Orban humiliated: Hungary's crypto-fascist Fidesz party suffers string of municipal election defeats

Due to their unusual talents, Teller and Von Neumann both were drawn into a non-populist right-wing authoritarian system that opposed Communism: the intellectual core of the American military-industrial complex. During the Cold War, they could convince themselves that they were anti-authoritarian because they were “defending the world’s greatest democracy”, even though that in reality involved things like propping up right-wing juntas and even though they were setting the stage for the Reaganism that, in turn, led us here.

Being products of their times and Jewish, though, neither would have explicitly supported fascism as an alternative to Communism in either Hungary or the U. S. as some non-Jewish Hungarian expats have in the past (the Horythist strain) and still do (with Fidesz and Jobbik). And contemporary right-wing populists now see the apparatus they worked for as part of the “deep state” (indeed, some of them inject an “Elders of Zion” conspiracy twist into the concept because of the presence of these two Jewish individuals).


Jobbik has been trying very very hard to cultivate a centrist image in the past four years or so - not necessarily on the individual MP level (because at their core they’re still appealing to racist, xenophobic, homophobic sentiments) but as a party as such. Like, “We swear we’re not fascists anymore! Honest!” And the opposition was so incredibly desperate at this point that most of them said “well OK, if you say so” - hell, many in the opposition had been all set on involving them even before they started with the “cuteness campaign” (called such because of shit like Jobbik’s former leader posing with puppies, etc. after years of trying to cultivate a strong, stern image, to appeal to less extreme voters).

Besides, at this point Fidesz is a lot more openly fascist than Jobbik has ever been (to the point where much of their policies, actions, etc. very closely aligned to Jobbik’s original program!), and so Jobbik’s original, extreme right-wing voter base has mostly migrated either to Fidesz or even further right.

(For disclosure I’m Hungarian, living in Hungary.)

By the way, if anyone wants really good commentary in English about the terrible political situation in Hungary (terrible, even with this latest, very faint ray of light) I very much recommend this blog: http://hungarianspectrum.org/


Not confusing at all. Three things are important here:

  1. during the “communist” period patriotic sentiments were oppressed (because we were supposed to be a pan-national socialist paradise under Soviet leadership, you see) and so they became a form of resistance. As such, after the regime change there was a huge surge in patriotic sentiments that of course often leaned very, very hard into nationalism. This was one of the waves that Orbán rode back then, even though he was a “wild young liberal” - back in those times being a young liberal and having nationalist leanings were not really mutually exclusive.
  2. 1989 wasn’t a revolution at all (later a famous politician had this famous saying: “well maybe if you had made a revolution!” referring to how peaceful and smooth the whole thing was) and Orbán wasn’t really a “hero”, that’s just the cult of personality he’d had built around him. He definitely had lots of charisma, he definitely made some rousing speeches, but he didn’t actually do anything other than saying “Russians go home!” and then leaning back and letting popular sentiments run their course. (Also, that’s not how he got started in politics, he’d been doing politics for a good while by then.)
  3. Orbán is a cynical, amoral shithead, and this has been obvious since the early ‘00s. He’s an opportunist - he doesn’t particularly care about what he’s championing as long as he’s getting more wealth and power out of it. He cultivated an Anti-Soviet “hero” image and while the Socialists were in power he loudly criticized them every single time they had anything positive to do with Russia - now he’s Putin’s pawn and blatantly represents Putin’s interests. He was the PM when the country joined the EU - now he’s loudly and blatantly anti-EU and appeals to voters’ anti-EU sentiments. He used to speak up against Anti-Semitism - now his party is very, very clearly Anti-Semitic.

I don’t know about his politics before or at that time, but many of the revolutions brought together a variety of groups, from some communists, center-leftists, to nationalists and the far right. At least some of the far right activity in modern Germany today was from some of the East German nationalists prior to the fall of the wall, so I’d argue it’s not entirely unsurprising that someone took a hard right turn here. Still fucking depressing.


That wasn’t really the situation at the time in Hungary.

For one as I said above it wasn’t a revolution at all, far from it. (jhbadger probably confused it with the revolution of 1956.) It was a pretty peaceful and smooth process. Sure there were tensions but the whole thing was resolved without conflicts. At that time the Soviet Union basically had no power, political or otherwise, to try to hold on to the country.

Two, again, nationalist sentiments were already pretty strong because patriotism had been strongly repressed during the Communist regime (which is one of the ultimate roots of the later fascist turn of the country), and they had been all the stronger because the entire point of the regime change was to end the Soviet occupation and regain our independence. So even someone billed as “liberal” like Orbán was simply in context of “progressive and anti-Soviet”.

What wasn’t? Everyone was of the exact same political stance? Across the board? I doubt that. And there very much were street protests leading up to the end of the communist government there.

And much of the rest of the fall of the eastern bloc was peaceful, too. There were protests across the board, but other than the murder of Ceasucescu in Romania, there wasn’t much violent revolution in any of the Eastern bloc countries, in part because the protests had sustained enough to warrant a more peaceful transition, plus the Soviets told everyone that they would not crack down.


No, that’s not what I was saying, obviously. You said that the revolution brought together a variety of groups, “from some communists, center-leftists, to nationalists and the far right”. I was saying that this wasn’t the case here because one, there was no revolution, and two, there was no particular “getting together”. There were political groups (and later on parties) with various leanings, but it was all very fresh and new and mostly formed along the lines of shared immediate interests, instead of clear-cut political ideologies. That’s how you could find nationalists among democrats, etc.

And Orbán didn’t take a “hard right” turn - he’s always been a populist looking for the most effective way of getting into power and then rising as far as he can.

Also, street protests a revolution or even a conflict don’t make. (We’ve been having street protests for the last 8 or so years, including some pretty large ones, and Fidesz is still in power.)

It wasn’t a violent revolution – but except for the Romanian one, none of the revolutions of 1989 were particularly violent. But they all ended the single-party Communist rule in favor of new systems with multiple parties, so I’m not sure how this can can be described in any other way than a revolution.


By revolution, I didn’t mean like the French Revolution or the Revolutions of 1848… I meant the general uprisings against communist regimes across the eastern bloc.

People in the Eastern Bloc still had political leanings. They were aware of other political ideologies and orientations, and many people secretly participated in underground politics and were sometimes arrested, executed, or exiled for it. So, I’m not sure what’s “fresh and new” here with regards to political orientations?

So was he hard right back in 89 or not? If he was not advocating for hard right policies out of the gate, then yes, he had a hard right turn. If he’s just an opportunist, he’s still taking his opportunity from a hard right turn, isn’t he? An opportunist promoting hard right policies is STILL promoting hard right policies.

You’re using a very narrow definition of revolution. Conflict doesn’t necessarily a revolution make. Hungary is very much on the list of “revolutions of 1989”.


And there it was down to Ceausecu being unable or unwilling to read the reality of the situation and it was relatively short-lived (a couple of weeks).

And also led by multiple actors with various political orientations.


It’s past midnight here, I’m too tired to argue, and I’ve got to get up in the morning, so here’s where I bow out.

Just one thing: the fact that 1989 wasn’t a revolution, that it wasn’t quite as cathartic, that it started milder, slower changes and reforms, played a part in the development of Hungarian politics after the regime change. A former PM (Antall József) coined a saying that gets repeated even today, “well maybe if your started a revolution”, to justify some of his policies. But hey what do I know, I just live here, taking about events I lived through.


Okay man. Whatever you say. Have a great night…


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