The Hungarian Credo: I love my homeland so! by S.K.

How spectacularly and how chillingly has the circle been rounded out at last!

It began quite innocently in 1994 during the “shiny winds” of spring, as the country was getting ready for election. As it happened, Fidesz to its astonishment lost the election quite badly and Viktor Orbán realized swiftly how others occupied the room for advancement of his party. The Fidesz, as a liberal party, had no place left on the electoral palette. The socialists and liberals coalesced into a majority government and the right of the MDF was in ruins. The “liberal” Fidesz was left out. The only direction they could march toward was right, because there was the only opening they could occupy.

The forced march to the right began almost immediately, after a few weeks of smarting from the election results. The Fidesz rapidly “positioned” itself as a right wing party in a couple of years and professed to be conservative. This was almost fine; however, even the forgetful Hungarian public needed more time to digest the change, and therefore, more work was needed. It was obvious that Fidesz had to distinguish itself from the rest of the political spectrum. They pedaled as fast as they could, branding themselves as “civic” party, but by the fall municipal election all proved futile, they were routed.

Nothing was left they could do within the democratic framework, so they had to turn to the devices of political marketing and they did. This is how the decision was made that they will not celebrate the national holiday of October 23 together with others, especially not with the government of “aliens,” but they would organize their own, national holiday. This was the beginning of relegating everybody else to “alien,” “traitor,” “agents of Jews,” etc. They were not content celebrating apart, they also sent out brigades of oldish ladies and young thugs to interrupt the celebrations of others. The struggle for recognition escalated ever since.

In 1998 at last they managed to form a government, if barely, and used their position to increase the propaganda work in favor of the right wing shift of the country. This did bear some fruits, but not the long-lasting kind they desired. At the end of their four year term, months before the election, their pollsters, mostly Gallup, kept on publishing polls that showed them far in the lead, but reduced the trend of the increasing interest in the opposition. Fidesz took the dilemma by the horn and tried to help themselves by mud slinging, smear campaigns and unbridled nationalist propaganda. The crowd at Viktor Orbán’s mass-rallies often sported not only the national tricolor, but also the Nazi Árpád-striped flags. The self-delusion did not help.Nacionalizmus1 

The great and the small are flipping the nationalist bird.  

This was the moment when the “brand” needed a boost and the Fidesz found a good one. For the national holiday of March 15th they encouraged their supporters to wear the traditional cockade, well ahead of time and keep it on well after. They haven’t missed any opportunity to say, “I love my country and I show it. What’s wrong with that?”

They also encouraged the use of the Arpad striped flags that thus became the unifying symbol of the Right and was in their eyes almost interchangeable with the tricolour. The two together made their world a whole.Nacionalizmus2

Arpad stripes? Mmmmmm. Sexy!

It was an effective marketing ploy, because on the face of it nothing could be wrong with it, but there was more than just the façade. Scarcely anyone understood it at the time that unless the competition picks up the gauntlet, the Fidesz will accomplish cleaving society in two: those willing to wear the tricolor on their bosom at all times and those who don’t find it necessary to prove constantly their patriotism. It was easy picking: “What? You don’t wear the cockade? Obviously you are no patriot, in fact, I can see, you are a traitor!” Or conversely: “ You cannot fault me for wearing it because I do love my homeland, unlike you, you traitor.” It worked magically if they wanted to divide the country. I assume they had no idea about the consequences because they were constantly harping on “national unity” at the same time and I am trying to be charitable.

This was the way the “I love my homeland” phrase was elevated to the status of almost religious confession and also to serve as a justification for the stupidest and most wile behavior and statements. Those were only the early days in the triumphal march of the ominous confession.

Today practically nobody remembers the campaign of cockades. There are greater fish to fry in the homeland-loving deluge of idiocies.

A few weeks ago in Székesfehervár and in the Zugló district of Budapest, in two separate incidents, school children showed up for class in clothes sporting Nazi symbols. When the principals requested that this should not happen again, the parents of those children, as well as the students themselves, claimed that they “love their homeland” and have the right to express that at any time and any way they please. They concluded that the principal was a dirty Jew, (yes, we must not only learn again, but get used to the ubiquitous appearance of this “lovely old phrase!”) who is pushing the interest of the Jew-loving government and the interest of the international moneybags and Jews.

In the last six months the mayors of Fót, Esztergom and lately Pécs (every one of these “patriots” have been described in loving detail on some of the pages of this blog), one by one, have committed the stupidest acts of self-destruction. Regardless of the potential cost to themselves, to their community and even to the country, they embarrassed themselves terribly, without really showing the slightest embarrassment. And the explanation in each of these cases was that they “love their homeland!” they love it so, that they are willing to cause billions of forints of damage, as it is in the case of mayor Zsolt Páva of Pécs.

The crowning achievement of this new breed of party dolts comes from Oszkár Molnár, the mayor of Edeleny, a mountain village in the North, also a back bench MP in the Fidesz ranks of Parliament, who first claimed a few weeks ago that pregnant Gypsy women of his area are intentionally damaging their fetus with rubber mallets and prescription drugs taken orally in order to receive later preferred subsidies from the state for the deformed children. Then a little later, just to prove what an equal opportunity hate monger he is, he also lit into the Jews and homosexuals, threatening the latter with jail. And he did all this in Parliament with the tacit approval of his party. Although members from other parties have urged Fidesz to set themselves apart from this bigot they declined: not one disapproving word was heard from anyone. And why not, you may ask justifiably. Because he explained himself sufficiently: “ I love my homeland so…!” he said. Oh well, the Fidesz honchos must have thought, if that is the case there is nothing to be said, because we love our home land just the same, so how could we fault him.  (If your Hungarian and your stomach are good enough for it, you can see the videos of this moron: http://tinyurl.com/ylrtv8j in additon to http://tinyurl.com/yhvqaxj and http://tinyurl.com/ykmajjd.)
 
But the fruit of hatred is ripening nicely, not only by the Fidesz, but also against it. What started out quite innocently with the cockades just a few years ago has developed into such intense hatred that even Fidesz is not immune anymore. The ultra right is cheerfully accusing Fidesz of also being in the pay of the Jews.

With these events we can certainly say that the circle is complete: the culture of hatred is part of the establishment now and the largest party is representing it everyday everywhere.

10 comments

  1. While a lot of what you say rings true, I think this is a bit of a one sided analysis and seems to assumethat over the past 15 years the MSZP has actually played no role in creating divisions in the society. I would argue that a major element of what has happened in Hungary is attributable to really poor governance by the MSZP. The country, at least until recently, was tilted in favor of the MSZP. It is just that a combination of two seriously failed Governments and a stench of corruption and tawdriness, the MSZP has lost this advantage.
    More generally, I think the emotions that Orban et. al. are playing into successfully right now have a distinct resemblance to what is occurring in the U.S.
    Below is an excerpt from a post from the U.S. policital blow (fivethirtyeight.com). What the author discusses could apply pretty well to Hungary as well:
    “I’m reading a compelling new book, Authoritarianism & Polarization in American Politics, co-written by Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler. (Disclosure: Jon is a longtime friend; we were in grad school together at Univ. of North Carolina.) The book is an examination of how authoritarian tendencies among American citizens inform and explain attitudes toward government, public policies and their fellow citizens. It is impossible to summarize the book properly in a blog post, but I wanted to hit on some of the points that struck me, many of which were unsurprising and yet startling to see demonstrated empirically.
    The first point Hetherington and Weiler make is that authoritarianism is really about order–achieving it, maintaining it, and affirming it–and especially when citizens are uncertain or fearful. This, they say, is why authoritarians seek out and elevate, well, authorities–because authorities impose order on an otherwise disordered world. They provide a useful review the existing literature on authoritarian traits, which have been connected to negative racist stereotyping, a belief in biblical inerrancy, a preference for simple rather than complex problem-solving, and low levels of political information.
    Hetherington and Weiler expand and update the authoritarian literature by applying it to contemporary controversies. For example, what they measure and define as “maximum authoritarian” types show much lower support for gay marriage and gay adoption (19 percent, 28 percent) than do “minimum authoritarians” (71 percent, 89 percent). Maximums are three times more likely than minimums to support the government use of wiretaps without a warrant in the war on terror (60 percent to 19 percent), and four times more likely to say it is unacceptable to criticize the president about fighting terrorism (33 percent to 8 percent).”

  2. I don’t know who photoshopped the picture of the little boy, but he is actually not Hungarian, but Dutch, his name is Mikey Wilson, and at that time (some seven years ago) he was a five year old supporter of the Dutch soccer club Feyenoord. Instead of a cockarde, he was wearing a Feyenoord badge.
    Extremists all over the world seem to love him: in Italy I also saw his picture used on posters of a fascist party.

  3. On that point, the nicely endowed woman seems to be sitting in front of a window looking out on to a Palace of Culture, probably in Warsaw but certainly not in Hungary.

  4. To NWO: Yes, most of what you are saying is correct, however it doesn’t pertain to the subject. I gave an account of how the Fidesz manoeuvered itself into the position it is in and a run down of the technics they used for it. If you want to read my analysis of the build up of the authoritarianism they work on, perhaps next week I shall be able to return to this topic.
    To leeflang: you are correct and thanks for the “lead.” I looked up the little tike and there he was, just as you said.
    As for the chesty girl, I figured somehow that she is likely reposing rather in the proximity of Westminster actually. But wherever the pictures are coming from, nevertheless they were used by the Hungarian right for their own propaganda, regardless of their actual origin.

  5. Mr Sandor It is not Westminster. The brickwork is much later in style than Pugin and far more Eastern European. St Stephens tower (Big Ben to you) has a large pointy top on it. It might be Euston or St Pancras station, but who knows. As to the young lady – You do not get many of ‘those’ in a Kilogram!
    But the article made things a lot clearer to me. Playing the nationalist card creates a sort of ‘master-race’ (us) and ‘unter mensch’ (them) culture. We all know where that lead.
    Two years ago in August rather than pay the 1000ft to enter the park in town for the local junketings we went to a local village celebration. Most people there were wearing the red-white-green rosettes. Young boy (about 10) came up to me and babbled at me in Hungarian. My escorts explained that I was not a Hungarian whereupon the lad let fly with a stream of invective which caused my escorts to turn quite pale. I caught the word zorog (Please correct my spelling) which I took to mean a Jew. By now the little toad’s mother came up to see what all the fuss was about. The boy repeated some of the words to his mother who spat at me and started shouting similar abuse. Two Polgarsag (correct this please) came over to see what all the fuss was about and as they were remonstration with the woman I started to walk away to leave the celebrations. The little toad must have broken away from his mother and ran after me. He took a flying kick at me shouting the “zorog” word over and over. By now my escorts had recovered their composure and a very old man appeared with three or four ‘Peelers’ (rendor). The old man spoke Hungarian haltingly interspersed with the very guttural form of French (from the Languedoc). He was the boy’s great uncle. The old man and I speaking to each other in halting French and my escorts quietened the authorities down and went off to have a ‘boissent’ together. His niece-in-law he explained had never seen any foreigners (except Russians and the Chinese shoe sellers in the markets), had never been much further west than Siofok and further north than Budapest. In fact she had never been anywhere much except the local town. She and her child had been told about foreigners and the evil Jews and believed that all foreigners must be Jews.
    The old man by the way was Hungarian. He left Budapest just before the siege started by carrying some Luftwaffe officers’ baggage. Some how or other he had been made a POW by the French. They sent to work him to work at his old trade of a shepherd on one of the mountainous areas north of Aude. Since he was seldom in the POW camp he just dropped out of sight, he married the farmer’s daughter and had children etc. His wife had died some months before so he had returned to see his brother’s family and Hungary again before he too died. His little toad of a great nephew had slipped away from the Police and found his great Uncle. The boy asked him why he was drinking with Jews. The boy’s great Uncle clipped his ear after he and my escorts (including my Hungarian wife) who had now found us explained the facts of life to him. My wife and his great Uncle took him back to the police where I understand my wife told his mother her ‘fortune’! Later my wife and I met up with the local ‘school teacher’. My wife told her a few home truth and a little of the world.

  6. My dear Odin’s, I am delighted for you. It is so reassuring that you are not wasting time in Hungary, but are getting lots of juicy, rewarding adventures for your efforts of sticking by.
    But you know what they say: “go see the lovely Hungary, before the Hungarians fuck it up completely.”

  7. The melon-chested girl is almost certainly in Warsaw. I checked out the famous tower and it is indeed the one in Warsaw. Further supports this the fact that the national flag of Poland is the red-white-red.
    However, the caption in the picture is Hungarian and it says: Arpad-striped Cockade.

  8. Dear Mr Sandor (or should I say Ἀλέξανδρος) I long ago tried to give up adventuring (too much excitement become a bit of a drag). I gave up ‘bird watching’ and became a ‘stone watcher’ instead (they do not move so quickly). One can sit all day watching a largish one and it will not move so much as one millimetre. For the same reason I have also nearly given up building small steam locomotives and making clocks instead. One of the reasons I live in the ‘Great Plains’ is that whilst I did not mind bicycling up hills in the Cotswolds I hated the excitement of riding back down them later.

  9. My dear Senki,
    The notorious flag, contrary to what you are claiming has no mention or picture in the Gesta Hungarorum nor in the Chronicum Pictum (Kepes Kronika). There has never been a coin found with its depiction.
    Those notorious stripes came to the House of Arpad by marriage from a Portuguese bride.
    Once incorporated, the motive was adopted into the heraldic symbols of the royal house as an element of their shield amongst other, equally prominent elements such as the triple mounds and the double cross.
    The Hungarian nazis of today are using it as their symbol only because it was anointed by the Arrowcross to represent their credo. It is not bandied about for its House of Arpad credentials, because just like you, the nazis are completely ignorant of that. They use it strictly for its “nyilas” credentials.
    But even if there were any truth to its purported historicity, the Arrowcross compromised that forever, and anybody saluting that cursed rag is saluting and glorifying the Arrowcross and its legacy.
    Therefore, do not talk to me about the House of Arpad in your bloom of ignorance. Instead just tell me frankly how delighted you are to follow in the footsteps of your idol, the “noble” Szalasi.

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