Viktor Orbán encounters Jürgen Habermas

Viktor Orbán is on his way to China from where no appreciable news has yet reached Budapest. Nonetheless, the prime minister’s name is prominent on practically all online news sites today on account of an interview he gave to politico.eu before his departure. Actually, what we can read there is not strictly speaking an interview but only an article based on a 90-minute interview that took place in Budapest. Therefore it is not always clear how faithfully those parts of the conversation have been transcribed that are not direct quotes. In any case, the interview highlights new aspects of Viktor Orbán’s thinking, and anyone who follows the maverick prime minister’s intellectual career should definitely read it. I should, however, warn readers ahead of time. Matthew Kaminski, the reporter, was overly impressed by Viktor Orbán, who most likely used all his considerable charm on the reporter. It is enough to remember former U.S. Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis’s memoirs in which she recounts that all American visitors who met Orbán fell under his spell.

Here I would like to focus on one little scene from the lengthy article.

Getting up from his seat around a large conference table, Orbán walks over to the books stacked on his desk and shelf. He picks up a tract on Europe he’s reading by Jürgen Habermas, the German philosopher and proponent of a closer, federal EU. “The most dangerous book,” he calls it.

Why is Habermas so dangerous? To find the answer we have to go back to the speech Orbán delivered upon the publication of the booklet “Signs of the Times” on October 30. In this speech he expressed his suspicion that the arrival of close to a million people in Europe is the result of a purposeful plan of left-liberal elements who want to transform Europe into a “cosmopolitan community of world citizens.” He added that “even Ferenc Kőszeg brought up the possibility of a politically constructed world community in one of the weeklies.” He added that he has been thinking about this theory and its political and cultural implications and that he “will have to polish up his thoughts” on the subject before the forthcoming Fidesz Congress.

After some research I found the article by Ferenc Kőszeg that Viktor Orbán was talking about. It appeared in HVG‘s print edition on October 18 and about a week later on the internet. The article’s title is “We need another Trianon.”

First, a few words about Ferenc Kőszeg. We haven’t heard much about him of late, but he was a prominent member of the democratic opposition in the 1970s and 1980s. During this period he was a regular contributor to the famed samizdat publication Beszélő. After the regime change he was a member of parliament (1990-1998) and in 1994 became one of the founders and eventually the director of the Hungarian Helsinki Commission. He is the author of several books.

So, what does the article have to say about a possible second Trianon? Kőszeg reminds his readers about how the Hungarian ruling political elite at the turn of the century managed to ruin the good name of the country within a relatively short time in Great Britain, where ever since the revolution of 1848-1849 the British public had followed the fortunes of Hungary with great sympathy. But then came the forceful Magyarization of Hungary’s minorities, and soon enough on the pages of The Spectator under the pseudonym of “Scotus Viator” (Scottish wanderer) articles appeared about the Hungarian situation that turned British public opinion against the country. Hungary, partly because of its deserved bad publicity, was probably treated more harshly than it would have been otherwise. And, says Kőszeg, at the moment Hungary’s reputation is as bad as it ever was because of Hungary’s harsh treatment of the refugees. He brings up the White Terror of Miklós Horthy’s detachments in 1919 and the execution of Imre Nagy in 1958. So, if Viktor Orbán is not careful, he might find his country outside of the European Union because of international public opinion condemning his behavior.

It was in this article that Kőszeg mentioned Jürgen Habermas’s name. The sentence in which his name appeared was this: “If the number and influence of euroskeptics keep growing, then Jürgen Habermas’s concept of a European constitution in which human rights occupy center stage might not be a utopia. Or much less of a utopia than the dreams of Orbán and his friends of illiberal nation states marching to the tune of Hungary.” This was the sentence that aroused terrible suspicions in Viktor Orbán’s mind.

world citizen

As I learned from Ferenc Kőszeg, he was quoting from Habermas’s Zur Verfassung Europas: Ein Essay (2011) which a year later appeared in Hungarian translation as Esszék Európa alkotmányáról. (In English the title is The Crisis of the European Union.) Most likely it was the Hungarian translation of this book that Orbán was studying to help him define his own position against the ideas outlined in this “most dangerous book.”

What does Viktor Orbán find so objectionable in Habermas’s ideas about the future of the European Union? Let me quote here a succinct summary of the main thrust of his position. According to Anson Rabinbach in the July 10, 2012 issue of The Nation,

Habermas argues that the ethical and political self-understanding of citizens in a democratic community needn’t be rooted in a historical or cultural essence. Simply put, citizens do not have to “feel” that they belong together culturally or ethnically to act in a democratic manner and experience solidarity with their neighbors, especially beyond their borders. It is enough that they share a common set of ethical and civic values and participate in a set of institutions that enable them to communicate and debate.

I might add to all this that, not surprisingly, Habermas, who gave a lecture to an overflowing audience in Budapest in May 2014, is no fan of Viktor Orbán. Before he began his lecture, Habermas talked at some length about the Hungarian political situation and Viktor Orbán’s role in the destruction of liberal democracy. He added that it would be “false politeness” not to talk about the populist nationalist voices coming from Hungary.

I am curiously awaiting the “philosophical treatise” that Viktor Orbán will present at Fidesz’s forthcoming congress. You may recall that the congress was supposed to be held during the weekend of the Paris tragedy but was postponed due to the official day of mourning Orbán declared. It will be held on December 13 instead. This will give Orbán a little more time to find answers to Habermas’s picture of the world sometime in the future in which nation states will have less and less of a hold on their citizens.

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PALIKA
Guest

It seems that the full text of the report of his interview has not reached you Eva. In the British press we had report of the PM saying that all terrorists are migrants and therefore it is only a question of when they entered the EU. There was a report of other pieces of wisdom about migrant control but of course nothing he said on those subjects quite lived up to the almost asanine ramblings of a deranged ignoramus.

All terrorists are migrants. I am sure I do not have to demonstrate why this is such nonsense but I can if any of your readers ask me to do so.

An
Guest
I believe that it was Habermas Orban quoted in his speech on October 30. Orban read a passage from a book he called the “szamarvezeto” (blueprint) and a “terv” (plan) of the left to illustrate how the left is actively planning and conspiring to build a supra-national Europe by supporting multiculturism. I don’t know whether his paranoia got hold of him or he is using this conspiracy theory for manipulation… but treating a philosopher’s thoughts as a detailed political action plan is a stretch to say the least. Of course, a prominent philosopher’s thoughts would have influence on political thinking in general (that is why Habermas is sharing his thoughts), but to claim that Habermas’ essay translates into a well-thought out conspiracy on the left to get rid of ethnic nation states is a ridiculous stretch or a manipulative misconstruction on Orban’s part. The relevant sections from Orban’s speech: “Föl is olvasom Önöknek azt, ami történik, ha szabad ezt mondanom, mert szerintem ez az a szamárvezető, ez a terv, aminek a megvalósulását látjuk nap mint nap. ” … “Nem kevesebb és nem kisebb kihívás előtt állunk, mint egy tudatos, baloldalinak mondható szellemi konstrukció megvalósításának a kapujában, ami a nemzetállamokat Európában… Read more »
Member

Orban Inc.

It is appalling enough that this petty little low-life has the support (or the appearance of support) from enough of his countrymen to hold public office, but that he imagines he can lock horns intellectually with a real thinker goes beyond megalomania and delusions of grandeur into (low) farce…
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Member

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/habermas/

“Jürgen Habermas currently ranks as one of the most influential philosophers in the world. Bridging continental and Anglo-American traditions of thought, he has engaged in debates with thinkers as diverse as Gadamer and Putnam, Foucault and Rawls, Derrida and Brandom. His extensive written work addresses topics stretching from social-political theory to aesthetics, epistemology and language to philosophy of religion, and his ideas have significantly influenced not only philosophy but also political-legal thought, sociology, communication studies, argumentation theory and rhetoric, developmental psychology and theology. Moreover, he has figured prominently in Germany as a public intellectual, commenting on controversial issues of the day in German newspapers such as Die Zeit.”
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Guest

One of many questions posed by the highly analytical post- modern social philosopher in his writings:

‘Does participation in democratic procedures have only the functional meaning of silencing a defeated minority, or does it have the deliberative meaning of including the arguments of citizens in the democratic process of opinion- and will-formation? … Democracy depends on the belief of the people that there is some scope left for collectively shaping a challenging future’.

One example perhaps of ‘dangerous’ questions silently waiting to be discovered by the government in ‘most dangerous books’. And there are many for the rule of law , human rights and the role of religion particularly Christianity in a post-modern secular world. Mr. Orban will find it pretty complicated in his ‘lawyerly’ reading if he ever plows through it. Will be much much harder to process and understand than simply putting up fences.

Minusio
Guest

Only a few remarks.

What Habermas deems worthy of debating about is definitely worth our consideration, too. He is probably the best contemporary political thinker we can count on.

I would like to recall that 1989-90 was not a regime change but a change of political system. Democracy is not a regime in my mind. But Orbánistan is – regretfully – a regime again.

Hungary had – and gambled away – a certain “sympatico” bonus more than once. Before 1989, Budapest was the only communist venue popular for conferences, symposiums, congresses, etc. held by western organisations. Now this seems no longer so.

What a sad story.

petofi
Guest

After I read this,
“And, says Kőszeg, at the moment Hungary’s reputation is as bad as it ever was because of Hungary’s harsh treatment of the refugees…”
I stopped reading.

? “…because of Hungary’s harsh treatment of the refugees…”??? That’s all?

Why would anyone read another word of Koszeg’s nonsense?

petofi
Guest

I confess that I finished Eva’s essay.
Again, this rang the bells:

“…nation states will have less and less of a hold on their citizens.”

Habermas is right, of course. But why such a surprise? Any adequately educated adult in the 21st century knows that ‘nation states’ were the play-things of the 19th century.

Hungarians are mis-educated, and must rely on direction from those who
know that the mentally-challenged of Hungary follow a leader who, from time to time, tells them what they want to hear–confirms the legitimacy of their inbred anti-semitism and xenophobia.

Hungary: the garden of earthly idiots.
(See a true representation in Bosch’s 3rd tryptich.)

Guest

From what I learn in the post and the comments about Habermas his philosophy is indeed a dangerous answer to Orban.

Ambator
Guest

The man, Orban, is not only an intellectual dwarf, but he also has the ego and the moxy to match.
Lately he had serious difficulties trying to argue his way out of self-made paper bags.

So, he is proposing not only to develop some arguments against Habermas, but a whole philosophy? What an interesting proposition! Good luck to him!

carlito
Guest

Could it be that Orban’s anti-EU ideology he is now researching is also in line with Putin’s strategy?

Orban can’t openly refer to Alexandr Dugin yet but Escrivá (of Opus Dei fame) is a good start.

The Russian agent is at work, that’s all. He is diligent and is worth every dime.

Cser-Kovács
Guest

One has to just love those szocis.

Peter Medgyessy, the sacked prime minster of MSZP says that Fidesz’ corruption is no bigger than that of the Gyurcsány-Bajnai governments. So what’s the big deal? He doesn’t get it.

The thing is leftists such as Medgyessy (btw a former communist spy) are really more corrupt.

Fideszniks are much more corrupt in a financial sense of course, they steal much more, no question about it.

But the szocis – like Medgyessy – would betray their own political community, their own beliefs, principles (well, they never had any to begin with) for little crumbs. They are so cheap you wouldn’t believe. At least the Fideszniks stay united no matter what, they have discipline. The szocis are over, it’s official.

http://444.hu/2015/11/24/medgyessy-peter-szerint-nem-is-korruptabbak-orbanek-mint-a-gyurcsany-bajnai-garnitura

webber
Guest

444, Fidesz’s newest media acquisition.

Csaba
Guest
Webber: No, from what what I gather 444-ers think that they are under total siege by Fidesz and I believe them. Fidesz has been making huge efforts to prevent companies from advertising on 444.hu and so on. This linked article is based on an article which appeared originally in Magyar Idők (the government mouthpiece) and actually a good comment was added in the 444.hu article. However, what has to be understood is that the editorial team consists of people who are what you would call standard conservatives in Western European sense (including accepting gay marriage, being pragmatic etc.). They are not leftists and never were. They don’t like pretentious hippies, greens, hipsters, lefty alternatives residing at Gólya etc. Moreover they – like most of that youngish generation – just hate the impotence and petty corruption of the leftist/liberal politicians.They also think that it’s fun to point out the inconsistencies of self-defined liberals. So no, 444.h wasn’t acquired by Fidesz. ATV was, though, it is now firmly aligned with Fidesz, the charlatan György Nógrádi is still ubiquitous. However, this state of affairs in the media is also – I think rightfully – blamed on the impotence of the so-called Hungarian left-wing.… Read more »
webber
Guest
Paks – daily Fidesznyik baiting: The European Council has now announced that it has initiated its third separate investigation into the legality of Hungary’s Paks nuclear reactor construction project with Russia. The issues the Council are investigating are related to. 1. The lack of a tender; 2. Making the contract a state secret, and; 3. Hungarian state subsidies. The investigations have begun because the Council believes, based on evidence it has collected to date, that Hungary has violated EU regulations. Following a full investigation, the Council can take Hungary to court. If courts decide the Hungarian government is in violation as the Council believes, construction at Paks must be stopped. It must be stopped even if Hungary is in violation of only one of the three issues under investigation. If the government refuses to stop Paks, EU funds are to be withheld, and fines will be imposed. So, again, Hungary may be faced with a decision to take Russian money, which it must repay, or EU money which it does not have to repay. Now, if you believe 444, which just parrots what government spokesmen say and what the govt. daily Magyar Idők reports, the Hungarian government will construct Paks… Read more »
Antal
Guest

It’s the Commission actually, but it doesn’t matter.

There are a host of lawyers working on this.

Maybe Orban will do it in a formally private deal so that all these public procurement and secrecy issues will not be applicable. Finding a good stróman (front entity) is not a big deal either for Hungarians or for Russians. Even Austrians, British service providers would happily assist. This is not the kind of deal where your stróman (like Yvonne Dederick with TV2) will dare to steal your money.

Pask 2 will not be given up. The politicians (even Jobbikniks and Socialists) have in their heads already spent the dough – they will not part with those fantasies. Perhaps this project will be shut down and a new one will be started with essentially the Russians and the Chinese competing (the others cannot possibly provide financing).

In any case, Orban isn’t giving this up and neither are the Russians. The message is clear within the government, there is no surrender to the EU and anybody who accepts defeat, even hinting the possibility of a retreat, will be out soon.

webber
Guest

Antal – you are right about it being the Commission, of course. On other things, though….

PERHAPS the project will be shut down – that, already, is admission of the possibility of surrender. That’s all I say, too – perhaps.

“No surrender” – well, I’ve seen Fidesz surrender on quite a lot. They never publish a word about it, but whenever EU sanctions are in the offings, they back down.

They like to shout about “defending Hungary,” and they never admit they are backing down, but when the chips are down, they back away (should I list the laws they’ve changed, or are you informed about them already?).

Népliget – Museum Quarter also on hold now, btw. They NEVER will admit they are backing down on that, either.

Doesn’t mean we should take their word for it. When they back down, it should be noted.

BrunoHempf
Guest

Just a correction: Museum Quarter in Városliget is totally on.

The project is a tad delayed but by 2018 all the buildings will be either ready or heavily under construction – way beyond the point of no return. Liberals can’t prevent them.

Only the two museums on Dózsa György út were cancelled but they were irrelevant anyway because prime minister Viktor Orban wants to move into the Budavár Castle and the two cancelled museums had nothing to do with that angle.

For the 2018 general elections and the 2019 municipal elections the scheduled buildings will be ready. The citizens of Budapest will be happy.

People will just love those new pearls of Budapest. Fidesz has a lot of imagination and will realize those dreams.

webber
Guest

BrunoHempf your “correction” is B.S. in three ways:
1. The Museum quarter is “on hold” until 2020 meaning, in political terms, indefinitely.

Your statement “only two museums… were cancelled” is an admission that the project is not on as planned. Something has clearly gone wrong.
The postponement/cancellation has nothing at all to do with the liberals. They can at most criticize.

Liberals can’t stop anything this government wants to do, and you know that perfectly well. The only people who harp on about liberals when they are irrelevant to the issue are Fideszniks, so I have to conclude that you are a Fidesznik.

The cancellation is for other reasons – perhaps a small lack of funding?

webber
Guest
Brüno, you also wrote “For the 2018 general elections and the 2019 municipal elections the scheduled buildings will be ready. The citizens of Budapest will be happy.” Wanna bet? Here’s my guess: The citizens of Budapest couldn’t give a sh.. about moving museums from here to there. They have plenty in beautiful old buildings they love and would like to see renovated. The condition some of them are in is distressing – and we are talking about architectural marvels from the 19th century. For instance, ave you seen the Iparművészeti Múzeum/Museum of Applied Arts recently? It is a treasure that has been trashed. Huge funds are desperately needed to fix it. The people of Budapest have seen a lot of these old buildings go over the past decade, and in their place what is built is always second rate, at best. The people of Budapest have very little green space, and will be very unhappy about the reduction in size of their great city park – a project that looks to end up more and more like what Kósa did to Debrecen’s “Great Forest” (not so big now, since his mayorship). The whole project – from conception – stinks of… Read more »
webber
Guest

The museum looks even worse than this now. comment image

webber
Guest

Not to mention all the other public buildings that so badly need renovation in Budapest – this is what many tourists see when they arrive from the airport via bus or local train – the picture is from 2013, and it is even worse now. It was to have been fixed then, but they ran out of money and did nothing:comment image

From that station, the lucky tourist can take a metro train into town that looks like this:comment image

Other lucky tourists will see this – another building they promised to fix years ago:comment image

So, yeah, Budapesters are very impressed by everything Fidesz has done for them…

hege
Guest

They twice elected istvan Tarlós. Fidesz is popular in Budapest, much more popular than the commies and the liberals. Like it or not, Fidesz is adored by millions. Fidesz has a vision and delivers, the lefties have no vision and don’t do nothing. So Fidesz is winning even in Budapest, outside Budapest Fidesz is king.

Bowen
Guest

Not really. The last mayoral election in Budapest had extremely low turnout (40%).

And you will, of course, be aware that Fidesz rewrote the municipal election rules just four months before the elections. Fidesz would not have felt the need to do this if they were “adored by millions”.

In any case, Fidesz barely scraped together its majority. Tarlos’s main rival, Bokros, got a very high percentage of votes, considering he only entered the running 10 days before the elections.

webber
Guest

Look at poll numbers: they all agree that Fidesz is hated in much of Budapest, with the exception of some of the bizarre bits of Buda.

Note, hating Fidesz doesn’t mean liking the opposition!

Tarlós – of course he won. Look who ran against him.

webber
Guest

hege
Bowen is dead right about Budapest.
Also, if Fidesz is so popular all over Hungary, why has it lost so many by-elections since 2010? I can’t think of a single one that Fidesz won since then, can you?

Again, hating Fidesz does not mean liking the opposition, but we are getting to the point that people will vote for ANYBODY just to get rid of this lot.

hege2
Guest

webber, people may or may not vote for Fidesz but (i) for sure a million voters from Transsylvania, Voivodina and other areas will support Fidesz and (ii) it doesn’t really matter who people vote for as long as the election system favors the most popular party even with lets say 25-30% of the votes. Fidesz settled this smartly, a lot of thinking went into it, there is no way Fidesz can be voted out of power unless Jobbik will work together with the szocis. I’m not afraid of that.

The system was smartly set up by Fidesz.The leftists could never imagine anything like it, they just lack imagination. Fidesz will win. Sorry, liberals, you should’ve staged a revolution. End of the story. Orban is preparing for two more decades in power, at least. He is only getting started, he is still hungry and as ambitious as ever.

családoda
Guest

That first picture looks like the old Köki, which has been completely replaced, and the blue metro line cars are scheduled to be completely refurbished. Keleti still looks pretty sad, though.

Emil
Guest

Webber I hope it’s clear to you that the government is moving into the Castle Hill district. Period. Orban is moving into the main Castle building and the rest of the cabinet will move too.

That’s been decided and is being executed as we speak, including the Museum Quarter. The project is on 100%.

The government will operate from the Caste District.

Remember: Fidesz has an imagination when it comes to rearranging urban spaces, leaving marks for decades.

The lefties never had imagination – but without it one can never win.

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20151124_a_varnegyedbe_megy_ket_miniszterium

webber
Guest

The government will move to the Castle district – wonderful, wonderful!!!
I’m so delighted. It’s so fantastic. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. I dream about it!

“The lefties never had imagination…” They did! Don’t deny it. They had a similarly STUPID idea about making a government district behind Keleti Train station.

That went nowhere. We’ll see what happens with Orban’s move to the castle.

Do you really think this excites or interests people? Do you think people really care who travel through train stations and metro trains like the ones I posted up above, and are treated in hospitals like this one? (story linked below)
comment image?r=6734095.967840403

I think the very idea of moving the government when conditions like those above are so common outrages many, many people. It’s just more proof that Fidesz sh..s on them.

You are misinformed about something: The Museum Quarter is definitely off. There’s been an official announcement. It’s postponed until 2020 (I’lll say it again: that’s “forever” in political terms). I’d say the government MIGHT have got its priorities right if it cancels that stupid project.

Story here:
http://www.nlcafe.hu/ezvan/20150609/korhaz-allapot-fotok/

webber
Guest
Csaba, don’t be ridiculous. Others here can read Hungarian, too. There is NOTHING critical in 444’s report about Magyar Idők’s so-called Medgyessy “interview” (so-called because Magyar Idők did not publish an interview – only the summary of an interview, and this should send alarm bells ringing: what was the context? What did Medgyessy say in full?). The only “critical” comment from 444 is that it Magyar Idők didn’t ask Medgyessy about corruption in his own government after he mentioned corruption in Gyurcsány’s govt.This is critical? It was a stupid comment, because Magyar Idők didn’t actually publish the interview. There is no telling what Medgyessy actually said. Apparently that didn’t occur to 444. That the government’s mouthpiece might, possibly, distort its information just doesn’t seem to occur to 444 at all. Why didn’t 444 contact Medgyessy for a reaction? Because it wants to kick MSZP again? How brave! The entire country knows that party is dead. So what? 444 is not a news source. 444 is a bunch of smarmy Fideszniks posing as independents. Initially, 444 took news from any source, right left and center. These days it takes information from govt. mouthpieces, and “sources” whom it refuses to identify (okay),… Read more »
Csaba
Guest
444.hu does exactly what huffpo or gawker do. They all recycle already published articles/posts with a new, catchy title, two extra sentences and voila, the product is ready. Admittedly this is not high quality journalism but half of the US internet media operates like this and it’s relatively cheap. Given the amount of advertising they get, they can produce much more native content. It’s almost impossible to compete when google and facebook takes away most advertising and the rest ends up at Fidesz-preferred media and media agencies. 444.hu takes articles which it thinks it can recycle into page-views. Idiotic, hypocritical, laughable, bicskanyitogató, alarming statements can be recycled and are deemed “interesting”; there is no use recycling an article about a new classical music concert appearing on nol.hu. Mind you nol.hu is really Fidesz-owned. If you’d read the comments to yesterday’s Paks article you could have seen that most people were angry, they thought that going forward with Paks is vérlázító. The article wasn’t Fidesz propaganda – the opposite, it made the idiocy and corruption of Fidesz even more obvious. Unless you create emotions (whether pro or contra) you don’t get page impressions. 444.hu is trying to create emotions, even if… Read more »
webber
Guest

Sorry, Index is far more ant-Fidesz than 444 ever was, though admittedly Index has some overtly pro-Fidesz authors (Panyi – if he doesn’t like the party, why does he quote it so uncritically?).
You must mean Origo, which is certainly in Fidesz’s pocket.
Someone I know working for a government org. told me he would not look at Index in his free time because he might be fired if he did. He also would not be seen reading Népszava in public, for the same reason, and these days Magyar Nemzet is also problematic.

cserepes
Guest

“Sorry, Index is far more ant-Fidesz than 444 ever was, though admittedly Index has some overtly pro-Fidesz authors.”

This is just ridiculous. I don’t think that the two would have to compete on that basis, but that said it simply isn’t true.

444.hu is really thought of as an “liberal”, “Soros-financed” enemy by Fidesz and Jobbik, while index.hu is just disliked because it can have its own opinion. There’s reason for that.

But also note that the younger generations’ approach to politics is different than yours’. The younger journalists, younger people criticize Fidesz but also think that the leftists are hopeless and so they don’t want to be seen as supporting “leftists”.

The “left” totally lost its attracting potential among the below-40 people and this is reflected by these journalists too, but it’s not like they are fideszniks.

webber
Guest

Where have you seen me supporting the so-called Hungarian “left?”

I stick by my guns. Going by what they publish, Peter Magyari (444) and Panyi (Index) are Fidesz-lovers. They adore power. They feel important when govt. people drop crumbs for them to publish. They don’t even notice they are tools – they just repeat what they are told, with joy, and without even attempting to be critical.

And I’ll stick by what I said about Index, which has far, far more anti-Fidesz articles in any given month than 444 has had in its entire operating history. Just read Spirk’s work on Index, for an example of proper journalism (want more, or are you aware of others?)

cserepes
Guest

I didn’t say you did, however there’s more rationality, ideology, thinking about political values with older, middle-aged people when it comes to politics.

Younger kids are apolitical, they don’t remember the rendszerváltás, nor communism, the cold war and their private, domestic world is quite free. They don’t see the potential dangers and they don’t understand the criticism of liberals.

They are foremost (and want to remain) consumers. Conformity is key, this is not the generation of rebels. They see political action hopeless and for losers, why would you do it? It’s corrupt and dirty. When you could rather have your Ipad and drink your craft beer? There are no ideological values, only notions of coolness, loserness, popularity, sexyness etc. And there’s adoration of power, yes, but that’s true for previous times too, it’s part of conformity.

webber
Guest

How old are Panyi and Magyari? In their late thirties? That’s not young. That was considered “young” in the Soviet system, when all the leaders were octogenarians (I’m ancient – but at least I know it!).

Coolness, loserness, popularity, sexiness….Well, I wouldn’t begin to assume I know what motivates any generation. I remember people making ridiculous generalizations about my generation when I was a teenager.

But I will tell you one thing, if Fidesz is sexy, I’ll eat my smelly grey socks.
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cserepes
Guest

“Power is the biggest aphrodisiac.” H. K.

The Design Terminal a/k/a the douchebagterminal.tumblr.com kids are fideszniks or apolitical.

Istvan
Guest
Cserepes I would not over generalize about 20 something Hungarians who are not in the Jobbik camp. I do agree that there is deep and justifiable cynicism of all Hungarian politics, including LMP based on jokes I heard based on its name itself. We are getting here in Chicago and elsewhere in the USA younger Hungarians who are working with not for profit humanitarian organizations who are deeply committed to civil justice for the people of Hungary. Sponsored both by the Open Society Foundation and also by the US State Department. There has even been one of these youths sponsored here in Chicago by a gay rights organization who worked at the Howard Brown center on the north side. But many are fully disgusted by Hungarian politics. It is my understanding based on a text message that one younger Hungarian was at the Black Lives Camp in Minneapolis last night when white supremacists opened fire but was not hurt. Even the Hungarian youth who have interned here in Chicago were thrilled by the revolt of the 20 something educated African American youth in the Black Lives Matter movement who were in revolt against the Democrat party that have dominated that… Read more »
Guest

Re: ‘They are foremost (and want to remain) consumers. Conformity is key, this is not the generation of rebels’

I’ll certainly be intrigued how Hungarian society continues on after having this ‘illiberal’ administration. If the past decades are any indication there could likely be a see-saw battle as to the political setup with consideration to the kind of ‘generational’ experiences that get passed down. It will be interesting to see how far this ‘conformity’ will go in the next few decades.

Will the future communications going on between generations wind up in such a way that ‘conformity’ will follow the same way that knowledge of communism exists among the young currently in the country? Each generation has its responsibilities in its ‘communications’. And some things don’t deserve amnesia if a well-functioning ‘free’ and pluralistic state is an avowed goal. There’s a price to be paid to ignore that situation.

webber
Guest

This new generation is conforming…
Conforming all the way to the border.
They are leaving the country in record numbers. They are leaving faster than any generation since 1956.
I guess that shows their opinion, too.

trudi
Guest

The kids moving away are not left-wing or opposition-leaning, they are conservative and right-wing. If they could technically do it they would vote Jobbik or at most – despite everything – for Fidesz. For them liberalism and wussy leftism aren’t an option. They want to see power and leadership, decisions taken, no compromise toughness; not constant vacillation and unstoppable internal intellectual debates. They want action. Which parties promise these?

webber
Guest

Says you!
The kids are moving away, full stop!
Politically, they are obviously in total despair.
Their parents went through tough times with transition from communism, and stuck it out because they thought things would get better.
The kids don’t think it will ever get better.

Guest

Re: ‘leaving the country in record numbers’

Yeah I kind of got the drift a few years ago. Well my usual mantra in this instance….some ‘people’ just ‘don’t care’ where anybody goes or maybe even yells ‘shut the door on the way out!’ I feel bad for the animals in the forest. One of these days they just might wonder where did the human beings go? New Jersey or maybe Cleveland Ohio again??

webber
Guest

For those who read Hungarian – here is Magyar Idők’s summary of what it alleges Medgyessy said:
http://magyaridok.hu/belfold/171574-171574/

As you will see, no context is given, only some odd extracts of what Medgyessy (allegedly) said are provided. Based on this, 444 made its own comments essentially just repeating what Magyar Idők claimed Medgyessy said. This is journalism? It looks more like kindergarten kids repeating what Tommy said Susie said.

webber
Guest

and now Index has reported it without asking Medgyessy. Isn’t there a journalist with a working phone in Hungary? Do they all need to buy a new top-up card?

cserepes
Guest

A former MSZPnik shitting into his or her nest is always newsworthy. And Medgyessy reliably does that, I imagine he will be on the cover of Heti Válasz soon.

It signifies conflict, it shows how divided and childish MSZPniks are (in line with their image). It’s fun and creates traffic. It generates emotions: No, Fidesz is more corrupt, no the communists are more corrupt, but Orban steals more etc. and this is the basis of internet media.

It’s too bad that one can’t get any top Fidesznik to criticize current Fidesz – but if one can, it’s also newsworthy. However media is a theatre of war and Fideszniks are just better fighting on it. The media loves losers, there’s no bigger fun than to lough at losers. (Of course the biggest losers are the audience but politics is not based on rationality or consistency).

webber
Guest

Who is stealing now?

As to so-called journalists who write reports like this: whatever they are paid, it is far too much. Their editors should be docked pay for every article like this they publish. My dog could do better than just cut and paste, and I don’t even have a dog.
(I agree, the biggest losers are the audience).

cserepes
Guest

Sorry but I didn’t get that last comment of yours.

webber
Guest

Fidesz is stealing now, and has been since 2010. Now is more important than what happened in the past (and anyway, Fidesz has done a bit on the prosecution front there, hasn’t it).

The person who steals my wallet today is more important than the one who stole my wallet six years ago.

Going on about past corruption – corruption committed by a party that is effectively dead – is silly now. We’ve heard that since 2010 – “the past eight years.” The song has gotten very old – and I find it very, very suspicious that Medgyessy repeated it. I’d like to hear from him – did he really say it?

My comments about journalists (and editors) refer to those who just uncritically repeat ANYTHING Magyar Idők publishes, without doing a little digging.

cserepes
Guest

Thanks. I agree.

In any case, Medgyessy could well have said it.

And he is not the first one who was persuaded that Fidesz is the future and not SZDSZ or MSZP. That’s the issue – the meta narative – not what he actually said.

http://gorillavideos.tumblr.com/post/133653034244

Wallace Ritchie
Guest

Garancsi to build stadium in Russia.

Istvan Garancsi – for the uninitiated – is a Strohmann (front) of Orban’s and Market Zrt. the company designated to build the Russian stadium is widely rumored to be owned actually by Orban.

It seems Orban’s services are well-appreciated in Russia. Of course, if Paks 2 falls apart then this deal may also fall apart so…

http://vs.hu/kozelet/osszes/garancsi-istvan-epithet-stadiont-az-orosz-focivebere-1124

Member

SO my favourite part of the news is this: Magyar cég építheti a 2018-as focivébé egyik stadionját Oroszországban – a hírt maga Orbán Viktor jelentette be újságíróknak még februárban, egy nappal azután, hogy Vlagyimir Putyin orosz elnök Budapestre látogatott.

The news was announced to the journalist by Viktor Orban himself, back in February, a day after Putins’s visit to Hungary. Putin visited Hungary regarding the Paks nuclear plant

peresztroj
Guest

The Turkish Stream project which was to replace South Stream popped into my mind. Orban was adamant that he was gonna revive South Stream on an alternative route ie. with connections into Turkey. Apparently the Turkish-Russian plans haven’t even been finalized and now this jet shooting issue.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_Stream

Spillie
Guest

much-telling article about Hungarian investment in education and knowledge,in
http://www.portfolio.hu (24 Nov.3.27 PM) .In an blind country the man with one eye is the king.
Choose for the englisch version:possible on their page.

Guest
Guest

Our new bunch of defeatists (or closet Fidesz admirers?) is strange in a way …
Everywhere else in Europe (at least in the civilised parts) there is competition between left and right, often the left and or liberals/greens are in government – but in Hungary, no chance?

Why is Hungary so different?

PS and a bit OT:
Often you read nowadays that Mrs Merkel is a leftist – I find that so funny …

Paul
Guest

Wolfi – he’s basically taken Hungary beyond politics, certainly beyond ‘normal’ left-right politics. He’s created a new environment where (outside Bp, at least) the old right v left discussion no longer takes place. Orbánisztán is a one-party state, where you either belong and obey the rules or you keep your head down – or you get out.

It’s basically a benign version of what Hungary had between 45 and 90. Ironically, it’s pretty much what people in those times would have settled for if they could have chosen – a one-party state, but without all the hassle of Communism, etc – but equally without all the hassle of Western democracy (voting, choice, thinking, decisions, etc).

spectator
Guest

@Webber
Behind the ‘Nyugati’ .
Later on came along the “Eastern Opening” and not by the same government – if anyone cares to remember.

-Strangely, I wrote a ‘reply’, but it didn’t make it there

webber
Guest

You are right!
And part of the Eastern Opening was the plan to open a Russian nano-technology plant somewhere in Hungary. As I remarked at the time, it was just wonderful news, and might help get Hungary into the Guinness Book of Records because Russia surely makes the world’s largest nano-technology.

spectator
Guest

…Fidesz has a vision and delivers…

I mean, hey, people, the …Fidesz has a vision and delivers!!!

Haven’t you noticed?
And damn right!

They had a vision of a great fence, and they made it!!!!

They had a vision of a great party propaganda TV – and they have it!!!

They had that vision of to make all the greatest c**ksuckers billionaires, and they just made it!!!

Yes, dear, Fidesz has ‘visions’ and delivers!
Furthermore, millions are happy, because of they doing so!
And live ‘happily ever after’ – in the greatest misery after ’89!!!

Nobody, I say just nobody ever surpassed this achievement!

Hail to the Viktor!
(Even hailstorm! He deserves more!)

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