Note from LeftEast editors: We are happy to share the trailer of Georg, a documentary about Marxist philosopher György Lukács which will be released in April 2019. Beyond the merits of the philosopher’s work, the movie’s appearance also bears witness on two different levels. On the one hand, it comes in the year when the Left in Hungary celebrates the anniversary of the 1919 revolution and the rise of the short-lived but immensely inspiring Hungarian Soviet Republic, during which Lukács was a People’s Commissar for Education and Culture. On the other hand, it is a powerful if sad reminder, ..
This post is published with the permission of FocaalBlog, the blog of Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology. In recent weeks, Hungary has again made international headlines. This time, it was a popular movement born out of resistance to the latest rewriting of the labor code—which the ruling Fidesz party had already modified in 2011 to the benefit of employers—that made the news. On 12 December, amid chaotic scenes in the National Assembly (where opposition MPs sought to obstruct the voting procedure), Fidesz passed a law that raises the maximum amount of overtime employees can wor ..
The new protest wave in December 2018 Demonstrations erupted on the streets of Budapest after the Hungarian parliament—controlled by the fourth consecutive super majority of Fidesz government—had just passed three crucial laws in a rapid parliamentary voting on 12th December, which oppositional parties claimed unlawful. The three major elements in the government’s package were the Overtime Act, which quickly became better known as the “Slave law”, the centralization of the courts nomination procedure, and educational amendments, which permit the privatization of public universities. Parliamentary opposi ..
Hungary is a landlocked country positioned on the EU’s eastern border. Today, it is also a major route for migrants and refugees travelling to Western Europe. The Hungarian government has responded by building a large border fence, and by scapegoating and persecuting the migrants passing through. This week, Tariq is speaking to sociologist Attila Melegh, who has also been a victim of government scapegoating for defending the rights of migrants and asylum seekers.
LeftEast editor Agnes Gagyi spoke to Anikó Gregor, one of the faculty in charge of the Gender Studies masters program at Budapest-based Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), shut down by the governments de-accreditation of Gender Studies programs in November. Gregor’s analysis places the ban in the context of Fidesz’s strategy of emphasizing liberal democracy’s failures, economic repositioning away from the EU and the privatization of higher education. It provides insight into the emerging links with Anti-Slave Law protests happening in the country for the past two weeks. In international news, current pr ..
The Hungarian Parliament accepted a bill referred to as “slave law” on December 12th in a scandalous session.. The governing party endorsed the proposition with no social dialogue beforehand. Setting new standards for maximum overtime and its payment the bill sparked outrage and militant protests unseen for over a decade. The parallel privatisation of a university and attacks on academic freedom put students next to workers in the line. The opposition also found its voice while the government blames on George Soros. Newly emerged possibilities place great stress on the trade union movement, opposition parti ..
Ilona Csécsei – Andrea Csengei – Mariann Dósa – Imre Kleiner – Magdolna Palotai – Ibolya Tünde Szakmáry – Zoltán Sziráki – Károly Szombathy – István Tompa – Éva Tessza Udvarhelyi – Nándor Wittmann (as known as “When is it time to act if not now?!” research group) “Something should be done, but I don’t know where to begin… Maybe the problem is that there are too few people who will join forces for the good cause.” 1. The School of Public Life is a community-based education and research center supporting the active participation of socially disadvantaged people liv ..
Ágnes Gagyi: “Populism” seems to have become a central notion in debates about contemporary politics. How do you see the socio-political process that led to this centrality within the US? How would you characterize the political and discursive fields that shape the meanings and applications of this notion in contemporary US debates? Mary Taylor: Let me first address the term ‘populism’s status as a catch phrase more generally at this global historical juncture. It seems that people are using the term quite often without defining it, and that (in most cases) it is valued negatively; it is an accus ..