Articles by Mihaly Koltai

About Mihaly Koltai

Mihály Koltai is Editor of the Hungarian quarterly Eszmélet,

The economics of ‘Orbánism’

The steady anti-democratic drift of Hungary in the last eight years have been the subject of some discussion – of varying depth – outside the country as well. But beyond politics, the economic policies and record of the EU’s probably most notorious hard right government is much less talked about. To what extent have they been coherent or successful? Does Orbán’s rule have a solid economic basis at all, and if yes, how does it fit into European and global capitalism? In other words, is it likely that it will continue to reproduce itself in a material sense, or is it perhaps on the verge of collapse or dis ..


Editors’ note: This article was originally published on  Talk delivered at the conference “Человек vs. отчуждение” in Moscow (supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Moscow) by our editor Mihály Koltai. In my talk I would like to provide some observations and intuitions on what one might call the psychological basis of contemporary neoliberalism. These are attitudes and engrained habits that one is essentially forced to adopt, contributing to the day-to-day reproduction of the current form of highly unequal and – as I would argue – more and more sadistic form ..

Victory and defeat: 1945, 1989, 2015 – a perspective from Hungary

“The gentry could not abide familiarity in public. I remember years later working as a day-labourer on a nearby puszta, tying up vines, I suddenly jerked up my head in surprise when I heard a farm official who had been sent out to supervise us attacking one of the girls who was falling behind. “Do you imagine,” he roared, “that you can lounge about all day long because last night…” and here he used a word for intimacy which even the farm servants employ only to show their contempt.” (Gyula Illyés: Puszták népe)                         land reform of 1945 Why do we have ..

And so it begins…? First cracks in the Orbán-régime

The new protests and protest movements that emerged in the late autumn of 2014 in Hungary created the impression among many observers and participants that the erosion of the hitherto unshakeable Orbán-régime has begun, potentially leading to its disintegration within 1 or 2 years. Why was this feeling widespread? The following reasons could be named, bearing in mind though that they are all based on anecdotal evidence and rudimentary observations, as no serious empirical analysis of the protests is available yet: –       a widely held feeling that many of the participants were previously politicall ..