Rudolf Ungváry on the fascistoid mutation in today’s Hungary, Part I

The political system introduced by Viktor Orbán never ceases to fascinate analysts and observers. Earlier we spent a considerable amount of time discussing Bálint Magyar’s theory of the post-communist mafia state. Dozens of political scientists, sociologists, economists, media experts, and legal scholars wrote articles on different aspects of Viktor Orbán’s mafia state, describing the way it functions. Although in the last few years other analysts have offered views on the nature of the Orbán regime from various angles, legal and psychological, it was only Magyar’s mafia-state theory that stuck and became widely accepted.

ungvary rudolf2The new book by Rudolf Ungváry will most likely be a serious challenge to The Hungarian Octopus: The Post Communist Mafia State. Ungváry contends that the two edited volumes on the mafia state provide merely “a sociological description” of the Orbán system. Only “the economic criminality of the system is captured, not its essence.”

So, what is the essence of Orbán’s system according to Ungváry? As the subtitle of the book suggests, it is “a fascistoid mutation.” (Rudolf Ungváry: A láthatatlan valóság: A fasisztoid mutáció a mai Magyarországon/The Invisible Reality: Fascistoid Mutation in Today’s Hungary [Pozsony/Bratislava: Kalligram, 2014])

Before the appearance of this book, only two commentators called Fidesz a fascist party, pure and simple. One was the linguist László Kálmán, who wrote an article in October 2010 on a rarely visited internet site in which, after briefly describing the three or four essential elements of Italian fascism, he stated that “Fidesz in the past fifteen years has been a fascist party par excellence.” The other was László Bartus, editor-in-chief of Amerikai-Magyar Népszava. I might add here that in September 2010 I wrote an article for Galamus in which I compared the ideas of Viktor Orbán to those of Gyula Gömbös, prime minister of Hungary between 1933 and 1936, and talked about the similarities of the present Hungarian political system to that of Gömbös, which itself was a mutation of Italian fascism. But Ungváry is right, references to the fascist elements in Orbán’s system did not prompt serious debate.

Ungváry argues that without antecedents the present system could not have been developed. “The system is successful because the Hungarian political culture of the extreme right before World War II has been reborn in a different guise. It pretends to be something else. It uses the instruments of liberal democracy to mask itself.” Ungváry lists four “surface characteristics” of the Orbán regime that “are designed to hide the real nature of the system.” Then, following the research findings of Umberto Eco, the Italian philosopher, and Hans Mommsen, the German historian of Nazi Germany, he concentrates on the “eight essential characteristics of fascism.”

The most misleading characteristic of this mutation is the democratic “gloss” that covers the fascistoid structure. Democratic institutions have remained, although they have lost their function. The role of opposition parties is to ensure the appearance of democracy. Behind that gloss Ungváry sees the hidden structures of the system that make the regime a mutation of the original.

As for the essential characteristics of the system. (1) There is no declared “guiding principle.” The Leader is not named. There is no Hungarian Führer, Duce, Caudillo, not even Nemzetvédő. He is only “Viktor! Viktor!” Yet he is the supreme leader. With those who don’t question his leading role he is patient, but his political opponents are considered to be enemies and aliens. (2) Although the “cult of strength” is present, there are no brutal reprisals. Intimidation is indirect, but it is always present in Orbán’s speeches. (3) Loyalty is one of the guiding principles, but again it is not written down anywhere. The socialist system also demanded loyalty, in its case to the party. The Orbán system of loyalty is based on personal networks that are typical of fascistoid regimes. At the top of the pyramid stands the Leader himself. (4) Within the system there is seeming chaos but this chaos is actually organized. Those who are faithful to the leader have a fair amount of power, but for those who are suspect there is no mercy. For example, more than half of the civil servants were fired. There is no “class warfare”; the fight is with banks and multinationals. (5) Every important state institution is in the hands of “their own men.” (6) One of the most typical characteristics of the system is its “more neutral selection of those to be excluded.” In communism this ingredient of the system was pretty straightforward; it was based on class. In Nazi Germany it was “race.” In Orbán’s system the targets are those “who don’t belong to us.” They are the ones who are stripped of their banks, their pensions, their land, and so on. This is the third time in a century that wealth has been redistributed. In order to give to those who are “ours” they must take away from others. (7) The groups who are targeted can vary depending on the needs of the regime. It is flexible in this respect. (8) In order to ensure the followers’ loyalty and enthusiasm for the regime, it is necessary to stir up passion and conflicts. In Hungarian this is called the “politics of grievances”; it also entails the rewriting of history.

These essential characteristics of Orbán’s fascistoid mutation are critical to understanding the rest of Ungváry’s treatise, about which more tomorrow.

A few words about Rudolf Ungváry. He is a real polyhistor. He is a mechanical engineer by training but is known as a writer, journalist, film critic, and librarian. In 1956 he was an engineering student and because of his activities was interned in Kistarcsa. In 1958-59 he worked as an iron turner, after which he was allowed to return to university. Since 1983 he has been a research associate at the Széchényi (National) Library. He considers himself a conservative in the classical sense of the word.

Tomorrow I will turn to Ungváry’s thorough analysis of the present fascistoid system and how Hungary ended up here.


  1. A few of us have known it.

    The national intelligence is so low that 40-50% of the people do not shame to celebrate viktor as the savior.

    The future is bleak, because the reservoir of smart people became very small.

  2. O’magyar – I would say the intelligence or otherwise of the Hungarian people has nothing to do with the nature of the current regime. After all it is the same people who were happy enough with a democratic system up until FIDESZ gained its 2/3 majority in Parliament. And again you would not have called Germans during the 1930’s unintelligent. They were amongst the most educated nation in the world at that time. No, the intelligence of the general population is not a factor in which regime a country has. What Bálint Magyar and now Rudolf Ungváry have done is provided a considered theoretical framework for understanding the nature of power in present-day Hungary. None of those frameworks relies on the level of intelligence, or otherwise, of the general population. There is plenty in which to criticize the current regime in devastating detail, but alleging that there aren’t enough smart Hungarians isn’t one of them.

  3. I talked to a Fidesz sympathizer the other day. To him Orban is a strong leader not a dictator. He sees the problems, at least part of it, but he thinks of them as collateral damage on the way to greatness. This also includes the possible corruption (“he deserves it”). He doesn’t believe in the Weimar republic analogy.

    We have to be careful with the Mussolini analogy. I think the followers see our Duce as the good Duce. Pushing the fascist button on the general Hungarian population, that is on a frustrated, apathetic, uneducated mass, can backfire on us.

    It maybe a better strategy to belittle him wherever possible. These stories, where showed up on a NATO excercise uninvited are priceless, for instance.

    I’m not arguing anything in the comparision. All true. I’m just saying we have to get these genious Hunkies put the cross in the right rubric in 2018.

  4. Look at Turkey’s situation with Erdogan. Orban of Hungary (Orbania will be the new name soon….:)))) and Erdogan are very similar. They both are frightfully effective populist “leaders”, following old and tried fascists tactics, with nationalistic populist slogans to mesmerize the dumbed down masses. High IQ has nothing to do with being a responsible citizen. Germany was full of smart people, who followed Hitler. Poor self esteem, combined with historic defeats in the hands of “others” (with no faults of their own actions that may have contributed to their defeats) and now looking for elevating their self esteem and national prestige by kicking sand in the face of the progressive civilized world. Wow!!! What a way to go down to another assured defeat!!! Fools follow other fools… Free elections alone, will not produce Democracy and Critical Thinking Citizenry….

  5. We can call Orban whatever we wish. We preach to the converted only. A friend of mine was telling me that her husband’s mother did not talk to the family for six months because she suspected that they did not vote for Orban. We are talking here about educated people, on top of the middle class. When the family pointed out some of the obvious corruptions of Fidesz, the answer was “It was not reported in HirTV. It must be lie.” Again, I am talking about a highly educated woman.
    Fidez fans also believe that all the bad that Hungary is still experiencing, or starting to experience is the outcome of previous wrongdoings. The new scandal of Rogan (the 5th district store that was sold to a guy who is likely a hit man to hire below its real value) happened because of Gyurcsany. According to Fidesz Gyurcsany hired people to trick Rogan’s man. lol The sad part is that Fidesz’ fans do believe in the Fidesz versions does not matter how laughable the version is. It was only three days ago I mentioned the parking space fees in 5th district that must be paid under Rogan to an independent law firm NOT to the government. People in fact filed complains that never been investigated.
    What Jobbik promises is a thorough investigation of all funny businesses of the last decades, and the possibility of confiscation of personal funds, belongings that can be tied illegal activity. Now that appeals to many Hungarians regardless of liberal, left of right view. When I asked around, only Fidesz leaning business people and politicians who do not like the sound of investigating personal gains. Although I know that there were lots of funny business going on prior to Fidesz, not a single leftist person I spoke to had any problem with investigating only Fidesz friends (including a tobacco shop owner).

  6. o’magyar: “The future is bleak, because the reservoir of smart people became very small.”

    I never believed that the Hungarian plain is populated by hillbillies, and that this is the reason that Hungary has entered a blind alley. Hungarians are just as smart as other people but they lack democratic tradition and enlightenment.

  7. Chancellor Merkel is coming to Budapest in February to endorse Orban Welt am Sonntag has learnt.

    Orban obviously will use this occasion to prove that even Angela Merkel loves him.

    He will use the meeting not only in Hungary, but with any politician as a clean bill of political heath.

    See, Merkel met with Orban it would be time to meet Cameron again or Sarkozy.

    Why Merkel lets herself used by Orban is a mystery.

  8. Referring to Bálin Magyar sounds a bit weird, if not blatantly crazy. Our dearest Bálint was up to his balls in cocoa stained keyboards and power-brokering or what not? Why don’t you so-called “smart people” (rather smart arses, if you ask me) get stuffed and disappear for good from this small country called Hungary?! Who wants you here? Go and get a life to yourself somewhere else where you might as well become happy, which is probaly a mission impossibele for you. Go and try to teach your values to Palestinians or get youself waterboarded a bit just for the sake of the taste of true democracy.

  9. bereg, if you really mean what you write then it is nice of you to show how justified it is to speak about the fascist mutation.

  10. @bereg Have you actually read Magyar’s book Magyar Polip? I think you should! There are some really good points in it and you could learn a lot. 🙂

  11. Utter nonsense by Ungvary.

    I spend 4-5 months in Hungary every year.
    The quality of political discussions on ATV or ClubRadio is simply unknown in the US or even Canada. PBS or TVO is a distant second. By contrast, on CNN all you get is mostly entertainment news by miniskirted girls with too much makeup.

    Power is far more concentrated in the US, for example, than Hungary. The top 1% of Americans own as much wealth (and power) as the bottom 95%. Food for thought!!!
    The churches are full, lucky if you get a standing place.

    The trouble with Orban is he talks too much. He should follow Mackenzie King’s advice: talk only about motherhood and apple pie.
    If anything, there is too much virulent politics in Hungary.

  12. Intellectual poverty. Moral poverty.

    So much depression is floating in the Hungarian puszta and Pest.
    Reformers after reformers, freedom fighters after freedom fighters tried to restore justice and happiness to Hungary.
    Only the Ferenc Deak team was successful for a short time.
    Most parts of this polarized nation has never found it important to establish freedom for all.
    The long lines of ugly dictators could turn Hungary repeatedly into barbaric killing fields.

    The bereg is beregging there and the rest is history. Let us give up hope. Our szabadsag has not been found there for a long time.

  13. Responding to Joe Simon: There is nothing in either the United States Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence which indicates even the slightest inkling of a thought of wealth equality in my country. Even the right to a public education does not exist in the US Constitution, it does exist to varying degrees in State Constitutions. But overall Simon’s data relating to the USA is not correct and wealth concentration while high is not as extreme as he presents it.

    The most authoritative source comparing wealth-concentration in the various countries is the successor to the reports that used to be done for the United Nations, now performed as the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook. The 2013 edition of it finds (p. 146) that in the U.S., 75.4% of all wealth is owned by the richest 10% of the people. The comparable figures for the other developed countries are: Australia 50.3%, Canada 57.4%, Denmark 72.2%, Finland 44.9%, France 51.8%, Germany 61.7%, Ireland 58.4%, Israel 68.9%, Italy 49.8%, Japan 49.1%, Netherlands 54.6%, New Zealand 57.6%, Norway 65.9%, Singapore 61.1%, Spain 54.0%, Sweden 71.1%, Switzerland 71.5%, and U.K. 53.3%.

    Those are the top developed nations, and the U.S. has the most extreme wealth-concentration of them all. However, there are some other countries that have wealth-concentrations that are about as extreme as the U.S. For examples: Chile 72.5%, India 73.8%, Indonesia 75.0%, and South Africa 74.8%. The U.S. is in their league; not in the league of developed economies. In the U.S., the bottom 90% of the population own only 24.6% of all the privately held wealth, whereas in most of the developed world, the bottom 90% own around 40%; so, the degree of wealth-concentration in the U.S. is extraordinary (except for underdeveloped countries).

    But as I said the USA has no aspirational goal of wealth equality, fundamentally we believe in our majority that attempting to equalize wealth is a communist ideal and it is rejected by all but the poorest sectors of the USA. We do have extensive inheritance taxes, there are many complex exemptions to the estate tax system but on the federal level it can go up to 40% of an estate for those with estates over $1 million. Because home values are included many people have net estates over $1 million who are not I the top 10%. For example if you live in Fairfield County Connecticut the medium single family home alone is worth over a half a million dollars.

    But the goal of estate taxes in the USA is not wealth equalization but revenue generation.

  14. Some people here seem lost. This blog concerns Hungary, not the United States. There are thousands of blogs about American politics and society. I suggest that people who want to comment on American issues visit those blogs, not this one.

  15. Below is an excerpt from a new book on Russia.

    Does it sound familiar?

    With the oh-so-lovely “boys” from Bibo college?

    “Instead of seeing Russian politics as an inchoate democratic system being pulled down by history, accidental autocrats, popular inertia, bureaucratic incompetence, or poor Western advice, I conclude that from the beginning Putin and his circle sought to create an authoritarian regime ruled by a close-knit cabal…who used democracy for decoration rather than direction.”

    Many voters but especially hopelessly naive Western observers desperately wanted to believe that they were right, that “The West” was superior and democracy will prevail because that’s the natural order of things, like forever-growth in economy, when all the evidence was there for anybody who wanted to look proving the exact opposite.

    It’s a good news that at least some, still no too many people are coming to terms with reality.

  16. @Webber

    They are most definitely not lost, they are trolls (and people feeding the trolls).

    It’s a very straighforward tactics: since many readers are from Western-Europe and they are not pro-US and many readers from the US are also critical about their own country to a certain extent, arguments which raise valid American issues can put present day Hungary (the result of Orban’s disastrous regime) in a much more favorable light. Many people can say, if this is the same in the US then this isn’t so bad compared to what I expected from the media coverage of Orban’s regime.

    That’s their goal, this is premeditated.

    When the US criticised the communist regimes in the 1960’s there was always an apt (but of course ultimately ridiculous) reply “but in America they beat up the negros”. These trolls provide the current version.

  17. Webber this blog is presented to the public by a U.S. citizen resident in the USA, and reflects in my opinion an American Hungarian perspective, although a somewhat refreshing liberal one compared to the norm for American Hungarians in my opinion. Joe Simon’s claims against the USA are indirectly an attempt to discredit Eva and her perspectives, if they are inaccurate they need to be corrected to the extent they can be corrected.

  18. Re: intelligent Fidesz supporters

    Some of you wrote about intelligent, educated friends/acquaintances who are adamantly defending Fidesz, no matter what.

    While I agree with both Magyar’s and Ungvary’s characterization of the regime, as a social-political system (I really don’t see an irreconcilable contradiction between the two), to understand the psychological profile of how the regime works, I think another analogy would be very useful: the analogy of a cult.

    The way Fidesz and Orban was in a crowd of blind followers, and the machinations with which they maintain this following, is not unlike the operations of a religious cult. That explains how for many otherwise intelligent and educated people rationality goes out of the window when it comes to Fidesz. Simply put, rational arguments and facts will not convince these people. I’m afraid that nothing short of a major tragedy would wake these people up.

  19. @An “The way Fidesz and Orban was in a crowd of blind followers, and the machinations with which they maintain this following, is not unlike the operations of a religious cult”

    Exactly. The keyword is “belief”. Believe in salvation and don’t let yourself be detered by the evil critics. But while talking to them time to time I have the impression that something sticks. Talking to a Fidesz sympathizer is like explaining something to your teenage kid. To reitarete my previous point, the focus should be on this crowd not on the anatomy of the Orban regime.

    Also the Fidesz believers feel part of the system – they are tied to them by their belief. These people will take everything you say about the regime personally. They have a huge moral investment. It’s an addiction.

  20. @An
    This reminds me on the old guy at the Fidesz HQ in Budapest a few months back: “Do you want a little chloric acid in your face?”
    Oh, well … Hungary.

  21. An: “I’m afraid that nothing short of a major tragedy would wake these people up”

    An immense tragedy took its beginning already long time ago when the “state” robbed people of the money that was set aside in personal accounts for their old age. The enormity of the crime dawned on few and it did not seriously alarm the opposition. Inevitably the fate of hundred thousands in their old age will be eviction and starvation. How major a thing is needed to wake people up?.

  22. @ Istvan
    I disagree.
    When HS talks about Hungary, an idealist picture of the US is held up & implied.
    Refer to the Princeton 2014 study of the US.
    “The majority of American citizens have near-zero impact on public policy”.
    Does it mean the Us is a fascist state? Of course not.

  23. An and Mutt is right – Fidesz indeed operating like any other sect. Blind faith and unconditional devotion among the main requirements to be a ‘real Fidesnik’.

    It also means, that from this minute on you’d become a ’true’ Hungarian, a real nationalist and a patriot, a ’true’ christian, a ’true’ conservative – all at once, as like by miracle, believing in Viktor gave you absolution from being a communist, an agent, an ateist or a liberal – all these are “the others” from now on. Not to mention the added benefit: as a Fidesz member you entitled to hate all the others and express your hatred at vill, they will save you from the consequences, you have nothing to worry about – its a bargain, really!

    And no, it isn’t much about education – I wouldn’t use the word of ‘intelligent’, however – it rather turns around the elementary need of the people to belong to somewhere, and rather belong to a successful group if they decide to. And they will. Mostly the ones with no real personal integrity, mind you, but they do join to the ‘winners of the moment’ in vast numbers.

    Why and how it happens?

    For the moment I ignore the devastating problem of lack of viable alternatives – it’s interesting, but still not the answer.

    In my opinion the answer lays in the nature of the Orbanist communication technique, which is in essence the same as the Nazi propaganda technique, à la Goebbels, old, but proven working, ever since. Not to mention the convenient coincidence: they don’t even have to alter the text that much, all fits just nicely to the purpose.

    Yeah, ladies and gentlemen, I think – or rather I’d say – the whole Orbanian “ideology” nothing else, but a mix of Nationalsocialism, Fascism and Bolshevism, with a pinch of blatant bully and “our kind of fellow from next door” feeling added for flavour – and they just love it.

    A great pity, however, that he isn’t even a honest redneck from Alcsútdoboz – or wherever – but a conman, who using premeditatedly the – may even be honest – sentiments of mislead masses to his own- and his cronies benefit, by using proven techniques of cult leaders and Nazi propagandists – and its working wonderfully!

    So, Hail to the Viktor!
    Even: Halleluia!

  24. @Jean P – they’ve been lead to believe that this is the right thing to do, so they didn’t take it as a tragedy, rather as an inevitable part of their life.
    Hungarians seldom react the same way any other ‘regular’ nations will – just take a look on our history.

  25. Joe Simon,

    You wrote: “Does it mean the Us is a fascist state? Of course not.”

    Troll you may be, but if you’re not, then you’re not very bright. Your use of the Princeton study is an obvious red herring, and not a very valid one (much like your lies about inequality in the US – when are you going to address what Istvan said about them?). Having near-zero impact by the population on public policy, especially in a very large country like the US, is not indicative of fascism, so why bring it up? There are many other types of political system that create a similar situation, including democracy, where apathy bred from a relatively well-run government can keep people from becoming activists. In the case of the US and other true democracies, people can clearly have an impact if they so choose. In Hungary, they cannot, since the state is completely run by one corrupt party that has no interest in allowing anyone else to impact public policy (the internet tax will reappear eventually, perhaps in another form). That’s the difference, which even a casual observer could see, and is evidence of authoritarianism, at least.

    Address the valid points of the blog post with intelligence and honesty or keep your trolling to yourself.

  26. Not too much OT:

    We visited my wife’s family in Eastern Hungary (looks much worse there than here near Hévíz …) and heard from them about a place surrounded by two walls (!) directly on the road from Törökszentmiklós to Mezötúr that belongs to Orbán’s wife …
    Anyone know more about this?

    Re the new (and old …) trolls:
    Ignore them!
    Simple Simon and his observations about the USA though make me laugh sometimes.

  27. Tinshed,

    I don’t know if Hungarians are less intelligent than the average nationality, or even less educated (communism can do that to a nation), especially since I’ve never lived in a part of Hungary outside Budapest. However, using 1930’s Germany as an example to disprove this idea does not work.

    We here in the 21st century have many tools available to us that those Germans did not. The main, most important tool is the history of the latter half of the last century, especially the part that includes the nearly uniform consequences of fascism. Since Italians and Germans from that era had no way to know what would befall them, they can be forgiven for thinking that fascism might work well for their respective nations. Hungarians, however, have the benefit of hindsight to see that in every case until now, systems that followed in the footsteps of those countries have all eventually met an unpleasant end to their fascist (or fascist-;like) experiments.

    This is the question I have for those who vote for Fidesz and Jobbik: when has your method of governance ever worked? In evoking Turkey, Russia, and China, Orbán sidestepped the issue, but those countries are all doing much worse now than they had been doing previously, for various reasons, and will probably not succeed in their present forms. Yes, I can identify with the idea that Hungarians should not be intimidated by those who would fight us in asserting our sovereignty (though of course that is not what is happening, really), and that we should fight for our principles despite the forces arrayed against us. However, fighting in this way is just a suicide mission, and will only end with Hungarians as a nation poorer and less free than before. Even if there is some truth to the idea that the developed nations are a cabal that will destroy us if we try to go our own way, why should we sacrifice our children’s future for nothing? We can do what the Hungarians did after losing in 1849 and 1956, and resist within the system, thus ending up controlling most of our own destiny. This road we are on will only bring the same end as Orbán’s hero, Horthy, brought to Hungary – destruction, poverty, and occupation. The only question is which side will be our master.

  28. @wolfi

    The son and husband of Aniko Levai’s sister purchased a company which owned – among others – 300 hectares (about 600 acres).

    In other words – on paper – Orban’s in laws purchased the land.

    This company also had exclusive rights to use further plots amounting to about 4,000 hectares (8,000 acres) without owning such plots outright. These data make it a rather significant agricultural player in the region.

    But Aniko Levai’s family members are simply Strohmenner, holding property for Orban’s immediate family.

    Also note that the Szolnok region from where Aniko is from is a very important power centre for Fidesz (Über-oligarch Zsolt Nyerges and Attila Varhegyi, who is still an important Fidesz operator are from the region, among many others at MVM and important state administration). Aniko Levai flies under the radar (editing foodie magazines), but she is very much part of the power structure

    In Hungary up until 1992 it was possible for legal entities to purchase agricultural land and such legal entities which bought land then could in theory keep such land which means that foreigners could buy land legally in Hungary through these entities of which there are only a few given the 2 year window in which this was a possibility.

    This company purchased by Orban’s in laws was one of these limited number of companies, owned by an Austrian national Frank Hornich.

    That said, these purchases of companies owned by foreign owners are not your normal sale and purchase transactions.

    More like some people will appear at him saying we would like to purchase your land, oh, by the way, I am representing the sister in law of Orban and unless you sell it to us, your land will be appropriated by the municipality or whoever is legally entitled to or the usability will be curtailed etc. I’m guessing Mr. Hornich signed a pretty tight non disclosure agreement too.

  29. Isn’t Orban to the West is a bit like Tito was to Stalin? I know the comparison is not politically correct as the EU or the US can’t be compared to Stalin, but saying no to the leaders of the West (because despite all the peacock dance Orban is performing this what is happening) and yet remaining within the ‘camp’ is a bit similar.

    This post-WWII division within the peace camp was also the start of the undoing of Communism.

    So I’m sure Putin is enjoying Orban’s subversiveness (shitting into the nest). But just as Stalin did nothing, the EU won’t do a thing either.

  30. @googly
    “..Hungarians should not be intimidated by those who would fight us in asserting our sovereignty (though of course that is not what is happening, really), and that we should fight for our principles despite the forces arrayed against us.”

    My only problem with this – even if I agree with your assessment – that there is no principles as such!
    All the Orbanist crap is just makebelive fabrication, nothing but!

    Just look at this: “Brewing our own spirit is part of our national culture, hence we have right to experience it further on”

    Being a Hungarian (well, there are still a few, – a very few, mind you, but still – more embarrassing facts in ones life) I object! Part of my national culture is Attila József, Miklós Radnóti or/and László Nagy, but not the home brew ‘pálinka’ for Gods sake!

    Or: “The opposition is serving foreign interest!” So, Russia isn’t a foreign power then, what Orbán serves?
    And “Out with the foreign owned multinational companies, because they taking ‘our’ money abroad” – then – “Hungary is a flagship of the European car industry..” and “Hankook is one of the flagships of the Hungarian industry”
    Owned by whom?
    Oh, crap, multinational foreign companies..!
    Oh my!
    What is this with these flagships all over, anyway? Anybody in the know? Admiral, are you there? Ahoy..!

    So, it seems like the Hungarian “principles” mostly nothing better than Orbán’s ‘at the spur of the moment’ slogan or catchphrase if you will, which has been planted into the heads of the humble masses.

    “Hungary performs better!” – remember? It isn’t really in clear, grammatically correct Hungarian, but it became the (biggest lie?) driving force during the election campaign, only a precious few ever questioned its validity.

    Just give it a few months and the Hungarian – Russian (blood)brotherhood, even the common origin, red dots or red stars on your butt, doesn’t matter – vill be presented as historical fact, what will be ‘part of our National culture” or some other bullshit, and the believers vill applause and defend the “principle” to the end, from the decadent ill-willing West…

  31. @Joe Simon: “Hungary performs better” – Bullshit to the nth degree, yet you are all
    parroting it.

  32. Joe Simon,

    You wrote: “To call Hungary fascist is simplistic to the nth degree, yet you are all
    parroting it.”

    No, once again you either aren’t reading or you aren’t letting the facts get in the way of trolling. I, for one, have not said that I agree that Hungary is currently fascist, and there are others, too.

    At the same time, the evidence is compelling, and it is spelled out explicitly. You, on the other hand, have only spelled out the word “simplistic”, which is a great way to describe your “argument” against the fact that Hungary’s government is structured along fascist lines. Give us something other than insults, and perhaps I’ll reconsider the possibility that you are nothing but a paid troll who is not giving Fidesz their money’s worth.

  33. Spectator,

    That was actually my point, partially, though there is plenty of legitimate criticism of the way the EU is dealing with sovereignty among its member states, especially when it comes to smaller, poorer nations. Just the idea of the EU is against true independence, but when was the last time that Hungary, or any other country, was truly independent? Even the most powerful nations in history had outside constraints on their actions, and Hungary is lucky to not be part of an empire anymore. On the other hand, shouldn’t we be allowed to buy bananas in any shape we like? Isn’t that worth fighting, dying, and going into poverty for?

    Sorry for the irony, perhaps it was a bit too subtle, in my previous post.

  34. 1. The few Iranian ruling clans expropriated the resources with revolutionary cover after 1979.
    2. The Soviet transformation was a similar plot. Starting in the 1980s.
    3. Orban abandoned the early slogans, and showed the Hungarians that he could do the same, just a little better, since the countless supporters gave him a good cover.

  35. Googly to Joe Simon: “Give us something other than insults, and perhaps I’ll reconsider the possibility that you are nothing but a paid troll who is not giving Fidesz their money’s worth.’

    Are there such people as paid Fidesz trolls? How come they haven’t approached me yet? I could really curl your hair here and I need the money….my precious book: Arty, Crafty, Nasty – (available on is not moving fast enough and The Gresham Symphony was listed by someone from Belgium on Goodreads, who gave it a generous 1*. The cost of fame, unbelievable….hm.

  36. @latefor – Unfortunately there are such people as professional Fidesz trolls – another part of the országimázs program that seems to be backfiring (When, since 1989, has Hungary’s image been so bad?). Naturally, there are also amateurs out there. I take it you would call yourself an amateur troll?

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