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Arrow Cross Redux: RIP Hungarian Democracy

Hungarian Jobbik Party Members on Parade

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COMMENT: For some time, we’ve reported on the disintegration of Hungarian democratic institutions, as the country slouches toward its Arrow Cross fascist past. (The Arrow Cross was the Hungarian fascist party that was allied with the Third Reich during World War II.)

Now it appears that the obituary for Hungarian democracy is ready for publication. 

Noting the disparity between the troika’s highly activist intervention in Greece’s economic and political sovereignty, the article expresses puzzlement at the EU’s desertion of democratic principle.

Apparently, they have not adequately considered the possibility that this was part of the plan for Europe all along.

For background on the return of fascism to Hungary, including the pivotal presence of Arrow Cross veterans in the GOP’s ethnic outreach apparatus, access FTR #’s 709, #465, as well as the posts below:

“Hun­gary Is no Longer a Democracy” by Ben­jamin Abtan; The New Statesman; 4/2/2013.

EXCERPT: It is now a fact: Hun­gary is no longer a democracy.

Pres­i­dent János Áder has just signed the imple­men­ta­tion decrees for new con­sti­tu­tional reforms that wipe out what was left of oppo­si­tion forces against the government.

More par­tic­u­larly, the Con­sti­tu­tional Court is no longer allowed to give its opin­ion about the con­tent of laws and to refer to its own case-law – which results in the loss of almost all mon­i­tor­ing power on the leg­is­la­ture and the executive.

This metic­u­lous destruc­tion of democ­racy and its val­ues – whose start­ing point was the land­slide elec­tion of Fidesz in 2010 – has taken place over months and months, under everybody’s eyes.

The attack was clear and con­tin­u­ous: crip­pling restric­tion of the free­dom of the press, polit­i­cal direc­tion of the Cen­tral Bank, inclu­sion in the Con­sti­tu­tion of Chris­t­ian reli­gious ref­er­ences and of the “social util­ity” of indi­vid­u­als as a nec­es­sary con­di­tion for the enforce­ment of social rights, dele­tion of the word “Repub­lic” in the same Con­sti­tu­tion to define the country’s polit­i­cal sys­tem, con­dem­na­tion of homo­sex­u­al­ity, crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of the home­less, attacks against women’s rights, impunity afforded to per­pe­tra­tors of racist mur­ders, the strength­en­ing of a vir­u­lent anti-Semitism . . . .

. . . . Only a few days ago, prime min­is­ter Vik­tor Orban offi­cially dec­o­rated three extreme right-wing lead­ing fig­ures: jour­nal­ist Fer­enc Szanis­zlo, known for his dia­tribes against the Jews and the Roma peo­ple, who he com­pares to “mon­keys”; anti-Semitic archae­ol­o­gist Kor­nel Bakav, who blames the Jews for hav­ing orga­nized the slave trade in the Middle-Age; finally, “artist” Petras Janos, who proudly claims his prox­im­ity to the Job­bik and its para­mil­i­tary mili­tia, respon­si­ble for sev­eral racist mur­ders of Romani peo­ple and heiress of the pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party, that organ­iZed the exter­mi­na­tion of Jews and Gyp­sies dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

This polit­i­cal degra­da­tion gives us a grue­some his­tor­i­cal and polit­i­cal les­son. Through­out the twen­ti­eth cen­tury, rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­racy suf­fered the attacks of the two major total­i­tar­ian sys­tems of the cen­tury – Nazism and Com­mu­nism. Nowa­days, in the twenty-first cen­tury, it is under the blows of an anti-European, nation­al­ist, racist and anti-Semitic pop­ulism that democ­racy has fallen, at the heart of Europe, amidst the indif­fer­ence of the Euro­pean Union and of too many of its cit­i­zens and leaders.

Obsessed by eco­nomic and finan­cial issues, too indif­fer­ent to its fun­da­men­tal val­ues ​​of free­dom, equal­ity, peace and jus­tice, the EU has aban­doned the fight to pro­mote or even main­tain democ­racy as the polit­i­cal sys­tem of its mem­ber states.

Unlike Putin’s Rus­sia, for exam­ple, Hun­gary is not a world power, and realpoli­tik can­not be invoked as a rea­son for this deser­tion. Since Hun­gary is strongly depen­dent on Euro­pean sub­si­dies and assis­tance, and since the EU has omi­nously shown in Greece how its finan­cial sup­port can be politi­cised to the extreme, its sup­posed lack of room for manoeu­vre can­not be invoked either.

The fun­da­men­tal rea­son is unfor­tu­nately as sim­ple as it is wor­ry­ing: it is a lack of com­mit­ment of the cit­i­zens and Euro­pean lead­ers towards rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­racy as a polit­i­cal system.

This is why, since his re-election in 2010, Orban has received the unfail­ing sup­port of many Euro­pean lead­ers, notably from his own polit­i­cal fam­ily; this is also why the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion does not use any of the instru­ments avail­able – though it does have many – to enforce the EU’s fun­da­men­tal values. . . .

Discussion

3 comments for “Arrow Cross Redux: RIP Hungarian Democracy”

  1. Dave, the situation in Hungary is very disturbing. There are Arrow Cross elements who are ethnically Greek, according to some reports I’ve seen; and this possible personal connection with Golden Dawn is doubly disturbing.

    I was listening to your WACL (World Anti-Communist League) series and wanted to run down more bio on Ferenc Nagy, of CAL and Permindex fame and possibly someone connected to the JFK assassination (a big step up for Nazism). I haven’t checked out the links in this present article, but I did go to the article in The New Statesman. I found the NS article rather uninformative, but what is worse is that it appeared in what has seemed to me and still seems to be a pro-Islamofascist rag. With no exception that I can find, The New Stateman columnists seem to take the side of the “poor Syrian oppositionists” (my impression: not a quote from them), and continually characterize the government and army as butchers. I’ve paid close attention to what has been going on in Syria; and my conclusion is that it’s a matter of the Nazi un-Muslim Brotherhood playing their hand (on cue from the re-emergent Nazi International) after having served as a NATO/Nazi fifth column in Syria for over 30 years. This move on their part has nothing to do with the authoritarian nature of the Assad Government nor any purported persecution of the Sunni majority, most of whom support the government because they realize that the Masjid-bombing, Imam-killing, and child-massacring “Free Syrian Army” are an immediate mortal threat to anyone not espousing the Nazi terrorists’ particular sect (for which reason they are known as “takfiris”) and even those of their sect who are not sufficiently supportive, for which sin they are brutally murdered and, if they are female, raped and then brutally murdered. I stress this point because I am very unhappy about your choice of The New Statesman.

    Posted by Atlanta Bill | October 16, 2013, 1:57 am
  2. http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/02/05/hungarian-jewish-group-considering-physically-preventing-jobbik-from-protesting-at-former-synagogue/

    Hungarian Jewish Group Considering Physically Preventing Jobbik From Protesting at Former Synagogue
    February 5, 2014 9:41 pm 3 comments
    Author: JNS.org

    Right-wing Jobbik Party members in Hungary are planning to hold a rally in a building that formerly functioned as a synagogue. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

    JNS.org – The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) is considering sending people to physically prevent Hungary’s ultra-nationalist Jobbik party from holding a rally at a former synagogue on Feb. 14.

    Jobbik, which holds 43 of 386 seats in the country’s parliament, is planning the rally in a building in the city of Esztergom which had once been a synagogue. The Jewish community in the city was killed during the Holocaust. The Jobbik party leader, Marton Gyongyosi, had demanded that the Hungarian government make a list of citizens with Jewish ancestry who might post a security risk to the country.

    “In case this [gathering] will not be prohibited the Mazsihisz and Jewish civil organizations will protest and physically hinder the Jobbik rally on the spot,” Mazsihisz President Andras Heisler told the Jerusalem Post. Holding the rally at the former synagogue would be an “unworthy, ugly, and cynical desecration of the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and the sentiments of the survivors,” Esztergom’s Socialist Party chairman Tamás Gál wrote in a letter to the town’s mayor.

    Meanwhile, the Rabbinical Council of Europe (RCE) has announced its plans to hold a conference in March that will cooperate with the Hungarian government. “In the past few years, the voices of anti-Semitic ideology have become louder in the country. The conference is aimed at showing support to the Jewish community, and to the majority of Hungarians who experience with fear the negative developments,” RCE Director-General Rabbi Menachem Margolin said in a statement.

    Posted by Vanfield | February 6, 2014, 10:01 am
  3. Reason number *insert large number here* why mindless financial austerity is a losing proposition: These guys win:

    Hungary prime minister wins 3rd term

    Published: April 7, 2014 | Updated: April 7, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party won parliamentary elections Sunday and narrowly secured a new two-thirds majority, but gains by a far-right party were a cause for concern.

    With over 98 percent of the votes counted, the National Election Office said Fidesz had won 133 seats in the 199-seat legislature. Fidesz, a right-wing populist party, and its small ally, the Christian Democrats, received 44.5 percent of the list votes, good for 37 seats, and also won 96 of the 106 individual constituencies.

    “Every doubt and uncertainty has dissipated. We have won,” Orban told cheering supporters gathered near the Danube River after securing a third term. “Hungary again is a place where it is worth living, working and starting a family. We have declared that we are not turning back.”

    A coalition of left-wing groups led by the Socialist Party was projected to have 38 seats on the back of 26 percent of the list votes, plus the 10 remaining individual constituencies.

    The far-right Jobbik party gathered 20.6 percent of the list votes, nearly four percentage points more than in 2010, and will likely have 23 seats.

    “The gains made by Jobbik, an unashamedly neo-Nazi political party, should serve as a wake-up call for the whole of Europe,” European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said in a statement. “This is truly a dark day for Hungary.”

    Kantor said Jobbik’s success gave other far-right parties across the continent “a strong tail wind going into next month’s European Parliament elections.”

    Orban, who has frequently butted heads with the European Union over numerous policy issues and his government’s weakening of democratic checks and balances, said the election results proved that Hungary belonged in the bloc — albeit with one important condition.

    “Hungarians have confirmed that Hungary’s place is in the European Union, but only if it has a strong national government,” Orban said.

    In the eyes of supporters, the renewed two-thirds majority validates Orban’s unorthodox economic policies which have greatly expanded the role of the state to the detriment of private enterprise and increased uncertainty among investors. At the same time, the government has been able to rein in the budget deficit and state debt while lowering inflation and unemployment levels.

    Many of those achievements, however, are the result of one-off measures or unsustainable policies, such as the nationalization of $14 billion in assets administered by private pension funds; imposing higher taxes on banks, numerous industries and services; enforcing lower utility prices for all households, and including Hungarians working abroad in domestic job statistics.

    “I think it will be important for (Orban) to move away from short-term emergency policy measures, and move to more assurance and stability,” said Timothy Ash of Standard Bank.

    Fidesz and the Christian Democrats also won a two-thirds majority in the 2010 election, allowing them to write a new constitution and pass legislation unchallenged. Orban had sought another super-majority so his government could continue to implement its policies unhindered.

    Former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai, a member of the five-party left-wing coalition, said earlier that the elections would determine whether Hungary returns to the path of moving toward Western values or drifts further toward the East.

    His remarks reflected concern over a major nuclear power deal with Russia. Orban’s government has signed a contract to have a Russian company build an extension to Hungary’s sole, Soviet-built nuclear power plant. Russia is giving Hungary a 10 billion euro ($13.7 billion) loan for the project.

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Austerity, mindless profit-maximizing globalization and a crazy EU helps.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 6, 2014, 9:31 pm

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