George Soros and George Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein

Ever since April 1, when thousands of hard-hitting Jobbik billboards appeared all over the country, a poster war of sorts has been going on in Hungary. The Jobbik campaign by all accounts irritated Viktor Orbán to no end, so he made sure that in the future he will not have to face billboards depicting him as a common thief. After some difficulty, Fidesz smuggled in an amendment to an otherwise innocent enough bill about “community image” that forbids political advertising at any time other than a few weeks before national and municipal elections. Of course, the government will be able to post “informational material” anytime it deems necessary. Which is practically all the time. One poster campaign ends, the next begins. This has been going on for over a year.

I must say that the thousands of posters and billboards, which are everywhere one looks, don’t do much for the “community image” or “beautification of the cityscape,” but apparently people on the spot have become inured to them. In the last few months there have been billboards on “More respect for Hungarians,” “Let’s Stop Brussels,” and “Hungary is a strong and proud European country.” Now they can enjoy a new 5.4 billion forint campaign with thousands of billboards featuring an enormous picture of George Soros. In small print the text reads: “99% reject illegal immigration” and in large letters: “Don’t let Soros have the last laugh!”

The first thought that popped into people’s heads when confronted with the billboard was the person of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, who was the principal figure in the programs of the Two-Minutes Hate in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. One of these people was Gábor Török, a well-known political scientist, who quoted at some length from Orwell’s famous novel:

The sight or even the thought of Goldstein produced fear and anger automatically. He was an object of hatred more constant than either Eurasia or Eastasia, since when Oceania was at war with one of these Powers it was generally at peace with the other. But what was strange was that although Goldstein was hated and despised by everybody, although every day and a thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, ridiculed, held up to the general gaze for the pitiful rubbish that they were – in spite of all this, his influence never seemed to grow less. Always there were fresh dupes waiting to be seduced by him. A day never passed when spies and saboteurs acting under his directions were not unmasked by the Thought Police. He was the commander of a vast shadowy army, an underground network of conspirators dedicated to the overthrow of the State.

Indeed, Soros has become Viktor Orbán’s Emmanuel Goldstein. Naturally, those who read Török on Facebook—and he has close to 50,000 followers—wanted to refresh their memories of Orwell’s book, which had been available in the Magyar Elektronikus Könyvtár (MEK). But as of today the Hungarian translation of the work has been removed for copyright reasons. I know this sounds suspicious, but from what I read on the subject MEK might have made the book public without properly checking the copyright status of the book.

Almost all commentaries on the billboard itself start with the observation that the message makes no sense. I disagree. For me it is crystal clear what the creator of this particular political message had in mind. It is a different matter that the message is based on false information and premises. The first problem is the unspecified 99% who say no to illegal migration. It gives the misleading impression that 99% of the whole population voted against allowing refugees to settle in Hungary, when the reference is actually to the so-called “national consultation” in which, according to the government’s own admission, only 1.4 million people participated while 7.1 million people stayed away. As for Soros’s last laugh, I think the message is that Soros wants Hungary to be invaded by millions of Middle Easterners and Africans. Once this task is accomplished, he will have a good laugh. But the present-day Goldstein will be stopped by the brave government of the 99%.

This new anti-Soros campaign elicited some vehement reactions. One of the strongest came from Lajos Bokros, former minister of finance and currently chairman of a small opposition group called MoMa, who called the campaign “anti-Semitic propaganda based on lies = fascism.” Albert Gazda of Magyar Nemzet claimed that Orbán’s system is totally void of value, ideology, and ideas. He simply wants to remain in power. All his political moves are subordinated to this end. András Heisler, president of Mazsihisz, the umbrella organization of Jewish religious communities, reacted cautiously to the poster and what’s behind it. In his opinion the poster campaign creates troubling thoughts in the Jewish community, but this was not the intention of the creators of the campaign. But, he added, the posters themselves may prompt anti-Semitic reactions in certain segments of society, which is something that should be avoided.

Heisler in that interview expressed his doubts that the government can be persuaded by Mazsihisz or any other group to stop this particular campaign because, for one reason or another, this Soros bashing at top volume seems to be a very important goal of the regime. Here a few examples from yesterday and today. Híradó reported that “Lajos Bokros admitted that he gets his money from George Soros’s university.” Sure, he is a professor at Central European University. “His money” is actually his salary. Bokros’s designation of Orbán’s political system as fascism elicited an answer from the Government Information Center: “Lajos Bokros is a member of the Soros network; he is paid by Soros; he lives on Soros’s money.” János Halász, undersecretary in charge of culture in the prime minister’s office, described Bokros as someone “who is simply George Soros’s political mercenary.”

Because of the upcoming Budapest Pride this weekend, a favorite topic on Lőrinc Mészáros’s Echo TV has been homosexuality. Yesterday three right-wing women discussed the dangers homosexuals pose to society. In no time George Soros was accused of pro-homosexual propaganda through NGOs he supports. It is time to recognize that George Soros’s activities are an open attack against families, they warned. Magyar Idők reported this morning that the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, also sponsored by George Soros, is giving “sensitivity training” to judges when “dealing with migrants, homosexuals, and other groups living at the periphery of society.” Once the paper found out about these activities, one of its worried journalists contacted the Országos Bírósági Hivatal (OBH), which reassured him that of 3,000 judges only 106 signed up for the sensitivity training.

Tamás Fricz, a so-called political scientist who has a regular column in Magyar Idők, found an article by Bálint Magyar titled “The EU’s Mafia State” published in Project Syndicate, which is, as he put it, “Soros’s own internet site.” Soros also called Orbán’s political system a mafia state and therefore, says Fricz, it is worth looking at these two people’s relationship. Magyar is described by Fricz as an ultraliberal who is against such traditional values as family, churches, and nations. Thus, “Magyar is one of Soros’s favorites.” After this introduction, Fricz accuses Magyar of being the secret agent of Soros who has been publishing book after book spreading the bad name of Viktor Orbán and his government. “Bálint Magyar is a good boy in the eyes of members of the global elite because he is working for [them] against his own country and therefore he gets lots of candy.” Soros has been in such close contact with Magyar that he “by now goes so far as to call the Orbán government a mafia state.” And now Magyar got the opportunity, I guess granted by Soros, to publish in Project Syndicate. The country must defend itself against the network to which these people belong. The fact is that Project Syndicate does receive some money from the Open Society Foundation, but it is funded by many other foundations as well, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is not Soros’s publication. As far as the description of the Orbán regime as a “mafia state,” by now this phrase is so widespread that any kind of mysterious connection between Soros and Magyar is outright ludicrous.

Origo, which practically overnight became a far-right publication, occasionally outdoes Magyar Idők in hate mongering and spreading false news. This time it attacked László Majtényi, president of Eötvös Károly Intézet (EKINT), for organizing all the Soros-funded NGOs under his own EKINT. Majtényi is also a trusted man of Soros, claims the paper. The truth is that Majtényi met Soros three times at large gatherings where he didn’t even have a chance to talk with him. According to Origo, George Soros is also relying on his son Alexander who was in Budapest lately to use NGOs as their instruments against the Hungarian government. Most of these connections described by the government propaganda machine as sinister are based either on nothing or on distorted facts. When reading these concocted stories, one really does have a feeling of total unreality, very much the same way as when one reads about Goldstein in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

There have been a few reports of defacement of some of the Soros posters where someone has scribbled the words “büdös zsidó” over his face. (“Büdös” literally means “stinking” but perhaps “filthy” would be a better match here, so “filthy Jew.”) I find such an outcome almost inevitable. This might be especially uncomfortable since Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to visit Budapest in two weeks’ time. At the Israeli request Péter Szijjártó already had to recant Viktor Orbán’s statement that Miklós Horthy was an exceptional statesman. Not surprisingly, the Israeli government wasn’t pleased given Horthy’s indisputable role in the Hungarian Holocaust. In fact, Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party, wrote an opinion piece in The Times of Israel in which he insisted that “if Viktor Orban doesn’t personally and fully apologize, Prime Minister Netanyahu should cancel his visit to Hungary.” And now we have reports about the defacing of the Soros posters. It’s hard to imagine that the propaganda gurus didn’t anticipate such an outcome.

July 5, 2017
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Member

I first saw the Soros poster on Sunday, and, same with Gábor Török, the first thought that entered my mind was Emmanuel Goldstein.

However, I assumed that the text about not letting Soros get the “last laugh” was a reference to the fight against CEU. But it could also refer to refugees, or anything else that you want to project onto him.

Melanie Zuben
Guest

I have just received a divine message from Orwell:
“Hey, I did NOT write “1984” and the “Animal Farm” for you idiots to use it as an instruction manual! It was supposed to be a warning!

olivebranch
Guest

Melanie be careful because you are fast closing in on the blacklist. Labeling is reserved for left lib commenters and your remarks suggest that you are not one of these privileged ones. My ousting started the same way; I returned the unpleasantry and got ruled undesirable for it.

Melanie Zuben
Guest

olivebranch,
Thanks for the warning 🙂 but so far I’ve managed to stay “alive” on this blog for nearly ten years! What an achievement!
My secret is (apart from Eva’s good heart): do NOT let them to intimidate you! I’ve been abused, supposedly “humiliated” 🙂 etc. etc. 🙂 BUT never ever allow them to provoke you to say something you might regret later. Fight with style and reason. Do your homework and ignore the abusers. Good luck!

olga
Guest

Melanie – I often disagree with your postings but after many “unpleasant experiences” on politics.hu , I am in total agreement with you regarding: ” BUT never ever allow them to provoke you to say something you might regret later. Fight with style and reason. “Do your homework and ignore the abusers.” – just want to add that thick skin helps 🙂

I think that was Michelle Obama’s message as well – I may be quoting her wrong but this is how I remember it :

“When they go low, we go high”

Sometimes I fell off the wagon but no regrets…

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Olga,
🙂

Guest

“Divine” again?
You make me laugh …
Or should it have been “delusional”?

Observer
Guest

Good humor.
The reality is not so funny though – the Goldstain trick has been used in the building of another dictatorship.

Jean P.
Guest

Stalin invented the Goldstein trick. Goldstein is Trotsky.

olivebranch
Guest

Dear Eva … I thing that by now you should have no doubt that my computer knowledge is way beyond your ability to block me without destroying your own blog. I am constantly monitoring your black list to see if and when you eliminate it.

I still have 249 IP addresses at the moment to saturate your black list and unlimited new ones if I reconfigure my software. It makes no sense to go on this route any longer as the result will be increasingly worse behavior on my part to achieve my declared goal; unfettered freedom of speech and expression for everybody on this site.

I am offering you truce in exchange for deleting your black list and for providing free flow of ideas and opinions on your blog to everybody. You could improve the quality of comments by advising the commenters to stay away from labeling and mad-throwing on each other for having different opinions and respect such.

I trust that you will consider my offer and accept the olive branch.

ambator
Member

Your ”olive brunch” is nothing less than a stinky lowdown dirty tistle of black mail, and if I know Eva just half as well as I think I do, then you will be laughed out of this world before you could say ”blickfang.”
You just go ahead with your tistle and make yourself the laughing stock that you already are. Do you really think that you do have a place in a company like this? Think again!
Oh! And by the way, screw you and your computer knowledge, you creep.

exTor
Guest

Replete with crocodile pacificism, olivebranch annoyingly attempts to foist his personal brand of ignorance onto this forum. He makes his posts about himself, not about the daily articles.

Hungarian Spectrum is not a democracy. Contrary opinions are permitted, but only if they conform to norms of decency. Éva Balogh is well within her moral right to expunge intellectual miscreants who sully her writings with their detritus.

Grow up olivebranch, stop being a ‘whiny little bitch’, a phrase that Bill Maher (whose show Real Time with Bill Maher is featured on HBO) often drops. Start writing thoughtful pieces, rather than antisocial turdlets.

You are a bothersome brat, olivebranch, a deceitful alias. Time to get with the adults. Time to stop being a fucktard.

MAGYARKOZÓ

petofi
Guest

Marie Antoinette: “Let them eat cake!”

Viktor Orban: “Let them eat jews.”

petofi
Guest

Melanie, olivebranch, Orban, Erdogan, Putin, Trump…

Oh God hear me: it’s time for the flood!

Melanie Zuben
Guest

petofi,
Sodom and Gomorrah comes first . . . (I think) 🙂 Maybe I should list the sexual deviants and the dirty old perverts?

Guest

You could start with the (in)famous bishop Ball of the Anglican church (still alive afaik) and protected by the archbishop of Canterbury(!) who sexually abused hundreds of boys and young men during his career in England …
At least one boy, probably several, killed themselves because they couldnot get over thesehorrible things.
That guy is a real Christian – you find them not only in the Catholic church.
So please, don’t mention “god(s)” too often here – one might search a connection from you to them …
But we’ve all known already for a long time that you’re a special person …

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Wolfi,
Your comment is appalling as always. Are you the regular “attack dog” here? Tell me: do I have too much style for you to handle?

Guest

Melanie, we all know that you don’t like facts, like the story of that bishop – read up on it!
That’s the real face of Christianity – a bunch of perverts!
Or will you write again something idiotic like “Two thirds of Hungarians voted for Orbán and the majority of Hungarians adores Orbán”?

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Wolfie,
Just for the record: I said that the government won with a 2/3rd majority in the Parliament as per the link:
http://www.robert-schuman.eu/en/eem/1016-the-fidesz-wins-the-2-3-majority-in-the-hungarian-parliament

Melanie Zuben
Guest

olivebranch,
You really made me laugh! 🙂

old 1956
Guest

Question to Melanie: how long should Hungarians tolerate their inept leaders?

It has been a 100 year long hispotry of tragic errors.

Can we formulate a reformed view on the Hungarian future, full of visions, while discarding all dogmas and myths?

aida
Guest

How long? As long as they want it. If they like it they can have it.

aida
Guest

He makes me sick

petofi
Guest

By the way, let’s clarify one thing: Orban is not an anti-semite…he just knows that most Hungarians are!

ambator
Member

Mentioning the ”end” on the poster may prove to be a big mistake. Many people were asking: it the nightmare coming the end?
But in any case, Soros, I believe, is already laughing his head off over this bizarre campaign.

exTor
Guest

The petofi comment suggesting “Orbán is not an antisemite” is interesting, although it seems to be logically inconsistent, given that petofi later said “most Hungarians are [antisemitic]”, implying that Orbán is likely antiJew.

Recall that Orbán is supposed to have made an antiSoros utterance in New York on a trip sponsored by George Soros. The Viktor, referencing Soros, toasted his (absent) paying host by wishing all “a Jewfree goodnight”.

http://hungarianspectrum.org/2015/09/09/viktor-orban-reveals-himself-to-be-a-racist/#comment-101558

This episode was videoed, according to time4change, with whom I had an exchange about the putative incident. Unfortunately there is no proof yet.

Perhaps Orbán is not truly antisemitic, a proposition that I find difficult to swallow. I dont know many Hungarians as Jews here in Csepel, but one I do know works out –quite hard, actually– at the gym where I pump iron.

We talk politics some time. My Jewish interlocutor professes to believe that Viktor Orbán is not an antisemite, he is just being politally adroit in using the prevailing antiJewish Hungarian sentiment for Fidesz’s benefit.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member

@exTor:
If someone talks like an antisemite and incites antisemitism,
If someone talks like a racist and incites racism
like Orban,
don’t bother to call him an antisemite and a racist

Foxbat
Guest
Sorry but this is one of the most useless rubber bones, alas one which is also a fixture on this blog. It doesn’t matter what Orban thinks because we can’t look into his head. Also the ‘Jewish community’ (if such exists at all) is naturally not homogenous so Orban will always find some Jewish-looking people who will appear supporting him in the media (hell, Arthur Finkelstein may well be behind the anti-Soros campaign). And so Orban will always be able to cast doubt on his alleged anti-Semitism just because some Jew will say he is legit. The result is just endless debating of an issue that is not of interest to any Orban voters. But Orban is actually a thoroughly corrupt, mentally unstable tyrant who wants to drive Hungary out of the EU into the arms of Mother Russia. And who is a total failure when it comes to governing – there is not one single public service that is in better shape then it was 8 years ago. Orban may or may not be an anti-Semite but my suggestion is that those opposing him should not deal with this particular issue, but rather with his corruption, lack of public… Read more »
exTor
Guest

Your point is well-taken, Foxbat. I have always thought that corruption is the paramount issue that will hinge the 2018 election. Fidesz knows it and Fidesz knows that the Magyar electorate understands corruption, knows how the Fidesz kleptocracy negatively impacts the population.

The best defence is a blazing offence, blazing with both barrels, to gun a cowboy metaphor imported from Trump’s America. Targeting Soros means (in the Fidesz brain) that Fidesz itself is not being targeted. It means that Orbán will be the sheriff who is already known, the one who has already kept out the ruffians, the one who can be trusted to keep safe his people.

Basically, as far as the Magyar populace is concerned, Orbán sucks, but he’s the best it’s got. I heard this years ago and I heard it weeks ago. That kind of electoral ambivalence is what got Trump, a pussygrab ethical fuckup, into the White House. The US electorate that grabbed the Electoral College knew what it was getting. Trump’s promises prevailed, that’s all.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Observer
Guest

Here we go with the cretinous stuff. What next – The Elders of Zion?

old 1956
Guest

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

https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cion_b%C3%B6lcseinek_jegyz%C5%91k%C3%B6nyvei

The French, the Germans, the Arabs were infected by this document. Promoted alternatively by white and red Russians. A very damaging round was orchestrated by Andropov.

In Hungary, probably, Arthur Finkestein the chief provocator. A guardian of the faith and doctrines. Transparently, Finkelstein is covered by fingerprints of Russan active measures.

Andras Heisler and Shlomo Koves are just incredibly naive. How can appeal for help from a regime, which destroyed Hungary?

aida
Guest

We must be careful. We need not take up any time with Orban’s determination to stay PM as long as he can and his determination to continue developing his Mafia state. The Goldstein parallel is clear. To retain the support of the mob it is useful to create hate objects.

However, the issue of migrants cannot be ignored. Educated or not we are legitimately concerned about the ability of the EU or of the individual states to manage and if need be to control and limit the entry of migrants. That concern is easily exploited. The Brexit vote had at its core the xenophobic knee jerk of the English. Read May’s conference speech to the Tory faithful last autumn about what she thought of someone who regarded himself citizen of the world. Cosmopolitan Elite: Mein Kampf stuff.

We live in dangerous times

olivebranch
Guest

@ aida … please hang around the London Bridge as much as you can. Go to pop-concerts as often you are able, or just stay in frequented public places. Sooner or later you will change your opinion if you live long enough to say that your views are not “xenophobic”.

aida
Guest

I survived Hitler and Stalin. Just. We have created an umbrella in Europe to stop it happening again. Those like Orban and the Brexit mob are in the process of destroying it. Why? Le me know. I have made it clear there are legitimate concerns about security. Those who oppose our aims at cooperation will have much to answer for when Europe descends into more hate and war.

aida
Guest

If you cannot understand the point, too bad. I have written twice now that I am conscious of security issues. Clearly you do not read or do you just want a wind up.

barnabás
Guest
“Almost all commentaries on the billboard itself start with the observation that the message makes no sense.” When will these commentators learn that voters are not rational? Voters don’t interpret texts like a computer. This campaign is about whether to allow “a Jew” to have the last lough? It doesn’t matter if the underlying question is immigration or anything. It’s just the face of a Jew having a good time, smiling. We can’t have that, OK? (sarcasm) Jews and liberals (same thing) must scream. Only then will we, Hungarians get calm knowing that justice is being done. And it won’t just be justice being done but will also have much fun because seeing other people like Jews tormented is also great fun. Throughout history public executions were always a great fun events to attend, voters just like that. This is the logic behind these billboards and it does work. It actually works everywhere because this is human nature. E.g. in the US voters just love Trump abusing, tormenting the liberal elite, journalists, this is actually great fun to his many voters. If voters experience that the liberal, coastal, professional elite is screaming and livid then they can sleep well, Trump… Read more »
petofi
Guest
@ barnabas Largely correct: the lower classes–even in a country like Canada–know that they’re finessed 20 times over per day for money while the wealthy and uber wealthy get away scott free. In Canada, some years back, there was a report on CBC about the billions NOT being collected from the biggest companies and the ultra wealthy like the McCains of New Brunswick. In the US, same thing; all the while the Jerry-Springer-trained simpletons watch news where the Repubs–Herr Trump, himself–tries to convince people that in Health plans, less is more…especially the 20,000, 000 who will no longer be covered after the death of Obamacare. Of course, one has to wonder about the state of democracy in the US where a multitude of lobbies are positioned to influence every type of legislation on behalf of multinationals, the oil lobby, the health lobby etc. Hillary the pilloried, of course, was a complete sellout to a variety of interests. It’s really laughable that people still don’t see the point of the Clinton Foundation–it paid the staggering speaking fees she and hubby (when not busy) took in. It was a money-laundering scheme that failed to operate as soon as the Clintons could not… Read more »
Member

petofi: ” @barnabas Largely correct”

@petofi barnabas is completely incorrect!

Few examples:

1.
b: “Voters deep down know that the situation is hopeless”
I am a voter and for whom the statement is untrue, so the whole statement is false
2.
b: “It actually works everywhere”
propaganda used by Orbán and Hitler doesn’t work e.g. nowadays in Germany. The whole statement is false-

So the whole comment is false, because it is based on these statements.

In a functioning democracy with working checks and balances (e.g. press freedom) most voters would be disgusted by such NAZI-like propaganda.

But most Hungarians, especially Fideszniks, it seems, are not even able to imagine a functioning state, that is not ruled by barbarians.

Mongoose
Guest
@winston: you take one of the last fully functioning, extremely rich liberal democracies (which coincidentally has been consciously refusing to give in to populist, hate-based campaigns) and conclude that hate-based propaganda doesn’t work. Good for you. I say basically everywhere (other than Germany) where such propaganda was used it worked for a large segment of the population. Nobody claims that it will work on everyone, all the time, but it is effective, especially if you control 85% of the media as Orban does. Certainly such campaigns can cause a party to win an election. In just the last few years scare mongering did work in Australia, Canada, the UK, especially in Israel – not all the time, but often enough. I assume you are part of that “liberal” elite (I’m part of it too) which is despised by Trumpist voters (mind you Trump himself is still as of today more popular than the Democratic Party or Hillary Clinton). In order to deny statement 1 you would need a white working class voter from Borsod county or rural Ohio. I tell you – based on my experience talking to them – they don’t think things could improve because all they have… Read more »
Guest

Mongoose, why do you write nonsense like “Trump is more popülat than Clinton?

We all know that Clinton got more votes than Trump!
You remind me of our resident village idiot Melanie who always writes “Two thirds of Hungarians voted for Orbàn” – funny in a way.

Anyway this discussion is as crazy as the people who represent Trump, Orbàn and the other quasi-fascists.

mishi
Guest

You mention the election, but now we are after the elections. Opinion polls show Clinton is unpopular (people tend to hate losers and get to like winners) and the Democratic Party is unpopular in general.

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Wolfie,
Just for the record: I said that the government won with a 2/3rd majority in the Parliament as per the link:
http://www.robert-schuman.eu/en/eem/1016-the-fidesz-wins-the-2-3-majority-in-the-hungarian-parliament

Guest

No, Melanie – you once wrote exactly what I remembered – maybe you later corrected it!
And you alo wrote this nonsense about “Most Hungarians adoring O”.
The fact is however, that O never got a majority of the votes! And if we count the fact that almost half of Hungarians don’t even bother to vote at all …
Will you ever get this in your thick head?
So there is some hope for Hungary …

Melanie Zuben
Guest

wolfi,
YES, we all know that Clinton got more votes than Trump and everybody hates Orban . . . so if Clinton/Liberals are loved by the majority of voters, how come Trump/Orban became the respectable leaders of their beloved countries? (another twisted Liberal logic?)

Guest

“repectable”?
Read up on election laws or google “electoral collage”!

Member

Mongose: “@winston: you take one of the last fully functioning, extremely rich liberal democracies…”

So you think, that democracy is disappearing, when saying, that Germany is one of the last.

I have the suspicion, that you are one of those, who are working on the disappearing of democracy.

suflaki
Guest

Unfortunately it is a well-documented fact that freedom/democracy is in decline all over the world. It is not disappearing, but it’s a clearly less popular conception than it was 20 years ago.

Note also that – as many political scientists claim – democracy requires a strong, prosperous middle-class.

Since it is a global trend that the middle-class is being hollowed out and societies get polarized (and I’m only talking about wealth now) we expect the quality of democracy to suffer.

Whether this polarization is a result of unfair taxation/redistribution, robotization, or whatever the middle-class is an endangered species all over the world and that’s a problem for democracy.

When voters start to get dependent on the universal basic income (due to automatisation for example), that is dependent on the state you can expect politicians to start catering to them (like they cater now to pensioners) and get more dictatorial (knowing that such voters will depend on them and their only concern will be the increase of the UBI), meanwhile the declining independent middle-class won’t be able to counter-balance the politicians. I hope I’m wrong, but the prospects aren’t good.

Member

So what ?
Do you feel fine with this alleged fact of yours, that democracy is disappearing ?
And do you think, that this tendency is unreturnable ?

Observer
Guest

Hear, hear.
Buffet, Pickety and more warn of this development. The ” greed is good” course from the 80s didn’t meet expectations – the income and wealth inequalities are at historical height again.

Mongoose
Guest

Also, such hate-based propaganda works exactly because it doesn’t influence your conscious, rational mind. It works on your subconscious, on your feelings which are premordial and instinctive.

You cannot not react to it somehow. With a very strong conscious, rational stance you can argue against it and defend against it. But you must be very vigilant – if you’re superficial, just don’t care, it will work on you because the subconscious is not something you can influence easily.

But the more important problem is that most people are actually superficial, don’t care, aren’t sophisticated enough.

Member

@barnabas, @mongole
So, what is your exact message ?
What do you want to say ?
Speak it out straightly!

What is your intention, when writing a 100 times, that hate campaigns are working ?

Of course they are working. Orbán/Hitler wouldn’t do it otherwise.
So what ?

Troll off!

mongoose
Guest

You denied that hate campaigns work because they don’t work in Germany or on you. I just say that they do work generally and you are the exception. The Soros campaign must be understood as a campaign on feelings and the subconscious and not something that should be “understood” or even evaluated as a rational story. That’s all I’m saying.

Guest

Hate campaigns are working?
Not even in Hungary – Orbán never got more than 45% of the votes – and if you consider the low voter participation, only one fourth of the people fell for that hate propaganda …
So there is some hope – even for Hungary …

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘But the more important problem is that most people are actually superficial, don’t care, aren’t sophisticated enough’

Looking at VO in regard to billboards and when the shoe was on the other foot, he certainly appeared ‘vigilant’ alright. His reaction told all in how he understands propaganda. He understood it all too well as he replies with the art of mimcry that he knows works to the un
conscious. He wants the anger he felt right out on all who view the visage of Soros.

Istvan
Guest

Regarding the Petofi claim relating to money laundering and the Clinton Foundation see http://www.snopes.com/krauthammer-clinton-foundation-laundering/ The claim is very questionable at best.

Ferenc
Guest

not one word of truth, so only lies, lies and ore lies.
your olives must be rotten to their core

tappanch
Guest

July 3, 2017:

Refugee relocation (from Greece and Italy)
fulfillment % [quota in thousands]

Finland: 85% [2.1]
Ireland 76% [0.6]
Latvia: 66% [0.5]
Luxembourg: 59% [0.6]

Lithuania: 48% [0.7]
Portugal: 47% [3.0]
Estonia 41% [0.3]

Slovenia: 35% [0.6]
Netherlands: 34% [5.9]

Germany: 24% [27.5]
Belgium: 20% [3.8]
France: 19% [19.7]
Sweden: 17% [3.8]
Romania: 15% [4.2]
Spain: 11% [9.3]

Croatia: 8% [1.0]
Bulgaria: 4% [1.3]
Slovakia: 2% [0.9]
Czechia: 0.4% [2.7]

Austria: 0% [2.0]
Hungary: 0% [1.3]
Poland: 0% [6.2]

Total number of refugees to be moved from Greece and Italy under the plan: 98.3 thousand.

EU countries exempt from quotas: Denmark, UK

https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/58390

tappanch
Guest

Relocated refugees:

from Greece: 24% (16.1 out of 66.4)
from Italy: 18% (7.4 out of 39.6)

66.4+39.6 = 106.0,

The two different UNHCR allocation numbers (106.0 vs 98.3) would require some explanation.

tappanch
Guest

Non-EU members Norway and Switzerland have also accepted refugees under this scheme: 1.5 and 1.1 thousand respectively.

tappanch
Guest

Sea arrivals of migrants & refugees, January 1 through July 2, 2017:

Italy: 84,832
Greece: 9,461
Spain: 6,411
Cyprus: 302

May breakdown by country of origin:

Nigeria: 33%
Bangladesh: 20%
Guinea: 15%
Cote d’Ivoire: 14%
Senegal: 11%

January – May breakdown by gender and age:

adult men: 75%
adult women: 10%
unaccompanied children: 14%
accompanied children: 1%

https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/58344

Greece: 9,461 (36.7% from Syria, 12.9% from Iraq, 5.3% from Afghanistan)

https://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/mediterranean/location/5179

tappanch
Guest

It was Orban, who accepted the 1.3 thousand refugees. He now wages a propaganda war against his own decision.

wrfree
Guest

‘It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen…Orwell’s first sentence in ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’…point to ponder

Here we also mirror the convoluted times. And a blog too like a dangerous book can become a chronicle of a poetic ‘Wasteland’.

mongoose
Guest

By the way I really recommend re-reading 1984. It feels uncannily real. Orwell understood, Orwell knew something nobody else did and he turned out to be spot on.

1984 is a peerless classic because it could’ve been written just yesterday. It’s language is still very contemporary. It’s also unbelievably sophisticated politically and psychologically. For all its efforts I don’t think political science or psychology provided many more insights than what’s already in 1984.

Probably no other story captures the operation of power in modernity – including the current surveillance-based capitalism version of it, where data became both a commodity and a kind of money – better than 1984.

Observer
Guest

Guys,
Hate campaigns, fake news, repeating bald faced lies work well enough. The socio political studies clearly demonstrate the psycholigical factors on which ideologies ride to gain support and eventually dominate societies.
This forum us not typical, nor even indicative, look at the absurdities and nonsense peddled by the trolls here – many buy it and they are not all idiots.
Eg. try Thinking fast and slow or The Better Angels of our Nature, (chapter Ideology,).

Guest

You should also mention that Orwell was a member of the British Communist Party – until he was really woken up by its policies …
After that he wrote his famous books – partly based on his memories and feelings on the Stalinists/Communists he had met there!

wrfree
Guest

Yes! And he got ‘religion’ early on when it came to the ‘F’ and ‘C’ isms. He got wise to the ‘collective’ shenanigans. His books are just in time for getting wise on the illiberalism. Seems in some places the fashion of our ‘collective’ times.

tappanch
Guest

From Orban’s, Kover’s and Lazar’s words in the last few days, I conclude that Orban & friends have decided to copy Erdogan’s recipe from last year.

They plan to turn Hungary from a 3/4 to a full dictatorship in the Fall.

Member

Do you think Orban would give up the EU money ?
That could get dangerous for him, if he can’t pay his greedy crew anymore.

mishi
Guest

Orban will continue to receive the EU monies – from what I gather the Commission at present has no appetite whatsoever to deal with democracy issues of member states.

But should Orban decide to leave the EU he will be equally happy with his portion of the energy monies from deals with Russia (oil, natural gas, Paks 2). Such monies kept various Ukrainian regimes afloat for decades.

tappanch
Guest

How ironic this whole propaganda campaign is !

It was not Soros that let the million+ migrants & refugees wade to Europe in 2015-2016, but Orban’s good friend, fellow tyrant Erdogan !!

He closed the flood in April 2016, and it is also him who can reopen it.

How come I do not see anti-Erdogan billboards in the streets ?

tappanch
Guest

It was also Erdogan who turned Turkey from a secular to an Islamic state [and had lucrative oil deals with the Islamic State = Da’esh] .

Large-scale theft of public money, usage of religion to dope the population – Orban and Erdogan have a lot in common !

Observer
Guest

Fascism in Hungary.

Orban’s regime has ticked all the boxes of the definition. Politics is not a precise scence, the dictatorships come in various flavors
It is not the brutality of the rule which determines (see benevolent dictators/autocrats or bloodthirsty revolutiinaries/peoples movements).
It is how the system works !!

exTor
Guest
Impressed as I was by the olivebranch tsunami, the ten Recent Comments spots occupied by his determination to not remain unvoiced, I read on. Perhaps there was more to be had, however I only checked out the ten. The first two focused on me, attempting to answer points I had made to him or to Foxbat. The other olivebranch efforts were mostly squibs. It is clear that olivebranch is a bigot/racist given the way he talks about Jews in his attempted teardown of George Soros. For the record, I am too far on the left to care about a capitalist suigeneris, in other words, just because he’s a capitalist who has more money than I would see in a million lifetimes. I dont care about the past actions of Soros, I just know (and appreciate) that he is doing the right thing with respect to Hungary. Orbán Hitler is a fascist. I now accept that characterization. Heretofore, I was hesitant to do so, for I dont like throwing terms around willynilly, however I was convinced by the point made by Lajos Bokros that the antiSoros billboard campaign is fundamentally antisemitic, for the venom spewed by Fidesz ties in with its… Read more »
Member

exTor :”Olivebranch would/should have been out of here long ago.”
I think Eva kicks him out daily, but he returns with a new name and IP address and I think there is nothing, what can be done.
So at least while Eva sleeps, we have to suffer that hyperactive Rumpelstilzchen.

Guest

Rumpelstilzchen, yes, that’s a good nick for you.
Btw if you think, we “Liberals” are suffering from your “large vocabulary” – then you’re even more delusional than I thought!
We’re having fun – because you and your groupies (Melanie etc) show clearly that propaganda works on stupid people (only …).
And again:
Even with all the hate and propaganda that money can buy – O never got a majority of the votes in any election in Hungary!
Think about that …
PS and rather OT (or not):
We have vistors from the USA right now and I’m happy to say that they think like the decent and sane people here re the mini-fascists Trump and Orbán.
And now I’m off!

exTor
Guest
http://hungarianspectrum.org/2017/07/05/george-soros-and-george-orwells-emmanuel-goldstein/#comment-135000 You flatter yourself with your selfperception, olivebranch, namely that you are the possessor of a high[er] intellect. I will grant you, however, the acknowledgement that your most recent antiexTor post was rather better written than most of your other efforts. Read: fewer typos, better grammar. I cannot understand the bother racists have being called racist. If one is a racist, then one should proudly wear that label on one’s sleeve. Why try to hide behind some nonexistent higher moral purity. I had a runin with my (deceased) landlady here in Csepel. She mistakenly thought that I had called her a racist because of her antiRoma views. The problem hinged on the fact that I had only IMPLIED that she was a racist. I had not CALLED her a racist. My endline is that my landlady was a racist. You are my (now-departed) racist landlady in male drag, olivebranch. You take exception to being called a racist. Too bad, one is as one does. Per your fake upset, “there is one accusation that [you] cannot allow [me] to get away with”, quoting my earlier comment about “the way [you talk] about Jews in [your] attempted teardown of George Soros”. You… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

In Hungary, Orwell’s “1984” is taken down from the internet for suddenly discovered “copyright infringement” – but the book is no longer copyrighted.

https://ia600201.us.archive.org/8/items/NINETEENEIGHTY-FOUR1984ByGeorgeOrwellPDFAudioBook/1984.pdf

tappanch
Guest
exTor
Guest

http://www.feedbooks.com

I use Macintosh Safari as a browser. Saving the above two links creates PDFs, which can be put in folders. The English 1984 PDF is better because it retains page numbers, which the Hungarian 1984 PDF does not have.

Feedbooks is a good source of downloadable books, many being free. Feedbooks offers downloaders the chance to convert to a PDF or to a Kindle, which is useful for adjusting the read, eg: font, size, color, etc.

MAGYARKOZÓ

tappanch
Guest

Probably the best site is a Kazakh-Russian website, currently located in Ecuador with much more than 1 million books.

wrfree
Guest

Never saw the Magyar version. Thanks for posting. It’ll be a little ‘pokol’ for me to plow through but if Winston can live on and through the pages well it’s the least I can do to pay respects to author and character.

Observer
Guest

For conversion to Kindle compatible formats i use Calibri.

Guest

That definition of “Hungarian culture” is really funny:
Hungarian –culture, -custom, -language (ability to learn), Judeo-Christian religion, -equality of the sexes, -tolerance of LGBTQ, -level of education, -employability, -ability and willingness to assimilate etc.
Do you really mean it?
Hungarian reality is a bit different imho, things like equality of the sexes and tolerance of LGBT would be good – but they’re not realised in Hungary at all!

Gardonista
Guest

I think Netanyahu will like this anti-Soros campaign. There are two governments in the world that have used their legal systems to discriminate against Reformed Jews: Israel and Hungary.

Netanyahu just reneged on a promise to allow Reformed, Conservative and other non-Orthodox branches of Judaism to pray at the Western Wall. Orban revoked registration of Reformed Judaism. They are dislike the majority of the world’s Jews, who are Reform and non-Orthodox.

tappanch
Guest
Although Netanyahu frequently reneges on his words, your claim that non-Orthodox branches of Judaism cannot pray at the Western Wall is NOT true. Since 2013, there IS a mixed-sex praying section at the Western Wall. From North to South: 1. Underground section, “tunnel” (80%) – tourist groups are mixed. 2. Men’s section 3. Women’s section 4. Bridge for Jews and Christians to ascend to the Temple Mount, 5. Mixed-sex section Only the enlargement of the Mixed section was suspended. Of course, non-Jewish (wo)men, or Reformed, Conservative Jewish (wo)men can also visit or pray in the (wo)men’s section. Israeli minister Bennett explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr_-533kcM4 The current situation on the Temple Mount: (I doubt you learn this from television or newspapers [why?], you have to go there in person) Only Muslims are allowed to enter through the main entrance. The Jordanian Waqf restricts the non-Muslim entrance to four hours through the bridge. (Sunday to Thursday: 8:30am to 11:30am and 1:30pm to 2:30pm) Jews suspected to have the intention to pray are denied entry to the Mount. The Jordanian Waqf forbade entry to the Dome of the Rock (the site of the former Jewish inner temple) in the center of the Mount for non-Muslims… Read more »
old 1956
Guest

To Gardonista/Raul: it is probably an error to compare Netanyahu with Orban.

The current Hungarian regime not much more than a Kremlin proxi.

Israel has inherited a confused mix of religion from every corner of this universe. Each sect lacks visionary leaders so far. The Reform branch is not an exception. The American leadership is weak. Name me a good visionary person at the top.

I expect more when we all are ready to be enlightened atheists.

Gardonista
Guest
@tappenach You’re splitting hairs. I supposed I should have said that “Netanyahu just reneged on a promise to allow Reformed, Conservative and other non-Orthodox branches of Judaism to pray at the Western Wall [at the promised location].” My bigger point was just proved true. I said “I think Netanyahu will like this anti-Soros campaign” and that turned out to be true. Your video link to Bennett doesn’t give me much hope. Bennett tries his best to paper over his government’s hatred of the majority of the world’s Jews. And I’m not very impressed the alternative locations to pray at the Kotel. I’m left with the image of joining my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah at some tunnel with a bunch of tourists. Yay! In any case, the Netanyahu government will still discriminate against the same denominations of Jews as the Orban government. Both he revoked recognition of Reformed Judaism, which was founded in part in Hungary in the early 1800s, and which was instrumental in creating what was good in Israel. You might think people like me are “naive,” but I come from a family of warriors who fought for both Israel and Hungary. (And please don’t try to distract the conversation… Read more »
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