Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Aren't You Glad Capitalism Has Been Restored?

Latest Developments in Hungary

#1.  On November 27, Marton Gyongyosi, one of the fascist Jobbik's 44 lawmakers in the 386-seat Hungarian parliament, said during a debate on violence in the Gaza Strip that it would be "timely" to draw up a list of people of Jewish ancestry who posed a national security risk for their pro-Zionist views.  This illustrates that while some think defense of Palestine is an exclusively ‘left’ issue, ant-Semites use it to slander Jews. 

Gyongyosi was denounced even by Victor Orban, the rightist prime minister of Hungary, who prefers soft anti-Semitism, though it took him a week to do so. On December 2nd, 10,000 demonstrators converged on Budapest's Lajos Kossuth Square, next to the Parliament on the Danube, to protest Jobbik and anti-Semitism.  Jobbik has encountered little resistance from the government to its animosity toward the Roma (gypsy) minority and its efforts to rehabilitate unsavory figures such as Admiral Miklos Horthy, the country's pro-Nazi leader during World War II. 

The fascist Arrow Cross organized the deportation -- and subsequent murder -- of at least  430,000 Hungarian Jews in 1944.  The Nazi’s did not carry out the deportations, but relied on ethnic Hungarians.  Horthy was in power from 1919, when he took over after the destruction of the Hungarian Soviet Republic under Bela Kun by the Romanian Army.  He stayed in power until 1944, when he was deposed by the German Army for being insufficiently fascist, which put the Arrow Cross in power.  Kun himself was killed during one of Stalin’s purges in 1937, allegedly for being a ‘Trotskyite terrorist’ or some such fabrication. While Horthy was not instrumental, as far as I know, in the final roundup of Jews, his policies had been anti-Semitic for years, and laid the ground work for what happened.  He put Hungary in the Nazi camp, after all.  Horthy was a witness at Nuremberg, but was not indicted.

The Hungarian Communist Party eventually replaced this tradition of reactionary politics in the 1949 elections - elections which were never held again for the majority of people, in any form.  The Hungarian CP, which had been heavily Stalinist and repressive, eventually was schooled by the 1956 workers rebellion, and developed ‘goulash communism’ as a response.

#2. - Imre Kertesz, who wrote the great book “Fateless” about his experience in the concentrations camps as a 14 year old, has decided to move his archive to … Germany, not Hungary.  Yes, the organizer's of the camps.  He feels it will be more respected there.  This after a complete takeover of the art world in Budapest by Orban’s Party, which  is turning each venue into an exemplar of nationalist piety – the New Theatre, the Hungarian Academy of Arts and PEN.  Lawrence Ferlinghetti recently turned down a large cash award from the Hungarian PEN.  Elie Weisel has also returned a Hungarian award due to their laudatory reburial of a fascist writer.  Bela Tarr’s  premiere of “The Turin Horse” has been canceled by its Hungarian distributor.  And so it goes.    

#3. - At least someone is fighting back. December 19, 2012, thousands of high school and university students rallied in Budapest at the Academy of Sciences building, shutting down the Chain Bridge for a time.  They opposed education ‘reforms’ which would have severely cut 55,000 scholarships offered by the government.  The government later relented.   The students also opposed requirements that they be required to work in Hungary for several years after graduation if they accepted state funds. They also called for the resignation of the Education Secretary, so there are clearly a broad list of demands.  Orban’s intention was to put higher education in Hungary on a ‘self funding’ basis – an impossible goal unless all students are wealthy.  As if education is now a profit-making pursuit.  Student protests continue.

#4. – A third of the staff of one of the top universities in Budapest is being laid off.  The Orban government says they were appointed under ‘other administrations’ and therefore are illegitimate.  So much for freedom of research and freedom of thought.  A purge of the universities is under way.

#5. - Zsolt Bayer, a prominent conservative commentator, has sparked outrage in Hungary and abroad for comparing Roma to animals and saying they "shouldn't be allowed to exist." Criticism of the remarks has grown, but Prime Minister Orbán will probably keep silent.

Quote from Hungarian/English sources:  “Zsolt Bayer always pipes up whenever the Hungarian media mentions that Roma are suspected of involvement in a crime. Usually, he spares no words in his hate-filled tirades against the ethnic minority, regardless how ugly. For example, he has written: "Whoever runs over a Gypsy child is acting correctly if he gives no thought to stopping and steps hard on the accelerator." Bayer's most recent outburst came last Saturday after a bar fight and stabbing on New Year's Eve in which some of the attackers were reportedly Roma. Writing in the ultra-right-wing newspaper Magyar Hirlap, which has close ties to the conservative government, Bayer argued for what amounts to genocide.

Bayer wrote:
"A significant part of the Roma are unfit for coexistence. They are not fit to live among people. These Roma are animals, and they behave like animals. When they meet with resistance, they commit murder. They are incapable of human communication. Inarticulate sounds pour out of their bestial skulls. At the same time, these Gypsies understand how to exploit the 'achievements' of the idiotic Western world. But one must retaliate rather than tolerate. These animals shouldn't be allowed to exist. In no way. That needs to be solved -- immediately and regardless of the method."

Bring back Bela Kun, Gyorgy Lukacs and the workers' councils!


Red Frog
February 12, 2013

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