The last five years of the Orbán government, fact and fiction

It caught everybody by surprise, including some of the highest office holders of the government and Fidesz, that today “around noon” Viktor Orbán planned to give another speech on “the state of the nation” only three months after his last one. Even one of Orbán’s deputies, Lajos Kósa, learned about it only when he received his invitation a couple of days ago. The prime minister’s closest advisers must have convinced him that he has to deliver a major address to revive his and his party’s sagging popularity. They came up with a date that could serve the purpose well: it was five years ago, on May 29, that the second Orbán government was formed. The speech was supposed to call attention to the fantastic achievements of these five years and to point the way forward.

Back in February, Orbán’s “state of the nation speech” was nothing like what was expected. One would have thought that after the political setbacks suffered by Fidesz, the prime minister would have realized that a change in tactics was in order. But at no point in his speech did he admit that any of his policies had been unsuccessful. The problem was, he claimed, that the activists didn’t work hard enough. The party and the government just have to work harder and all will be well. Also, despite Jobbik’s steady growth, Orbán said nothing about the dangers it posed for Fidesz and the country. Instead, he frightened his audience with the spectre of a “return of the socialists,” which would threaten the well-being of the country.

In comparison to that message in February, today’s speech seemed to be aimed, at least in part, at silencing his critics, both foreign and domestic. Of course, given the prime minister’s ideological meanderings and his total unreliability when it comes to translating words into action, the significance of this speech might be minimal. It is a bit naive of Szabolcs Dull of Index to take Viktor Orbán at his word and believe that from here on the Fidesz members of government and parliament will “consult” with the opposition parties or that they will prepare pieces of legislation early and submit them for discussion in ample time. Dull also found Orbán’s self-criticism refreshing, but the only mistake he admitted to was the internet tax, which was just one of the many decisions that prompted widespread dissatisfaction with the government. The man has real difficulty admitting to any missteps. All in all, it is difficult to imagine that, in place of their relentless war-like behavior, from now on Viktor Orbán and his government will pay the greatest attention to the everyday problems of ordinary Hungarians, as he promised today.

Viktor Orbán speaks on his achievement of the last five years

Viktor Orbán speaks about his achievements of the last five years

Orbán promised zero tolerance toward corruption and spoke out against “slanderers” who out of “sheer jealousy” attack brave and hardworking Hungarian businessmen. I guess these words need no translation. Everything will remain the same. Corruption will flourish and the “slanderers” might end up in jail.

Orbán used the occasion to make his first public attack on Jobbik and its euroskepticism. In this connection he talked about the European Union and NATO as “our family.” But how seriously can one take all this when in the same speech he said the following: “A lot can happen in twenty-five years, but the fact that we are for a free and independent Hungary must remain constant. For us the sovereignty of Hungary cannot be a bargaining chip.”

The bulk of the speech focused on the fantastic accomplishments of his five years in power. The message was, in essence, that when he came into power Hungary was in ruins. Thanks to his government’s efforts the country has been saved. Few people remember, especially after five years of brainwashing, that the worst fallout of the 2008 crisis in Hungary was in 2009 and that by 2010, thanks to the Bajnai government’s efforts, the economy was improving. In fact, the collapse of the forint, the downgrading of the Hungarian government’s bonds to junk status, and the decrease in foreign investment were not the products of the Gyurcsány-Bajnai governments. They all happened after Viktor Orbán became prime minister and his right-hand man, György Matolcsy, began his crazy experimentation with “unorthodox” economics.

Orbán set two priorities in 2010: to fight unemployment and to reduce the national debt. In March 2010 the debt was 83% of GDP. Five years later, in March 2015, it was 85% of GDP. And in the interim an incredible amount of money taken from the private pension funds of 3.5 million Hungarians went for debt reduction. As for unemployment, on paper the figures look impressive–a decrease from about 12% to 7%. But if we look at the situation a little closer, we realize that 250,000 people who were added to the workforce are employed by the public works program, which is a burden on the national economy. In addition, 300-400,000 Hungarians by now have moved to other countries of the European Union, which eased the unemployment situation. The government that promised to become smaller than ever before has grown enormously. In the last five years, out of the 120,000 net new jobs in the country, a whopping 104,000 were created in the government sector. Growth in the private sector, which is what really matters, was minuscule: less than 16,000.

Although Orbán is very proud of the 2014 GDP, which is indeed high by European standards, he certainly wouldn’t want to talk about the sad fact that between 2010 and 2014 there was no growth whatsoever. It was only in the last few months that economic growth reached a level last seen before 2008.

In 2010 60% of high school matriculants headed to college, but this figure is now 45%. In 2014 1.5 times more people moved abroad than in 2013 and six times more than in 2009. Most left for economic reasons, but 36% of them said that they were also escaping the regime introduced by the Orbán government.

And a final sign of Viktor Orbán’s “illiberal democracy.” The following media outlets were denied access to the conference organized for the occasion: Népszava, Hócipő, 444.hu, KlubRádió, and the still right-of-center but not wholly uncritical Magyar Nemzet and LánchídRádió. Népszabadság, the leading Hungarian daily, was not barred, but out of sympathy for those excluded, the paper published only MTI’s report on the speeches delivered at the conference.

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Herbert
Guest

The strange naivety of Index (and to a lesser extent even 444.hu) also occurred to me. Why would ANYBODY still believe whatever Orban says today?

One of the issues, I guess, is that these youngish journalists are also fascinated by Orban and his “genius” (ie. his ability to get away with “serial murder”), so they believe that he can pull this reinvention off again and prolong his power. They also know that no other politician in Hungary, especially on the left-wing, could ever do this that is to give speeches every five months to which the entire political set (media etc.) listens to and cares about.

I think this speech (from what gathered) was the usual bullshit which we should not care about. Orban will not change and Fidesz will not change. With Rogan as the new head of his mini government heading the mini government of Lazar’s heading the mini government within the Prime Minister’s Office? Who is this tyrant kidding?

ParadicsomLost
Guest

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

That expression suits in this case. How can we believe their economic numbers when there is no firewall between the government and anything else in Hungary? When it is a pretty good bet that, for example, the tax authorities are endemically corrupt, it is plausible to think that someone’s doctoring the statistics, too. Reality is what Orban and his lackeys see in their kaleidoscope, or choose to spin for us, or flat out lie about. The “low” unemployment numbers are a case-in-point – how many more street sweeper jobs can they come up with to fill the labour roles?

petofi
Guest

I suppose Orban’s real genius is having produced an atmosphere of opposition–of being under attack from all sides. Hungarian predilection for self-victimization has made it easy to buy into this idea and therefore disbelieve anyone but Orban. Thus, constructive criticism does not exist. Orban has his minions believing that only HE tells the truth: the rest are jews or liars.

Leto مؤدّب
Guest

Here is a quote from the blog post:

“In the last five years, out of the 120,000 net new jobs in the country, a whopping 104,000 were created in the government sector. Growth in the private sector, which is what really matters, was minuscule: less than 16,000.”

The facts are:

There were 82,500 people employed in the automotive industry in 2010 and there were 131,500 in 2014. The growth was 49,000 in this single sector alone.
https://www.ksh.hu/docs/eng/xstadat/xstadat_annual/i_qlf005b.html

Ms. Balogh’s conclusions must be that government sector workers assemble cars in Hungary. 🙂

petofi
Guest

@ Leto

You not only believe government figures, but you have the added sin of
propagating the lies.

I hope your priest has set aside additional time for you….

Leto مؤدّب
Guest

🙂

I believe you think Mercedes-Benz is lying, too, or they are employing government sector workers, but they alone created 5,000 new jobs in Kecskemét only between 2011 and 2013.
http://www.autopro.hu/en/news/5-000-new-jobs-created-in-Kecskemet-in-two-years/5031/

Guest

leto has often declared that it is an atheist.

Dexion
Guest

Leto, I guess you had a kettes (D-) at best from math. Maybe you have even failed entirely.

Now try to follow me:

The automotive industry is only one of many private sector industries.
In that single sector the number of employed may have increased.
Unfortunately, in many other private sector industry segments employment actually decreased.
As a result, the net increase of private sector jobs during the last 4-5 years was an absolutely abysmal 16,000.

By the way: as we know without investments Hungary’s going nowhere (though we knew that, we are lagging behind all the Visegrad countries and now behind Romania too).

In manufacturing the 8% decrease in investments in 1Q 2015 is especially alarming.

http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/here_is_the_drag_on_hungarys_first-quarter_economic_growth.29645.html

Leto مؤدّب
Guest

🙂

I’m positive you had a tízes (super-duper A++++) from maths and that’s why you say the extra 370,000 employees (3,732,000 in 2010 vs. 4,100,800 in 2014) were all employed by Orbán in the public sector in fostered jobs, including the extra almost 5,000 employees in sector “Financial and insurance activities” and another 5,000 in sector “Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products”.

https://www.ksh.hu/docs/eng/xstadat/xstadat_annual/i_qlf005c.html

feri csekonics
Guest

I hope you are aware that in these massaged KSH employment statistics Hungarians working abroad are also counted — since, hey, they have jobs too, so they are employed too.

Leto مؤدّب
Guest

I am aware that, with regard to the detailed, sectorial employment data I referenced, Ms. Balogh has failed to say anything so far about the nonsense I picked at random from her post.

Guest

“Hungarians working abroad are also counted”
That’s all that has to be said to show how idiotic leto’s interpretation of the data is!

Get lost from here little Nazi psychopath – or should we start to quote the idiotic things you post on other sites, not just pol.hu?

PS:
Another Nazi, holocaust denier and Hitler admirer (!) already threatened to start trolling here – must be a lonely world for them.

Leto مؤدّب
Guest

For your information, KSH applies the universally accepted ILO methodology for publishing labour force data.

http://www.ilo.org/stat/Areasofwork/Standards/lang–en/index.htm
http://www.ksh.hu/docs/eng/modsz/modsz21.html

Besides KSH data are reviewed by EuroStat and KSH is peer-reviewed by several other statistical offices around the world (and they also do that with others, of course).

googly
Guest

Leto,

You wrote: “KSH applies the universally accepted ILO methodology for publishing labour force data.”

Your link is meaningless. Where do you think the ILO gets their numbers? They get them from the Hungarian government, which has no oversight and a huge incentive to lie. You didn’t address the point in a previous post about the fostered workers, and the fact that the NAV (the Hungarian tax office) has been shown to be thoroughly corrupt, so why wouldn’t KSH?

It’s clear you’re just another troll who will soon be banned from the site. I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Leto مؤدّب
Guest

It’ll suffice if you’d just reveal to me which sector(s) those private jobs disappeared from. Sorry, the 15,000 decrease in ‘Construction’ won’t cut it.

Guest

Not too much OT:

What Fidesz doesn’t like to say is that afaik the Mercedes production in Kecskemét was initiated by their nemesis – Gyurcsany …

leto btw is the creature that writes on politics.hu the most horrible homophobic, misogynous, antisemitic, xenophobic, racist stuff. If you have a strong stomach you might look in there – but be warned, it’s not for the faint hearted!
I use the creature as an example of what Fideszniks really think/want and to show that there is not too much of a difference between them and Jobbik.

Leto مؤدّب
Guest

Thank you for the advertisement. 🙂

Havelaar
Guest

BTW…Qoute Leto: “Respect and honour to his Serene Highness, Miklós Horthy, Regent of Hungary… and a proper bronze equestrian statue at Szent Gellért tér, of course.” Posted at least 100 times on politics.hu.

Tells it all. Leto is a Fidesz paid troll, also insulting me and my Hungarian wife on and on. Calling me a junky fag…just because he hates it if a heterosexual guy like me defends gay rights.
Yes…I am commenting on politics.hu every now and then.
It will not get anywhere, but I simply can not stop it and look the other way.
Eva it is your blog, Wolfi is right, and kick this jerk out as soon as possible.

Guest

When I saw Leto’s comment here, my first thought was that he had gotten a promotion. I do not welcome him. He is extremely destructive.

exTor
Guest
Perhaps Viktor Orbán’s “zero tolerance toward corruption” was really a warning against adhoc corruption, as opposed to Fidesz-sponsored [read: state-sanctioned] corruption. Individual opportunistic (as in unplanned) corruption by in-position Fideszniks will definitely be punished when detected. So goes VO’s latest brainwave. It occurred to me earlier, as I listened (online) to a CBC segment on the crap going down with FIFA, that it [corruption in FIFA] is a potentially teachable event that could be connected to Fidesz. There are not many outside of FIFA who believe that Sepp Blatter is clean. Many feel that he is somehow implicated, but yet has not been found out. Viktor Orbán is the Sepp Blatter of Fidesz. His hands are dirty. He knows it and the ship-jumping rats know it. Time to drive that message home. Interestingly, Sepp Blatter went on the offensive when he met the media for the first time after his reelection as FIFA’s numero uno. Shades of Viktor Orbán. As for Leto مؤدّب [letomuaddib], people need to avoid his plague. Do not engage with him in this forum. He is a no-win situation. Additionally, do not engage with certain others (eg: Latefor and Elektrone Motyo) who also have succeeded in… Read more »
Member

Agree. Huge mistake to let “Leto” — a personality-disordered misfit — pollute this blog even briefly. Bar and delete. Such misfits and menaces are the downside of public discussion groups. They destroy unmoderated ones very quickly. Moderated ones need to act quickly to prevent their taint. Eva, please, protect the wonderful work you are doing.

Latefor
Guest
exTor – Just to annoy you 🙂 *****Dearest Eva, in case you decide to take exTortion’s advice, I wish you all the best and thank you for the education! 🙁 P L E A S E – don’t be scared to read this SCIENCE-FICTION …the year is 2025! Extract from my upcoming book: “The Adventures of Electra Sissie” The story so far: Electra becomes involved with online commenting on political issues re: Rafinaltland. “……The group is called: “Confuse and Educate”, the commentators can be classified into three major groups: “The Ruthless”, “The Fearless” and “The Mindless and Fearless”. Electra Sissie belonged to the “Mindless and Fearless” kind of commentators, who were only allowed to comment for entertainment purposes only, whilst the “job” of the others’ were to influence, confuse and educate those who happen to come across the blog during their research on Rafinaltland. “Is it possible that I might have upset someone on this blog who has the know how to create programs in a form of pulsating images on my computer screen? Is he trying to frighten me with these lights on the wall at nights? Can these lights be microwave signals? Can they penetrate through the wall?… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Latefor – How extraordinarily narcissistic of you! I can’t help wondering: Why don’t you start your own blog for those who are interested in the sort of thing you produce, instead of pushing it here where people are interested in something altogether different?

Latefor
Guest

Webber,
Posting links to my literary masterpieces is my way of revange 🙂 (more to do with free advertising than narcissism) for all the abusing name calling I was subjected to lately. It’s patently obvious to me that Eva’s blog is taken over by some extremely arrogant group, specialising on intimidation. As you can see, I’m still here writing and smiling. 🙂 (Not dead yet) in a hope that the power is ultimately in Eva’s hand.
Please, do NOT ever forget : The world is watching!

googly
Guest

Latefor,

How is anything you just wrote relevant? It’s garbage, you should stop posting such comments. You have committed the unpardonable sin of causing me to agree with Webber when he attacks someone!

exTor
Guest

More evidence of an exTor shun?

Vacuities were mentioned earlier. It is difficult not to think of that notion when one is faced with a poster’s blatant attempt at selfaggrandizement in the form of some literary questionableness.

Then one has to deal with more blatancy, a misplaced incident of ego-boosting namedropping. And what would Joseph Stiglitz think as he picked up his misspelled name from the slushpile?

Haven’t we seen this before?

MAGYARKOZÓ

Latefor
Guest

extortion,

Would you please be an angel and remove my “bring the pussy back to fashion” comment (a man with you power surely wouldn’t find it hard) from the “View Comments” display and kindly replace it with let’s say”: the beautiful Kipling poem (re: hate etc.) I addressed to the respectable readers.
As far as the spelling of Stiglitz’s name is concerned: I’m sure that a man of his intellect wouldn’t get cought up in minor, pathetic trivialities like his name spelling!
How about posting some of your masterpieces here! Let us see who is behind the “Poet from another life”? 🙂

Webber
Guest

How about not posting any of our own literary efforts on someone else’s blog?

googly
Guest

exTor,

If a troll tries to make a that is blatantly false and no one refutes it, is it not true that someone who is unfamiliar with the subject might be inclined to think that the point is correct? If the troll’s comment remains on the site, it should be countered, in my opinion. This particular troll is not very good, so, regardless of all the outrage he or she engenders, it’s not such a major task to quickly put the truth in the thread and move on.

googly
Guest

Sorry, meant to write “make a CLAIM that is blatantly false…”

exTor
Guest
Wow, this is turning into a marathon topic for me. This one is my 7th post to this Hungarian Spectrum theme. I see your point, googly, that an uncountered negative post is a potentially believable post. There is no such thing as a 100% safe mode of comportment, at least with respect to forums such as Hungarian Spectrum. There will always be a downside somewhere in the process. Most who respond agree with the basic HS premise, namely (currently) that Fidesz is bad for Hungary and Jobbik is potentially worse for Hungary. There are those who come and go with respect to this site. Nobody was ever won over to a new position based on a solitary seen-one-time or heard-one-time argument. Life just does not work that way. I have mentioned 3 problematic people: Leto مؤدّب (now banned), Elektrone Motyo (who likely should be banned) and Latefor (who is dubious and who, for now, should not be given the boot). Latefor is a female living in Australia. She is a wannabe writer who has a book (perhaps more) available on Amazon. Elektrone Motyo is a male who lives in Budapest. Leto مؤدّب is probably a male who likely lives in… Read more »
googly
Guest
exTor, I agree with most of what you write. I would only respond to a troll who makes a comment that seems reasonable and relatively polite, and then I would stick (mostly) to the minimum necessary to refute that person. I’m sure there are people who come to a blog like this without preconceived notions and are swayed by a comment early in the thread that tries to plant a illegitimising comment which sounds authoritative. Otherwise, why would these trolls bother to drop these comments in places like this (almost always early in the thread)? This Leto character seems to wait until later to bare his fangs, preferring to start out as a legitimate critic. It’s well-established that there are paid trolls working for authoritarian governments such as Russia, China, etc., and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the Orbán regime has a few, too. Also, responding in a disciplined way to these fake debaters helps us to sharpen our own debating skills, and hopefully we are better able to defend our points in other arenas, as well. You wrote: “I’d like to see less interpersonal stuff on this site. It creates enemies. Adhominem points are harmful. Differences… Read more »
exTor
Guest

I think that you and Webber should call a truce, googly. I dont know how things started between you two, but there’s no point in continuing it.

Webber had my number for a while over a semantic point that I had tried to make. He (I presume) remained unconvinced, so much so that he felt that I was misrepresenting myself as a native-born speaker of English.

Sidetracking, you may have noticed certain spelling uniquenesses. One is the concatenation of two-word Latinisms, eg: acapella, adhoc, adhominem, etcetera. It’s part of what I consider to be my writerly prerogative.

Finally, I did stop engaging with those (already mentioned) whom I suspect to be less-than-upfront. I already write too much as it is. As soon as I suspect that they are dishonorable, I cut them loose.

MAGYARKOZÓ

googly
Guest

I only comment on Webber when he or she bullies someone or in any way acts boorishly. Unfortunately, this is disturbingly often. The ego attached to that nickname is puffed up beyond the confines of polite society.

I will never attack anyone for poor grammar or spelling. I know too many people who are otherwise quite brilliant, but who suffer from dyslexia or other learning disabilities, so if you can get your point across, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Istvan sometimes has very interesting contributions, despite his (I assume the name connotes a male) occasional misspellings and grammatical mistakes (which are probably due to English being his second language). I have studied too many languages to ever denigrate people for attempting to express themselves and not quite succeeding.

exTor
Guest

István lives in Minnesota, I believe, and he was either born in the States or (perhaps more likely) emigrated there at a quite young age.

Of course nobody should comment on stylisms or on slight mistakes or even on major mistakes. I had commented on a certain word usage that, in turn, elicited some negative feedback, some of it disagreeing with my take on the usage, others accusing me of hijacking the topic.

I stand by the point I made, however I understand the other side’s view, which has its validity.

I probably pay too much attention to language.

MAGYARKOZÓ

exTor
Guest

https://translate.google.com/#ar/en/مؤدّب
https://politicsinhungary.wordpress.com/author/letomuaddib

The transliteration ‘leto’ exists undoubtedly in many languages. Who knows what the poster’s partial alias actually represents?

The Arabic is clear and it means (per linked Google Translate) ‘polite’ (amongst other things), which certainly contraries his behavior.

Given specific evidence of aggressiveness, I believe that the poster is male.

He is obviously of no little intelligence. Too bad that he lacks maturity. Too bad also that he lacks sensitivity. How else to explain this “hardcore Fidesz supporter”, per his website banner (linked above)?

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

Re leto muaddib:

He took his name from the famous science fiction novel “Dune” by Frank Herbert. You can see some of the creature’s comments in his profile on the Disqus system which is used by many sites to manage comments.

Btw many of his comments have been deleted for their racist or homophobic contents.

exTor
Guest

Since Leto writes English very well, let me acquaint him with an idiom that he may not have yet seen: ‘piece of work’. The connotation of that idiom is always negative. Let me highlight it for that szarzsák who inhabits that entity aspiring to fictive greatness.

Leto مؤدّب (who is neither) is an odious piece of work.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member
Some expat Hungarian friends of mine have, for some reason they don’t know, been added to an e-mail list which regularly sends them “election information” (“My dear compatriot…”, a personal message from Orbán himself) or other masterpieces from the Fidesz bureau. Recently, they received this blog text in an e-mail, without further explanations: http://atlagpolgar.blogstar.hu/2015/05/29/a-felelossegteli-dontes-kepessege-avagy-az-orban-kormanyok-ot-esztendeje/13191/ . For those who don’t read Hungarian: the author, an “average citizen” (átlagpolgár), bemoans the fact that while the Internet and the public discourse are full of completely meaningless chat, the real successes of the last five Orbán-governed years go unnoticed. Such as the reduction of taxes, “the new tax system”, according to Matolcsy, being “the secret of the success of new mercantilism”. However, claims the “average citizen”, these innovations and successes fail to receive due attention, because of “communication headwind” (kommunikációs ellenszél). The gist of this somewhat confused text: sorry, we have made some errors in our communication, but basically, we are doing the right thing, and if there were errors, they are or will be corrected swiftly. And, of course, some insinuations to the direction of Brussels: “without demonstrating our power, our country would have turned into a colony of multinational enterprises”… In the… Read more »
exTor
Guest

Thanx for the link, Sentrooppa-Santra. I gave it a looksee without having read the Magyar. I can understand Hungarian (nagyjából) however being able to finesse the language (as I can with English) remains far away.

The third comment re the Csúri Ákos piece (which displays 2 photos, the 1st showing Viktor Orbán speechifying before a row of Hungarian flags, the 2nd showing five young kids, the youngest and blondest of whom is front and center) says that he’s particularly pleased that the future of Hungary is represented by “such beautiful blondness” and that that’s the way it should be.

Nándor: “Külön öröm, hogy ilyen szép szőke generációval reprezentáltad a jovő Magyarországát! Úgy legyen!”

I read it as a racist comment (because of the familiar form of the ‘represent’ verb used), however I believe that the Nándor comment could also be a sarcastic counterpoint.

How do others see it?

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member

Per Curiositam
How is it possible to be ad hominem with anonymous interlocutors using pseudonyms?
At best all one can be is ad nominem

exTor
Guest

https://translate.google.com/#en/la/civility
http://latindictionary.wikidot.com/noun:homo
http://latindictionary.wikidot.com/noun:nomen
http://latindictionary.wikidot.com/noun:corpus

Great point, Stevan Harnad. (Interesting first-name spelling.) I like this playaround. I presume that you’re not just funning.

You argue distinction, either one (nomen, nominative singular) or the other (homo, nominative singular), which is fundamentally incorrect.

Behind the visible-to-us name [nomen] is an unseen-by-us person [homo]. In other words, a real live body [corpus].

The logic of my argument is that an argumentum ad nomen becomes effectively an argumentum ad hominem. Nasty stuff, really.

Ergo, let us maintain civility [civile, liberalitas, etal].

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member

The issue is interesting.

Nothing rides on it, but I disagree. Let’s take it by degrees: Do you think you could libel an unknown person (or persons) known only by his/her/their pseudonym?

You can certainly call (for example) “Leto” an idiot, which would certainly, under ordinary conditions, be a personal insult. But since you have no idea who or what Leto is, it seems to me it’s nothing of the sort. It’s rather like saying “whoever said that is an idiot.”

Ditto for the recipient. Although the borderline personalities who do trolling are usually pathological cases to begin with (was that a multi-personal remark, pluri-ad-hominem remark?), they are especially prone to identifying themselves with their anonymous avatars, prone to taking offence (and of course prone to giving offence).

Here’s a koan: A female troll, trolling disguised as a man, is told that she is a typical male chauvinist: Does she take offence? Is the remark even really about her?

Yes, there are real bodies behind the anonymous trolling, but any reference to them in postings is rather like what philosophers call “referentially opaque…

But I of course agree that we should not be rude: it sullies our name (if it’s really our name!)…

exTor
Guest

Libeling/slandering an unknown person is an impossibility.

Not sure how libel entered this picture, Stevan Harnad. The reality is that there is no disconnect between the name and the person, even if the only ‘fact’ is the name. There is a person at the other end of the message, giving and getting.

My bottomline is that badmouthing somebody as a person (eg: “You’re an effing idiot!”) instead of dealing with that person’s ‘arguments’ –notice that I’m using nuance marks, SH, to represent ‘so-called’ or ‘supposed’?– is bad for business. It creates ill will. It poisons this forum’s atmosphere.

Deal with the person civilly. If the conversation deteriorates, cut the miscreant loose. Speaking of which, this topic is past its best-before date.

MAGYARKOZÓ

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