as the best example to the Hungarian youth, (he is, but for another reason: be yourself!) and would find a few Hungarian ancestors to him in a heartbeat.
Nothing really strange in this, really, he is Viktor Orbán after all, never changes (!).

ttt222
Guest

The regime is so transparent, and still to much analysis has been wasted on it.

My soulmate, Petofi is the best guide to this madness.

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