Hungary’s Only Hope of Recovery

Based on the ATV interview , like the interviewer, I too could detect no new content in TGM’s words (though I am not defending interviewer Olga Kalman’s constant wise-guy hectoring.)

TGM said Orban was declaring his cards. — Everyone already knew his cards.

And TGM said that those (like TGM) with critical views should continue to think and speak them. — Of course they should.

And that the bottom 4 million were bound to revolt sooner or later. — Sympathetic as that still sounds to the ears of those (like me) who still believe in social and economic justice, it’s really just rewarmed Marxian hermeneutics. No real content. Nothing practical. No new insight. Just the ideology that TGM faults the illiberal Fidesz gangsters for lacking.

But that’s not all that those gangsters lack. They also lack all scruples — or any know-how for anything but getting and holding power.

TGM’s heart is probably in the right place. But he has nothing to offer but oratory.

Let’s hope that decent Hungarians don’t have to keep waiting for a revolution, but that Europe will cut the purse-strings and the consequences will at last turn the electorate against Fidesz/Jobbik and toward the democratic parties that have the EU’s confidence and still share “European” values.

If an EU cut-off instead propels the Hungarian electorate even deeper into Fidesz/Jobbik’s thrall, then maybe Orban will fall as F & J duke it out in Round II.

Once Orban falls, let’s hope the demonic spell will be broken.

If not, Hungary is lost (and Orban was not even the culprit — just a creation of Hungary, rather than its destroyer.
(Since he did not really say anything new, there’s nothing much to disagree with TGM about. Perhaps only to demur on there being even the slightest sign of intelligence in Orban. His “success” has been due exclusively to negative factors: (1) an utter lack of scruples and (2) playing to the populace’s basest delusions. Any psychopath or demagogue could do the same. All democratic opposition is hence handicapped by their possession of scruples. If they too lacked scruples, they could defeat him at his own unfair game — but in doing so, they would defeat themselves.)

That’s why I think the EU and the rest of the outside world are Hungary’s only hope of recovery.

Stevan Harnad

Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences, UQÀM
Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Charter
External Member, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

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