European Union and NATO should not tolerate a member government that violates fundamental democratic principles. Hungary should be asked to change constitutional provisions that are found by the Council of Europe to violate democratic norms; if it refuses, it should be subject to sanctions.Editorial, The Washington Post
Tagged: Hungary Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts
Németország, Hollandia, Finnország, Dánia: Politikai mechanizmus kell az Európai alapértékek biztosítására
The European Union said four EU nations are urging the establishment of a mechanism to protect “fundamental values” that unite the bloc.
In a letter to European Commission President Jose Barroso, the foreign ministers of Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark said the EU “must be able to react swiftly and effectively to ensure compliance” among its 27 member states with the bloc’s basic values.
While the letter didn’t mention any specific EU member, Hungary has been criticized by Germany and other countries for violating rights such as the independence of the judiciary that are seen as fundamental to the bloc’s cohesion. Barroso has received the letter, spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen told reporters today in Brussels.
“There are limits to our institutional arrangements when it comes to ensuring compliance,” the four countries said in the letter. “Neither the procedures enshrined in the treaties nor the EU fundamental rights charter provide for sufficiently targeted instruments.”
They said the commission, the EU executive, “should have a stronger role” in safeguarding fundamental values. The proposed mechanism “should be swift and independent of political expediency,” they said.
A schizocracy is a country or state ruled by paranoid schizophrenics or other non compos mentis
administrators. This, for a polity’s inhabitants, means rule by people who would ordinarily require
psychiatric treatment or detention in a mental health ward.
The most obvious observable phenomena in a schizocratic regime is the constant paranoia of
government agents: the ruling schizoclass views any criticism as a personal attack, and anyone who
questions government decisions is viewed as an enemy.
In order to solidify its grip over the populace, a schizocratic government will publish laws, budgets,
and public papers that are indecipherable to all but a few certified “experts”. Schizocrats are also often
obsessive about secrecy, as they recognize on some dim level that their activities cannot withstand
In addition to the use of such obfuscatory tactics, the implementation of irrational policies also serves
to strengthen the schizocracy’s position. The rule of law is often weakened: where constitutions and
constitutional courts exist, they are frequently corrupted by the regime; when thieves, embezzlers,
tax evaders, and other criminals are friendly to the schizocrat cause, they go unpunished; when
citizens offend the paranoiacs, heavy penalties are meted out arbitrarily. The media and education
system are pressurized to become the central disseminators of the schizoclass’ mental aberrations:
in some extreme cases university graduates may even be forced to sign contracts that bind them to
the shitocracy for several years after graduation and ban them from seeking meaningful employment
The central reason behind the schizocratic regime’s desire to strengthen its grip over the population
is that schizocrats are paranoically aware that sane people are desperate to “defect” or abandon the
abject disarray of the schizocratic state. However, what schizocrats do not realize is that in the long
run they undermine their own position through the excessive hostility, absurdity, and conspiratorial
nature of their governance.
In terms of foreign policy, schizocracies have few allies except for other schizoid regimes. Even then,
relations are often strained, as schizocrats often live at strife with the world, and are convinced that
malign foreign forces are attacking their country.
However, it is important to note that although the underlying mistrust, paranoia, and authoritarianism
of schizocracies is dictatorial in nature, such governments could not exist in a democracy unless a
substantial portion of the population were also delusional.
Professor Emeritus of Political Science,
National University of Absurdistan
Azerbaijan, as a country of different religions existing in peace and mutual respect, stands ready to be a model for world countries. I am hopeful, the to-be-accepted decisions will be a step forward in this context and make weighty contribution to the intercultural dialogue.Azerbaijan’s First Lady
[…] This is the Hungary of today; constitutional manipulation, bubbling extremism, and economic crisis. However, the EU and IMF are in a strong position to promote change. In January, Orban dared the EU to act on their criticisms of the constitutional manipulation. On 6th September, this political brinkmanship was repeated with his rejection of a 15 billion euro IMF deal. But the economy is falling and popular frustration is rising. Orban famously points to ghosts in the system – conspiracies outside, Roma within, and Communists everywhere. Rather than searching behind for the pantomime villain, Hungarians need to see the one right in front of them. The EU and IMF are just prolonging the Orban charade by demanding cuts to pensions without making a tough stand for transparency, accountability, and the constitutional integrity of Hungary. They have the leverage to lift the curtain, but do they have the courage?Jacob Diggle: “Hungary is being held hostage by an outdated tyrant” / Viktor Orban’s government is returning the country to totalitarianism, New Statesman
Bloomberg: Hungary Lauds Hitler Ally Horthy As Orban Fails To Stop Hatred http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-13/hungary-lauds-hitler-ally-horthy-as-orban-fails-to-stop-hatred.html
Hungarian far-right politician certified as ‘free of Jewish and Roma’ genes: http://www.nature.com/news/genome-test-slammed-for-assessing-racial-purity-1.10809
DK: liberal socialists
Jobbik: national socialists
Fidesz-KDNP: social nationalists [ruling, >2/3]
MSZP: red socialists
LMP: green socialists
Present situation [Tárki; blue: uncertain]:
Ágnes Vadai [DK]: It seems that we are witnessing a Horthy renaissance. Almost as if Miklós Horthy’s rehabilitation were a new fashion. (Tamás Gaudi-Nagy (Jobbik): “Yes, you are right.” Other Jobbik members: “This is so!”) They name a square after him, they set up a statue of him in Kereki, and in the Debrecen Reformed College with the assistance of the highest church leaders they dedicate a memorial plaque in his honor. (Interruption from Jobbik members: “This is so!”) So, not only is the extreme right promoting the introduction of a Horthy cult but Fidesz politicians and mayors are also taking part in the rehabilitation of the admiral on horseback. Fidesz parliamentary members agree to be patrons of a ball organized to collect money for a statue of Horthy on horseback.
I just want to be clear. Are we talking about the man who managed to seize power in the shadow of foreign troops? (Enormous noise caused by Jobbik and Fidesz-KDNP members.) About the man who consolidated his power with the assistance of paramilitary detachments creating a bloodbath? (Noise, the presiding speaker rings the bell.)
The Speaker: Madame Member, I would like to apologize in the name of the majority of the House because I myself cannot hear what you are saying. (Interruptions from Jobbik and Fidesz-KDNP.) I think that the television audience is in a similar situation. That’s why I suggest to the ladies and gentlemen to wait until the madame member finishes with her question because at the end they will not know what she wants to ask from the minister. We can wait until the House calms down, I have enough time and I think Madame Member also. Can we continue? (Előd Novák (Jobbik): “Get to the point!”) Thank you, please continue.
Ágnes Vadai: Let’s make it clear that we are talking about a man who seized power in the shadow of foreign bayonets. (Tamás Gaudi-Nagy: “What are you talking about?”) About a man who consolidated his power with the assistance of paramilitary detachments. (Interruption from a Fidesz MP: “Kádár.”) He was the man who agreed to sign the Treaty of Trianon that is called a national tragedy by the Hungarian right. It was during his reign that the first anti-Jewish law was enacted to be followed by three more. Horthy’s regime was rejected not only by writers of the left but also by the narodnik writers of the period who are greatly revered by the current Hungarian right. He is the man who led Hungary into the second world war and who allowed the deportation of almost half a million Hungarian citizens to perish in concentration camps. Finally, he passed power into the hands of the murderous hordes of Szálasi. I’m talking about the man who was saved only by Stalin from being labelled a war criminal.
The current government could have stopped the spread of the Horthy cult in the spirit of the Paris Peace Conference, but you didn’t do it because you didn’t want to do it. (Interruptions from Fidesz-KDNP members.) You for the sake of far-right votes (The speaker rings the bell again.) in a competition with Jobbik are ready to revive the heritage of Horthy. How long will that go on? At the end will you rehabilitate Szálasi? (Applause from MSZP and LMP members.)
The Speaker: Honored ladies and gentlemen of the government parties. When you look at the video of the last three and a half minutes you will be appalled by your own behavior. After all, the madame member’s interpellation has nothing to do with current politics (Tamás Gaudi-Nagy: “She insulted the governor and that’s enough!) and therefore one cannot understand why the Fidesz-KDNP members kept yelling. (Interruptions from Fidesz-KDNP members.) I will give Tibor Navracsics [Minister, Fidesz] the opportunity to answer the question in four minutes.
Tibor Navracsics: Let me start with a quotation that has nothing to do with current politics. “I, the undersigned, admit that I was a member of the Arrow Cross Party between such and such dates. I realize now that this was contrary to the interest of the people and I made a mistake. I would like to correct my mistake and therefore I promise to spend all my time and energy for the building of the people’s democracy. I swear that I will be a faithful member of the Hungarian Communist Party.” (Laughter from Jobbik and Fidesz-KDNP members.)
Ladies and Gentlemen! When we are talking about the rehabilitation of the Arrow Cross Party in this house there is only one party and some members of the independents who should have to explain a thing or two. (Applause from the Fidesz-KDNP and Jobbik members.) Here I’m talking about such independent members who chose such a leader [Ferenc Gyurcsány] who lives in a villa on Szemlőhegy Street that had been confiscated twice from its Jewish owner. Once by the Arrow Cross regime and once by the communists.
If Ágnes Vadai is seeking historical continuity then she should look into the Kratkii kurst of the Hungarian Communist Party and find out how many former Arrow Cross Party members ended up in the Communist Party. [The members of MSZP and DK [the liberal socialist party]] should ask themselves how they could possibly make common cause with the members of the Arrow Cross Party. (Long applause from Fidesz-KDNP and Jobbik. Interruptions.
István Józsa (MSZP): “Is this the answer on Horthy?” Long live Navracsics, Long live Horthy! You don’t know what you are doing!)
The Speaker: Most likely he didn’t hear the question but there was an answer. Madame Member has one minute to give reasons for her acceptance or rejection of the answer.
Ágnes Vadai: I consider you, Mr. Minister, a very intelligent man. (Laughter in the Fidesz-KDNP caucus.) But you just proved that your intelligence can be overwritten by party loyalty. You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Minister. I asked you … (Indignation and interruptions in the Fidesz-KDNP caucus.) I asked you what you thought of the Horthy cult and whether there might be an introduction of a Szálasi cult. I had every right to ask these questions because in the last few days the Hungarian media were full of them.
You want to teach József Nyirő to the Hungarian youth when Nyirő was a member of Szálasi’s parliament and an admirer of Goebbels (Continuous interruptions from Fidesz-KDNP and Jobbik caucuses) and yet one of the prominent members of your party, the speaker of this house, a member of the Hungarian parliament in the last twenty-two years, takes part in the rehabilitation of this man. (Interruption from Fidesz-KDNP caucus: “He did the right thing!) You should be ashamed of yourself, my fellow members of parliament. I very much hope that your children will not have to answer one day for this abominable behavior you manifest inside and outside of parliament. (Further interruptions: Time! Time!) You should be ashamed of yourselves! I don’t accept the answer. (István Józsa (MSZP) pointing to Tamás Gaudi-Nagy (Jobbik): “Into the minutes! He said, ‘Start to get scared’” Tamás Gaudi-Nagy: “Go ahead!”)
The Speaker repeats again that Vadai didn’t accept Navracsics’s answer and then asks the House to vote. István Nyakó (MSZP) before the vote cried out: “Vote for Horthy!” Another MSZP member, Zoltán Lukács, said: “What a shame!” Navracsics’s answer was accepted by 239 members against 44.
At this point Zoltán Lukács (MSZP) said, “That at least is clear!”
[Translated and abridged by Eva S. Balogh]
Check out the mood [in Hungarian]:
[by Tibor Horvath]
Mr Orban promised to sweep away corrupt Socialist-era networks. But one lot of Magyar oligarchs has been replaced by another, who are allies of Fidesz. Corruption is now institutionalised, say watchdogs. And hardliners are ramming through their cultural agenda. Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s wartime leader and an ally of Hitler, is now celebrated with statues and a renamed square. Three far-right writers will be brought back to the school curriculum this autumn. Relations with Romania soured after a farcical attempt to rebury one, Jozsef Nyiro, in his home town. […] According to a recent survey, almost half of young Hungarians plan to emigrate. Hungary’s race away from modernity is fuelling an exodus by those it needs most.
Hungary’s ailing economy / Sickness on the Danube / The worst performer in central Europe http://www.economist.com/node/21556619
In Hungary, governments […] have drawn up a list of ‘authorised’ public behaviour, so police are now free to harass, threaten or even arrest groups they deem undesirable.Freek Spinnewijn and Marc Uhry: Criminalising homelessness is anti-democratic and instigates hatred
In Hungary recent constitutional changes highlight the risks of abuse of power by a strong executive and a parliament in which the opposition has little oversight of the ruling majority. Checks and balances appear to be severely compromised by the new arrangements. Furthermore the process of constitutional change has been widely criticised as lacking in transparency and meaningful consultation. It remains to be seen what the long-term effects of this new constitutional order will have on the integrity framework in Hungary, but the initial signs raise cause for concern. […] Another legal gap that allows parties to keep contributions secret and bypass financing rules is the practice of funnelling money through foundations or affiliated associations that are not subject to the transparency and accountability requirements of political parties. The assessment of Hungary finds that much of the mysterious money circulating in political circles comes from foundations closely affiliated to political parties. […] Hungary regulated lobbying through legislation from 2006 to 2010, but this was rolled back in 2011 […] only 55 per cent of tenders below the threshold were publically announced resulting in little public scrutiny or oversight.Transparency International: Money, Politics, Power: Corruption Risks in Europe
Salim and I were walking back to our hotel. As we were walking a group of drunken men approached us and started intimidating us so we avoided them and made our way to our residence. We were about 1.5 kilometres from the hotel when a small car drove up to us and the occupants began shouting in Hungarian. We did not understand what they were saying and asked if they could speak in English, but they opened the door and came at us. As I slowed down near the hotel they knocked me down to the floor with the car and then jumped out and attacked me. I told them to take my money and tried to indicate that I could not breathe and I was asthmatic, but they kept hitting me until I stopped breathing. The men then picked me up and asked me in English for identification. I was surprised when they told me they were immigration police. I told them I lived in that hotel and that I was here legally. I asked them why didn’t they speak in English to me as I was a foreigner there. The men left and I lost consciousness. Salim immediately contacted our host, the Hungarian chess grand master Peter Leko, for help. We couldn’t call the police because it was police who attacked us, but Peter came and called an ambulance that took me to hospital. […]Saud Mohammed Al Marzooqi, chess official, United Arab Emirates
Hungary was the world’s most pessimistic market at 32 index points [in Q1 2012], followed by Greece (37) and Portugal (39).Nielsen.com
Société Réaliste, State of Shades: Hungarian National Painting Grey. Average Colour of 684 Major Paintings from the Hungarian National Gallery’s Collection, 2012. Site-specific installation (detail). (Photo by Márton Mucsi)
Société Réaliste is an artists’ cooperative founded in 2004 by Ferenc Gróf (1972) and Jean-Baptiste Naudy (1982). Central to their activities is the exploration, subversion, and deconstruction of the specific devices of visual communication that have been developed and employed by institutions, governments, and rulers, i.e., the representatives of power—in the fields of religion, politics, culture, art, and finance—so as to position themselves. By exploring the representative and aesthetic roles of these agencies—including signs, logos, maps, symbols, typefaces, landmarks, emblems, statues or even buildings—in complex contexts of much broader time and space, the artists place them in a new light in the form of a “political cabinet of curiosities,” a critical, narrative implementation of design.
Through its title, empire, state, building primarily evokes the famous New York skyscraper, the “building/temple/work of art” that, ever since its completion in 1931, has been the mythological emblem of the United States and a source of artistic inspiration—from the 1933 movie, King Kong, to Andy Warhol’s 1964 silent film, Empire. At the same time, the use of punctuation generates a new perspective of meaning, highlighting the origin and functioning of power symbols, from empire through state to construction. How do buildings, public sculptures, and monuments express and perpetuate ideology? How do public spaces visualise the relation between the modern state and culture? Such questions are raised by Société Réaliste in its critical analysis of the connections between architecture and history, buildings, and political power.
Following this train of thought, the exhibition at the Ludwig Museum presents early and recent works, with State of Shades (2012) at its centre, a site-specific installation conceived for the Budapest show. Placed in the central exhibition space, the work visualises the colour average of masterpieces selected from the website of the Hungarian National Gallery, computed and juxtaposed using a computer program. The ambiguity of the title—state: condition and/or body politic, shade: tint and shadow—refers to a critical study of the discourse and direction of the official Hungarian culture that fosters painterly traditions, or in a wider sense, that of art and nation-state representation.
A Life to See (2012) is a film projection based on a processing of the complete cinematic œuvre of German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, known for her films put in the service of National Socialist propaganda. Planned to run for 101 years and 17 days, the age Riefenstahl lived to, the video is composed of all her films, from nature films to items of Nazi propaganda. The frames are projected randomly, each appearing for 59 minutes. This life-work dissected into its elements can be placed in parallel with Société Réaliste’s first feature-length film, The Fountainhead (2010). It is based on the 1949 eponymous film directed by King Vidor, itself inspired by the 1943 novel of Ayn Rand, the champion of radical liberalism, a prophet of contemporary capitalism, the founder of philosophical and political objectivism. In Société Réaliste’s version, the film has been emptied of all the characters and the soundtrack, reducing it to a 111-minute architectural décor and spectacle unveiling the political-economic web that surrounds each citizen/spectator. Made as a sort of palimpsest, The Fountainhead is to reveal its own underpinnings, woven from the links between capitalism and its ideological backdrop, architecture and modernism.
The artworks grouped around the State of Shades are similarly thematised through their colours. The colours of the walls of the various halls—Aether, Terra Irredenta, Watching over the Reichstag, Cult of She-manity, EU Green Card Lottery, and UN Mauve Taupe—are either chromatic symbols used in the respective artworks in specific historical, political, and geographical contexts, or ambient colours, belonging to the ever-expanding Société Réaliste colour scale.
Realised as a co-production with the Jeu de Paume, Paris, and in collaboration with acb Gallery, Budapest, and Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, Zurich, the exhibition is supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary and the Institut Français.
Coordinator: Róna Kopeczky
Mélyi József kiállításmegnyitó-beszéde: http://amexrap.org/fal/societe-realiste-ludwig-muzeumban-melyi-jozsef-kiallitasmegnyito-beszede
It is entirely up to Hungarians how they want to organize their economy, whether they want to become even more integrated into the world or prefer to be more independent. If Hungary wishes to be more separate from the world economy, then it could decide to do so. It is hard to imagine how that would increase Hungary’s prosperity but I am not an economist. Europe’s experience is that open borders to trade have strengthened its prosperity and its security. A basic tenet of the European Union the French-German thought that achieving economic interdependence prevents the possibility of war has worked for 60 years now. That is what Hungary subscribed to and that has been the consensus among Hungarians for the past twenty years. Joining Europe equals joining an integrated economy. If now they decide this is no good for them, and want to go in a different direction, it is fully up to the Hungarian voters and their elected officials to do so.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas O. Melia http://www.humanrights.gov/2012/05/07/interview-deputy-assistant-secretary-melia-hungarian-democracy-is-an-american-interest
[Cf. “A hiába az Amerikaiakban való bízásról – Tóta W. figyelmébe” http://amexrap.org/fal/hiaba-az-amerikaiakban-valo-bizasrol in Hungarian]
Viktor Orban: “Do we want to continue governing and political behaviors, which include the possibility of the reestablishment of the dual system?”
[…] Let us take a glance at the field of party power in Hungarian politics. Until most recently, a field of party power divided in two has dominated Hungary. This duality has naturally not left culture untouched. This does not mean that those who play a role in culture also had to take a position on the political field, although this is true, but that the necessary concomittant of such a division of power is a permanent argument about values. In this twofold field of power, there are no common values, common goals,which both parties can accept, but there are continuous battles about the most fundamental questions. If we mention a system of family support, then they want to abolish it; if we mention dual citizenship, then they say 23 million Romanians will flood the country. We are engaged in a constant argument about values, not just about politics.
Until most recently, this divided field of power characterized Hungary’s political life. Today, however, the duality of this system seems to be coming to an end, and a central political power- field is evolving, which is, on the one hand, the result of the ascendency of the right wing, and on the other, the growth of our strength. Whether the political field will look like this after the elections, I do not know, but I would like it to. One thing is certain, there is a realistic possibility that the next fifteen-twenty years of Hungarian political power will not be determined by this duality, which has produced continuous arguments about values, and has produced divisive, petty and unnecessary social consequences. Instead, a large, governing party, with a central political field of power will be established, one which will be capable of formulating national concerns, doing so without continuous arguments, naturally representing these in its own way.
In terms of the goals and responsibilities of government, the question is as follows: do we want to continue governing and political behaviors, which include the possibility of the reestablishment of the dual system? Do we consciously accept this? Do we continue the shattering of our arguments about values concerning Hungarian society in the interest of day-to-day political goals, the arguments which again and again divide the whole society, or do we relegate these to the narrow circles of the elite, where they belong? More simply put: either we try to construct a governing system, which reduces the chances of the reestablishment of a dual field of power, and instead, in the long term, settles political questions in a large, centralized poltical field of power, or we prepare for shadow-governing, and then the dual field of power will be reestablished.
It is my conviction that we should not engage in shadow-governing, but we must strive for the actual governing of our national affairs. Naturally, there will be many consequences of such a decision as far as the government’s program, its style, the extent of its structure and a number of other, direct political questions are concerned. I believe that it makes sense for the right to debate this question in the coming period, so that it can show in terms of what political power alignments it sees the guaranteeing of the country’s interests in the long, fifteen-twenty year, term. I for one propose that in this debate, rather than a stance which is designed for a continuous and constant political struggle, that we choose one which is designed for permanently governing; that our thinking not be determined by a continuous and constant struggle against the other side, but that it be based on the convincingly strong representation of certain national causes. Naturally, there will be competition, and in the end, the voters will decide. The question is only what kind of alternatives do we offer: the continuation of the two-party system in a dualized field of power with continuous debates about values, or do we direct those to an appropriate place, and represent to the public the actions and goals of a political power which strives for a permanent position in government.
And cotinuing with Bibó, the above has important consequences for the country’s elites. The literature of the elites clearly states: in order for the elites to meet their responsibilities by means of creating culture, they cannot choose certain means of livelihood, in so far as they wish to live a refined, carefully selective lifestyle. This is the example that is desirable to spread throughout society. It is not possible, however, to live a refined, carefully selective lifestyle, if the elites are in a state of self-assertion; neither in the state of self-congratulation, nor in one that is charging ahead to success, nor existing in a state of constant attack, nor even one of anxiety, and certainly not if their day to day existence is defined by a fear of being called to account, or by defensive reflexes, or the compunction for self-justification. All of this must be avoided. I believe therefore that the task of those who will be governing culture next is to provide the opportunities for Hungary’s cultural elites to avoid such lifestyles, and to establish the prerequisites for an unstressful spiritual state, which is required for creative endeavors, as well as to guarantee the conditions for a refined, and carefully selective life.
(Translation by Steve Polgar)
NYTimes, Scheppele on The New Hungarian Secret Police: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/the-new-hungarian-secret-police