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Why is Hungary turning to nationalism?

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FinHman

The Hungarian situation is not "toward nationalism" or even "anti immigrant"
The Fidesz communication is more similar to the "hidden background powers/influence" Youtube videos, and websites, but the "background power" is "named" George Soros, or more recently the UN. (Brussels(yes the city) was the first in that position).
That communication method has a great advantage: Anyone who says anything about the government can be dismissed by "he/she is controlled by the background power".
The "Keleti factor" does not exist. In fact it is the opposite: who never seen any immigrants are more afraid (result of the dehumanizing propaganda) there were cases where the police was called against Hungarian people just because they were in a group or wore a scarf and therefore were thought to be immigrants. (Thankfully nothing problematic happened during these false alarms).
The opposition has 4 problems:
- The communication method mentioned above
- The election system (Fidesz has around 40% support but may to get 66% of the seats)
- The almost unlimited funding of the Fidesz communication (as that comes from the state)
- EU Funded projects mean a source of political legitimization for the government (some things are built) and usually it is communicated as "the Party gave this" and also serve a money source for the Fidesz Party .

Peterkovalszki

It looks to me- even beside and after your explanation-that the Hungarians have a good reason to vote for the Fidesz and Mr.Orban. Add to that the booming economy, the improving infrastructure, the stability obtained, and the inanity of the opposition( past and present) , there is really no contest.
The “vote “ of the tourists, the Western Europeans buying flats and living at least parttime there, the Hungarians living abroad, the investors, all confirm and explain the preferences reflected in the opinion polls. Tomorrow we will see the final, and real stufff...

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Fabelhaft

In today’s Europe, thundered Mr Orban, “it is forbidden to speak the truth”: that immigration brings crime and terrorism and “endangers our way of life, our culture, our customs and our Christian traditions”.

And TE wants Hungarians to talk about Progressive socialist programs, like HC and Ed, wherein quality of life and brainwashing occur. It sure seems like Hungary has more base concerns.

"Brussels taking Hungary to court TWICE over migration and EU laws"
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/890588/Brussels-Hungary-court-case-...

Well, it's only an investment as far as taking Hungarian lessons.
But you can always come over to live here. EU citizens are quite welcome.
In fact I rather think that the diverse approach taken by various EU governments is rather preferable to uniformity.
EU citizens can pick and choose where they want to live.

sikko6

Hungary is a country of illegal migrants from Ural mountains. Having some African and Muslim migrants help Hungary's identity.

Zoltán Koskovics in reply to sikko6

Khm... Excuse me but we are a country if invaders from the Ural mountains. We killed everybody who was in our way or opposed to us taking the land we wanted to. Perfectly fair and sporting behavior for the 9th-10th century.

From somewere in the swamps of Jersey

Like most of the drivel that The Economist and other Leftwing rags disseminate these days concerning immigration, this article oozes condescension. I imagine part of the reason for this is that people who publish this crap rarely come in contact with the riffraff, trouble-makers, hooligans and general lowlifes that normal people want to keep out of their countries. If the publisher, editors and writers at TE lived more ordinary lives, they'd quickly change their tune. But, unfortunately, that isn't going to happen because the one thing the globalists are good at -- in addition to wrecking their own countries -- is keeping far away from the problems they create for others.

Zoltán Koskovics

I'll come out from my hiatus for this one.
It's nice of TE to try and understand the Orbán phenomenon, but for the most part they are wrong in their article.
I'll start with what they got right. Although quite literally nobody uses the term "Keleti factor" here, such a phenomenon does exist - Hungarians (including your humble servant) were genuinely dealt a shock at the height of the migrant crisis. The fervor with which Fidesz (Orbán's party) reacted to it won them much sympathy.
However, all the rest of the speculation about the national psyche is neither here nor there.
The Orbán phenomenon is in fact a modern, 21st century one. It has nothing to do with tatars or Habsburgs. There is a global struggle between liberal globalism and populist nationalism. You all know that perfectly well, Orbán and his voters are on the side of populist nationalism.
There is nothing wrong with that although globalist liberals do have hurt feelings over this.
Contrary to what TE suggests Poles have been coming over for March 15 celebrations since times immemorial. It has nothing to do with Orbán and everything to do with the affinity of the two peoples. Which incidentally disproves the "sea of slavs" theory as well.
(Everyone is fine and I am glad to see that TE has opened some articles for comment at least, see you guys soon)

Oh and kindly stop with the "philanthropist" bull everybody and their grandma knows that Soros is an ideologue pushing a political ideology.
Even his fans know that.
Therefore he is a completely legitimate Target for political attack from those opposed to his ideology.

"Therefore he is a completely legitimate Target for political attack from those opposed to his ideology."
.
Ah, but is it justified to silence those who hold ideologies that are at odd with one's own, the way Orban is trying to silence and banish anything and anyone associated with Soros?
.
From my point of view, Soros' ideology is freedom and democracy, while Orban's is xenophobic nationalism and authoritarian. The imbalance is that the latter will try to silence the former, along with the independent press and judiciary, using state power, rather than having an open discussion about facts.
.
Authoritarians don't respect democracy and the rule of law; if given power, they will use it to shut down opposition. That is problematic.

JCP2 in reply to Zoltán Koskovics

"Therefore he is a completely legitimate Target for political attack from those opposed to his ideology."

Policy-based political opposition, sure. Complaints about the attacks are mostly about the anti-Semitic attacks and nonsense conspiracy theories.

Oh jee-zuhs how does one talk to you people?
Freedom and democracy are not an ideology. Freedom is a state of being and democracy is a mechanism of organizing power relations in a country.
Soros's ideology is globalist liberalism. He advocates for transnational structures to have power over nation states and their institutions. It is perfectly legitimate to oppose that ideology. But if one does he gets called names by the adherents of the globalist liberal faith.

Fine. Let's say that global liberalism is Soros' ideology. And of course it is legitimate to oppose it.
.
BUT, is it legitimate to oppress the free press in that opposition? I think not. Apparently, Orban doesn't have much faith that his ideology will win out if people are properly informed.
.
Besides, Orban has changed his ideology so much that one wonders if he really has one, beyond saying whatever helps to stay in power and keep the lid on his corruption.

No. It isn't.
But I'd question what you've heard about the state of the press in Hungary. There are three TV channels, including the most watched 24hrs news channel which are dead set against Fidesz. That's HírTV. The most visited internet news portal is dead set against Fidesz. That's Index. The most influential opinion weekly is dead set against Fidesz. That's HVG. There is a plethora of other critical media.
That doesn't mean I approve of state run media, I don't. Or the destruction of the most influential lefty daily ( That's Népszabadság). But it does mean that there is plenty of opposing voices heard.
Orbán doesn't have an ideology. He is extremely cynical. Which doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that he PRETENDS to have an ideology.

What bothers me (among many things) is that cynical little would-be dictators like Orban (there are many nowadays, from Ankara to Palm Beach and beyond) use fear to stay in power (by blaming foreigners, be it refugees, Islam or bogeymen like Soros) and enrich themselves, without offering the people they claim to represent any solutions.
.
Like it or not, in a world where capital crosses borders without any difficulty, information zips around the globe in miliseconds, and tragedies of the global commons like climate change, collapsing fisheries and wars/refugee crises are getting ever more dire, it should be obvious that nationalism is not a solution. It wasn't last century, it isn't this century. It is a pipe-dream.
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We need global banking rules to stop tax avoidance and evasion, and rules and agreements that allow us to deal with things like climate change. Those things can only be achieved with international cooperation. Certainly countries like Hungary don't stand a chance against global capital seeking power.
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I guess that may be where we can agree on: the kind of capitalism that made Soros so obscenely wealthy is highly problematic and must be curbed.

EduardTita

The phase "a Magyar island in a Slav sea" is a little bit of a stretch. Hungary's neighbors on North and South speak slavic languages, but the neighbors on East and West don't.

Palinka

Hungary for all its history was at the mercy of others - invaders, oppressors, national identity and cultural murderers. A small (very small) land mass on the crossroads and in the cross hairs of each and every war that was fought on European soil, none of which saw Hungary victorious.
The very fact, that such a small country, with its unique language and culture even exists still after eleven hundred years of virtually constant attacks against it is a miracle. Its stance on uncontrolled migration and withstanding external pressure by globalist (read: vulture capitalist) forces must be viewed from that angle.
The EU is NOT a supra-national entity, and should never become one. It must remain an economic association, that serves - supposedly all - its members. It will never and should never become the United States of Europe.

fibrillarytangles in reply to Palinka

An economic association fails in many important areas. 1) Defence 2) Helping create a level educational and legal playing field that is essential for providing a peaceful future for Europe 3) Providing the research basis for the development of new industries that can raise the group wealth 4) Creating system whereby the more advanced and powerful states cannot abuse the poorer states. In the US companies can invest where there are good workers and lower wages this creates new areas of wealth and development that are outside of the political system.

fibrillarytangles in reply to Palinka

An economic association fails in many important areas. 1) Defence 2) Helping create a level educational and legal playing field that is essential for providing a peaceful future for Europe 3) Providing the research basis for the development of new industries that can raise the group wealth 4) Creating system whereby the more advanced and powerful states cannot abuse the poorer states. In the US companies can invest where there are good workers and lower wages this creates new areas of wealth and development that are outside of the political system.

Houshu

"George Soros, a Hungarian-born philanthropist"
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Having gotten one's riches through fraud and theft then plow the money into dubious political causes can hardly be called philanthropy... As someone pointed out below, at least Himmler invented something himself.

FatCat16

Hungary was Nationalist in the last war. It didn't end well.

aamjimee

It's also important to note that the current opposition forces - with significant backing from citizens - in Hungary are fragmented and so find it difficult not to be drowned out by Orban's propaganda. Please, don't mistake those of us who are informed and discerning for those who aren't.

KillingSpree

Calling Soros a philanthropist is akin to calling Himmler a pest controller. It's a vicious lie. Soros spreads toxic values through pressure groups that he funds. He can use to destabilize nations from which he can profit by betting against them in the stock market, or simply to spread his twisted vision of right and wrong.

sikko6

Surely Hungary will be better off to follow Britain's lead. EU is an evil empire that will go down the same path as Soviet Union. Better exit early before too late. Soros will conquer Hungary soon.

fibrillarytangles in reply to sikko6

Mr Putin and his cronies hate the EU as it has been so successful in raising the standard of living, and economic possibilities for its people in a way that Russians can only dream of. His idea of economic development, political freedom, and population welfare is a total fraud that threatens the livelihood of all Europeans hoodwinked by his misinformation. They run the risk of reliving the 20th century with its dictators and deaths.