Mária Schmidt, the court historian of Viktor Orbán

“Europe, especially its western and northern parts, have created such wealthy societies that they deservedly elicit the admiration and envy of regions with lower living standards. These countries are rich and weak,” and therefore it is not surprising that a flow of “settlers” has been arriving in the richer parts of the European Union from the poor regions of the Middle East and Africa.

Do these ideas sound familiar? They should because they show up, practically word for word, in Viktor Orbán’s speech at the Kötcse picnic. They were written by Mária Schmidt, the court historian of the Hungarian prime minister, and published on the very same day Orbán delivered his speech. We can be sure that the lengthy essay titled “Kopogtatás nélkül” (Without knocking) that appeared in “Látószög” (Viewpoint), one of the several blogs created by the government, had been read and perhaps even commented on by Viktor Orbán before he began work on his speech. In fact, he mentioned Mária Schmidt’s essays in which the historian “regularly demonstrates” the two-facedness of the United States.

So, let’s see what kinds of lessons Viktor Orbán learned from Mária Schmidt, whose knowledge of the Middle East and of U.S. foreign policy verges on zero. In her view, in the old days of a bipolar world order the great powers could keep up a fragile balance in the region, but by now “the United States can handle the Middle East with its enormous oil reserves only if it creates perpetual chaos and steady civil and religious wars.” This is a notion to which Viktor Orbán also briefly alluded. According to Schmidt, this chaos comes in handy for those who “wish to give the impression that there is no other way [out of the situation for the population] but emigration.” In fact, however, there is a concerted effort on the part of some unnamed persons to get millions of people to take to the roads and leave. A bit later we learn whom Schmidt has in mind: the rich oil billionaires of the Arab states.

Mária Schmidt, director of the House of Terror

Mária Schmidt, director of the House of Terror

Why do the so-called refugees but actually settlers keep coming? They come to take what “we, Europeans, have created over the centuries.” They come “to make a new home for themselves…. We should have no illusions: this new wave of settlers is a part of a well-planned and well-executed strategy.” Again we are left in the dark who is behind this strategy, whose aim is the destruction of European culture and freedoms. The oil magnates don’t seem to be the culprits here. Most likely the culprit is the U.S. government with the help of “the useful idiots” who don’t recognize the diabolical nature of the American plan. Two days later an article appeared in Hungary Today, the Orbán government’s propaganda internet site, by a Hungarian-American, Adam Topolansky, with the title “‘Useful Idiots’ of the West and the Creation of Chaos through Mass Migration.”

You may recall that Viktor Orbán in his recent speech talked at some length about Christian Democrats in Western Europe who have been cowed by the reigning liberal ideology and by the pressure coming from the liberal press. Mária Schmidt also talks about the liberalism of the Christian Democrats who no longer represent conservative Christian values. And she has a few words of scornful rebuke for those who appeal to Christian notions of charity and compassion when it comes to handling the refugee crisis. The Muslim billionaires should take care of the region’s poor, and it should be the duty of the Arab states to stabilize the region “instead of paying for the trips of those they consider superfluous.” Truly outlandish ideas which even Viktor Orbán didn’t dare to incorporate into his speech.

Mária Schmidt praises the wisdom of the East European politicians because “they don’t accept the newspeak just as they didn’t serve the communist agitprop.” They don’t suffer from the inferiority complex of the left-liberal crowd, which accepted the propaganda from Moscow and is now following the mantra coming from Berlin.

Schmidt is not given to checking her sources. For instance, her “useful idiots” include Bernie Sanders, the Democratic hopeful in the current presidential campaign, whom she describes as such a lover of the Soviet system that he decided to spend his honeymoon in the Soviet Union in 1988 “as an ideological gesture.” This story is borrowed from a recent column of George Will, the conservative commentator, that appeared in The Washington Post. Although it is true that Sanders and his new wife did go to the Soviet Union right after they got married, it was on official business.

Schmidt also claims in this article that “according to a recent survey half of Muslims consider suicide bombings a legitimate way of fighting the enemies of Islam.” Her source is an article by David Cole that appeared in Taki’s Magazine, which is described by its editor as a libertarian organ. There are a couple of problems with this source. One is that Cole’s numbers bear little resemblance to those of the Pew Research Center and the other is that David Cole is a Holocaust revisionist. So, if I were Viktor Orbán, I would be hesitant to rely on Schmidt’s so-called research. But he uncritically accepts both her views on history and at least some of her interpretations of current events.

Both Mária Schmidt and Viktor Orbán deeply resent, and reject, all references to Western Europe’s financial contribution to the poorer regions of Eastern Europe. It is enough to quote Orbán’s latest on the subject in the translation of The Budapest Beacon:

It is difficult to use light language when reacting to any talk [in the EU] about connecting any discussion of money to the issue of immigration. Not to mention that….I don’t think [Hungary] gets money as ‘help’ from the West. This is a complete misunderstanding. We can’t accept that and I have never accepted this idea that they are giving us money out of solidarity.  Like heck they are! What we’re talking about is that Hungary is the member of a common economic zone. We had to live under communism for 40 years while they had 40 years of capitalism. They are rich and have lots of capital, while we are poor and lack capital because we’ve lived under communism. Regardless of this, we together decided to unite our economic areas. It’s completely obvious that we can’t have honest and fair competition between businesses, people and countries that have had 40 years to become rich while the other group was robbed for 40 years. There has to be some kind of mechanism that provides fair and honest competition for these two groups to interact in. If we didn’t have this, they would invade us economically. We would be a colony if this disparity was allowed to stand. They know this too because they’ve had colonies.

And both Schmidt and  Orbán have devastating views of the European Union. Yes, criticism of the European Union’s handling of this particular crisis is certainly warranted. Brussels was unprepared and continues to flounder. But the real problem the European Union faces is that it is an assembly of largely independent nation states that are unwilling to cede some of their prerogatives to a common government. Hungary is among the most recalcitrant. So, Orbán should be the last to condemn Brussels for its inability to act.

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gdfxx
Guest

I dislike Schmidt deeply. However, the cited article in Politifact ends with the following phrase (in reference to George Will calling Bernie Sanders’ trip to the Soviet Union a honeymoon):

“Will’s claim is accurate but is missing context about the trip’s underlying purpose. We rate his claim Mostly True.”

Also, based on Sanders’ socialist background nobody should be surprised by his feelings toward the Soviet system.

Mathieu Delarue
Guest

“Also, based on Sanders’ socialist background nobody should be surprised by his feelings toward the Soviet system.”

Having a “socialist background” does not translate to sympathy for the Soviet system unless you don’t understand politics. One doesn’t travel to the 1988 Soviet Union to marvel in its “socialist” achievements. Now, if he were going to Sweden, it might make sense. Even Sartre, who WAS a communist and an admirer of the Soviet Union who travelled there in 1954, which makes much more sense given the person and the time period, was disillusioned by the USSR and renounced communism in 1956. Any Vermont socialist would understand all of these things by 1988.

I hope I’ve stated that clearly because I’m not into “Obama is a communist” style arguments — and I hope you’re not one of those people.

gdfxx
Guest

Please read the Guardian’s article about Sanders. His socialist orientation did not start in 1988. He was a supporter of the Sandinistas, he visited Cuba etc.

gardonista
Guest

There are commenters on this site who will consider Sanders a Soviet sympathizers, others who think that his political style is the complete opposite of the Soviet system.

What’s important is that all of us are critical of Fidesz and Orban.

I will make variations of this comment every few months: Orban’s system is so far outside the norm that John McCain and Bernie Sanders can agree that he’s an autocrat. Free market capitalists and Green Party members are both consider wacky leftists by Schmidt. The Wall Street Journal and the Village Voice are lumped together by Fideszniks.

exTor
Guest

http://hungarianspectrum.org/2015/09/21/maria-schmidt-the-court-historian-of-viktor-orban/#comment-102717 … gdfxx comment #1

http://hungarianspectrum.org/2015/09/21/maria-schmidt-the-court-historian-of-viktor-orban/#comment-102722 … gdfxx comment #2

http://hungarianspectrum.org/2015/09/21/maria-schmidt-the-court-historian-of-viktor-orban/#comment-102724 … gdfxx comment #3

Sorry gdfxx, I dont give you that much credit. Your perspicuity with respect to ‘socialism’ (as you understand it) may be severely limited, your having “experienced it on [your] skin” notwithstanding.

I find your “we do not have to agree, that is what I like the most in the US, that people can disagree” almost childishly simplistic.

Re the hyperphobia with which many in the US view those who are to the left of the mainstream [read: centrist] Democrats, many view people like Bernie Sanders as socialist [read: communist].

Just because you lived through what some may call the exigencies of the Kádár era, that doesn’t give you any extra credibility, except with respect to your narrow Hungarian experience.

Being ‘on the skin’ does not equate with being ‘in the brain’. Sorry, that’s the way it goes. If you didn’t support the Sandinistas at the time, you were not on the right side. That’s a world reality that you need to know.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Webber
Guest

A strange day… I’m going to defend gdfxx on one little point (gdfxx – if you don’t like it, tell me to bug off)
I may disagree with this or that, but I don’t see anything remotely troublesome with his statement that he likes things in the US because people can disagree. Sure, that’s true of other Western countries, but so what?
He was probably comparing his experience in Hungary, where disagreements (as you know, too) can go nuclear in a matter of seconds.
Indeed, he may not have been reflecting on the US as a whole, but with what he knows from living in Oregon (he seems to live there), where people seem to be a bit more mellow than the American avg.

gdfxx
Guest

And what kind of authority are you to decide who was on the “right” side during the Sandanista “revolution”?

Sanders is not to the left of the mainstream Democrats, he is a socialist, as he declares it himself. By the way, the head of the DNC, when asked, wasn’t able (or willing) to describe the differences between Mr. Sanders and Mrs. Clinton.

I spent a long time under the Ceausescu regime, so don’t preach to me about the best barrack of the communist camp. We all would have loved to have that oppression.

Kavé
Guest

Taki’s Magazine? Really? Hungarian foreign policy analysis is being based on neocon ravings tossed off to a social gossip and cocktail party magazine published by an aging millionaire bon vivant? At this point nothing – absolutely nothing – surprises me about the deep, banal ignorance of the Orban administration.

Nádas
Guest

Without commenting on his “ravings,” I think Taki Theodoracopulos qualifies (and identifies) as a paleoconservative and libertarian. Certainly not as a neoconservative baying for endless wars in the Middle East against Israel’s enemies. That is the essence of neoconservatism.

Guest

@Nádas
September 22, 2015 at 7:00 am

I would just add that another major distinction is that as a paleo and libertarian, Taki is for small government at home and isolationism abroad, while the neoconservatives – ex-Trotskyist permanent revolutionaries supposedly “mugged by reality” – are for big government at home and empire abroad.

Nádas
Guest

As long as they control both.

Guest
You know in a way it’s like playing a broken record hearing how VO believes the US is the apparent cause of the world’s ills in his vision of the world after 2008. The refrain really is tiring to hear and makes me simply suggest ‘Orvos, heal thyself as a moral sickness appears to be enveloping Hungarian society within his ‘illiberalist’ vision for Hungary during the 21st century. Curious how a poll among the Hungarian electorate would now present the extent to which they believe they are on the upswing economically from a few years ago now that the country apparently has dumped ‘foreign interests’ which according to VO affected the country badly. You know under the current circumstances I would venture a guarantee that a certain percentage of the great ‘unwanted’ that were barred from the Hungarian gates will do better in jumping ‘class’ than the average Hungarian will in the next few years. There is a statistical probability in that. Would be nice to see the equations. But as I’m watching ‘Broadway’ Joe Namath’s (he changed the ‘e’s to ‘a’s and I could understand it!!) underdog ‘guarantee’ of winning the Super Bowl from a while back I’ll go… Read more »
Webber
Guest

The Great O and Schmidt have just recycled anti-American propaganda from their youth. It’s easiest that way. They don’t have to think much. They just play the old songs in their heads. “Ami go home” was one that had Hungarian lyrics as well, re-set for the Vietnam war – sadly I’ve only found the older German version online. At least Wolfi will understand it:

Guest

Re: Webber: ‘they just play the old songs in their heads’

Seems so. What follows is a very beautiful melodic rumination on ‘aloneness’ something Hungary has much experience of and probably will have for some time to come. Culturally, it presents another view of that ‘Summer of Love’ here in the late ’60’s where ‘peace, love and understanding’ apparently ruled the discourse of the day. But that was only a thin and cracked veneer which hid some of the rot going in within US society. For VO, that great ‘culture ‘ watcher, those times no doubt would show up another reason to show up U.S. political and social incapabilities when it came to dealing with inequities during that tumultuous era.

But I’d suggest the song and album it is on is a perfect cultural example pointing to the seeming Hungarian penchant to refuse to see a discordant situation between image and realities within its society. It has to be dangerous as it ‘puts itself on’ in the face of all those ‘forever changes’ now hitting them.

http://youtu.be/ENpihCXWVnQ

István
Guest

Eva again caused me to read some Fidesz nonsense out of curiosity, when I should be watching Netflicks or something more useful. But at least reading Maria Schmidt’s essay had its moments of humor. I had no idea it was the official line of Fidesz that “cyclists” were equally as bad as feminists, LMBTQ-activists, environmentalists, and animal rights activists. I also had no idea that Schmidt was a fan of the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. That was pretty much what I learned from Schmidt’s essay Without Knocking.

PM Orban in one of his upcoming speeches on the moral degeneration of the liberal west needs to add a good denunciation of cyclists, clearly they are a menace that needs to be dealt with.

Wondercat
Guest

A remarkably unflattering photograph of Schmidt, taken after the fly had left her nose but before she had time to un-cross her eyes.

Webber
Guest

Wondercat – Her eyes are actually like that, permanently. She can’t help it, and photographers can’t make them look better because they are never aligned. One of them is always off.

spectator
Guest

Could be really something when she’ll meet with Matolcsy, for some fund raising, or such. Particularly the result. (Are you mocking me..!!?)

Webber
Guest

Schmidt is in love with the historian Laszlo Borhi’s latest historical account of WWII, in which the United States and the Soviet Union both implicitly appear as a “meddlers” in the affairs of poor little Hungary whose leaders, in Borhi’s account, have practically no ability to make choices or act (that takes care of certain unpleasant details, such as Hungary’s wartime alliances, and who declared war on whom).

Webber
Guest

Meanwhile, the Hungarian government has bought a Romanian football club, in Csíkszereda/Miercurea Ciuc (a town with a majority of Hun. speakers).
http://kolozsvaros.ro/web/kolozsvaros/-/erdelyi-csapatot-vasarolt-a-magyar-kormany
So, Hungarian taxpayers’ money is used to buy a soccer team in Romania, when there are Hungarians living in poverty like this (below)

and while the health system rots, there has not been a significant raise in wages in higher ed. for a decade, and … well, I won’t go on.

I don’t believe an American president could use federal funds to purchase a sports team if he wanted to – much less one in a foreign country. If he suggested it, he might well be impeached. His sanity would certainly be questioned.

Member

Dear Webber, this is a tip of one (1) iceberg. Very few have knowledge of the big picture. They are buying and providing much more than that, not only in Szeklerland. Hidden in budget, EU and Hungarian taxpayer’s money, national company’s funds, government foundations, even SME funds, etc. are used extensively for profit and to buy/ quiet politicians and “entrepreneurs” alike across the board, including Vojvodina.
There should have been an uproar in Horgos, etc. of what OVi’s policies were on “migrants”. There was none, from local party leaders. Instead of revolting the unlucky able are leaving, anywhere between New Zealand and Canada but Hungary. Therefore, it is a case worth of a much deeper study.

gdfxx
Guest

Why would an American President (or any other government branch) buy a sports team? Do you know of any state owned teams here? I am surprised that in Hungary this can happen. But nothing surprises me there,after all lots of stadiums are built with government money, right? By the way, the local governments in the US also support this kind of activities, usually via tax free bonds.

spectator
Guest

But you don’t seem to understand the way the Almighty Leader thinking, do you?

You see, one way or another there must be some kind of advancement in soccer, it simply MUST! Now, think about it: pretty soon there is no living person within the present (official!) Hungarian borders who ever have seen an international soccer match with any kind of Hungarian success, let alone the number of active policemen per square metre, perhaps.

So, where can you get some kind of satisfactory soccer-stimulance to the Great Victor, in case of need? He just must have iiiiit! Nooooow!
But really!

And here you are..!

Oh, Thank You Viktor, in the name of all the starving kids! At least they can freely applaud, whenever they marched out to fill those stadiums…

Webber
Guest

🙂
Spectator, spot on!
In one part of Bp. I know “the kids” occasionally get free tickets and free bus rides to and from Pancho Arena in Felcsút, to help fill the stadium I guess. At other times the same buses will take anyone who boards to a free performance at the Új Színház, run by György Döner (yes, that one).

Mathieu Delarue
Guest

The Taki’s numbers are accurate to the Pew numbers. He takes into account the “rarely” column as well and explains it in the article. What isn’t accurate is the context in which Orbán uses them with the soft implication being that the respondent would consider it himself… which I would conclude isn’t the case.

JGrant
Guest
Listen you male chauvinist so and so’s, Schmidt’s crossed eyes have nothing to do with this and while funny up to a point, it denigrates the quality discourse on this blog to attack her for her looks. I will withdraw my criticism as soon as you lot start denigrating male politicians for their ugly mugs, pot bellies, bald heads or knocked knees. OK? To turn to slightly weightier matters: I have always considered her the mad cow of Hungarian politics and so called scholarly discourse. She is concentrated poison in such a way that I don’t think it favours those she likes to support. Even fervent Fideszniks consider her a gross ambarrassment and I have heard very insulting language about her and her opinions from quite a few right wing commentators. It is such a shame that the “left” such as it is still in action, doesn’t deal with her madness more often. It would be quite fun and at least they might expose her even more than she exposes herself. As for Bernie Sanders and anyone else of either social-democrat or socialist ilk in the US, the throwing of insults based on what one’s own politics are are a… Read more »
Guest

“And just because social democrats have the word “democracy” in their description that doesn’t make them democratic.”

Scandinavian social democratic parties are excellent counter examples. They have contributed heavily to making the Scandinavian countries democratic, affluent and happy.

gdfxx
Guest

I would question the happiness factor. Other than Norway, having all the government oil money to distribute, the other Scandinavian countries seem to make a slow turn away for their socialist systems.

Webber
Guest

All Scandinavian countries feature high on the “happiness index.” All make it into the top ten.
In addition to Norway (no. 4), there is Denmark (no. 2), Iceland (no. 3), Finland (no. 6), and Sweden which comes in 8th place. In first place comes Switzerland, while Canada is in fifth place (congratulations Canadians!). The Netherlands is in 7th place, while New Zealand and Australia come in 9th and 10th respectively.
So, three of the top five countries, and five of the top ten in terms of happiness are Scandinavian countries; and since there aren’t any more Scandinavian countries, it’s hard to imagine them doing much better than that (though we can hope).
The über capitalist US is in 15th place, which is quite good.
Still socialist (in my view – I don’t care what Fidsesz says) Hungary comes in 104th place.
Data, with an explanation of methodology, here:
http://worldhappiness.report/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/04/WHR15-Apr29-update.pdf

Guest

@JGrant
September 22, 2015 at 3:24 am

— “And just because social democrats have the word “democracy” in their description that doesn’t make them democratic.” —

Social democracy is democratic in essence, not merely because the word appears in its moniker. It is a moderate, democratic (i.e. majority vote based, whilst fully respecting the rights and opinions of minorities) form of the ideology of socialism, which has come into being primarily under the influence of middle of the road unionism. (see also Mike Balint, September 22, 2015 at 5:43 am, above).

Socialism itself, the social and economic Marxist ideology of egalitarian leveling, does however take undemocratic, totalitarian forms in countries and regions lacking in the traditions of middle of the road democratic unionism.

As to the communists, according to them, “communism” is the final stage in the development of a particular kind of totalitarian socialist system of governance, involving a fully leveled, egalitarian system of workers paradise on earth (as no doubt also heralded by the arrival of the messiah…).

Guest

Re: “As to the communists, according to them, “communism” is the final stage in the development of a particular kind of totalitarian socialist system of governance, involving a fully leveled, egalitarian system of workers paradise on earth (as no doubt also heralded by the arrival of the messiah…)”

Speaking on that maybe some later on can enlighten me on what we call the system Vlad has fashioned over there in the ‘East’. Hard to say that its is simply commie, capitalist, or socialist. Kind of a mish-mosh with some religious and social/political philosophy thrown in there for the post-modern age. VO looks like he’s imitating the clothes Vlad wears. Oh such ruha, Istenem Istenem!

Amazing in that whatever that ‘system’ actually is defined as it appears to get traction in those entities. It would seem that when sharp lights are beamed on the actual functioning of those two societies they are arguably having a hard time keeping tight seams. I’d say VO still really hasn’t found the right size of pants you know? With his ‘bargain-hunting’ mentality I’d think he keeps on going to the wrong store. Too bad the feisty shopper doesn’t like to shop at Macy’s..;-)….

Webber
Guest

A little OT –
In a mid-term election in Budapest’s 13th district (Angyalföld) yesterday, the (Fidesz)Christian Dem. candidate was trounced. The Socialist candidate took more than 60% of the vote.
When added together, (Fidesz)CDems and Jobbik took less than 30% of the vote.
When added up, leftist + green candidates took more than 70% of the vote.
I’m not saying this because I’m happy. I’m not saying it because I imagine this is a pattern that will be repeated elsewhere in Hungary (who knows). I’m just recording it here because I’ve had about enough of the defeatist/triumphalist nonsense presented so often here that Fidesz is popular everywhere in Hungary, or that Hungarians will always vote for the right because they are essentially conservative.
This was a total rout for the right in Hungary in a period when (if we believe Századvég) Fidesz and the right in general are riding high on a wave of popular support.

hural
Guest
Webber. district 13 of Budapest is the single most leftist district in Hungary. Period. There is no way Fidesz can ever win there which is why Fidesz used KDNP for branding purposes (so it wasn’t Fidesz per se which lost, Fidesz is associated with “winning” and “leading”). Moreover Fidesz by carefully gerrymandering the electoral districts ensured that these leftist voters are compartmentalized into this district so that they couldn’t possibly contaminate more divided neighboring districts. The Republicans also do that. Fidesz learned from the masters. Republicans are very good at gerrymandering especially as currently there are some 25 completely Republican states (governor and state legislature) and maybe only 4 Democratic one. In the US the urban districts tend to be Democratic, uselessly so for a first past the post system, but in the rural districts (of which there are many more) Republicans tend to be spread out more evenly, with just the necessary majorities. Which is why although the Democrats have by default better chances of getting elected to be presidents, the majority of the House will almost surely remain forever in Republican hands. The Hungarian left-wing has three dozen fundamental problems. One of them is that nobody under 35… Read more »
Webber
Guest
Let’s not go into American politics (dems have also gerrymandered – and dems have not done too badly in national elections). Sticking with Hungary – a lot you said is fine, though I’d take exception to what you said about the left being “uncool” among young Hungarians. That is something people have said a lot since 2006 without thinking much about whether it is still true. What they don’t say (or notice) is how extremely uncool Fidesz has become among young people over the past couple of years. I am not saying young people are turning to the left. I am just saying that those I meet seem to hate Fidesz these days (disliking one doesn’t mean liking the other – and yes there ARE some young Fideszniks, but fewer and fewer I find). Most peole actually don’t seem to think power is “cool.” At a more shallow level, they seem to see Orban, personally, as an ugly, fat old man. Of course, my impressions are subjective, and not representative – but there they are. Younger journalists on Index say Fidesz is brilliant???? You mean Panyi? (Panyi is “young”?? Younger than most MPs, sure, but young??? Have you looked closely… Read more »
hural
Guest
Fabian is even younger than Panyi is (and I think Panyi is under 35, probably under 30) and I actually referred to him. Tamas Fabian flat out declared a few weeks ago that Orban won 2018. I don’t think Spirk or any of the more experienced older colleagues would do that. But my impression is clearly that while index.hu ran a lot of stories which were sympathetic to the refugees it also had a pretty admiring streak lately. These younger journalists also I think, like most other media, act as sounding boards for the government by never fact checking the strategic leaks coming from the government which invariably paint a picture of a genius who is actually best buddies with Merkel and the rest of the bunch only these Westerners don’t dare to make that public for political correctness reasons. The story they want us to believe is that Orban is even admired by Germans whereas if you watch/read German media the emerging picture is worse than terrible (though of course the politicians may like Orban even if the media doesn’t). My view is that a new conservative, rightwing opposition could defeat Fidesz-Jobbik in the current first past the post… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Now I understand what you meant.
It looks to me as if a lot of young Hungarians were “voting with their feet,” at least judging from polls indicating what a large percentage of them plan to, or would just like to leave Hungary in the near future.
That’s a statement of despair; a feeling that things are not going to get better.
Fabian’s idea, “Fidesz has one the 2018 elections,” can be read that way, too – not as admiration for the party.

Many older people wouldn’t say that not because they don’t see what’s going on now, but because they’ve seen surprises in their lives. There are 3 more years to go, and in 3 years a lot can happen.

Panyi, however, has started to openly worship Orban.
That is one person.
I wonder if they bought him off, too? If they haven’t, I bet they are courting Panyi now. He could get an interview with Orban in a second after what he published a day or two ago.

hural
Guest

Panyi is a self-declared (on the record) young conservative (aka ‘anti-communist’) which is the default in his generation. His initial sympathies were always with Fidesz. I don’t think that he was bought off. He just likes this Design Terminal, Habony Árpi, Lázár Jani fidesznik lot which is feeding him and he is at awe of the political genius of Orban. He is proud of his accomplishments that he has “access”, that his call is being returned. He is as star struck by Orban or Lazar as celebrity journalists are by Brangelina.

Webber
Guest

In short, Panyi a dweeb. Might have guessed from his hair do.
(never generalize about an entire generation based on one or two people)

Guest

@Webber
September 22, 2015 at 5:51 am

In other words, never make a generalization I disagree with: that is “an unwarranted generalization,” which civilized conversation disallows.

If however, you make a generalization that I agree with: that is of course God’s own truth.

:-)))

gdfxx
Guest

Well, the state of Oregon does not fit your description. The urban population elected a Democrat house, senate and governor.

egeszsegunkre
Guest

gdfxx will match Petofi’s sharp eyes.

good job.

We need people with vision.

Legal thinking can be also benefitial.

Guest

And I thought Fidesz couldn’t get any crazier …
This Mrs Schmidt is unbelievable – is Hungary really on its way to becoming a nation of conspiracy theorists?

Everybody is against us …
It’s always someone else’s fault …

At least Fidesz already has an explanation for its next failure!

petofi
Guest

I think that in years to come–moving along conspiratorial lines–it will be discovered that one of the KGB’s most successful plans was to transmit to the West the notion that no one over 30 should be trusted; and that the greater the number of young in the political system, the better.

Sic transit logic and wisdom…

Webber
Guest

The lot running Hungary are WELL over their 30s.

petofi
Guest

Lazar is 40; now leap-frogged by Rogan (36); and the ‘genius’, Szijjarto is, I’m sure, younger than Rogan. (Szijjarto’s mental age is about 15.)

The most active field for advancement in Hungary is politics. The number of un-tested individuals who have risen in the political field in Hungary is ridiculous; chief among them is Orban who has never had a job in his life.

There should be a law that no one who hasn’t worked for atleast 20 years should qualify to run for political office.

Webber
Guest

(former) President Pal Schmitt is 73.
(former) Foreign Min. Janos Martonyi – a man with “great experience” – is 71.
The worst of all, the Great O himself, is 52.
I don’t see how age makes much of a difference. Do you?

spectator
Guest

Yeah! Some of them actually even know what he/she is talking about when they parroting “communists” (Comrade Schmitt and comrade Martonyi definitely), while comrade Orbán just keeping the family traditions alive, for the reason of respect I guess.
You see, that’s why he’s mixing Bolshevism with National Socialism, Fascism with Feudalism, because he has born too late to experience all that.

Poor thing, he must start all over again!

Show some compassion people, will you?

Webber
Guest

Stop slandering the leader of the Hungarians! Comrade Orban always got perfect grades in Marxist-Leninism! He was 26 in 1989 – old enough to have been fully socialized through the care of the Party.

BBC
Guest

SM historian ? My foot.
Funny how these sort of systems produce the same kind of idiotic, kitschty and largely incompetent actions, SM is is just one of those, she made herself literally a laughing stock at more than one scientific event.

This said, it is not funny how a democracy (admittedly with little tradition thereof) can be turned to a quasi fascist state so easily. And I bet, if it was not for the economic benefits of the EU membership, Orban would have had a fascist state by now.

Webber
Guest

Eva – and others who have commented on Taki:
The article appeared in Taki’s magazine, but it wasn’t written by Taki – so Eva’s statement that they are “Taki’s numbers” isn’t accurate (and Eva, you might want to correct that).
Things are even worse than Eva suggested.
The author of the article – the source of the twisted numbers – is David Cole, a Jewish fellow from Los Angeles who some decades ago claimed there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and that the Holocaust ended in 1943. He changed his identity for a time to David Stein, but returned to Cole after he was unmasked. Details here:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/03/david-stein-cole-holocaust-revisionist

Webber
Guest

As to who Taki is – this piece on his son gives a good sample of the man:
http://observer.com/2009/03/lock-up-your-daughters-is-the-world-ready-for-taki-jr/

George Stone
Guest
Orban’s pronouncements are uttered in the tone of the half-smart loudmouth sitting on the end to the bar. And his analysis oddly forgot to mention that his idea of capital accumulation is to steal as much of the EU development funds as possible and give them to his friends. (Something I know thanks to reading you.) But the rightness or wrongness of the basic premise – that a poor country throwing open their market to a richer one will probably work out more to the benefit of the richer country – is something intelligent people can disagree on. To win hearts and minds, better to take into account the reality of people who saw the “inefficient” factories they’d spent their life building up and working in, bought by foreign capital, shut, and sold for scrap. The people who worked in those places are still waiting for their jobs to come back. I’m from New York living in Hungary for ten years. Thanks Eva. Even after all this time my Hungarian is shamefully bad. I can read the news in Hungarian but often just don’t have the energy and without you I frequently wouldn’t have a hope of understanding what’s going… Read more »
BBC
Guest

Let’s say Orban’s rise to power was made EASIER by the FAILURE of liberals to acknowledge certain legitimate gripes …

and by tradition, i.e. predominant negative political and cultural settings in Hungary. A lot of the half Asian sprout (félazsiai származék), to use Orbán’s expression, which, for example, would live in submission provided there are subjects to kick around below them.

An
Guest
George Sanders, you wrote: “‘But the basic premise – that a poor country throwing open their market to a richer one will probably work out more to the benefit of the richer country – is something intelligent people can disagree about. If you want to win hearts and minds you better take into account the reality of people who saw the “inefficient” factories they’d spent their life building up and working in, bought by foreign capital, shut, and sold for scrap. The people who worked in those places are still waiting for their jobs to come back.” I lived in the 80s and in the 90s in Hungary, and I saw exactly what was going on. Factories, yes, closed down, and many many people lost their jobs. At the same time many foreign companies came in and started hiring… hiring big time. Unfortunately, the newcomer Western companies were mostly hiring the young and well-educated and less those who got laid off as physical workers in the big factories. The real losers of this situation were: 1) those who were middle aged in the early 90s, without much education… these people now are in their 60s-70s… they are retired by now… Read more »
An
Guest

I should also add that those factories some people are nostalgic about … they WERE inefficient. The whole communist system collapsed because the economic premise,full employment in inefficient factories, was untenable on the long run. People were sitting around in these places doing nothing all day, well, other than stealing some of the factory property if they had the chance.

I had my first summer job when I was 16 in one these good old communist factories. I remember I showed up with my friend for work with great enthusiasm. They gave us some parts to glue together, which we finished in about two days. Our coworkers were upset.. why did you finish this fast? Now what are you going to do for a full month while you are here?

Guest

Very succinct, An!

And let me add: Production in the Communist block was not only an economic but also an ecological disaster! From what I heard from friends in Eastern Germany the environment was poisoned without regard to the people living there (which is not to say that capitalist countries didn’t the same, but they learned …). And often the products in electronics or household electrics eg were one or even two generations behind in integration and energy efficiency – they were just cheap …

And what you wrote about industry goes also for agriculture – (hundreds of) thousands of low skilled workers made redundant by modern machinery …

Reality Check
Guest

Martial law?

“Powers similar to those of the police force have been granted to soldiers on duty in areas where the government has declared a state of migration crisis. Under a law passed on Monday, soldiers will have the authority to detain people, search clothing, baggage or cars, perform traffic checks or apply coercion if necessary. Soldiers will also be in a position to close an area down, and ban people from entry or prevent them from leaving.”
http://www.politics.hu/20150922/licences-of-police-extended-to-soldiers-at-border/

István
Guest

I can see nothing really in this summary of the act of Parliament which exceeds what the US National Guard can do when called up to quell civil disturbances. Here is a document put out on that by the U.S. Department of Defense https://publicintelligence.net/national-guard-domestic-law-enforcement-operations-guide/ I am not an expert in Hungarian law so there may be unique issues I do not grasp. But comparatively I would argue other democratic nations do grant such powers to military forces during civil disturbances.

Reality Check
Guest

These powers are not used in the US in regard to immigrants and the chronic problems there. It is another issue all together under acute situations like a natural disaster. In Hungary the migrant crisis is rather broadly defined and chronic. I believe about 1/3 of the country is now under that definition. Combine that with these new powers and you have something that is not equivalent to the US’s national Guard units.

Also see Webber’s comment (September 22, 2015 at 10:59 am). These new powers may also breech internal laws.

Istvan
Guest

In Texas the National Guard were sent to the Rio Grande Valley sector, approximately 25.6 percent of the Texas border with Mexico for over a year. It was called Operation Strong Safety. From what I read there were specific orders issued to the National Guard which limited the actions they could take, But those limits were established by the State of Texas and not by Federal law. I think they could not arrest but only detain and hold illegal border crossers who were then taken into custody by the Border Patrol or Texas Rangers.

tappanch
Guest

On the one hand, the Germans reported 104,460 migrants/refugees arriving in August.
The number of new asylum requests was only 33,447.

On the other hand, the Hungarian government reported 48,000 registrations for the same month.

Among the new migrants/refugees [asylum seekers] in Germany:

Syrians: 44.5% [30.2%]
Afghans: 11.0% [6.8%]
Iraqis: 8.9% [5.1%]
Albanians: 8.1% [24.6%]
Pakistanis: 4.6% [1.8%]
Eritreans: 3.2% [2.9%]

Among the asylum seekers in 2015, 18% were Christians and 5% Yazidis.
[This is surprising, but the numbers include asylum seekers from anywhere, not only from the Middle East]

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/fluechtlingskrise/fluechtlinge-wer-kommt-da-eigentlich-zu-uns-13812517/sehnsuchtsort-deutschland-13814956.html

Webber
Guest

Based on those figures, those few CEE countries who say they will only take Christian refugees may be in for a surprise. There are plenty of them.

I have seen nothing at all in Hungarian media about Christian and Yazidi refugees, though a percentage of non-Muslims among the refugees that is higher than the percentage of non-Muslims living in the country of origin is exactly what is to be expected.

It also may be the source of some of the scuffles on the border. In one incident, in a camp in Hungary, I recall that a riot started because a refugee “desecrated” a Koran. That could well have been a fight between Christian and Muslim refugees – though there’s no telling (why would a sane Muslim damage a Koran?).

gdfxx
Guest

I dislike both deeply, but I am willing to bet that if an election goes between Trump and Sanders, Trump will win.

Webber
Guest

Whoops!
Hungary has just lost a case related to refugees before a human rights court in Strasbourg. The judge found that Hungary had violated the rights of three Somali refugees whom Hungarian authorities held for illegally passing over the border without papers, and kept locked up throughout their appeal for refugee status (which was rejected by the Hungarian court) because Hungarian authorities said they might leave the country if not held. The court in Strasbourg found that the men had the right to freedom while their request for refugee status was being examined, and that right was violated by Hungary. Each of the three men has been awarded 7,500 Euros. Hungary may appeal the ruling.
If this is upheld, Hungary can expect a mass of new cases arising from its treatment of refugees over the past several years. In particular, this appears to mean that Hungary’s new law on detaining border violators is in contravention of international conventions to which Hungary is a signatory. If each person illegally detained is awarded a similar amount of money, the sums could be astronomical. News here:
http://index.hu/kulfold/2015/09/22/harom_szomaliai_menekult_pert_nyert_magyarorszag_ellen/

István
Guest

Webber in relation to enforcement of decisions of this court I read the following under the heading Please Note: ” The Court is not empowered to overrule national decisions or annul national laws. The Court is not responsible for the execution of its judgments. As soon as it has given judgment, responsibility passes to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which has the task of supervising execution and ensuring that any compensation is paid.” Webber what is the track record of the Ministers on enforcing judgements against Hungary? I really have no idea of the answer to that question, my guess is the enforcement track record against Hungary is not strong, but I could well be wrong.

Paul
Guest

OT – Can anyone tell me what this is about – who is thanking Orbán for what?

I can’t seem to copy/paste the picture (it’s from Facebook), but it features a woman holding up a placard that says “Germany says thank you Mr Orbán”. The woman is a Hungarian (?) called Tatjana Festerling and she is wearing a T shirt with “pegida” written on it.

Reality Check
Guest

Yeah, what is she grateful for? Making sure that almost all of the refugees pass through Hungary and end up in Germany?

Guest

Pegida is an extreme anti-Islam right wing lunatics group that had some success in Eastern Germany:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegida

Festerling is a prominent member who was a candidate for mayor of Dresden – she’s sick:
http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article139743636/Dresdens-Lady-Bitch-Rechts.html
She’s also against the “LGBT” terror …

PS:
If I rember correctly, she was thrown out of th AfD because she was too extreme …

Paul
Guest

Many thanks Wolfi – appreciated.

tappanch
Guest

State television recommended it as the work of the “evil” Soros:

http://www.w2eu.info/

Independent information for refugees and migrants coming to Europe.

“Exempt” EU countries (no inside info yet) : Czechia, Croatia, Portugal.

It is very slow (perhaps thousands are perusing it at each second)

Happy browsing !

tappanch
Guest

Sweden:
“A ruling by the Migration Court of Appeal (MCA) stopped all forced returns of asylum-seekers from Sweden to Greece under the Dublin regulations. All the cases concerning Dublin to Greece get their asylum process in Sweden.”

http://www.w2eu.info/sweden.en/articles/sweden-dublin2.en.html

tappanch
Guest

Hungary:
“Many people try to continue their journey after having been fingerprinted in Hungary. If you have fingerprints in Hungary and continue to another country you can be sent back to Hungary (also for example if the Greek fingerprints have not been found but those from Hungary are in the computer system). So in case you come to another country with fingerprints from Hungary, you should immediately get in contact with a lawyer and/or activist networks to try to stop the deportation. To stop a deportation to Hungary you will for sure need a lawyer”

tappanch
Guest

“In January 2011 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided in an individual case that Greece was violating the human rights of a refugee by detaining him under inhuman conditions and leaving him homeless. It also judged that Belgium violated his human rights by deporting him back to Greece (see: http://w2eu.net/2011/01/22/front-kick-dublin-2/).”

Following that decision deportations to Greece were temporarily halted in most EU-countries”

Countries that stopped deportations to Greece in 2011 or later

Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK

tappanch
Guest

Does the new “weighted” decision by the EU interior ministers mean that Hungary cannot send refugees/migrants to other EU countries from now on, but have to take in 1294 from Greece and Italy?

I am confused, please help !

http://nol.hu/kulfold/hiaba-agalt-ellene-orban-megszavaztak-a-menekultkvotat-1564715

Webber
Guest

Interesting that the Poles voted for the quota system after all.

As I read the news in English, it means Hungary will have to take a total of 15,000 of this year’s refugees. Where they are to come from has yet to be determined. I suppose Hungary might offer settlement to 15,000 of the people who apply for it in Hungary this year (if there are that many), or might get 15,000 of those who are granted refugee status in other countries. If Hungary is clever, it will cherry pick people passing through and get the highly qualified people (how about offering every single qualified health worker a job, for instance? There’s a shortage in Hu.) I suppose some countries will neglect qualifications and try to get Christians only.

Orban will, allegedly, come up with an alternate suggestion tomorrow. He’ll have to convince a majority to support it. What the suggestion will be, only he knows – allegedly Nick Thorpe has seen it (news below), and gives details that it’s a suggestion to send money to improve refugee camps in Turkey, etc. That’s an excellent idea – truly -, but what will that do about all the people already in Europe?
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34324319

Bowen
Guest

Nick Thorpe has all the details on Orban’s alternative suggestion.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34324319

Guest

Re “Interesting that the Poles voted for the quota system after all.”
Yes, Mrs Merkel looked very happy in the German news.
What it means exactly – we just have to wait and see. To me it looks as if Hungary got even more isolated, but I might be wrong.

Istvan
Guest

Has the EU ministers meeting released the actual text of what was voted on? I have not seen it anywhere as yet. I think we all need to sit down and read it. I am finding the news reports confusing too.

minnu
Guest

If you thought Jobbik was an opposition party.

http://digidugi.tumblr.com/post/129629307295

exTor
Guest

You presume (since you dont provide any explanation) that everyone knows what the picture represents, minnu. Please undo your presumption and explain who those two in the photo are. My presumption is that one is a Jobbiker.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Webber
Guest

“Hungary,” dep. state sec. Gergely Prohle emphasized “had no colonial past, little experience with immigrants, and a large Jewish community who would be the first to fear a large Muslim influx.”
So it starts. They are already pointing at the Jews.

Nava
Guest

Yes, but some “Jews” (Symbolic ones like Konrád and Kertész) are apparently terrified. Here at this blog too by the way. Surely some of the Hungarian jewish organizations will assist the regime in this, there are always paid rettegők assisting any regime.

Orban will use the jews as they are letting themselves be used. Like with Zoltai et al. Orban loves nothing better than have a hearty lough at the dividedness of the Hungarian jewry (as opposed to the Christian churches which are very disciplined), he can always use some Jews for political purposes. Orban sees his principle vindicated: you either stay united or you fall.

Webber
Guest

Christian churches very disciplined? Apples and oranges.
A Jew does not (necessarily) represent any Jewish congregation (Orban is just playing on the idea that all Jews think alike – one he apparently believes in), just as a random Christian intellectual does not represent his church.
And as to Christian churches being disciplined – there has been some argument even within the Hungarian Catholic Church, which was only ended by the Pope’s statement. Other Christian churches have no similar guidance. What one Calvinist minister preaches can differ very greatly from the teachings of another. It takes time for the synod to come to a common position.

Istvan
Guest

The New York Times just posted this report: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/world/europe/european-union-ministers-migrants-refugees.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

At least from this article it appeared there was the possibility that several nations would not comply with the decision. Specifically the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, is quoted as having said his government would “reject any attempt to introduce some permanent mechanism of redistributing refugees.” Does that mean he rejects this decision, I simply can’t tell.

tappanch
Guest

I am reading that the Hungarian quota is not 1294, but 2352. (out of 120,000).

Is this a precedent? Say, the influx will be 8×120,000 a year. Does this mean that Hungary, for example, has to take in 18,816 from that number?

Suppose Europe takes in 10 million refugees/migrants in the next 10 year, then Hungary has to settle 200,000 !?

http://index.hu/kulfold/eurologus/2015/09/22/magyarorszag_leszavazta_a_menekultkvotakat/

Eliezer
Guest

It is my opinion that Hungary should exit the EU. The crazy decision of the Strasbourg court and all other acts of irresponsible big countries deprive her from any trace of independence.

Between 500,000 and one million people died in 1994 in the genocide in Rwanda. Why was not anything similar to today’s problem ever considered and happened?

Webber
Guest

Rwanda: Not many Rwandans tried to get to Europe. It was too far, and they were too poor. So, the situation is not similar.
If you mean, why didn’t the EU act – Rwanda wasn’t a member of the EU.
Otherwise, I agree – the US and other great powers should have stepped in immediately. Former Pres. Bill Clinton has repeatedly said that not intervening was his greatest mistake and his great shame – something he will never be able to live down.

tappanch
Guest
tappanch
Guest

The relocation scheme applies only to migrants from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea.

Does this mean that all the Afghans and Pakistanis can stay in Sweden or Germany, but some “preferred” Syrians have to relocate to Bulgaria?

tappanch
Guest

The Hungarian share of the relocation scheme is 1.96%

Germany 25.8%
France 19.64%
Spain 12.29%

Romania 3.75%
Sweden 3.63%
Austria 2.96%
Czechia 2.41%

Hungary 1.96%

Bulgaria 1.29%
Slovakia 1.22%
Croatia 0.86%
Slovenia 0.51%

Istvan
Guest
First thanks to tappanch for providing links to the EU documents. In my thinking the section of the Commission’s proposal to relocate 120,000 people in need of international protection during the next two years as it relates to what it calls “secondary movements of asylum-seekers” seems unworkable. Supposedly when an asylum-seeker is relocated to another EU country, they only have the right to legally reside in that country and cannot move on to another EU country without authorization during the asylum process. If they do, and are apprehended, they will be transferred back to the country of legal residence under the rules of the Dublin Regulation. In one of the documents posted by tappanch it is stated that “each Member State appoints Liaison Officers to match the destination country with refugees’ qualifications, language skills, family, cultural and social ties, to help integration.” What about at least an initial security review of the asylum-seekers? Apparently the relocations can take place with no initial vetting of the asylum-seekers, that seems to be an invitation to disaster given the past attacks of Islamic militants in Europe. It also seems to me that asylum-seekers who receive initial judgements denying asylum and who are appealing… Read more »
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