The sixtieth anniversary of the October Revolution

Today, on the sixtieth anniversary of the October Revolution, there were two gatherings in Budapest, with the usual speeches: the official one in front of the parliament building and the one organized by the opposition parties. As could have been predicted, no one said anything about what really happened on those autumn days sixty years ago. The speakers on both sides talked a lot about freedom-loving Hungarians, but these are words that sound hollow today.

The ideological strains of ’56 were eclectic and fluid. The original program called for a radical reform of the Soviet-type political system, but in it one could find traces of Titoism and western-type social democracy. As János M. Rainer says in his new book on the October revolution, “the common platform was patriotism, national independence. This is the common positive content of October 23.”

Since the Soviets decided not to wait for the final outcome of the uprising, ’56 has remained an unfinished story. We have no idea what would have emerged from the sometimes conflicting strains of thought, so politicians can use those events to their own advantage. But one thing is sure. Those who lived through ’56 consider it the most important time of their lives. They believe it was a special gift of fate that allowed them to witness an event which can, I believe, be compared to 1848-49 in significance for the nation. All other important historical dates–1918-1919, 1945, 1989–pale in comparison.

So, let’s see what politicians did to 1956 this year. Let’s start with the official celebration. The government, which spent over 13 billions on a “proper” celebration of the national holiday, grossly overestimated the interest in Andrzej Duda, president of Poland, and Viktor Orbán, even though a serious effort was made to ensure a full house. Fidesz mayors all over the country were urged to bring busloads of people to fill not just Kossuth tér but also Alkotmány utca, all the way to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út. At least this is what the placement of the loudspeakers all along the street indicates. As a result, the over-magnified voices of the speakers echoed in the half empty square and the totally empty Alkotmány utca. According to those who were present, they couldn’t make out anything from the speeches.

The organizers hired a private company, whose employees were dressed in civilian clothes, to ensure order. I guess the idea was that having hundreds of uniformed policemen on hand wouldn’t be good for the government’s image. Those demonstrators who followed the call of Péter Juhász of Együtt were kept outside of a cordon set up for the occasion. The cordon didn’t prevent some elderly amazons from attacking the whistlers. One poured beer on a woman who wasn’t showing the same reverence for the great man as she did. A few burly men smashed faces and then ran away. One of the victims was Krisztián Ungváry, the well-known historian.

In a way Péter Juhász triumphed. The whistling was loud, continuous, and quite audible on the video I watched. (I don’t know whether state television can filter out the whistling and booing.) The whistling had to be a great embarrassment to Viktor Orbán. As we know, he is a vain man with very thin skin. Unfortunately, he is also vicious. Who knows how he will try to hit back and punish those people he considers traitors.

Orbán began by claiming that the lesson of ’56 was that “communism can be conquered.” By the end of his speech he had moved on to the possible “Sovietization of Brussels,” which, you have to admit, is an incredible feat. He called on “the freedom-loving people of Europe to save Brussels” from the fate of Sovietization. In between, in a way, he reinterpreted the meaning of the word “freedom” by insisting that “without freedom we can become only a nationality.” Hungarians hold onto their national heritage, as the Soviets learned the hard way in ’56. This sounded like a warning to Brussels of what to expect if they insist on curbing the sovereignty of Hungary. But, of course, the parallel is deeply flawed. After 1949-1950 the Rákosi regime imposed on the country a slavish imitation of the Soviet model. It was suffocating and led to a massive rejection of Soviet ways. Nothing like that is going on today. If Hungarians are adopting the customs of other European nations or the United States, it is the result of a natural development. Or when Orbán talks about diluting ethnicity, this is a natural trend due to the freedom of movement within the European Union.

He spoke in the name of love

He spoke in the name of love

Of course, he himself wants to lead the freedom-loving people of Europe to save Brussels, but, as I said a couple of days ago, with the exception of two or three East-Central European countries, he is attracting no followers. Nonetheless, he doesn’t seem to be discouraged. For him, the dates 1956, 1989, and 2016 reveal a pattern: Hungary becomes an important player on the world stage every 30 years or so. His closing the borders of the country in 2016 can be compared in significance to the revolution of 1956 or the end of the one-party system in 1989. Thus, by the end of his speech Orbán managed to portray himself as a central figure on the world stage today. As important a figure as the leading lights of ’56 or the Soviet and American politicians who managed to lift the iron curtain. The man is certainly not known for his modesty.

As for the joint demonstration of the democratic opposition parties, minus LMP and Együtt, the size of the crowd was disappointing, as were most of the speeches. Gyula Molnár is unfortunately not an inspiring speaker. Ferenc Gyurcsány is, but this speech was not up to par. Lajos Bokros was a breath of fresh air. By contrast, I found Gergely Karácsony’s reference to October 23, 2006 most unfortunate. He essentially repeated the Fidesz line, that Budapest witnessed a brutal attack on peaceful demonstrations. As one of the journalists who was there said, his remarks about the events of ten years ago were followed by total silence. Karácsony should know full well that the country is deeply divided over what happened that day. It is not something that should be brought up at the first joint celebration of the more or less united opposition. It was a huge error. I just don’t understand how it is possible that some of these younger Hungarian politicians have so little political sense. On Friday I heard Karácsony say that he didn’t know what he was going to talk about. Perhaps he should have thought a little longer about it and/or talked his intentions over with others. Blaming the politicians of MSZP and DK for crimes against democracy is not an auspicious beginning for a united democratic opposition.

Returning to Viktor Orbán’s speech. He once again tried to show off his great Biblical and classical learning. In a muddled image, he compared Hungarians to the young David who defeated Goliath because they are like “the ancient Greeks who were in possession of olden knowledge” and who claimed that “the secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” I would like to remind Viktor Orbán that Thucydides also said something else: “Justice will not come to Athens until those who are not injured are as indignant as those who are injured.” That situation might come sooner than he thinks.

October 23, 2016
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Joe Simon
Guest

Ottawa, Magyar Ház.
Mr. Peter Szijjártó was here as a special guest.
Eva used to be the ünnepi szónok in the fifties here while still an undergraduate.
She gave rousing and spirited speeches, as I remember.
I wonder if she would accept an invitation to come to Ottawa next time.

tappanch
Guest

Dear Eva,

I picked up my Landmark Thucydides, then looked at the internet.

The quotation seems to be from Plutarch.

Parallel Lives, The life of Solon.

https://gist.github.com/jbtule/67ad2ff19dc005e72084

“he gave every citizen the privilege of entering suit in behalf of one who had suffered wrong. If a man was assaulted, and suffered violence or injury, it was the privilege of any one who had the ability and the inclination, to indict the wrong-doer and prosecute him. The law-giver in this way rightly accustomed the citizens, as members of one body, to feel and sympathize with one another’s wrongs.

And we are told of a saying of his which is consonant with this law. Being asked, namely, what city was best to live in, “That city,” he replied, “in which those who are not wronged, no less than those who are wronged, exert themselves to punish the wrongdoers.”

p. 455
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Solon*.html

tappanch
Guest

Another translation:

“he gave general liberty of indicting for an act of injury; if any one was beaten, maimed, or suffered any violence, any man that would and was able might prosecute the wrong-doer; intending by this to accustom the citizens, like members of the same body, to resent and be sensible of one another’s injuries.

And there is a saying of his agreeable to his law, for, being asked what city was best modelled, “That,” said he, “where those that are not injured try and punish the unjust as much as those that are.” ”

http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/solon.html

tappanch
Guest

The quotation by Orban’s speechwriter came from Thucydides.

According to the “Peloponnesian War” , Pericles said in 431 BCE:

τὸ εὔδαιμον τὸ ἐλεύθερον,
τὸ δ’ ἐλεύθερον τὸ εὔψυχον

The Secret of Happiness is Freedom.
The Secret of Freedom is Courage.

http://www.translatum.gr/forum/index.php?topic=10337.0

In Landmark Thucydides, p. 115, this is translated as

Happiness to be the fruit of freedom, and
freedom of valor

tappanch
Guest

happiness < εὔ δαιμον = good [outside] spirit, destiny
courage < εὔ ψυχον = good [inside] spirit

ἐ-λεύθερ-ον = freeman status,
related to Latin liber, German Leute, Old English leōd, Russian людин

tappanch
Guest

Other ( “freedom” is implied only) versions:

“audentes deus ipse iuvat”

Ovidius: Metamorphoses
http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/ovid/ovid.met10.shtml

“God helps those who help themselves”

“Segíts magadon, és Isten is megsegít”

Guest

Re: Pericles

On second thought Magyarorszag sure could use him or someone like him. A dynamic leader of vision, integrity and high intelligence bound up with a great drive to implant democracy in the Athenian polis. He understood how the role of politicians was crucial in laying down that bedrock which the demos could use in action and inculcating political freedom and individual autonomy in a constitutional and republican public life. They were the highly charged political motivators of their society working for the public good. Certainly not ones for sitting at their desks all day. .

And Pericles did provide the qualities needs by statesmen in the democratic polis…. ‘to know what must be done and to be able to explain it, to love one’s country and to be incorruptible’.
On the last though there are some things that even Pericles’ ministrations couldn’t perhaps conquer in a particular country nowadays.

bimbi
Guest

Perhaps Mr. Orban is inclining, once again, to the Russian model and intends to follow the 1933 sign from the Solovetsky gulag which said:

“With an Iron Fist we will Lead Humanity to Happiness”

[Anne Applebaum, ‘Gulag a History’, Penguin 2004]

Guest

You know it strikes me how certain Magyar governments are so unimaginative when it comes for them to lay down a sustainable blueprint for governing. To pick up that so-called ‘Russian model’ shows a return to an intellectually unfulfilling dessicated and bare philosophical view of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is stunning to see that even after all the Russian horses have run down after they came out of their gates some Magyars insist on saddling them up again as if there is life in things that simply cannot run and won’t run even if you beat the hell out of it. It ultimately is a path just wasting their time running nowhere.

e-1956
Guest

Why? Because the Russian State can always find some corrupted Hungarians. The sell out is the same.

Guest

Yes. It’s real tough to see it. Perhaps it’s the perspective that makes me feel that way. It’s revolting in a kind of way after all that happened.

tappanch
Guest

“ἐκείνη,” εἶπεν, “ἐν ᾗ τῶν ἀδικουμένων οὐχ ἧττον οἱ μὴ ἀδικούμενοι προβάλλονται καὶ κολάζουσι τοὺς ἀδικοῦντας.”

https://el.wikisource.org/wiki/Βίοι_Παράλληλοι/Σόλων

Observer
Guest

Why G.Karàcsony spoke as did?
Perhaps because the gov gave 600 mil Ft to 14th District, where he is mayor, with hung council (if I remember well).

petofiyi
Guest

Karacsony is a sleeze, but no worse than 98% of Hungarian politicians. He went back on his word before all of Budapest during the elections a few years ago.
That would’ve meant the end of a political career in most civilized societies…

Observer
Guest

Fidesz violence.
We passed Parliament Sq early and with nothing better to do asked two elderly ladies why do they vote fidesz.
Because only Fidesz is good for the country. When asked what do they think about the fascist tendenciesvand the unprecedented corruption both froze. Next one of them went into a fit of rage and assaulted, ie. started pushing\punching a 6.2 feet guy in the chest. Next she ran to a group of policemen, which quickly came over warned us to seaze harassing people and asked for ID. We tried to take photos of them, as they were harassing us, they objected to the photo, we cited the recent ConstvCourt decision allowing photos taken of police if the latter was acting against the party involved. The police was wise to waive the incident and we parted.

The ilittle old lady’s instant blind rage and the assault, personal and by way of the police (she sought) were revealing and chilling. She would have had us beaten up if she could for asking a suggestiv question?

Guest

London Calling!

Goodness that picture of Orban – and his ‘Commocracy’!

It looks so ‘Soviet’ when you used to scrutinise the position of all the goons to see who was in – and who was out.

So ‘Soviet’, so ‘Communist’.

So black.

Guest

Do you think Hungarians can hang on to the ‘freedom of whistle’?

Do you think Viktor DiktatOrban might issue a decree that forbids the blowing of whistles in the precincts of Parliament? Or even the carrying of them?

Or whenever he gives a speech? You know Viktor DiktatOrbans whistles!

(See what I did there?!)

Sort of dog-whistle politics.

Wouldn’t surprise me.

Guest

Kind of like … Back in the US! Back in the US! Back in the USSR!..eh? .;-)…

Guest

!!!

tappanch
Guest

“The preludes and causes of the events that started on October 23, 1956.”

My summary:
1. The clique of Rákosi & Gerő and their sectarian policies.
[“deviation” to the left, domestic insiders]

2. Opposition inside the party: Imre Nagy & Géza Losonczy .
“Their policies can be regarded as positive until the spring of 1956”
[“deviation” to the right, domestic insiders]

3. The Horthy fascist & Hungarian feudalist & capitalist counterrevolution.
[domestic outsiders]

4. The international imperialism
[foreign outsiders]

MSzMP, December 1956
http://mek.oszk.hu/01900/01937/html/szerviz/dokument/msmphats.htm

5. (the most important, but omitted cause)
the fight & split inside the Soviet Politburo
[foreign insiders]

tappanch
Guest

Ad 5.

On June 13, 1953, it was Бе́рия & Маленков who replaced Rákosi with Imre Nagy.

http://www.mek.oszk.hu/01900/01937/html/szerviz/dokument/moskva1s.htm

In October, 1956, it was Су́слов & Микоя́н who replaced Gerő with Imre Nagy.

And it was Tito who recommended Kádár to Хрущёв, am I right ?

tappanch
Guest

October 24: Молотов is for, Жу́ков & Хрущёв are against intervention in Hungary.
October 30: Жу́ков states its willingness to withdraw troops.
October 30: the massacre in front of the Communist Party headquarters on
Köztársaság tér (Republic Square)
October 31: the Soviet leaders reverse their decision from the previous day, and vote for intervention.

Guest

Something from history:

‘The cold blooded murder of Mr Imre Nagy , General Maleter and their two associates has sent a wave of disgust and revulsion throughout the West. I have no doubt that the reaction has been the same in the East and Africa.
The situation in the Russian Empire must be desperate indeed to require recourse to such desperate measures. The Russians have deliberately taken the risk of stirring the conscience of mankind against them. There must be something much more precious at stake; I think it is the very future of the Russian Empire’.

Press statement by Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan, founder and former Secretary
of the Indian Socialist Party and an Honorary Chairman of the Congress for Cultural Freedom

Took awhile but Mr Jayaprakash was onto something about an ‘Empire’s’ future. And that one went down like a ton of bricks. They still haven’t shaken off the dust.

In a modern case the fact of ’56 seemingly played like a political football
gives pause now on reflection that perhaps there is something much more precious and that is indeed the very future of a country existing in Central Europe.

tappanch
Guest

The names of the three people who were executed on June 16, 1958: Imre Nagy, Pal Maleter & Miklos Gimes

Tibor farkas
Guest

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. … All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. … Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. “Edmund Burke
Somewhat similar to what Thucydides wrote about freedom and happiness

Rivarol
Guest

Anti-Semitism was out again in full gear in Kossuth-tér. I was called a stinking Jew by an Orbanite.

Doy
Guest

My best friend was spit on.

EinKampfEinSieg
Guest

For a good reason too, anti Orbán scum

webber
Guest

Szolga.

EinKampfEinSieg
Guest

Hazaáruló.

webber
Guest

Annak, aki a Fideszt jobban szereti, mint a hazát:

EinKampfEinSieg
Guest

Into the Danube you go.

webber
Guest

Here’s one of your friends – you must be so proud:
http://index.hu/belfold/2016/10/23/tasnadi_eloleptetes_iii_ii_allamtitkar/

Zsolt
Guest

Those who whistled at the Prime Minister speech belong at the bottom of the Danube.

webber
Guest

That was exactly what ÁVO people said in 1956. Nice to know which side you would have been on. State power always attracts scum.

tappanch
Guest

Webber, you are wrong. This is what the Nazi Nyilas said and did in 1944.

webber
Guest

Tappanch, spare me the history lesson. I know that as well as anybody.

Perhaps you’ve forgotten that a lot of those arrow cross people became ÁVO officers.

Scum always supports power, and always rises to the top.

Guest

Hello Szolt!

Have your ejaculation as usual – then disappear as usual, until the next one.

Makes you feel good, huh?

PALIKA
Guest

It was a set piece propaganda event. The attempt at its disruption was a perfectly legitimate example of peaceful protest. Don’t be silly with extremist crap

Observer
Guest

There’s no low to send you to jail for being a fascist, but such threats and incitement are crimina acts, so hopefully you will end up there some day. This Orban character has already committed enough embezzlement, abuse of power and fraud, to list the common crimes, to keep him in there for 100 years.

Member

Political violence in Hungary comes exclusively from the Fidesz-Jobbik Nazis, It is part of their genetic make-up, they (like their leader) cannot tolerate the concept of civilised discussion.

Ferenc
Guest

But also “their leader(s)” don’t try to prevent any followers from doing any voilence.
That for me is the very very worst thing to do!!

webber
Guest

Prevent?? They ENCOURAGE violence, day in and day out in Fidesz media (Echo TV, Hun. state t.v.), and Fidesz papers.

Ferenc
Guest

Could that encouraging by Fidesz/OV have influenced the arrested bomber in his actions? Unfortunately still no news from him talking……………

Guest

“arrested bomber”

Suspected bomber.

Guest

Alleged bomber.

Guest
The sad irony of all those usual October 23 rants about freedom and the freedom-loving people of Hungary is that Hungarians do not know and never knew what to make of freedom, as their traditional political comfort zone is much more in the direction of semi-feudal authoritarianism. As I remember 1956 – from the march across to Bem tér and then back to the Hungarian Radio, the long days on the barricades around Hotel Astoria, and finally the desperate broadcast of Imre Nagy before dawn on November 4, with the deafening clang and rattle of Russian tanks all around us and Russian tracer bullets lighting up the sky – there was immense enthusiasm right through and a giant relief when the Rákosist commies were gone, , then hope against hope that somehow we can prevail against the odds, but also a great deal of muddle-headed and naive political division, plus a lot of blatant grassroots Jew-hatred that no longer needed to be concealed, and was sprouting happily all over the place like mushrooms after a rain that broke a long drought. That antisemitism was bursting out all over was of course entirely unsurprising, since the good old glory days of… Read more »
Guest

Re: That ‘single’ overarching historical narrative

Perhaps we can go to Camus on that. If there was anyone on the scene who saw the revolution and its repercussions it was he who ripped the curtains away on the self-serving narratives which came out of it. He pulled no punches in asserting ‘ that the affair of Imre Nagy in Hungary involved perjury, abuse of trust, contempt of international law, violation of diplomatic and parliamentary privilege and kidnapping and murders’. Camus at bottom notes a pitiful narrative that was completely inimical to democratic rights and autonomy in a government supposedly suffused with ‘humanism’ of all things.

So it came after the sordid events that he consequently rejected that so-called ‘humanism’ in communism. Too much ‘blood in the sauce’ he said. Today with the co-opting of the revolutionary narrative it would appear the ‘blood’ in a way has washed away a bit and become diluted. More are interested in continuing on to make new ‘sauces’ to be fed to the electorate to assuage a nagging modern political hunger that tries to sort itself out in relation to a troubling past. Fidesz is the active chef here.

csicskalángos
Guest
Re Karácsony. It is not that the country is divided, but Budapest much more so and in fact it is very ambivalent about the Fidesz narrative to say the least. Since those events happened in Budapest many people know firsthand that they originally started with aggressive, right-wing hooligans burning down buildings without impunity and creating mayhem probably at the behest of Fidesz. Who likes that? So I believe that the majority of Budapest which is anyway much more critical of Fidesz than the rest of the nation probably rejects the Fidesz narrative. As a result from Karácsony to come up with this story exactly at a left-wing demonstration (where the audience obviously came exactly to reject everything Fidesz represents) is political insanity. I think Karácsony has two issues. One, at the municipality in Zugló, where he is mayor, MSZP has been working with Fidesz hand in hand to make his life more difficult in matters small and big, just for the heck of it and also because MSZP is openly corrupt and deals with Fidesz all the time (like MSZP in Zugló supported the Museum quartier project which is really just a cover to allow Orban to move to the… Read more »
webber
Guest

While I’m at it, this is to all the Fideszniks who have popped up here – this song is just for you – esp. the following lines:

“Verje meg az Isten a te anyádat
Mért csinálta bolonduljak utánad”

Guest

Full page ad in the Belgian Le Soir newspaper for the celebration of the 1956 uprising. No reference as to who published the ad…

https://theestampe.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/1956-celebration-belgian_paper/

Ferenc
Guest

Saw some days ago that “freedom first” logo, wondered where’from who behind.
So searching through google, came to a concert by Muszikas in London (http://www.london.balassiintezet.hu/en/events/current-events/1148-1016-muzsikas-in-london-concert/) and from there the loge is linked to http://www.magyarforradalom1956.hu/, which is basically the current Hungarian government (Fidesz/OV).
What is so strange is that on their own Hungarian website, there is nothing for non-Hungarian speaking people and no reference to the by them internationally used name/slogan/logo.

Ferenc
Guest

Well, hell, when I looked there last week, there was no English!! But now there is……..

Ferenc
Guest

And for who doesn’t believe me, thinks just didn’t look good, here’s
the homegae archived 2016.Oct.04 on the internet archive wayback machine: http://web.archive.org/web/20161004152929/http://magyarforradalom1956.hu/

Guest

Beautiful, we can even hear Desmond Child’s “Egy szabad országért”. I wonder what it’s supposed to mean given today’s circumstances in HU?

Ferenc
Guest

About what you wrote on your blog “the lack of any official reference; as if the Hungarian authorities wanted to keep a low profile”.
May be the Fidesz/OV government don’t wan to make it too clear that it’s from them, and not the Hungarian state or an independent Hungarian foundation.
Referendum, REFUGEES (always called ‘illegal immigrants’ by them), message to BRUSSELS, media FREEDOM, etc, etc,…..

Guest

This is how I understand it.

Istvan
Guest

The experience as reported HS or in nepszava on the Budapest “celebration” stands in sharp contract to the fantasy world presented here in Chicago yesterday by the Chicago affiliate of the American Hungarian Federation. I did meet an interesting Hungarian who had emigrated from Norway directly to Chicago.

She mentioned to me that Magyarországon lehetetlen élni ( you can’t live in Hungary)and Norway has become too expensive. She said of the celebration paraszti kultúra ünnepe, nem 1956 ( its a celebration of peasant culture not of the 1956 revolution ). A good analysis I thought.

webber
Guest

That’s about right. They were trying to claim that they are the real Hungarians. That was their message + America is their enemy + Russia and the KGB man Putin are really very nice.
A little folk music is my answer to them today.
Fight fire with fire!

Istvan
Guest

I do think it is good that Eva is allowing the fasiszták to write their threats to shoot suspected Jews and other opponents of Orban and throw them n the river. Many in the non-Hungarian speaking world would not believe such open support for the worst aspects of the Arrow Cross Holocaust activities still exist in our community without seeing such posts. On a world scale the Hungarian community is in denial that the heart of the Arrow Cross still beats and that it has transmitted its terrorist vision to subsequent generations. The US intelligence agencies of the 1950s and indeed the Catholic Church carry significant responsibility for the fasiszták being allowed to follow the rat lines into the US and other counties to supposedly help in our fight against communism. Unfortunately the only solution for the fasiszták may be the same one they propose for supporters of democracy in Hungary which part of the tragic reality of the situation.

Guest

Re: ‘tragic reality of the situation’

Have to say that after reading I came to visualize a scene in ‘Goodfellas’ where Henry’s mother-in-law gets a hint of the ‘Goodfella’ life where Henry comes around to the house hanging about at a god awful crazy hour , having an argument and finally stalking away. The mother in law could only look upon the situation with exasperation and exclaims, ‘What kind of people are these???!!!!!!!

Guest

I quickly watched/fastforwarded Orbán’s speech on the Budapest Beacon website (I am wondering who is crazy enough to go listen to some 20 minutes speech except maybe the Fideszniks who clap their hands for nearly 1 minute before their beloved prime minister starts actually speaking). The only thing worth seeing or rather hearing is the booing and whistling which seems to destabilize OV who has to start over his sentence many times. Could times be changing in Hungary?

Link: http://budapestbeacon.com/featured-articles/viktor-orban-we-are-the-confident-sons-of-a-strong-hungary/41353

Istvan
Guest
Curiously enough Orban’s speech has to some create stress within the American Hungarian Federation which appropriately gives huge credit to the United States for the liberation of Central Europe from communist dictatorship. Orban sees the world differently, the collapse of the Soviet Union was driven by the inherent anti-communism of Hungarians and secondarily of other Central Europeans. As I stared into my binoculars in the late 1970s at Russian and Warsaw Pact troops I saw largely obedient somewhat sloppy servants of the various communist states trying to survive their enlistment, I did not see anti-communist heroes. The 1956 revolution as Eva has pointed was much more complex than being an anti-communist revolt. The truth is of course the destruction of the Soviet Union was brought on by a combination of internal decay, corruption of the communist bureaucracy, and never ending US military pressure. Russian defectors who managed to avoid minefields were not anti-communist heroes from the ones I met, but people who no longer wanted to live like shit. In fact they were people just like many Central Europeans today who go to work in developed EU nations. Many an empire has been brought down by similar factors in history.… Read more »
webber
Guest

Orbán does live in a fantastic world.
This is the house Orbán’s daughter and her husband bought in January:
comment image

webber
Guest

And this is the house, or rather houses, Orbán’s father owns:
comment image?itok=IFE76j4x

webber
Guest

And this is the house Orbán plans to move into:
comment image

I could also post pictures of a palace he allegedly owns in Transylvania, and some other properties in Hungary.

Orbán lives in a fantastic world in which everything is always getting better and better.

Guest

Just saying.. that looks like it can be described as a Magyar Versailles. A place fit for the modern ‘Sun King ‘ with Fideszian nobles walking the halls?(so he can keep an eye on them) If it gets that far ‘L’etat c’est moi’ could be the mantra of the ancien regime’s rule. Political theater in the style and mode of Louis XIV.

Gabe PL
Guest

If it was possible for opposition to demonstrate, what was the message of whistlers? Why were they disturbing participants of official celebrations, persons of different political attitude?

Ferenc
Guest

Well that’s simple, they don’t accept the undemocratic behaviour and actions by the Fidesz/OV government and like to send him/them with a single-way plane-ticket out of Hungary!

Jon Van Til
Guest

I think this question merits thoughtful reflection. Direct insult and harassment of those with whom we disagree may have, after all, the consequence of hardening the commitment of those with opposing views. Both assaulting Ungvary and whistling down Orban, differing actions that they are in many ways, may later become sources of regret to the movements they represent. The current American case presents material for reflection as the passionate disagreements between Hillarians and Trumpeters erupt during our endless presidential campaign. See in today’s New York Times: “Clash of 2 Lives at Trump Rally Reveals Layers of Nation’s Divide” http://nyti.ms/2eC4R7M

And this day, as we learn of the brilliant activist Tom Hayden’s death, we might choose to reflect on the ways on which oppositional movements can most effectively change the opinions of those who at any one moment happen to view their world in a different light.

Guest

JVT

It’s a necessary realisation that only last resort demonstrations can get through to the numbskulls of Hungary’s Commocracy.

Many are coming around to thinking that only ‘extra-parliamentary’ measures will penetrate the dialogue of the deaf.

Lucky are those who live in a peaceful representative-of-the-people democracy. If you know yer Hungary – you’ll know what’s .

We are lucky – we have a fully functioning (mostly) democracy – so don’t have to contemplate these measures.

So thoughtful reflection, yes. But thoughtful realism too.

Observer
Guest

JVT
It’s unbecoming to spit, but there’s little else one can do with hands and legs bound.
Aren’t you following, didn’t you see the events of the last 10 days?
I guess you have always lived in WEurope and missed the German occupation.

Istvan
Guest
Mr. Hayden’s soon to be wife Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam in 1972 during the Easter offensive by the North Vietnamese Army against the south. I was stationed in Vietnam at the time and was involved in the battle of An Lộc primarily in a logistical capacity supporting the Army of South Vietnam. None the less I saw sustained combat and came under artillery fire. I did not know of Ms. Fonda’s visit until I returned to the USA. I have never been fanatical about Tom Hayden’s support for the North Vietnamese communists, but I know of some veterans who are. Both Hayden and Fonda did not grasp that the North Vietnamese communists and their National Liberation Front allies in the south were capable of doing very bad things just like US and South Vietnamese forces were. As far as they were concerned back then US forces were simply imperialists. Years later both Fonda and Hayden expressed some regret for some of their own uncritical support for the communists. War is a terrible thing and it can bring out the worst in all of us. Hayden’s work with SDS did have an impact on US public opinion about the war,… Read more »
petofi
Guest

@ Istvan

re: “…came under artillery fire…”– that explains it all.

webber
Guest

Simple message – the whistlers have had enough of Orban and his corrupt regime.
Protesting is a right in democracy, even at “official celebrations.” (who cares if they are official or not?)
And Gabe, perhaps you don’t know this, but Fidesz supporters tried to upset the official 1956 celebrations in 2006 because they had had enough of then PM Gyurcsány.

tappanch
Guest

Orban in the Parliament today about his son-in-law’s business partner, and now his own neighbor:

“Yes, I met “Herr Professor” Pharaon. He is not a security risk. His case is just a game of the American secret services. If he is wanted by the FBI, why is he still at large?”

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20161024_Parlament_a_fideszes_allamtitkar_szerint_a_letelepedesi_kotveny_hasznot_hoz_az_orszagnak

tappanch
Guest

The network of Mr Abu Namous, Pharaon’s lawyer in Hungary:

comment image

Please notice the two companies “MNKH Zrt” and HUN-GOV Kft (seriously!)

Is the Orban government just a small appendix in Pharaon’s mafia empire?

Giuseppe Riccardi
Guest

It surprises me that hungarians seem still so divided about what 1956 was.
In italy the communist party for quite a long time said that it was a fascist uprising.
Then twenty years later they had to revise their statement.
Strangely the old communists turned socialists never forgave hungarians to have revealed the reality of communism and they passed this uneasy feeling to the present democratic party.
On the other hand the pro west governament parties felt ashamed because they had a strong feeling that they had somewhat left hungary alone.

Guest

The UK ‘left Hungary alone’ (as did many other powers) because it would have led to a great conflict with an aggressive Russia – most likely another World War.

This balanced judgment prevailed and factored into this was a low ‘loyalty’ premium – after all Hungary had got into bed with Hitler and aided and abetted the massacre of the Jews.

This turned out to be a good call. Putin is still revered by Hungary today – to the incredible understanding of many in the West.

Guest

Nobody in the West wanted another World War – and the Suez crisis was infinitely more important than Hungary.

Btw one shouldn’t forget that there was an uprising in East Germany (though on a smaller scale) already on June 17 in 1953 – without consequences …

And even the building of the Wall in Berlin in 1981, where the border had been relatively easy to breach, couldn’t be stopped.

A bit OT:
I remember visiting “both Berlins” as a pupil around 1960. We were on a bus over night when the radio announced that the GDR had just exchanged their banknotes for new ones and a few let out a sigh because they had got some “East Marks” very cheap which they wanted to use to buy stuff like books or records which were insanely cheap (at least for us Westerners …).

tappanch
Guest

From an October 23, 2016 article of the BBC Russian Service in Moscow:

According to Soviet military sources (Konev ?), the losses in three days (November 4 to 6, 1956) were

Soviet: 640 dead, 1251 injured
Hungarian: 2652 dead, 19226 injured

Unfortunately, the journalist does not give his exact source.

Чего вы, возможно, не знали о венгерских событиях 1956 года
by
Артем Кречетников

http://www.bbc.com/russian/features-37681229

tappanch
Guest

Putin’s state television in 2016:

The 1956 events in Hungary were organized by the American CIA:

http://kettosmerce.blog.hu/2016/10/24/putyin_allami_teveje_cia-s_nacik_szerveztek_az_56-os_forradalmat

woodchuck
Guest

The boss is happy as he should be. Get this liberals, Viktor always wins in the end.

http://illchange.tumblr.com/post/152201024487

Bowen
Guest

Not sure what your point is. A video of Orban licking his lips and making strange twichy movements? The poor man’s possibly got tardive dyskinesia, maybe as a result of taking too many pills.

Bowen
Guest

Oh, and here’s another speech you might like. It’s that ‘boss’ Ceausescu. You’ll notice there are some nice people at the front clapping and cheering. And some not-so-polite people at the back boo-ing and whistling. Now, whatever happened to him, I wonder?

Bowen
Guest

Guest

Let me guess?

Was he terminated with extreme prejudice?

You can donate my prize to the many homeless in Hungary. I think the refugees have all fled?

Guest

I haven’t seen these (possible) TD twitches in a long time, since that very short clip of OV in a receiving line. Once, looking for more twitches I googled videos of OV, but found no evident signs. Wondered if they had been edited.

tappanch
Guest

Fortunately, dictators die too, and the next generation utters their name in disgust.

Janos Mandarin
Guest

If there can be so many anti-Semites, may I be anti-Hungarian?

Janos Mandarin
Guest

If there are so many anti-Semites, may I be anti-Hungarian

Ferenc
Guest

here one of today’s quotes from Kósa Lajos (Fidesz fraction leader in parliament), about yesterday’s ‘1956-2016’ events: “yesterday was the first day, about which that in 1956, under repressive rule, founded paper could not report” (my translation of “a tegnapi volt az első nap, amiről nem tudott tudósítani az 56-ban létrehozott, elnyomó uralom által létrehozott, lap.”, see http://hvg.hu/itthon/20161024_Parlament_a_fideszes_allamtitkar_szerint_a_letelepedesi_kotveny_hasznot_hoz_az_orszagnak )

This quote strengthens (a little bit) my feeling, that Nepszabadsag wasn’t so much closed because of latest Fidesz scandal reports, but the main purpose was that certain forces didn’t want it to reach 60 years with reports about the ’56 revolution and it’s 60 years remembrance year.
That would mean, it was planned way before the 2016.Oct.08 suspension. And as people directly in charge at MediaWorks didn’t want to or weren’t able to close it slowly, they got fired and/or ill and their main boss (Pecina) forced the abrupt suspension.
I have some further feelings about the possible follow-up(s), but let’s just wait and see what’s really going to happen.
PS: also still no quotes from the (former) MediaWork staff, how come? They actually agree or got so much compensation or promises for future?

Member

The clock is ticking for Orban…
(I was going to post Ceacescu’s last hurrah but then saw that Bowen had already beat me to it.)

irenatt
Guest

Hi, you blog is too interesting and the article is very good.

matt
Guest

Hi Irene,

what’s your view on Mr. Orban?

irenatt
Guest

Hi Matt,

I am new to the blog so following the discussion thrads.

irenatt
Guest

Hi Matt,

I am new to the blog so following the discussion thrads.

irenatt
Guest

Hi Mattzz,

Thanks for asking.

irenett
Guest

Mr. Orban is inclining, once again, to the Russian model and intends to follow the 1933 sign.

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