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 ..
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. ..
This article was originally published in the Croatian edition of Le Monde diplomatique. LeftEast thanks the editors for allowing us to carry this translation. The election of the new Croatian government has caused a great storm in a part of the local public, despite the fact that it seems that the political future will remain firmly closed within the framework of the long-dominant discourse of ‘transition.’ In the absence of any serious developmental alternative, the only tool for distinguishing between the main political actors remains the intensification of culture wars. In an article published late last Ja ..
This article is a reflection in hindsight on the ‘summer of migration’ of 2015 in Europe, and the symbolic debates around the role of Hungary during those months. Historical events that have followed brought significant changes in the structural and political-ideological constellations we describe. However, as political-ideological treatments of the present crisis continue to mobilize moral values tied to particular positions within the global system, we hope a posthumous analysis of how moral stances are ascribed within a long-standing hierarchical global distribution of labor, hiding systemic interconnecti ..
The crisis in Western Asia and North Africa keeps deepening. Neither the key North American and European actors in the one and a half decade-long armed conflict, nor their regional allies are willing to abandon the politics of brutal interventions, even if these are indefensible according to international law. The aim of maintaining political violence is clear: gaining control over the arms market, trade routes and sources of raw materials, most importantly oil. NATO and the great powers are responsible not only for aggravating the crisis, but for the civilian casualties of the armed conflicts and the millions of ..