Hungarians torn apart by anti-refugee propaganda

The Publicus Institute has released the results of its poll, taken between July 1 and 6, on Hungarians’ attitude toward and assessment of the European Union. To put the results in perspective, the survey was taken a little over a week after the Brits voted to leave the European Union, the consequences of which seemed and still seem dramatic. The message Hungarians got from Brexit is that leaving the European Union can have grave consequences. If Great Britain, the fifth largest economy in the world prior to the vote, will have to endure severe financial and political dislocations, then regardless of what some Fidesz politicians say, Hungary’s place must be inside the European Union.

The last time the Publicus Institute conducted a survey on the population’s feelings toward the Union was a year ago, in June 2015, when 57% considered Hungary’s membership in the European Union advantageous to the country. Today that number is 70%. This is a dramatic change. While in 2009 only 48% and in 2015 57% of the population would have voted for EU membership if a referendum had been held on the issue, today this figure is 64%.

This recent Hungarian poll supports the conclusions of an opinion piece by George Soros that appeared in the July 8 issue of Project Syndicate. As opposed to his earlier pessimism on the fate of the European Union as a result of the refugee crisis, his spirit is now buoyed by “the grassroots involvement,” which he calls “regrexit,” that emerged in the U.K. in favor of the Union. “If this sentiment spreads to the rest of Europe, what seemed like the inevitable disintegration of the EU could be instead creating positive momentum for a stronger and better Europe,” Soros claims. The opportunity should be seized and the EU should be reformed. Soros urges a more closely integrated fiscal and monetary system for the Eurozone countries: the core EU “needs to have its own treasury and budget, to serve as a fiscal authority alongside the monetary authority, the European Central Bank.” He again urges the European Union to “put its excellent and largely untapped credit to use” not only to spend funds on the integration of freshly arrived immigrants but also, I assume, to revitalize the sagging European economy.

Almost simultaneously with the appearance of George Soros’s upbeat article on the future of the European Union, an article appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung by Viktor Orbán. In sharp contrast to Soros, Orbán advocated a further loosening of the already weak bonds between member states. Orbán urged nation states to take back their sovereignty, which some Hungarian papers interpreted as a call to dismantle the European Union.

Although, as the Publicus poll shows, Orbán’s anti-EU propaganda isn’t working, his incitement against migrants is a roaring success. The Pew Research Center conducted a survey in ten EU countries, Hungary among them, to measure  attitudes toward Muslim refugees. Anti-Muslim feelings are the highest in Hungary, at 72%. The lowest is in the UK (28%). In Hungary 76% of the respondents linked refugees with terrorism, and  Hungary leads the way on the question of whether there will be an increased likelihood of terrorism because of the arrival of the refugees (76%). Moreover, 82% of Hungarians surveyed are convinced that refugees will be a burden on the social system. Viktor Orbán can be proud of his propaganda.

moral panic2

Perhaps in response to these findings Népszabadság approached Endre Sik, a professor of sociology and CEO of Tárki, a polling company. In Sik’s opinion, what the Orbán government is doing is creating “moral panic,” a sociological term described by Stanley Cohen as a response to “a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerg[ing] to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests.” According to Sik, this moral panic normally arrives quickly but also disappears rapidly. What is different in Hungary is the sustained existence of moral panic due to “an innovative, extremely wide and very brutal campaign built on the migrant case” by the government. Sik is unaware of similar efforts by any other government.

Sik contends that at the beginning of 2015, after Fidesz’s popularity had hit a low point, the government devised a complex strategy, intended to have long-term effects on Hungarian society. The government didn’t simply push the “moral panic button” once or twice. It has done so practically constantly in the last year and a half. It is a “Hungaricum” like pálinka or Tokaj wine because of its centralized nature and the techniques used by the Orbán government. As Sik explains, Fidesz “institutionalized scare mongering.”

The other day I wrote about the shortage of employable workers and the case study of a company that had to import workers from Mexico. When the eight Mexicans arrived in Szügy in Nógrád County, close to the Slovak border, the village folks wouldn’t greet them. They thought they were “migrants.” But once they learned that the newcomers were Mexicans, the children enthusiastically waved at them and the adults smiled broadly. The government propaganda is that effective. Even in a small village everybody knows about the evil migrants who may be dangerous terrorists. And how can anyone forget the ridiculous scene of a group of public workers, who might actually have been Gypsies, who were scared to death by some surveyors–and vice versa. They suspected each other of being “migrants,” a word that, thanks to the government’s efforts, prompts alarm and apprehension.

We don’t know what kinds of effects this sustained fear mongering will have on the psyche of the Hungarian people. If this “moral panic” is different from the garden variety, no one can predict its potential damage to Hungarian society.

July 12, 2016
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Istvan
Guest

Possibly Eva the increase in support for the EU and the increase in anti-refugee furor are two odd sides of the same coin. The EU has been the norm in Hungary for some years now and Hungary has had close to a monolithic culture with very small minority populations since WWII. Both opinions might reflect a yearning for stability as opposed to change in the present situation of the world.

Guest

It appears Fidesz wants the population to continually take that specific Hungaricum ‘medicine’… ‘It’s good for you’. If it continues to be force-fed the country will look to be on overdose. The country doctors look like all they’re developing in the populace alongside ‘moral panic ‘ are future hypochondriacs and addicts in context to a threatening disease. Not very enticing in having a country ‘flexible’ in its associations with the ‘other’.

Stephen Saletros
Guest

Stephen

Stephen Saletros
Guest
The Hungarian Nation does not owe the so called “migrants” anything! The invaders have walked in to Europe and have attempted to walk in to Hungary as though they have a right too be there. THEY DO NOT! There is no moral obligation to accept so called refugees, migrants, invaders, who are a detriment to your home population! Small countries like Hungary are particularly threatened by invaders who would enter the country and stay if liberal misguided policies of diversity and inclusion were to prevail. The Hungarian government is responsible to only protect the Hungarian people! Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the security and police forces courageously defended Hungarian borders, Hungarian sovereignty and the Hungarian people against a foreign Islamist invasion. God Bless them and God Bless Hungary! The real propaganda is coming from a leftist/islamist unholy alliance that targets the West and values of true freedom and National Sovereignty! The EU should be protecting Europe and not allowing and encouraging a massive foreign incursion. What is the real motive of the elitist globalists like Soros and why do we see only one point of view as espoused by Eva here on Hungarian Spectrum? European National identities and freedom must… Read more »
LwiiH
Guest
Stephen Saletros, in fact Hungary has several treaty obligations to accept refugees which is why they have been taking any measure they can to avoid calling these refugees….. refugees. This is a referendum giving the government the (un)moral authority to renig on its treaty obligations. I mostly don’t watch TV so I only saw one anti-refugee ad. It was horrific and shocking distortion of the facts. In out Q&A with Mr. Gy I think he got it wrong or is grossly under estimating the power of images and the message that is being sent to the Hungarian people. IM not so HO, this campaign is immoral and should rebuffed aggressively and that rebuff needs to start now. Waiting until the fall as Mr. Gy. has suggested in the Q&A is too late. But he of all people should know the effects of propaganda on a population and how difficult it is to counter it. People have already been propagandized to vote no. It will be very difficult to counter that opinion. I would use any images from 56 that show Hungarians as refugees and I would tie that into conditions of Syrians living in camps or in the bombed out… Read more »
Member

I would just like to point out that the idea Fidesz had to order the media to not film children, I don’t think had as much to do with protecting children in this case but rather play into his propaganda plan of claiming that it is mostly young men “invading” Europe.

Guest
Stephen- “The Hungarian government is responsible to only protect the Hungarian people!” It would be marvellous if this were the case, but in fact the only people Orbán and his government protects are his loyal followers, such as yourself. Orbán has given speeches in which he identifies those of us Hungarians who criticse and oppose his schemes and machinations , as “the enemy”. So he finds enemies within and enemise without and enemies everywhere. But it is interesting that when wealthy Arabs seek to invest in Hungary, he welcomes them with open arms. So I suppose their culture is not a threat? The only reason Orbán has whipped up an anti-immigrant frenzy, is to pull the wool over the eyes of his gullible and naive followers, such as yourself. I have no idea what a “leftist” is, since many of us who had the courage to leave Hungary in 56, did so precisely to escape from the corruption and clutches of the communist system. What mindless nonsense to alienate critics of the wrongdoing of Orbán. Us “critics” are as Hungarain as you are, and to say otherwise is criminal, in my eye, and is what leads the government to enacct… Read more »
Guest

Just like the Hungarians walked into Europe a thousand years ago?

Stupid troll!

Guest

Re:’ There is no moral obligation to accept so called refugees, migrants, invaders, who are a detriment to your home population!’

Not even just a teeny weeny bit? And to be prudent about it as well? The windows being seen through assessing the ‘other’ must be composed of a very opaque and disturbing vision.

And when it comes to the subject of moral obligations the disjunct is in high relief as we look at what Magyarorszag professes as opposed to what she indeed practices in that upside down ‘De Civitate Dei’. It’s a place where Augustine , that august Christian and conscience of Christianity, wouldn’t even get a bed. He who said, ‘This is the sum of religion to imitate who dost thou worship’.

Observer
Guest

@time4change

Don’t feel the silly troll, unless you see a high ball to smash.
This one has all the agitprop main lines squeezed in there. all quite an intellectual detriment to the Hungarian population – LET THE HATE FLOW.

Observer
Guest

“Don’t feed the troll … sorry

Member

Dear Stephen, What country did you migrate to? Were you a so called “migrant”, or a so called “refugee”? I think it is not God who should bless Hungary, and it is not the leftist who do all the damage, but we need Orban take his hands away from the country. Would you agree?

Guest
Hungarians always have to have somebody to hate, and Hungarian politicians have always been superbly able to manipulate this need to hate in the service of their own nefarious, power-hungry purposes. In the mid-nineteenth century it was the Austrians and the recalcitrant nationalities that refused to take the Hungarian side in 1848/49. In the Dual Monarchy it was the recalcitrant nationalities that were reluctant to Hungarianize, and increasingly the Jews and political progressives. After the 1919 communist putsch and the 1920 Trianon treaty it was the Jews, seen as at once subversive and murderous bolshevik and devious, dominating capitalist, who were thereafter subjected to two decades of vicious government-inspired vilification culminating first in mass dispossession, then mass murder. After the communist takeover in 1946, it was the former middle and upper classes, the ethnic Germans (who got summarily ejected from Hungary in large numbers), the “capitalists (=Jews),” the “kulaks (=landed peasants),” the chained dogs of Tito (=national communists), the plutocrats of the West (=Jews), the US and the Western Alliance in general. The propensity to hate got more or less bottled up during the Kádár regime when even antisemitism was forced to retreat largely underground. After the regime change it… Read more »
1956
Guest

Without a Russian chip in the brain, chip-free people should see how the Moscow rulers have been weaponizing people and regimes to create conflicts and genocides.

Everybody should try to stay chip-free.

Guest

The more I look and try to understand the situation you describe the more I come to the conclusion that if there is ‘good’ and an active moral streak within the community and its individuals it seems to dissipate because of the sheer overpounding and systematic programming of the people to another existential view of the world that is of course based on prior experience. Magyarorszag has been materially and psychologically damaged greatly because of it.

Arguably when a type of ‘survival’ instinct kicks in everything else becomes subservient to that need. Perhaps there will come a time when the country and a ‘good’ government could find a way to in some positive way to ameliorate perceived threats coming from the ‘outside’ the Magyar pale. ‘SS’s thinking as shown in his ‘chained to the mast’ post shows in a way how this can be long in coming. The country indeed has great trials.

Guest

Re: ‘chip-free’

I like that. If Andy Grove came back he’d be the likely candidate to make the counter-measure….

Guest
@wrfree Today 8:32 am The two historical periods in which the Hungarian propensity for hatred was muted, if not completely bottled up, were during the half century of Dual Monarchy and ,a hundred years later, during the quarter century of the second phase of the Kádár regime. Both times Hungary started out as a subservient vassal of a great(er) power. With Austria, Hungary actually ended up as the senior partner lording it over a multi-ethnic empire, before losing it all. With the Soviet Union, Hungary ended up being the merriest barrack in the Gulag of the “socialist camp,” then a leader in facilitating its break-up. In both cases Hungary gained independence, but could not handle it. So in both cases Hungarians looked for somebody to blame and hate for that. And it made them feel so much better to have been able to freely ventillate all the pent-up hate after the collapse of the Dual Monarchy, as after the collapse of the Kádár regime. To Hungarians, being able to blame and hate is like a breath of fresh air for people with normal levels of sanity. Thankfully, Hungarians are now able to freely indulge their propensity to blame and hate… Read more »
Guest

Thanks for the overview from ‘down under’. You know when it comes to Australians and Canadians and the Magyar diaspora I used to ask the dopey question how the heck did you get there? (With that I always had it in the back of mind that all who left the country in ’56 came to Camp Kilmer in New Jersey). Shows you where my mind was at when it came to revolutions! Then I get the quick answer ‘By boat’. Fair enough! And Australia and Canada indeed were great places to go to after all the ‘fun’ that came out of ’56.

So your post suggests to me that at bottom Magyarorszag desperately needs ‘good’ politicians who would have the wherewithal to generate some kind of reform with impact to blot out that sickening ‘blame and hate’ mantra whirling around in the Magyar psyche. It would be them and the electorate who would come together to then instill some sort of respect toward good values in society to emulate rather than slithering around in the slime dishing out hate grenades in that brave illiberal Magyar new world.

Guest
@wrfree July 13, 2016 12:54 pm I left Hungary on November 10, 1956, as a 14 year old unaccompanied minor, and was quickly transferred from Austria to a tourist hotel serving as a Hungarian refugee “camp” in a spectacular spot in the Italian Alps. I stayed there until my papers came through from Australia toward the end of April 1957, whereupon I was flown out from Naples airport with a bunch of fellow Hungarian refugees on three old Flying Tigers that took four long days to get to our destination in Australia. We finally landed in Wagga Wagga, a country town in the state of New South Wales in South Eastern Australia, where we literally felt like we landed on Mars, with the red earth of the countryside and those funny looking woolly-top Aussie trees that sparsely dotted the rolling hillocks of landscape as far as we could see. We were then transferred to Bonegilla refugee camp on the Murray River in the state of Victoria, which was a three hour bus trip from Wagga. After about a week in Bonegilla, I was issued a railway ticket to Perth, two and a half thousand miles to the West. The rail… Read more »
Guest
Just saw this Mike. Thanks for sharing. I’ve always wondered how it is to start off to something new after ‘landing on Mars’. But it would seem that that orientation worked out well for you and others here including HS’ founder. Where there’s a will there’s a way. My situation initially was a bit different where I was already ensconced in an atmosphere practically opposite to the one my family was born into. Sci fi was big here at the time. But looking back I didn’t need its books to check out life on a peculiar Mars in my solar system. It would appear from experiences that it has provided another critical observation post when looking at the nation today. Never would I have thought that I would have such great differences with the carryings on there. It’s like we breathe in different atmospheres with Magyarorszag harboring poisonous methane. The country is lit up by fires. That ‘Catch-22. I see your point. But I would suggest that are Magyars who have the good values like faith, hope and charity and who intrinsically know what is ‘good’ for tbeir communities and nation. America has had its debilitating political issues since independence.… Read more »
Guest

With half a million economic migrants in other EU countries there can hardly be a Hungarian family which doesn’t have at least one member whose livelihood is dependent on the free movement within the EU. The concern for their family members may contribute heavily to peoples wishes to stay in the EU.

Guest

London Calling!

Victorlae Orbanescu accepts the largesse of the EU willingly but won’t accept the responsibilities – taking the money and running.

As long as he can grab the funds and distance himself from the concomitant responsibilties – and the EU allows it – he will perpetuate the situation. And try and justify it to himself by blaming the refugees. Cognitive Dissonance Reduction and conscience salving.

Like a favoured son who borrows money from the Bank of Mum and Dad without the intention of ever paying it back.

He is at war with himself because he will never be able to square the circle.

Ditto the Hungarian people.

I’m still wondering over the attitude of Hungarians I know who bought dilapidated vineyard villas in a rural region of Hungary which were worthless – until they realised they could receive enormous sums of EU funding by overstating the renovation costs. Funds which help to preserve their culture – but now are opulent ersatz real estate – like kitsch Sandor Palace.

They just know that it is their ‘right’ to receive these funds over and above the Stadiums and Choo-Choo Train – whilst their health system falls apart.

Guest

They can also drink themselves to oblivion in the National Pastime with their awful home-made inferior wine in dirty plastic lemonade bottles and 50 litres Palinka allowance – also in dirty plastic lemonade bottles. An allowance which no one sticks to if they can sell it discreetly around as a ‘really good one’. Which they are all claimed to be.

Any homemade Palinka I’ve been given is quickly off loaded to a friend’s alcoholic neighbour – at least he can buy food with his meagre pension.

After being ‘initiated’ into the ‘Palinka’ ceremony I now try and avoid Palinka at every turn – mainly for the good of my health and brain cells. Sometimes the homemade Palinka must exceed 80% alcohol – dangerously distilled alcohol
– judged purely on my experience with malt whiskies (!)

If I want to give Palinka as a cultural gift from Hungary I only buy the safely distilled – – lower alcohol stuff of 30-40% – to English friends.

PALIKA
Guest

Drink Grappa and forget the poisonous brew.

pappp
Guest

I think there is one conclusion we can safely draw from the numbers.

Political propaganda is effective.

Liberals underestimate Orban’s lock on Hungarian media (the existence of some token opposition media notwithstanding) at their peril.

When liberals and leftists gave up the media, they essentially gave up fighting. One of the reason why Orban has been so successful is because there has been no effective resistance. Which is no way to win an election, of course.

1956
Guest

It was refreshingly fair how the Bosnian refugees were treated.

Now, the Syrian refugees are weaponized by the Moscow warlords.

The Hungarian regime, equally weaponized, wants to create maximum damage to the refugees and to the EU.

Ivan
Guest

A NATO member’s government is actively distributing Russian propaganda, ie conspiracy theories, totally made up stories and the like.

The Russian siloviks control Orban and his administration and thereby the Hungarian populace.

http://index.hu/belfold/2016/07/13/riaszto_mennyi_orosz_alhirt_es_konteot_terejszt_a_magyar_kormanyparti_media/

1956
Guest

Ivan at 11:06, is totally right.
All called upon to spell this gospel.

PALIKA
Guest
The referendum is presumably intended to give a sort of mandate to OV’s crew to fly in the face of, inter alia its international obligations and the authority of the EU. It is a kind of campaign that the Brexiters use. The result might be Hunxit. The politics of it is identical to the Brexit campaign. The largely English jingoistic activists used decades of lies propagated by the right wing press without break to demonstrate that the EU was the enemy of the British nation. Undemocratic, German dominated, dirigist, expensive to run, run by joke foreigners who all speak English with foreign accents, but above all it is the cause of the ever present increase in migrants arriving in the UK who take British jobs and if not they live off British welfare. Their monstrous campaign was hugely funded by their free trader paymasters who hate the protection the EU gives to rights of workers, minorities, women and to those whose human rights are not respected. A toxic mix which has been successful to undermine our rights, dreams and freedoms as well as our prosperity. The Hungarian referendum should be used by the opponents of the Orban regime as an… Read more »
Guest

There are too many people in Hungary who have come to believe the nonsense re immigrants – which would probably rather return to their home countries than stay in unattractive (to them, not to a wealthy foreigner – whether German, Arab or Chinese …) Hungary!

Re the Brexiters – again this joke about Schroedinger’s immigrants:

At the same time the migrant arriving in the UK takes a British job and lives off British welfare …

PS and a bit OT, but not too much:

We’ve had visitors over the last week from Germany, from Hungary and from the USA and they all were very angry about the current “Hungarian system”!
From the news on how refugees are treated here to the experiences in a Hungarian hospital – all the hooror stories that we’ve read here were repeated – as first hand experience!

Almost all the Hungarians we know now would prefer to live somewhere else …
Ain’t that a shame on Hungary and its government/society?

Member

re: view of Muslims, an interesting comparison with recent trends in the US:

“despite heated campaign rhetoric and the worst mass shooting in American history, views of Islam and Muslims have not worsened and have instead, in some measurable cases, improved.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/07/measuring-the-backlash-against-the-muslim-backlash-214034#ixzz4EJgJJHvs

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