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Thread: Is Hungary going fascist or are American professors morons?

  1. #1
    Senior Member [WDW]Megaraptor's Avatar
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    Default Is Hungary going fascist or are American professors morons?

    Yale Professor: Hungary Could Be Going Fascist

    At the end of October the Associated Press reported that Christoph von Dohnanyi, well-known German conductor and grandson of Hungarian composer Ernő von Dohnányi (1877–1960), had cancelled a pair of appearances at the Hungarian State Opera because he didn’t want to “appear in a city whose mayor entrusted the direction of a theatre to two known, extreme right-wing anti-Semites.”[1]

    Theatre lovers of Budapest—and they are many in a city of ninety some theatres—staged a demonstration demanding a reversal of the mayor’s decision that was made against the recommendation of a panel of experts. The appointment of two extremist anti-Semites was a political decision, most likely dictated by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán himself. Orbán is willing to appease or even work with the extreme right if his political goals so dictate. As Al Kamen of The Washington Post wrote not long ago, “Viktor Orbán has no appetite for democracy.”[2]


    What kind of society does Orbán have in mind as the result of his efforts? First and foremost one in which he and his party will be in power for many years to come. He made that clear already in September 2008 in a speech before a select audience. He outlined his vision of a new Hungary in which there will be one “central power,” a governing party that will be in charge for decades. According to him “dual power,” meaning a political system in which the opposition has a significant role to play, leads only to superfluous bickering which impedes effective governing. In brief, Orbán is trying to build a system in which there will be an opposition giving the appearance of democracy, but where the opposition will be so weak that it will not be able to exert any influence on the course of events.


    Francis Fukuyama has also weighed in on this issue:
    The Orbán government has undertaken a number of measures that suggest that it doesn’t really understand the norms that must underlie a healthy liberal democracy. Using its supermajority in the Diet, it has enacted not just the new Constitution but a flurry of new laws, almost all of which centralize power in its own hands. Affected institutions include the National Bank of Hungary, controlled now by a Monetary Council largely in turn loyal to Fidesz–what’s gotten the IMF upset. The supervisory powers of formerly independent watchdogs like the Budgetary Council, parliamentary ombudsmen, and the Health Insurance Inspectorate have all been either eliminated or reduced. Local governments have lost powers to the center with regard to education, health, and disaster preparedness, while control over gymnasia in the capital has been put under a new government regulator and the autonomy of universities curtailed. The autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, as well as public foundations in the arts and sciences, is being more closely controlled by the government.

    Any one of these measures in themselves might be justified had they been the product of a prolonged and open public debate. But this huge mass of new legislation was passed hurriedly to take advantage of the government’s present supermajority, giving potential critics no time to even digest the content of the laws. In many cases, Fidesz, which won only a bare majority of the popular vote (52.7%), has embedded its own policy preferences in ways that will be very hard to undo should it lose power in the future. A liberal democracy is not just about majority rule; its proper functioning rests (as it has in England) on the respect that majorities show towards minorities, and the ability of the society as a whole to engage in informed deliberation. (Not, by the way, something that’s in very good shape here in the US at the moment.)

    I said in my earlier post that the Orbán government displays an “authoritarian thin skin” and this is something that I would doubly underline. Perhaps the most disturbing thing happening in Hungary is the centralization of power in a government-controlled Media Authority, and its intimidation of opposition media. Taking away the frequency of an opposition-aligned radio station is something right out of Hugo Chavez’s playbook.

  2. #2
    buck duck huck luck muck puck ruck suck tuck yuck fuuuuuuuu muck's Avatar
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    From what I gather it's not directly Fascism what they're up to, but if Orban holds to the current course they're definitely headed towards a right-leaning authoritarian state.

  3. #3
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    Did not Obama himself infamously said "this is what elections are for"?

  4. #4
    L O L A JCR's Avatar
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    disinformation central


    All of eastern Europe except for CR and Poland seems to be leaning towards El Presidente style politics.
    Take Romania.
    Basescu doesn't change the constitution, he simply ignores it.
    In a way, the only difference between Orban and the rest of the bunch is that Orban institutionalizes this sort of rule while the others pretend to be democrats.

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