Tag Archives: Hungary

Populism or people’s movements? Interview with Mary Taylor

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 ..

József Böröcz: “Orbán’s effects have already extended beyond the borders of Hungary”

Note from the LeftEast editors: This interview of Àngel Ferrero with sociologist József Böröcz (Rutgers University) was carried out for the newspaper El Salto and first appeared there in Spanish on the 7th of April 2018. LeftEast reprints the English original with the kind permission of the author.   1/ According to the polls, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz is set to win the upcoming Hungarian elections with up to 49% of the vote, followed by the MSZP (social-democracy) with 12% and Jobbik (far-right) with 17%. What is the reason, in your opinion, behind the success and popularity of Fidesz? I don’t want to ..

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 ..

Hungary: The Destruction of Reason and the Semi-Destruction of an Archive

Editors’ note:The legacy of Marxist Philosopher György Lukács has been under attack in Budapest. In 2016, protests began against the closure of the Lukács Archive, located in the philospher’s former home. In March 2017,  Lukács’ statue was removed from Szent Istvan Park, after a proposal from the Jobbik party was accepted by the Fidesz-dominated Budapest City Council. The removal of the statue and the closure of the archives are acts aligned with the official ideology of the authoritarian Orbán regime, which denounces liberalism, anti-fascism, and socialism as subversive and harmful to the Hungarian n ..

Of Fences, national securities and solidarity: An open letter to Momentum

Note from the LeftEast editors: As we move towards the 2018 parliamentary elections in Hungary, the Momentum Movement, recently chartered as a party, is being touted in the international liberal media as a pro Europe party with potential to threaten the right-dominated political space where the main challenge to Fidesz comes from the extreme right party Jobbik. After becoming known this spring through it’s a successful campaign against Hungary’s the government’s plan to bid to host the 2024 Olympics, Momentum is now poised to run in the elections. Momentum drives a campaign designed by communication profess ..

Socially Destructive Amendments to the Hungarian Labour Code Need to be Opposed

While demonstrations in Budapest and international reactions expressed outrage over the Hungarian Government’s attempt to shut down Central European University (CEU), on 11 April 2017, the Economic Committee of the Hungarian Parliament was also proposing legislative amendments to the Labor Code. The amendments – to the Labor Code, which is already often referred to as the “slave-labor law” (rabszolgatörvény) – would enable an even more flexible, employer friendly use of working time, especially in the production segment of manufacturing. Instead of the currently, already very flexible reference pe ..

Romania’s protests and Hungary: Interview with G. M. Tamás

Over at the Budapest Beacon, Lili Bayer has a very interesting interview with Gaspar Miklos Tamas that people should check out… As protests continue across Romania for the ninth day, the Hungarian leadership and media from across Hungary’s ideological spectrum are watching the country’s eastern neighbor closely. Demonstrations broke out in Romania last Tuesday, when the government in Bucharest issued a decree that would have protected corrupt politicians. The decree – which the government withdrew under pressure on Sunday – would have exempted abuse-of-power offences involving sums below $48,000 fro ..

Hungary: the Népszabadság Affair

Note from the LeftEast editors: Last Saturday employees of  Népszabadság  newspaper, the widest circulated daily in Hungary, found themselves locked out of their workplace and told they were no longer needed. On the  Népszabadság  editorial team facebook page the team team wrote: “Our first thought is that this is a coup. We will soon come back with more” after the newspaper’s website , stopped working , and invited the public to join them to demonstrate at Parliament later that day. They were joined by some 2,000 people. This article is translated into English for LeftEast by Lolo f ..

Interview: G. M. Tamás on the Anti-Immigration Referendum in Hungary

Note from the LeftEast editors: in run up to the anti-immigration referendum in Hungary (today 02 Oct 2016), Mary Taylor and Agnes Gagyi from the editorial board of LeftEast interviewed Hungarian Marxist philosopher and public intellectual G. M. Tamás on the current developments in Hungary and their connections with wider global-historical processes. LeftEast: On October 2 in Hungary there will be a referendum on the European migrant quotas. What work does this referendum do on the level of the Hungarian nation-state? How do you see the relationship of the referendum to processes on the international scale? G. ..

Precarious employment and the role of trade unions in post-socialist Central Europe

Since the outbreak of the global economic crisis in 2008, precarious employment has increasingly become the focus of attention for socially responsive international organizations and critical scholars and activists. Precarious employment has found its place at the centre of employment and social policy debates. Common in the conceptualization of precarious employment is the “lack of decent jobs, security, protection and rights.” A recent ILO report, for example, underlines the most common forms of precarious employment relations, trends and features by noting that: “more than 60 percent of workers world ..