The newest judge of the Hungarian constitutional court: A man jointly supported by Fidesz and Jobbik

You may recall that Viktor Orbán “packed” the Constitutional Court in July 2011. He nominated and parliament approved four new judges, increasing the size of the court from eleven to fifteen. Since then there was another Fidesz-KDNP appointee, László Salamon, who replaced Mihály Bihari who had to retire because he reached the age of seventy. László Salamon prior to his appointment was a KDNP member of parliament. So much for even the semblance of impartiality and independence. Another sitting judge, András Holló, will turn seventy in April, which provided an opportunity to further tip the Constitutional Court in Orbán’s favor.

The earlier Orbán appointments were criticized because the appointees didn’t have the necessary qualifications. Moreover, it was clear that these people were fully committed to the current government. Indeed, for the most part these four new judges have voted as a bloc in favor of the government’s position.

Imre Juhász / MTI, Photo László Beliczay

Imre Juhász / MTI, Photo László Beliczay

The new appointment, announced on March 19 and voted on the next day, is perhaps the most unacceptable of all. It looks as if Fidesz-KDNP and Jobbik struck a deal to appoint Imre Juhász, who is considered to be close to Jobbik. Here are some headlines that tell a lot about the general perception: “The right hand of Krisztina Morvai will be the new judge of the Constitutional Court,” “Fidesz and Jobbik made a deal,” “Imre Juhász is only a gesture to Jobbik.”

So, who is this Imre Juhász? Yes, he has a law degree. Shortly after graduation in 1986 he started teaching civil procedure at his alma mater, ELTE’s law school. First as a T.A. and from 1992 on as an assistant professor and later as an associate professor. Eventually he received a doctorate in law.

He became well known not because of his teaching activities but because he was one of the founding members of the Civic Legal Committee (Civil Jogász Bizottság). The committee’s shining light was Krisztina Morvai, who later became a prominent member of Jobbik and today serves as one of the party’s members of the European Parliament. I might add that the second star of this committee was Zoltán Balog, currently minister in charge of education, health, culture, sports and everything else under the sun. This unofficial far-right “committee” was set up to investigate the events of the September-October 2006 riots, especially the activities of the police. There was also an official investigating committee comprised of former police chiefs, sociologists, lawyers, and historians under the leadership of Katalin Gönczöl (Gönczöl Bizottság) that arrived at a critical but balanced assessment of the events.

Not so Morvai’s committee, whose seemingly sole purpose was to assist Viktor Orbán in discrediting Ferenc Gyurcsány and his government. I must say that they were very successful. They managed by repeated and noisy accusations to falsify the history of those days. Moreover, by now most people, including liberals and socialists who ought to know better, swear that there was a concerted police attack on innocent bystanders.

Balog already received his much deserved reward for services rendered. He is one of the most powerful ministers in Orbán’s government and perhaps the closest to the prime minister. Since Krisztina Morvai joined Jobbik, she cannot be openly supported by the present government, but surely Viktor Orbán must be grateful to her for the terrific job she did. The book the committee published was translated into English, and I understand that it was one of the two books Gergely Gulyás handed to Senator Ben Cardin at the U.S. Helsinki Commission’s hearing the other day. And now Imre Juhász receives a top job from the grateful Viktor Orbán.

MSZP, DK, and PM (Párbeszéd Magyarországért) boycotted the parliamentary committee that considered Juhász’s nomination. Only Fidesz, KDNP, and Jobbik MPs were present, and they enthusiastically endorsed Juhász. Tamás Gaudi-Nagy (Jobbik) explained that his party didn’t have an official candidate, but they can heartily endorse Juhász. Indeed, it would have been strange if they didn’t.

From what Juhász said in his hearing before the committee, we can have no doubt that he will be an obliging appointee. He doesn’t have any problems with the new restrictions on the constitutional court. If earlier decisions cannot be used, no problem. One must follow the new constitution without considering any legal renderings of the past. He also seems to be enamored with the “historical constitution,” which should receive much greater emphasis than it does currently. As far as the limits of the constitutional court are concerned, Juhász endorses the absolute supremacy of parliament. As we know from Kim Scheppele’s argument, this means the elimination of checks and balances and can lead to tyranny. He talked about his plans to defend the rights of Hungarians in the neighboring countries, something that I find difficult to comprehend. He as a member of the Hungarian Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction across borders. If Juhász actually means what he said to the committee, we may well be faced with a lot of unpleasantness between the Hungarian government and its neighbors.

Another hobbyhorse of Juhász is the repeal of the so-called Beneš doctrine. In his curriculum vitae Juhász called attention to his efforts when he referred to the two petitions he delivered to the European Parliament. The first in 2007 and the second in 2012. He handed in the more recent one jointly with Alida Hahn-Seidl, the representative of the Hunnia Baráti Kör (Hunnia Fraternity).

Gergely Bárándy, MSZP’s legal expert, called the nomination a hoax (kutyakomédia) in which his party will not participate. Gergely Karácsony announced that PM members will not pick up their ballots. DK announced the boycott even earlier. So, when it came to the final tally there were only 298 members present, of whom 286 members voted for Juhász and 12 voted against him. As far as I know, LMP remained in the chamber. And, by the way, over the weekend LMP decided that they will not negotiate with Gordon Bajnai’s Együtt 14 or any other opposition party.

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48 comments

  1. Re: Antikrisztinia Morvay – will she be expelled from rosszik? Some race problems? Or she is already out of the rosszik?
    Is Juhasz arian+? He must show his truth certificate!

  2. Orbán not only increased the number of judges from 11 to 15, but in addition when Orbán took over 2 places were unfillled so Orbán actually appointed 6 judges in the first round and now two further (including most recently Juhász) as two older judges left.

    This means that out of the 15 members 8 were hand picked by Orbán himself.

    Out of the remaining 7, 4 are reliable conservatives though arguably somewhat less partizan than the 8 new members, still they are conservative and so altogether there are 3 left-leaning judges. (from the 15).

    You can bet your life on it that should there ever be an opposition government (with less than 2/3s) it would be shred pretty soon. These judges (the majority for sure) are not judges in the traditional sense, that is also something foreigners may not get. They are puppets who consult with their politician friends (taskmasters) regularly, they are there only to serve the cause.

    In other words all those opposition people defending the constitutional court: they are effectively defending a Fidesz-packed second chamber.

    This court should be abolished and recreated with other, independent members, because an opposition government and indeed the people of Hungary simply cannot get a fair hearing from them

  3. I would not waste too much time on LMP — although Fidesz may give them money and resources, so that LMP can participate in the elections – solely – to take away votes from Bajnai/MSZP. LMP would accept all these and would be too naive to realise that it has been used (although Schiffer may even get a mandate from Fidesz).

    Otherwise, LMP is finished. Finito. There is no way they can survive the new election system.

  4. Pujol :

    I would not waste too much time on LMP — although Fidesz may give them money and resources, so that LMP can participate in the elections – solely – to take away votes from Bajnai/MSZP. LMP would accept all these and would be too naive to realise that it has been used (although Schiffer may even get a mandate from Fidesz).

    Otherwise, LMP is finished. Finito. There is no way they can survive the new election system.

    I do hope that they are finished.

  5. The Fidesz parliament made a new, “exceptionally urgent” law, submitted only on March 25, and accepted on March 26 that makes it legal for Fidesz employees to go to every home in the country and ask people to sign up to support Fidesz initiatives.

    http://www.parlament.hu/irom39/10520/10520.pdf

    If you refuse to sign, they can put you on a negative list and there is a good chance that they will discriminate against you in the future.

    The Fidesz appointed database ombudsman Peterfalvy said a week ago that this would not be right, but now he changed his mind.

    http://www.nepszava.hu/articles/article.php?id=632972&referer_id=toplist

    http://fsp.nolblog.hu/archives/2013/03/26/Peterfalvi_hazrol_hazra_aggodik/

    The Fidesz state is not only a dictatorship, but it is becoming a totalitarian state!

  6. Talk about Democracy not being ‘exportable’! There are many examples of that (Russia is a case in point) but no one country has shown the sheer un-fitness for it that Hungary has exhibited.
    Its 20 years of democracy was shredded in record time as people reverted to the cheating, lying, back-stabbing that Hungarians knew so well (and were so comfortable with) during the 45 years of communism.

    Fact is, there is no temper or understanding for ‘accommodation’ which is a prerequisite for democratic processes to work.
    The Hungarian experience is ‘screw before you are screwed’.
    For such folk, Machiavelli had it right–a Prince, or the modern
    version, a dictator.

  7. Culture and Orbanizmus

    We went to the MUPA for Handel’s Messiah–an English piece with English soloists.
    So here’s what the program looked like:
    — 9 pages of Hungarian text of explanation and interviews with a 1 page summary in English tagged on at the end. God forbid that equal space be given to ‘foreigners’!
    If that isn’t disgusting then I don’t know what is.

    Of course, noting that floor tickets were selling for 12,500 HUF, it
    took no great detective powers to suspect that mostly Fideszers–cultured, connected, Catholic and with dispensable income galore–would make up the majority of the sophisticate crowd.

    Talk about ‘pearls before swine’…

  8. Mr Petöfi, I think you are being a little unreasonable expecting the program to be half in English. This is Hungary after all and the local language is Hungarian.

  9. Győr Calling!

    Petofi! Thanks for looking after and defending the English! But I assume that the Messiah was sung in the original English? – Even though Handel was German (but the original Anglophile!).

    I would not have expected special treatment as a visitor, more than, say, German or Italian visitors.

    12,500 HUF (£35) does seem expensive if by ‘floor’ tickets you mean standing? At the ‘Proms’ at the Albert Hall, for example the ‘prommers’ get tickets for £5 (1,750 HUF) – and a truly international program. I assume you have seen the fun of the ‘Last Night of the Proms’?

    Must have been a great event nevertheless.

    And imagine Messiah in Hungarian!!

    (What’s ‘Alleyluya’ in Hungarian?)

    Regards

    Charlie

  10. Győr Calling!

    Pujol! Just like to say Hello!

    I’ve not read you before under this name – but your contributions are very perspicacious!

    Thanks!

    Regards

    Charlie

  11. Az LMP létrejöttét igazán senki nem tudja, csak az a pár ember, aki megalapította. Nekem elég gyanús, hogy tevékenységük eredménye valahogy mindig a fideszt segítik. Schifferről az a véleményem, hogy -bár kiállt a családja mellett-, szégyenli baloldaliságukat és mindent megtesz annak érdekében, hogy minél távolabb kerüljön a baloldaltól. A Fidesznek szüksége van rájuk, mert az ellenzéket bomlasztja. Ha ne adj Isten a fidesz nyer, az LMP, mint, Kisgazdák, MDF teljesen el fog tűnni.

  12. Tappanch: note that Bajnai also realised that as much as high intellectuals and western gentlemen hate “populism”, people love it and it works (and they elect), hence “the egg is 28 (under Bajnai) vs. 45, the rest is bullshit” campaign.

    Orbán like all politicians don’t care about the future, it is the time of the unknown (it is exactly in politcs where you can never tell the future), the now needs to be won and then we figure out later.

    If a politician is too ‘orward-looking’ (meaning does not care about the present problems of the people) he will not be rewarded.

    Fidesz will do anything to get reelected, this utility campaign is only the beginning, if it does not work, they will settle on some other sector. But if they get such hype articles as the linked Index article that also increases their triumph, for it is not the actual utility fee decrease that matters but rather that fact that more and more people think that Fidesz is doing well and is doing something right (and in that these articles help a lot) and the oppoistion has no ideas. The preception is what matters, as that is actualy reality to people (there is no “objective” reality, people can onloy see through perception).

    Oh and the financial ransaction tax (and other will be increased. Since only about half came in from that and it is the perfect political weapon (people blame the banks for the increase of fees) it will be increased. And the biggest sucker is the banking association (with the new – old chairman) who are hoping that the tax will be reduced, when instead it will be increased significantly.

  13. Once and for all: The leftist origins of National Socialism

    The debate about where Nazism should be placed on the political spectrum has enjoyed a renaissance of late. The answer is so obvious that we really needn’t have bothered.

    Okay, let’s pause for a minute, note the above title, and have a collective ‘face palm’ over how absurd it is that this article even needs to be written in the first place. But it does.

    This debate has never gone away of course; but recent weeks have been something of a renaissance – largely thanks to the bizarre suspension (and eventual – and sensible – reinstatement) of Dr. Rachel Frosh from the Conservative Party candidate list due to a retweet linking Nazism to socialism.

    This rather embarrassing affair is in fact a sad and clear indictment that the words ‘never again’ are little more than a hollow slogan. For if we refuse to accept, and more importantly challenge, the ideological origins of a movement that culminated in the systematic murder of millions of innocent human beings, there is absolutely no way we can prevent the same from happening again.

    The easiest way of proving that the origins of Nazism are in no way remotely conservative is to start by looking at some defining features of conservatism itself, specifically the European variety.

    These include: the belief that a society rooted in monarchy and aristocracy is preferable to mass democracy; that there is a transcendental moral order (what Kirk called the Permanent Things) which in Western Civilization has been preserved and passed down through the Christian Church; that property rights are the very foundation of ordered liberty; and, of course, the universal conservative belief that any necessary societal change must occur slowly and without structural damage to ancient and proven institutions – that problems in society come not from broken traditions and institutions but from broken men and morals.

    It should go without saying that Nazism had no love of monarchy or aristocracy. Hitler didn’t reinstate the House of Hohenzollern; he made himself dictator. The notion that the son of a minor civil servant (Alois Hitler himself born a bastard and of peasant stock) had a right to rule over Germany can hardly be called traditionally conservative. Moreover, his great dislike of the aristocratic military establishment is well known; the lack of a ‘von’ in front of his surname was a permanent chip on Hitler’s shoulder. Granted, Himmler liked to play feudal lord with the SS, but his was a ‘feudalism’ based on a half-cocked interpretation of a quasi-mythical pagan past.

    This brings us nicely to defining conservative feature number two: Christianity. Himmler’s obsession with paganism is very well-documented. Hitler may have viewed the SS as his personal bodyguard, but Himmler viewed them as a pagan Knights Templar, destined to recreate a utopic, pre-Christian Teutonic society.

    Furthermore, the ‘official’ religion of Nazism was positive Christianity, a doctrine that can hardly be called positive or Christian. This ‘Christian’ ideology rejected the Jewish bible in its entirety, rejected Jesus’ Jewish origins, and wished to wipe Catholicism off the face of the earth (stalwart defender of tradition it is) and create a united Nazi protestant church.

    Nor can it be said that the Nazis had any respect for traditional property rights. They nationalized industries, advocated progressive taxation schemes, and were virulently anti-capitalist. Now, that’s not to say that conservatism must necessarily be in favour of pure, unrestricted laissez-faire capitalism (see Kirk, Chesterton, etc.), but whereas the traditionalist objection to capitalism is at its heart an objection to the disastrous spiritual and moral effects of industrialisation, the Nazis’ objection to capitalism was rooted firmly in post-industrialist, Marxist interpretations of economics.

    The conservative argues that socialism isn’t a cure for the disease of industrial society, but a symptom of the same sickness. As we all know, Nazi property violations weren’t limited solely to estate, they also infringed upon life and liberty with spectacular zeal, especially the life and liberty of those they deemed sub-human.

    ‘Aha’, says the skeptical reader, ‘this is where I have him! This crazy conservative doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He just wrote it himself, the Nazis were a bunch of racists, surely that means they were right wing!’ Now, unlike you, my dear liberal reader, I understand that man is fallen, so I’ll forgive you your ignorance on the matter. First, let’s briefly get this ‘right wing’ thing out of the way, shall we?

    Yes, fascists and Nazis were almost from the start called ‘right wing’, but this was a slander employed by other socialists, meant to discredit these socialists of a distinctly nationalist bent in the eyes of fellow radical travelers. If they were ‘right wing’ at all they were the ‘right wing’ of the left.

    As Jonah Goldberg explains in his brilliant (and apparently woefully under-read) Liberal Fascism, this is why street fighting between fascists and communists was so vicious in Germany; these people were fighting for the same hearts and minds, the same segment of middle class voters susceptible to revolutionary nonsense. The godfather of fascism himself, Mussolini, was a member of the International, and the term ‘national socialist’ was in use in leftist circles well before the Nazi party was created.

    Now, let me be as clear as possible on this subject: ethnic nationalism, let alone racism, is in no way conservative. The scientific racism of the Nazis, so popular across Europe from the beginning of the twentieth century until the devastating and inevitable result of its assertions, would never have developed if not for nationalist movements.

    Nationalism as we know it was one of the earliest leftist ideologies, and remains fundamentally left wing, going hand in hand with identity politics. It was forged, as almost all ideological poisons that plague us today, in the fires of the French Revolution, and developed as a means of undermining the old European order, specifically the grand and, more importantly, multi-ethnic empires of Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, and, to an extent, Britain.

    The idea that countries should be based on single ethnic groups – the promotion of nation states – is an ideologically radical position. To a conservative, culture, not race, is what matters. The cry of the National Socialist is blood and soil, race and nation. The cry of the conservative is king and country.

    Thus do the intellectually honest arrive at the inescapable conclusion: Nazism is not conservative. And if it is not conservative, it cannot be truly called right wing. It is a product of the French Revolution, just another bastard child of Rousseau’s love affair with himself, simply one more in a long line of deformed, monstrous political creatures to slither its way out of the primordial Jacobin soup.

    The fact that Central and Eastern Europe (really all of Europe for that matter) have a long and at times vicious history with anti-Semitism is well known, and frequently referenced when discussing collusion with Nazis in occupied countries.

    What is noted with far less frequency, and is far more important, however, is that fact that not until the dissolution of the Christian monarchies and the introduction of mass democracy was there an organised, systematic attempt to wipe out European Jewry (if you think the Holocaust is in any way comparable to the Inquisition in premise or scope, you comprehend neither). In fact, between the time the Christianization of Europe was completed and the French Revolution, there were really no organised, systematic attempts to wipe out anyone in Europe.

    This is the obvious truth we ignore when we censure and censor people who would accurately link Nazism with leftism. Political theorist Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn articulated this truth brilliantly:

    The fatal year is 1789, and the symbol of iniquity is the Jacobin Cap. Its heresy is the denial of personality and of personal liberty. Its concrete realizations are Jacobin mass democracy, all forms of national collectivism and statism, Marxism producing socialism and communism, fascism, and national socialism, leftism in all its modern guises and manifestations to which in America the good term ‘liberalism,’ perversely enough, is being applied. The issue is between man created in the image of God and the termite in a human guise.

    Only a German people ripped from tradition, a German people starved of Judeo-Christian morality, drugged with the false promise of a better future, and subjected to the authority of those who have no right to it, could stand by and watch, at times cheer even, as millions of human beings – precious, living, breathing human beings – were systematically herded up like cattle and sent to be exterminated like termites.

    “MAKE NO MISTAKE. THERE IS LITTLE DIFFERENCE, IF ANY, IN PRINCIPLE BETWEEN FASCISM, COMMUNISM, AND PROGRESSIVISM – BETWEEN SOVIETS, NAZIS, AND TODAY’S UK LABOUR PARTY OR US DEMOCRATIC PARTY”. The difference lies only in the degree to which those ideological principles are followed through.

    All promise a utopian future, to be attained by sacrificing tradition at the altar of progress. All deny class distinctions as well as the old order, politically rooted in Feudalism, morally rooted in Christianity. They deny individual liberty, responsibility, and property rights. And most importantly, perhaps not to be counted among the ideological tenants listed above, but as a result of them, they inevitably end up denying the sanctity and value of human life.

    In Nazi-occupied Poland, an elderly Jewish rabbi becomes nothing more than a germ, merely to be cleansed. In Soviet-occupied Lithuania, a respectable businessman becomes an enemy of the people, merely to become part of a statistic.

    Students across the globe rhetorically ask how people could participate in something as evil as the Holocaust. The answer is simple: It is the easiest thing in the world to commit evil when one doesn’t believe it to be such, when one exists in a society governed by moral relativism. The choice is indeed between man created in the image of God and the termite in a human guise. Those who would obfuscate the ideological and philosophical origins of Nazism have made their choice known

  14. Nick :
    Mr Petöfi, I think you are being a little unreasonable expecting the program to be half in English. This is Hungary after all and the local language is Hungarian.

    Wrong.
    Of course, you are Hungarian and you wouldn’t understand courtesy and such ‘western’ notions, huh? It wouldn’t occur
    to you that the many westerners speak English rather than the Turul language of Hungarian. Courtesy dictates that you pass on to these ticket buyers the same information you give to ‘superior’
    Hungarian concert goers.

    The local language is ‘moronic discourtesy’ raised to the power of n.

  15. And how does the previous comment has anything to do with the topic?

    (Please don’t answer).

    I certainly don’t want to read such comments when the topic is about a current event, that is the election of partizan (Jobbik-leaning) judges to the Hungarian constitutional court.

  16. CharlieH :
    Győr Calling!
    Petofi! Thanks for looking after and defending the English! But I assume that the Messiah was sung in the original English? – Even though Handel was German (but the original Anglophile!).
    I would not have expected special treatment as a visitor, more than, say, German or Italian visitors.
    12,500 HUF (£35) does seem expensive if by ‘floor’ tickets you mean standing? At the ‘Proms’ at the Albert Hall, for example the ‘prommers’ get tickets for £5 (1,750 HUF) – and a truly international program. I assume you have seen the fun of the ‘Last Night of the Proms’?
    Must have been a great event nevertheless.
    And imagine Messiah in Hungarian!!
    (What’s ‘Alleyluya’ in Hungarian?)
    Regards
    Charlie

    Aw c’mon, Charlie, don’t toddy to Hungarians–they don’t respect it and consider it signs of weakness.
    The fact is that the oratorio was in English, the soloists were English (at least 2 of them) and the ‘language of modern travel’ is English. So, not the same category as German or Italian, if you please. In this instance, courtesy and decency demanded that the program, if bilingual, should be of equal length…

  17. For the record:

    Foreign reserves of the Hungarian National Bank at the time of Chairman Simor’s departure, on 02-28-2013:

    35,896.8 billion euros

    National debt of Hungary on 02-28-2013

    32,414.3 billion euros in foreign currency and an additional
    41,810.7 billion euros in Hungarian forints

  18. @Petofi, we know you don’t like Hungarians and believe they are inferior. But you are being unreasonable when you start looking for evidence of your belief in a concert program flyer.

    @ Leftist origins of National Socialism, a link to Ed Kozak’s confused attempt to link progressivism and nazism would have been more than sufficient. And if you do cherish property rights and all things traditional, why no attribution for your cut and paste “comment”?

  19. Leftist origins of National Socialism :
    Once and for all: The leftist origins of National Socialism
    The debate about where Nazism should be placed on the political spectrum has enjoyed a renaissance of late. The answer is so obvious that we really needn’t have bothered.
    Okay, let’s pause for a minute, note the above title, and have a collective ‘face palm’ over how absurd it is that this article even needs to be written in the first place. But it does.
    This debate has never gone away of course; but recent weeks have been something of a renaissance – largely thanks to the bizarre suspension (and eventual – and sensible – reinstatement) of Dr. Rachel Frosh from the Conservative Party candidate list due to a retweet linking Nazism to socialism.
    This rather embarrassing affair is in fact a sad and clear indictment that the words ‘never again’ are little more than a hollow slogan. For if we refuse to accept, and more importantly challenge, the ideological origins of a movement that culminated in the systematic murder of millions of innocent human beings, there is absolutely no way we can prevent the same from happening again.
    The easiest way of proving that the origins of Nazism are in no way remotely conservative is to start by looking at some defining features of conservatism itself, specifically the European variety.
    These include: the belief that a society rooted in monarchy and aristocracy is preferable to mass democracy; that there is a transcendental moral order (what Kirk called the Permanent Things) which in Western Civilization has been preserved and passed down through the Christian Church; that property rights are the very foundation of ordered liberty; and, of course, the universal conservative belief that any necessary societal change must occur slowly and without structural damage to ancient and proven institutions – that problems in society come not from broken traditions and institutions but from broken men and morals.
    It should go without saying that Nazism had no love of monarchy or aristocracy. Hitler didn’t reinstate the House of Hohenzollern; he made himself dictator. The notion that the son of a minor civil servant (Alois Hitler himself born a bastard and of peasant stock) had a right to rule over Germany can hardly be called traditionally conservative. Moreover, his great dislike of the aristocratic military establishment is well known; the lack of a ‘von’ in front of his surname was a permanent chip on Hitler’s shoulder. Granted, Himmler liked to play feudal lord with the SS, but his was a ‘feudalism’ based on a half-cocked interpretation of a quasi-mythical pagan past.
    This brings us nicely to defining conservative feature number two: Christianity. Himmler’s obsession with paganism is very well-documented. Hitler may have viewed the SS as his personal bodyguard, but Himmler viewed them as a pagan Knights Templar, destined to recreate a utopic, pre-Christian Teutonic society.
    Furthermore, the ‘official’ religion of Nazism was positive Christianity, a doctrine that can hardly be called positive or Christian. This ‘Christian’ ideology rejected the Jewish bible in its entirety, rejected Jesus’ Jewish origins, and wished to wipe Catholicism off the face of the earth (stalwart defender of tradition it is) and create a united Nazi protestant church.
    Nor can it be said that the Nazis had any respect for traditional property rights. They nationalized industries, advocated progressive taxation schemes, and were virulently anti-capitalist. Now, that’s not to say that conservatism must necessarily be in favour of pure, unrestricted laissez-faire capitalism (see Kirk, Chesterton, etc.), but whereas the traditionalist objection to capitalism is at its heart an objection to the disastrous spiritual and moral effects of industrialisation, the Nazis’ objection to capitalism was rooted firmly in post-industrialist, Marxist interpretations of economics.
    The conservative argues that socialism isn’t a cure for the disease of industrial society, but a symptom of the same sickness. As we all know, Nazi property violations weren’t limited solely to estate, they also infringed upon life and liberty with spectacular zeal, especially the life and liberty of those they deemed sub-human.
    ‘Aha’, says the skeptical reader, ‘this is where I have him! This crazy conservative doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He just wrote it himself, the Nazis were a bunch of racists, surely that means they were right wing!’ Now, unlike you, my dear liberal reader, I understand that man is fallen, so I’ll forgive you your ignorance on the matter. First, let’s briefly get this ‘right wing’ thing out of the way, shall we?
    Yes, fascists and Nazis were almost from the start called ‘right wing’, but this was a slander employed by other socialists, meant to discredit these socialists of a distinctly nationalist bent in the eyes of fellow radical travelers. If they were ‘right wing’ at all they were the ‘right wing’ of the left.
    As Jonah Goldberg explains in his brilliant (and apparently woefully under-read) Liberal Fascism, this is why street fighting between fascists and communists was so vicious in Germany; these people were fighting for the same hearts and minds, the same segment of middle class voters susceptible to revolutionary nonsense. The godfather of fascism himself, Mussolini, was a member of the International, and the term ‘national socialist’ was in use in leftist circles well before the Nazi party was created.
    Now, let me be as clear as possible on this subject: ethnic nationalism, let alone racism, is in no way conservative. The scientific racism of the Nazis, so popular across Europe from the beginning of the twentieth century until the devastating and inevitable result of its assertions, would never have developed if not for nationalist movements.
    Nationalism as we know it was one of the earliest leftist ideologies, and remains fundamentally left wing, going hand in hand with identity politics. It was forged, as almost all ideological poisons that plague us today, in the fires of the French Revolution, and developed as a means of undermining the old European order, specifically the grand and, more importantly, multi-ethnic empires of Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, and, to an extent, Britain.
    The idea that countries should be based on single ethnic groups – the promotion of nation states – is an ideologically radical position. To a conservative, culture, not race, is what matters. The cry of the National Socialist is blood and soil, race and nation. The cry of the conservative is king and country.
    Thus do the intellectually honest arrive at the inescapable conclusion: Nazism is not conservative. And if it is not conservative, it cannot be truly called right wing. It is a product of the French Revolution, just another bastard child of Rousseau’s love affair with himself, simply one more in a long line of deformed, monstrous political creatures to slither its way out of the primordial Jacobin soup.
    The fact that Central and Eastern Europe (really all of Europe for that matter) have a long and at times vicious history with anti-Semitism is well known, and frequently referenced when discussing collusion with Nazis in occupied countries.
    What is noted with far less frequency, and is far more important, however, is that fact that not until the dissolution of the Christian monarchies and the introduction of mass democracy was there an organised, systematic attempt to wipe out European Jewry (if you think the Holocaust is in any way comparable to the Inquisition in premise or scope, you comprehend neither). In fact, between the time the Christianization of Europe was completed and the French Revolution, there were really no organised, systematic attempts to wipe out anyone in Europe.
    This is the obvious truth we ignore when we censure and censor people who would accurately link Nazism with leftism. Political theorist Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn articulated this truth brilliantly:
    The fatal year is 1789, and the symbol of iniquity is the Jacobin Cap. Its heresy is the denial of personality and of personal liberty. Its concrete realizations are Jacobin mass democracy, all forms of national collectivism and statism, Marxism producing socialism and communism, fascism, and national socialism, leftism in all its modern guises and manifestations to which in America the good term ‘liberalism,’ perversely enough, is being applied. The issue is between man created in the image of God and the termite in a human guise.
    Only a German people ripped from tradition, a German people starved of Judeo-Christian morality, drugged with the false promise of a better future, and subjected to the authority of those who have no right to it, could stand by and watch, at times cheer even, as millions of human beings – precious, living, breathing human beings – were systematically herded up like cattle and sent to be exterminated like termites.
    “MAKE NO MISTAKE. THERE IS LITTLE DIFFERENCE, IF ANY, IN PRINCIPLE BETWEEN FASCISM, COMMUNISM, AND PROGRESSIVISM – BETWEEN SOVIETS, NAZIS, AND TODAY’S UK LABOUR PARTY OR US DEMOCRATIC PARTY”. The difference lies only in the degree to which those ideological principles are followed through.
    All promise a utopian future, to be attained by sacrificing tradition at the altar of progress. All deny class distinctions as well as the old order, politically rooted in Feudalism, morally rooted in Christianity. They deny individual liberty, responsibility, and property rights. And most importantly, perhaps not to be counted among the ideological tenants listed above, but as a result of them, they inevitably end up denying the sanctity and value of human life.
    In Nazi-occupied Poland, an elderly Jewish rabbi becomes nothing more than a germ, merely to be cleansed. In Soviet-occupied Lithuania, a respectable businessman becomes an enemy of the people, merely to become part of a statistic.
    Students across the globe rhetorically ask how people could participate in something as evil as the Holocaust. The answer is simple: It is the easiest thing in the world to commit evil when one doesn’t believe it to be such, when one exists in a society governed by moral relativism. The choice is indeed between man created in the image of God and the termite in a human guise. Those who would obfuscate the ideological and philosophical origins of Nazism have made their choice known

    Hats of to this guy, whoever he is. This is marvelous stuff–clear,
    concise. I feel like I got a magical entree into the mind of a brilliant political philosopher.
    More, please.

  20. Pete H. :
    @Petofi, we know you don’t like Hungarians and believe they are inferior. But you are being unreasonable when you start looking for evidence of your belief in a concert program flyer.
    @ Leftist origins of National Socialism, a link to Ed Kozak’s confused attempt to link progressivism and nazism would have been more than sufficient. And if you do cherish property rights and all things traditional, why no attribution for your cut and paste “comment”?

    Who can like these ‘gutless sheep’ who tolerate the destruction of their country for some gobbledygook nonsense of Nationalism and Populism. A people without morals, decency, or intelligence.
    And I’m a Hungarian saying this!

  21. tappanch :
    For the record:
    Foreign reserves of the Hungarian National Bank at the time of Chairman Simor’s departure, on 02-28-2013:
    35,896.8 billion euros
    National debt of Hungary on 02-28-2013
    32,414.3 billion euros in foreign currency and an additional
    41,810.7 billion euros in Hungarian forints

    Well, Cyprus, here we come; it shouldn’t be long now.
    And then mother Russia can come and save us.
    Get out your Stalin pictures; they’ll be going back on the walls
    in the classrooms of the nation (with a little Putin jobby beside it.)

  22. Left and right are one-dimensional terms.

    But Fidesz is against equality in every dimension:

    income [flat tax]
    economic rights [new labor laws]
    individual legal and human rights [abolished constitution]

    I would not call this a left-wing agenda!

  23. petofi :
    Hats of to this guy, whoever he is. This is marvelous stuff–clear,
    concise. I feel like I got a magical entree into the mind of a brilliant political philosopher.
    More, please.

    Seriously? You are joking, right? It is full of historical inaccuracies, false equivalencies, and strained historical links. The writer sounds more like a monarchist than a traditional conservative. What a wonderful world it would be if we all lived under Christian monarchies.

  24. Pete H. :

    petofi :
    Hats of to this guy, whoever he is. This is marvelous stuff–clear,
    concise. I feel like I got a magical entree into the mind of a brilliant political philosopher.
    More, please.

    Seriously? You are joking, right? It is full of historical inaccuracies, false equivalencies, and strained historical links. The writer sounds more like a monarchist than a traditional conservative. What a wonderful world it would be if we all lived under Christian monarchies.

    Actually, one of my few sans-irony comments: I was/am impressed. It made sense to me.

    As for Christian monarchies, what’s wrong with them? Far better than democracy for people who haven’t the faintest notion of the responsibilities it entails; or, are prepared to live up to those responsibilities.

    Democracy is a delicate creature. You need advanced societies to attempt it and even then it can be perverted by interest groups and highly paid lobbyists, as it is in the States. Still, it’s the way of progress, and as Churchill once said, it’s a lousy system but the best of the lot. All in all, I’d rather live in the US than in Russia. As for Hungary, it’s a toss-up between it and Zimbabwe..or Azerbaijan…

  25. Zsuzsánna Formanekné Nagy :

    Az LMP létrejöttét igazán senki nem tudja, csak az a pár ember, aki megalapította. Nekem elég gyanús, hogy tevékenységük eredménye valahogy mindig a fideszt segítik. Schifferről az a véleményem, hogy -bár kiállt a családja mellett-, szégyenli baloldaliságukat és mindent megtesz annak érdekében, hogy minél távolabb kerüljön a baloldaltól. A Fidesznek szüksége van rájuk, mert az ellenzéket bomlasztja. Ha ne adj Isten a fidesz nyer, az LMP, mint, Kisgazdák, MDF teljesen el fog tűnni.

    Indeed, LMP is very useful for Fidesz. I have the feeling that they will disappear soon. I don’t think that we have to wait for Fidesz victory next year. Their demise may come earlier.

  26. It seems to me that the (irrelevant) comment by Mr/Ms Leftist Origins is based on the false assumption that Left and Right are extremes of the political spectrum. The political spectrum has no extremes. It is a circle.

  27. Győr Calling!

    Zsuzsánna Formanekné Nagy for once Google translate was more understandable and I think I got the sense of what your are saying!

    “LMP is established no one really knows just the few people who founded. I’m rather suspicious of their activities somehow the result of help to Fidesz. Schifferről it is my opinion that, while he stood next to his family, baloldaliságukat ashamed and will do everything in order to get farther away from the left. The Fidesz needs them, because it disrupts the opposition. God forbid if Fidesz wins the LMP as, Smallholders, MDF will disappear completely.”

    Regards

    Charlie

  28. Győr Calling!

    Completely O/T!

    Simor comes to London. As Vice-President for policy at the EBRD.

    Your loss – our gain! Welcome András.

    Might still rankle with Orban!

    “Orbán’s followers in the ruling Fidesz party left no stone untouched in their hunt for dirt on Simor, including in his financial affairs. But he survived with his reputation intact.”

    The FT adds:

    “…….it should feel like a health spa after his torrid time at the central bank…….”

    I bet it will – he should get a decent wage too!

    (Don’t think Matolcsy will ever pass muster as an international banker. God forbid he ever comes to London! – (Unless it’s for Billy Smart’s Circus!))

    Regards

    Charlie

    http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/03/27/hungary-simor-finds-a-safe-haven/#axzz2Oiwn1NZp

  29. Nick :
    Mr Petöfi, I think you are being a little unreasonable expecting the program to be half in English. This is Hungary after all and the local language is Hungarian.

    Yes, Mr. Nick, but putting English in a seriously minority position is one of those usual Fidesz tricks to signify the relative unimportance of the English language–as stupid, inelegant, and impolite a gesture as most of their doings.

  30. @Petofi. I am actually English. My point about the concert program was that I would not necessarily expect a program for a concert to be translated into English. I often go to concerts in places like Russia and Ukraine, and is not unusual for the program to be only in the local language.

    Anyway, hope the concert was good. I remember singing in an amateur productions of the Messiah as a school boy.

    Sad that you seem to be so down on your country. Politics ain’t everything. I mentioned Russia earlier. As far as politics and business go, the place is a cess pit. But I still love going there, people are great (apart from the new rich) and like Hungary, the country has a great tradition of culture (music and literature).

  31. Nick,
    before returning to Hungary in 09, we spent 6 years in Moscow.
    I despised the place, the traffic, the high cost; but most of all, how they treated their people. Do you know how to tell the age of retirement in Russia? It’s the average age plus 1–no fools those ruskies.

    Am I putting too fine a point on this translation business?

    Noone said that the literature should be in English…BUT, if you will have 9 pages of explanations and interviews in Hungarian…and then try to reduce to a ‘summary’ in English…wellll, excuse me for thinking it improper and discourteous.

  32. OT but interesting, how parties can work in a civilized legislative body, please pay special attention to the last sentence:

    “The serious illness of a Washington state Senator could threaten to alter the balance of power in that legislative chamber. The majority is now potentially short a critical vote.

    Republican Mike Carrell is home battling a blood disease and is a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. His condition is serious enough he was recently hospitalized. With Carrell gone, the mostly Republican Majority Coalition Caucus has just 24 members – one shy of an actual majority.

    In a statement, Democratic leader Ed Murray sent wishes for a “speedy recovery.”

    He goes on to say “Senate Democrats are committed … to working collaboratively, regardless of changes that create or dissolve majorities now or in the future.”

    But things may not be so precarious. The Majority Coalition says for now Carrell is available to come to the Capitol if needed for a critical vote. And previously, Democratic Senator Jim Hargrove indicated as a courtesy he would serve a proxy vote for Carrell in his absence.”

  33. Devastating numbers for the opposition from pollsters of Tarki:

    Don’t say/don’t care 51% [in January 49%, numbers don’t add up, it should be 51%]

    Fidesz 24%, [in January: 20%]
    Jobbik 8%, [in January: 8%]

    Democratic opposition 17% [in January 21%]

    [MSzP lost 1/3 of its support in the last 2 months]

    Sample size 1,000.
    Taken March 15-17, 2013.

    http://www.tarki.hu/hu/news/2013/kitekint/20130327_valasztas.html

    Looking at the numbers, 2% of the population switched from the opposition to Fidesz
    due to the electricity+heating price reduction campaign.

  34. Lecso :
    Petofi if Hungary bothers you that much then simply move somewhere else.

    Ah, the standard retort of the upstanding mustachio: that is to say, ‘this is OUR place, warts and all, and you must accept it’. Well, no. It’s my place, too, you see, because I was born here and I have as much right as anyone. Simply because I don’t like that the society is ridden by nincompoops, cheats, liars, and thieves is no reason why YOU should feel it incumbent upon yourself to send me on my way. What about reforming
    the society a tad: here’s a start: empty the dark caverns of those documents everyone is hiding. Respect and Reconciliation (or whatever good Mandela called it). Hungary
    could use a hefty dose. But, lord, mention that to a local and the bug-bear inferiority complex kicks in and reveals itself in aggressivity.

    You’re right: I hate this place as it is. But I have roots here, and I also think Budapest one of the most beautiful places on the planet (no thanks to Orban) and I’ll be damned if I’ll be deprived of it! So I’m angry. I also wish dopey Hungarians wouldn’t have this knee-jerk reflex to defend Hungary at the drop of a Turul bird…

  35. Want to know what else riles me? That a war criminal like Csatary sits in the comfort of homes in the Buda hills (which he no doubt got from the funds he stole from his victim jews), and no one seems to care.

    WELL, THAT’S YOUR SOCIETY, YOU BRAVE DEFENDERS OF HUNGARY!

  36. gdfxx :
    OT but interesting, how parties can work in a civilized legislative body, please pay special attention to the last sentence:
    “The serious illness of a Washington state Senator could threaten to alter the balance of power in that legislative chamber. The majority is now potentially short a critical vote.
    Republican Mike Carrell is home battling a blood disease and is a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. His condition is serious enough he was recently hospitalized. With Carrell gone, the mostly Republican Majority Coalition Caucus has just 24 members – one shy of an actual majority.
    In a statement, Democratic leader Ed Murray sent wishes for a “speedy recovery.”
    He goes on to say “Senate Democrats are committed … to working collaboratively, regardless of changes that create or dissolve majorities now or in the future.”
    But things may not be so precarious. The Majority Coalition says for now Carrell is available to come to the Capitol if needed for a critical vote. And previously, Democratic Senator Jim Hargrove indicated as a courtesy he would serve a proxy vote for Carrell in his absence.”

    This is because they care about ALL opinions, and because they have a democratic attitude.
    Trust me this is not something that Orban and his troopers would ever refer too as “we will do this as they are also doing it in the States”.

  37. tappanch :
    Looking at the numbers, 2% of the population switched from the opposition to Fidesz
    due to the electricity+heating price reduction campaign.

    At the same time cost of living went up by 20% since 2010, the national debt is higher then 2010 and instead 1 million new jobs we have higher unemployment.

    Not to mention the vanishing civil liberties and Simicska.

    Go lemmings, go!

    Lecso! What’s to like in this mess? If your house starts to look like a pigpen, what do you do? Do you move to a clean house or you grab the mop?

  38. CharlieH :
    Completely O/T!
    Simor comes to London/. As Vice-President for policy at the EBRD.
    Your loss – our gain! Welcome András.
    Might still rankle with Orban!
    “Orbán’s followers in the ruling Fidesz party left no stone untouched in their hunt for dirt on Simor, including in his financial affairs. But he survived with his reputation intact.”
    The FT adds:
    “…….it should feel like a health spa after his torrid time at the central bank…….”
    I bet it will – he should get a decent wage too!
    (Don’t think Matolcsy will ever pass muster as an international banker. God forbid he ever comes to London! – (Unless it’s for Billy Smart’s Circus!))
    Regards
    Charlie
    http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/03/27/hungary-simor-finds-a-safe-haven/#axzz2Oiwn1NZp

    I do nothink this was OT. It just proves that professional organizations actually value qualifications, experience, knowledge and results. In Hungary the patchwork government is made up by standards below the norms of any series organization. I mean Hungary replaced Simor with Matolcsy. It is like a joke. Matolcsy cannot speak a coherent sentence. His policies are just like his speaking about Japanese babies connected to Hungarian babies, and the Hungarian tribes’ highly advanced brain surgeries. THe man is a nut, who bankrupted the country and that qualified him to replace Simor. All the appointees of Fidesz only need to be fit into one of these categories: how well they can serve Orban’s immediate interest, or how can they serve Orban’s interest to keep Fidesz in power.
    My favourite part of the FT article (
    http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/03/27/hungary-simor-finds-a-safe-haven/#ixzz2Ol1xQhcV ) is this:

    “The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said:
    Mr Simor will bring a wealth of experience from the financial sector to the EBRD. …The appointment of Mr Simor was made after a competitive selection process which attracted international interest.”

  39. tappanch: “Looking at the numbers, 2% of the population switched from the opposition to Fidesz due to the electricity+heating price reduction campaign.”

    Money doesn’t grow on trees in Orban’s orchard. The difference between the campaign price and the market price of gas and electricity will have to be paid with interest and legal expenses by the consumers after the election.

    The opposition is cornered and doesn’t dare to explain such simple economical facts to the voters.

  40. @Jean P:

    “The opposition is cornered and doesn’t dare to explain such simple economical facts to the voters.”

    Correct. Never be the bearer of bad news. Fidesz has managed to outmaneuver the opposition where they can only appear to be the wet blankets and the bad guys.

    Part of the reason why this strategy works is because, a) the people cannot discriminate,
    and b) Bajnai is using faulty tactics in trying to appeal to Fidesz voters. He should just stand up and hammer home the errors and lies of the government. A ‘nice’ guy will certainly not beat Orban.

  41. “Moreover, by now most people, including liberals and socialists who ought to know better, swear that there was a concerted police attack on innocent bystanders.”

    Éva – I was working as a journalist during the 2006 riots. I was billy-clubbed by a policeman, even though I was standing in a group of around 10 camera-carrying reporters and I was holding my press accreditation in my hand to show him. The policeman knocked my mobile phone out of my hand and stamped on it. I later saw police attacking a homeless man who simply had the bad fortune to be sleeping in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    I don’t know whether Gyurcsány ordered the police to attack. I somehow doubt it. The fact is, the police were attacking innocent bystanders. The Hungarian police behaved like brutes and should have been punished. Instead, the top cop got an award from Demszky. Many socialist and liberal apologists said the police had been imported from the countryside and didn’t know any better. I don’t believe a word of it, and I would advise you not to, either.

  42. Updated: term limits of the judges of the Constitutional Court

    Opposition nominees (with Fidesz consent): 3
    Bragyova 2014-09
    Kiss 2016-02
    Levay 2016-04

    Fidesz nominees (with MSzP consent): 4
    Kovacs 2014-09
    Balogh 2014-11
    Paczolay 2015-02
    Lenkovics 2016-04

    Fidesz appointees: 5
    Dienes-Oehm 2015-01
    Szivos 2019-12
    Stumpf 2022-07
    Szalay 2023-09
    Juhasz 2025-04

    Fidesz appointees, Fidesz politicians at appointment: 3
    Balsai 2017-04
    Salamon 2017-12 (takes over in 2013-02)
    Pokol 2020-05

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