Note from LeftEast Editors: This piece draws on the work that the members of the Working Group for Public Sociology “Helyzet” have done on a special issue of Fordulat (#26) “Crisis and Hegemony in Hungary 2008-2018” (Válság és hegemónia Magyarországon 2008–2018), summarized in piece published by media platform Merce.hu and by Merce’s editor Szilárd Pap here. On this basis, editorial work on the current article has been carried out by Ágnes Gagyi and Tamás Gerőcs from “Helyzet” and Mary N. Taylor from LeftEast. Translation work on parts of the text was done by Anna Azarova. An English lang ..
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 ..
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 ..
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 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: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 ..
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 ..
Donald Trump’s election has rightly been acknowledged as a milestone in the political history of the 21st century. He joins an illustrious group of world leaders with a shared distrust towards ideals of liberty, equality and fairness who subscribe to the political ethos of authoritarianism and who are not afraid to use fear mongering, popular prejudices against various groups of people, threats and violence to gain and retain power. This increasingly powerful company, whose membership includes Vladimir Putin, Tayyip Erdoğan, and many others, can rightly be called the force of 21st century illiberalism – to u ..