Sándor Kerekes: Is the Orbán regime fascist? The answer is yes

This essay is based on a survey conducted on Szabadság tér, a historic square in Budapest, to inquire into whether the Orbán regime can be characterized as fascism or not.

The survey followed the criteria of the Italian historian and eminent expert in the field, Emilio Gentile.[1] The questionnaire listed his seventeen points as to what is required to qualify a system as fascist. Nobody expressed any doubt as to whether there are signs of fascism at work in Hungary; the question is only its extent. Following a short discussion of each item, the participants graded the Orbán regime on that particular item. The marks were given as a percentage, from zero to a hundred. The principle of evaluation, as discussed in advance, was to what degree, in the opinion of each participant, the criterion had already been accomplished. This, of course, included the supposition that fascism, to whatever degree, is already established in the system.

Of the large number of people present, only fifty chose to submit their questionnaires. Even the guarantee of anonymity was not enough to convince everybody, so, the number of questionnaires containing the gender and age of the person was only forty. Nevertheless, I included the ten genderless and ageless sheets as well. A few, however, either misunderstood the method of marking, or intentionally sabotaged it, so, those sheets I discarded. There was one individual who filled out only the first half and another who filled only the second half; those two, I regarded as one questionnaire. There were some also who gave either only their age, others only their gender; therefore, the evaluation based on age is based on 43, while the evaluation based on profession is based on 40 answers.

Although it has little relevance, nonetheless, there were 21 women and 29 men in the sample. The age groups may be subdivided thusly: 30-40 years – 3, 40-50 years – 3, 50-60 years – 10, 60-70 years – 19, over 70 – 7, and over 80 – 1 person.

What is the importance of the basic question? The efforts to define the nature of the system go on almost continuously. Some call it autarchy, dictatorship, corporatist state, or the return of the Kádár-era. One such attempt to find a definitive description is the recently published book of essays, edited by Bálint Magyar, Hungarian Octopus, the Postcommunist Mafia State.[2] This set of essays provides a truly ingenious analysis of the corrupt and self-serving regime, providing much-needed original thinking and expert contribution. However, its main goal is to define the system, to give it a name, because, as it claims, as long as the system doesn’t have a name, it cannot be discussed effectively. The new invention, this new name, is extremely apt and convincing too, but the authors are still reluctant to face reality and rather invent the new theory just to avoid the reckoning. The authors chose to go as far as naming the system, but did not face the implications of reality: that the object of their theorizing is the revival of the fascist monster.

Similarly, Rudolf Ungváry, one of the most relentless and consistent critics of the system, on similar grounds, calls the Orbán system a fascistoid mutation, because, as he explains, we must give it a name to know what we must fight against. He also goes some distance, pointing out a certain group of parallel characteristics with fascism, but recoils from making a final judgment.[3]

As far as the suggestion of Ágnes Heller is concerned, namely that the Orbán system is Bonapartism, some similarity cannot be denied. But there is only a partial resemblance, and the suggestion falls short of covering all aspects of the system.

The vast majority of the critical intelligentsia, however, hasn’t even begun to recognize any of this. They bashfully turn away, or even protest as soon as the word fascism crops up. (Such an example is György Bolgár, the respected and very popular host of a daily talk show on Klubrádió, who protests immediately as soon as the subject crops up. And it does crop up with increasing frequency.) They do so mostly because they have a general, fabulistic, superficial idea of what fascism actually is, thereby making them unable to identify fascism when they see it. And then there are others who are simply unwilling to face the facts.

Regarding the nature of fascism, the specific differences of its numerous permutations and the differences between them are much less important than their similarities. Namely, the goal of forcing the country and society into the service of the State, commanded by the ‘Leader.’ And the final result of this is always, without exception, social and economical disintegration. With the narrow exception, of course, of those operating the stratagem, at least until the system itself inevitably collapses.

Examining and evaluating this phenomenon is invariably subject to the shortsighted mistake, at least at the present time and at least in Hungary, that most people look at the system and take cognizance of its state. As if taking a snapshot: what is the state of the country at the moment. In fact, the question is not the state of the country, but rather the process that is taking place, where we are coming from and where we are headed. This is a process that has been going on relentlessly for some time, reached a certain stage, and that must be recognized and evaluated. But the process is not yet complete; and the purpose of the discussion was to reveal how this circle of participants sees its progress towards becoming a fait accompli. The ordinary viewer, as much as he or she knows of fascism, forms a judgment accordingly. Considering, however, the familiarity of the populace at large with history, perhaps not too farfetched to say that the opinion based on such superficial ground, must also be quite superficial as well.

Our instinctive reaction to the process rolling on in front of our eyes is that we seem to already envision on the horizon a country doomed, and above it the specter of the single Ruler. It is not surprising, therefore, to call this emerging system, most aptly, fascism.

Let us return to the aforementioned explanations!

Bálint Magyar’s well-founded theory, formulated over several years of experience, incisively describes the nature of the system and its social conditions recognizing its structure as a mafia organization, and although he gives an excellent description of this social construct and its processes, remains within his self-imposed sociological limits. Thus, although the theory is quite wide-ranging, it doesn’t reach far enough; instead of calculating the prospective political implications, it mostly settles for the “money for power and power for money” formula.

Rudolf Ungváry is far more pessimistic and while he searches farther and deeper, he also remains within his own preselected limits. The conclusions he draws are from the historic predilections of Hungarian society to lean towards right-wing ideologies, a paternalistic state, a traditional distaste for, and general fear of democracy.[4] This allows him to go as far as the conclusion of “fascistoid mutant.”

Both authors explicitly insist, however, that their main motivation in developing their hypotheses is to find the language and definition that will ultimately help in naming and confronting the system they describe.[5]

I find both theories valuable, in fact fascinating. Yet, they confirm my conviction that there is a definite need for a list of criteria encompassing most versions of fascism, applicable to any time and place. I find the most suitable ‘shopping list’ in Emilio Gentile’s summary. Of course, the application of the list may turn out to be less than airtight, but to the extent that it is applicable, the suspicion that we are faced with fascism is justified.

Finally, it is essential to remember that the participants in this survey represent only one segment of the Hungarian public, in that they are in opposition to the Fidesz government. Therefore, the results must be taken with a degree of reservation. Even if an automatic “discount” is not recommended at the evaluation of the results, a sober skepticism is certainly necessary in viewing the outcome. Also quite important to consider are all the historical, economic, social, political, and most of all, technological progress, that have taken place since the era of ‘classical’ fascism. Thus, it is necessary to interpolate each individual criterion to today’s conditions. If I should refer to such an adjustment, I shall call attention to it.

So, what are the requisite conditions of fascism, on a scientific, historical basis? What does the angry crowd of Szabadság tér think about this? And how creditable is the opinion of this mostly intellectual company, concerning the criteria and their applicability to the actual facts?

1. coercion, imposed through violence. Repression and terror are considered as legitimate instruments for the affirmation, defense and diffusion of the prevailing ideology and political system;

Aggregate mark: 55.5%, Men: 66.6%, Women: 46.81%

Clearly, the women were more forgiving than men in this case. The marks given are somewhat lower than would be justified, because the participants didn’t take into account the countless refined techniques applied by the regime that are making redundant the presence of black-shirt squads on the streets. Nevertheless, the memories of the street brawls in the fall of 2006 are still alive, plus the fact that the government is outsourcing the violence to football hooligans and sundry right-wing guards, and the fact that the police looks away when those guards are on their threatening marches. Beyond that, the government is applying a countless variety of economic threats. Starting with the fining of ‘unruly’ members of Parliament, through the tendentious expropriation and redistribution of businesses and markets, to the use of the Tax Authority and other public institutions as instruments of threat, as well as the establishment of exclusive ‘professional chambers,’ with mandatory membership for the professions, all are intended to increase society’s feeling of fear and insecurity.

The only way to escape the general climate of fear (short of emigration) is to fall in line with the system. This doesn’t eliminate the cause of fear but simply palliate its effect temporarily until the next attack begins.

2. demagoguery exerted through constant and all-pervasive propaganda, the mobilization of enthusiasm, the liturgical celebration of the cult of the party and the leader;

 Aggregate mark: 83.08%, Men: 96.30%, Women: 84.19%

It’s clear that both genders are equally aware of the permanent demagoguery. They see and understand the participation of the churches, the relentless self-congratulatory propaganda of the government and the governing party: “Only the Fidesz!” goes their slogan. This is further boosted by the constant flood of ‘communication’ hammering home the greatness of the Leader, stating, or implying that the exclusive representation of national interest rests only in his hands and his mind. Beyond that, the religious propaganda is also increasing, stressing that there is no possible alternative leader to the Leader. Interestingly, even the opposition parties are falling for this pious adulation, so they often speak of the Leader as  “Viktor Orbán miniszterelnök úr.”

3. capillary organisation of the masses, that involves men and women of all ages, in order to carry out the conquest of society and a collective indoctrination;

Aggregate mark: 72.19%, Men: 78.52%, Women: 69.29%

Some of the examples of this are the professional chambers for entrepreneurs, teachers, the Academy of Art, etc. The same strategy is used to concentrate the government’s power by centralizing public education, the students’ organizations, and the countrywide emergency services. This runs concurrently with the emasculation of the trade unions to prevent the operation of any parallel organization protecting group interests against government intrusion in competition with the ineffectual, official chambers. The test of acceptability for these chambers is to prove constantly how faithful they are to the Party, and, by extension, to the Leader. To insure their ‘functionality’, the government dictates their bi-laws; makes membership mandatory for the practitioners of each profession; and jobs are available exclusively to their members.[6] The government invests substantial efforts in organizing and expending financial resources in these chambers (mostly the humiliated members’ money), while obstructing the parallel organizations. The official chambers are scaring away and luring the prospective members at the same time. Also manifest here is the ‘modern’, refined version of fascism: realizing the desired goals by economic pressure and legislative means, without resorting to violence.

4. totalitarian pedagogy, carried out at high level, and according to male and female role models developed along the principles and values of a palingenetic ideology;

Aggregate mark: 72.98%, Men: 76.67%, Women: 73.84%

For those who followed the invasion and expropriation of the education system in the last two years, it is clear that the concentration of power over elementary schools and the sudden hamstringing of secondary and postsecondary education serve precisely this purpose. The introduction of mandatory religious or morality classes, concurrent with the vast increase of gym classes has been achieved by sacrificing humanities classes: less education for more indoctrination. The obvious goal is the urgent dumbing down of the curriculum in order to dumb down the students. The principles and values of indoctrination are the constant references to Hungarian historic and prehistoric national greatness, pagan and Christian ideals, and the persistent sycophantic reference to the Leader. The severe curtailment of the subjects available to students is intended to eliminate classic education and substitute it with government-issue propaganda. The alumni of these schools will be at a severe disadvantage when applying to higher institutions, should there still be any in existence later. The System will have completed its destruction of education, and the remaining institutions will either have shrunk, or have gone out of business altogether: in any case, they won’t be able to provide quality education.

In my opinion, the marks given to this item are presupposing the latter development. So far, the process hasn’t reached this degree of completion, but because of the numerous teachers amongst the participants, they apparently interpolated this inevitable outcome from the present trends.

5. discrimination against the outsider, undertaken by way of coercive measures, that range from exile from public life to physical elimination of all human beings who, because of their ideas, social conditions and ethnic background are considered inevitable enemies, because they are regarded as undesirable by the society of the elect and, duly, incompatible with the objectives of the totalitarian experiment.

Aggregate mark: 74.66%, Men: 79.00%, Women: 74.19%

This policy has been in effect for a long time. This may have been the earliest step Fidesz took on the road to power: “The Nation cannot be in opposition!” Their opposition was “alien in their hearts,” they said; they grabbed onto the idea of “Gypsy crime;” identified the persons and the names of socialist and liberal politicians to criminality; and fostered the double talk implying anti-Semitism. It is possible that the first act of separating all others from their own followers was the refusal to celebrate national holidays together with others. The result by now is that society is cloven in two. Considering all this, the marks that were given are perhaps too low.

6. a mass movement, with interclass aggregation but in which, in the military and directional cadres, young middle class generation new to political activity are organized in…

Aggregate mark: 59.85%, Men: 63.89%, Women: 59.67%

The attempt to create a mass movement was done via the organizing of Civic Circles following Fidesz’s loss of the 2006 election. This network originally fulfilled Fidesz’s expectations, but because of society’s resistance that it was intended to conquer, has proven to be quite feeble indeed. The organization wasn’t worth maintaining, given the necessary investment; Fidesz was able to succeed without them.

The Hungarian military is pretty well insignificant; and so, the government embarked on the consolidation of the security establishment and augmented it by creating numerous quasi-military and uniformed police forces, amongst them, the Terror Prevention Police (the prime minister’s Praetorian guard), the Parliamentary Guard (the Speaker’s Praetorian Guard), the Budapest public transit police, the uniformed Civil Guard and many others, created by local municipalities. At the same time, the government also increased the number of secret services: the military, the National Investigation Service, and the Constitution Protection Service, which are all working independently of each other. But also belonging to this movement are the countless private security services that work in tight cooperation with the official police forces and which serve the goals of the system. There was also a semi-private secret service in Fidesz’s employ, UD Zrt. It was rescued from its original semi-legal status and with an unseemly amount of financial ‘compensation’ its personnel was reentered into the official secret service after Fidesz was reelected.

The creation of a new young middle class is noticeable everywhere and every time when any change of cadre happens. And since it happens continuously, the Fidesz-friendly alumni of the church run universities, the soon-to-arrive graduates of the new Public Service University, and the withering, or suitably transformed higher education are all in the service of creating an ‘acceptable’ supply of faithful cadre intended to fulfill the role of the new, national middle class.

7. … a militia party, that bases its identity not on social hierarchy and class origin but on sense of comradeship and which invests itself with a mission of national regeneration and considers itself to be in state of war against political adversaries and aims at acquiring…

Aggregate mark: 59.06%, Men: 63.70%, Women: 58.33%

The Fidesz has so far neglected the establishment of a militant organization. Instead, militancy was outsourced to Jobbik, the various Guards, the Outlaw Army, and the Sixty-four Counties Youth Organization, some of whom are regularly holding armed “exercises.” Nevertheless, the system is in a permanent struggle, even without its own militants.

The government, the Fidesz, that is, conducts a permanent, multilateral struggle against its opponents and its allies, picking the enemy of choice as they please and as the daily necessities require for the best effect in the propaganda war. In order to nail down its enemies, Orbán was forced to come up with the idea of a new, almost singular form of state, the “illiberal state,” providing an unlimited opportunity to choose any social formation as the enemy, be that foreign or domestic. Every battle report, of course, is a glowing boast of success, leaving the purported enemy oblivious of having been the object of the battle.

8. … the monopoly of political power, using terror, parliamentary tactics and the compromise with the leading class to create a new regime, destroying parliamentary democracy;

Aggregate mark: 89.46%, Men: 90.26%, Women: 93.33%

This item received the highest mark of all. Accordingly, the system has almost completely solidified its grip on power. The impoverished society, partly due to its innumerable disappointments, has become very sensitive to intimidation, so, the relatively modest economic threat is enough to accomplish the desired retreat of any group so far. In the invention of parliamentary tricks, Fidesz has proven to be immensely creative, and not only in qualitative, but in a quantitative way it has been prodigiously productive, sweeping all opposition aside. Coming to terms with the economic upper class was not necessary, because after their accession to power, they ‘appointed’ a new upper class of a handpicked few. They were tamed already to support the government. The newly invented System, the “illiberal state,” is intended to take the place of democracy, whose existence was intolerable to Fidesz and Prime Minister Orban already in the previous four years.

9. an anti-ideological and pragmatic ideology that proclaims to be anti-materialist, anti-individualist, antil-iberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, populist and anti-capitalistic, expressed more esthetically than theoretically through a new political style and through myths, rites and symbols of a lay religion, established to favor the process of acculturation, socialization and fideistic integration of the masses in order to create a “new man”.

Aggregate mark: 81.13%, Men: 82.74%, Women: 84.05%

Here, near unanimity was reached. Fidesz is very active in the fields of political culture as well as in cultural politics. It is frequently reaching back for examples to emulate to the times of the early 1800s, the era of ultramontane, aristocratic, Catholic privileges. A large number of Fidesz politicians imagine themselves as aristocrats, and in the absence of a real aristocracy, attribute the ancient privileges to themselves and their coterie. This is where they find their legitimacy for their discriminative social policies. The myth of this continuity failed in 1848, but there is the convenient connection in the person of István Széchényi whom Fidesz misuses as the seal of legitimacy on their own myth. The steady propaganda of a tragic national ethos of eternal misfortune and enmity from every quarter is supported by the application of a selective and tendentious version of history.

The deceitful boosting of the curse of the Paris Peace Treaty – Trianon – serves to make the claim that Hungary and Hungarians have ‘always’ been victims, as they are today, and the government uses this supposedly tragic fate to support its own legitimacy, as well as for nationalistic propaganda. However, it does it in such a manner that it expropriates Trianon exclusively for themselves as their own, as if Fidesz were the only institution entitled to govern. Fidesz in fact denies that the opposition could possibly relate to Trianon in any sensitive manner.

This attitude is tightly connected to belittling the importance of the Holocaust, partly because that is the “enemy’s” problem, not theirs, and at the same time to buttress their own position in the eyes of their followers, as was seen in the case of the Cursed Memorial.

Fidesz’s policies towards youth are in a state of flux at the moment, but its contours are becoming slowly apparent. The education system, gradually integrated into one state-run organization, with the cooperation of the churches, has already been transformed. The production cycle of producing subjects, victims, and zombies takes a while to produce results, although some are already evident. But the vision of their intended society is clearly visible in the government’s educational policies.

10. a culture based on the mythical thought and on the tragic and activistic sense of life, seen as manifestation of the will power, as the myth of youth creator of history, as wanly model of life and collective organization;

Aggregate mark: 76.79%, Men: 75.30%, Women: 83.57%

The ideology of the system does not rest on any particular theory, or program. It is rather characterized by frequent occasional extemporaneous statements in the populist vein. However, the government, while constantly referencing Christian principles (without really applying them) finds therein the grounds for rejecting materialism and for the bristling opposition to liberal ideals. The lack of a program is helpful to the government because it saves them from expanding financial resources to implement and maintain them.

The so-called new style, be it verbal, or the exercise of power, is dumbed down to the deepest extent, thus appearing that the system, but most of all, the Leader, has descended to come and dwell amongst his People. Symbols long out of use, such as the Royal Crown and the Turul,[7] and the retelling of heroic national deeds, do not only serve as identity-boosting devices to the masses and inducements to unite, but also help to create the illusion of a false historical continuity and exclusive legitimacy.

However, the husbanding of a “New Man” hasn’t occurred to anyone yet. Instead, Fidesz experiments with the creation of a new society, inasmuch as they forcibly legislate a new, restrictive family model, new religious and church system. So far, there has been quite slim support from society.

11. a totalitarian view of the primacy of politics, as integral experience and continuous revolution, to enact through the fascist State, the fusion of the individual and of the masses in the organic and mystic union of the nation, as racial and moral community, adopting measures of discrimination and persecution against those considered outsiders of this community, because enemies of the regime or because they belong to races considered either inferior or dangerous for the safety of the Nation;

Aggregate mark: 70.38% Men: 70.11%, Women: 75.86%

For the government’s System of National Cooperation (NER), not only is politics most important, politics is all there is, but only its own kind of politics is admissible. Negotiation, conciliation, or alteration of policies is out of the question, even if the predictable outcome of a policy would make it necessary. Permanent revolution and political overreach is present at all times, from the granting of miserable public works jobs, through the choice of state procurement suppliers, to the granting of state monopoly licenses. Be it a small issue, or a great one, all decisions are made on the basis of Fidesz’s perceived interests. A large part of Fidesz’s politics is defining who is included and who is excluded from The Nation. Although the discrimination of the Roma people, for example, is a clear case of racial discrimination (with the enthusiastic cooperation of the Jobbik party), the list of those being discriminated against is far larger: the increasing numbers of poor are automatically included, as are the dispossessed agricultural workers and the struggling civic organizations. Those professing liberal ideas are automatically stamped as being Jews, and therefore, also are considered enemies. Everybody is an enemy – internal or external (the European Union and the United States) – who is endangering The Nation in their view. But who the Nation is, is being decided by the Leader on a contingency basis. Since, however, the numbers of enemies are increasing prodigiously, and elastically extending to ever newer groups, The Nation is proportionately shrinking. If this process continues, soon the Fidesz hierarchy will remain alone to represent The Nation.

12. a civil ethics based on the absolute subordination of the citizen to the State, on the total dedication of the individual to the national community, to discipline, to virility, to comradeship, to warly spirit;

Aggregate mark: 70.17%, Men: 69.26%, Women: 76.33%

With respect to ethics, Fidesz submits to the ‘superior’ strictures of the Christian Democratic People’s Party and its coalition partners, and by doing so, they can masquerade as practitioners of good, old-fashioned, Catholic morality. In fact, it demands moral submission from the citizenry while in its own conduct tends to distance itself blithely from any morality. I refer here most of all to the burgeoning corruption practiced by Fidesz and the State, virtually without any self-restraint. Meanwhile, for the populace, Fidesz mandates an increasingly rigorous morality in their policies towards the family, and are preoccupied with hypocritical prudery towards sexual mores, and a distinct animosity towards single people and singledom.

Otherwise, there are still processes that are incomplete: the promulgation of the “warly spirit” is not yet on the agenda. In view of that, the mark appears to be more severe than would be justified.

13.  a single party which covers the function of organ of the “continuous revolution”, of providing for the armed defense of the regime, of choosing the directive cadres and of organizing the masses in the totalitarian State, making them part of a process, both emotional and fideistic, of permanent mobilization;

Aggregate mark: 68.75%, Men: 67.78%, Women: 75.00%

Orbán’s invention of the “Revolution of the Voting Booth” is still in effect, and keeps society in a state of permanent agitation. Augmented by the institution of the System of National Cooperation (NER), it is the tool of reorganizing the entire society according to the retrograde ideas of Fidesz under the constant pressure of existential fear. Although popular support for Fidesz and the government is in steady decline, the determination and arrogance of the remaining supporters and the hierarchy are steadily increasing; they have no choice but to participate, even if somewhat reluctantly, in the permanent mobilization and in the enmity. Concurrently, they must persist in their declarations of fidelity, because not only their advancement, but their very survival within the hierarchy depends on it.

14. a police apparatus, which prevents, controls and suppresses, even appealing to terroristic measure, dissension, and opposition;

Aggregate mark: 56.50%, Men: 56.90%, Women: 56.90%

This mark is decidedly low, perhaps because it originated before the assault of the police against the civic organizations. It is unnecessary to enumerate the countless police and quasi-police organizations created by this government, just as it is needless to point out the politically directed, pro-government bias in their operation. It is more important to realize that apart from the police, the administration of the justice system is under increasing government pressure and influence.

As is frequented mentioned in defense of the Fidesz government, there are no journalists in jail. So, how could it be fascist? Perhaps this is the moment to point out that silencing the voice of opposition and dissenting voices by stifling some individuals would be an inefficient, ‘retail’ method. This is why there are no precedents for the ‘traditional’ harassment, or jailing of individual journalists. The ‘modern fascism’ operates in an industrial, or wholesale manner, by intimidating the entire media by way of legislative means. In this case, there is no need to bother with journalists one by one.

 15. a political system ordered in a hierarchy of functions, nominated from above and dominated by the figure of the “capo”, invested with charismatic sacrality, who commands, directs, and coordinates the actions of the party, the regime, and the State;

Aggregate mark: 86.35%, Men: 87.56%, Women: 89.81%

Shoring up arguments to prove this point is almost superfluous. It is enough to point out that within this hierarchy is the inception and completion of the Mafia State. Consequently, there is no conflict between this and those two attempts described above (see page 2, f.n. 2, 3) defining the Fidesz phenomenon; the existence of mafia is a reality, however, not as its inverse, but merely part of the larger fascist system as its organizing principle.

Here, the marks given probably correctly register how far the ultimate goal of the fascistic reorganization of society is complete.

16. a corporate organization of the economy, which eliminates union liberty, enlarges the spheres of intervention of the State and aims at achieving, on the basis of technocratic and solidarity principles, the collaboration of the productive classes under the control of the regime, in order to reach its goal of power while preserving private property and class division;

Aggregate mark: 76.92%, Men: 75.67%, Women: 83.38%

It is hard to miss the conglomerating intentions in the government’s economic policies. The expropriations and purchases under the guise of the national interest; the secret “strategic contracts” with certain corporations; the frequent inexplicable cadre changes; and the government’s equity purchases in strategic sectors,[8] are all evidence of the assembling of Magyarország Zrt.[9] (Hungary Inc.) — of course, in accordance with the interests and decisions of the Leader. Naturally, in this process, the public support is courted by shameless propaganda, constantly invoking the “National Interest.” In many cases, it is hard to tell whether there is, or isn’t, public support for government involvement in business, but, the government ploughs on regardless. The government spends exorbitant sums of money on popularizing such involvement. Although this propaganda is not really necessary, the goal is obvious and the campaign would work fine without it.

As a result, the ‘protection’ of private property is realized so that the right to property is more assured for some than for some others. In this respect, the modern Hungarian fascism doesn’t honor the established rights of all, but prefers to respect only the property rights of those expropriated properties slipped into the hands of their adherents. A specific internal contradiction of this system lies in the insistence on redistribution of ownership even if it results in manifest losses and disadvantages. In these cases, despite the losses, they still insist upon the expropriation, because it is justified by ideological principles, the national interest. This is well exemplified by the redistribution of the tobacco licenses, that led to a 40% reduction in the over-all turnover of the tobacco market; the forcible intrusion of the banking sector that led to an almost complete secession of lending in the country, or and many others, that all lead to substantial losses to the state and to those industries. In reality, behind these redistributions there is always the favoring of some in the Fidesz hierarchy who eventually receive the right to those properties. The question, whether the Leader personally benefits from these property redistributions, is, for the moment, subject to guessing.

17. an imperialist foreign policy inspired by the myth of national grandeur and of the New Civilization, aiming at supranational expansion.

Aggregate mark: 58.81% Men: 64.52%, Women: 56.24%

The people giving these marks, in my view, did not quite appreciate how timely and important this point. They took the limited view of military expansion only and thus marked it too low. Of course, the minuscule Hungarian military, and the peaceable policies of the European Union absolutely preclude any possibility of armed conquest beyond Hungary’s borders. But that says nothing about ideological expansion. Fidesz is hard at work building bridgeheads in those countries where Hungarian ethnicities dwell, by creating and supporting Fidesz-clone parties in most areas. In these intentions, they are competing with even long-established local Hungarian political organizations, trying to replace them with Fidesz creations. This is an effort to break the independence of those local parties, so far, with pitiful results. The goal is to export Hungarian nationalism. To that end, the government extended Hungarian citizenship and voting rights to ethnic Hungarians of those territories: a quid pro quo.

This is the pipsqueak imperialism of a pipsqueak country’s pipsqueak government.




[1] http://www.oslo2000.uio.no/program/papers/s12/s12-gentile.pdf or elsewhere:    http://www.libraryofsocialscience.com/ideologies/docs/fascism-and-the-italian-road-to-totalitarianism/

[2] Magyar Polip A postkommunista maffiaállam, ed.  Bálint Magyar (Budapest: Noran Libro, 2013. The book has received wide attention and a second volume was published in September 2014.

[3] In point of fact, Rudolf Ungváry’s book on this subject just has been published a mere days before writing this summary. In this book he is mining to a much deeper degree the phenomenon and provides a much more detailed analysis. Rudolf Ungváry: A láthatatlan valóság; fascistoid mutáció a mai Magyarországon (Pozsony: Kalligram, 2014) (The invisible reality: a fascistoid mutation in today’s Hungary)

[4] Historian Zoltán Ripp has provided a remarkable analysis and critique of “ungvárysm” in an article: Ripp Zoltán: Jobb- vagy balmagyar – Az ungváryzmus téziseiről. (Right, or left Hungarian – about the theses of Ungvárysm) Mozgó Világ (July  2010). http://mozgovilag.com/?p=3593

[5] Laszló Kálmán expresses his reservations about the efficacy of this debate and the competition for the winning name for the regime. Élet és Irodalom (November 2014)  http://www.es.hu/kalman_laszlo;elnevezesek_es_hasonlatok;2014-11-14.html

[6]The worst example of this presently is the Chamber of Teachers, but a Chamber of Bailiffs and a Chamber of Notaries Public are in the process of being forcibly created.

[7] The symbolic, mythical bird of the fighting Hungarians of the prehistoric and medieval age.

[8] There is an increasing activity in share purchases, or full expropriations, such as the oil and gas market and the recent drive to buy out as many foreign-owned banks as possible.

[9] Zrt. is a Hungarian acronym, used for ‘closed’ private corporations, which operate without publishing reports, not traded on the stock market, and whose ownership is determined either in private negotiations or by government fiat.


  1. Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
    By Dr. Lawrence Britt

    Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Dr. Lawrence Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

    2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

    3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

    4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

    5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

    6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

    7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

    8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

    9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

    10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

    14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

  2. One can define things, “objects” through examples too.

    Here is one:

    It was a Thursday today. This evening, it was quietly disclosed that Parliament will vote on the person of the new Chief Judge of the Constitutional Court on Monday.

    No name was revealed. Oracle (Speaker) Kövér will say a name, tomorrow, or perhaps on the day of the vote.

    No genuine debate is permitted, and an Injustice X is anointed right away.

    This is an example that circumscribes the object, which is “the state of Hungary in 2014”.


  3. From Mr Britt’s 14 points, Orban’s regime seems to satisfy 13 to a large degree.

    #4 Supremacy of the Military is the odd thing out.

  4. Szégyentelen hazaáruló Balogh elvtársné, mennyi pénzt kap Soros Györgytől, hogy a magyar népet mocskolja nap, mint nap?

  5. I haven’t read the article fully, but I remembering describing some of what was going in Hungary to an academic friend in the UK, and her reaction was that it was typical of a fascist regime – I had always thought Orban was more communist – she was adamant it was fascist. Whichever, its just so misleading to call it ‘right wing’ or ‘populist right wing’ which has been the common phrase in the international (liberal conspiracy) media- the label is important.

  6. I’m reading the works of Sarkar at the moment (the great Indian philosopher), who divides society into four classes, keeping an open mind over the fact that the so called social status can change over time through education, diligence, opportunity, etc. etc.
    The four classes are:
    – The Era of Laborers
    – The Era of Warriors
    – The Era of Intellectuals
    – The Era of Acqusitors
    It would be interesting to know where Hungary stands at this moment in view of Sarkar’s inevitable law of social evolution.

  7. Bence Tuzson and Monika Dunai, two new hitmen proposing bills to make RTL’s life more difficult. If RTL thinks it cam get away with its news show it is wrong. Or is Orban wrong?

    Anyway, a new crop of fidesz fanatics are appearing the scene.

  8. @Jozsa Janos Mit kapsz Orbanektol, hogy letagadd a sok tenyt arrol, hogy hogyan rabolja ki a Fidesz az orszagot? Mondd mar el nekunk, hogyan telik valakinek aki eleteben nem dolgozott csak mint politikus es felesegenek (aki jelenleg tanar es ot gyemeket nevelt katolikus csaladszeretettel) olyan ingatlanra ami legalabb 150,000,000 ft-ot er? Hogyan telt szolosre meg egy gyerek 6,000,000 ft/ev svajci egyetemre? Mery nem a jo magyar oktatasban iskolazzak gyerekuket a magyar allam javara? Mi torteneik a parkolasi berletekkel, amit az uzleteknek kik kell valtai az V. keruletben? Mrt nem az onkormanyzathoz kellet a penzt befizetni, hanem ugyvedi irodanak? Janos ebredj fel, mert a kezed a bilibe log! Ne a hirnokot szidjad, hanem aki a hirt csinalja!

  9. Török Gábor talked to Orban himself about the Veszprem elections. This Török guy is more disgusting that I thought.

  10. Dear Mr. Jozsa Janos,

    It is to our greatest regret that we have to inform you how Mr. Soros and his investment company ignores our humble enterprise here.
    We repeatedly approached Mr. Soros, first in the name of the Bolshevik Party, to no avail. Then we also wrote to him from the Magyar Arokasok Nemzeti Szovetsege (National Alliance of Hungarian Ditchdiggers) and again we failed to attract his attention.
    When, based on these experiences we concluded that Mr. Soros is hardly interested in our activities, we just had to wonder why that is. Investigating further the reasons, we have been shocked and dismayed to discover that Mr. Soros had the audacity to publish several books, under his own name, propounding his own views and opinions in complete disregard of what we do here. We agree with you that this is a very unfriendly gesture on his part.
    Naturally, we also realize that the money, his own, Mr. Soros spends freely on publishing his “destructive,” but otherwise highly respected books would be much better invested in the Fidesz and Mr. Orban’s ever deepening pockets, but unfortunately we haven’t found a suitable method to enlighten him in that respect – as yet.
    We instructed Messers Lazar, Rogan, Gulyas and Rubovszky, members of our Parliament best equipped and most experienced in the fine art of highway robbery, to form a committee with a view to find the legal avenue to redirect Mr. Soros’s money to the proper destination.
    We impressed upon them that this matter is urgent, particularly because the measly leftovers of money we are hoping to steal from the pensioners in the next coming weeks will not go far, in fact, we are going to squander it in no time at all, and so, we are soon to be in a great need of additional stolen funds.
    I hope, Mr. Jozsa, that our explanation is satisfactory and you will be kind enough to wait patiently until Mr. Soros’s money arrives to the desirable destination. In the meantime we here at the Hungarian Spectrum, will struggle on in the hope that sooner or later one of our bids to government support will find favourable hearing and will be able to receive the funds, similarly to the CÖF, to support our work.
    We gratefully thank you for your interest in our work and shall remain your fervent servant.

  11. So much nonsense.
    Re: Monopoly of political power!!!

    Let me cite a Princeton 2014 study od US:
    “US government policies reflect the desires of the wealthy. The vast majority of American citizens have near zero impact upon public policy.”
    Eva should mention this study in her next interview.

  12. @buddy

    How does the data protection office come into the picture?

    This was a basic police matter and there is a data base for such matters.

    Fidesz’ people at Belügy (Ministry of Interior) ran a very simple search.

    I’m sure UD Zrt. and others right now are busy doing many környezetrajz (I am not familiar with the term in English, it’s a kind of background analysis of targeted people, as we heard about these in connection with “Gordonka” on the Csanyi-UD Zrt. leaked tapes) for all the people who appeared as speakers, organizers in connection with any of the demonstrations.

    Fidesz will stop at nothing to keep its power and fideszniks just love to use former/current belügyesek.

  13. “US government policies reflect the desires of the wealthy. The vast majority of American citizens have near zero impact upon public policy.”

    It may be true, but that does not excuse what is going on in Hungary. Hungary should choose Estonia, not the US as a model.

  14. Joe Simon
    November 28, 2014 at 7:53 am
    So much nonsense.
    Re: Monopoly of political power!!!
    Let me cite a Princeton 2014 study od US:
    “US government policies reflect the desires of the wealthy. The vast majority of American citizens have near zero impact upon public policy.”
    Eva should mention this study in her next interview.
    I agree. Next time Eva when you are writing about the USA in a USA blog, do not forget to mention the above. Until then, maybe e Joe Simon will let us know what does he thinks about the data above. We know Joe’s opinion, and I understand tat often he thinks his opinion is equal to everyone else’s opinion, but according the facts that is not the case. So, Joe Simon let us know what do you think about the Hungarian data (not the USA).

  15. OT; Today in Budapest at Szabadsag ter there were many tourist groups. WHat I found very fascinating that most of the pictures that were taken we taken about the installation in front of the “monument about the “eagle that tries to kick the apple”, and not about the monument.
    The true art piece in fact is the organic installation . There are hundreds of stones, dozens of photos, artifacts and symbolical pieces. They are truly touching. The “eagle that tries to kick the apple” was not my invention, but I overheard the question: “Why does the eagle tries to kick the ball?” asked an Asian man from the tourist guide. I took a picture, as from the right side of the monument it does look like that. There is also a nativity scene put up there now with large Christmas tree.

    (By the way, excuse my misspelling and no-sense sentences, as my autocorrect is on overdrive on my iPhone, as I try to type away. In my previous comment put his head in the sand was corrected to put his ear on the sand….)

  16. @Smaug again
    “How does the data protection office come into the picture?”

    It was mentioned by the person in question himself, Mr. Várady, in his statement, at the bottom of the article.

  17. We have got a good defense team against all fascist orbanists who smear the Hungarian Spectrum.

    The job of the Hungarian Spectrum is very easy.

    There were rarely worse regimes in the Hungarian history than the counterrevolutionary anti-intellectual orban creation.

  18. buddy: the data protection office is a joke, it’s a totally Orban-loyal governmental unit, but this part of Varady’s press release simply meant that he (Varady) was going to initiate a procedure with the office so that the office could investigate whether Varady’s personal data was protected properly by the police/prosecution which I suppose have this data base.

  19. @Joe Simon
    “So much nonsense.
    Re: Monopoly of political power!!!”
    – you wrote.

    It certainly means that the rest of the survey depicts correctly the present situation in Hungary – and after a long time I have to agree with you regarding that part. After all, there’s still a hope, so I apologise to underestimate your intellect, I really du.

    However, I’d recommend to you to work a little bit more on that “monopoly of political power” part.
    You see, the survey was all about Hungary, and there indeed is a political monopoly exist and rules nowadays with the capability to do whatever with the whole policy of a country, with no rivals to speak of, so I really interested to know, what else can you call it, if not monopoly?

    (For a short while I considered to include the definition of the word, but I don’t want to insult you, particularly as we are heading toward an understanding, you see.)

  20. I am feeling sorry for the magyar nep.

    What can a nation achieve with such people like this reader?

    Józsa János
    November 28, 2014 at 1:25 am
    Szégyentelen hazaáruló Balogh elvtársné, mennyi pénzt kap Soros Györgytől, hogy a magyar népet mocskolja nap, mint nap?

    Who is doing the real damage?

  21. The Orban government intends to cancel 5 types of aid to the sick and poor from 2015.
    To be precise, local governments can still give some of them, but they do not get money, so they will be discontinued almost everywhere.

    The 5 types of aid [yearly expense in billions of forints]

    lakásfenntartási támogatás (help to pay utilities for the poor) [22.4]

    adósságkezelési szolgáltatás (help to pay debt) [1.4]

    óvodáztatási támogatás (help to pay for the mandatory kindergarten) [0.6]

    méltányossági közgyógyellátás (help for the sick poor with medication) [4.2]

    méltányossági ápolási díj (help for the elderly sick) [2.9]

    Total [31.5 billion forints = 0.1 billion euros]

    Click to access 02141.pdf

  22. The cable companies must offer the numerous state television channels in the first 10 spots.

    RTL, which has to pay 83% of the advertisement tax, cannot be offered below #11.

    About 10% of the population with television do not have access to cable. They can get only state news according to a new Fidesz bill.


    [I did not yet check the location of the statements above in the submitted bill]

    Click to access 02189.pdf

  23. NB: The state television and radio will get more than 3 times as much money in 2015 than the cancelled social programs.

  24. when i sad “hazaáruló” i mean a traitor, or a quisling, if you wana a patricide, because that is what yuo are, dear sándorkerekes and baloghévinéni and every thous men, who is asaltad our country. and our life.
    Dear men! Have you a miror in your bathroom?
    if you have, take a look!
    What have you seen there?
    An old communist. Yes in you miror there is a picture. an old, ugly and bad maligan communist!
    I say: Yours time is gone! Yorsy time is gone, when you maked everyone fascist, who was not communist

  25. fabulator tappancs, if you wana to lie you could! the american people have not information abaut, that the RTL Club is a televizion chanel broadcastinged from Romania, that is a rue!

  26. What is going in Hungary is not yours busines, dear Jan P!
    It’s our life, it’s öur bargain! It1s our life, it’s our busines, dear perjurios men, like kerekes, balogh and others libellers of my nation’s country!!

  27. Is a selection of 50 people sufficient for any sociological research? The results is shear nonsense. Obviously, people have never lived at fascism time and have no personal experience on what it is. The first sign of fascism is that you will never dare to conduct such a poll and to take a part in it but will tun away from the poller who is an obvious agent of the secret police.

  28. I’m living in Hungary, it is true, I’m not have a good english, because i have not need that4 But If I wana to proced like kerekes, or BalogÉva, I coluld writen down in a blog about wrong things what is rely tru in USA! If I want, I could say, in the USA is a fascist goverment, why not? In Hungary the are more people who neve wsa traveled in USA!
    And we know the USA democracy! The american dying demokracy, We know about the movement of occupy Wall Street, I saw in YouTub the american police men how brutalized the protestators! They, the policists may be fascists? Say you, the america polce is a fascists organization, they shot down thwe blck mna’s childrens?

  29. No, America has a well-functioning democracy that has many faults. If you say that you were refused in visa and this is a reason to call the country fascistic, then the word “fascism” loses any meaning. Clearly you have not experienced fascism in your personal life and I wish you never to experience it.

  30. America has a well-functioning democracy? Words, and words, nothing true. If I wana to have the american real life, I have not yours words, I have YouTube, and I could see the reality, I have the Ocuppy young men’s pain in my heart, and I say, Thi is a PoliceMan’s State, ihis USA is not a democracy! If I saw the shotted douwn young black children’s father, I feel in my heart what could feeling that man!
    And I say, the USA is a Policeman’ terorizated State!

  31. Dear bacbiters of my country Hungary, If I want to have the true about USA life I could read the american citizans opininions in You Tube, for examples: they writened down that, “Land of the free my ass, america is the most violent country.” or “Many of them are black …Fuck Tha Police!” Or I could read about the occupy Wall Street movement, like: ” These are common tactics used to destroy morale. The people need more passion and heart to stand up to the police state we are in. Wear plain, clean, and matching uniforms, march in strict formation, and carry bats, mace, and stun guns in you are staging any kind of protest.”
    Have you ears? You can hear about a protestator’s word: “Murray M. Burns say:
    A good way to avoid police brutality is to not trespass in the first place.” No comment!

  32. Józsa János: “What is going in Hungary is not yours busines, dear Jan P!”

    In that case what is going on in US is not your business.Józsa János úr.

  33. The survey methodology seems weak, to say the least. It’s a pity, for the author’s own remarks regarding several items are quite interesting.

    Moreover, the answer to the title question should obviously be a ‘NO’, as several points are not verified in today’s Hungary. I’d clearly lean towards Heller or Ungváry here …

  34. I think, we can safely ignore Jozsa Janos, in fact the best is to do just that.

    Not so Eliezer Rabinovich

    Well, it is certainly true that such small sample is not sufficient to be a complete poll. However, I made that perfectly clear in the introduction, it was only meant to be what it claimed to be and nothing more. Not having personal experience of fascism, however, is not an argument agains applying the criteria that was presented to the participants. They were entitled to have their opinions and able to make the judgement, even without the personal experience.
    The liberty you are attributing to the event may have been available, but was not fully so, since numerous protesters of the scene are in court for demonstrating there, amongst others Imre Mecs, a former parliamentarian in his eighties and his wife. An other regular protester, Lendvay Miklos mathematician, was beaten by some thugs so severely that he was taken to hospital where he died in two days.

    To Marcel Dé:

    You are not alone with your opinion. In fact I was sitting next to Ungvary at a round table chat about his book, when I expressed to the plenum my opinion that by looking for alternatives he is actually giving an escape to the system, instead of facing the beast head on. When I set down, he bent over and whispered: “that was very good.” Even he agreed with me!
    As to Heller, I have never had the chance to speak to her, but even if I had, I would be so intimidated by her reputation that I would be scared to challenge her. Not to mention the fact that she is so small, that I would feel ungentlemanly to accost such tiny, elderly lady. But make no mistake about it! She is indeed formidable in debate.
    Let’s agree to disagree!

  35. Latiatuc feleym ʒumtuchel mic vogmuc. ýſa pur eſ chomuv uogmuc. Menýi miloſtben terumteve eleve mív iſemucut adamut. eſ odutta vola neki paradiſumut haʒóá. Eſ mend paradiſumben uolov gimilcíctul munda nekí elnie. Heon tilutoa wt ig fa gimilcetvl. Ge mundoa nekí meret nū eneẏc. ẏſa kí nopun emdul oʒ gimilſ twl. halalnec halaláál holʒ. Hadlaua choltat terumteve iſten tvl. ge feledeve. Engede urdung intetvinec. eſ evec oʒ tiluvt gimilſtwl. eſ oʒ gimilſben halalut evec. Eſ oʒ gimilſnec wl keſeruv uola viʒe. hug turchucat mige ʒocoʒtia vola. Num heon muga nec. ge mend w foianec halalut evec. Horoguvec iſten. eſ veteve wt eʒ muncaſ vilagbele. eſ levn halalnec eſ puculnec feʒe. eſ mend w nemenec. Kic oʒvc. miv vogmuc. Hug eſ tiv latiatuc ſʒumtuchel. iſa eſ num igg ember mulchotia eʒ vermut. yſa mend oʒchuʒ iarov vogmuc. Wimagguc uromc iſten kegilmet eʒ lelic ert. hug iorgoſſun w neki. eſ kegiggen. eſ bulſcaſſa mend w bunet.

    Eſ vimagguc ſʒen achſcin mariat. eſ bovdug michael archangelt. eſ mend angelcut. hug uimaggonoc erette. Eſ uimagguc ſʒent peter urot. kinec odut hotolm ovdonia. eſ ketnie. hug ovga mend w bunet. Eſ vimagguc mend ſʒentucut. hug legenec nekí ſeged uromc ſcine eleut. hug iſten ív ui- madſagucmia bulſaſſa w bunet. Eſ ʒoboducha wt urdung ildetuitvl. eſ pucul kinzotviatwl. eſ veʒeſſe wt paradiſū nugulmabeli. eſ oggun neki munhi uruʒagbele utot. eſ mend iovben reʒet. Eſ keaſſatuc uromchuʒ charmul. Kirł.

    Worms are awaiting the representative both sides, especially those who can’t help lying.

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