The American Interest
Democracy, Development & the Rule of Law
Published on February 6, 2012
What’s Wrong with Hungary?

I have, to put it mildly, been somewhat astonished at the heated reaction that my blog post “Do Institutions Matter?” has provoked, culminating in a letter from the Hungarian State Secretary for Communication, Zoltán Kovács, to The American Interest complaining about my piece and contesting various points in it. I’m now one of the few Americans to have a web site in Hungarian devoted to my mistakes! In many ways, the vehemence of the response and the extremely uncivil comments that Hungarians have made about each other is a disturbing confirmation that something has gone badly off track with Hungarian democracy.
Let me begin by responding to the criticisms of Mr. Kovács and other commenters about my misunderstanding of the new Hungarian constitution. I readily admit that I made some factual errors, for example that term limits apply to ordinary and not Constitutional Court judges, and for misspelling Fidesz. I’m sorry for this and will be more careful in future fact-checking (this was after all just an unedited blog post).
However, it seems to me that Minister Kovács and the others completely missed the point of my article. Its bottom line was to say that, on paper, the new constitution doesn’t look that bad. As I noted in the post, a classic British Westminster system centralizes far more power in a prime minister and the majority party in Parliament than does the new Hungarian basic law. The problem, I suggested, was not in the formal allocation of powers, but rather in the way that the Orbán government was using those powers. The threat to democracy in Hungary is thus not new institutions per se, but an old political culture that is re-emerging.
(Even on the narrow point about Hungarian judges, my critics missed the more important underlying issue that the Fidesz government has been busy weakening judicial independence through its creation of a National Judicial Office controlled by parliament and hence answerable to the party. The attempt to charge a former Prime Minister with the crime of economic mismanagement is more worthy of Yanukovich’s Ukraine than Hungary. A true rule of law demands much more institutional autonomy for the judiciary that this.)
The Orbán government has undertaken a number of measures that suggest that it doesn’t really understand the norms that must underlie a healthy liberal democracy. Using its supermajority in the Diet, it has enacted not just the new Constitution but a flurry of new laws, almost all of which centralize power in its own hands. Affected institutions include the National Bank of Hungary, controlled now by a Monetary Council largely in turn loyal to  Fidesz–what’s gotten the IMF upset. The supervisory powers of formerly independent watchdogs like the Budgetary Council, parliamentary ombudsmen, and the Health Insurance Inspectorate have all been either eliminated or reduced. Local governments have lost powers to the center with regard to education, health, and disaster preparedness, while control over gymnasia in the capital has been put under a new government regulator and the autonomy of universities curtailed. The autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, as well as public foundations in the arts and sciences, is being more closely controlled by the government.

Any one of these measures in themselves might be justified had they been the product of a prolonged and open public debate. But this huge mass of new legislation was passed hurriedly to take advantage of the government’s present supermajority, giving potential critics no time to even digest the content of the laws. In many cases, Fidesz, which won only a bare majority of the popular vote (52.7%), has embedded its own policy preferences in ways that will be very hard to undo should it lose power in the future.  A liberal democracy is not just about majority rule; its proper functioning rests (as it has in England) on the respect that majorities show towards minorities, and the ability of the society as a whole to engage in informed deliberation. (Not, by the way, something that’s in very good shape here in the US at the moment.)
I said in my earlier post that the Orbán government displays an “authoritarian thin skin” and this is something that I would doubly underline. Perhaps the most disturbing thing happening in Hungary is the centralization of power in a government-controlled Media Authority, and its intimidation of opposition media. Taking away the frequency of an opposition-aligned radio station is something right out of Hugo Chavez’s playbook.
A number of other commentators on my earlier post questioned the premise of my piece, “Do Institutions Matter?” Let me say clearly, of course they matter. Modern political order and economic prosperity rest on good institutions, which was the subject of my recent The Origins of Political Order (which, incidentally, has a whole chapter on medieval Hungary and will be published in Hungarian in the near future). The point I was trying to make is that sometimes the exact specification of democratic institutions matter much less than the informal modes of behavior of political actors. Systems like the British one with few checks and balances can nonetheless be run moderately, while others with lots of checks can behave at best decisively and at worst tyrannically. The kinds of institutional changes being made in Hungary now will matter, but what matters much more is the way that the government is using its present powers. Confiscating private pensions may be legally within the authority of many governments, but it is very unwise policy.
I first visited Budapest May 1989 while accompanying then Secretary of State James Baker while working for the US State Department as a young political appointee in the Bush administration. I remember this as a moment of incredible excitement, as Poland and Hungary seemed poised to leave the Communist camp and become genuine democracies. The last time I visited Budapest, Ferenc Gyurcsány was prime minister and I could well appreciate the degree of disgust that people felt toward the government at the time. The degree of political polarization anger evident then was very disturbing, and I could see why people wanted a change. But governments do not rebuild trust by acting the way that Orbán and Fidesz have.
Hungary has always represented two very positive things to me: first, a small country that has produced a disproportionate number of great physicists, mathematicians, composers, artists, writers, and intellectuals. Second, it was a model for the former Communist world in its rapid transition to democracy and a market economy. Indeed, in 1222, seven years after the English Magna Carta, the Hungarian King Andrew II was forced by his nobles to accept the Golden Bull (Aranybulla), which was one of first examples of constitutional limits being placed on the powers of a European monarch. (You can read more about this in my new book.) So it would be both a surprise and a very great shame if Hungary were to take the lead once again, but in the wrong direction toward the incremental dismantling of democracy and constitutional government.

  • Szabad Ilona

    Sorry for the behavior of the Hungarian government. They are just f assholes do not take personally whatever they write to you.

    • Thomas

      The Majority supports the gov.ment.
      Your vulgar vocabulary denotes your tawdry personality. What you wrote that’s what you are.

    • jakabaa

      Szabad Ilona for President! But not in Hungary.
      I’m not for Fidesz, but what you utter is senseless rubbish. At present Orbán is the solution, what you may promote is the fatal error/shock in Hungary’s history.

    • Anthrax

      Then change your name from “Free” to “Slave”, yah raving bitch.

    • Peter

      There is something wrong with Hungary for sure, but it is not Orbán Viktor.

      You should not be sorry for the behaviour of our government, you should be sorry for your comment.

      • petofi1

        The sorriest thing of all is that Hungarians can no longer distinguish between sham and justice; between Right & Wrong. And hence, it makes them docile, sheep-like and deeply, psychologically, inferior to most others….leaving them powerless to refute the energetic, seemingly sure-of-themselves types like Orban and Jobbik. I paired those two advisedly because Jobbik seems more and more like a creature of Orban, much like the secondary Russian party works for Putin.
        Orban is systematically doing two things:
        one, he’s amalgamating all business and political power in the hands of Fidesz backers;
        two, and this is much worse, is systematically de-constructing the Hungarian economy, and its membership in the league of European nations.
        How ‘thinking’ peoples of Fidesz cannot appreciate this is a great myster….

    • Mush R

      Now this is what I find outright disgusting.

    • Karoly Fazekas

      Dear Ilona,
      Sorry for the right of answer? And not sorry for “factual errors”? Do you support a liar (even he is a professor in US)?

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Ilona, Ilona.

      Are you not ashamed of yourself? Are you ready to sell out everything arent you? BTW, how did you get YOUR diploma? I have a guess..

      DI

  • dannyrose

    Mister Kovács is not a minister, he is an under secretary, but never mind

    • dbeata

      Yes, Mr Fukuyama made a mistake, again. Still, it was not really the point. But since when are you, Fidesz fans so sensitive about titles? Gabriella Senátor Selmeczi could tell you more about titles, mistakes, and scandals http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/348784.stm
      But never mind

      • Danny Ikadesa

        Hi Beáta,

        This is not about being perfect or not, this is like “bagoly mondja verébnek”. fukuyama has no right to slam our government, especially not knowing Fidesz got 2/3. THIS IS PROPAGANDA!!!!

        Mr. Kovács even took time to respond to his critics (i wouldnt have done it, just ban him from entering Hungary again) but thats me.

        How many times you see a Hungarian philosofist criticising the U.S. govt? Do you think they would reply? Hell no!! i mean i have to correct myself, their reply would be WAR!!!!!

        P.S. I am not a Fidesz voter and never have been, but i respect the decision the people of Hungary made!

        Down with Fukuyama!!!

        Fuj! Fuj! Fuj!

        DI

        • Danny Ikadesa

          sorry… fukuyama

        • Drew Nelson

          “How many times you see a Hungarian philosofist criticising the U.S. govt? Do you think they would reply? Hell no!! i mean i have to correct myself, their reply would be WAR!!!!!”

          No, our collective reply would be apathetically ignoring the Hungarian philosofist (sp). So there!

    • Mandelbrots Apfelmännchen

      My remark essentially goes to Mr Kovacs and for a reason. I do not think that Mr Fukuyama and Mr Kovacs are in the same league.Not because they are on a totally different level of proficiency but because while Mr Fukuyama managed to make his point (open for a debate by anyone), Mr Kovacs failed to make a clear point as suggested by this follow-up post itself. This failure of his convincing powers has also been made noticeable in an interview by Zeinab Badawi (pls check BBC Hardtalk) where he tries to apply a concersation technique which works generally well with the Hungarian public but clearly runs ashore when faced with simple facts and even simpler questions. The responsible government official, however well equipped with a better than average knowledge of English, has been exposed as completely ignorant and made ridiculous. Sadly, my country also goes down with his false representations. I suggest he should take some course in pragmatics, syntax, discourse analysis, and then formulate (or perhaps feed back) official views in public. By the way, sociolinguistics would make a great starter, it is both useful and entertaining (dulce et utile)!

  • Mutt

    The upcoming posts will show the world what’s really wrong with Hungary. Just read them. Sigh. Welcome to our Planet.

    Well it’s pretty frustrating for them that they spend days on the internet trying to find an intelligent human being who is not Hungarian, agrees with the Orban government, writes about it in an Indo-European language and is known by at least 6 live people. There’s pretty much nobody.

    Thank you again for your concerns and you help Prof. Fukuyama.

    • Thomas

      You leftists still believe that “you are the World”? You represent only the radical Left, the Cultural Marxist, Pol.Corr. crowd whose temple is the N.Y. Times and its prophet’s name is Cohn-Bendit.
      Try to accept that the commies lost power and you have no hope to restore Marxism in any from in Hungary.
      Join Soros and his coterie and make the US Socialist.

      • Robert

        Anything looks leftist, when you’re on the far right. Merely spraying around invective does no credit to your caue, either.

      • Andras

        When people run out of intelligent reasoning, they turn to personalized attacks. Branding people leftists and rightists won’t make you right or wrong. For that matter, I have only voted Fidesz my entire life and feel betrayed by their lack of respect for democratic values and weakening of democratic insitutions. I voted for them to 1) remove a completely incompetent Gyurcsany and co and 2) because I believe in building a middle-class society. Instead I got 1) similarly incompetent economic management under a new name; 2) increasing size and control of the state and complete disrespect for individual liberty, property rights (pension funds) and respect of the law (Constitutional Court limitations)…and the list goes on.
        The really sad thing for Hungary is that 1)the bridge between communication and reality is so wide that the masses continue to support Fidesz and 2) there isn’t anyone even remotely competent that could offer a charismatic alternative.

        • The neverlate wizard

          Really well said!

          Fidesz already lost half of its voters according to all recent polls. But the downside is, just a fraction went to current opposition parties, most of these lost voters just don’t see any alternative.

        • Antonio

          Dear Andras,

          Very good comment! A lot of people feel as frustrated as you are. It is a shame that no real alternative is looming.

        • Erika

          You are so right Andras! I wish all Fidesz voters would recognise distorted and untrue media communications and would learn to distinguish them from real facts as you have. You are also right about lack of alternative. In fact the political landscape is extremely poor, there is no heavy weight and charismatic politician in any camp. Now even the new civil organisations don’t talk to each other never mind the opposition parties not cooperating. These are the real problems that may prevent us from changing this mad-bad government in two years’ time not the new election rules.

        • Francis

          Andras – I think you are badly informed – really Fidesz couldn´t put into effect the things they planned, but if you´d use your brain, then you would know the real background…they have hands tied…..by whom? You really do not know? then do not write here your ideas, because they have very low value….
          Do you know what is FED? Do you know, who is Rotschild, Rockefeller, Goldman-Sachs,Warburg, JP Morgan, Montefiori, Soros?
          They are the REAL rulers of USA, without any responsibility for their acts, they are the REAL criminals, who rule the world – without authority, nobody elected them, and once more, THEY HAVE NO RESPONSE…..
          USA is not a democratic country, USA is under the rule of these men – even the „strongest“ country in the world has no American National Bank – FED is not a state bank, but is in the hands of a banking cartel, which thinks – they can do anything they want….The elections in USA is only a political theater, an eye-wash system, that is degenerated to the bone…For american people is this political game a picnic in Disneyland… above all things decide the LORDS – mentioned above…
          It´s a tragedy, that people are lazy enough, not to research the real reasons, why is that world in so a catastrophic situation….Tolstoi said once: Nothing hurts as much as thought…..
          Hungary is much more a democratic country than United States……think about that, Mr.Fukuyama, you have to make more effort to better recognize the real situation in our country, and not to write delusions that suggest you such a hungarianhater as „Mr.“ Gati…..

          • nkios

            What an insight! Wow! I have one question though: if Fidesz knew that they are not able to implement their plans, why did they sold them during the campaign? Are they mad?!

        • Thomas

          There is an alternative if you’re so unhappy: follow the Greeks and place Hungary under German custodian supervision. That’s what’s happening in Greece; – Hellas became a province of Deutschland.

        • petofi1

          Finally, a sane voice.
          I, too, voted for Fidesz but I’m a madly naive Canadian
          who returned to madcap Hungary. Who would’ve guessed
          that docile sheep could help turn back the clock 150 years?
          Fidesz Hungarians seems to think that they’re the sole bearers of the Truth, which noone can understand or appreciate. Talk about national psychosis! Kertesz and Heller has tried to explain it. On my own, I’ve come to similar conclusions but I placed its origins in the debilitating aftermath of the Trianon. But its a mental exercise at best: not much use in attempting to understand a total blind-sidedness of Fidesz thinkers.
          I’ll tell ya one thing though: Hungarians would’ve been an eye-opener for Kafka and Orwell!

    • Francis

      Mutt you are completely…..I do not find the word…..that is a shame that you write such impotent idiotisms – you probably know nothing about Hungary ….. yes, there is a group of “people”, who try to dehonest this land, and the nation – but perhaps you hate hungarians because you are NOT a hungarian, but you have interests in Hungary as an occupant, who wants to take this country that belongs not to him (to THEM).I guess, Mr Fukuyama knows absolutly NOTHING about this background…
      “Thank you again for your concerns and you help Prof. Fukuyama.” – these words tell me who YOU are….an extreme antimagyar (like for example antisemite), who is unable (as usually your sort) of an objective view…pfujjjj…

      • Joebob

        The government is NOT the nation. A political party is not the government, and definitely not the nation. Criticism of Orban, the Fidesz or the Government is good for the country.

      • Mutt

        And Now… Ladies and Gentlemen … Francis. You may want to cover the eyes of you children …

        Stop this please. The world pretty much thinks that Hungarians are ignorant, racist bumpkins. “Europeons”.

        • Thomas

          Mutt: you’re not the “world” sir, ever since Stalin you Cultural Marxists believe that you’re representing “The whole Mankind”.
          You represent only the radical Left;- that’s all there is to it.
          You Westerners are 50 years behind Hungary: we got rid of 40+ years of Bolshevism which is about to overtake the EU and the Obama-Soros USA.

      • Magyar

        Mutt is a troll.
        He had all the marks of a troll.

    • Francis

      Mutt, you are a typical liberal, who is not able to accept arguments – you know only statements, that meet your own opinions – nothing else doesn´t interest you – that´s a pity, but with such sort of people is communication a waste of time…

      • Mutt

        I think I brought up a lot of facts and questions. I still don’t know what’s wrong with a 62 year old judge :-), but most of my question were actually answered or at least discussed. I suggest you take a deep breath and try to read the comments.

        But try not to forget that this is not your personal psychiatric ward – this thread is to comment on Prof. Fukuyama’s blog post on Hungary.

        • Karoly Fazekas

          Well, the fact is that the general pension-age in Hungary is 62 yr. Why should it be different for judges? And moreover most of the old judges are communist and you can see it in their sentences…

  • Mutt

    @dannyrose Read the letter. It doesn’t hurt if you want to talk about the details of it. It’s “state secretary”, but never mind.

    • dannyrose

      Dear Mutt! In England, Usa, state secretary is like minister, in other european countries state secretary is below the minister (state secretary or under secretary), he is not minister, i just remarked that Fukuyama is not avare of the position of the person he is writing his letter to, althought, i have to admit, that his writing on hungarian medieval literature is honourable, but i think he cannot really make his point if his writings concerning Hungary are full of factual errrors, he is just not authentic, and he cannot let himself make these kind of mistakes.

      • Sandor

        Dear dannyrose! The term “state secretary” appears in the heading of the original letter by Mr. Kovács, Fukuyama only refers to that. Read the original letter before you complain about ‘factual errors’, thanks.

      • Robert

        Then I think you should complain to Zoltan Kovacs himself, because he – or someone in his office – used the title “State Secretary for Government Communication” first.(http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1206)

        A nice lecture to him would be in order as well… Go get him tiger! :)

  • Gyula Schefer

    Hey man! What’s Wrong with Hungary? I tell you what. The liberal democracy is a big lie and the people in Hungary fed up with it. Just to start.
    1989 had been not a change for most of the folks now, as the ‘elite’ (the people don’t even regads the politicians and the ruler class as elite, because of them mislead, lied, robbered the citizens) remained the same, just made a turn from the red flag and now facing to the liberal-democracy-money-financial dirty flag. In the miserable life of the people are not going to follow any of the ‘democratic’ parties, defenitely not the ‘liberal’ nor the ‘communist -> socialists’ parties, as they always mislead them, and don’t realy even care about what the Orban and the Fidesz are doing. There is no trust in this kind of federal systems. That’s one of the reason for the Jobbik’s success.
    The other is the groups of people, who are only living from the majority, always crying for some rewards, but for what? Actually who cares what happened with the jews for example in the second world war. Just come here and make some research what happened with the svab’s for example, and what did the AVO (most of it’s leader were actually jews!) with those whom they billoged as an enemy of the communism? And the gipsies. Try to live in their neighbourhood just for a couple of days! Maybe this give some ‘enlightenment’ for you, not just making your consequenties from your remote cosy armchair (with the help of some liberal, ex-communist informators).
    You can write your ‘sofisticated’ books about Hungary, some will regard it as you have ‘very important’ conclusions, but I’m afraid you actuall too far from understaning what’s going on in reality.

    • Thomas

      Gyula Schefer: you hit the nail right on. The problem is that Hungary is 50 years ahead of the US: we got rid of the neo-Marxist crap which is now about to engulf the US under the direction of Soros ($$$).
      Americans don’t know much about Bolshevism, many embrace Fidel, and the N.Y. Times leftist inculcation.
      America now lives in the bizarre era of Cultural Marxism, Pol.Corr. speech laws, messianic proselytization to spread “multikultism” anti-Christianity, etc. etc.

      • Pas

        The USA is most certainly does not “spread” anti-Christianity, after all 76% of the population was measured as Christian in 2008. Also demonizing Soros (I’m assuming you’re talking about Soros Gyorgy the hedge fund manager and investor) doesn’t add any information to this discussion. If you’re interested in what’s wrong with current US politics, please take a hour and watch Lessig’s Republic Lost lecture. (Easily found online on vimeo or youtube.)

        • Thomas

          As an American citizen I dare to say that you are not in the right position to lecture anybody on Soros, the “Puppet-master” who is behind the most radical leftist organizations.
          Your post reveals you absolute ignorance as per US politics concern, the Soros Empire whose tentacles reaching over to 5 continent.
          In the light of the current election process all these sinister figures are getting unmasked including Soros and the radical leftist “network”.

      • Magyar

        Don’t worry. when they open up the FEMA camps they will know…
        If the brain-dead Americans would have paid any attention to what happened in New Orleans right after Catrina, they would have some inkling of what is to come.

        It was a dress rehearsal with gun confiscation and forced evictions from house-to-house, even in the non-flooded areas. Those who didn’t want to be taken to these “human collection areas” even if they had food and supplies, were simply overpowered and handcuffed by the black uniformed armed (with full auto weapons) FEMA agents and taken thus. These “agents” did a lot of stealing too – for good measure…

        I have seen videos. It was pretty stomach turning; echoes of my parents’ description of the early 1950s…

    • PLZ

      Dear Mr. Schefer,

      I forwarded your beautifully argued elegant comments to an American friend to help her better understand the deep thoughts your kind of patriotic Hungarians struggle with.

      Thanks,

      PLZ

      • dbeata

        Mr. Schefer’s quoted party, Jobbik is only fishing in troubled water, as masses turn away from politicians of the past 20 years. They don’t even say they’re democrats. God save us from their arms. Fidesz has gone into a game it cannot win, with the expectation that all old communists must be punished and done away with. While Fidesz party is full of ex-communists, it calls upon itself an inquisition which could do away with the party itself. It refers to all kinds of bad things communists did to Hungary, and at the same time doing it themselves (like starting up state companies from taxpayer money, and donating positions to “friend”, sorry, Fidesz-fan “talented” businessmen. That’s where EU money lands most often. That’s what they spend it on. That’s why everyday people don’t see anything from it, only rising prices and lost jobs.

      • Erika

        Thank you PLZ for your lines. They help to lessen my dispair.

    • Pas

      Why are you getting the problems of ethnic assimilation and integration and the alleged over-influence of special interest groups into this? The current problem at hand, a problem of power structures, is entirely unrelated to those.

    • dbeata

      I wonder how it is possible, that still there is such a mass immigration into the US, in spite of your facts, and so scarce into Hungary . Whoever wants to live in a country,like the US anyway…:) We should all admire Iran, and take an example of it, right?

      • Magyar

        Your (illegal) immigrants to the US are uneducated low IQ South Americans.

        Amerika currently is losing about 3 million people per year to emigration. (This is an official estimate). The 3 million on the other hand, are not South American uneducated primitive peasants, but in most cases highly educated capable people.

        Amerika is experiencing a de facto brain drain, no ifs and buts about it.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Simply put: AGREED!!!

  • Francis

    1.“The problem, I suggested, was not in the formal allocation of powers, but rather in the way that the Orbán government was using those powers. The threat to democracy in Hungary is thus not new institutions per se, but an old political culture that is re-emerging.“

    Mr.Fukuyama – that is only a statement without any real basis – who suggested you that? Mr.Gati?

    2.“The Orbán government has undertaken a number of measures that suggest that it doesn’t
    really understand the norms that must underlie a healthy liberal democracy.”

    What are you talking about, Mr.Fukuyama?
    It is a little bit strange to lecture somebody of „healthy liberal democracy“ from a country called United States – where, compared with history of hungarian nation it was only yesterday when the americans nearly completely uprooted the original indian population, where it was only a week ago, when americans by force introduced from Africa black people to serve them like slaves, it was only
    some hours ago, when in this „democratic“ country discriminated negroes /oh, entschuldigung – brown people/ – perhaps you heard something about that, Mr.Fukuyama? It is NOT Hungary, where americans usually shot their presidents, and it was NOT Hungary who laid down the Twins /and even not Al Kaida – who believes that nowadays?/ in order to make his hands to be free for attack on Afghanistan?
    And last but not least it was NOT Hungary who made such terrorist /os fascist/ law as that:

    http://benjaminfulford.net/2011/12/05/the-us-senate-and-obama-claiming-the-right-to-murder-and-imprison-americans-without-trial—was-a-fatal-mistake/.

    Mr.Fukuyama, please do not lecture us hungarians about „healthy“ liberal democracy, we are not idiots, and we know, that there exists only a very ill „liberal democracy“ – we call it liberalfascism, because that is the closeiist term which this type of perfidious and underhand dictatorship deserves….
    Sweep prior before YOUR threshold please……..

    • Sün Balázs

      Dear Francis,
      Democracy as it exists in the US has never existed in Hungary.

      The US constitution was born on 17 Sept 1787 and consists of 7 Articles. It has been amended 27 times. The first 10 Amendments form the Bill of Rights and has been added to the US Constitution in 1791. So the remaining 17 Amendments are spread over a period of cca 201 years.

      Do you know how many times has the Orban government modified our last Constitution in the past 1.5 years? 13 times.
      I do not think we need to copypaste other countries. On the other hand, it is not a shame to learn from the mistakes of older democracies.
      Instead of the hatred and anger you demonstrate here, try to build on the constructive criticism. After all, even Mr Lazar and Mr Orban said today that they will correct the mistakes they made in the past years – so there should have been some mistakes, don’t you think?

      Dear Mr Fukuyama,
      Thank you for your concerns about our country. I share most of them. Also, I would add that when talking about democracy – institutions or rather institutionalized checks and balances do matter. It is not enough to decompose these and state that ‘we are good guys and we will use our power to do good things and not abuse our power’. These institutionalized checks and balances are needed to make sure that nobody has the power to abuse it.

      I read this quote some time earlier this year. I think it describes exactly how Mr Orban and the oligarchs behind him abused the young democracy Hungary had for their own purposes:
      “We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and salaries for this bear’s work, that is its affair. We do not come as friends, nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies. As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come.”
      Joseph Goebbels

      I wish you all the best.
      SB

      • Karoly Fazekas

        Be proud of your 200 yr old constitution that allowed slavery… Slavery has been prohibited in Hungary more than 200 yrs

        • bepe

          Don’t forget the serfs were freed officially in 1853 in Hungary. Just adding the fact.

          • ZSolt

            Sorry, but serfs were not equal to slaves. For examlle the serf didn’t shell by his lord.

      • Francis

        Sün Balázs: There´s a point, when I leave this page – when somebody writes such a shit (I have no other word for it) – like you wrote above, then it´s time to go – this liberalfascist world is doomed – when real arguments do not count….only lies, hatred,ignorance and prejudice….

        • stivi

          francis you appear very very ignorant. sun balazs has made the most intelligent, knowledgeable comment on this page….perhaps you should leave.

    • GF

      It is a perfect illustration of the frustration of a poor and disillusioned Eastern European country. We are the Christ of the Nations, long torn by ill fate. For how long can we blame the rest of the world for all of our miseries. We are like the Bourbons without the charm.

      • Erika

        What a lovely way to describe this nation! Thank you.

      • Francis

        GF: blablablabla……sorry

  • GF

    Today, Gabor Borokai chief-editor of the conservative weekly Heti Valasz called the criticism of the Orban government by intellectuals of the West, an attempted coup d’etat that was smashed by the righteous Orban government. North Korea meets “The Mouse that roared”. Nobody knows what is wrong with us. We are permanently in the state of denial.

    • Erika

      GF, that is another wonderful expression. In the future I will use them to describe the country, if I may pinch your wonderful turns of phrase! Thank you.

  • Mutt

    “oh, entschuldigung – brown people”

    Verstanden, von Francis.

    Told ya.

    There is now way you can initiate any meaningful conversation. These posts are sheer intimidation tactics. But of course there isn’t much to say when you are confronted with the question “Why should a 62 year judge retire. What’s wrong with them?” The very same question was asked 4 times in a row in a TV interview from this retarded bully Kovacs (on ATV – by Olga Kalman). No explanation. Remember your school bullies? For some questions you just got the fist. Like “why did you take my money”.

  • László Éhn

    I personally think, that the professor got it wrong from the beginning. Most people in Hungary, like in the rest of Eastern Europe didn’t want democracy, they wanted prosperity – Austrian living standards, and basically will cast the ballot for the least untrustworthy and/or corrupt political party that makes them such promises.

    The situation in the region is basically the same everywhere, I just don’t understand why Hungary got singled out? After all, what’s this fuss about a small backwater country somewhere in Europe? Is there nothing more interesting going on in the world?

    • GF

      Hungary is a very interesting country, a real Wonderland for the right Alices. We have the “simplicity” of Matolcsy, the twitts of Tommy Deutsch, the MTV guy with empty street at the Opera, the NENYI on the walls, the official tables of the Constitution, the Copyschmitt. If there is something at the sorrowful end of history, it is our beloved Magyarorszag.

      • Thomas

        GF: What do you expect?
        Your comrades exterminated or forced to exile the Hungarian bourgeoisie since your Masters, Rakosi and Kadar assumed dictatorship. Anybody who survived escaped during ’56 or devoured by misery.
        What you are complaining about is the societal X-ray you commies created and left behind.
        Care to say, who had the absolute power for 60 years?
        You Bolsheviks with the Red Army and the AVO.

        • Alex

          It is funny you mention the Bolsheviks. I lived in many countries including Hungary. I lost my private pension to Hungarian govt. I will most likely loose my savings I had put away for my children (matched by Hungarian govt.)

          The last govt. with which I lost any of my savings – where it was not my own stupidity – was the former Soviet Union. They simply froze all of our assets and issued a new currency in one weekend. Practically making all of my savings disappear in a matter of few nights.

          So if anything feels like Bolsheviks it is your current government.

          • Magyar

            If you lived in the SU, you were a plain Bolshevik. apparently you liked the system, since you are bemoaning the fall of the regime and the subsequent loss of your savings.

            Pure and simple. No wonder you are nostalgic, communism suited you just fine.
            You could move to China or North Korea to feel at home again.
            Actually you could try the US also, it’s going in that direction with big steps, although it will look more like fascism, but communism and fascism are kissing cousins, or different faces of the same coin.

        • Peter

          Dear Thomas,
          Are your comments even remotely associated with the topic? Or is any opportunity fair enough to kommie a bit? It is exactly your kind because of whom Hungary has never won a war in a few hundred years – but lost as much as a country can.

    • Erika

      You are absolutely right about the people just having wanted Austrian living standards – preferably yesterday and without doing anything for it.

      However, this time they cast the ballot for the most untrustworthy and/or corrupt party.

      Why Hungary got singled out? Thanks God, Hungary is in the EU and Nato and as such it is of interest to the world and when it offers such Wonderland for Alices (as GF writes so aptly) the world will take note. Also, Hungary was the one Eastern European nation that was popular in the free world: for its David and Goliath struggle in 1956 and its subsequent plucky ways in turning the terribly drab communist regime into ‘gulash communism’.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Dear László!

      Hungarian people have their own way of thinking, you know that as well as i do. If our thinking would get popular, and we would get to supply the world with the intellectual and factual basis, that would not be so good for the evil that is ruling the world, do you have any more doubts why this thinking must be deleted?

      Our thinking is their worst nightmare

      DI

  • Viereck, George

    Dr. Fukuyama, you making fool of yourself. A professor like you cannot allow such huge mistakes you committed in your earlier post and now you are making your situation graver. I wonder if you would grade your performance a B- or a C. but I would give you a C- taken everything together. To say that you are mistaken in the facts BUT you are right in the interpretation is something we must call BLABLA and in Hungarian we say the same: blablabla. Your behavior is absolutely uncivil if you have the cheeks to intervene into the internal matters of an age old country the language of which you speak just as well as Swahili. Is this for your measure a professional procedure? Would you want to publish scholarly articles on Swahili literature without knowing the language? Your friends, János Kiss and Dr. Scheppele and Gábor Halmai just mislead you completely, so much so that now you are KÖZRÖHEJ TÁRGYA in Hungary and in the world, and please try to find a good translation of that. Your points are fully baseless and you do not only exaggerate but you are absolutely ignorant and mistaken. IF this is scholarship at your university, then that is the end of the world. Oh yes, I see: for you history is over, that is to say culture and civilization is over, so you think you can lie as you wish. But you are MISTAKEN, Dr. Fukuyama, and not only with respects to the facts but to the generalized, baseless consequences. I am not sure I have ever met a professor that was so fully mistaken as you are, Dr. Fukuyama. You are indeed KÖZRÖHEJ TÁRGYA (and Google cannot translate it for you). Please stop playing the fool.

    • Bela

      You don’t realize that your very own aggressive attitude actually supports Fukuyama’s point touching on the breaching of democratic norms, do you? Academic criticism is not an intervention, and you don’t represent all of Hungary, but sadly enough, a too big part of it — on the bright side you are not nearly as plenty as you would like to make everyone else believe. You ask Mr. Fukuyama to be civil, yet you are hundred miles from it.

      • Robert Ram

        No, he asks Professor Fukuyama to approach to the subject in a scholarly way, to collect hard facts first (no impressions, feelings, gossips etc.), to analyze them, to make conclusions — and to withdraw if still committed errors and was wrong. This is honesty and the expected behavior of a scientist,the norm of good science.

        • Bela

          I beg to differ. I think he just barked up the tree.

      • Francis

        Béla, Béla, hülyeségeket írsz – mielőtt leírsz valamit azért gondolkodj – az emberek tudatlansága taszít minket (az emberiséget) a katasztrófába – liberálisoktól SOHA nem fogod megtudni az igazságot…soha – és Viereck-nek igaza van – ha valaki olyan marhaságokat hord össze mint ez a “nagy” tudós anélkül, hogy tudna valamit is rólunk, akkor jogos a düh, és a felháborodás, én kétségbe vagyok esve azon amit itt “egyesek” írnak – magyargyűlölők a javából…..nem tudom fiatal vagy-e, de használd az agyad, amíg nem késő – ha nem tudnád – GONDOLKODÁSRA van….

    • mata-hari

      Dear George, please try to respond to Dr. Fukuyama’s points one by one. Why is he mistaken? You are the one who generalizes and doesn’t address the issues raised by Dr. Fukuyama. Faszfej

    • Peter

      Dear George,
      this is beautiful reasoning. You are Közröhej tárgya – full stop. Why? And why is voicing an opinion meddling into a country’s internal affairs? I, for one, hate the relentless and petty bullying of the Orban government. Now, before you come with your favorite stamp and call me a kommie, leftist, liberal bolshevik and the rest, let me assure you that I was not happy with the Gyurcsany government, either. But hating Gyurcsany is a very feeble argument for the love of Orban, our East European strong man.
      I hate strong men – and, along with Prof. Fukuyama – believe in strong institutions. They are more guarantee than any politician’s smiling promises. And it is so funny to read about how week the American democracy is (slaves, Indians, etc.) versus our beautiful, old traditions. Why do people then emigrate by the millions to the US and not Hungary? Any good idea?

    • Magyar

      KÖZRÖHEJ TÁRGYA

      1. A laughingstock of the people (of Hungary)
      2. Looked upon with amused derision.

    • stivi

      viereck gyuri, yours was the most absent, worthless piece on this article. if you are going to disagree with someone SAY SOMETHING! you said nothing. instead of grading the professor SAY SOMETHING. i wasted my time reading your rant…..and i suggest you learn some english grammar/spelling too.

  • Mush R

    Being simply a Hungarian, and not being a radical, nor belonging to any political sides, yet having a background in research and development, I kindly and respectfully suggest Prof. Fukuyama on the basis of professional considerations that he should profoundly rethink his attitude to political actualities. It is not only his first writing “Do institutions matter” but also his current text which contains factual errors. This is one of the most serious mistakes a researcher can make and it is no excuse that this is an unedited blog. I must say Prof. Fukuyama has completely lost his credibility as a professional as far as his views on the current matters in the political life of Hungary are concerned. However appealing it might be to Prof. Fukuyama that he receives reactions from officials, the only acceptable feedback he can now give is an “I am sorry for publishing two manuscripts on this matter which contained false claims, misleading readers”.

    • Mike

      Well said. We await a honest apology from him, for the factual mistakes in both posts. Writing on a blog post is not a licence to lie and spread false information about a foreign country.

  • Mutt

    Well, Meciar’s Slovakia was “singled out” until the Slovaks got rid of him. Belorus is also the subject of criticism. But no EU country is so screwed up as Hungary right now. Thanks God, people still care.

    • László Éhn

      Yes, it is screwed up, but Greece is even a bit more.

      Meciar’s problem was that he wanted to go his own way. He didn’t want to sell the state property to foreign investors, he wanted more control over the economy of his country. His ideal was Russia – a state run by an indigenous political maffia. But I can tell you that the situation didn’t change too much since Meciar. The state is run basically by the same people as under Meciar, the only difference is that the new rulers let Western companies take over some key elements of the economy.

      • Mutt

        You’re right. Greece is in bigger mess economically but the original blog post was about the weakened checks and balances on the executive power.

        One word about the Constitutional Court judges since our bullies were so keen to point out the ominous “factual mistakes”. The number of judges in this”gremium” (von Francis, still here?) used to be 11. The FIDESZ government’s new constitution added 4 more seats to make it 15 in June last year and with the one opened seat to fill they put 5 more hard core right wing, 100% loyal to FIDESZ judges in the court successfully diluting it to get pro-government majority. Now one can ask, why is the 15 better than 11? Kovacs probably will give you the same reply. Oh yes, by the way the new President of the newly-created National Justice Office, Tunde Hando, who has power to nominate the replacements of the forcefully retired judges is a family friend of Viktor Orbán and the wife of an influential FIDESZ politician, Jozsef Szajer.

        This government is very flexible when it comes to retirement ages. The present Hungarian ambassador to US was to old. No problem. They increased the age limit.

      • comment88

        Yet hundreds of thousands of people are much more well of then 15 years ago… actually Slovakia is not any more a failed state of Europe, as it has been widely regarded to be 15 yrs. ago… PLUS GDP/capita is higher then in Hungary… could You have imagined that 15 yrs. ago when You went there skiing and felt excessively sorry, and of course proud of Yourself to be Hungarian…?
        All the above thanks to the reforms of Mr. Dzurinda and his advisor (Your would not imagine e.g.) Mr. Lajos Bokros (a foe of everybody in Hungary, yet one of the most recognized Hungarians abroad; the most coherent and consequent politician in today’s Hungary) .
        And though Mr. Fico have won the elections by populist campaigning against the reforms of Mr. Dzurinda, once in power the crucial measures and the corner stones staid in place… and I am a Hungarian from Hungary… not a Slovak You would have imagined from the above….

        We need hard work, the respect of professionalism in economic policy and not empty promises and blaming the World/Europe/IMF/The Professor… for Our own stupid mistakes which have led to Trianon and an unfortunate ’56 and the failed System Change of ’89.
        First of all analyse what WE (both the current & previous governments and the society) could have done better, what are Our obvious (for everybody else at least) mistakes and after a thorough self-examination we can turn to the outside World and say We PROPESE (not demand) this & this & this to be considered/done/worked out differently… but supported with detailed reasoning and not supported by grievance and populism…
        We need statesman and not just politician and hard work instead of populism.

        P.S.:
        Thank You Mr. Fukuyama for devoting Time and Effort for working out an opinion about the current Hungarian situation; let me excuse for the uncivilized comments and responses and let me express my view about the article: We do not by all means have to agree and accept Your views BUT the manner we express ourselves defines how we are treated, regarded and whether we are taken seriously or just laughed out.
        Most of those people who commented probably are not even close to the achievements You have reached and that AT LEAST should be respected!

        Thank You Mr. Fukuyama &
        Thank You All civilized comment writers

  • http://mosmaiorum.blog.hu Ferenc Hörcher

    FYI.
    http://mosmaiorum.blog.hu/2012/02/01/miben_teved_fukuyama_most_magyarorszaggal_kapcsolatban
    We plan to translate it as well.
    BEst regards,
    F. Hörcher

    • Eszter Babarczy

      Dear Feri (and all who subscribe to some conspiracy theory),

      I don’t understand why and how Mr. Fukuyama’s blog post can be framed as part of some international conspiracy (run by the KGB (!!!)), or — as you put it, Feri –, explained by some neoconservative interventionalist arrogance.

      Mr. Fukuyama is a scholar and philosopher. I remember quite well when he was the guest of honor of Mr. Stumpf, applauded by many members of Fidesz present at his lecture. I am absolutely sure he gave his talk in the best of faith and could not even imagine that anyone will use it for political purposes. Use _him_ for and in petty political fights.

      And the same must apply to his post here. I am deeply ashamed, that you, Feri, a fellow philosopher, subsribe to such a ridiculous idea.

      As I understood, Mr. Fukuyama — true to the spirit of his former books — pointed to the fact that culture (political and social) matters. Institutions are only part of what creates a free and demoratic state. The very comments here sadly demonstrate that Hungary is an excellent proof to his musings.
      Don’t you — a self-described conservative thinker — agree with this, Feri? Don’t you think that the comments here, or, by the way, the very fact that our government tries to _refute_ a philosopher’s musings, are both sad and ridiculous proof of our present state of mind?

      Why can’t you look at it this way: Mr. Fukuyama thinks culture matters. He reads the news and finds an excellent example where institutions and laws are created or modified in a prima facie perfectly democratic way, by parlamentairy vote. And he also finds that there is something disturbing in the fact that so many laws are modified or passed so quickly, that so many appointees are former Fidesz members (of relatives of Fidesz members), that they are appointed for 9 years, and so on.

      Therefore, he concludes, Hungary is proof that institutions by themselves do not guarantee a truly democratic state. Democracy is culture, a spirit, a state of mind, the tone of public discourse.

      So here you come, what is more, here comes our government, chiding Mr. Fukuyama for being so impertinent and commenting on Hungary. If he defended Mr. Orban vehemently, then no one of you would question his right to comment on our country.

      Don’t you see how absurd this is? I am ashamed that we present ourselves, our political culture, in this way. How can a philosopher and cultural historian not see that the argument of culture and for culture is a deep thread in the fabric of conservative thought? That Mr. Orban’s government, if you are a fan or not, is radical to the degree of the Jacobins? How can you not see that the main tenet of the Fidesz creed (that we have to destroy the past once and for all) is a direct quote from communism and communist revolutionary practice? How can you suscribe to the notion that I — your former colleague and collaborator — is a traitor to our country, if I dare formulate some criticism of specific pratices of our government?

      How can you not see that thereby you claim that there are two kinds of people: those who understand Mr. Orban’s Hungary, and those who do not? I am happy to be ranked so high, in the same league as Mr. Fukuyama, but come on, this a delusion. The world is not against us. We are not that important.

      • dbeata

        Very often do I think about the French revolution and the Jacobins, and my heart thumped when I read your lines. THat’s the way I feel it too. An unimportant civil from Hungary. Thank you Eszter.

        • Magyar

          Perhaps you should do a very deep and thorough study of the French “revolution”.
          Be ready for a shock.
          It was nowhere near as spontaneous as you were led to believe and you’ll be shocked even further when you come to realize how long it was in the planning and who did the planning and execution.

          I was surprised too…

          • Eszter Babarczy

            Dear Beata, thank you.

            Dear Magyar — I am an historian, so I am not sure what you are getting at.
            From your earlier (and later) comments it seems you suspect some conspiracy everywhere. Can I guess? The Jewry of Europe? Free masons?

            (For your information, the United States of America had no CNN at the time, not even a New York times, so I guess the informed guess of Mr. Orban according to which there was a coup d’etat against him, the culprits being — amazingly — CNN, some unspecified others, and foreign interstes — does not apply here.”

            So, If you don’t mind: there were many factors behind the French revolution, and as many factions. The Jacobins were mostly middle class lawyers (but so were the Gironde). The Jacobins could hold on so long — while destroying anything that resembled rule of law — because they had a fiery rhetoric: the all world is against us! Up in arms! We have to finish with our internal enemies! This paranoid style of governing has some appeal in the short term. I admit they were vehemently anti-Church, in this sense they do not fit Mr Orban’s strategy. But to finish with the ancien regime once and for all, to build a new moral order, to look for internal traitors — that is soooo familiar.

            Eastern Europe is presented in the history of the late twentieth century as the exemplary and rare example of boodless revolution, based on negotiations. Now: what is wrong with a boodless revolution? Why start a new one in a polling booth, as Mr Orban so memorably put it.

            And — this is the main point here, I guess. Why are you claiming that Mr Fukuyama slanders Hungary? Because he has made an interesting point in political theory? Because he turned to Hungary as an example? Or because you don’t agree with what he said?

            I completely agree with him, and, by the way, I am a historian and political theorist by training. What is exactly at stake here — for you? What do you want to prove?

  • Thomas Molnar

    What’s wrong with Hungary? Let me tell you clearly: the surviving network of the KGB–that’s the problem. They reorganized themselves under Ferenc Gyurcsany’s government and succeeded in getting the assistance of corrupted Western networks specialized in crime of every sort. There you go, Mr. Fukuyama, I am sure you are very well payed for your libelous, false, baseless posts. The KGB pays well, and you get your share. It is so sad to see! You say that the situation in Hungary recalls Ukraine. No, Mr. Fukuyama, you are mistaken. Gyurcsany’s Hungary was a Western edition of Janukovich’s Ukraine for–I am sure you do not know this–Gyurcsany was the last leader of the Communist Youth Organization and never ever gave up his faith in terroristic and totalitarian Communism. So you are defending now the Hungarian Janukovich and attacking the Hungarian Juschenko. Please read Tibor Fischer’s text on Mr. Orban:

    http://standpointmag.co.uk/features-march-11-a-hungarian-democrat-takes-on-the-old-guard-tibor-fischer-viktor-orban-fidesz

  • John

    There is nothing wrong with hungary, but with the “New World Order”-Maffia.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Oh my god John,

      You are the first to hit the nail in the head. Right on, man! :-)

      DI

  • Zola60

    ” The Orbán government has undertaken a number of measures that suggest that it doesn’t really understand the norms that must underlie a healthy liberal democracy. ” – well, this is a key sentence, however it clearly signs that Mr.Fukuyama does not understand that Mr. Orban wanted and not only wanted, but created a real unliberal, anti-liberal democracy. And I am not joking. This is what their new “constitution” is all about. Fidesz is a strong anti-liberal party.

    I understand what “liberal democray” means as it is understood by Mr. Fukuyama. I have read his ” Transitions to the rule of law” study and yes, I agree with his ideas, specially because our Istvan Bibó back in 1978 or 1979 in his study about the European history had the same ideas about the European Christian roots of rule of law and what checks and balances are about.

    But “liberal democracy” now is not understood in Hungary and by Fidesz as it is understood by Mr. Fukuyama or as it was understood by our Istvan Bibó. Democracy can and must be only really anti-liberal in order to be acceptable for Fidesz and its supporters.

    This is the conflict in which the communication of the Hungarian government seems to be completely helpless specially when someone from abroad has a careful look at the power-structure of our Fidesz state: How to explain to someone like Francis Fukuyama that Fidesz is not a liberal party ?

    This communication between the Hungarian government and anybody who undestransd “liberal democracy” the way as it is undestood by for example Mr.Fukuyama will surely be the communication of those who do not speak each others’ language, not a word – but dont have a translater either.

  • Seal Driver

    “A liberal democracy is not just about majority rule; its proper functioning rests… on the respect that majorities show towards minorities, and the ability of the society as a whole to engage in informed deliberation.”

    Fukuyama nailed it. Fideszers (and their cousins in Jobbik) simply do not have an intellectual leg to stand on, so when they get cornered, they attack. This is why you get absurd comments on this page about the number of Jews in AVO and the (unproven) fact that Fukuyama has never lived in a Gypsy slum.

    Hatred makes a very poor mortar for building democracy. Yet that is all that Orban and his minions have going for them right now. You can be sure they will use it until it backfires on them — but how long will this be, and at what cost to Hungarian society?

    The main problem that Fukuyama needs to work on is his clerical errors (e.g. switching between “state secretary” and “minister” to describe Kovacs; his erstwhile misspelling of “Fidesz.”) This gives his critics a target, and they will shoot at it until the cows come home.

    • not francis

      “Fukuyama nailed it. Fideszers (and their cousins in Jobbik) simply do not have an intellectual leg to stand on, so when they get cornered, they attack. This is why you get absurd comments on this page about the number of Jews in AVO and the (unproven) fact that Fukuyama has never lived in a Gypsy slum.”

      thank your for bringing up the topic.

      the whole shit started in 1991. the chief rabbi of hungary in an interview stated that every contribution to Hungarian culture is made by a jew. without jews there would be only baggy trousers and whistler palinka.
      in the same interview he was asked about stalinist leaders of hungary being mostly jews. he said they werent jews becoz they were communists.

      majority of jews in AVO(communist secret police) and among torturers and henchmen are fact.
      from wikipedia:

      Mátyás Rákosi (March 9, 1892[1][2] – February 5, 1971[3]) was a Hungarian communist politician. He was born as Mátyás Rosenfeld.

      Gábor Péter (born as Benjámin Eisenberger in Újfehértó, 14 May 1906 – Budapest, 23 January 1993) was a Hungarian Communist politician, of Jewish origin. Between 1945 and 1952 he was the absolute leader of the State Protection Authority (Államvédelmi Hatóság) which responsible for many cruelty, brutality and political purges

      Farkas Mihály (Lőwy Hermann)

      or a little anecdote that could happen only in Hungary.

      Miklós Bauer was a know communist torturer of AVO. he was jewish. he was know for tearing ppl nails off. he illed István Ries.
      after the collapse of communism this guy had a common law firm with liberal party member Mátyás Eörsi who just appeared on CNN as a credible source. his son, Tamás Bauer was a party member in SZDSZ too. Miklós Bauer was never prosecuted he could walk free and having a business. Eörsi never resigned for running a law form with a communist torturer.

      every former communist jew turned into zionist with a swish of a magic wand in 1990.
      they werent harmed, werent prosecuted, they could save their former power in communism into economic power of capitalism.

      and when ppl started to ask: WTF, they should be in jail, they started to call everyone a fascist, nazi etc etc.

      • Francis

        to Not francis:
        “Fukuyama nailed it. Fideszers (and their cousins in Jobbik) simply do not have an intellectual leg to stand on, so when they get cornered, they attack.”
        So, here we are – nobody, who is not liberalbolshevik (better liberalfascist) has not inough intellectual capacity – and when cornered they attack – but my NOTFRANCIS you just described hungarian (and not only hungarian) liberals(neoliberals,reds,leftists ,postcommunists, and so on…)- thank you, for help – it is a typical attitude of criminals, who last 8 years (last 20, last 60) destroyed this country and send it to the floor….thank you very much for YOUR special “democracy” . (USA is a very special “democracy” too)

      • Magyar

        Great post.
        In my youth I went to dine (and American movies) to the BM Klub in Zriny utca for several years (this was in the 1960s), don’t ask how I had the privilege – its a log story.
        The food was fabulous.
        However, well over half of the “patrons” were jewish. It was casually mentioned “he is a jew, she is jewish”, but it had no any connotation – at least I didn’t perceive any. BTW not all BM employees were alloved ito the Klub. As I recall, a certain position had to be attained in the BM to have the privilege. In my case he was a physician, with the rank of major, and later colonel. He looked jewish, but he wasn’t one.
        His ex was jewish though, and she was also a BM employee with a high enough rank to put us under active surveillance for at least half a year. I really don’t know how we found out, but we did.

        • Seal Driver

          You have all proven my point — overwhelmingly. Thanks!

  • Resident

    FYI to those Americans reading this post. The Hungarian government pays trolls to respond to English language posts critical to Orban. You can spot them by their horrible grammar and thinly veiled extreme right wing rhetoric.

    The fact that the United States has a horrible human rights record and many awful laws of its own does not excuse this travesty of a constitution. And yes, a dictatorship in the heart of Europe matters.

    • Troll – paid by evil ORBÁN

      Do You like it?

      FYI to those Americans reading this post. The Hungarian opposition pays trolls to respond to English language posts defending Orban. You can spot them by their horrible grammar and thinly veiled extreme “the democracy is in danger, if there is not a socialist-liberal governement” rhetoric.

      A..hole!

      • Thomas

        I also plucked the same quote from Mr. Fukuyama’s essay — “uncivil comment” –and I commented on it: it’s still pending.

        The discussion is meandering aimlessly so I try to be pithy. The Socialist International was founded in 1951 and all the world’s Marxist parties and organizations are members of it.
        Ex Hungarian prime minister Mr. Gyurcsany was a former vice-president of said organization.

        Medias like the N.Y.Times, Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde etc. are also active members.
        In the name of international solidarity, on behalf of the Hungarian Leftists the American radicals like P. Krugman and others launched an attack on Hungary.
        Soros gave $100 million (Google) to the Human Right Watch so HRW joined the fray too.

        So this is a pure neo-Marxist crusade against Hungary: they cannot call in the Red Army, so they begging their Bolshevik allies for help.

        Finally from the mouth of the horse, the German leftist “Der Spiegel”:
        “‘Booming Silence’
        Europe’s Conservatives Fail to Criticize Hungary”
        http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,810863,00.html

    • Gabor

      Untrue, the trolls are doing it voluntarily.

    • Chris M.

      You’re such an optimist mister Resident! Would there only be a handful of extreme-right hirelings standing up for the government’s politics, things wouldn’t be so bad at all! I can assure you, your trolls are as real as the global left-wing liberal conspirators imagined by Mr. Orbán. As for the grammar, one doesn’t have to be paid not to speak/write correct English; it is one of those few things we can still find in our hearts to do for free.

    • Thomas

      Resident, you are the super troll…Soros $$?

    • Magyar

      Nice try – but doesn’t fly. So no cigar bud…
      Three weeks ago there was a nice “little” demonstration in Budapest. Not too many, about half a million. That’s not a typo bud, that’s an actual number.
      I’m sure there were a good number among them who speak (and write) fluent English and are happy to defend HU of this unbridled World -wide media and other means of attack, without the prodding from the Orban govt.

  • TeaParty

    That IS funny, Mr. Fukuyama. “Well I got some pissed off letters from Hungarians about my previous post. They point out that I’ve made factual errors. I admit they right…. so in my next post I don’t write any tangible things just some politophylosophical bullcrap.” Keep up your work. We ar enjoying it.

    Yours,
    One democratic Hungarian for the Government

  • Sophie Johnson

    Professor Fukuyama:

    ‘… the vehemence of the response and the extremely uncivil comments that Hungarians have made about each other is a disturbing confirmation that something has gone badly off track with Hungarian democracy.’

    Your reasoning is very obscure here. Why have the responses, even if your evaluation of them is accurate, become a demonstration of democracy gone ‘badly off track’ in Hungary? I put it to you that ‘democracy in vigorous action’ would be the much better characterisation of these responses. After all, you did intervene,in the internal politics of a country that you cannot credibly claim to know, with a quite vicious set of condemnations of its popular, democratically elected government and Prime Minister. Your personal attack on the Prime Minister was particularly offensive. Sadly, your response does nothing to correct the offence your article gave. Indeed, this response accumulates more evidence of your lack of understanding of the Hungarian political scene, and of your absence of concern about levelling devastating accusations of undemocratic behaviour that you are incapable of substantiating. I shall offer a few instances of both.

    ‘The attempt to charge a former Prime Minister with the crime of economic mismanagement is more worthy of Yanukovich’s Ukraine than Hungary.’

    Where is there such an attempt? Not in Hungary, certainly. A former PM is under investigation for personal graft, and for misuse of state powers in pursuit of personal enrichment. So what? Would a head-of-state not be prosecuted elsewhere for such common law crimes?

    Several others prominent in the former government, and those favoured by that government, are also under investigation. But the few that have come before a court have been dismissed, or laughably lightly punished. This is the product of the ‘independent judiciary’ you are so concerned to protect, never mind that its members are to a man the party-faithful appointees of the former government.

    ‘Using its supermajority in the Diet …’

    Why ‘the Diet’? Why not ‘Parliament’? (Really!)

    ‘The supervisory powers of formerly independent watchdogs like the Budgetary Council, parliamentary ombudsmen, and the Health Insurance Inspectorate have all been either eliminated or reduced. Local governments have lost powers to the center with regard to education, health, and disaster preparedness, while control over gymnasia in the capital has been put under a new government regulator and the autonomy of universities curtailed. The autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, as well as public foundations in the arts and sciences, is being more closely controlled by the government.’

    What you say above, subtracting your highly subjective evaluations, is that there has been a major overhaul of administrative law and its institutions. Conducting such an overhaul was an electoral promise of the current government. How, anywhere, is that sort of thing unusual, let alone a deviation from democracy? The UK Parliaments, for instance, regularly overhauls administrative bodies and the laws and rules that regulate them.

    ‘Perhaps the most disturbing thing happening in Hungary is the centralization of power in a government-controlled Media Authority, and its intimidation of opposition media.’

    The Media Authority is an independent statutory body of which the executive is appointed by Parliament, not by the government. It is not ‘government controlled’ in any sense. So a question cannot arise of any government instrument’s ‘intimidation of opposition media’. Incidentally, the Media Council is expressly prevented by law from taking action, on its own initiative, against any arm of the media. It can respond only to complaints from the public that allege a breach of the Media Law. You are obviously not aware of this.

    ‘Taking away the frequency of an opposition-aligned radio station is something right out of Hugo Chavez’s playbook.’

    No doubt. But this has not happened in Hungary. Here, radio frequency is allotted by auction. A frequency goes to the highest bidder. Klub Radio, the radio station to which you appear to be referring, made a ludicrously low bid for the retention of its licence. That licence was nevertheless, and very unusually, extended twice, to give Klub Radio time to reconsider the size of its bid. But Klub Radio did not reconsider. One cannot but wonder why, since its backers (that is, the people who like its relentless bashing of all things Hungarian), both locally and internationally, are an affluent group.

    A prevalent view in Hungary is that Klub Radio intentionally underbid its competitors, knowing that it can make big political capital out of this by passing off as ‘closure by the government’ what was in fact a failure to bid competitively for the renewal of its licence. You, and many others in the international media, are promoting exactly the false impression Klub Radio and its ‘liberal’ supporters want promoted. You must feel a little uncomfortable about that.

    (Are you aware, by the way, that the repealed media law upon which the former government operated allowed the shutting down by the government of any media outlet, without explanation?)

    ‘… Fidesz, which won only a bare majority of the popular vote (52.7%)…’

    In any democracy, this is an enormous success, rarely enjoyed by any political party. Why are you calling 52.7% ‘a bare majority’? Surely, ‘clear majority’ is its correct estimate.

    You say that you ‘would doubly underline’ your gratuitous insult that Prime Minister Orbán’s is an ‘authoritarian thin skin’. I say that I doubly underline all I have said in my earlier posts that accuse you of ill-informed political partisanship, exerted against the very popular government of a country you cannot claim to know, to please the national and international enemies of that government.

    • Mutt

      “since its backers (that is, the people who like its relentless bashing of all things Hungarian), both locally and internationally, are an affluent group”

      Gotcha.

      The winning “bid” on the radio station, 75 million a year, is an impossible business plan. Nobody can squeeze out (and never did) this much from advertising revenue in Hungary. The “winner” by the way doesn’t have much broadcasting experience either. They are actually not sure if they want to do it. A few days ago they offered the frequency to several radio stations for 200 million. Another thing. The new Media Council, led by an ex-porn magazine editor, changed the requirements before the bidding process. They wanted a music radio instead causing the talk radio to lose points in the competition. Why? Because they can …

      • Gabor

        True, the radio station thingy might not have been perfectly democratic. Neither was any auction for any broadcasting channel since 1990.

        Just to give an example, I think it was way more significant when in 2005, just before the elections, the Gyurcsány government lengthened the licenses of the two national private television channels (then due to expire in 2007), abusing the law. (There was a loophole, since the law only specified that such lengthening has to be decided before the expiry, but didn’t specify how much before that…) The two television channels of course were friendly to him after this.

        • Mutt

          I’m glad we agree. I would only add that we are now talking about the *only* anti government talk radio.

          • Gabor

            I don’t think there is any pro-government talk radio either. I mean, talk radio is not a very big thing in Hungary at all.

            I am sure you know that the two national commercial radio channels also had a rigged auction, back in 2009, under the socialist government, when Fidesz and the socialists split the game: one of the commercial radios went to a group with links to Fidesz, the other one to a group with links to the socialists. The small parties were protesting to no avail.

            Of course these commercial radios don’t do much politics, mostly music and apolitical programs, but they can still be effective in election times. But of course in Hungary radio has never been too important, at least that’s my impression.

      • Sophie Johnson

        So why did Klub Radio not bid competively?

        And what’s the point of this disinfiormation: ‘The new Media Council, led by an ex-porn magazine editor…’? And the bidding rules are ‘set in stone’ by the Media Law. legislation can be changed only by Parliament. The Media Council cannot change the statute that governs it. (You are well up the pole!)

        • Mutt

          Annamaria Szalai was a porn magazine editor. I can show you the picts. Interesting choice for a government committee
          partly responsible for regulations to protect minors from harmful content.

          • Sophie Johnson

            Keep your picts, Mutt! :)

        • Street

          Sophie, it’s hard to bid competitively when your bid is leaked to the opponent (who btw has no track record and no intentions to broadcast at all).

    • Zola60

      ” Why ‘the Diet’? Why not ‘Parliament’? (Really!)” – You ask. Don’t you remember what the Hungarian “országgyűlés” was called about 150-200 years ago ? “Magyar Diéta”. Please read some Hungarian books about the wonderful Hungarian Reform Age.
      (I did not know that English has the same version for “parliament”. It looks in English just as beautiful as in Hungarian: “diéta”.)

      • Sophie Johnson

        Contemporary European democracies have parliaments. So I do not understand why Prof. Fukuyama insists on Diet-ing the Hungarian parliament. (But I can guess.)

        • Zola60

          This is not about parliaments and not about democracies. This is about the language.
          (By the way Fidesz has just decieded to use “Kúria” instead of “Legfelsőbb Bíróság” – Supreme Court. And I like this change, it sounds good,at least for me. This is just like “diéta” instead of parliament.)
          If Mr.Fukuyama used the word “diet” because he wanted to mean “slimming cure of democracy” in Hungary,well that is a delicate raillery – and – as to me – it is not far from my view about the present constitutional situtation of Hungary.

        • Viktor

          I think largely because Prof. Fukuyama sees correctly that this elected body in Hungary doesn’t do much but digests the crap handed down from the government, instead of having meaningful debates and effective control over the government (cf. contemporary European democracies).

        • Magyar

          The Diet is a Japanese term for a bi-camera parliament i.e. it has two houses (both elected).
          Which is two mistakes; one is the improper usage of the word: Diet, instead of Parliament, the other is that the Diet has two houses, while the Hungarian (orszaggyules) doesn’t.

    • Bela

      Dearest Fidesznyik,

      Just for the record, you tell lies and give dishonest spin to the course of events you happen to be commenting on. Criticism of a prime minister, however tough it may be or wherever it may come from, can not be offensive.

      Of course, you beg to differ, but this is only because of your faith and interest in your Dear Leader and its system. A politician but especially a prime minister has to be thick skinned, and boy your Dear Leader is, Lord knows best.

      Oh, so you don’t know what prime minister and what economic mismanagement? It’s funny to see how you dismissed the idea despite being an insider and beneficiary of the Dear Leader’s system. The charge against Gyurcsany is called malfeasance in office, or misconduct in office, abuse of office. Referring to the Sukoro gate as economic mismanagement is accurate enough.

      ‘. Conducting such an overhaul was an electoral promise of the current government. How, anywhere, is that sort of thing unusual, let alone a deviation from democracy?’

      You still don’t get it, do you? Or, maybe you do it’s just that you’re part of the system. It’s not the institutional framework or changes to it, nor the mass swaps in public office positions that matter per se but the context which you pretend not to understand. The style and context is the problem. The complete lack of consensus is the problem. The complete lack of tolerating strong contrarian views is the problem. TheThe complete lack of intellectual and logical integrity is the problem. The hostile attitude is the problem. The clear objective of power centralisation is the problem. The rethoric is the problem. The lack of intellectual and moral qualities of the party people and the system, are the problem. You are the problem.

      ‘The Media Authority is an independent statutory body of which the executive is appointed by Parliament, not by the government. It is not ‘government controlled’ in any sense. So a question cannot arise of any government instrument’s ‘intimidation of opposition media’. Incidentally, the Media Council is expressly prevented by law from taking action, on its own initiative, against any arm of the media. It can respond only to complaints from the public that allege a breach of the Media Law. You are obviously not aware of this.’

      This is a finest example of the disgusting dishonesty rampant across the fidesznyik branch. The president of the authority was assigned by your Dear Leader, for 9 years, a practice previously unknown to modern Hungary, ensuring powerful oversight through 2 electoral terms. And it can only respond to complaints from the public, right? As if there weren’t thousands of fans of the leaders who would be more than happy just writing complaint. As if the state media hasn’t been already caught grossly manipulating news to the point of outright misrepresentation of reality and breach of basic human rights. Without the Authority taking any meaningful action. But clearly that’s alright, since it’s happened in the interest of a bigger truth, innit?

      ‘A prevalent view in Hungary ‘

      Stop representing the whole country, you are just a party soldier, a disposable John Doe, a collateral not even valued high by your own Leader’s party.

      ‘(Are you aware, by the way, that the repealed media law upon which the former government operated allowed the shutting down by the government of any media outlet, without explanation?)’

      Even more lies and FUD. Has it happened?

      ‘the very popular government of a country ‘

      Have you been in a coma lately? Have you seen the latest polls? Can you even understand them? Support for the government is below 20% in the electoral age population.

      • Sophie Johnson

        Bela, it’s strange that you let loose an 11-line inchoate rant like this:

        ‘The style and context is the problem. The complete lack of consensus is the problem. … You are the problem’

        just after you accuse me of spin and lying! For the sake of ordinary decency, you should at least try to point out where I’m lying or spinning.

        ‘Criticism of a prime minister, however tough it may be or wherever it may come from, can not be offensive.’

        There is a world of difference between criticising a prime minister and heaping gross personal insult on him.

        ‘It’s funny to see how you dismissed the idea despite being an insider and beneficiary of the Dear Leader’s system.’

        This is pathetically tacky. The sort of thing just shows up the weirdo.

        You quote my painstaking effort to explicate a provision of the Media Law, but clearly, you do not even begin to understand it. A respect-commanding critical response would be one that faults my explication. But you are capable only of another irrelevant rant:

        ‘This is a finest example of the disgusting dishonesty rampant across the fidesznyik branch. The president of the authority was assigned by your Dear Leader…’

        Do try to understand that the Media Council, all members of it, are, by law, appointed by Parliament, not the Prime Minister. That should not be too hard. (And this ‘Dear Leader’, coming constantly from the ‘liberal’ (ha ha ) side is tiresome. Why are you people so pleased with it?)

        ‘And it can only respond to complaints from the public, right?’

        Right. Well done. What this means is that the Media Council is neither a policeman nor an arbiter. It is empowered only to investigate complaints from the public about breach of a provision of the media law by a media outlet. Should it consider that there has been a breach, it can refer the matter to a court of law. And there its authority stops. Get it now?

        (And at this point, my patience with idiocy has run out.)

        • yejo

          “Do try to understand that the Media Council, all members of it, are, by law, appointed by Parliament, not the Prime Minister. That should not be too hard.”

          God, every single reasonable human being in Hungary is absolutely aware that every important and major desicion is made by Orban. Parlament, come on.. Can You actually imagine a single Fidesz MP or non MP going against Orbans will. Never. You do that you’re done.

        • Bela

          Idiocy, well, that’s spot on, actually. One must be an idiot should he or she spend any time arguing fidesz people. Especially the toxicly cynical type of yours. Look, you can pretend to be a decent person one can have a decent, intellectually honest conversation. You can pretend not to undertsand the grand scheme of things in today’s Hungary. You can pretend that your party is popular. You can pretend that the country hasn’t been economically and morally broken by your party beyond imagination of even of your wildest opponents.

          Just don’t expect anyone to believe in your decency, nor any of those above. Fukuyama’s post hasn’t even touched on many of the astonishing steps, the way you made the parliament work, the nationalizations, the open blackmailing and misinformation of private pensioners. The socially unjust and fiscally insane flat personal income tax.

          After all, you are right. The system is still working. You and your people are still in place. But let’s not forget, the day, when you will be in need of democracy more than anyone else, is coming. You should be a huge fan of democracy. Not because of ideals. Just for your own safety and security.

    • Mush R

      I think this comment raises several points. I am eager to read Dr Fukuyama’s feedback on these.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      here is another edumecated smartass

      edumecated= in america, the blacks call their fellow locals this way if they get past the middle school

      DI

  • Mike

    At least Fukuyama had the decency to admit that he was spreading falsehoods about Hungary.

    Others lie without ever admitting to it. Take for example Kim Scheppel

    She wrote countless lies and factual mistakes about Hungary, she even wrote that ” Miklós Horthy was a Prime Minister of Hungary (whereas in reality he was the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary)” ( http://hungariandigest.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/the-peace-walk-for-hungary-rally-the-role-of-foreign-press/ )

    She never apologised for any of the lies and mistakes.

    So thank you Fukuyama for being decent enough to apologise for your own horrible misinformation you were spreading about Hungary.

    Let us not forget that many uninformed foreigners read these “sources” and they might simply remember the lies. “Ahh Fideusz is punishing the justices of the Constitutional Court, he is making them retire!!”

    It is just disgusting to think about how many lies are treated as the truth about Hungary. It is just sickening. So please make sure you are not trying to spread desinformation about Hungary, it is very hurtful.

    • copeau

      Fukuyama didn’t spread any falsehoods about Hungary. The sad state of affairs is, that he is absolutely correct about the essentials, and made only minor factual mistakes, that don’t even touch the core of what he said. I am very grateful that he responded to his critics, who are simply Fidesz-party members or uncritical followers of the authoritarian leaning Orban-regime.

  • stp

    Professor Fukuyama, over and above factual mistakes in your previous publication, now you made a lot more others. I might return later to them, now let me express basic dissent to your statement:

    “the vehemence of the response and the extremely uncivil comments that Hungarians have made about each other is a disturbing confirmation that something has gone badly off track with Hungarian democracy”

    In Hungary there are far more vehement discussions on all internet sites. The critics you got are less than 1% of what PM Orban gets each day from oppositioners and from anybody else. Why do you think it is “off the tack of democracy”? I completely disagree with this statement, even if the tone exceeds the limit of good taste. This is democracy, I would not be happy with quiet of dictatoric regimes.

  • Nagy László

    “old political culture that is re-emerging”

    Some comment from Hungary. As I learnt history at ELTE university, I hated that I had to read in every year the same book: The end of the history. I hated that book. And the teachers say that you are great and need to accept. I am a man, and as known, every man is a God in itself. So I have my own opinions as a God.

    So the other thing: You said that you made mistakes, but you made a new one, when you write, that Kovács is the state secretary of communication, thats WRONG! He is A state secretary in the Ministry of Justice. Giró-Szász is the leader of the communication in the hungarian goverment.

    You wrote about that Hungary is using old tools. If this is a problem fir you, I suggest to change your name to for example Francis Fukojam, thats more american. A japan man is defending the history of its country, the traditiomalism and not accept american liberalism thats crushing the nations “ghosts”.

    Other:
    “The attempt to charge a former Prime Minister with the crime of economic mismanagement is more worthy of Yanukovich’s Ukraine than Hungary.” And what do you thing about the former prime minister of Croatia, the former presidents of Italy and France. Just Hungary is a fascist country, that taking the left-side people to jail, Or not, dear?

    You are writing about Aranybulla, but I fear you dont understand, what was the problem with it. So I suggest to you, better if you write an essay about Aranybula, maybe that work will be better!

    Now I was PC, calm and nice. But nevermore.

    • Sophie Johnson

      László, I read your excellent points very gratefully. But I must say, you do land pretty deft and deadly punches when you are being ‘PC, calm and nice’!

    • dbeata

      If you dare to correct Mr Fukuyama, please take time and study English and communicate correctly.
      Think instead of thing
      every year instead of in every year
      wrote that Hungary instead of wrote about that Hungary
      Japanese instead of japan
      among others. Come on, this is terrible Hunglish, man! How could you graduate, anyway?
      I’m wondering, you understood what he meant at all…

      • Troll-paid by the evil Orbán

        “dare to correct Mr Fukuyama”
        Why? What is he? God himself or what?

        BTW, stop being a grammar-nazi!

  • Mutt

    I don’t see why mixing up the ‘regent’ with the ‘prime minister’ is a lie. I also don’t understand why the negligible mistakes in the original blog are “horrible misinformation”.

    See it’s us Hungarian’s again. Nobody want’s to post anything meaningful where people like Mike are posting. My suggestion to the editor. Don’t be shy. Just hit the delete button or edit the posts heavily.

    • Mike

      Scheppele lied about the Hungarian Election commission (she claimed it had 5 members all government appointed, it had 9 members of all parties), she lied about Haza és Haladas analyisis which she completely falsifeid. She lied about an 1995 law which was repealed in 1998, she pretended that it was still the law in 2010 when the actual text of the law betrayed Scheppele’s lie. She told several other lies too, you can read the comment section of any of her posts, the lies are all listed there.

      Calling the ruler of a Kingdom (the regent) a “Prime Minister” is not a lie it is true. It just illustrates what kind of idiocy Scheppele was spreading. And many uninformed uneducated people just eat that garbage up.

      This is why it is so dangerous. Hungarian haters latch onto these lies and use them to defame Hungary. It is disgusting it is sickening. And the most sad thing to see is that there are Hungarians who cheerfully support even the most vile, the most vicious attacks on Hungary. There are no lies or defamation that is too much to them, they will defend it all. This is the most sad of it all.

      • Mike

        Hungarians need an Anti Defamation League (ADL) to counter all the hatred that is against Hungarians. The Jews founded this institution in the early 1900s and they achieved remarkable success. Hungarians need institutions just like that one to protect themselves.

        • Sophie Johnson

          Mike: Sign me up, please! :)

      • Mutt

        Here you have it folks! Our very own Mike … I don’t think anybody normal wants to post here anything anymore …

        • Gabor

          Mutt, while there is much to dislike about Mike’s overheated style, he does have some points. Since he is only briefly mentioning the point about “Haza és Haladás” think tank, let me elaborate it.

          Dr. Scheppele said that the “respected” (Wiki editors would call it a weasel word: by whom?) Haza és Haladás think tank recalculated the 2002 and 2006 elections based on the new law and the new, supposedly gerrmandered electoral districts, and Fidesz won both of them, even though it got less votes and which resulted in its losing them both in the old system. Now, recently the Haza és Haladás study has been heavily criticized, but Dr. Scheppele couldn’t have heard about that. However, she could have read the study itself (she says she can read Hungarian, and also has Hungarian assistants), where it’s clear that the 2002 elections would have been won by the left (just as it happened in reality), and only the 2006 elections would have been a Fidesz victory (though not a clear one). (And the 2006 results have since been criticized.) She should also have considered that Haza és Haladás is a leftist think tank, therefore she could have approached its work with some grain of salt. In which case she might have wondered why they didn’t rerun the 1998 elections (won by the right, but in the new system in all likelihood would have been won by the left…)

          I think Dr. Scheppele’s criticism of Orbán is at least a bit overheated, exaggerated, and in many ways feels as if it was not the work of a disinterested political scientist but an actual participant, or at least a close associate of participants. (Her best friends in Hungary are virtually all leftists and liberals.)

          • Mutt

            I don’t share you opinion about the Prof. Scheppele’s posts. I can only quote here the link to let the readers decide. I don’t think the “her friends are leftist and liberals” argument should matter virtual or not.

            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/somewhere-in-europe/

          • Daniel

            Dear Gábor,

            Yes, it has been criticized, but I have yet to read a study that contradicts it.

            Make no mistake, the new electoral districts are better fot Fidesz. Obviously, we can not determine how much exactly, but the intent is obvious.

      • GF

        Horthy was not a regent. He was governor of Hungary, whatever it means. He made his son deputy governor. Is there a deputy regent ??

        Hungary is a sad country, a dreamless country, without any hope. Nobody with the right mind would waste his precious time to conspire against her. Orban is a smallsize bully, and his head was flushed into the toilet by the big boys, that is not conspiracy, this is just a regular school day.

        • Gabor

          GF, the literal meaning of the title “kormányzó” is governor, but in English it is misleading. The usual translation is Regent, which roughly gives the meaning: head of state of a kingdom in the absence or infancy of a king. (In Horthy’s case, there was no king, and the dynasty was dethroned, and in theory Horthy was only “kormányzó” until a new king would be elected – but of course no new king was ever to be elected.)

        • thehermit

          @GF
          We are fine, thank you.

    • Gabor

      I remember Dr Scheppele’s error, and I was disturbed by it. She stated that Orbán’s role model is Horthy, who was prime minister for 25 years before 1944. Now she is supposed to be an expert of Hungarian constitutional history, so she must have heard about the kingdom without a king (Horthy’s rule). Having it wrong is like reading from an expert of Nazism that Hitler was elected for president in 1933. It’s a kind of mistake no expert makes. And, by the way, the other half of the information is also bogus: Orbán never “invoked” Horthy as a model, he only mentioned him once in passing to someone, which was leaked in the press. (He was referring to his attitude towards Jobbik, which he compared to that of Horthy’s towards the arrow-crossers.) When I can find such a hole in her expertize, she’ll lose much credibility in my eyes.

      • not francis

        scheppele was an advisor to the SZDSZ and worked at the soros funded CEU.
        now she s using Haza és Haladás foundation as her sole source thats why she makes the same mistakes and tells the same lies as our liberals.
        this foundation is run by the executives of the former government.

        these so called professors are so ignorants. world is doomed when idiots like francis and scheppele can be professors. a studious high-school student in Hungary knows more about world history,politics, geography than these ‘professors’.

  • Mutt

    Dear Normal People,

    If you are still reading this here is the link Gabor is talking about (Prof. Scheppele):

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/somewhere-in-europe/

    I hate to quote but let me paste here the relevant part Gabor is distorting:

    “But, as usual, what Orbán says in English to foreigners is contradicted by what he says and does in Hungarian and at home. Few who have watched at close range as he has built up his party organization over the last 20 years believe that a few European threats will cause him to give up his long-term aims to stay in power for “25 years” as he has repeatedly promised. He has often invoked as his model the interwar right-wing Prime Minister Miklós Horthy who governed from 1920-1944. He apparently wants to beat Horthy’s record.”

    This is Prof. Scheppele’s “error” that disturbed Gabor.

    • Gabor

      I would be very much interested in Dr. Scheppele’s sources regarding:

      - the 25 years (when did Orbán say he wanted to stay for that long? I need at least 2 separate quotes from him, because the statement is that he “repeatedly” promised that)
      - Horthy as Orbán’s role model

      I will not repeat my point regarding the regent thing.

      • Mike

        The source for the 25 years is that Scheppele made that up, same as the role model. Do not wait for an admission from Scheppel though. It’s not her style to correct anything, no matter how wrong or outrageous. Zero ethical integrity.

      • Sophie Johnson

        The really shocking bit of Mutt’s Schepelle quote is this: ‘But, as usual, what Orbán says in English to foreigners is contradicted by what he says and does in Hungarian and at home.’ This is downright libellous. The rest is pig-ignorance. (American stupidity is often remarked upon in Europe. But when even an academic cannot distinguish between ‘Regent’ and ‘Prime Minister’, one must become a bit concerned that things have come to a pretty pass indeed. I wonder if Schepelle would flinch if one were to tell her that David Cameron is the King of England?)

        • Mutt

          Sophie,

          Orban told this to diplomats before the 2006 elections according to american diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks: “pay no attention to what I say to get elected”

          Here is one link, there are many:

          http://www.freehungary.hu/cimlap/1-friss-hirek/457-wikileaks-orban-asked-not-to-pay-attention-to-what-he-says-in-the-campaign.html

          • Sophie Johnson

            Yes Mutt, I know about this. But the diplomatic document that makes this ‘enormous’ revelation was April Foley’s. She was always pro-MSZP-SZDSZ and hostile to everyone else. Orbán Viktor was well aware of Foley’s leanings. He would not have been unwise enough to compromise himself in her hearing. In the light of this and Foley’s behaviour while she was the US Ambassador, I am inclined to believe that she simply made this up to discredit him.

          • Magyar

            Why are you beating this of a small country of 10 million? Why aren’t you paying attention to Obama, the pres of the US? Yah, that’s the very same US of A, the champ of freedom, democracy, blah blah blah and apple pie? A country of 310 millon with 2K+ nukes who spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined?
            Why don’t you compare what Kajszi (that’s Barack to you) said prior to his election and what he’s actually done?
            The world’s CONTROLLED and coordinated media spent more time on Orban during the last few months, than they spent on Kajszi’s promises vs. actual performance during the past three years combined.
            Kajszi’s (mis)behavior is infinitely more important for the 310 million Americans (and the rest of the world) than Orban’s to the 10 million Hungarians.

  • http://andorjakab.blog.hu Andor Jakab

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama,

    Orban’s populist nationalism worries me greatly. Living in Budapest I face hatred towards Romani people, open anti-semitism, anti-capitalism, goverment induced hatred against the EU every single day.

    Recently – after a serial killing spree on Romani people – a paramilitary group named “Véderő” opened their training camp next to a Romani slum. “Véderő” translates directly to German as “SchutzStaffel” – commonly known as SS. An American citizen Richard Field in cooperation with the Red Cross rescued the Romani families. But this wasn’t the scary part. Racist crime happens.

    This is scary.

    The Hungarian Parliament set up an ad hoc parliamentary committee to investigate the events. The task of the committee was to investigate the background of criminal activity by uniformed personnel and to assist in eliminating it. But out of the 9 tasks listed by the resolution 5 (!) were concerned with the evacuation of the Romani by the Red Cross and the role of Richard Field. The resolution – recalling the documents of the staged trials of the 1950s – is prejudiced when, among others, it states: “establishing who and why claimed untruthfully with regard to the long-existing activities of the Red Cross that the evacuation of the Romanis from the scene was taking place, what was the reason and objective for this causing of panic”.

    Racist crime happens. It’s a shame, but it does. But it’s a completely different level of the problem, when a Parliament comitee focuses its investigation on the people who “were causing panic” – by their rescue mission.

    But my greatest fear wasn’t really that the situation is extremely similar to the situation we had in the 1930′s in Europe. (“Strong” state, “strong” leader, anti-capitalism, nationalism, economic crisis etc.)

    My biggest fear was that intellectuals in the EU and in the USA don’t even realize what is going on here.

    Your blogpost is kind of like a relief to me. You and some othe people have realized the true nature of this problem with Hungary.

    Quite a number of the comments above also speak for themselves. Oh, I’ve seen them all so many times. Fidesz also have their commenters. They keep repeating the same stuff over and over again. This is how they think about media. In their world-view media (an oppinion) is controlled by somebody (by definition). If it’s not them, then it must be those shady people of the New World Order…

    You wrote that you were somewhat astonished (to put it mildly) by the reaction. Now you can also see the comments above. But this doesn’t even sratch the surface of the depth of issue. This isn’t just a few nutjobs. I would go as far as saying that 80% of Hungarians are now more or less hopelessly infected by this kind of spiritual attack.

    Orban will surely fail. That’s not a question. But he won’t fail because people will wake up from this horrible nightmare. He will fail because people are more and more radical every day. He will soon not be be radical enough for the people he brainwashed into national socialism.

    Living in Budapest, spending a lot of time on Facebook talking to people, I think nothing will stop Jobbik from winning the next elections. As soon as 2014 Hungary as we know it today could very well be over. A spirit that was last active in the 1930′s can very soon be on power here.

    Good cop, bad cop.

    Although Fidesz would never admit, nor Jobbik, I think they are playing good cop, bad cop. Granted, this nothing more than a conspiration theory. But it has a whole lot more ground than the NWO conteo…

    • sixpak

      jesszum pepi…

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Hello Jakab,

      Or Agnes? or Mr. Kertész? whatever you are.

      It would be nice if for once the jewish population in Hungary would stop this kind of rumor spill, i simply dont know what is wrong with you guys, and why is this good for you. The Jobbik WILL NOT touch the jews!!!!

      DI

  • Magyar

    Mister Fukuyama, let me remind you of something you don’t seem to grasp.
    When a people elect a new party/government with an absolute majority in a multiparty(!) system, opposed to a two-party system, it is a HUGE mandate.
    Now, people elect a NEW government, and not the old one, because they want things to CHANGE. They did not elect the new, to continue the policies of the old. Got it?

    However you don’t seem to grasp this very simple an basic tenet at all, and you are complaining, that the new govt’s polices are so significantly different from the old (Gyurcsany).
    Revelation: That’s the idea.

    Furthermore: Living in both countries, US and HU, speaking both languages fluently, I can assure, that the freedom of expression is SIGNIFICANTLY better in HU than in the US.
    Perhaps you haven’t noticed the Patriot Act and the latest travesty on human rights in the US, the NDAA. Give it some attention.

    I’m never afraid and fearful in HU from the government, but I am afraid when in the US, exactly like my parents were in HU during the Communist era. Now when I’m in the US, I really know how they felt back then.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Right on buddy!! YEAH!!!! :-)

      Justice for Hungary!!!

  • Mutt

    Well this concludes our demonstration of the Hungarian politics. Imagine these people who commented here today in in your own government and pray for us!

  • László

    I read the previous post of Mr. Fukuyama, the response from the ministry and this opinion. And a few comments (not all). Apparently most of the comments does not seem to understand the meaning of Prof. Fukuyama’s words, neither try to accept an outsider’s opinion. Unfortunately such reasoning is more and more common here in Hungary, and is supported by government, which categorizes any critics as an attack on Hungary. Or an outsider does not have the right to say opinion. Neither a liberal, nor a leftist or a foreigner, or a … Only a supporter of the actual government has access to mass media. Maybe a right wing radical.

    Unfortunately the time is gone when reasoning was the mean issue in public debate. Now, it is the personal attack and disqualification. Ten years ago the political atmosphere was still OK. Now political partition reached such degree, that normal life is threatened.

    The primary preoccupation of the actual government is to secure power. Not no make the same error twice, that they lost elections in 2002 against socialist. Actually Fidesz and personally Mr. Orbán declared, they want to rule the country not for four years but at least twenty. And they do everything to secure the power. Whatever is the price. That is what Prof. Fukuyama (and a number of other intellectuals) noticed. And that is what a number of my fellow Hungarians does not want to accept. But a growing number of Hungarians are more and more critical to the actual government, the style of governing and controlling public life. No surprise that more than half of the voing population has no political preference now. Both the Fidesz and the socialist lost credibility. But alternative powers might surge soon. That is the main preoccupation of the government now. That is why they want to control all aspects of political and economic, judicial and cultural life. In case alternative power gains in the next election, they can make life impossible for them. This is the main threat for democracy in Hungary and in Europe as well.

    As Prof. Fukuyama noted, political style in Hungary are getting closer to Ukraine, where former PM is jailed, or Venezuela, where opposition broadcasting is curtailed. We are still far from the regimes of Pinochet or Vileda in chile or Argentine decades ago, but the rhetoric is getting closer. Fortunately we are in the EU, which has strong influence on this country, but Mr. Orban has repeatedly declared, that there is life out of EU. So if his political interest or lust fore power needs he is ready to quit Hungary’s membership in EU (to please the extreme right).

    Such perspective is frightening.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Hello László!

      Let me explain to you where america comes from:

      So, first they exterminated the Indians, Then they kept slaves, then given a safe haven for the finaciers, now they are killing millions in the name of democracy, and this is just the begining!!!

      Is this perspective comforting to you?

      DI

  • Gabor

    Folks, sorry for my many typos.

  • Gabor

    Mutt, you write that “I don’t think the “her friends are leftist and liberals” argument should matter virtual or not.”

    Well, I only meant that once you have found many easily identifiable small errors and distortions, and they all consequently point in an anti-government, pro-left direction, and you know that she admittedly is good friends with many of the liberal and leftist politicians (and that she admires Bajnai, the previous leftist prime minister), then you have sufficient reason to be critical of her analysis. It doesn’t disprove her other points, it just means we need to approach her writings with a healthy little grain of salt.

    (I hope Professor Fukuyama and the other readers or commenters are not yet tired of my mostly offtopic contributions on Professor Scheppele’s work…)

    • Mike

      The Hungarian left’s connection to Scheppele and similar cases is the same as the US Republican’s connection to Fox news.

      We know there are some lies, but hey, it’s all for the best and with good intentions…

      • Gabor

        I am not quite interested in American politics, neither am I particularly knowledgeable on the topic.

        However, I guess now we can agree: Professor Scheppele had some interesting things to say, and at least some of her criticism is valid and should be listened to, she is not an unbiased or undistorted source of The Truth On Hungary, but rather someone with an agenda.

      • Gabor

        Sorry, Mike, I mistook you for Mutt. :)

      • Thomas

        Mike your idea is a stretch: Mrs. Schepple is a radical leftist individual while Fox News is a TV station. Neither Fox nor the Republicans are involved in the neo-Marxist hate fest against Hungary. Your attempt to implicate the Republicans remind us to the leftist mantra: “It’s Bush fault”.

    • Magyar

      A couple of weeks ago we called a French Canadian friend in Montreal, with whom we have a close and very long relationship, but for logistical reasons haven’t talked to her since Christmas.
      Sometime during our conversation she asked: “What is going on in Hungary? I hear and read all kinds of awful stuff about the government and economy there”, etc. Now, remember, this is in Montreal, Canada, a comment by a non-Hungarian native. It’s really telling of the controlled media’s propaganda machine in high gear goings on, isn’t it?

      We assured her what’s obvious to us: Hungary and its government is under concerted ATTACK on both sides of the Atlantic, and want to pull a Greece and Italy style prime minister/government change. (Remember Papandreos and Berlusconi?)

      Now Mister Fukuyama chimes in with his two cents worth, parroting the party line.

      Do you wonder why?
      Do you see what I see?

      BTW: I grew up in the Kadar regime. I believe we are/were quite SENSITIZED to lies and propaganda, and pretty good reading between the lines…

  • Warren

    What’s wrong with you Francis? Some years back you proclaimed that history is over, no real events will ever happen. Now you realize that history still prevails and a new era is just about to begin and events are unfolding.. I wonder what your next prophecy will be. When it comes to the spirit (or however you may call it) of a governance, what about the US global policies?

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Thank you Warren, thank you Alex Jones!!

      Ron Paul for Pres.

      DI

  • Paul

    Dear prof. Fukuyama,
    If you write about a subject it is often good to read about the subject, such as the case with the radio station you talk about:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klubradio

    Its frequency was not taken away, rather it expired in early 2011, and on the subsequent tender, Klubradio offered a very small amount for the frequency, only 4% over the absolute minimum. A competitor offered over 40% more than the minimum fee.

    see:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:953_money_offered.jpg

    Should the authorities give the frequency to Klubradio just because people like you campaign for them? That would defraud the Hungarian state of substantial funds for political reasons, aka political corruption, don’t you agree?

    • dbeata

      Interesting notion. It is really outrageous that Klub rádio intended to pay a fee whereas Lánchíd radio (right wing radio station with the same editorial as Magyar Nemzet, a Fidesz party speaking tube daily) doesn’t pay a penny (or forint) for the frequency, either. Never mind, the reason for that, I tell you. Lánchíd radio is qualified as a community radio station, that’s why it doesn’t have to pay. Although Media Council accepted that Klub radio is also a community radio station, it also acknowledged the fact that Klubradio bought the frequency from Autóradio, and the former radio station was not community station. All in all, Klub radio shouldn’t have had to pay any frequency fee, in a normal country. Such is the case with Info radio, which is also airing community topics, but operates as a commercial radio station. It would be fair, if neither Klub radio, nor Info radio didn’t have to pay frequency fee. Instead, Klub radio’s frequency is taken away, and given to a no name enterprise, who already wanted to sell the freshly won frequency, even before they contracted.

  • Warren

    Does moderation means censorship here??

    • Kara kán

      Yes, probably it does.
      For liberals, the freedoom of speach is only all right if you agree with them.

    • Andor Jakab

      Censorship? On a blog?

      • Danny Ikadesa

        Yes it does mean that, but i must say that i am being critical and i havent had any problems with getting rejected, so i guess that it is reserved for the absolute crazy people.

        DI

  • Zoli

    Dear Prof Fukuyama,

    As a dual citizen, perhaps I can point out some major differences between the Hungarian and American mindsets. For most of its history, Hungary had strong divisions between lords and serfs.

    In ancient Greece and pre-1861 US, the majority of the population (minus the slaves and Indians) were proud citizens, democracy had meaning for them.

    The Golden Bull might have created the Natio Hungarica, but that excluded more than 90% of the population. [Only noblemen were part of the Hungarian nation until 1848].

    On March 15, Hungary celebrates the freedom of press achieved (for a short period) in 1848. Fidesz has banned opposition rallies on major squares of Budapest.

    Orban & Fidesz want to re-create the “golden” society of inequality. His new Natio Hungarica consists of the Fidesz apparatchiks and the upper 20% of the population [Every economic steps they made, including the flat tax was to strengthen this minority]. They regard Horthy and Mussolini as their soulmates and consider equality a Communist idea.

    Hungary was the Soviets’ trial balloon for a more liberal Communist state after 1956. Hungary is again used as an experiment, now to recreate more oppressive states in Europe. Chancellor Merkel’s silence is a kind of approval.

    • Kara kán

      Zoli said: “Fidesz has banned opposition rallies on major squares of Budapest’

      This is a lie. The Fidesz was just quicker than the opposition, and asked for official permit for major squares in Budapest. This may seem tricky, but what about the previous, Socalist-led government that dispersed the street protesters with horse-mounted policemen, sword blades and rubber bullets?

    • Sophie Johnson

      ‘Fidesz has banned opposition rallies on major squares of Budapest.’

      Liar. Your need to resort to a lie is simply evidence that facts will not support your agenda.

      • Andor Jakab

        No, it’s true. They have reserved all the major places for themselves, not only for this year, but the years to come.

        They used even harsher methods to prevent unwanted demonstrations for Tibet.

        They used even harsher methods to stop TMRSZ leaders to participate in a demonstration.

        These are not lies.

        • Sophie Johnson

          Andor Jakab, the chap who is shivering with fear in Budapest: ‘No, it’s true. They have reserved all the major places for themselves …’. Lie your teeth out, but this still is not true. (Have you no shame?)

    • Magyar

      This is a whole slew of LIES.

      Your “historical” drivel about the nobilty’s rights was true for EVERY monarchy in Europe; and of the lords and serfs division also. (Remember the French revolution)
      You imply universal European political practices all the way into the 19th century to HU only, to manage, manipulate and create anti-Hungarian perception.

      Thank you for exposing yourself as being what you really are. Even our screen name is a carefully chosen Hungarian name to mislead.

      As for mindsets: The current American mindset is predisposed to oppression, war, and tyranny. (Patriot Act; Police behavior and militarization of same; Incarceration rate (highest on the planet); TSA; Homeland Security; FEMA Camps; NDAA; Wars and warmongering, etc) Lets not forget PC talk, severely curtailed freedom of speech, “hate crime” designations, hatred of, and covert war on Christianity and Muslims.
      Look in your own Amerikan backyard for terror and tyranny. You’ll find PLENTY.

      The Fidesz did not ban any opposition rallies, that’s also an outright lie. However, the previous crypto-communist regime has the record of brutal suppression of a large popular demonstration in 2006, where hundreds were injured and some were maimed for life.

      Freedom of the press flowered in HU after the “Settlement” (Kiegyezes) with Austria in 1867, and went on until WWII with the exception of banning of outright communist publications AFTER the 1919 6 months long communist terror and butchery. The ban was totally justified, in view the of the Kun Bela/Szamuely Tibor (Kohn/Szamueli) red terror.

      I believe, you should get rid of your Hungarian citizenship, but of course, when the US implodes (an it will), you’ll be sauntering back to this “terrible” Hungary – unfortunately for us all.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Hi Zoli!

      Thanks you for educating us about the Hungarian history a bit.

      Now..

      Can you please tell us how many Indians you see in the U.S.? and how did the blacks get there? and about the federal reserve ACT? and of the Patriotic ACT? and the Iraq, Afganistan, Korean, Libian, Iranian, Vietanmese etc wars?

      Just to round out this story a bit

      Many thanks

  • zin

    What’s wrong with Fukuyama?
    He pretends to be an impartial scientist, but in fact he is nothing more than second-class agitator of an expired ideology. Some of commenters here does the same job on a higher level.

    • Magyar

      I’d use a stronger term: Paid SHILL.

      • Sophie Johnson

        I prefer ‘charlatan for hire’.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      fukuyamas problem is himself, this is the result when you get a guy with Japanese decent, french first name living in america licking ass to the ruling class.

      BTW fukuyama, did you know that the Japanese and Hungarians are related people?

      SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!

  • Flazz

    Mr. Fukuyama,

    May I ask where did you obtain your information on the state of the current standing of the Hungarian system?
    Did you personally studied the situation? Did you have aids that informed you or you obtained it from the press?
    Before you compare the happenings to Hugo Chavez’s playbook, you should read Mr. Bolgars’ statements he made earlier about the frequencies…
    Your opinion could be interesting but unfortunately for someone who is knowledgable of the situation it is very transparent that you obtain your information from certain political circles and not from an objective source.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      I can explain to you:

      It all started in Humbolt county where francis grew up, one day he found a green plant, smoked it, and ever since then he wasnt able to get in contact with the real world.

      Good enough?

  • Mutt

    If I may suggest you guys should return to the original post and argue why Prof. Fukuyama is wrong about the Orban government’s intentions to weaken checks and balances in the executive power in Hungary.

    • not francis

      all his claims are from konráds, gatis, hellers etc. they r simply lies. Fukuyama normally wouldnt even be bothered about Hungary and he approximately knows as much about Hungary as Kelly Pickler. yet he feels entitled to tell ‘his’ opinion which is in fact gati&co’s opinion.

    • Magyar

      Mutt, don’t be a mutt.
      You’re not the traffic cop here. That means, you don’t set the agenda and don’t issue orders on what the discussion is covering or where it’s heading.
      Back off.

      • Mutt

        Verstand.

      • Mutt

        No can do. Somebody must remind my countrymen/women to behave. I don’t care if I look lame.

  • Thomas

    I want to address only one sentence in your essay which reflects the cultural differences between E. Europeans and the brainwashed Americans:

    “the vehemence of the response and the extremely uncivil comments that Hungarians have made about each other is a disturbing confirmation that something has gone badly off track with Hungarian democracy” (end quote)

    The Cultural Marxist crap you and your fellow Americans is subjected to Doesn’t Exist in Hungary!!
    The Pol.Corr. speech laws – by which certain nouns, adjectives are considered as “un-cool” – superseded the 1st. Amendment in the USA.
    Please try to internalize that your Cultural Marxist indoctrination has no power over Hungary: the Soros controlled Leftist US policy is soundly rejected and the Reds can never ever return to rule again.
    It’s sad to learn that you also joined these discredited radical leftists who are trying to enlist the West in their quest to regain lost power.
    Their prowess rested with the Soviet Army and their terror organizations; – these people are hated with passion.
    If you don’t believe then respect the result of the free election.
    Do you contest it openly?

    • Magyar

      Right on…
      Exactly.
      Americans are utterly unable to distinguish between cultural differences. They apply their own yardstick to all nations and people, and those who are too different, get the reeducation treatment – at the business end of the gun.

    • Andor Jakab

      I can’t see radical leftists in Hungary at all. The closest to “communists” I can see – in vast numbers – are Orban’s blind followers.

      They are the ones who completely disrespect the foundation principles of capitalism, among many other things.

      • Mike

        “I can’t see radical leftists in Hungary at all. ”

        Look into a mirror and you can see one.

        • Danny Ikadesa

          Right on!!!

  • Daniel

    Prof. Fukuyama,

    I’d like to point out a small detail about Hungarian political discussions. Most Hungarians (especially online) has a tendency to exaggerate the opposition’s mistakes.

    If you are an observer in a political debate, you’d start to guess who gets phisical first. There is a simple explanation for that, we tend to listen to our heart, not our sense in politics.

    Most of my fellow countrymen see their party as their family. See why they get so worked up, and lash out, when you criticize Fidesz? (And what makes your ‘crime’ unforgiveable is, it has at least some basis.)

    • Flazz

      Daniel,

      I certainly never look at a political party or trend as my family. What bothers me about Fukuyama’s opinion that he has never set foot in Hungary but he is blatantly criticizing our freely and fairly elected governments policies. As many like to make Orban appear as a dictator, let me remind you that once he was in power already and when he lost the elections he made sure that the transition of the next elected government into power goes smoothly. (here I would like to mention with budget surplus).
      Do I have to remind anyone of the practices the socialist party used to re-grasp power??? And admittedly lying on the following elections just to retain it.
      Of course the Internacionale can call on friends and family outside of the country to tarnish its image…
      Well, this points to your statement: who exactly looks at their political party or trend as their own family…

      • aniko

        Mr.Fukuyama has visited Hungary various times. Read the article first before you comment on it.

        • Danny Ikadesa

          Anikó, Anikó dear!

          Why dont you go and buy something for your loved ones and forget commenting?

          DI

      • Mutt

        Flazz, lets return to early forced retirement of the 300 judges and the the power of Mrs. Orban’s BFF to nominate them. What your take on this? What’s wrong with a 62 year old judge?

  • not francis

    Francis Francis, u r just trying to wash your hands but u cant.
    u r the mouthpiece of Charles C Gati and co.

    with your mistakes and false claims u r pathetically unveiled yourself and the source of your statements.

    u dont know shit about Hungary only what u were told by Gati and guys like him. u have no experience at all about Hungary, the way of life, politics, history, nothing. U never bothered to take your time with getting real, unbiased information, so why do u bother to take sides? who r u? being fukuyama empowers u to tell shit and ppl are expected to believe you for your name??

    ah! u r willing to sell your name and your so called reputation with it to things that aren’t your business and u arent familiar with. or u r so stupid u can be alarmed by some rumors and when u turns out to be a clown with trivial mistakes and reverberating our own liberals false claims.

    and yet u r called a professor.

    with your knowledge about Hungary u would be flunked on any exam, so pls quit bashing our country and do as the proverb says and stay with your last mr cobbler. take your time with something u know about.

    lies will be lies even if they ask queen elizabeth to say them.

    btw francis: where were u when the previous government was in power? u were quiet like everyone else. u were quiet when the former PM u r concerned about commanded the police to attack ppl commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1956.
    u were quiet when there were riots over this guy’s secret speech about lying before the elections, falsifying balances etc.

    “The attempt to charge a former Prime Minister with the crime of economic mismanagement” – well known liberal lie.
    the charge is about misusing his power to help an american-israeli casino to be built on state owned land swapped for a land worth shit using falsified evaluations. that would be a crime everywhere.

    ” In many cases, Fidesz, which won only a bare majority of the popular vote (52.7%)”

    idiots(u, scheppele etc) repeating this claim like a parrot shows they know nothing about our electoral system. things like this clearly unveils that u r just repeating our liberals’ lies.
    where were u when your favorite socialists won more than 50% of the seats with 30% of the votes in 1994? or in 2002 when FIDESZ had more votes but socialists and liberals had more seats?
    the electoral system suddenly became wrong when your puppets lost the elections. now we have a new one but thats not good for ya either.

    there wont be a leftist government in Hungary for decades to come. u better learn to live with that. sit back, relax and forgot about Hungary, especially all the bullshit that old, disgusting, Hungarian-hater Gati told u.

    ah i almost forgot something. yor book about the hungarian golden bull of 1222 and magna charta of 1215. i know an old hungarian-american who lived in cleveland. he held lectures and wrote a thesis about the golden bull being more ‘democratic’. i hope u didnt just steal his work.

  • DaftP

    Dear Professor Fukuyama,

    Your posts seem a credible one. Unfortunately on its face. One really cannot take your interpretation of events taking place in Hungary take seriously since your factual assertations are fully mistaken again:

    1. “National Judicial Office controlled by parliament and hence answerable to the party.”

    The Parliament has no such control of the NJO, could you please cite your authority precisely for this statement?

    2. “Affected institutions include the National Bank of Hungary, controlled now by a Monetary Council largely in turn loyal to Fidesz–what’s gotten the IMF upset”.

    Firstly, the government has just announced its going to comply with any request to modify the statute of the Central Bank. Secondly, an entirely similar modification was implemented by the previous, left-wing government in 2004. Nobody seemed to complain then.

    3. “Taking away the frequency of an opposition-aligned radio station is something right out of Hugo Chavez’s playbook.”

    It was not taken away. The station was broadcasting from 10 places in the country, out of which in case of 1 it lost a bidding procedure. The winning bidder offered a bigger sum, but it has already offered to sell the frequency to the former broadcaster. Would you expect any administration to award a bid to the one paying less for it?

    4. “The attempt to charge a former Prime Minister with the crime of economic mismanagement is more worthy of Yanukovich’s Ukraine than Hungary. A true rule of law demands much more institutional autonomy for the judiciary that this.”

    The former prime minister of Hungary is under prosecution because of a complaint filed against him by LMP, a current left wing green opposition party. It was not the “Fidesz governement” who attempted to charge him, but rather, a present opposition party.

    Professor Fukuyama, please respect Hungary enough to formulate your arguments based on accurate information. You obviously rely on misleading sources which is disappointing from such an eminent scholar. There is a place for criticism against the current government, I agree, but the way you do it raises serious concerns about the motives behind your post.

    With respect,

    a fan of “The end of history and the last men”

    • Mutt

      1. It is worse. Tunde Hando, the judge who will nominate the fired judges is the BFF of Orban’s wife. Her husband is Jozsef Szajer a prominent FIDESZ politician.

      2. God save us if Orban gets his hand on the Central Bank. They will spend the currency reserves to plug holes in the budget, then gun the economy by manipulating the interest rates before the elections.

      3. The porn magazin editor led so called media council changed the profile of the expected radio station to music radio. The winner’s offer is an impossible business plan, from a new unknown company, that doesn’t have any experience. The best part is that they tried to sell the frequency for 200 million to several radio stations a few days after winning the bid.

      4. It doesn’t matter who filed the charges. This lunatic idea of prosecuting the former prime minister was basically a campaign promise. It’s been months now and we still haven’t seen evidence or anything corroborating the charges. I wonder why …

      • Mutt

        Oops. I meant: “nominated the replacements of the fired judges”. My bad.

        • DaftP

          1. So how does it establish a parliamentary control over the NJO? The former President (!!!) of the Constitutional Court was a member of the Socialist Party previously, but nobody argued that it led to a parliamentary control over the Constitutional Court.

          2. The point you raise is not one of facts, but a personal view. It still doesn’t change the fact that the Gyurcsany government was permitted to do the very same modification of the Central Bank Statute, while the present government is not. Ask yourself why.

          3. Once again, you do not deny that KlubRadio offerd less than the winning bid. You say it is irrelevant, because the winning bid was allegedly an “impossible business plan”. Why was it? Have you seen it? They played slightly more than KlubRadio, that’s all. Did you raise democracy concerns when 2 of the 3 country-wise broadcasted channels were wrongfully licensed by the former government? Did Professor Fukuyama write anything about it that time?

          4. It does. If you want to provide a proper examination of the events in Hungary,this is a fact to be taken into account and not to be hidden from the public. If your intention is to write a blog post without withholding any relevant information, you have to share it too, which is what Prof. Fukuyama forgot to do. Anyway, why is it a lunatic idea? Sir, the mere fact that you just simply presume any prosecution against the former prime minister without any further factual inquiry is unfounded in itself undermines the credibility of your post. You are just ready to say he is innocent without any further reason. Or is any politician immune from prosecution? Is the prosecution e.g. in Slovenia against former PM ALSO a “Ukraine-type” issue?

          • Mutt

            DaftP: The misdeeds of the pre-Orban Socialist government doesn’t give you the free pass to destroy civil liberties in Hungary. After all don’t forget – there are people in Hungary, the majority, who are neither Socialist or FIDESZ. It’s time to do it right and let Orban go. Not the FIDESZ since they were elected democratically. But this government should go. Sooner the better.

            Yes it’s my personal opinion on the Central Bank. I hope it’s not a problem. This government already hinted that “we have a lot of money in the safes” (i.e. the FX reserves of the country). That’s pretty much a good depiction of their economic expertise.

            Courts: soooo, what is wrong with a 62 year judge? Please! Somebody explain!

            About the Klubradio business plan. Nobody have seen the business plan because they have none. Neither they made their application public (the winner). There is just no way to squeeze out 75 million in advertising revenue. Unless a corrupt company buys an ad for 20 million to make up for the difference. Like the STRABAG in the MNO (extra-right rag).

  • not francis

    francis u just failed again.

    Gyurcsány is wanted for helping an american-israeli casino to be built on state owned land swapped for a land worth shit.
    classic corruption case.

    your mistakes unveils your sources.
    u know shit about hungary yet u r bothered.

    stay with your last mr cobbler and be bothered by something u know about: Hungary isnt one of those.

  • not francis

    ah and the 52% VS 2/3.
    another proof of you being misinformed by our beloved liberals and socialists.
    our electoral system suddenly becomes wrong when your puppets lose the elections.
    where were u when socialists won more than 50% of the seats with 30% of the votes in 1994? or in 2002 when FIDESZ had more votes but leftists parties won more seats.

    lies and demagogy. yet u r called a professor tho u would be flunked on an exam with your zero knowledge about Hungary.

    there wont be a leftist government in Hungary for decades to come. u should live with that.
    IMHO francis u should sit back, relax and forgot about Hungary. stay out of our business. especially without the proper knowledge.

    u just sold your name and your so called reputation to be used in this campaing against us. but lies stay lies even if they r told by the great fukuyama.

    and about your book u mentioned: i knew an old hungarian-american man from Cleveland who held lectures and wrote a thesis about the golden bull being more ‘democratic’ than the magna charta. i hope u didnt just took his work.

  • Freemason

    Whenever someone abroad criticizes the Orban government, you can count on government officials, right-wing journalists and commenters to pounce on even the tiniest technical error. You can also count on such apologetes to ignore points of criticism which are valid, no matter how much they outweigh in number the inaccuracies. How many times have we heard the apologetes of the Orban government decry “factual errors” as a sign of critics’ sloppiness or, worse yet, as a tell-tale sign that such critics are just puppets in a vast anti-Hungarian conspiracy…

    Of course critics have an obligation to do their best to avoid errors. But here’s what makes these gleeful attacks on critics of the government look disingenuous: in less than eighteen months, the Fidesz supermajority passed three-hundred sixty-five (365) new laws, in addition to a new constitution (the “Basic Law”). Many of these new laws regulate the workings of key institutions or entire branches of the state apparatus, which means that they are exceedingly complex. Now consider the fact that the ruling supermajority systematically circumvented the expert committees of Parliament through the use of private members’ bills, which is a mechanism normally reserved for minor laws and amendments, not for large-scale legislative changes.

    So we are talking about tens of thousands of pages of new legislation that were passed with extraordinary speed. You can be sure that, except for the handful of lawyers in the Fidesz caucus who were charged with task of drafting this or that law, the other MPs had precious little knowledge of the countless technicalities in the laws that they voted on. Certainly there were many cases in which the public and the media could only engage in guesswork as to the content of the proposals that were being voted on. Even for a genius it would be impossible to gain detailed and comprehensive knowledge of such a tremendous mass of legal detail over such a short period of time. And yet in the overwhelming majority of cases the Fidesz caucus voted unanimously, and in each case the outcome of the vote was totally predictable.

    So there is something absurd about the gleeful response of Fidesz apologetes to the inaccuracies of foreign critics. The sheer speed and the scale of the legislative changes introduced by Fidesz mean that even those who have the full-time job of following developments in Hungary could not comment on these changes without exposing themselves to the possibility of error. That fact alone should be cause for grave concern.

    Yes, the devil is in the details, but this commonplace shouldn’t obscure the truism that political judgment doesn’t work the same way as a mathematical proof. By now there is enough material out there about the Orban government (enough new laws, measures, public statements, arguments pro and contra) that an educated observer with well-trained political instincts does not really need to get every single legislative detail right to form a reasonably well-founded, informed judgment.

    Defenders of the Orban regime would sound more credible, and less like bullying sophists, if their responses to criticism were not limited to nitpicking about technical inaccuracies and if they were willing concede at least some of points made by critics of the government. Are we really to believe that all of the numerous objections raised by foreign commentators such as Fukuyama are misguided or indicative of ill will towards Hungary?

    • Magyar

      Unfortunately, anyone named “Freemason” I would consider an enemy of a free and independent Hungary, and of both patriotic and Christian Hungarians, based on fairly substantial knowledge of Freemasons and Freemasonry, both past and present.
      Your “retort” has a decidedly communist (Kadar era) slant, no matter how “objective” you’re trying to appear.

      Did the Fukuyama handlers drag you out to post? – Just askin’.

    • Magyar

      See my post #26.
      It seems, you also need to be reminded, that a new govt was elected to CHANGE things and not to continue the status quo and the old policies. May I remind you, that’s the real purpose of elections to begin with. At least that’s what I was told…

      Of course, the previous crypto-communist govt who got elected the second four years by election fraud, was to your liking. Naturally, their wholesale thievery and reckless taking of IMF loans – which ended up in their collective pockets for the most – was to your kind’s liking too, so the Hungarian people/nation can pay interest into eternity to your “friends”.

      Should I remind you that the actual money of those IMF loans are literally created out of thin air? In essence it’s counterfeiting. Of course the people of Hungary have to produce REAL goods and services to pay back the “loans”.

      Too fast laws and changes? They couldn’t be done fast enough, and the HU govt. has the actual mandate.

      I’d like to remind you how fast thew Patriot Act was enacted in the US, which gutted the American Constitution altogether. Don’t wreck your brains on this, it was done in a mere 45 days.

      Were you protesting then about the speed of legislation?
      I don’t think do.

      Furthermore, a new constitution was way overdue, HU functioned on the old communist constitution, there was no new constitution enacted after the “regime change” in 1990.

      • Freemason

        #1 “a new govt was elected to CHANGE things.” Yes, but a mandate to change things is not an unlimimited mandate to change anything and everything, in any way the elected majority pleases. Fidesz campaigned with a program that was extremely vague and unspecific, so the votes cast in favor of Fidesz cannot be retroactively interpreted as endorsements of every new legislation and measure.

        #2 “Of course, the previous crypto-communist govt who got elected the second four years by election fraud, was to your liking.” There is no reason to think that there was any election fraud in 2002 or 2006. Back then Orban made some vague and demagogical suggestions along these lines to please his base, but even he didn’t have the guts to launch a formal investigation in the absence of evidence.

        As for your assumptions about my opinion of the previous government or my views on the Patriot Act, please notice that you are arguing with a strawman of your own making.

        #3 I don’t see the relevance of your comments about the IMF

        #4 “Too fast laws and changes? They couldn’t be done fast enough” Really? I am not aware of any Fidesz politician advancing a sustained criticism of the legal system that existed prior to 2010. And do you really think that a legal system is the kind of thing that can be changed overnight without disastrous consequences, the way a country can switch from left-hand to right-hand driving?

        #4 “there was no new constitution enacted after the ‘regime change’ in 1990.” This is patently not true. The fact that this legend persists in right-wing circles is one of the clearest signs of the Fidesz camp’s indifference to facts. The 1949 Constitution was thoroughly rewritten in 1989, with further amendments added in 1990. The result was a completely new constitution whose agreement with the 1949 constitution was limited to the title of the legislation and this sentence: “The capital of Hungary is Budapest.”

        In fact, Viktor Orban himself played an important role in the drafting of the 1989/90 constitution. Admittedly, he ended up not signing the new version that resulted, but the reason for that refusal was not his disagreement with the amendments, which he endorsed, but his objection to a particular provision that would have allowed for the president of the republic to be elected through popular referendum. This provision was not to Orban’s liking because it was obviously designed to bring the then-popular reform communist and political survival artist Imre Pozsgay into power; he was right to resist that scheme, which was incidentally also opposed by the liberals but favored by the then-leading right-wing party MDF. It is ironic, of course, that twenty years later Orban appointed the same Imre Pozsgay (along with two former member of the communist party, Peter Boross and Istvan Stumpff) into the six-member commission that presided over the drafting of the new Basic Law. So much for the grand Fidesz crusade against post-communists…

        The key points, then: 1. The 1989/90 constitution was fundamentally different from the 19499 one 2. It was endorsed by Orban 3. During the eight years of the socialist-liberal coalition, Orban and Fidesz repeatedly invoked the authority of the constitution in attacking the left-liberal government 4. Prior to the 2010 elections changing the constitution and the legal system was not part of the official Fidesz program, in fact there were Fidesz officials such as Navrasics who explicitly denied that Fidesz wanted to change the constitution.

        • Troll – paid by the evil Orbán

          #4 “The 1949 Constitution was thoroughly rewritten in 1989, with further amendments added in 1990″

          That is true. But were those, who had rewritten the constitution in 1989, elected by the people to do this?

          Was this “very democratic” constitution of 1989 ever approved either by the legislation, or by the people? Why does its preambule said that it was only a temporary constitution? etc.

          • Freemason

            “BUT were those, who had rewritten the constitution in 1989, elected by the people to do this?”
            No, of course they weren’t, at least not in free elections (there were elections in communism but they weren’t free). However, the 1990 amendments were already made by the first freely elected parliament. Yes, the preamble stated that the Constitution was meant to be provisional. But the same is true of the basic law of post-war Germany, which remains in effect, serving its purpose very well, and no one thinks of discarding it. And here it is worth recalling something else: although the two decades since the regime change have seen an extreme polarization of the political landscape, the legitimacy of the 1989/1990 constitution was never really at issue. Not one of its provisions was controversial, which amounts to saying that its political legitimacy was just fine.

            The same cannot be said about the new Basic Law. As I already pointed out, Fidesz did not campaign with a clear constitutional agenda. Some party leaders dropped vague hints about amending the constitution, others denied the very idea, no one indicated the content of the planned changes. So there is absolutely no basis for saying that people voted for Fidesz because they wanted a new constitution.

            The New Basic Law cannot be said to reflect the popular will. The much-touted “national consultation” launched by Orban a few weeks before passage of the Basic Law can only be called a cynical farce. The questions addressed to voters had nothing to do with the new and controversial elements of the new Basic Law. The evaluation of submitted questionnaires lacked transparency, and anyway the two weeks between the poll and the parliamentary vote on the Basic Law would not have been enough for substantial changes. The number of questionnaires returned (900,000) didn’t even reach the number of the people who voted for Fidesz a year earlier.

            And of course the entire drafting process was unilateral, since the opposition didn’t participate. Fidesz charges that this is the opposition’s fault. That would be a valid response if there had been a pressing need for a new constitution, but that is just what the opposition denied, with good reason. And it was also with good reason that the opposition doubted the good faith of the ruling majority, which never hesitated to use its majority to trample minority objections underfoot. The simple rule of thumb, to which every genuine conservative should agree, is: do no harm. Unless there’s a pressing reason, and unless a government can muster a robust and broad consensus, the government shouldn’t try to pass a new constitution.

    • cuckoo

      Do you suggest, that if you do not understand, can not follow something, than you base your comments on heresay and things you make up? To critique the speed is OK, but to critique the facts you have no clue about is not. Also, it appears to me that the critiques of factual misinformation is not simply “nitpicking”.

      • Freemason

        No, I suggest nothing of that sort. My point is that even those who affirm the laws passed by the Orban government cannot possibly have detailed knowledge of these laws. That includes the MPs who voted for these laws in parliament. I repeat: it is humanly impossible to process such a vast amount of new legislation over such a short period of time. This being the case, the occasional inaccuracies made by critics are inevitable, and that very fact speaks volumes about the legislative juggernaut that is the Fidesz caucus.

    • dbeata

      I agree with every word Freemason has written. The true face of the Orban regime revealed first with the renaming of the airport, from Ferihegy to Liszt Ferenc Int’l Airport. The committee, which was made up of experts (and among them, Fidesz fans) voted against the renaming, it made no sense at all at least. The committee members were done away with, and were made redundant (even the one, which was not a state employee). http://www.politics.hu/20110323/members-of-parliamentary-committee-reportedly-sacked-for-opposing-govt-on-airport-name-change/

      • Sophie Johnson

        dbeata, one innocuous, foreign-owned little portal makes the throw-away remark that committee members were ‘reportedly sacked’. And you understand that they were ‘done away with, and were made redundant’. Not bright, are you?

        • dbeata

          Which part do you deny? Facts, please, instead of insults.

          • Sophie Johnson

            Can one ‘deny’ a throw-away remark anywhere but in your intellectual confinement?

        • dbeata

          That’s exactly the point. Fidesz government plays various instruments from intimidating to discrediting the person, who addresses them with a criticism, and when they’re simply not right. Just like you did.
          FYI, another source of information, http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%B6ldrajzin%C3%A9v-bizotts%C3%A1g
          Unfortunately it is in Hungarian only, but I think you’ll manage with it. If not, I’ll be pleased to help (although my time is also precius, you know). Just fancy this, I tried to look this press release up in the Department for Rural Development, and found no trace of it. How it is possible, I simply don’t understand…:-)
          I spent enough time with you and your senseless reproach now. Have a nice day.

  • Joseph Novak

    Prof. Fukuyama: thanks for acknowledging the factual mistakes and taking the time to answer the undersecretary’s ramblings. May your last sentence never actualize.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      and..

      May his thinking never actualize….

      DI

  • Szabidoki

    Hi folks!
    Interesting debate, and I have a few comments to it.
    Reading this post, it’s quite clear, the author doesn’t understand the basic facts of Hungarian politics. I know, it’s cliche, and boring, but true.
    In Hungary, there is no right-wing or conservative party as they exist in the western world. All major party leaders was trained in the socialist era, and they can’t move on. If we didn’t abandon socialism, the major players would be roughly the same, but they didn’t get the power through elections, but backroom negotiations. Orbán and Gyurcsány maybe two different eggs, but from the same basket.
    Same goes for their parties, they both have the same agenda and promised the same to the voters – however it turned out, Gyurcsány lied about every single thing in the 2006 election campaign (look for “öszödi beszéd” in Google), but he stubbornly remained in office and literally crushed the protests (if something, this is why he should be put behind bars for a very long time), so people hated him and his party so much, they voted on Fidesz in 2010, without knowing anything significant about Fidesz’s agenda – they just promised “things get better”, and it worked for them well. The only significant difference between the socialist party and the Fidesz is, Fidesz represents a group of people, who (due their young age) weren’t in power during the socialist era (or at least not in the top level), so they are eager to get power and build their own political and economical empire, and the socialist party represents the people, who trying to conserve their power and influence over the country. Obviously, time is working in Fidesz’s favor, and quite understandably now they try to establish their influence in formerly socialist-occupied areas like media council, judiciary system, so on.
    In the case of the Klub Rádió, they did’t bet high enough for the frequency – I can’t see any sinister plot in it, they were dumb, they took the frequency granted, and when it turned out, it’s not enough, they became drama queen instead of paying the real price for the frequency. You may say, they can’t get any profit out of it, but this is true for the winning bidder as well, I doubt, Klub Rádio was profitable before, and as someone rightly said, the party behind this radio station is quite rich, so they can afford some financial loss, in turn for political gain.
    The retiring judges issue. They have to retire at age 62, which means, they became judges in the socialist era, so they are trustworhty, good comrades all, I’m glad, we can get rid of them. By the way, 62 is the normal retirement age in Hungary. Appointing a family friend to control the judges – this is really without style, I can agree with that.

    • dbeata

      The first part of your comment was quite enchanting, and coud agree with it, however the consequences were not made. If they are the same, why is it ok, if they do the same (build their own empire). Another thought-proviking question: which party caused more chaos and damage to the country in terms of economics and also in terms of social behavior? I think the answer is Fidesz, because Mr Orban’s personality is a deadly poison in our country. It turns man against man, family member against family member. It’s what we least wanted. I don’t know where you live, but I live here, been living here and we are at the verge of a civil war right now. And the worst is yet to come. Its name is Jobbok. If the Fidesz disappoints masses, these masses (which have been hungry for revenge) will vote on them. Jobbik is a radical right wing party whose favorite country is Iran. Should i say more?

  • not francis

    ah and the KLUBRADIO case: seems suddenly francis and clinton became a listener :D

    KLUBRADIO is owned by a former communist spy/beagle Arató. imagine a former STAZI agent running a radio in germany. cant be, right?
    in hungary its normal just like a communist torturer and killer living free and running a law firm together with a liberal party member and MEP.

    KLUBRADIO is a pathetic communist propaganda station just like a time travel back to 50s.
    employees are mostly former jewish communists turned to zionist.

    the same jewish journalists were the biggest anti-israeli communists back in the 60s,70s and now they r the biggest pro-israeli propagandists: György Bolgár, János Avar, Endre Aczél etc etc.

    KLUBRADIO is totally anti-hungarian. hatred is the main concept, the majority of listeners are communist dinosaurs over 60-70.

    frequency wasnt taken away: the concession has passed after 12 years and the frequency was put to a bid again and the old communists offered only 54 million VS the 75 million offered by another bidder.

    its funny and tragic at the same time that there r forces that can make the secretary of state ti take the side of a former communist beagle and cry out loud for their propaganda radio.

    or there s Konrád. he is viewed as someone important by the west tho he s an insignificant hated liberal and a former communist rat as well. its a proven fact with a court verdict tho wikipedia wont let u add those information to the article.

    he gave up his own brother-in-law to the police whom he asked himself to hide a manuscript. he made a deal with comrade Aczél, ruler of cultural life in the communism(he was jewish as well)

    these are your heroes? these are your sources? your democrats? we dont want them anymore

    • Mutt

      See? This is Hungary. Foreign media attack? No need for that. Thanks “not francis”.

    • Windblower

      Hi Notfrancis,

      what is Your point with these arguments? I really do not understand You… You were probably one of the persons shouting loudly willin to publish Your thoughts in September 2006 in front ot the Hungarian State Television (MTV). I was on same side that time, with the crowd willing Gyurcsany to retire, since he spoke his famous speach in Öszöd.
      You supported then the freedom of speech, supported the plebistices held later, supported the right of opposition to establish own TV-channels (Hír-TV, Echo-TV), newspapers (Magyar Nemzet, later Magyar Hírlap)…

      How is this dramatic change in Your attitude towards those very basic civil rights? Why do You believe it NOW, that the nowadays opposition does not have the right to arrange demonstrations, run radio stations, TV channels, newspapers, organize plebistices, etc.?

      Do we have a double face and double speech? When getting government, do we change all of our earlier thoughts?

      Now, i understand. You were not demonstrating that time for the freedom of speech, but for the exclusive freedom of Your speech. Now, this is sad.

      • Magyar

        The name Windblower is apt.
        You’re blowing hot air – lots of it.

    • Bela

      You are a shame to the country. If you want to be patriotic, just shut up.

    • dbeata

      The first part of your comment was quite enchanting, and coud agree with it, however the consequences were not made. If they are the same, why is it ok, if they do the same (build their own empire). Another thought-proviking question: which party caused more chaos and damage to the country in terms of economics and also in terms of social behavior? I think the answer is Fidesz, because Mr Orban’s personality is a deadly poison in our country. It turns man against man, family member against family member. It’s what we least wanted. I don’t know where you live, but I live here, been living here and we are at the verge of a civil war right now. And the worst is yet to come. Its name is Jobbok. If the Fidesz disappoints masses, these masses (which have been hungry for revenge) will vote on Jobbik, which is a radical right wing party whose favorite country is Iran.

    • dbeata

      Gee, I listen to Klub radio, and I don’t feel like a dinosaur, I’m in my thirties. Tell us that as well, who wrote the new, Fidesz constitution. Was it now some communist, Imre Pozsgay, secretary of the Party since 1951, fellow party member of Mátyás Rákosi and Ernő Gerő? Come on, don’t be ashamed! :)

  • Richard

    Let me be outrageously simple.

    Hungarians, including their government seem to have totally run out of their moral and intellectual reserves. They are deadly and hopelessly exhausted of their own unproductive and unsteady gait around in circles for centuries.

    Hungary is an amateurish country, a fancy club, a collection of hypocrites with a government of political and economic Neanderthals. They have no conception of freedom, independence, and productivity; they have no conception at all. They have no respect for each other, they are shameless, antisocial, uncivil, pretentious, yet they display a huge amount of totally unsubstantiated assertiveness and pride.

    I am not going to write a book, in short; this country is incapable, a hopeless case and needs to be placed under tutelage and total surveillance. They will curse their guardians as colonizers and invaders; meanwhile they will be quick to deplete all the benefits of foreign guardianship in no time, without returning any small fragment of it.
    Born victims, and they will cry a river if no one is going to victimize them.

    • sixpak

      Dear Mr. Field

      This was, indeed, outrageously simple…

      • Richard

        I am not Field, that must be another Richard. Richard is a common name.

    • Mutt

      Richard, there is hope. The ruling government’s public support is in free fall. They are at 30% now down from 53% votes at the elections 2 years ago. Please don’t write these people off yet.

      • Richard

        My most sincere good wishes for all of you.

      • dbeata

        Dear Mutt, Dear RIchard,

        I wish you were wrong. Public support for Fidesz is falling, but up is coming the even worse Jobbik, right wing antidemocratic party. They are gaining power, and although in my opinion no politician in Hungary is as hungry for power and revenge right now, as Mr. Orban, I don’t see a meaningful future for me and my family here in Hungary, if these Jobbik folks come to power.

    • Magyar

      If you think HU is this bad, go to/come to Amerika to see all that you wrote, many times worse.
      I live in both countries, with homes in both.

      HU is much freer, humane. When I do official business in HU it is always a surprise how helpful and kind the local bureaucrats are compared to the Amerikans, albeit HU is more regulated and bureaucratized.

      It’s obvious, you viscerally HATE Hungarians and HU, but I presume you’re writing from Izzy, so that comes with the territory…

      • dbeata

        I think you don’t see the point, and had forgotten Viktor Orban’s glasses on. We are not being hated. We are felt sorry for. See the difference? Take your glasses off, and just to loiok again. If it’s so great here, why do you go to the US anyway? Maybe it’s not so great after all? I can believe that it’s best to take the good from both, but sometimes you have to get the wrong side as well.

      • Danny Ikadesa

        I grew up in the U.S. in L.A. actually

        I can agree with everything you say.

        DI

  • Istvan Foldesi

    At present countries are desperately seeking ways out of the present quagmire.One of common denominators of these efforts is the concentration of power to maximize impact. Mr.Orban must have heeded former Prime Minister Thatcher’s remark: power not used is worth nothing. So he uses it for maximum effect in order sustain, increase and perpetuate his power. He has failed to address the major issue for Hungary: regain her competitiveness lost in the last 15 years. To attain this goal would require bold and coherent economic policy, what is madly missing. His government’s “unorthodox” measures, as its 18 month old track record shows, are counterproductive and just exacerbate the underlining economic woes.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Thank You

      DI

  • djangyu

    Whats is the problem, Mr. Fukuyama? We lived in the past twenty years of some kind liberal democrtaic chaos, i think it is naturally, that nowadays the average hungarians only want a economical establishment, not a political one. Less democracy, more money – i think, after 42 years of a communism-liberal socialism and 22 years of liberalism it is normally, what’s count for most of the people in a very divided hungarian society. But i think it is naturlally, that the hungarian society is divided by politics. It is in our veins, in our land, in our traditions. And most of all, thats the thing, what i think, a american professor from a classic liberal point of view can’t understand. We are come from Mars, and we are do thing like Martians .

    • djangyu

      note: what i mean about ‘less democracy, more money’: i think, for most of the hungarian’s it is only the money-factor important, not the political-factor. why? because in our third republic the politics make that happend that less and less people vowed for democracy. and a another thing: after the change of the political system the shining of democracy lasted only 4 years for the mass, just becasue the Canaan did not come… and a another note: the hungarians only have democracy when they with theykinds, the hungarians how was run the political business in the last twentytwo years, “they have democracy between left and right, when is about dealing with money. When it is dealing with benefits for the mass, they dont have dmocracy.”

      • Andromeda2001

        djangyu, I do not agree or better to say, what you are trying to tell is that there was LIMITED DEMOCRACY in the past 20 years in Hungary, because the expectation of the Hungarian people was that the a democracy improves life standard. The opposite happenned, the life standard declined for the majority of the people. This was simply no real democracy. This is the point. You cannot call the goverments between 2002 and 2010 as democratic ones.

  • Karoly Fazekas

    Dear Prof Fukuyama,

    Do you wonder why you’ve got strong answers when your post was full of “factual errors” (lies)?

    • Mike

      Maybe Hungarians don’t like lies spread about their country?

  • copeau

    Thank you, professor Fukuyama!

  • Inconsolable Hungarian

    I am at a loss for words. I feel inconsolable. The country where I was born and grew up is no more.

    I love almost everything about it, the unbelievably poor East, the dreams that never get fulfilled, the old people in small godforsaken villages, the cheap but beautiful girls at lake Balaton, families with small kids and no prospects, the forests where I picked so much tasty mushroom, the penniless drunks that sing on their way home.

    What I hate is the people that are making it impossible for me to give my 3 children Hungary back as their home.

    I cannot define who these people are only by saying this: the spirit of Hungary is not those that preach about it in the Parliament or during street protests – you are nothing. We are everything. We are immortal.

    • Andor Jakab

      Your three children should not move here now. But the country isn’t gone. ‘Normal’ people still exist, although in minority.

      Girls are still cheap but beautiful, penniless drunks still sing on their way home. :)

    • sixpak

      “the old people in small godforsaken villages” are beaten to death for a few eggs and a few forints, on a weekly basis… truly sad
      If anything, this marks the end of a once relatively livable countryside.

    • Magyar

      My (Hungarian) friend’s boys – born in the US – after finishing the University of Pittsburgh, went to HU for postgraduate studies. After completion, they are not going back to the US.
      They like it in HU too much. Both bought condos (well, the parents did, who are still in the US) and that’s that.
      They don’t think it’s the pits, in fact they think its fabulous. I don’t know what YOU are missing. Kadar and Marosan perhaps?

      My own child – born also in the US – has some vague plans to go and live in HU after getting a PhD – right now has a BA degree.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      viva la france!!!!

      …i mean hongrie

      DI

  • Mundzuk

    “The attempt to charge a former Prime Minister with the crime of economic mismanagement”

    I’ very sorry, Mr. Fukuyama, but I have to say,you are completely out of subject…
    Again you made some ‘factual errors ‘…

    • Andor Jakab

      Absolutely not. That’s a fact. In fact not only him, his whole party is now perceived in Hungary as “criminals”. And yes, they did attempt to charge him with criminal activity.

      There’s a whole institution with the leadership of Gyula Budai, that has the sole reason of filing criminal charges against MSZP officials.

      • sixpak

        “Vitéz Üvegzsebű Keller László”
        with 30 failed lawsuits

        (I have nothing further, Your Honor)

        • Andor Jakab

          You don’t understand, do you.

          You can’t criminalize a complete political party based on single cases. Following the same fallacy one could say – the very same way – that Hungarians are criminals. But that’s not unusal in Hungary. They say Romani people are criminals, and Jews are criminals. Just check out kuruc.info. This is how you generalize.

          This the fallacy.

          The attempt to criminalize the ex prime minister Gyurcsany is even a lot worse than just this for reasons you might never understand.

          If I told you why, you would think I’m protecting him etc. You would probably never understand why such grown-up concepts in democracy and law are very important – regardless of personal sympathy.

          And you would probably never believe me when I say that I never personally symphatized with PM Gyurcsany. You would never believe there are important concepts above personal symphaty.

          • Mike

            MSZP Jakab, your party politics are well known. Yes, nobody beleives you when you say: “I never personally symphatized with PM Gyurcsany”. The reason for this is simple. We don’t beleive it because it is a lie.

          • sixpak

            man, the way you generalize is second to none for starters

            other than that not much to say to you…

            just think of what mszp did to criminalize fidesz politicians, which altogether became a laff riot (my reference to keller)… gyurcsany will walk without any serious consequences, so these kind of things are mostly for show… but you do not understand that, thats why you are so pissed off at poor budai, who might have his hands full for now, but most probably will end up with nothing… relax, take a pill, a sniff and try not to take things so seriously

    • Danny Ikadesa

      dont mind this monster, we all know not all americans are this stupid

      DI

  • Lajos Nemeth

    Sire, you are going to far with your points and missing the bottomline. Just like many other countries, most of the hungarians had completely enough what you call “liberal democracy”. This is a 1120 years old country where liberal democracy exist for 20 years, and basically means the full robbery of our country and destroyment our national soul, which was and is the key for our survival. We don’t have relatives, we are a white spot in the middle of Europe.Now we are rather left wing, right wing, liberal and w..t the f..ck, instead of just being hungarian. You like it or not, we gave the power for Orban, to make a change, and we need that change on any price to remove the post-communists and their relations from power. I am not expecting this on a nice way, I am not expecting Orban to be nice with the enemies of the nation. And honestly many of us DO NOT CARE what you think about this in your armchair 5000 miles away.

    • Andor Jakab

      I DO CARE. I suggest that when you do no care, just don’t read it. This is just a blog. It’s insane to comment on EVERY blog that you don’t care. It doesn’t make sense.

      • Mike

        MSZP Jakab, go away, save your valuable time. It is needed for MSZ(M)P party activities and writing MSZP propaganda pamphlets on your blog. You don’t have to waste your time by replying to every single commenter on a blog.

        • Andor Jakab

          Oh I know I don’t have to. You don’t have to either.

          Can you imagine a person, who is NOT controlled by a political party?

          • Danny Ikadesa

            me

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Isten éltessen sokáig, mí …… nem ér bokáig. :-)

      DI

  • Balanced View

    Dear Professor Fukuyama, I am an admirer of your professional carrier and your brave conclusions about the state of the world and the history. I would not criticize your views, rather I try to follow and understand them. Also, I don’t think I could provide highly measurable input. Even though I did not understand your recent, though transient, flirting with neoconservative ideology, for example, I accepted and respected your intellectual adventure on that side.

    Now, I think the whole capitalist world order is in a deep crisis and it shows in the attitudes of its leading intellectuals. It became trendy to worry for democracy in other countries, in Hungary e.g., even though democratic deficits are widely accepted in some countries in the region. It seems that a desperation is manifested in these worries, actually, a desperation over the inability to carve out a positive outlook for the future of the old, well established democracies around. ]

    In the United States a decade of warfare changed the landscape of democracy. Previously unimaginable corruptions and compromises erode the principles of personal freedom. A Patriot Act was implemented that snatches away a sense of security, civic control and trust in governmental processes. A president is forced to act contrary to his own promises and commitments regarding civil liberties and peace. Even habeas corpus was limited on U.S. soil. Would not these developments of the last decade instill uneasiness in the minds of the proponents of liberal democracies? Professor Fukuyama, I would not be surprised if you would worry deep down in your mind about some of these things.

    This is the background that makes any rumors about Hungary, spread very professionally by well defined opposition circles, an imminent call for crying out for guards and protectors of democratic principles. I understand your point that you did not find any trouble with the Hungarian fundamental law. You actually go against the trend of blanket condemnation of current Hungarian legislation. However, you yourself blame the Hungarian government for other actions that are more stylistic than substantial.

    The real issue at hand is the economic woes that are tackled in both the U.S. and in Hungary. We need to return to a normal level of production and consumption in a way that would keep democratic procedures intact. As some U.S. institutions became interested in strengthening the dollar on the expense of the euro, a splitting divergence between old allies may develop. Trying to prevent Hungary from political and economic consolidation might fit into this strategy. However pushing too far a Freudian projection of worries and fears about the current state of world affairs, in relation to one single country, and picking on Hungary for too long might be not only counterproductive but also misleading. Eventually, these fears and worries must be faced in one’s own environment, in one’s own soil.

    • Andor Jakab

      “This is the background that makes any rumors about Hungary, spread very professionally by well defined opposition circles, an imminent call for crying out for guards and protectors of democratic principles.”

      I beg to differ. These are not rumors. Many comments here are solid evidence of an old political culture that has re-emerged.

      Nobody says Hungary is already a de-facto dictatorship. But:

      - anti-capitalist sentinemnt
      - hatred against Romani people
      - fully open anti-semitism
      - “strong state”
      - disrespect of private ownership
      - blind loyalty to leadership

      are facts of Hungarian life now. Anybody who knows a little history must find this very similar to an old political culture.

      And nothing listed above is a “rumor”. It does exist. And I do _not_ mean to say that life in Hungary is already like the worst times of national socialism. No, it is not.
      I’m talking about methods, a political culture. You can’t deny the mentality that clearly shows in the comments here, and it’s certainly cleary visible in every Hungarian discussion forum, now in every topic.

      Orban managed to change the mentality of people, and it is a mentality I am greatly worried about. It makes me sad, and frustrated.

      • http://pozitivvisszacsatolas.blogspot.com/ Attila

        I like to make the points a bit more precise:

        – anti-capitalist sentinemnt
        We missed the “capitalist” train. What we got is the post capitalist finance oligarchy what ruling everything with the multinationals. There is no more word about free eneterprise and free competition, what most of us hoped for…

        – hatred against Romani people
        Again wrong. The hatread is not against the Romani people, but the system what created an atmosphere, where it was easier for them living off benefits and crime than to work. The previous system invented the “crime for living” concept and let them live like that without prosecution.
        This system encouraged them with benefits for having many children, but never checked how the benefits was spent.

        – fully open anti-semitism
        There is an anti zionist sentiment, but no antisemitism…

        – “strong state”
        What is wrong with that? The weak state did let the 92% of produced profit out of the country.

        – disrespect of private ownership
        There is no evidence of that.
        Maybe there is a need to investigate of the origin of some private property…

        – blind loyalty to leadership
        Losung.
        People who elected the govenment wants results.

        • Andor Jakab

          We could start a ten years long debate about how national socialist politics is bad, and what are the reasons for its existence.

          All I mean to say at this point that we have seen this mixture before. Our situation is now all to similar.

          And I’m saying this with the best intentions. We should be smarter this time, than those folks in the 30′s.

          We are facing the same issues again.

          • Mike

            MSZP Jakab is a known MSZP propagandist within Hungary.

      • Balanced View

        I do not have much to say to you. You are neither sad nor frustrated. You are just full of hatred and arrogance against “the Hungarians”, whom you grossly misrepresent.

        • Balanced View

          That was to Mr. Andor Jakab.

        • Andor Jakab

          You see, Mr. Balanced View, something is very strange here.

          You are telling me, how I’m wrong about how I feel. You’re telling me that I do not feel sad or frustrated. But isn’t that strange, that you describe how I feel? Instead of accepting what I say about how I feel?

          You tell me that I grossly misrepresent Hungarians. But could that be true? Do I represent every Hungarian at all? Or just myself? If only represent myself (my own oppinion) how can I misrepresent every Hungarian?

          You are accusing me of hatred against “the Hungarians”. That’s so wrong. I critize the political culture created by Orban’s Fidesz party and his Jobbik counterpart. And I don’t wish anybody anything bad. I don’t them to go to jail, I wish them no harm at all. I don’t mind even mind if they stay on power. I only wish they realize that this is a road to hell. They should rethink where this road is taking our country.

          A country that you don’t have more right to “represent” than anybody else. It’s ours, not yours. It’s where we live together.

          • Mike

            “Orban managed to change the mentality of people”

            Says Andor Jakab. But the unfortunate truth is that Orban did not change the mentality of the people. Hazaárulók, like you Jakab changed our mentality. Your own behavior is what influences the mentality, not you alone of course but together with your own comrades.

            Andor Jakab, until you and your kind behave this way you will be hated by Hungarians. The parties that you support will also be hated. You cannot hide your true self, this is your nature unfortunately. This is why I hate you personally, Jakab.

      • Balanced View

        The “old political culture”, that of the old fashioned Bolsheviks, erupted in Hungary in October 2006, when the left wing government instigated shameful police brutality against a peaceful Hungarian crowd in Budapest celebrating the 50th anniversary of the great Hungarian anti-communist revolution.

        • Andor Jakab

          I don’t think people worldwide will buy into such talks. They haven’t listened to Hír TV for 10 years, nor they have read all the brainwash. They will not believe that in 2006 there was in fact a communist regime. Because there wasnt. Today is much closer to a communist regime. It’s Orban’s government that is against capitalism, against banks, against private ownership.

      • Magyar

        In my fifth decade I came to the same conclusion as my childhood – but older friend who was a professor and taught history at (I think) ELTE. Back in 1981 during my visit, we had a huge argument about democracy and authoritarian govts. He said there is no real difference, especially between the American version and Kadar’s; a small elite controls both, but democracy is messier and less efficient. Make no mistake, he was no fan of communism in any shape or form, he just saw and understood the systems as a good historian would (and should)

        I thought he was nuts. He took his life since, unfortunately, so I cannot apologize for my stupidity.

        Anyway I came around and I came to the conclusion that democracy is overrated. Unfortunately, the founders of the American Republic understood this also, and there is nowhere any mention of “democracy” in the writing of those people. The Republic – as it was termed was not supposed to be a mob rule.
        However, the manipulative power elite in the background understood that the promotion of “democracy” serves their interest and control much better. So the Republic slowly devolved into a “Democracy” with all of its disadvantages and none of the advantages.

        I don’t want to go into the details, but democracy not only overrated, it’s dangerous. Besides, they don’t last. Once the majority (mob) realizes that they can vote for themselves the largess of production confiscated through taxes, it’s over, and (economic) collapse is foreordained.

    • DaftP

      This is the best post I have seen here.

      • Danny Ikadesa

        Yeah, hes a good one…agreed

  • jakabaa

    A certain Francis Fukuyama in a recent article (“Left out”) says: “Do the wealthy have disproportionate political influence in the United States?” then the answer is obviously “yes”.
    Would he please elaborate in terms of equal rights, soundness of parliamentary democracy, human ethics and welfare, etc..
    Missing this, said F. Fukuyama would please shut up and enjoy retirement and look back on his generation’s “achievements” in anger.

  • JB

    Dear Mr Fukuyama,

    Please check your sources. It is very clear they have misled you for political reasons.

    All the best luck,

    Thank you

  • air_force

    Fukuyama úr!

    Maga egyáltalán nem érti a lényeget. Magyarország 1990-ben átalakult, de ez kevés volt. A következő kormányok nem mertek nagy változásokat megtenni. Ez az Orbán-kormány az első, amelyik nem azzal foglalkozik, hogy a következő választásokat megnyerje, hanem hogy befejezze a rendszerváltást és egy új, igazságos és valóban demokratikus rendszert hozzon létre.

    • Peter

      Húha! Nem kéne akkor most már lassan kinyitni a kis kuksolókat? Mert nyitott szemmel azért könnyebb ám…

      • air_force

        Ja igen, számotokra az látja helyesen a valóságot, aki úgy látja, ahogy ti. Aki meg másként gondolkodik, az fasiszta. Éljen a magyar demokratikus ellenzék…

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Nem kell ennek a korcsmánynak megmagyaráznod hogy mi van Magyarországgal, ő ezt nagyívben leszarja, megkeresi a maga félmillió dollárját a stanford egyetemen ezekért az agymosott baromságaiért miközben Magyarországon az átlag nem tud megélni, ne félj, el fog jönni az az idő amikor a világ lába elött for heverni az ilyen féreg.

      DI

  • Andrzei

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama! Our greatest problem in Hungary is the following: It looks like we are the worst anti-democratic state on the globe, because all the newspapers, blogs, tv-s, etc. are talking about us. Hungary did this Hungary did that. Hey! Please just leave us alone! You, the TV-s everyone. We are already fed up with very wise people telling us the truth about our own counrty. I know our goverment is as it is, I don’t defend them. We have/had bad goverments for 500 years, but again: Please let us solve our problem, or suffer. Don’t tell the truth from the US about a country you never been to.

    • Andor Jakab

      This is insane.

      You can’t tell the world stay silent. You don’t have the right, you don’t have the power. Your quest to silence everybody in the world is crazy. You can’t visit every blog and tell the author to stop writing about your country. Which is – by the way – not even yours. It’s mine too.

    • Attila the Hun

      @ Andrzei : Unfortunately these are the words that are typical from Belorussian, Cuban, North -Korean regimes. They also believe, just like you do, that their domestic regimes are fair and democratic and they should be left alone by the rest of the world.

      If you insist on this, you also have to insist that Hungary quits the EU, rebuilds its national border control even for the Schengen-states, and re-imposes customs duty to “defend its national interests”. But that is wrong !!!

      you say:
      “We have/had bad goverments for 500 years,”

      You mistakenly think there there can exist good government by its nature. Human beings do change their attitude and priorities depending on their own personal interests. And politicians are human being.

      It is not realistic to let and forgo the institutional securities of the society and to commit ourselves to a political force that demands an unconditional trust and belief in their good intents. I suggest that you never trust to such syrene voices.

      • Andrzei

        Andor Jakab: No I’m not telling anyone to do anything. I’m asking… Big difference. BTW the only thing what I feel unfair, that the whole world is accusing our country being anti-democratic and bunch of haters. This is not true. In my city/country/family I don’t know a single person who suffers because of political discrimination and anti-democratism. The only thing they suffer of is the economical attacks we receive from democratic countries for being “bad guys” and not playing by their rules.

        Attila: No I’m not telling that our country should re-build the iron curtain. That would be wrong. I think that economically it’s ok if we work together or accept common rules to achieve common goals with the rest of Europe. And I mean Europe. Not US, not China, not Russia. And I mean economical goals, not political. I think the pension of judges is by no means an economical question, and therefore noone can tell us how we regulate it as we are a sovereign country.

    • Street

      The moment Hungary is left alone (i.e. gets no money from abroad) is the very same moment it defaults.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      dont explain to this asswipe, it is absolutely senseless.

      BAN fukuyama from Hungary!!!

  • Mr.Hun.

    Tisztelt Fukuyama úr!

    Nálunk, aki egyetemi szinten kritikát fogalmaz meg, megjelöli az információ forrását is. Ön ezt nem tette. Ha ténylegesen a jelenlegi és a korábbi törvényeinkből dolgozott volna, az aktuális véleménye ki sem alakul.
    Az ön véleménye ezért politikai, és nem tudományos. Kérem ezentúl jelezze, ha elhagyja a szakmát, és politikai pályára lép,mert ezen a vonalon, ön nem elismert, de visszaél, az egyéb területeken szerzett ismertségével.

    Üdv: Egy magyar, akinek jó így, ahogy van.

  • Robert Ikanov

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama,

    Having mistaken the constitutional court for the bench itself is NOT a “lesser mistake” but tells everything about your incompetency. So please don’t spread liars about us anymore and stop tagging our country and democratically voted government.
    Thank you

  • Kakukk

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama! In 1956 we needed the help and the intervention of the US enormously. Then you did not come and let Hungarian people suffer for decades… We survived… At present, finally we have a country to live, and now we want to live without your critisisms which are far, far from the reality. So please, do your own business and let us.

  • Karoly

    Interesting to see that most of the uncivil comments that Mr Fukuyama is referring to are coming from fans of the current Hungarian government. This is not a surprise. For many, Orban and Fidesz is not a topic of intelligent conversation – it is a religion. When it comes to religion, opinions that contradict your beliefs are not simply opinions – it is blasphemy, therefore a crime.

  • Bobby Baccala

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama,

    GET A LIFE!

  • Hungarian citizen

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama,

    you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You just simply totally wrong and you do not understand anything about the situation in Hungary. Maybe you should learn before you come out with such ridiculous accusations. And, by the way, why don’t you mind your own business?

  • kiskertesz

    the trolls of Hungary never rest :)

  • Liberal values?

    Professor, please try to get into your mind that 95 percent of Hungarian people are fed up with what you call “liberal democracy”, but it does not mean that the people over here do not believe in democratic values. We do. Trust me on this: HUNGARY IS A VERY DEMOCRATIC STATE, but over here things are just different. Please distinguish between your sources, because obviously you are badly misled by some of them.

  • Truthsayer

    Dear Professor! The greatest treasure of an Intellectual is his/her commitment to the facts and the truth. You had to admit that you had made some serious factual mistakes in your first piece on Hungary but tried to persuade us that your “judgement” was flawless even with the tampered evidence. Besides you dismissed the absolutely polite response from a Hungarian State Secretary (with labeling it “too passionate”) and complained about some “uncivil comments” then kept on making errors in the second piece. It is sadly similar to the US Government’s position on the second war in Irag when they stated that it was just even without the alleged weapons of mass destruction. However there is a silver lining since there is a good cure against pride and prejudice and it’s called humility.

    • Mush R

      Agreed

  • Pingback: Fukuyama nem érti, hogy Orbánék nem értik | Budapest 01. OEVK

  • Raerunk blog
  • Peter Deak

    Dear Professor,

    It was my pleasure to read this article, which was much better, more detailed than the previous one. I was very sorry to read the last sentence of the first paragraph, because it is absolutely true. Everything went wrong in my country, and most of the people see no way out of this situation.
    I have gone through the comments about your pevious post, and felt really unconfortable, so this time I read only your article and leave the exitement to the others to go through these comments.

  • http://pozitivvisszacsatolas.blogspot.com/ Attila

    Dear Mr Fukuyama,

    It seems to me that while you defending the “ideal” democracy from your ivory tower, you can1t see where the “real” democracy led the modern world.
    You seem to concern too much about a small country what desperatly trying to stand on its feet after 50 years of communism and an other 20 years of free robbery in the name of liberal democracy.
    In the “real” world, the politically correct liberal democracy allowed a huge dark power overtake almost every aspects of our life.
    This power were never voted by anyone, it has no name, officially does not even exist, and nobody speaks about it in the mainstream media.
    And this power care not who makes the laws.
    And this power – over the head of elected govenments – close hospitals, lowers salaries, taking away people’s life savings, destroys infrastructures, replacse heads of states, and withdraws vital resources from countries and regions.

    The standard of living is in free fall in the developing world, the speculators pumping out increasingly greater and greater amounts of money from the economy. As a result, we facing a huge crisis, and you concerning about a small country’s struggle to get rid of the dirt of the past and making some mistakes ?

    Or is that rather a worry that this struggle shed a light too the dark corner, where those are hiding who don1t like the
    limelight ?

    Which side are you on… really?

    (sorry about my rocky english)

  • Andromeda2001

    “However, it seems to me that Minister Kovács and the others completely missed the point of my article. Its bottom line was to say that, on paper, the new constitution doesn’t look that bad. As I noted in the post, a classic British Westminster system centralizes far more power in a prime minister and the majority party in Parliament than does the new Hungarian basic law. The problem, I suggested, was not in the formal allocation of powers, but rather in the way that the Orbán government was using those powers. The threat to democracy in Hungary is thus not new institutions per se, but an old political culture that is re-emerging.”

    In the reality Mr. Fukuyama does not understand Hungary and probably does not event want to understand it. The “old political culture” never disappeared, it remainded even during the corrupt semi-dictatorship of the socialist goverment between 2002 and 2010. In fact, the voters want to go the “old political culture” in 2010. The truth is the opposite, the “old political culture” attacks Mr. Orban, his goverment and their voters (not only now, but they attacked between 1990 and 1994 the goverment that did not belong to their network and between 1998 and 2002 the former goverment of Mr. Orbán who wanted to destroy “the old political culture”). YES, THE “OLD POLITICAL CULTURE”, and Mr. Fukuyama supports exactly these antidemocratic, corrupt liars and their widespread network in Hungary.

    Just one example: the Hungarian Airlines, MALEV became last week bankrupt, because the current goverment could not find invetors in the past 1.5 years. Why not? This is a very interresting question and the answer is even more interresting: the former corrupt goverment privatized the Airlines in 2007 and nationalized in early 2010, a few weeks before the general elections (!!!). But the nationaliziation was not successful: 5% of the Airlines remained in a Russian (!!!!) private invetsor, who had veto right in any business the company wanted to do and it was not possible to change this veto rigth. The potential investors negotiating with the current goverment understood this quickly and rejected the cooperation. Mr. Fukuyama, you support exactly the “old political culutre” that made impossible to save the Hungarian National Airlines. The “old political culture” means in this case corruption, lies, damage in many aspects.

    • Truthsayer

      Agreed!

  • Richard

    I have already written one post, but reading all the other comments, just one more thing that came to my mind and would like to mention.

    After reading so much criticism against Mr. Fukuyama, his factual errors and all together with the truly arrogant, impolite, and ignorant comments here, I wish the Hungarians had at least a fragment of Mr. Fukuyama’s style, sense, and expertise. They could build a much better country with brighter life for themselves.

    • air_force

      Outrageous this contemptuous jeer.

    • nohopeforHun

      You know Richard, most of us Hungarians are not like that at all.

      You see, that’s the problem. We have an arrogant, disgusting minority (currently like 20% of voters) who is very loud, vocal. They think every action is righteous when you do it for/becauseof hungarian nationalism. They go to boards, talk nonsense, be arrogant just like they are IRL at home, and paint a very bad image of the country and its people in general.

      While the rest of us (let’s say 70-80% of us) is ashamed by them, by our current (or even previous) government, by the answers of our politicians, etc…

      They (the party and it’s die-hard followers) simply can’t take ANY criticism whatsoever. According to them, what Fidesz does, is the national way, and because it’s national, it only can be TEH BESTEST!!!1one

    • Andor Jakab

      As a Hungarian living in Budapest I must agree with you. This situation is sad.

      I’d like to add though, that this is a result of ten years long systematic brainwash. Millions of Hungarians have been systematically “infected” with this arrogance by Orban’s media outlets in a decade. This is the result. Most of these people used to be ‘normal’.

      It did happen before. In the 1930′s in many countries. Not only to Hungarians. It’s the same recipe – again. And it turns decent people into agressive, arrogant, godless monsters.

      Of course, not everybody is like this in Hungary either. But we – who are not affected by the brainwash – are already very tired. Although these commenters are a shame, but I am still happy that you can see them. They prove Mr. Fukuyama’s points perfectly.

      They are the real evidence that he’s right. An old political culture has re-emerged. It’s as real as these commenters.

      We – in Hungary – are already exhausted by them. These kind of people are now our government. The Parliament is like this. Every Hungarian blog is like this. Everything is full of them.

      My biggest fear was, that Europe and the USA misunderstood their doubletalk. They said one thing on international forums, did another thing Hungary. Nobody believed what’s going on.

      I think that these comments are clear evidence of what’s going on.

      • http://pozitivvisszacsatolas.blogspot.com/ Attila

        I feel some nostalgy here for the “we were lying day and night” type of govenment… What I can imagine, was very fruitful for a small minority… But hey, they were voted out.

      • Richard

        @Andor

        I know you and other people who are not brainwashed into this mess are tired. Please don’t give it up. Mr. Fukuyama cares, many other nice people care, it is not the time to get tired, it is the best time to find friends.

        Thank you Mr. Fukuyama and thanks for all other educated and enlightened people who care, write and speak up to make our world a better place.

        • sixpak

          oh, wait… i think i am gonna be sick now :)

        • Robert Ikanov

          Yes. Everyone must be “brainwashed” who doesn’t agree with you… what a fascinating democratic thinking! It speaks for itself.

      • Robert Ikanov

        This is an unmitigated liar. Brainwashed people by “Orban’s media” ??? Don’t make me laugh. Everyone knows the most part of media in Hungary belongs to the leftists’ sphares of interest. And comparing today’s Hungary to the 30′s fascist government is more than a ridiculous liar.

        • Robert Ikanov

          Lie and not liar, of course . Sorry for the mobile t9 spelling errors.

        • Andor Jakab

          No, it is not. I do not belong to anybody. I am not media. Mr. Fukuyama’s blog certainly does not belong to leftist Hungarian circles.

          You deliberately (or unconciously) misundertand what I write.

          I do not say or mean that Hungary is like in the 30′s. What I am saying that the political culture is very similar, and recipe is almost the same.

          You don’t even realize, that your comments basically prove it 100% true.

          • Truthsayer

            Well, if you dare to think, that you represent all Hungarians (“we in Hungary”) that proves at once that you’re a self appointed leftist zealot who is always willing to destroy but never to build up something :-(…

      • air_force

        Nevetségesek vagytok ezzel a fasisztázással. Vagyis, inkább szomorú, hogy ez a színvonalatok.

      • SPU

        Dear Andor(or Jakab),

        It is sad to meet somebody full of so much pessimism. I don’t think that this kind of political and cultutral unhappiness is appropriate though. I mean maybe yes, generally speaking, the end of the world being upon us, who knows, but surely not in this special political context of nowadays’ Hungary. So your concern seems to me honest, but badly positioned and exaggerated for sure. There is no real danger of nazism in Hungary, there is nothing like that to worry about. No reason, not even for Jews, not even for Gipsies. Except they intend to make some political or economic capital through worrying. Which is a reasonable motiv. But a disgusting one. I think you are not like them. You are honest. But see. Sometimes it is the right, sometimes it is the left that has a right to run the country. It is democracy, it is election, it is the holy right of people to choose their own leaders,in every four years at least . You cannot have Gyurcsány for ever. It may well be a sad fact for you, but please try to accomodate. Be a democrat and a good citizen. There is no need for worrying about the fall of democracy and sending SOS messages around the world complaining about a visioned wakening of nazism every time you lost an election. Relax. “Don’t worry, be happy!” :)

        • Andor Jakab

          Look, I am no fan of any political party.

          It’s already a very common – but completely false – assumption, that anybody who criticises Orban is a leftist and in favour of MSZP or Gyurcsany. I am not for sure.

          Trust me, I couldn’t care less about anybody’s lost election. I didn’t care AT ALL about politics until 2011, when this mentality that is pretty obvious on this forum too has poisined my CIVIL life.

          Although I do see great risks, and I am now a harsh critic of Orban’s politics, I am trying my best NOT to exaggrate.

          I do not say, that that democracy is over. I do not say, that Orban is a dictator. I do not say that lives of Jewish and / or Romani people are endangered. I do not say, that it’s nazism in Hungary.

          In fact I think serious people do not actually say that. Certainly not the blog post we are commenting on.

          I will readily admit that I may see the future too dark. I may overreact things. I am human. I am a ‘liberal’ in heart. And I don’t mean it in political terms. But Orban’s approach to nationality is something I tend to approach in a completely different way.

          But I still think, he should serve at least his 4 years. In fact if he changed a few key elements in his politics (maybe only rhetoric) that I find dangerous, I wouldn’t mind if he served many more cycles.

          As a ‘liberal’ in heart I am absolutely IN FAVOUR of his flat tax system for example. I am IN FAVOUR of better social security and employment regulations. There are many key concepts in Fidesz’s aims that I can support.

          I do not ‘hate’ Orban because of a political connection to any other party. It does not work like in my case. As I said, I prefer many things as they are in Orban’s policies.

          This should make you think.

          Can’t it be true, that I really am worried about what I say I am? You say there’s no danger of a situation getting out of control? Do you really know what exactly happened and how it happened in the 1930′s in Europe, or you just oppose the idea of any comparison?

          Please note, that in the beginning of the 1930′s it Nazism wasn’t that ‘harsh’ either. No people were killed, lives were not in danger. But the situation, and the keywords, and the CULTURE was ver SIMILAR.

          Of course, NOT the same.

          All I mean to say, that this – combined with an economic crisis – is an extremely dangerous mix. Orban must be VERY careful about what he’s doing, because things can very easily get extremely out of control.

          • Truthsayer

            It’s high time for you to realize that things are already out of control worldwide since we are at the end of an era and in the process of paradigm change where the frontline lies between the multinationalist New World Order and the patriotic Nation States. So at the moment Orban is your best chance to fight off NWO if you live in Hungary…

      • Magyar

        Time for me to puke, Jakab…

        • Andor Jakab

          What can I say. Go ahead?

      • Magyar

        Your comment:
        I’d like to add though, that this is a result of ten years long systematic brainwash. Millions of Hungarians have been systematically “infected” with this arrogance by Orban’s media outlets in a decade. This is the result. Most of these people used to be ‘normal’.

        It’s a mightily arrogant, belittling and condescending statement of the people (Hungarians). The – especially the working people – are quite aware what’s going on, and what was going on. You presume that the people are uniformly stupid and can be “brainwashed” (your term).
        It is obvious, that what you consider “normal” is really the abnormal, when the wholesale thievery and putting the country (and people) in to massive debt by the rats of the previous regime.

        The bankers of NY (and DC – the FED) printed up the money. Then they “lent” it to HU – by bribing the previous pack of rodents. Of course, the US/EU (IMF) Banker Crowd gets real value (good and services) back for their printed paper created out of thin air, plus interest(!)

        Just an aside: Did you know that the US Federal Reserve is a PRIVATE bank? Did you know that it has 9 shareholders with closely held shares not traded anywhere? Did you know that the largest shareholder with 51% is Rothchild Bank?
        Did you know that it is in essence an illegal operation (since 1913) because the US Constitution states the “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, … To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the … (Article 1 section 8).

        Since congress is an “elected” body (elected -my foot) and the US Constitution states that they have the right to regulate and create currency, kindly answer: What’s WRONG if Hungary’s Constitution wants to do the same; i.e. the elected body of gov’t (exactly like the US Congress) controlling the Central Bank’s issuance of currency and “regulate it value thereof”?

    • Bela

      Richard, over 80% of the electoral age population doesn’t support the government. Yet, they’re still acting like they were majority, abusing their power politically, legally and economically. While most voters seem to have lost any strong party preferences, one thing is common: the increasing anger and show of despise towards Orban’s regime. Problem is, we, citizens, miss some strong civil institutions, don’t have a strong sense of self governance and best practices how enforce checks and balances. Simply put, most Hungarians need to be pushed over the edge before they really react. And that’s dangerous for all parties involved, things might go beyond the point of no return.

      • Mike

        In the 2010 elections over 70% of the voters voted for clear CHANGE, these voters had more than enough of MSZP governments for a lifetime. Only 19% supported the corrupt MSZP.

        Should Hungary follow what the 19% wants? That’s not democracy.

      • Richard

        @Bela
        The present government only understands action and respects power. It is my hope you can find helping friends like Mr. Fukuyama and will manage to take your life and the control into your own hands in a peaceful way. This is a hard lesson to learn, but actually that’s what democracy is all about. It only can come from inside of your very own society.

        You who think positively have the world’s sympathy, a helping factor that makes your effort the most effective. It is time now. Be survivors, best for all of you.

      • Magyar

        Beluci,
        52% voted for Fidesz. That’s a fact. I don’t particularly like them, but that’s beside the point. The point is, that you LIE. A statement that “over 80% of the electoral age doesn’t support the Government” fills the definition of lying 100%.

        Right now, the country’s drifting back to the crypto-communists is pretty slim. The old ‘greedy geezer’ generation (panelpatkanyok) who voted in the MSZP – for a bowl of soup – is dying out – thanjfully.
        The “new” old are sick of the total and wholesale thievery of the entire country of the previous two decades by the socialists/communists (with the 4 years exception of Fidesz). The “new old” saw close-up the 20 years’ robbery; they all have personal stories they witnessed, and they all know who done it, except those who, were in the nomenclatura before 1989.

        More than half the young is Jobbik. Get used to it…

        • Truthsayer

          That’s right.

    • Andrzei

      Christ, when will you guys just stop the apologies? Why should someone apologise for having an opinion which is not “politically correct” in the eyes of some other people? I think that’s a very very wrong way of thinking. You think that you are a poor small hungarian, and you are lucky to even live, so you need to shut up and accept the rule of others. It’s not so. We have the right to think as we desire. If I have an opinion I have the right to have it, and nobody can order me to think otherwise. They can convince me to do so, but by no way order!

  • Zoltan Vaczy

    Reading through a few comments I am seriously concerned about the spiritual health of many of my Hungarian fellow bloggers. When I was a child and wanted really really bad to be grown up and being admitted into their circles as such, my parents told me that I will be a grown as soon as I “can stand criticism”. Nothing can be more true for many of whom taken time to comment your writing.

    I am personally not a big fan of the Government and I believe they deserve even strong-worded critique in many of their decisions, but I would never think that such critique would be against the “Hungarian people”.

    Never forget: in a little bit more than two years we can elect again! If you are disappointed with the Government we shall see you at the voting chamber…

  • Supremo

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama,

    You are not right. Orban is the only one who is for his country with hearth and soul. And he is right in what he is doing. There is a minority of people attacking Orban from inside but believe me: they are of the former beneficiaries of the communist regime. What the Hungarian left parties are saying about Hungary are simple lies. It is really strange why these parties are liars for 20 years but this is the truth. Never believe the Hungarian left Parties like MSZP. Never. Never believe what the journalist linked to left parties are saying. Never believe what persons like György Konrad says. Never. But believe those several hundreds of people who were marching 2 weeks ago for supporting the government and Viktor Orban.

    Best regards,

    Supremo

  • Culture

    It’s really funny how the government of Hungary got so mainstream these days. But what’s more hilarious is how a person like Fyukamoa (sorry for misspelling, I dont’t KNOW him and I don’t CARE about factual data) writes about things he doesn’t care about – at all. What (or Who) made him do this? I mean, there are thousands of horrible aspects of human society he could write about – brilliant articles, but he chose to write about a nation he doesn’t even know, joined a group of people (and media) with easily recognizable aims and keep digging it. Though it is really entertaining (can he go lower in his life than this?), I kinda started to feel sorry for him.

  • Pingback: Elképedt Fukuyama a kommunikációs államtitkár válaszán | Z-Rádió

  • Peter

    Dear Professor Fukuyama,

    I completely agree with you and I feel somewhat sorry for you for having been sucked into the vortex of Hungarian tribal politics.

    The comments provide one with a good insight into what mental state is receptive to authoritarian conduct.

    The fun thing is, that these people vehemently support the government’s bulldozer steps in disputes with other Hungarians, yet they passionately prostest if a non-Hungarian calls these steps undemocratic. And yes, they make themselves believe the international criticism is the product of wilful misinformation from the ‘inner enemy’.

    *sigh*

    • sixpak

      oh, come on people, just watch the hate campaign ads during the US presidential elections, digging up all kinds of disgusting stuff about their opponents

      dont be so dramatic, your makeup will run…

  • Kevin Moore

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama.

    There are apparently many things wrong with Hungary.
    But, more apparently, something is very wrong with you.
    You may call the allegations in your first post minor mistakes, but in fact there was almost no single true sentence in there, and all conclusions drawn from them were simply false.
    Yet you stick by them. You have every right to do so, but it makes your post very sub-standard.

    Let me inform you that you should not look for a “liberal” democracy in Hungary. This “liberal” “democracy” is what was voted down solidly in the elections in 2010.
    Whether you like it or not.

  • http://www.mrcash.it Mr. Cash, Johnny for sure.

    What’s Wrong with You?

  • http://pozitivvisszacsatolas.blogspot.com/ Attila

    “Hungary has always represented two very positive things to me…”

    It is really nice thing you write this.
    But in Hungary every antisemite assure its audience that he too have nice jewish friends…

    So… let’s respect each other !

  • Robert Ikanov

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama,

    Having mistaken the constitutional court for the judiciary (and concluding false consequences from this) is NOT a “lesser factual error” but it tells everything about your incompetency. So please don’t spread these aspersions based on false or manipulated information and stop tagging our country and our democratically voted government.
    And yes. Next time , please check your sources before writing a post about anything you seemingly don’t know.
    Thank you

  • Attila the Hun

    The way I see it:

    To cut a long story short, the issue depicted in your essay is rooted in two factors of psychologic nature :

    - the Orban administration is truly and sincerely believing that there exist many malignant, malicious political forces, but there can exist just one honest government, which is free of selfish attitude, corruption, ….. The latter is of course the Fidesz government, they profess.

    In consequence of this belief these people are deeply convinced, that democratic intitutions, in the European sense are, even if not superfluous, but by all means to be demoted in priority. They think that there are good people and bad people, and it is that simple. If this belief is challenged, they feel aggrieved and attack in response.

    - the other factor is rooted in the fact that we Hungarians, just as other East-European ordinary people have still not acclimatised to a capitalist way of thinking, and therefore do not incline to accept that each person and each family is responsible for their own standard of living, and still expect extreme care from the prevailing governments. In turn, the majority of people is more than willing to give up democratic rights and even freedom for sake of patriotism and nationalism. That gives way for the administration to expand its power without consequences. Once these folks will experience that governmental promises will not be kept is regards of the state wellfare, they will not be willing to cast ballots for that government and easily take turn to an other party that is willing to renew promises in this respect.

  • Ladislaus

    From the article „Rhapsody for Hungarian science” by Quirin Schiermeier in Nature (12 December 2011, http://www.nature.com/news/rhapsody-for-hungarian-science-1.9619) it is evident that the autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is not controlled more closely by the government, which is in contrast with Fukushima’s statement. As you find already in the subtitle of the Nature article: „Major reforms and extra funding will help free country’s researchers from communist legacy”.

  • dr. KA

    Dear Prof. Fukuyama,

    You are absolutely right. I’m sorry for the rude comments. To tell the truth the big part of the hungarian nation is prejudiced, irredenta and intolerant, and the big part of this population is anti-semite. This is a shame. We, who believe in the parliamentary democracy, struggle for this social phenomena but the ruling government stands rather in the other side. They use a “dual speech”, what they say inside is totally different from the speeches of abroad. Hungary is a lost country. The hungarian nation is the most apathic nation in Europe.

    • Supremo

      No. Sorry, who you are to judge 10 000 000 people and describe them as irredenta and intolerant????? What are you talking about men? Maybe you are one of those very few liberals in Hungary who liked Ferenc Gyurcsany’s lies and liked that he and his predecessor put on Hungary 2 and half times more debt as it was when Viktor Orban left after his 4 years government in 2002. Once more time I write it here: they – Ferenc Gyurcsány and other MSZP left side parties – made Hungarian debt two and half times more as it was right after Viktor Orban lost in 2002. This is the problem in Hungary and not the intolerance. Morover I claim that Hungarians are the most tolerant people in Europe. It is – for example – very interesting that while Slovakian laws are delivered against Hungarians living in Slovakia and against even fundamental human rights nobody in Hungary is attacking/touching a village – Pilisszentkereszt – which inhabitants are pure Slovak. How is it come that a so intolerant nation like Hungary is tolerating a whole Slovakian village in the middle of Hungary while Slovakian politicians are delivering laws kicking into the ass of Hungary and Hungarians living in Slovakia? Who is intolerant then ?????????????? Who ?????
      Youa are an ignorant bastard. It is a shame that a Hungarian is writing such words about Hungary in English. It is a pity and a very big shame on you. YOU ARE THE INTOLERANT NOT THE HUNGARIANS !!!

    • Supremo

      2002 State debt against GDP: 53%
      2010 State debt against GDP: 80%

      This is the truth and this is the problem and not that Hungarians intolerant you liar!!!!
      And the other problem is that post communist party -MSZP – has stolen everything and has privatized everything which they could. That is the problem. Please, DO NOT LIE ABOUT HUNGARY IN THE FUTURE IF POSSIBLE. DO NOT LIE THAT HUNGARIANS INTOLERANT!!!

    • DaftP

      It is funny to see how you write about being prejudiced and intolerant, rasicst and a sentence later you start to generalise about Hungarians as such. You are the “anti-Hungarian”, intolerant and prejudiced one, face it.

      • sixpak

        thats the age old mind job, how to do some proper labeling, while you try to convince everyone that your labeling is not the same as the labeling done by the people you are labeling as labelers…

      • Supremo

        Bravo! I agree with you 100%.

    • Magyar

      Nice HATE speech.
      Of course we understand who are you and where it’s coming from. Since this is an English language site, I’ll stick appropriate PC talk and be “nice”.
      I appreciate though the insight you provide us as how your kind really feels and what it really thinks of us Hungarians. It enhances certain opinions and resolutions – if you get what I mean.

      BTW: I got the derogatory message with the un-capitalized “Hungarian and Hungarian Nation”.
      Remember: “What goes around comes around” – old American proverb…

  • Magi-ar

    Mr Fukuyama. You who descend from the feather of the arrow shouldn’t argue with the head of it, instead of trying to understand it.
    Looking things from one narrow perspective will misleads you.
    You may take your time and look them from a more far one, go back in history until at least the trianon peace treaty in 1920. From step by step coming back to 2012 you will get a better view what is exactly going on in Hungary.

  • NDB

    Let’s be sincere: Mr. Fukuyama is more or less right. I, however, disagree with his views on Mr. Gyurcsány, if he commited a crime, he should be held responsible for it. In all other aspects I agree with Mr. Fukuyama.
    I also deeply regret the racist comments here.
    Nevertheless, anyone criticising Hungary and the Hungarians (and these days there are plenty of them) does not understand that the Hungarian souls are still frustrated about the extremely unjust and racist Trianon treaty and its consequences. Hungary, a nation that did not start WWI, did not even want the war, was punished much more harsher than Germany or Austria. Austria even received Hungarian territories after the war.
    Why are we still frustrated, after 90 years? Because the west is very-very easy-going with the human rights issues of ethnic Hungarians in the neighbouring countries, especially Slovakia. I read criticism on Hungary practically every day, but nothing on Slovakia. In that particular country, the number of Hungarians was decreased by more than a half since 1920 due to assimilation policies going on for 90 years and ethnic cleansing after WWII.
    I dare to say that all antisemitism, racism, anti-democraticism of the Hungarians is directly linked with the Trianon trauma.
    I am sure that if one day important and influent democratic countries like the USA would put pressure on Slovakia and other countries to grant the language and human rights to ethnic Hungarians, so the Hungarians would not have to fear that those ethnic minorities will disappear, if democractic and influent countries would support dialogue between Hungary and its neighbours, the democratic situation in Hungary would improve. Until the USA and other countries fail to do so, we will see madmen in Hungary seeking allies in Iran and countries alike to do all the injustice of the past and present right.

    Believe me, all the frustration of the Hungarians is connected to this trauma. I am not saying that the borders should be changed. But if you keep on disregarding the rightful Hungarian concerns, Hungary will be a playground for extremists and madmen.

    I am a friend of the USA, and I am deeply concerned about the antidemocratic developments in Hungary. But until nothing is done with the rightful frustration of the Hungarians, Hungary will remain a problem child in Europe.

    • Magyar

      “I am a friend of the USA, and I am deeply concerned about the antidemocratic developments in Hungary. But until nothing is done with the rightful frustration of the Hungarians, Hungary will remain a problem child in Europe.”

      If you are a friend, you should be DEEPLY concerned about the antidemocratic events in the US:
      The two party system – both controlled by the same background moneyed force/elite. Like it’s said nowadays: “If voting would change anything, it would be illegal”
      And then there is the Patriot Act, the TSA, Homeland Security, more people in jail than the rest of the world COMBINED. Everyday police brutality and killings, and the militarization of the police. Repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act and NDAA – the latest. I BET you haven’t even heard of this one, enacted last December.
      Google ‘FEMA Camps’. You might be surprised – big time.

      And don’t get me started of the unbridled warmongering…

      • Sophie Johnson

        ‘Do you wonder why?
        Do you see what I see?’

        Yes to both, Magyar. These people dare express ‘concern’ about freedom of the media in Hungary! Yet the ‘mainstream’ media on both sides of the Atlantic are perfectly co-ordinated to create whatever hoopla they want. For their no-holds-barred attack on Hungary, they have co-opted the services of the charlatan Fukuyama, and the soon-to-be-passée political whore Hillary Clinton. Presumably, this was done to soften the impression that one ethnic group alone can be accredited with that attack.

        You know, I think Stalin is spinning in his grave, agonised by envy because his censorship and propaganda mechanisms were nowhere nearly as well laid out as that of the Western media barons.

        The guessable media aim is to ‘to pull a Greece and Italy style prime minister/government change’, as you say. Thank goodness, in Hungary we do have a few media arms that are independent of the international media bund. Our public can therefore be informed. This was not the case in Italy, nor of course is it the case in Germany and France, nor in pretty much any other Northern or Western European country. ‘Democracy’ has seen to the muzzling of free speech there. That left the Italians open to ‘surprise’ developments. (This is less true of Greeks, but then, not entirely untrue, either.)

        And more on the upside: An interesting international banker, Vezér-Szörényi László, has come up with a few very plausible prognoses. (In case you are not familiar with him, do look him up. But you probably are.) An economic climate is approaching that will render the machinations against Hungary of the Western media both anachronistic andpointless. But we shall have to remain very vigilant: developments after the monetary end-game are unpredictable. At least we have, I trust, a government and a level of national cohesion that will work in our, not the foreign, interest.

    • Supremo

      “I am a friend of the USA, and I am deeply concerned about the antidemocratic developments in Hungary.”

      What are you talking about ?? What ??????
      Do you know what kind of laws have been accepted in USA men ??? Lokk after! Hungary is way more democratic than the USA.

  • Csingiz

    I fully agree. The atmosphere of these comments: the search for saboteurs and traitors, the arrogant know-it-all and disrespectful attitude of someone who has “the most democratic constitution”, the ease of naming white as black while one is unable to parse the simple arguments of their critics, this all brings us back to the era of the Soviet Union and Germany of the 1930′s. It shows the respect the world has towards our nation that serious thinkers spend time dissecting and analyzing the sad turn of events in our country.

  • Teri Szűcs

    Dear Mr Fukuyama,
    thank you for your wise analysis on the mental-political condition of our country. We have been glad to read your analysis that has grabbed the essence of the problems of present-day Hungary. Unfortunately, our society is very far from a deeper democratic change.
    Please, keep on supporting us with your insights and thoughts!
    Teri Szűcs
    Budapest
    Hungary

    • Supremo

      Such an ass licking… Tipical liberal…

      • Teri Szűcs

        Thanx. I am proud to be one.

        • Magyar

          How does it taste?
          -Just askin’

        • Danny Ikadesa

          When the shit goes down, dont forget to bring yourself.

  • Miklos

    Dear Prof. Fukuyama,

    Pretty much every country suspends certain aspects of the institutions of liberal democracy during wartime or a state of emergency i.e. in times of exceptionally big trouble. Hungary is currently in exceptionally big trouble for multiple reasons, which would take a bit too long to explain, but plain simply the other side is a mafia and did an exceptional amount of damage.

    Most of the meaures you criticized are basically for the purpose of keeping the ex-commie mafia network away enough for all kinds of formal and informal power to give the good guys breathing room for rebuilding the damage. That is all, really.

    Of course the details a very compplicated and it all goes back to the structural, personal and ideologies changes in the Hungarian Communist system after the failed revolution of 1956, but that would be a bit long to explain here, very shortly: everybody including the party elite got disillusioned with Communism, hence the new party elite became basically an opportunistic, careeristic mafia network caring about not ideology but just getting as much wealth and power as possible. And they managed to get to the top positions of informal power (like media) and wealth and later on back to government after the system change. And then they managed to do a lot of damage. In order to stop this happening and begin to repair the damage, some extraordinary measures are necessary to keep these guys away from power.

  • Viktor

    Sorry for all this Hungarian haters here, Prof.
    They do not speaking on behalf of every Hungarian . They’ve been mislead and now totally blind. I feel sorry for them….

  • Gironde

    It is strange, though understandable that dozens of Hungarians add their pro and contra comments to critical remarks published in the western media. Let me be also one of them.

    Mr. Fukumaya again made a small mistake: the frequency of the only critical radio station was not TAKEN AWAY, and this provides another excuse for the Hungarian authorities to ignore criticism. The fact is that the permission for Klub radio to use its frequency expired, and it did not win the following public bid. On the surface, everything looks fine and legal.

    It is not. The tender for the frequency was published under such conditions that Klub radio, could not win the tender. The requirement to air music was so high (60%), that a radio with political profile cannot meet, unless it fully changes the radio’s character.

    Orban is extremely innovative in remaining in the frame of the law, but deeply hurting democratic standards.

    I personally fully share Mr. Fukuyama’s opinion, but if he wants to have an impact, he needs to be very precise not only in the spelling of the name of Fidesz, but also in referring to facts that became the basis of his argument.

    • Supremo

      Please do not pretend, do not lie that the Klubradio is the biggest problem of Hungary. I would add – as a listener of KlubRadio – that such a liar radio station is not existing in the whole world. Klubradio is a selected group of liars who HATE HUNGARIANS. And you are not right: it was absolutely legal how Klubradio has lost its frequency. I hate Klubradio because I have been listening to it for 10 years. In every 3 minutes they tell something absolutely false or a simple lie. Mr Fukuyama does not know this and he never will as to get a grisp on the Klubradio story he should have listened it for some years. In the latter case he would have a different opinion, I think. Klubradio=Disgusting Liars.

      • Supremo

        When I wrote: every 3 minutes they lie, that’s true. I measured it personally.

        • sixpak

          heehee, thats really funny :)

  • Miklos

    Dear Prof. Fukuyama,

    One thing I would suggest is to check your sources as someone in your information chain is abusing the fact that you don’t speak Hungarian and is feeding bullshit to you.

    For example that “taking away” of the frequency of a radio station – the tender was for a commercial radio station and thus one of the most important considerations was how much they are willing to pay. Two other companies offered a higher price than Klub Radio. That is just fair? This was a perfect example of the logic of liberal capitalism at work and there is something really wrong if even this can be distorted into some ham-handed authortarian move. Check your sources, I think someone from the post-commie mafia network of Hungary is feeding bullshit into your information chain. They are very good at distorting facts.

    Chances are the person you got this from is 100% innocent and truthful, and the person he got from it too, but some level maybe 3-4 levels up the chain you are going to find someone “interesting”, someone with links to MSZP-SZDSZ etc. etc.

    If you just take this one example and track it back your sources down the whole chain of information… you might be surprised what is going on actually.

    • Mush R

      Let me add that as far as I remember Klubrádió was a leftist radio station full of biased and in certain cases outraged programs having no other aims than feeding hatred in everyday people against political opponents. Regardless of why and how it was shut down, I find it pretty awkward to turn Klubrádió into a symbol of the freedom of press.

  • Kalman Bekesi from Hungary

    When Americans and Western-europeans from great democratic countries analyze the current situation in Hungary, they should also take the historical antecendents and their historic responsibility into account. Why Hungarians are so open to authoritarian leaders to vote, like the present prime minister? Why Hungarians can be attracted by the communication of FIDESZ saying we fight for freedom (from IMF, from anyone)?

    From the XVIth century up to 1919 Hungary was not independent (even not in the Habsburg Monarchy), although the country had several wars for being so. In 1919 as an ally of Germany in the first world war, the country has lost the 2/3 of its territory and the 1/3 of its Hungarian population – thanks to the “penalty” of antant (especially France which interest was a weak Central-European region). From that time up to now there are a lot of reasons for Hungarians feeling discontent because of the intention of neighbour countries to assimilate or at least not to give equal rights in language-use for the Hungarian population living in their territory.

    In Hungarian schools we learn as a fact, that we Hungarians lost our independence in the XVIth century because we tried to stay against the huge Muslim empire of Turkey, being the “last bastion” of the Christian Europe. (From this point someone can understand why our current prime minister said in the European Parlaiment that in his point of view European democracy has two choices: to stay basically a Christian democracy, or to terminate.) As a fact, Hungary had the chance to become a province of the Turkish empire, but finally it was dismembered into more parts, fighting through 150 years for its independence.

    In 1956 Hungarians fought against the huge Soviet Union (no outer help we got) for our freedom.

    No fights for freedom of Hungary from the XVIth century succeeded in longer term.

    These situations (less territory, less population and historically very frustrated people) has a great effect on the economy as well in a longer term.

    I think the frame of EU could be a solution for this core-problem. But not automatically, and especially not if this historical ballast is not taken into account at all in any analyses, and it is not even pc to refer to this status quo in analyses and so.

    I hope there can be democratic and peacefull solution for this situation – otherwise this is only a question of time and economical-political circumstances, when a new war begins. And from this point of view, I think, this is not only a question of how democratic this country is. Just remember, how Germany behaved after the first world war, and it was a logical consequence of the unfair decision of antant in the early 19ies against Germany. (Let me not be misunderstood: I am against nationalism and the politics of the naci Germany.)

    All in all, Americans and Western-Europe should not only accuse the recent government for its obviously bad policy-culture (containing very good and “EU-compatible” elements as well!), but also understand, what compulsions has lead to this situation. Do you want “history repeating”? If not, please, be more complex and careful before judging.

    I know, what I am writing here is not so complex, too. My intention through this comment is to flash one issue from many why the recent situation needs much more sophisticated analyses and multi-approach.

  • Leo

    What I have difficulties to understand is why an American would be so interested by Hungary, and why do some Americans have the need to preach democracy to other countries.
    (I could understand this if the person were a historian specialising in the region but he does not seem like one.)
    I think the very first thing would be to look into US “democracy”, even so because the elections are coming up.
    Americans should be busy to figure out who the candidates really are, including Obama…
    Nothing depend on Hungary, a little nowhere in central Europe but so much depends (more war, more hatred, and more exploitation) on the USA and the government.
    “something has gone badly off track with Hungarian democracy” I find this quite irritating when looking at US “democracy”, and all the misery it results in?
    Hungary do not have Guantanamo and other detention camps, Hungary do not launch drone attacks on US citizens and civilians(!), Hungary do not support the Palestinian holocaust etc. There are way too many burning issues in the USA that impacts directly on our lives. Let’s first look into our own business, and clean up our own rotten democracy!

    • Magyar

      Right on.
      It’s like the mass murderer dripping with his last victim’s blood, gets on the bully pulpit and with shaking fists (with a bloody knife in each hand) in a thunderous voice he shouts:
      Thou shalt not kill!

  • MGaertner

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama,

    I found your post interesting and tend to agree with the conclusions that you draw. If there’s a problem – and I do not necessarily agree with that premise – it lies in the political culture and not within the institutional setup. After all, on the institutional level even the Weimar republic could have been expected to remain a stable democracy, but the political culture it inherited from Imperial Germany proved to be its undoing.
    I realize that a blog post cannot be expected to conform to academic standards and there is simply insufficient space to address the issue of how the current political culture that dominates both (emphasis!) sides of Hungarian politics came about. Nevertheless, just for the sake of presenting a balanced picture there are two points that are worth mentioning:
    1) If there’s a defining attribute to Hungarian political culture, it’s partisanship. Throughout its entire history, there have always been two parties in Hungary vying for power (I do not mean to imply that these parties remained the same throughout history, the point being that there are always two). This setup necessarily results in each of these parties losing sight of their respective objectives and agenda (even if they had one in the first place) and defeating the other party by any means necessary and available became the ultimate goal. This setup also discourages discourse and negotiation, which, as you correctly point out, are the true building stones of a liberal democracy.
    2) It is also worth mentioning that 20 years have passed since the change of regime in 1989 and people have become disillusioned. Please hoped for freedom, but more importantly, prosperity. And just as in the U.S. people were more than willing to sacrifice liberty for the sake of security (see Patriot Act), it seems that Hungarians are now more than willing to sacrifice liberty for the sake of – well, not prosperity anymore, but simply less poverty. I don’t think they can be blamed for it.

    Kind regards

  • Karoly Reketye

    Don’t be surprised at rude comments, I’m afraid Hungarians can’t really stand any criticism, and we seem to be happy to embarrass ourselves internationally.

    • Magyar

      Mi van ma? Kimeno a hulyek intezeteben es hozzafertel egy gephez az internet kavezoban?

  • Bardajszan

    Mr Fukuyama!

    So, you say, that FIDESZ is an antidemocratic party in spirit, but not in letter. You say this, because the former left wing in Hungary accuses FIDESZ with this. The left wing, which is ruled by 2. generation stalinist oligarchs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antal_Apr%C3%B3 please note, that the money of the Gyurcsány-Apro family comes from former jewish businesmen, whom Apro sended for interrogations to the Secret Police of the Stalinist goverment in Hungary, and who mostly died in the jail), who allready shoot on the people “in the name of Democracy” in 2006 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUDDQqp6E00 , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferenc_Gyurcs%C3%A1ny's_speech_in_Balaton%C5%91sz%C3%B6d_in_May_2006), and who said to half of the nation, that they are not real Hungarians, because they where born in our old homeland (in 2004. Imagine, if somebody would say to you, that you are not real American, because your japanese ancestors bombarded Pearl Harbor, this is similar to what the left wing made with circa 5 million Hungarians in 2004). You belive this to the left wing oligarchs, who made corrupt deals with Putin, Abramovich, etc., just last week one of such deals (which was made before 2008) destroyed the hungarian national airline agency MALÉV. Oh, and you say, that Fidesz should be more democratic, because the minority political groups should have more right to speak. You are safe to say this, because at the moment the articles written by people like you makes the average population of Hungary more supportive to the ideology of the minor extreme right wing party called Jobbik (who calls Fidesz as Zsidesz, means something like “little jewish group”), and Jobbik wants to make new holocaust with ethnic minorities, like gypsies, jewish people, etc.(And accidently, they are also payed by Putin.) And of course you are safe to say this in America, which only interest in the money, but not in the lives and natural resources which they destroy worldwide in the name of Democracy. So you say, whe should be more democratic (ergo whe should support people who want to kill us in the name of Democracy). Congratulations, you again made a brilliant insight, just like when you said, that now history is over, because the American Democracy won, and finally everything is allright in the world. Oh, its democracy, like what America made in the Middle East at the moment (Like this Arab Spring for example: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/souaiaia171111.html)? I think, you really have to move around the world, to see it for real, and not from your TV in America.

  • http://hirhatter.org Banned Journalists in Hungary

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama!
    SECRET SERVICES IN HUNGARY!

    We are banned Christian journalists and banned HumanRights in Hungary. There is much show trial against us.

    Many commentaries spam, the Hungarian government dared in cases like this makes a secret service operative action: the name of the action internet commando (hungarian Internet-kommandó).

    The Hungarian secret services (on the time of the political transformation (1990+)) all of the state agents were saved, and many new men were forced into the system. Much ointment committing crimes like this here. Orbán Viktor the prime minister, the agents protect Orbán Viktor because of this.

    On the other hand sees that the Hungarians do not like Orbán Viktor if he looks at the Hungarian sheets. The commentaries 85-98%-a does not like Orbán Viktor.

    • Supremo

      “The commentaries 85-98%-a does not like Orbán Viktor.”

      2 weeks ago 400 000 people liked Viktor Orban. That is what matters not this blog of someone who does not know Hungary and what he knows is from such moral insanities like György Konrad, Agnes Heller etc. In overall human quality and intellectual capabilities these persons are much much less ranked than Viktor Orban. I like Viktor Orban… :)

      • Mutt

        No it was only 100k, of course depending who you ask. Organizers claimed 1 million. :-) No kidding.

        Before the 2002 elections there was a huge FIDESZ rally at the parliament. Bigger than this one. After that they lost two consecutive elections. I’d say this crowd is good sign.

        • Sophie Johnson

          The Interior Ministry’s estimate was 400 thousand +. That estimate is typically a conservative one. Efforts to talk this number down are pretty feeble. One (only one!) mainstream newspaper reported this Peace March in support of the government honestly:

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2092670/The-huge-protest-Budapest-showed-Hungarians-support-government–wasnt-reported.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

          • Mutt

            In the history of the post-Communist Hungarian Interior ministry, for the first time, their communique praised the demonstration and said something like “we have never seen such a peaceful, wonderful march”, something like this. I’m sure they are very neutral, no influence whatsoever from the FIDESZ, and their estimate is very conservative :) Why wouldn’t I trust the government.

            400k it is.

    • Amosh

      Maybe there is a solution!
      Let’s call Chuck Norris!

      CHUCK NORRIS HELP

  • Everybody

    The supermajority is silent in Hungary. No comment is a comment.

  • Bilboko

    There are some who say we should judge all of Hungary based on the comments here. I don’t agree with that but can we judge the Hungarian left wing (those who attack the government and hope it fails), based upon the comments in Amerikai Népszava? This is a left wing publication that often uses pure Nazi rhetoric

    http://hungariandigest.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/anti-jewish-party/

    Should we judge all the left wing just because some of them have pure nazism in their heart like Bartus the Editor of A. Népszava?

    I hope all the left wing commenters here will distance themselves of the Nazism of Bartus.

    But a single Nazi, Bartus does not mean that all of the Hungarian left is Nazi-based. So its often not correct to judge from a few comments.

  • http://raerunk.blogrepublik.eu Raerunk

    Poor old Mr. Fukuyama. So far his importance in Hungary was somewhat limited. In fact it was a sophisticated tool to pick up girls with politology major to know that Mr. Fukuyama is the guy who wrote something about the end of history and lost an important poker party against Mr. Huntington. Besides the regular arsenal of mid-price red wine and home made pasta bowls Mr. Fukuyama was really an asset for a Hungarian man interested in smart girls.

    Recently our government’s brilliant communication has put this really nice (albeit depressed) country called Hungary into the team where Mr. Chavez, Mr. Jongun and Mr. Castro play. Liberal German authors as well as American democrats and neocons write about us. It is really nice to be a topic of unlimited consensus in the Western world.My only concern is that usually sooner or later there are some Nimitz-class carriers showing up at the shores of these countries of unlimited consensus. Well, we have no shores we have lost them some 90 years ago, but still, it is uncomfortable to see to agree Hillary Clinton, Kim Lane Scheppele and Francis Fukuyama on anything.

    The brilliant communication of our beloved government has chosen the dullest tool to confront with this uncomfortable phenomenon. Yep, it is a brave in personam attack against Mr. Fukuyama. To put it simple Mr Fukuyama is stupid. Period. He has lost that poker party against Mr. Huntington so since that everybody on the planet knows that Mr. Fukuyama is wrong. On anything. Besides, he knows nothing about Hungary. He even confuses the Supreme Curia of Hungary with the Constitutional Court. Oh my goodness this guy writes about Hungarian judicial system without the core knowledge that the Curia is in the 5th district of Budapest in the Szalay str. while the Constitutional Court is to be found in the 1st. district in the Donáti str.

    Well, this shows the fact that before starting to deal with Mr. Fukuyama it is useful to know a bit more about him above the trivia questions. I have to confess that my knowledge is not beyond that (well, not much beyond that) although I read the article about the end of history. This was right before we went out for a coffee from the university library with the girl.

    Despite the lost poker party against Mr. Huntington Mr Fukuyama is still a renowned scholar and opinion leader on both sides of the pond. This is well to consider before sending Mr. Noname Communications Guy Zoltán against him. This is precisely what Mr. Castro would do. Mr. Chavez, being in younger age and better health would give a fierce speech against the evil imperialist Fukuyama.

    The main direction of the in personam attack against Mr. Fukuyama that he is making his statements without proper knowledge of things really going on in Hungary.

    He makes his statements without in-depth knowledge but with proper knowledge. This blog post is not aimed to go deep in the problems with the judiciary and with the media law. Previous posts in Hungarian do this. Mr. Fukuyama has good ears to hear the dissonance between the formal and the real proceedings of Hungarian politics. It is just enough to know that a government plays around with law concerning the judiciary, the media, the administration. Playing around with these in a single campaign is just enough to come to the conclusion that something is wrong here.

    Of course, to make more elaborate comments and analysis about Hungary one has to learn the local specialties. Communists labeled conservatives, conservatives labeled communists, right-wing communication that hates Fukuyama etc. Too bad that Professor Scheppele, a specialist in Hungarian affairs agrees with Mr. Fukuyama’s main findings.

    In the meantime despite the fierce attacks on Mr. Fukuyama the Fidesz government is rethinking its communication right now they seem to be losing the poker party.

    Mr. Fukuyama if there are any girls with Hungarian major, you know everything. Well, almost everything. Semi-dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc works best.

  • Hazámért Reszketek

    Whatever anyone says, there is dictatorship in Hungary , or who else is set to benefit from this , or is lying !

    • Magyar

      Yo MUST be kidding…
      It’s a funny joke, right?
      I mean the Nepszabadsag, Nepszava are still publishing, just like Magyar Nemzet, or even Barikad on the other side.

      If it’s not a joke, then it’s either me meissing something invisible, or you are delusional.

      • Hazámért Reszketek

        You what? Beneficiary, or liar?

    • Mush R

      There is no dictatorship in Hungary. This is not a lie, you just don’t know what dictatorship is like.

    • Danny Ikadesa

      Alapjába véve jó ember vagy Hazámért Reszketek, csak azt nem érted hogy ki diktál….

      DI

  • Tom

    Thomas wrote: “The majority supports the government?” I do doubt that. We either live in a different country or the researches are pretty wrong, but these days over 80% percent of Hungarians believe that things are not going right.

    Jakabaa said: “At present Orbán is the solution…” May I ask: for what?
    He proved to be incapable of leading this country by not sacking Matolcsy who looks like someone that didn’t finish its macroeconomy book.

    (And just because I know that in Hungary you are ultimately categorized a communist by criticising the governemt I have to add, that I don’t find MSZP, LMP, DK or its leaders Mesterhazy, Javor or Gyurcsany acceptable as well. Maybe Boros and Bajnai).

    Unfortunately we have to face, that the current government doesnt have the brains, the ideas, the solutions and most tragically neither the proper style nor the ability to confess any mistakes. Great leaders have the luminary to say: I was wrong. That is something we aint going to hear from these guys.

    • Supremo

      Boros and Bajnai ??? Ha ha ha… Where do you live? On the Moon ?

  • Bela

    In his public address, Orban is now comparing the EU to alcohol: something which inspires big dreams, but prevents you from realising it.

    And now he shared his pride over the new constitution, for that it protects the country from becoming indebted once again, against the will of some people at home and abroad. A slight touch of xenophobia and anticapitalism.

    Now he touches on his irreplacable role by dismissing both ‘people standing to the left or to the right’ from his power centre unacceptable options. How democratic!

    No, Mr. Fukuyama, he hasn’t heard you.

    • Supremo

      Thanks God he did not listen to Fukuyama! And Viktor Orban is quite right when telling this metaphor. He is absolutely right. Europe has a much bigger problem than Hungary and until such a low budget people are in the European Parliament like Kohn Bandit – who is a disgusting, ignorant person – there will be no real change…

      • Bela

        Indeed he is right. The EU gave him the dream of becoming a great politician, and now that very same bloody EU just doesn’t want to accept his greatness! How damn frustrating! Who the hell are they, anyway?:)

  • Legacy

    Dear Prof. Francis Fukuyama,

    i am really pleased that you take care of what is going on in hungary, i really really appreciate it!! I am also from Hungary i study law, economics and sociology mixed (the exact name of the faculty i won’t write), i am deeply worried about the ongoing process drived by the hungarian government and the direction aimed the country (eastern opening- e.g. towards russia, china, iran).
    If i may drive your attention, than from personal experience i can say: the orban-regime is ready to victimize everything just to satisfy the “suspected” needs of the hungarian population(just to mention that the average pension is about 89 000 Ft-average loan: 100 000 Ft- and there are more than 3 million pensioner, about 3 million workers from which about 1 million are public servant, works for the goverment stc.). Our country is victim of the populistic promises both of the left-liberal and the right-conservativ side. The problem is that with the new media law (médiatörvény) and the total controll of every segment of the life (however until now without the threat of imprisonment) caused in the hungarian society a fear of expressing its opinion, which should not lead up into some right-extremist behaviour per se, but some organisations near the goverment feed such hatred (like in mediaval against jews) now against bankiers and international corporations.
    I assume that the hungarian goverment is not aware how peculiar and fragile the situtation in Hungary is and the measures they have been dealing with are so short-sighted, that they are not even concerned about the fact, that it endangers the future of a possible fiscal, political correction.
    I also want to emphasize, that every correction, which comes from the goverment are driven, measured so that they throw it into the mass media, watch the reaction and than make the steps. This reaction-analisys -in the majority of the cases- are lose-lose(not win-lose or win-win), two groups are selected and made adversaries (e.g.: teachers vs bkv-budapest transport company- drivers). I find and see this very very sorrow and sad, because there might be some problems, but i think there must be a different way to solve them and i also think if we do not stop orban, than hungary will 100% end up in a dictatorship similar to lukasenkos belorussia.

    best regards

    • Supremo

      “Our country is victim of the populistic promises both of the left-liberal and the right-conservativ side.” – no, this is the myth and the truth is that Hungary is the victim of 8 years social party government who has doubled and halfed the state debt, against GDP from 53% to 80 % mainly in prosperity. That is the main problem in Hungary. I would like to make you recall that from 98-02 Victor Orban’s government has decreased the state debt year by year reaching 52% in 2001.

    • Supremo

      “also think if we do not stop orban, than hungary will 100% end up in a dictatorship similar to lukasenkos belorussia.”

      You are one of those liberals who makes Hungary reputation worse with huge lies like this. I can’t stand this kind of dangerous and stupid style of thinking…

    • Amosh

      Very entertaining! It must be really hard for You to accept democracy. This is total controll? Lukasenko? Fear of expression of opinion? Bkv drivers as adversaries? Hilarious!

  • Supremo

    Mr. Fukuyama,

    These comments mostly are made by liberals from Hungary who hate Viktor Orban for irrelevant and irrational reasons. You know, they are the frustrated ones because they were beaten out from the legislation in 2010. They hate him because they cannot stand his brilliant thinking and they hate that he is not someone who cannot be beaten easily. They hate as they hate Hungary and Hungarians – why ? I do not know… There is no any country in the world who has such an intolerant, dirty, disgusting inner opponent like Hungary… That is our problem, Mr. Fukuyama.

    • Mush R

      I am neither a liberal, nor a government troll. I have no other interest in commenting than a n inner drive to want to read true facts about my country. It is within this framework that I find it unacceptable that the writing of Dr Fukuyama reflects views at least questionable and based on lies, whoever raised them first. The loss of credit is a direct consequence of such a performance.

    • Sophie Johnson

      ‘There is no any country in the world who has such an intolerant, dirty, disgusting inner opponent like Hungary… That is our problem, Mr. Fukuyama.’

      Thank you! I almost missed your remark. It cuts straight to the heart of the matter. This is what we should be talking about in Hungary. And to some extent, we are. I very much hope that public discourse will soon reach the point where it singles out the worst-offending of the traitorous internal enemies, and require that they account for their activities. (Do we have a Riot Act in Hungary? We certainly could use one.)

  • Andor Jakab

    I think that comments here are now more interesting the – very good – blogpost. I mean these reactions to the blogpost above I think speak for themselves. Nothing could prove the blogpost more true, than these comments.

    It’s been a long debate in Hungary, that these pro-Fidesz commenters are organised in any way, or not. I would say not.

    I think it’s the nature of things. That kind of rethoric results in people who naturally think and talk this way.

    I don’t think these people are organised comment trolls.

    • Hazámért Reszketek

      But they are!

    • Andrzei

      “pro-Fidesz commenters are organised in any way”
      That’s the usual bullshit told always by the small grim minority who has problems with the way of life in Hungary. Jobbik and Fidesz commenters are always told to be payed and organised to destroy the democratic majority. Look around yourself in Hungary please. There are not even 10% of your kind. Rest is Fidesz or Jobbik supporter. Of course theese people are commenting everywhere, because they are the majority! For every comment of your side there is 9 of the other. Simple math.

      • Mutt

        Can you explain what is “our kind”? The people who disagree with you or Orban for that matter? 10% ? We have shrunk to 10% from almost 50% since the last elections? How did that happen?

        I’m not sure either if these guys are actually on the payroll of the government, but considering the payed “extras” who were clapping during Orban’s March 15th speech or the “compensated” Transylvanians who were bussed to the recent pro-government march it would not be surprising. But anyway, I swear, and this is just a hunch, that couple of the noisy wingnut commenter here is the same person.

        • Andrzei

          You are mistaken here, the other 50% is not the ones who agree with you. From that other 50% there is a serious part of Jobbik supporters and slowly dieing-out old communists. The Jobbik supporters will say the same as Fidesz supporters regarding the soverignity of our country, namely: it’s our own business. The old commies do not comment on websites, so you are still that 10% who are having problems with the anti-democracy in Hungary. You always telling everyone that you feel bad to be Hungarian and apologise for the rest of the world because of us, the right-wing anti democratists. In reality the majority (we who either voted Fidesz or Jobbik) are feeling sorry because of you, who cannot accept that most of the people living here are having a different opinion regarding our country.

          • Mutt

            “You are mistaken here, the other 50% is not the ones who agree with you”

            I never said that. They got 53% of popular votes at the elections -> 47% disagreed. Simple. Today the 2/3 or so of the country disagrees with Orban according to the polls.

            I still don’t know what is “my kind” so I can’t really say anything about your original assumption of 10%.

      • Andor Jakab

        Andzrei, as I said. I do _not_ think you are organized. I do not beleive that either.

        But there’s a pattern. You have a very strong community, and your comments are so similar to each other. As if you heard these things from the same few sources.

        And I really do not meant to offend you in any way. It may just be a natural consequence of the media you read and listen to.

        Maybe you have the same idea about everybody else, and maybe that’s why you think that other people also must “learn” what they comment somewhere else.

        But again I do not beleive that you are “paid” commenters or anything like that. That would be stupid to assume, I know it must not work like that.

        It’s also natural, that it’s the same issues that really get many of Fidesz / Jobbik symphatizers upset. So I don’t think there’s anything ‘evil’ about this.

        I just find it interesting – worth to note – that Fidesz / Jobbik commenters show much similarity. Then maybe it’s true for a lot of other folks too, so please don’t take this a general offense.

        • Andrzei

          Well at least we think the same way and it seems we can (at least virtually) work together. That’s something valuable I think… And if that’s the opinion of so many people then I think it should be taken seriously and not tag it as “nazi ideas”.

          • Andor Jakab

            Look, the term “Nazi” is very offending indeed. However if you can keep your temper (I know, it’s hard), and read what national socialism was about in the beginning of the 1930′s (not DURING the WWII), you will find that political agenda was very, very similar to that of today. You will find very similar concepts, that we have today.

            And I do not even want to say, that it’s neccessarily a huge problem in itself. We have a similar situation to solve.

            But you will understand why SOME people are scared about it(regardless of political parties really, I guess I have as much concerns against MSZP as you do).

            And when we are afraid, we aren’t afraid to dicredit you, and not because we are supporting the left (or anybody). Believe or not, I’m just a guy. I couldn’t care less for parties.

            I just hate this agression that’s building up all the time, and I worry that it will get out of controll.

          • Andrzei

            I know what’s national socialism is as an idea. My point was not that, I only used the term to show you that the opinion of many people is discredited by the mainstream media. The word is just their term regarding people like me.
            Political parties I don’t see as flawless organisations either. There is not a single one with which I fully agree, but I need to choose one with which I at least generally agree, otherwise I could not influence my own future in that country.
            Belive it or not, I don’t want to hurt anyone because of political ideas. I think 99% of the people with the same political ideal don’t want to hurt anybody either. It’s another trick of the media to show us as bald muscular black-uniformed guys who beat the shit out of poor “different thinkers”. I am a simple guy in his 30-s with family, a job and regular life. 99% of us are the same. That’s the truth. I think agression and fear is absolutely not involved.
            I think most of us are working for some understanding and for the future where you can say: “Yes we are Hungarians, and we are proud of it. We have a counrty which is also ours, and in our own counrty we can live our lives along our rules”

      • Magyar

        Good assessment. The crypto-commies support base are the long retired ‘greedy geezers’ and the human debris slavish servants (and beneficiaries) of the pre-1990 communist regime. (Like Gyurcsany the Communist Youth organization secretary). Add to that two minorities; the overpigmented ones, and the you-know-who crowd, and you got them all. That’s it.
        The latter significantly overlaps with the pre-1990 beneficiaries.

        I had many-many Sunday lunches for years (ebed) in the BM Klub in Zrinyi utca during my youth, (Its a complicated story how did it happen). I SAW and HEARD plenty. I have a very good memory, and adults there are/were kind of stupid, they thought kids can’t hear, pay no attention, and retain nothing. Besides they were arrogant, secure in their power, so if a kid overhears, it wouldn’t matter in any case. I saw the BM nomeklatura close-up, unguarded, the higher echelon. I saw who they were and what they were…

    • Thomas

      Andor Jakab:
      I reply belatedly to you post in which you try protect the criminal Communists and their organizations from holding their past deeds to account.

      “Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism” (Google)

      “It stipulates i.a. that the Communist ideology is directly responsible for crimes against humanity, that there are substantial similarities between Nazism and Communism, that many perpetrators of Communist crimes have not been brought to justice yet, that many Communist parties have not apologized for Communist crimes and that millions of victims of Communism are entitled to the same recognition enjoyed by the victims of Nazism.”

      The conference that took place at the Czech Senate from 2 to 3 June 2008, hosted by the Senate Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Human Rights.

  • Zoltan

    Thank You, Mr Fukuyama, I really liked Your writing. Living in Hungary, I must say, what You try to say about understanding democracy is correct.

  • Supremo

    “Nothing could prove the blogpost more true, than these comments.”

    What you state is that every blogpost’s statements are true if there are a lot of comments afterwards. It is ridiculous. There is no any relation between a blogpost’s relevancy and its frequency of being commented or even the mood of the comments. I am really tired of reading such stupid statements/comments.

    • Mutt

      Nope. What he was saying is this zoo we call commenting is the perfect reflection of what is going on in Hungary.

      I tend to agree with your last sentence.

    • Andor Jakab

      Comments – in a normal world – are about the blogpost. Of course, I didn’t mean the quantity of comments, but their content.

      Something went terribly wrong in Hungary.

      An old political culture has re-emerged.

  • Francis

    “Taking away the frequency of an opposition-aligned radio station is something right out of Hugo Chavez’s playbook.”
    Mr.Fukuyama, when I read THIS, in the moment I knew, that you made a very big mistake to interfere with things in Hungary.
    You really know NOTHING about us – and that you are a renown professor makes this even more shameful, sorry…
    Beacause that is simply a LIE!!! a big, big, big LIE! – of course not YOU are a lier, but it is a pity, that you LISTEN to such LIERS, who make extreme efforts to denote and insult a normal, really democratic country….
    Please, I beg you only to THINK please – It´s a big mistake interfere so, that you do not know the language – because then you could read YOURSELF the insults of the leftist liberal media against government, against hungarians -yes, against hungarians!!!-as a nation, as cultural entity…you Mr.Fukuyama would be very surprised what a hogwash goes from these media what you fear so for… I guess, in USA wouldn´t be this allowed!
    Others told you here already why this sentence above from your article is a lie, so I need not to fix your error, but now I can you told, that you made a fool yourself – you may to thank your councillors – at other times you select a more reliable board – not prejudiced liers without any moral…. this is not possible to translate, because in english losts its taste, savor : professzor úr KÖZRÖHEJ TÁRGYA lett – köszönheti saját magának , mert azt gondolta mindenhez ért – és kedves hazug „barátainak”…perhaps Mr.Gati, or others will translate you – this is for such high liberal intellectuals of course nothing….

    • Mutt

      Francis. Seriously. You are sick. Get your sh*t together.

      • Magyar

        Mutt, your name conveys exactly what you are, with comments like this.
        Look up the synonyms of ‘mutt’ to get a clear understanding…

        • Mutt

          Your name also (unfortunately) conveys what you are. Very much so.

          • Mutt

            I was called stupid or worst so many times for disagreeing, so I was like, hey, let’s spare them an extra comment. I’m surprised you held back this long. You guys are getting slow.

  • http://csesznegi.gportal.hu/ Csesznegi Gyula

    Mr. Fukuyama is probably in great scientist, but he does not speak a word in Hungarian, and only reading manipulated English news reports cannot understand the Hungarian situation.

    The Hungarain citizens in a free election voted the post-communist gangsters out of power, and their electoral defeat was so humiliating that the Mr. Orbán gained a two third majority in the parliament. The people gave a strong mandate to Viktor Orbán to to reform the Hungarian state, get rid of institutional and personal remnants of the communist dictature. Of course this makes the post-communist cleptocracy angry, but because in Hungary noone takes them seriously, because totally discredited themselves, they only resort is to spread hatred against the government and their own country. It is veyr said taht Mr Fukuyama also has fallen victim of these intrigues.

    • Mutt

      Prof. Fukuyama may not speak Hungarian but luckily you guys are here to explain him what is going on … because these PhDs are notoriously reading “manipulated English news reports”. Probably it’s their hobby. They should watch the Hungarian public media instead. One channel is enough because all were ordered to give you the centralized Hungarian News Agency (MTI) reports.

      Mr Orban forgot to communicate before the elections what exactly the “big changes” he was promising were. Then the FIDESZ bulldozer leveled the democratic institutions in Hungary that’s why Orban’s approval rating is in free fall (like twenty something percent right now). Clearly intriguing …

      • http://csesznegi.gportal.hu/ Csesznegi Gyula

        Those who are so worried about the freedom of press in Hungary, could they explain me, how is it possible that 10 000 demonstrate in Budapest agains teh government, and this piece of news makes haedlines for several days in the international press, but when nearly 1 million demonstrate showing support for the government, you hardly can dig up even a mention of this in the Western press.

        • Mutt

          You googled the wrong keywords. You should have googled “100000 demontrators” instead.

          Fyi. We are not worrying about the freedom of press outside Hungary. We worry about it INSIDE.

    • Thomas

      You are mistaken. Fukuyama is a Charlatan par excellence. His infamous essay “The End of History” (1989) is a fallacious, debunked theory because the History is still unfolding in an ever greater speed.
      It will never stop, believe it!
      An other American, S. Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” is a more cogent analysis of our times.
      Any scientist whose theories are debunked used to be discredited: why is that Mr. Fukuyama gather so much admiration despite his failed ideas?
      Because he’s now pushing the leftist agenda, that’s all he has to do to be loved – his mental deficiencies notwithstanding.

      • Mutt

        @Thomas “It will never stop, believe it!”

        I believe you! Why not …

        Sooo, what’s this got to do with canning 300 judges in Hungary to replace them with loyal ones to the Orban government?

  • Ladislaus

    From the article „Rhapsody for Hungarian science” by Quirin Schiermeier in Nature (12 December 2011, http://www.nature.com/news/rhapsody-for-hungarian-science-1.9619) it is evident that the autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is not controlled more closely by the government, which is in contrast with Fukuyama’s statement. As you find already in the subtitle of the Nature article: „ Major reforms and extra funding will help free country’s researchers from communist legacy”.

  • Amosh

    Hungarian fellows are a bit too sensitive. For Fukuyama Hungary is just a study-case for his general points on political culture, society and history. Of course he does not care much about the reality on the field.

    Just one question for clearing the context: Did Fukuyama sound alarm when masked, unidentifiable “policemen” beat unconscious an opposition MP in 2006? Did he sound alarm when human rights were clearly violated, people were tortured by the police, and the so called “independent” institutions did nothing (some of the perpetrators are still at large)?

    Nowadays protesters are safe, you’re free to express your opinion, media is free to criticize anything. The government responds to justified criticism, it amends many of the debated points. Hungary is a democracy with a rule of law framework. Yes, the ruling parties are pursuing some stupid policies and therefore they are going to lose the next elections in 2014. But this ain’t no reason for panic, after all shit happens everywhere!

    The real problem is that the country functions with huge deficits (just as everyone else in the west), and there should be a bipartisan agreement on how to get out of this mass in the next decade. For the moment there is absolutely no chance for that happening (as anyone reading these comments can see right away).

    PS: “Taking away the frequency of an opposition-aligned radio station is something right out of Hugo Chavez’s playbook”.It’s absolutely nonsense, the radio that we’re talking about lost its frequency in a public procurement process, because it was loosing money big time!

    • Mutt

      “lost its frequency in a public procurement process, because it was loosing money big time”

      These are private enterprises. Their financial success has nothing to do with the bidding. You pay the frequency fee for a year or you stop broadcasting. I’m not so sure the winner will broadcast ever … just watch.

      By the way they lost by one point to the winner (out of 20ish). Well, the “winner” promised more music … and that’s what the Media Council wanted (from a talk radio).

    • Magyar

      Aha…
      That would be plausible if the world-wide smear of HU and its govt. would not be in full swing. From Australia to Canada it has reached a shriek level as I pointed out earlier; even relatively disinterested people took notice.
      But since it is in full swing, it fits an OBVIOUS pattern. Fukuyama is a big enough name and has enough clout and influence to be used to spread the dis- and misinformation cooked up by this Cabal, working in concert world-wide in all media.

      Mister Fukuyama should not get, and will not get from me a free pass. I sincerely believe he is a shill.

      • Mutt

        I’m pretty sure Prof. Fukuyama doesn’t need your free pass …

        It’s either a world wide conspiracy against the great Hungarian nation … or … we may not be doing something right at home.

  • Mush R

    Magyar, I agree with your comment. Let me add the following. There is an enormous difference concerning what is at stake on the two sides of this debate. Those who criticize (like Dr Fukuyama) have virtually nothing to lose. We, the citizens of Hungary, on the other hand, do pay the price not only of the mistakes committed by our government, but also of the market trends such views raise. The fact that threats or even nonpositive perspecives related to political, jurisdictional, economic and God knows what other kinds of issues can lead to significant shifts in private and national debt on the short run raises the fundamental requirement to professionals of saying the truth. In other words, raising false issues by professionals eventually costs us large amounts of cash.

    The current political, social and economic situation in Hungary raises controversies because the administration has undertaken to conduct a major institutional reform previous governments have failed to launch. Somewhat unaware of this (or at least pretending unawareness), both markets and international institutions are reluctant to assist, due to their obvious interest in sticking to an environment they have already had under control. Only time will tell how these reforms will be beneficial or harmful, but the outcome definitely depends on international acceptance and cooperation. What is clear is that, unlike during the mandate of several previous governments of Hungary, people within and across the borders of our country have become more active in this process, again, in particular those who have been actually paying the price of this. Because of this, while criticism and the expression of views should obviously be welcome, those who publish their views should feel the responsibility of generating issues while sipping coffee which might affect the life of real people.

    • Amosh

      Couldn’t agree more.

  • Mutt

    Mush R, reading the comments I’m pretty sure there are only Hungarians commenting. Foreigners on the west don’t have the stomach … on the east they do the same on their blogs. We criticize too because we also pay the price for the Orban government incompetence. If could do this politely, without Francis’ outbursts, then ….. nobody would believe we are all from Hungary :-)

    I like your pragmatism about the markets. This is exactly what Orban should learn. How to calm down the markets. The stupidest thing a PM can do is making a statement that predicts a wave of speculations very soon, as Orban did once. The markets reacted immediately and wala! the national currency was in free fall. Then he went to Brussels to a “shut up and smile” session then the Forint improved a lot.

  • Pingback: What’s Wrong With Hungary? | Russia/Hungary International Trip

  • Thomas

    Mutt: As a Hungarian-American let me tell you that the West, Obama-Sors USA and the Cultural Marxist (Fabianist) EU try to screw up the West with their “multikulti” diversity, anti-nations-states, homosex rule! Pol.Corr. crap. Hungary has had days of hell given by your beloved Marxism, let it be deep red or just pinko — you appear to be a pinko — and I dare to quote the Jews: Never again!!!

    Fukuyama is correct with caveat: History ended, yeah the History of Bolshevism in E. Europe. All you can do is publish attacks by the Guardian or the Independent while Sharia takes over Eurabia.

    • Mutt

      @Thomas I don’t understand a word. Sorry.

      FYI I grew up in Hungary and moved to the US 15 years ago. I have never been a Marxists. I’m neither gay or Jewish. My shoes are size 11 (medium).

      … and now Ladies and Gentlemen … something completely new … The Fukuyama blog!!!

      • Magyar

        I guess the only thing we (can) share are shoes. I don’t see much else.

        • Mutt

          I see nothing wrong with that.

      • Thomas

        Do you live in the US and don’t know the tenets of Cultural Marxism? Are you for real? The “multikultism”, diversity, Political Correct speech laws? The militant homosexual movements? The Soros financed Moveon.org and most of the radical leftists groups? The ACLU war on Christianity?
        Do you agree that the History came to an end – as per Fukuyama wrote?
        You are a fraud if you never heard of Obozo’s plan to transform America into a Socialist country…Alinsky?
        These scumbag you worship who attack Hungary: the Paul Krugman-s of the Jewish N.Y. Times and the rest of Obmao’s tawdry coterie.
        Not lastly the Maoist-Portugal Communist party former leader, Barroso, now EU president, the ’68 Parisian revolutionary Cohn Bendit and the Jewish Martin Schulz (German EU parliament president) bashing Hungary. And this has been Fukuyama joined the fray and you play the ignorant.

  • Csaba

    “In many ways, the vehemence of the response and the extremely uncivil comments that Hungarians have made about each other is a disturbing confirmation that something has gone badly off track with Hungarian democracy.”

    Ah! That is were you are wrong Mr Fukuyama. The only language the liberal and leftist and cosmopolitan post-communists understand is that of abuse when they try to darken Hungarys great name.

    Do you not understand?
    We do not need your western or “European” democracy- our leader has been clever enough to see that and is now changing our system to make it more effective.
    We, the Hungarian People, trust him, as we trust our Christian God, 100%.

    Of course our traditional enemies at home and abroad fear this great man and his work and will try their best to make him surrender to the forces that are out destroy our God-Given right to live in a Christian and anti-liberal homeland.

    But, fellow believers, always remember, the next time the foreign onslaught hits us
    We are Hungary.
    No one likes us, we dont care.

    • Mutt

      Moses came down from the Transylvanian mountains …

      You’re going to get a 20 billion credit card from the IMF in a few weeks. That will last for 3 years. Why are you so worked up?

      I think Newt Gingrich’s idea of a moon colony may not be a bad idea after all …

      • Magyar

        Puke Gingretch has rocks in his head – dumb rocks at that.

  • Silvano

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama.
    Nothing wrong with my country. I would like to excuse on behalf of my compatriot about their rudeness, bad style, and incorrect states. There was a philosopher scandal not far ago in Hungary. You know we have a few philosophers who – enjoying high reputation among philosopher society even abroad – hmmm played dirty trick with state’s money. When someone questioned them about the stolen money they pissed off and incited the fellow philosophers in Europe to counterattack the state by this “miserable” accusation which they determined a furious attack against the free mind. The moral of this story is that “minden szentnek maga felé hajlik a keze. Hope any of your Hungarian student or friend can translate this phrase to its English counterpart. This memory is still fresh, maybe it is the reason why many rude comments were born and addressed toward you. It also must be remarked that I have read many comments here are similar to the paid commenters’ schemes, panels. Their goal is posting opinions which are not theirs but their headmaster. More over I see “hunglish” posters who wants to harm to my country. Pitty. I have a different approach hope you will consider it. Think about the process of how wine births. From vine seed to barrel of ready to serve 1st class Merlo. During this way leads to a liquid state a grape pieces are exposed to different effects. The plant grows to grapevine, blooms, sunbeam bombs it, bugs eat its leaves, produces fruit – after harvest the cellar squeezes the grapes to get must. This liquid than ferments, goes off. Good things and bad ones are happening during this process. But at the end after a few phase of production a beautiful drink births. Similar happens in Hungary now with my nation. We are in the barrel and I hope after the fermenting process we will be better nation. Other approach to the truth. The existing Hungarian soul was born in blood and tears in 1920 in France, in a small village called Trianon. Get a short curse about Hungarian history. More than 1100 years. Ask yourself and try find answer if USA would lose its 2/3 in a war how long this nation would fight for the lost piece? This How this tragedy would effect this nations mind, culture? Please think about the following. Let we see this country. A nation has lived there for more than 1100 years. István the first established this nations’ first state the Hungarian Kingdom. During centuries we fought well, won and lost many bloody battles and wars and decreased many times in numbers. All in all these are glorious centuries with many blood and tears with honor and tragedy. The newcomers who settled down in the empty villages were, German, Slavic, Roman, Serb, Croatian. Many Turks remained here as well when Osman Empire with drawn back to Balkan. We sometimes do not know who is the real Hungarian man. But all of us say we are Magyar”. Why? Something is in this land. I do not know it with my mind, just feel it. Let’s jump a bigger to 1920. We as last ally (we tend to be last ally it is a curse sometime we got it from a witch) of Monarchy gave many blood but lost in 1st world war. It sat the seal on our destiny. It is 92 years. You well developed West broke this land and it soul and scarified at the altar of profit. Now Central Europe is a Slav deep-dish cake with a sultana (Hungarians). A proud nation lost their own people (they are now our close neighbors) 2/3 of land, rivers, 100s of villages, cities, Transylvania etc, and lost its own identity its own soul. We are a soul-less nation which is desperately is seeking for it new identity to be EU conform. Many of our neighbor nations do not make our job easy. They want to build up their own identity, history stealing ours. EU does not help. EU, it seems just looking for profit. Ruling, occupying with soft tools. (keeping us in debt for instance) Once again they are seeking for PROFIT for their companies, banks. (market, slave, low salary workers) Okay this goal is packed in a nice box with wrap. It is not easy I know to understand all. After 2nd WW when we were the last ally again went into slavery and occupied by Russians. We had to remain silent in this “big socialist family” having international brother ship with our enemies – who have stolen our lands and have kept our people in lower citizenship. Communists who have done it just changed their dress when iron curtain disappeared. They put up a banker cylinder hat and agreed with you well developed west to sell this country’s assets for peanuts. After this 4+4+8 years (I consider the 1st prime minister Mr. Jozsef Antal a naïve man who served the ex- communists). Now Mr. Orban and his team want to do more. I see that they are politicians. I see that they make many mistakes, they are arrogant. I see many stupid, power hungry and corrupt people in his staff. They sometimes blaming us in the eye of so called well developed west where an ex-Mao follower can be finger head man in EU parliament and wants to teach us to democracy. But I see too that the direction is okay where we go. Please if you consider this Hungarian stuff a little bit more important, interested in knowing more- not only write one or two blog notes- listen to other people and look at this complex Hungarian story in historical contest, wider view. If you do so you will find something more valuable not only annoying post in your blog. Bstrgds Silvano

    • Mutt

      Silvano, I like your pidgin. I image somebody saying all this very slowly with a very thick Eastern-European brogue. :)

      This lowdown on the Hungarian history and the assumption that Prof. Fukuyama needs this to “understand us” reminds me on those classical “they wouldn’t understand us” jokes. Like the drunk Serbian immigrants in the bar. “I’m gonna dump into the piano” “Oh, don’t do it Zoran. They would not understand us …”

      So sober up. Nobody wants any harm to your beloved country. Stop whining, start working.

  • Magyar

    Fukuyama of course, carefully omitted what led up to the word-wide media attack on HU and its govt. He must know, he professes to he a historian.

    See, the IMF was in HU in 2010 summer to peddle some more loans.
    The Orban govt. decided, that the conditions attached were unacceptable. So per my recollection – they were more-or-less literally thrown out from HU, I think in June or July. They (IMF) of course predicted everything awful. Collapse of forint and such. Well, the opposite happened. The forint appreciated steadily and significantly, both against the dollar and the Euro.
    So they could do nothing but sit and fume, how their dainty sensibilities were grossly violated by Orban and plan their revenge. Then Orban started something FAR WORSE. He started paying down the debt. Now this is UNTHINKABLE. Those never-ending usury interest rates cannot go down, but only up. This was a direct affront to the Banker Cabal. This was WAR.
    Orban has had to go…

    Poor Orban was naive to the ways of the bankster criminals of Wall Street and the City of London; he didn’t know what he was getting himself into…

    Enter Greece, Italy crisis. It shakes the entire Europe, everybody is at risk, everybody has to be downgraded, the economies of Europe stopped growing – Fianlly, its payback time!

    So HU is downgraded to junk status (with no discernible economic performance reason – compared to other EU countries) Brussels – the unelected dictators – orders Orban to conform Euro currency users’ internal economic standards – in HU(!), even though HU is not in the eurozone!

    And then the bogus attack on the new Constitution – which is really none of their effing business; 2/3rds of the world have no constitution or have one with very much objectionable provisions, yet nobody is having a cow over them.

    So the IMF thugs started their payback time for sights suffered and/or imagined.

    This is the preamble to the current ongoings in a nutshell, Mister Fuk-u-yama.

    Never underestimate peoples’ capacity – in any capacity – to get bloody revenge for real or imagined slights. A historian of his caliber should be fully aware of this huge-huge factor in human affairs.

  • SPU

    I don’t think it was very wise from Mr F. suggesting there would be any essential similarity between Mr Orbán’s Hungary and Chavez’ Venezuela as depicted in the international media. He made himself ridiculous. I don’t think there could be a valid parallel. But, on the other hand, who knows? Because chances are that Chavez as represented in the media doesn’t have much common with the real-life Chavez either. Mr F. is a philosopher not so keen on knowing details, so he made the serious mistake a good historian never would: he took for granted second-hand opinions coming from dubious informants with very strong party-dependence.

    What is the problem with it? Nothing at all, you could say. Because: who cares what a philosopher is saying somewhere in the other hemisphere of the world? Normaly you don’t give a sh.t. OK. But, in turn, our media in Hungary starts to citate the aforementioned (and not very happy) suggestion in headlines as an unqestionable oracle coming from the very mouth of the worldwide-respected F. Not as if there would or even could be any truth in it but as the incorporated truth itself. That is the point where an average Hungarian like me starts to feel annoyed and comes here to participate in the conversation. And not because an average Hungarian is a great fond of Orbán. Not me at least. But you know: amicus Plato magis amica veritas. By the same token: I don’t like Orbán but I even less like lies. At least, when my country is concerned.

    • Mutt

      SPU, you are my last hope … What is wrong with a 62 year old judge? Why are we firing 300 of them? Why is Orban taking over the control over the Hungarian judiciary? Why is his wife’s girlfriend the chief judge who will nominate the new judges?

      I will probably die stupid …

      • SPU

        I am no prophet so I cannot make any reliable statemenst concerning your mental condition before your passing away. Sorry for disappointing you… :(

        • Mutt

          It’s all right. I didn’t expect you to answer the question anyway.

          • SPU

            Why questioning, then? (And why me.) Relax. :)

      • Silvano

        SPU is in the pub now. Let me answer.
        Idea. 62-30 = 32. An age when a law knowing and DR. title wearer could became a judge in Hungary. Yeah around 30-32 yrs.
        2012-30 = 1982. Deep communinsm. These men/women are loyal for the PARTY. Orban and his team think so at least. Just think about this is the year when we did not go to Los Angeles’ Olimpic Games. All communist block did so except Romania. This could be the covering story. The rest is overe there, beyond. (together with the truth) Cheers, Silvano

        • Mutt

          … and this would be democracy ala FIDESZ.

          I know why 32. Because when the FIDESZ leaders were commies, like Communist Youth League secretaries, they were younger the 30. Got it.

          By the way one guy went to the LA Olympic Games. (Dr) Paul Schmitt, Hungary’s President, who was an undersecretary in the communist government in 1984.

        • Bela

          By the very same logic you should conclude that the full Fidesz leadership branch is commie, simply because they were raised and socialised in the previous system. And you know what? Actually you would be right! They were actually part of that system. Go back and read their bios and family backgrounds. Idiot.

  • dbeata

    What’s really annoying about some of my fellow residents, is the way they moan that life should be so easy and that a curse had been cast upon them that had not been cast on others. They also wait and cry a river for a rich uncle, to whom they can run for console (and money of course) and tell about the bad and hateful cruel world… They did this in ’89, they ran then to Uncle Sam, and Western Europe, now they run to Russia, China, and – for heaven’s sake – Iran… That’s not only ridiculous, miserable, it also very disgusting. Somebody should tell these guys that no one will take responsibility for them. Grow up and be a man! Fidesz and Jobbik are persuading their flock that they shouldn’t be responsible for anything bad that may have occured to them. Always someone else is at fault. Millions believed this hanky-panky.

  • Magyar

    “Fellow residents”
    Interesting choice of words.
    Combined with the thinly veiled anti-Hungarian slant, your admonishing can only be taken with a bucket of salt.
    And what’s your issue with Iran? It has lots and lots of oil and some pretty smart people too. (Remember them detecting landing intact(!) that US spy stealth drone).

    However, last time I heard Israel wants to attack Iran. So that’s where that peculiar animosity comes from…

    So if I put all of these little utterings of yours together, what do I get?

    I know what you are, who you are.

    You hate Hungarians, but for that matter, if you’d live in Poland, you’d hate the Poles. It’s not an accusation, it’s an observation; it’s just the way you are.

    I hope the others here reading this have made the same conclusion.

    • Mutt

      “What’s your issue with Iran”
      Supporting terrorists for one.
      (no, I didn’t talk to Ahmadinejad, no proof).

      This is not an “anti-Hungarian slant”. Beata is right. She is pointing out certain things that seem to be very typical. The constant finger pointing and widespread apathy.

      Have you listened to Orbans “State of the Union” (State of the Country) speech today? 40 minutes blaming others + 4 minutes promising the Moon.

      • Magyar

        “Supporting terrorists?”
        That’s a fabrication – a lie – totally. If it would be true, we wouldn’t hear the end of it. Instead what we hear this atom bomb stuff, that they are less than a year away from a working bomb, and this nonsense has been going on for over six years – which makes it way overdue.

        They (Iran) support the Palestinians. They are “terrorist” per the Zionist media, however if you pay close attention, it is Israel which sits on (previously) historical Palestinian lands. In view of OUR history (Trianon) they (Palestinians) are patriots who want to get back what was theirs to begin with, before the British scumbags gave it to the Zionists, in particular to Baron Rothchild (Balfour declaration) in 1917 as a bribe/payment to get the US into WWI and save the collective butts of France and Britain.

        Bea is a joo, pure and simple, and my experience with them has been that they don’t like us Hungarians, and always rhapsodize how good it was (for them) under Kadar, and lately Gyurcsany. I actually have a relative (through marriage) where I must endure this travesty when I visit them. Her children are no different; totally brainwashed of how great Kadar and Gyurcsany was. She was in the Communist Party headquarters (that white bldg. at Margit hid) in an undisclosed but relatively low position. However, after 1990 they got vvery wealthy (through undisclosed means) by HU standards. Two (2) paid-for and fully renovated two story adjacent houses in the 12th district (fabulous views toward Budaors), two paid-for new cars, a business purchased for their son-in-law, a two bedroom condo in Budaors and business purchased for their other daughter, a condo in Italy (also paid for). Regular trips to Italy by car (@$7.50/gallon gas) and god knows what else.
        All their meals are catered/delivered, they never cook. They still both work – the husband is a gentile – but it is kind of murky, because that level of wealth is not attainable with their jobs. Neither of them have a university degree.
        So the unseen system of the previous nomeklatura still works; the networks are still in place to steal, and those who are “in” are making it – big time.
        Guess, where the IMF money ended up?

        • dbeata

          On really, I forgot to admit, I really am a Jew a Romani and Hungarian all in one(and proud of it). WHy do you keep coming back to Hungary? Oh, because the US folks don’t care about your little whining about Trianon, and won’t listen to you any more? Just fancy this, Austria lost much more territory during the St. Germaine treaty in 1920, and look at them now. Interesting to see how other ex-communist countries could profit from becoming EU members, and are more or less coping, except for one Hungary. I never said that ex-communists are not an unnecessary load on Hungary’s economy, but almost 2 years had been gone, and no mischief has since been put to jail (if so, please quote). The reason for this is that even right now, ex-communist flock sits in Fidesz colors in the parliament and in high positions. My relatives (through brother’s marriage) is a total Fidesz fan, although they were well off in the MSZP era, and had absolutely no negative discrimination whatsoever. Discrimination is what Orban has started off saying things like: ‘Our land cannot be in opposition.’ Go get them tiger,said he, and a lot of people like you jumped at it right away, without thinking first. Now we are drinking the poison of it, every one of us, who lives in Hungary.

          • Kanyamadar

            “but almost 2 years had been gone, and no mischief has since been put to jail (if so, please quote)”

            Law is notoriously slow in Hungary, it takes
            years to reach a legally binding judgement.

            Would it be otherwise, than the official
            worry-lobby could have some real ammunition in their hand.

          • Magyar

            In two words: Mindless drivel.

          • Silvano

            Let we have NOW the same economical and other supports what Austria got sinec 1953.
            Economical aid, moral support, fair treat, patience. Think about it. Do not mention EU’s different foundations. They are crap in local, short periode. Sharing money of these foundations are based on political aggreemnets (barganing) not on logical, natural sharing of sources. Think about being behind the iron curtain for 50 years. Do not compare two runners when either has only one leg, or arm.

  • Mush R

    Having read the post and the comments again, I noticed that both Dr Fukuyama and a number of commenters (though not as many as usual) raised historical points (Golden Bull, Trianon, 1956 etc). I think the inclusion of historical perspectives in commenting such ongoing matters as those covered in this post is erroneous if not hypocritical. This is all about money and political maneuverability. I am not quite surprised by seeing some Trianon parrots and 1956 mourners (they should realize that neither has the least impact on our future), but it was rather peculiar to read Dr Fukuyama referring to the heritage of the Golden Bull. Am I the only one who has doubts that a legal item constructed in 1222 has anything to do with political decision-making in 2012, especially on the ground of national pride in the middle of an economic crisis? I can’t really decide if this approach is naive, cynical, or simply embarrassing.

    • Mutt

      I think he meant it as compliment so definitely not cynical.
      Unfortunately the the yearning for the glorious fascistic Horthy era sells better nowadays. I would rather hear about the golden Bull.
      You can also add the Holy Crown to the list.

      • Mike

        Mutt your words are the carbon copy of Rákosi-Stalinist rhetoric. “Fascistic Horthy era” was a favourite saying of Rákosi. You are a true heir of his thinking, be proud. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rákosi_Mátyás) Rákosi (born Rosenfeld) also hated Hungarians a trait which you also share, judging from your comments here and on the Esbalogh blog.

    • Silvano

      You are right. All about money. Power. Like all in history. You do not know but you hit the bull. Historical moments = yield resources or not (lose) other words someone earns money (valuables, sources, land, mines, slaves etc) and the other lose. Thank god we are at a Philosopher’s site. Therefore making conclusion, theories are not against its rules. 1920 = a nation lost its majority of valuables. Yeah you are right, parrots are jawing 1920 or other date. All about money. And wunds never be healed. And robbers. And cadaver robbers.
      Mutt you are not the only one who thinks Golden Bull does not have any effect for nowadey’s law making process. Be sure. Calm down, no panic. May I grab your hand and tell a story abott an old poor man who forget his past?

  • Magyar

    Mutt is our resident troll. He is here constantly, b/c he was expecting the flurry of responses in the ABSENCE of any significant posts.

    Go back to post #3, his post:

    “The upcoming posts will show the world what’s really wrong with Hungary. Just read them. Sigh. Welcome to our Planet.”

    Note, that there have been only two(2) posts before his. How would he know of the nature of the upcoming comments if he is only a happenstance Hungarian(!) bystander – like most of us are? With the above comment he gave his hand away, ghat he was sent here, and his subsequent behavior of postings (frequency, length, comments, absence of certain features) nails him as a troll.

    Lets make this clear: Mutt is no prophet. He is a troll sent here to park his butt, and comment and respond to everything not to THEIR liking.

    Are you getting paid for this, mutt (or mongrel)?

    • Mutt

      I’m out. It’s all yours.

  • Magyar

    I want to make a point to the delusions of some here.
    Three weeks ago half a million people marched from the Hosok tere to Kossuth ter. I have friends who were there. Some of them made calculations, based on square meters and people per square meter. They came up with 600 thousand, but lets cut it down by 100K.
    It’s also known that by the time Kossuth ter was filled up completely with people, the back end of the demonstration crowd were still at Oktogon!
    Thats 5% of the entire country’s population – by the way. A comparable demonstration in the US adjusted to ratio of population, would have to have 15 million.

    They may not have been demonstrating for Fidesz and Orban; my friends are not enamored by Fidesz either. But they were demonstrating FOR Hungary, the nation, and against the EU and the world-wide smear campaign orchestrated by the banksters and other political thugs of the world in which Mister Fuk-u-yama is a willing and eager participant.

    • dbeata

      Demonstration against the EU from whom the country has become more money than ever since the EU membership. Interesting. Embarrassing? Shameful. Give the money back, and start demonstrating from then on, I say.

      • Kanyamadar

        Please add, that this money is in the previous regime’s pocket – Hungary gained the most EU funds and produced about the lowest GDP gain during the Gurcsány-Bajna era.

        • dbeata

          Please see what Freemason had written about the constitution. I cannot add anything to that comment, and see no reason to open a debate on that topic with you.

      • Karoly Fazekas

        dbeata,
        It is not the full truth, you know… The financial balance of EU membership for Hungary is negative, if you count the markets that was given gratis for the EU companies (i.e. all sugar companies)and other incomes redirected to EU (i.e costum incomes).

        • dbeata

          I’d like to hear more about that. Facts for instance. Even if you say that CAP is bad for us (which I can easily accept), I would say that Chinese goods (or made in China) dumped to Hungary were much bigger problem for the Hungarian economy. I am also aware, how Hungarian companies were played on to foreign companies, what I fear right now is that Fidesz gov’t renationalization hurry is just a hipocritical step in the big game of giving away public and EU money to “friends” instead of places, where it would be really needed and helpful. Otherwise, with opting out of the EU what do you get? What’s the balance then? You can’t stop China! You can’t stop Gazprom from raising prices, or OPEC countries from raising oil prices. Opting always against something will necessarily end up in losing the game. Maybe voting for something, and working on something may be more helpful. It is trendy nowadays to think that Jews and other foreigners are willing to steal our land, our water. Whereas we ourselves have been and still continue to do much more damage to these real values (that were left for us).

        • Magyar

          Beata is an obvious brazen and shameless LIAR.
          My info/data coincides with yours, that HU’s EU membership financially is a NEGATIVE sum game.
          HU was invited to join the EU not b/c undying love for Hungarians. HU was invited because it would be PROFITABLE for them. Hungarians were led to believe that it indeed was undying love, so they voted for it.
          I’m convinced, that the then current govt was paid-off to push the country’s join of the EU.
          It is unfortunately not a win-win game, it’s a zero sum game.
          HU’s economy (and agriculture) is now wrecked.

          • Danny Ikadesa

            Dont argue with the woman, she is weak, uninformed, as long as she can get around in a miniskirt she feels shes got the world between her legs. No need to argue with her, shes just not seeing the picture, thats all.

            Beáta, all you need to know is keep raising those Hungarian babies!

            DI

      • Magyar

        You are grasping straws – woman.
        The massive demonstration did take place, and it was for HU and for the Hungarian nation, That of course excludes you, you are merely a resident.
        The unelected scumbags of Brussels (Bendit Cohen – the jew pedophile comes to mind) lecturing the elected (with massive plurality to boot) the legal govt. of a supposedly sovereign country is offensive – to say the least.
        The EU is supposed to be an ECONOMIC union, not a political union, with the unelected bosses (of Hungary} sitting on their collective fat butts in Brussels, issuing edicts.

        Hungarians didn’t assent to a political union, they gave their OK only to an economic union. 55 years of the political Soviet union was enough for centuries to come.

  • Kanyamadar

    Dear Professor!

    Let me begin with my words of respect for admitting your mistakes in the previous blog.

    Also, let me offer an explanation why Your blog’s error invoked a goverment level response.

    These particular errors You made (f.ex. the
    retirement age of Constitutional Judges) are
    persistetly surfacing again and again.

    Maybe You should check your sources.

    “The attempt to charge a former Prime Minister with the crime of economic mismanagement is more worthy of Yanukovich’s Ukraine than Hungary”
    As previous commenters pointed out, this
    is also a case to be explained – keywords
    are Gyurcsány, Schiffer, Sukuró.
    But there is more – why did You compare Hungary to Ukraine, why not to Italy or
    France?

    Thank you for reading.

  • Csaba

    @dbeata,

    The European Union needs Hungary and Fidesz to show it the new way forward in our dangerous times. Sadly Hungary no longer needs the European Union or the money of its parthner, the IMF.

    We should leave the corrupt EU (and on a point of accuracy it was ONE MILLION people who protested for our leader).

  • Sophie Johnson

    It seems that Fukuyama is not obliged by decency to respond even to the comments that are directly addressed to him. He has the outrageous cheek to ‘respond’, with the above article, in an impossibly superior tone, dismissing his grossly erroneous claims in his first blog article as minor errors due to the need for speed in blogging. Oh? Did you really have to rush to get your first blog article in, Professor, or do lies just come naturally to you?

    And, of course, Fukuyama responds to the letter from the head of the Hungarian Government Communication Ministry (whom he boorishly mistakes for a minister of the government) with a stupid attempt at put-down: ‘it seems to me that Minister Kovács and the others completely missed the point of my article’.

    No, Prof. Fukuyama! Dr Kovács pointed out your stupid errors. Nobody can miss the point of your simplistic remarks, and certainly not Dr Kovács, who is vastly your intellectual superior.

    So what is the gist of Fukuyama’s (above) response to commentators on his first article? Exactly nothing! He simply repeats his inane, completely unsubstantiated assertion:

    ‘The problem, I suggested, was not in the formal allocation of powers, but rather in the way that the Orbán government was using those powers. The threat to democracy in Hungary is thus not new institutions per se, but an old political culture that is re-emerging.

    How is the Orbán government using its powers, you fool, to threaten democracy? Do you not feel a sense of shame when you fling around remarks without the slightest attempt to justify them, in this instance, with specific reference to what Prime Minister Orbán and his Government are doing? The lies in your first article crippled your very weak attempts at justification, remember? So either come up with viable justifications, or withdraw your insolent remark.

    And ‘an old political culture that is re-emerging’, idiot man? Where, in Hungary, a country about which you know nothing? And don’t plug your new book again. I have read the section on Hungary. There, you make a rip-roaring fool of yourself. Of course, you would know all about ‘old political culture’ in Hungary, having read McCartney’s potted history of Hungary, the work you make your primary reference on Hungary in your book.

    You are a contemptible charlatan. You deserve all the derision that comes your way. I’m sure you will be of no further use to the enemies of Hungary who bought your services in this instance. You have proved your services not worth their money.

    ‘WHAT’S WRONG WITH FUKUYAMA’ should be your next field of concern. On that subject you might prove an authority.

    • Bela

      Lecturing anybody about decency is kind of funny of you. You are just a spineless party bastard. Don’t expect anyone to treat you differently.

    • Magyar

      Sophie, I understand you frustration with Fuk-u-yama.
      However, in his eyes we are just a know-nothing lesser beings,(like tiny gnats) after-all he is world-famous for that drivel he wrote: “The end of History” or something to that effect.

      This work has been COMPLETELY discredited by history itself, but that’s not how the world works; once you have become famous (in a positive way) you have a free pass and lasting fame even if the ‘claim to fame’ has been discredited and turned out to be total bunk, like that crap he wrote in his case.

      Because he is famous and a “historian”(?) he’s been coopted to write drivel to advance the agenda of the anti-HU and anti-Orban govt. crowd. It’s like that book, total nonsense – true to his form – but it does do the job what it was intended for.

      In my opinion he didn’t really write it, but others did, or at least giving him the bogus info.

      The attack on HU is world-wide and coordinated. It has many different agendas and reasons why it is happening. Some are open, some are obscure. One of the reasons I predicted 10 years ago, and everybody thought I was nuts.
      It’s gratifying that some on them actually come to me and say “I remember what you said back then, and I thought you were crazy (that’s why I still remember) but actually you were right”. One of these is a famous person (non political) in HU; most everybody would recognize his name.

      They’ll use different methods than used in say: Libya, but let that be a kind of road map how these things are carried out against countries. Each will be done differently in detail and method, but common principal elements persist.

      I expect more developments…

      • Sophie Johnson

        ‘The attack on HU is world-wide and coordinated … I expect more developments…’

        Quite so, Magyar. And I don’t for a moment think it is good for us to be complacent in face of this. (I don’t think we are, by the way.) Yet it was interesting that Rumania, not we, copped the EU Commissar in its economic neck. (The ‘ah, but we are not in the eurozone’ line does not work for me. We are in that zone, for all intents and purposes. The forint is just a very expensive Euro.) My feeling (and my friends’) was very much that we would be ‘offered’ the EUSSR economic manager. (There’s one in waiting: the MSZP chap who is an MEP and an economist/academic – his name momently escapes me.)

        But the ‘offer’ didn’t come. And the PM is looking pretty perky. So, for the time being, our attackers have been wrong-footed. And, what with the collapsing condition of the US$ and the Euro and our very assertive nationalism, I think our attackers might be looking elsewhere for game. (I pray that security around the PM is very tight.)

        ‘That drivel he wrote: “The end of History” or something to that effect… This work has been COMPLETELY discredited by history itself…’

        Yes. And not less so by academia. Fukuyama has been a has-been for over twenty years now. His new book – I have read only its section on Hungary – won’t do him any good. The bit I read was good for a belly laugh; one must read it to believe how abysmally silly he is being. And nobody is talking about it. So there are no market pushers this time to give it at least brief life. So much for him, an international clown.

  • Bela

    And now I think we can conlcude that we are the North Korean Republic of Hungary, where reality doesn’t mattter much any more, but what we think and believe in. Belief, in particular, is important when living beyond the grasp of reality.

    • Magyar

      Living in the United Shitheads of Amerika, with its now pervasive authoritarian and totalitarian methods; when my visiting and living in HU for months at the time is an utter relief and experiencing and almost joyous sense of FREEDOM, your remarks are BEYOND disgusting.
      You are beyond contemptible; your remarks make me physically sick.

      • dbeata

        I think exactly youre the one, who hates it, when in Hungary, and also, when in the US. But you know why? Because you cannot run away from yourself and your obscure thoughts. I like it here and will make every effort, to make this land a good place to live. As for the US, something may happened that triggered this phobia in the US, try to remember, maybe 09/11? Got it already?

        • Magyar

          Me hating in HU? Where on earth you got that notion? Are you crazy? You are truly delusional and again, grasping straws.
          Advice: Don’t bother with HU. Move to Izzy.

          We won’t change, in fact, right now we are getting even more radicalized by the high level stimuli of your kind’s utterances, the IMF/EU/Banksters edicts and even by Fuk-u-yama’s arrogance.

          I keep repeating it, but remember the half a million peoples’ demonstration three weeks ago. Next time it just might get even bigger.

          We are waking up and winning. Better plan for yourself an exit strategy, ‘cuz you ain’t gonna change dick to your liking.

          • dbeata

            Oh really? Who is we? What’s this royal plural? Just stick to yourself in singular, that’s quite enough. I represent my belief and opinion, and demand the same from you.

            Is that some kind of a threat? Come back here and try make a living here, not brag about the current situation from over there.

          • dbeata

            A flock of pensioners, waveingwith their sticks and dentures at the camera, alongside a long expired rocker turned into entertainer of the rural Hungary, that’s a truly frightening sight! :-) In the meantime we keep your backs , pay taxes so you can have fun.
            BTW what are you winning? Have you not won 2 years ago? Or you’re some Jobbik fan? THen go and live in the beloved Iran, just for fun.

          • Danny Ikadesa

            I now live in Hungary, i can tell you if Hungarian sovereignty is jepardy, then Jobbik and Fidesz will bind, and we will have about 80% support altogether. The socialists are done for good!

            Many people think Fidesz is weak, get this: some people now think even Jobbik is weak! So i predict in the near future there will be an even more radical movement in Hungary.

            DI

            P.S. Radical not meaning racist or paramilitary, more like pro Hungarist and against the NWO (not the Hulk Hogan type NWO) :-)

        • Magyar

          9/11 was a false flag attack carried out by Israel. They do and did this sort of thing all the time. Even HU was one of their victims in 1975 when they shot down that practically new Malev jet airliner, flying to Beirut. They shot down a Czech airliner just before as well.

          Anyway, do your research. The information is out there. Start with the “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth”.

          • dbeata

            I’ve read it through just roughly. Conspiracy theory. Good movie. Have you seen it?
            So there were no planes whatsoever? Or were they driven by Jews? Come on..

  • Mea Culpa

    KI-COM
    Analyzing the data «« read: *; **; ***; »» two major categories you can *see*, you can discover that …! The first category is the billionaires and the secund category you can’t see!

    The secund category you can’t see because, about 7 billion people are wage slaves!
    7 billion people are the lucky ones because, there are a large number of people who are not even wage slaves, they are the unemployed!

    Analyzing the data «« read: *; **; ***; »» you can see that, the rate is «« starting from 2 billion $ »» around 650 billionaires to 7 billion wage slaves!
    This rate is a dizzying, sick rate!
    But, you can call it too: « Ki-Com »!
    Ki-Com means Kibbutz Communism!
    Todays kapitalism seems to be more a « Ki-Com » than a healthy economical system!

    Todays capitalism, the « Ki-Com » for the 7 billion people, wage slaves applys social-darwinisim and for less than 1500 people, the choosen few becomes/are billionaire «« see and read: *; **; ***; »» !

    The choosen few billionaires are shareholders too!
    In a sick economical system like « Ki-Com » a number of choosen few shareholders can influence governments, political trends,
    and so on!

    Why Kibbutz; the term kibbutz as sacralism, as sacralic approach, as a « smoke curtain »
    under the Sun and underground everything is, becomes a subject of buying and selling!

    Each and every system has its own nomenclature!
    Kapitalism’s winners are the multi billionaires and not the high ranking officials who runnig the system, in this context! With all due respect even the high ranking officials are wage slaves, in this context, not only in UK but, USA too or anywhere in the capitalist system!

    At the begining has been the sacralic village.
    After that came feodalism.
    After that came the capitalism.
    After that in certain parts of the world has been socialism too.
    But, the todays system seems to be more « neofeodal-ki-com » system;
    where the real winners of the system are 650 multi billionaires!
    And where 7 billion people are wage slaves if, they are lucky to have a job to run to, every day.
    The CAPITAL CONCENTRATION makes the system more like a « neofeodal-ki-kom »!

    READ too:
    *… wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_billionaires_are_in_the_world Answer: The tally of billionaires around the globe reached a high of 946, their combined wealth growing 35 percent to $3.5 trillion, according to Forbes magazine’s 2007 rankings of the world’s richest people. After reading the 2008 Forbes magazine the new tally of billionaires has jumped to 1,125 richest people in the world.946
    **… .forbes.com/wealth/billionaires
    ***… .forbes.com/lists/2010/10/billionaires-2010_The-Worlds-Billionaires_Rank_41.html

    ¿Quién se esconde detrás de las agencias de «rating»
    http://www.abc.es/20120123/economia/abci-agencias-rating-suplemento-empresa-201201231233.html

    http://www.projectsyndicate.org/commentary/rogoff89/English
    Have a nice day.
    Mea Culpa

  • Mike

    I really don’t think America is in a position to critise anyone given the level of insanity that country is in. War after illegal war, mass murder and a total fascist government with control over the majority of media pedalling lie after lie after lie with nothing but total contempt for the truth. A country with a government and media, hollywood and agricultural sector etc. overflowing with psycopaths says Hungary is bad. What a joke.

  • karol kiniklo

    What’s wrong with mr. Fukuyama?
    Well, the problem is that you are an ignorant, uninformed people, who take the liberty of publicly set nonsense. Shame your esteemed Japanese ancestors. It would be better if the name would change, because discredit them. A simple private Hungarian peasant sees his country’s situation better, than you, so do not dare to say any word about us.
    Those who remained silent in the ordinary criminal Gyucsány Francis frenzy of power, at the time when right-wing Radio Pannon banned, the national holiday when the streets of bloody dictators police hit to bloody innocent people, which was sent to prison for opposing him, has no right to speak today. We do not ask the opinion of yours. The great majority of Hungarian people we elected a government. Hands of Hungary! We do not require your visits no more, too!

  • http://andras-nagy.com/ Andras M. Nagy

    Of course they (the new Hungarian Government) ignore the principle of balance of power (and institutions) – they want consolidated power! Just like G.W. Bush fantasied about it…
    The same way the US Federal Government (and certain special interest groups) ignore the US Constitution, whenever it is convenient to them.

    • Magyar

      Andras, how on earth do you come up with such drivel? “Of course they (the new Hungarian Government) ignore the principle of balance of power (and institutions) – they want consolidated power! Just like G.W. Bush fantasied about it…”

      There is no such thing as the “principle of balance of power” either in European nor in Hungarian political tradition. This is a singularly American principle which is OK, (for them) but it’s not God’s commandment.

      You are trying to inject a peculiar political philosophy and custom in totally different culture, philosophy and political tradition.
      By the way the Amerikan way does not work; I happen to live (now involuntarily and out of sheer necessity) in the United Snakes of Amerika and I can attest to its total and dismal systemic failure, and its inevitable collapse.

      Get this – as it will offend you: Authoritarian systems CAN work very smoothly IF it can provide safe and good living standard for its people. Most people don’t give a rat’s behind about political power. They just want a decent, safe, prosperous and just life.
      Singapore WORKS – splendidly – in case you haven’t noticed. It also puts up a barrier to crazed bloodlusting psychopaths to attain power – whereby “democracy” cannot prevent that.

      • Danny Ikadesa

        Magyar, you are really informed, and intelligent, i mean that!

        DI

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  • Californicus

    Mr. Fukuyama,

    You made goods points in your last article and I agreed with your realization that institutions don’t always matter. But what did you expect to happen when you irresponsibly misrepresented an entire country by not checking your facts, that readers would ignore it and focus on the main thrust of your article? As you know, it is a writer’s responsibility to keep a reader’s attention focused on the hypothesis and guide them to make the same conclusions as you. And the way to do that is to strive greatly to minimize distracting elements such as bad spelling, grammar, and inaccurate facts. You can’t make validity claims if the premises are false.

    • Californicus

      So yes, OF COURSE everyone missed your point!

  • Sophie Johnson

    I find it impossible to resist giving out a taster of Fukuyama’s new book: The Origins of Political Order.

    In his discourse on why Hungary is a weak state and Britain and France strong ones, his platform is that the Hungarian monarch ceded too much power to the nobility in the Golden Bull, and the British monarch had not in the Magna Carter. (No discussion of either occurs.)

    We read at the beginning of the discussion that Hungary ‘was once an extensive medieval kingdom that at various times included parts of what are now Austria, Poland, Romania Slovenia, Slovakia and Serbia (p.378). And, on p.379, there is an un-attributed map of 14th century Hungary that closely resembles the map of pre-Trianon Hungary.

    We hear about how bad it was that power was so decentralised in Hungary, with the nobility working in its own, rather than in the national, interest. That is how Hungary lost its national independence upon the Turkish invasion.

    But how did the Magna Carter work to keep Britain a strong state? After all, kings lost their heads there, and the armies of rival royal houses belted the daylights out of one other, as did the power-hungry nobilities’ armies. Britain, too, was occupied by foreign powers, again and again. But Fukuyama does not say. He just considers his point made. But what point, exactly?

    His own admission is that his ‘simple point’ is that ‘political freedom is not necessarily achieved by a strong, cohesive well-armed civil society that is able to resist the power of the central government’ (p.383). He ‘covered the case of Hungary in some detail’ (p.383) to illustrate this point. And he concedes that ‘even a more centralised, modern country might not have been able to withstand the Turkish onslaught’ (p. 383).

    Right! So given this, what explains what made Britain a strong state and Hungary a weak one? Fukuyama has forgotten to say. Dear, oh dear!

    (I suppose there is a bright side. Without the least intention to do so, Fukuyama has succeeded to illustrate that the Hungarian state kept its territory intact, against huge odds, from at least the 14th century, right up to the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, when the international community hacked off two-thirds of it.)

    In the above article, just after he plugs his book, Fukuyama says: ‘So it would be both a surprise and a very great shame if Hungary were to take the lead once again, but in the wrong direction toward the incremental dismantling of democracy and constitutional government.’ Well, I suppose it would be a surprise (but possibly not a great shame) if Fukuyama were to turn up in pink tights and sequins at the next gay pride march in Budapest. This is a more likely event than a ‘dismantling of democracy and constitutional government’ in Hungary. And Fukuyama has not shown otherwise.

    • Magyar

      Additional points:
      1. Geography is Destiny. It’s supremely significant. All those other stuff – like the Magna Carta and its provisions – are secondary.
      2. Stems from the first: Britain’s rise and ascent to sea and world power is solely the consequence of the discovery of America. Until then they were a peripheral island country, separate from Europe and Europe’s political and cultural developments.

      • Sophie Johnson

        Right. But Fukuyama’s platform is that Hungary did not become a strong state, and Britain did, because the British monarch did not cede too much power, and the Hungarian monarch did. Now, I am not being demanding, here: I do not expect of Fukuyama that he draw a conclusion from a reasoned consideration of all pertinent conditions. I expect him only to be able to carry his thesis platform forward to an exposition of it that is at least internally logical. And my point is that he has shown himself incapable of doing that. He makes no effort even to validate his starting point, that is, that there is a departure in the political development of Britain and Hungary that is attributable to the Aranybulla and the Magna Carter. (Perhaps reading the text of the Aranybulla and the Magna Carter was too onerous for him.)

        His account of the political power of the Hungarian nobility, and the proportionally weak monarchical power, is not in itself an untenable one. But he gives no sign of understanding that the situation in Britain was far, far more like than unlike that. Had he been aware of this (or acknowledged his awareness if it exists), it would have been impossible for him to mount his thesis platform. But he did mount it. This is either the charlatan’s sleight of hand (he thought he could get away with it), or it is a betrayal of his simple ignorance. I think the former more likely.

  • Richard

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama,

    A worrisome concern has publicly been expressed and printed out in online discussion boards as well as in columns that the civilized west is unprepared to handle the extremely clandestine and perfidious nature of the Hungarian government’s attitude and communication toward the international community.

    Reading through the letter of the State Secretary for Government Communication, Dr. Zoltan Kovacs, as well as the comments here, considering and understanding the disparaging personal assaults toward you, and the seemingly unreasonable overreaction, I have found the problem more serious than what you have mentioned in the first section of your column.

    Methinks, this is smokescreen all together with the sockpuppeting, which goes on here. They exploit your site, your blog, they use you to achieve another purpose of them, which is nothing else than creating turmoil. It seems to me, their primary purpose is to start an avalanche. Succeeding with it, it might have more serious and far-reaching consequences than a simple old let’s go fishing in the troubled water mentality.
    They seem to be determined to create a widespread turmoil, which would be hard to localize.

    It is my understanding that a person of your position and reputation can make a considerable contribution to problem solving by helping to make things fall back into their place.

    Please consider my appeal to run a quick but throughout analysis on all posts, letters, and reactions with the help of your assistants. I am confident your findings, as well as your evaluation will extremely be useful and worth of sending a feedback to the Foreign Department, to Ms. Clinton and Ms. Kounalakis.

    Thank you.
    Best

    Richard

    • sixpak

      okay, puhleeze, stop this miserable apologetic crap

      btw things ARE falling back into their place, only nowadays – to put it outrageously simple – its not your favorite party that steals taxpayers’ money, rather, the other one

      try to live with it…

    • Magyar

      Ritchie boy, go back to your sandbox and play, and have a “meaningful” discourse with the other kids.
      Personality is included and factored, because INTENT matters.

      Fuk-u-yama’s self-insertion into complicated domestic Hungarian politics and affairs without ANY Hungarian language skills whatsoever, is not merely a folly, but bespeaks of a deliberate intent to smear, since most of his “conclusions” are negative.
      Like I said earlier, if this would have not happened in the midst of worldwide organized smear campaign against HU and its govt., I would look over it as the misguided ramblings of a dimwit. However, in the current atmosphere and concerted attack and anti-HU propaganda, it is OBVIOUSLY the work of a shill, advancing THE Agenda.

      There are no coincidences in politics.
      Patterns matter, and are revealing to those who can (and willing) to see…

      • Magyar

        I forgot, so I’m adding it:
        The nick for Richard is Dick. Well dick, as you now, it’s also a nick for the pr***. (I like rhymes)
        So Dick, you are a dick…

        • Danny Ikadesa

          Damn your good, your thinking is like mine. Are we related maybe? LOL

          DI

  • Danny Ikadesa

    Dear all!
    Firtstly to this fukuyama dude:
    Obviously you know nothing about Hungary. I advise to keep your thoughts to yourself about our country and try to help your own, whichever it is other than Hungary!!!
    To the Hungarians:
    I would like to note that the title of this website is: “THE AMERICAN INTEREST”!!!! HELLOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! no ringing bells???
    Futhermore… If you guys got anything against our new constitution, then i advise you to form your opinions locally, you have every right to do so, nobody is holding you back. You can even make a political party, go for the elections and if you can get support than you can do something more formally about the things you may not agree with. Otherwise you are a traitor!!!! I know you all try to display your english skills and act intellectual, but if you understood this propaganda througly then you would realize just how silly and pointless your comments are. I would like to state, that i have not voted for Fidesz ever, but i respect the decisions of the majority and this is how democracy works!
    I read one comment about how Hungarians have never experienced the democracy as it is in america. Well, all i can say you are lost man… Here is a video for you to catch up on american democracy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VebOTc-7shU&feature=fvsr
    fukuyama, you are the filth of this planet!!!
    DI

    • Magyar

      Excellent movie you referenced on YouTube.

      I consider myself well informed, but there were elements and events I was not aware of, and rounded out the overall picture even more in detail.

      Of course, the catastrophic damage in the china shop is described, as done by some kind of huge and awful beast. The beast is described as: hairy, smelly, big, mean and other adjectives. But the NAME of the beast is studiously avoided…

      I hope you get my drift…

      However, jot the names down of the individual perps and interested parties, and research them online. For those, who can see and think, an unmistakeable commonality will emerge.
      Once you research the perps’ ties to each other, it will look like a web, conspiracy or a tightly knit and cooperating Cabal.

      Do your own thorough research. It is more convincing that way.

  • Danny Ikadesa

    BAN fukuyama from Hungary!!!

    You are not welcomed here anymore, we all can recognize your face, everyone has seen it.

    Dont ever come back!!!!

    DI

  • Danny Ikadesa

    I remember when i went to High School and i had an SAT score of around 1300 and i wasnt even close to getting into Stanford with that, and to think this dumbass might have been my mentor, my god…

    …Thank you

    • dbeata

      I wouldn’t mind all that, except for the stubborn fact that it’s not in the interest of the country, to mess up with everyone, and then streching hand for money. Not even elegant, you know. This government doesn’t represent what I had voted for and I am also paying them. I am a Hungarian resident and am quite unsatisfied with the way things are going on in Hungary right now. Fidesz has not been given a pass to create a new constitution, and a democratic institutions to be trampled on, I only wanted a reasonable and decent economy policy, instead Orban’s regime did everything the other way. I am not saying that every single step is wrong, no, it was useful to touch upon sensitive matters as well (like pensions of law enforcement employees, and that conditions were stipulated in return for financial aid), but these steps still not mount up to the many wrong and malicious deeds and attitute of the gov’t. Jobbik? Has no clue, whatsoever, what would be good for us. Is just aspiring for power, and in that, is doing a great job. (unfortunately). Maybe, MSZP in today’s form, will slowly pass away, still, there are many people in Hungary, who just want to live in peace, and cherish no great empire illusions, and are leftists (which is not really represented at the moment).
      Hungarist? Like Hungarista? I don’t know what DI stands for.

      • Sophie Johnson

        ‘..there are many people in Hungary, who just want to live in peace, and cherish no great empire illusions…’

        So there are some people in Hungary who cherish great empire illusions? (You are astonishingly stupid.)

        • dbeata

          You’ve apparently run out of arguments. Go and wrestle with your sand box toys, and leave politics to the grown-ups. Take it easy, it might do harm for you, always being at alert.

          • Kanyamadar

            “Fidesz has not been given a pass to create a new constitution,”
            Everyone knew, that there will be a new constitution if Fidesz got supermajority, yet people voted.
            Then everyone got a questionnaire about the
            Constitution in making – is it democracy to ask the people? – and anyone who cared sent it
            back.
            Nothing stopped like 6 million voters to send
            back it with “we still want the stalinist patchwork “.
            So, questioning the legitimacy of the new Constitution of Hungary is to defy the voters will.

      • Danny Ikadesa

        Dear Beáta,

        No matter who wins there will always be people who say “this is not the way i imagined it” And face the facts, at this time many people feel this way. What you have to understand, is that it couldnt be any other way. If you are a knowledgeable person you might ask to yourself: But why couldnt it be any other way?

        BECAUSE THEIR HANDS ARE TIED!

        Again, i would like to state that i am NOT a Fidesz voter!!! just so we dont curbe our conversation in another way!

        There is a POWER STRUCTURE in the world consists of the old power structure and slowly they are bringigng it to surface. It is called the New World Order.

        Their main objectives are:

        World domination of course
        Minimizing the world population to 500 million. (this means killing more than 6 billion)

        These are 2 that just come to mind.

        So whatever we are talking about like the pensions or the gypsies or the jews or the chinese or the trafipax or the gas price, is irrelevant, the real problem is the NWO

        Try to watch Alex Jones radio show on youtube, the obama deception, the endgame, eugenics, FEMA camps. It is so hard to explain like this. Take your time to look after the facts, these guys have a grip on everything, to them its not about money, its about power and they are preparing to do horrible things. They are so powerful, like nothing before.

        What i really mean is that i dont want to get stuck with you aruing about Fidesz or Jobbik, or the bad quality streets of Hungary.

        These are the same people who MAKE us get loans, so we become debitors. They make our national bank independent! we cannot print money!

        Did you know Hungary has many times its national debt in foreign currecy in the national bank? But we cannot touch it they say. Meanwhile they create money out of nothing (which they loan to us) because only they can make money!!! And we are talking about PRIVATE companies!!!

        The thing you GOT to understand is that we are doing nothing wrong they are doing this to us! slowly very slowly and the end is the darkest day in human history!

        That is: if the good people in the world dont do something to stop these monsters!

        Guys like this fukuyama shitface is just a career pitchman for them, hes worth nothing to them just like you or i, but hes being blinded by his half a million dollar paycheck. but thats another story!

        DI= Danny Ikadesa

        • dbeata

          Oh my god! That’s absolutely ridiculous! I really appreciate that you gave me in insight into your ideas, however. So, anyway, you vision some kind of a Lugano Study conspiracy theory…? Do you think they’re gonna do away with their slaves, who work for them? Even if you’re right, what can you possibly do against such a surge of terror anyway? BTW who are you for? Jobbik?
          I am not saying, I have not imagined it this way, I knew Orban was hungry for power and vengeance, he had proved it before. Let’s not be naive, those who had voted for him, must have known, what kind of a game he’s going to play.
          I’m a lot more worried about the health of the World at the moment. Green movements are not very trendy in Hungary, and whenever that topic comes up, it is at once used for political purposes. This is what irritates me most.
          I can also accept that maffia is very strong and has long hands. Anyway, gotta go for today, it’s bedtime. Nice talking to you.

        • Magyar

          Don’t argue with her, she is a jewess. Note her distinction of Hungarian vs. “resident of Hungary”.
          It came to light – unmistakeably – when she had this rant against Iran, which is the current target of Izzy and Amerika, therefore, all the Jews around the world – including HER.
          Real Hungarians in HU are ambivalent about Iran. Jews are not. Even some EU countries said clearly and openly, that they have no issues with Iran whatsoever, as I saw and heard it today(!) on RT TV.

          Motives always should be looked for, and questioned, her included.

          I don’t like to mince words, the NWO is the Zionists World Order.
          The US government, media and banking is completely controlled by jews, and it’s not my words but the PM of Izzy, who said verbatim:

          “WE, THE JEWISH PEOPLE, CONTROL AMERICA. AND THE AMERICANS KNOW IT.”

          – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, per the report of Israel radio (in Hebrew) Kol Yisrael,
          October 3, 2001
          (IAP News)

          You can Google the Sharon comment, you’ll get 2 million, 400 thousand hits.
          See, I don’t have to “make up” anything. It is there for all to see (and read).

          My job is to get it out, so everyone reads it.

          • dbeata

            Escaping from reality is the best answer, when you don’t want to face the reality and take responsibility. I am not a Jew, but never mind, and even if I were, who are you, to offend me and generalise? You are a zombie of history, come to life again and I am telling you I don’t want to see your kind of freedom and regime in Hungary. You’re a loser type and you’ll remain one, because you don’t want the see the reality and face it, rather escape into illusions. GO ahead, why not, just don’t spread these stupid ideas of yours and don’t punish people who don’t want to join by either saying they’re stupid or Jew. What has anything Iran to do with the economy of Hungary? Is it a neighbour country? Is it an EU member? Are they also interested in us? (except for that they allegedly finance Jobbik, just to make a turmoil perfect, had we not enough trouble anyway)… Don Quijote, please turn to Sancho Panza, and for once, listen to him. Peace to all of you, and you needn’t answer because reasonable debate with you is impossible.

        • dbeata

          Ok, I will look at the sources you quoted. Let me also give a couple of book titles, worth reading
          M. Scott Peck: The Road Less Traveled

          Lovelock, James (2006). The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back – and How We Can Still Save Humanity. Santa Barbara (California): Allen Lane. ISBN 0-7139-9914-4.

          Lovelock, James (2005). Gaia: Medicine for an Ailing Planet. Gaia Books. ISBN 1-85675-231-3.

          I’ll be getting back to you, but cannot promise to read it very soon.
          Have a nice day, Bea

          • Magyar

            If you are a “resident” of HU, (your description) but not a Hungarian, you are in HU as a GUEST, at the pleasure of Hungarians.
            You can rant and holler AGAINST your HOSTS. However, one day your hosts just might get tired of it.

            As offensive it sounds to your kind, Hungary BELONGS to the Hungarians.

            Millions have been killed, rivers of blood has flown during the preceding centuries to keep that patch of land for ourselves and not for your kind, who are mere “RESIDENTS” in our homeland. (Parasites is a more apt description). You have a homeland since 1948 to go to, should you decide to vacate your current host country. We don’t. This is it. This is our homeland. Therefore, we shall exert every effort to keep HU Hungarian.

            I’m not seeking a debate or argument. I state, and that’s the end of it. You do whatever the hell you want with it.

            Your kind is quick to call the gentiles “loser” – another slip on your part.

            How long do you think you can keep this farce up – hiding your ethnicity – before everyone sees it?

            I’m glad you are posting though. It is illustrative and revealing to us (Hungarians) where your kind stands, as far as our country goes. I’m sure you are not creating new Hungarian friends for yourself (and yourselves) but shows us your duplicitous and anti-Hungarian nature.

            I have been aware for over 10 years that HU has been designated by your kind to be the new homeland if the current falls. You really want to be in the heart of Europe, because the pickings are much better. However, for that you have to destroy or at least enslave the Hungarians. For that to happen, as a first step HU and the Hungarians have to be DEMONIZED.

            For illustrative purposes, just look at history, as how taking over or attacking a country begins with demonization.
            During the past 100 years, it was always started with the government accused of of totalitarian, undemocratic, authoritarian.
            (Just look at today’s Syria, Iran, yestrday’s Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, etc)
            Now just read the articles appearing world-wide about HU’s govt and Orban in particular and you (and everyone) will see the pattern.

            You think it is coincidence?
            You, with your ethnicity, KNOW perfectly well it isn’t, and probably are discussing amongst yourselves it in private with glee, how well it is being implemented.

          • Magyar

            Bea, a magyargyűlölő.
            ‘Nuff said…

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  • Magyar

    I just read this:
    “Összeesküvést sejt Orbán”
    “Az Egyesült Államokig érő nemzetközi összeesküvés gyanúját villantotta fel a Fidesz-frakció zárt ülésén Orbán Viktor, aki nem hiszi, hogy összehangolás nélkül közvetíthetett egy amerikai hírtelevízió Budapestről, pont az LMP-sek láncolási akciójával egy időben”

    What took him so bloody long to figure this out???
    For us, it was blatantly OBVIOUS a number of weeks ago. OK, he doesn’t read the English language media or doesn’t surf the internet – but still…
    See, it was popping up on many (English language) Forums as a (anti) HU article here, there, everywhere. Once you followed the link it was there to read. It didn’t take long to see an obvious pattern – especially if you are aware that the media is in very few hands, and controlled and appearing around the world.

    RT TV and some other posters on YouTube even make fun of them, when they show a slew of media outlets on a particular political news item, and ALL using the SAME words and script.

    Fuk-u-yama and his blog is just another tool in this conspiracy.

    • Sophie Johnson

      ‘What took him so bloody long to figure this out???’

      He figured that out long, long ago. (My bottom dollar on that one.) The interesting thing is that he has now said it. I am hopeful that this will be picked up in media discourse in Hungary. This ‘pont az LMP-sek láncolási akciójával egy időben’ amounts to an identification of where the first focus should be. Good start.

    • öldboy73

      Mr Lázár has just now refuted the “the theory of three legged conspiracy led by CNN”. So don’t get so heated !

  • Les

    Yes, it’s undoubtedly a coordinated attack on Hungary! Bruhahaaha!
    Some of the comments here really cracked me up.
    Hungary has always been an authoritarian, corrupt state, things just fall back into equilibrium there, on the upside this seems to be an invigorating environment for the artists, composers and fleeing scientists who are so loved by the author.

    • dbeata

      USA is a land of couch potatoes and has the largest ecological footprint, we’d require 4 Earths to fulfill her demand. You see, generalisation doesn’t lead us anywhere. Still, you’re right in that traditionally good sense of humour of Hungarians keeps our spirits alive (thank to our President of the Republic Pál Scmitt we’re being well fed with topics to laugh at.:)

    • Magyar

      It doesn’t matter whether or not you admit the coordinated attack’s existence. You have your personal reasons for public denial.

      It merely exposes your personal hardcore dishonesty and intellectual bankruptcy for all to see.

      We (Hungarians), and the REST of the world sees it and comments on it. Even RT TV (English) commented on the apparent concerted attack, which is not a world-wide news source particularly preoccupied with HU.

      • dbeata

        Loser, loser! I am Hungarian, not even Jew, you can trace me back 300 years of paper:-). I am and have always been a Hungarian tax payer, have my whole family here except for a 56 emigrant uncle. But what are you? A pathetic little emmigrant into the US, barking back over Hungary. Hey, I can’t hear you from over there…What were you just saying? WHy have you left your mother land? So you can just keep up hatred speech from you comfy coach while holding tight to a Bud Light in front of your plasma television!

        • Magyar

          I left during, and because of the Kadar/communist regime.
          I don’t have a plasma TV, but a 55″ LED LCD HD TV (by Vizio).
          I don’t drink Bud but Yingling and/or Foster’s. Bud is a truly lousy beer.
          In HU my favorite id Soproni and Dreher – in case you wanted to know and buy me one – in case we run into each other.

          I pay taxes in HU on my bank account’s earned interest, for which I get zip in Hungarian public services, which makes me more contributory to Hungary than you.

          • dbeata

            Hey, I don’t want to go into a bidding, who’s more “magyar”. You’re welcome to a drink – whould we bump into each other one day. In that case, you can find me in the capital, not far from Ferihegy. Actually, I like wine. Beer I don’t drink, neither coffee. My favorite wine terroir is Szekszárd. Merlot or Cabernet Franc. Kadarka (which is also one of my favorites) is made best in the Szekszárd terroir, I think.
            I don’t like to keep anger with anyone, but if something bugs me, I will tell it. You are fighting with a straw puppet, and you thought I was one.

  • Deb Bie

    An well written article.
    The comments of people like Thomas, not based on facts nor on History, but only emotional garbage proves the danger that HU faces today from Orban and Fidesz. Start getting your facts checked. To start with not 75% of eligible HU voters voted for Fidesz. In fact, it was more in 20s.
    Today on every aspect (socially, morally, economically, etc.) HU is facing bankrupcy today and begging for the world to come and help it again. On other hand, seeing themselves as poor victims of EU/IMF/Jews/US, etc. conspiracy. What idots!

    • Sophie Johnson

      ‘An well written article.’

      Ah, now there’s a perspicuous evaluation, verily enlightening in its profundity. Or just the first heave that ejected the bile that ensued? Easy now. Check for grey matter in the spill. Moron.

    • Magyar

      Deb Bie, you are a LIAR.

      Your main point of your posting is on the percentage of votes Fidesz got. Your claim is the LIE, and it’s a whopper too.

      Fidesz got 52.7% of the popular vote.
      Repeat: fity-two precent, not 20.

      And its EASY to check too.
      Why would you expose yourself as a brazen liar with a piece of info anybody can check in a heartbeat, is beyond me.

      It is inconceivable to me, that somebody can be THIS stupid.

      Look here: (data on the right side):http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_parliamentary_election,_2010

  • Sophie Johnson

    Right! My new comments are now being moderated. I expect that my previous ones will disappear altogether. (I must have said something right!)

    • Magyar

      Sophie, I’m not surprised. You are too factual and well informed. Facts are stubborn things. You represent a problem for them, so your post(s) get deleted.
      You have no recourse; they are the censors.
      However, it is always revealing, and usually reinforces the validity on my observation(s).

      Sometimes it is the Aha! moment, as to validate my suspicion(s) of the mods and the site. I consider it (deletion) that they showed their hand which they probably didn’t intend to, but they couldn’t help themselves.
      So it’s not all bad, and sometimes very revealing as to the real intent of the site (or a Forum’s mods/owners).

  • dbeata

    Anyway, I don’t see any bad about travelling and even going abroad to try and make a living in a different country. I also went for a couple of weeks several times to the US. But then, there’s a question, what right do these expats have to interfere with the business of those, who stayed and remained (in good times, and in bad) of our mother land? Hungary suffers from dividedness, and Orban has deepened this even more, through rhetorics (our land cannot be in opposition), and through economics policy (taking away even more money from the poor and rewarding the mid-class, although we cannot afford it. 4 millions out of 9.6 million inhabitants live at or under poverty level (sorry, haven’t used English for about 9 years). The greatest problem is, that every time Fidesz loses a voter, Jobbik (a far right non-democratic party) wins half a voter. Anyway, I don’t understand, how it can be, that Jobbik is non-democratic, because in that case they could not be in the parliament.

  • Sophie Johnson

    In their concerted attack on Hungary, the EU-context attackers seem oblivious to the ‘own goal’ they are kicking. I watched at least an hour of yesterday’s EP session that purported to be assessing ‘the Situation in Hungary’ (a title that the EP gave that session). The panel included deputy-PM Navracsics, vice-President (!!!) of the European Commission, the harridan Neelie Kroes, and the MSZP member Kinga Gönz.

    The highlight of the session came at the conclusion of the first part, when Kroes yelled across to Navracsics the demand that Hungary request that the European Council (EC) examine Hungary’s Media Law to ascertain that it is in line with the European Convention on Human Rights. (The European Commission has already examined that statute for consistency with EU law, and Hungarian Parliament immediately made the few innocuous amendments the Commission had required. But Kroes now wants another go at it. What’s more, her chutzpah does not stop her from demanding that the Hungarian Government itself approach the EC for a new vetting!) She also demanded to know whether Hungarian Parliament would amend the Media Law in accordance with whatever the European Council recommends.

    Navracsics did not pick the harridan up on the sheer stupidity of this question. Instead, he replied civilly that Parliament will always consider suggestions for amendments to its laws that are consistent with the Hungarian Constitution. At this, the harridan Kroes threw her hands up in exasperation. A guffaw came up from a few MEPs on the floor, and Kinga Gönz reproduced the mealy-mouthed grin with which she had met every earlier disparagement of Hungary.

    Earlier, several left/green MEPs voiced their now-shared view that Navracsics and Orbán say one thing to Europe and another to the Hungarian people. (I am hearing this crack increasingly often. But not once has any of the crack-makers cited an instance of this. So, one again: repeat a lie often enough …).

    The only other disparagement of the Hungarian Government that they could come up with was a series of boorish efforts to somehow make the point that, while Hungary might be a democracy according to the letter of the law, it is not a democracy in spirit.

    (This seems to be the line Fukuyama dropped into their laps. But he has not bothered to teach them how they might give substance to the bizarrely ambitious distinction ‘democratic a/c law, but not democratic in spirit’. Come to think of it, Fukuyama has not managed to articulate that distinction on his own behalf either.)

    The only other ‘terrible’ offence the left/green MEPs could level against Hungary was that minorities are discriminated against. (They referred only to the Roma.) But the famous Roma Fidesz MEP, Livia Járóka, headed this off with her reminder that it was the Hungarian incumbent of the rotating EU presidency that saw to the construction and presentation of the EU’s Common Roma Strategy.

    The ‘own goal’ these crude, rude attackers of the Hungarian Government cannot see is how seriously they discredit the EU with these tasteless antics. Two MEPs from the floor, and another on the panel, spelled out precisely for them that their attacks on Hungary are producing grist for the mill of the eurosceptics. (For this reason, it is a good thing, to my mind, that they keep it up!)

  • Tundi

    Your opinion is typical liberal. We Hungarians don’t want any liberal democracy.
    Democracy yes but not that kind of liberalism that will destroy our identity the nation and the country.
    We don’t want that kind of exported democracy leading to war and misery all over the world.

    • dbeata

      Would you please stop speaking for the Hungarians as a whole and just represent yourself? I’d greatly appreciate it. Like this: I personally don’t want any liberal democracy. Maybe you could add (at least what was made of it in Hungary by MSZP and SZDSZ coalition). Thank you.

    • Sophie Johnson

      I agree with you completely, Tundi. We do not want their kind of democracy. Their democracy had taken ‘demos’ (where ‘demos’ refers to the native majority that has worked to form its nation-state cohesion, and earned the privilege of being a part of it) out of the classic concept of democracy, and substituted ‘bankers’ for it. Their democracy rains bombs on the vulnerable parts of the world that have something their bankers want. Their democracy cultivates a jingoism that endorses the bankers’ bursts of colonialist slaughter, and their demos lines up like zombies behind the nefarious international purposes of their bankers, deluded by the bankers’ representatives (the planted executives of their ‘elected’ legislatures) into thinking that they are serving the interests of their nation. Their democracy simply is not democracy. It is the Pavlov’s-dogs response of their demos to its masters’ long and painstaking conditioning of them.

      We do not want their liberalism either. Theirs is a ‘liberalism’ that has expunged the principles of classic Liberalism: liberty, the rule of law, prosperity. On one side of the Atlantic, their liberty is ripped from them by the Patriot Act. On our side of it, it is being steadily withdrawn by the European Commission’s directives (their decrees actually are called ‘Directives’!) that displace national laws. The unelected European Commission displaces elected national legislatures with its shady bureaucrats. That puts paid to the rule of law, for the rule of law can be itself in the democratic state only when it is generated by the institutions of the demos, not imposed on it by an external power.

      Prosperity, of course, has for some time, on both sides of the Atlantic, meant the prosperity of bankers, to whom the demos gives up its own prosperity. Their banker-installed legislatures liberally give them the national earnings that belong to the demos, whenever the bankers demand it. We want to be able to pursue our prosperity. We do not wish to hand it over to the bankers.

      Their liberalism has suppressed the nation-state-endowed rights of the demos not only by tolerating the dominance of a certain minority group, but also by giving priority to the demands of all minority groups. Thus their democracy requires that the demos be complicit in the reckless destruction of its national identity, and promotes derision for the cultural institutions of that national identity. Their democracy demands an internationalist mindset that is contemptuous of the nation-state and the values of its demos.

      No, thank you. Their terminally perverted ‘liberal democracy’ is not a condition we aspire to. Fukuyama summons the breath-taking cheek to speak as if our PM does not know how to aspire to it: ‘The Orbán government has undertaken a number of measures that suggest that it doesn’t really understand the norms that must underlie a healthy liberal democracy.’ No, no, Professor. Prime Minister Orbán, his government, and we, the Hungarian demos, see exactly what you are peddling. And that is the thoroughgoing denial of the ‘norms’ of ‘a healthy liberal democracy’, not its realisation.

      • dbeata

        You’ve dumped just enough garbage here by now. You are apparently an insider, whose task is to feed the flock with what it wants to hear. You’re lucky that she cannot even make up a comprehensible sentence, and they give the most of Fidesz-fans.

        • Magyar

          You’ve dumped just enough garbage here by now.
          comment #153 is for you, Beata darling.

          • HSz

            Magyar and Tundi… you have no clue what to be patriotic truly means… and your thoughts are deranged. and yes, please stop talking in the first person of the plural, so obnoxious.

            DBeata, with you and your thoughts and logic, you are a true human being, who happens to be a true Magyar.

            ennyi.

  • brozhnik

    One other area in which Hungary has excelled is those ultimate authority figures, orchestral conductors. Fritz Reiner, George Szell, Ferenc Fricsay, Georg Solti, Antal Dorati, Eugene Ormandy, and today Ivan Fischer come to mind. Notably, every one i’ve listed was Jewish, and most had to leave Hungary for that very reason. (This adds nothing to the conversation, but seemed worth mentioning.)

    • Sophie Johnson

      ‘every one i’ve listed was Jewish, and most had to leave Hungary for that very reason. (This adds nothing to the conversation …)’

      Yes it does: a walloping great lie with your ‘for that reason’ contribution.

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  • Magyar

    You’ve dumped just enough garbage here by now.

    It’s amusing to watch and read your impotent huffing and puffing.

    Things are NOT going your way girl, not by a longshot.
    The Jan. 21st GIGANTIC protest of half a million Hungarians should be a sobering event for your kind.
    I can only have a sardonic laugh at your pathetic frustration.
    It ain’t gonna change back to your way. It’s going to get better – but for us, patriots.

    • dbeata

      I take it as a compliment. Woo you think you can frighten me, but I have to disappoint you. I can cope this way, and will rearrange my life so that no harm is done to me. Is that frustrating you now? I hope not. You poor baby. Never mind. Most people don’t have a clue of what’s really going on, and the proof for that you could see in the gigantic protest. But even more, about 1.5 millions have parted from Fidesz, and running around free. What do you think about that? I think, it’s a healthy and promising prospect.
      BTW, following your logic, how much patriot this huge American fund Templeton is which bought Hungarian bonds worth of 1000 billion?

      Money doesn’ make you a greater patriot. You see I don’t have a flag out in front of my house and not wearing cockade (is the translation correct?) or is it rosette? Every time though when it comes to consumer decisions, and can afford it, I buy Hungarian. Actually, I am proud that Hungarian products are very often of good quality. When we had our house built, I tried to buy only Hungarian. It was pathetically difficult. THis was totally normal and not politically motivated decision of mine. But I get angry, when someone makes political advantage of it, out of patriotism, and sells cheap stuff like keychain, stickers, etc. Cause it’s nothing else, what’s happening right now.

      • dbeata

        Be it so, let it be better for patriots, because I’m one of them as well.

    • HSz

      Magyar, kuss.

  • Sophie Johnson

    What’s happening? Today is the third day without a new attack on Hungary from the media, the EU or the US.

    • dbeata

      The flock is Hungry hehehe (in Hungary…) Feed it some dry food from last week…

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hey-Europe-sorry-about-our-Prime-Minister/ Hey Europe, Sorry about our PM

    The picture painted by Professor Fukuyama is absolutely correct. If you think about Orban’s personality just a bit it all makes perfect sense. Orban is a country boy coming from an oppressive family with a great deal of drive and minority complex. He’s overcompensating his fears thus feeling urging need to take all opportunities to demonstrate how strong he is. People who are unaccepting to others’ views are not the self confident ones. If you are unsure about your own qualities you cannot be accepting to concurrent views as you feel you own existence questioned by them. You cannot accept criticism and cannot accept your own faults either, instead you look for external enemies to put the blame on (the jews, the bankers, the EU, whatsoever). Unfortunately this is how the typical Hungarian soul looks like. Oppression for decades has made many of my fellow Hungarians insecure and thinking low of themselves. And this is the exact reason for Orban’s success. He is a typical Hungarian, a real everyday man in his soul just with a bit of added charisma (actually he just started to underline this in his communication, just look at his Annual Speech delivered last weekend). I think leaders should stand out from the crowd and should be able to show the way ahead. Orban is a leader for sure but not a great one and never will be due to his closed mindedness. The greatest problem we face in Hungary now is that despite all lacking qualities Orban has no contestant yet.

    • Magyar

      Yadi, yadi, ya, blah, blah, blah.
      Hubrish and rubbish…

      • Sophie Johnson

        So long, Magyar. It was nice to have read you!
        ((Nekem úgy tünik hogy ebben az esetben a fagi visszanyalt! :) )

      • Kanyamadar

        “If you think about Orban’s personality just a bit it all makes perfect sense.”

        Diagnosing someone remotely…

        “Unfortunately this is how the typical Hungarian soul looks like.”

        …what’s more 15 or so million people.

        However, when someone declares one
        group, as “they are like this”,
        it is a step towards justifying gulag,
        gas chambers and killing fields.
        A rather large step, you have just taken.

    • Richard

      @Hey Europe

      This is true and said to see how chronic frustration distorted the character of a nation.
      *
      However, there is more behind it.
      I think in addition to all that you wrote about Mr. Orban we should consider the final blow that his temporary EU presidency delivered to his mind. As a result, he developed a very unhealthy God complex, tries to make his policy influential and exemplary to all Europe, especially to the eastern part, create a big stir, find followers, and drag other players into his pitiful game in order to grow and stay in power.
      He gives the EU no other alternative than to create a precedent on how to handle the renegade attempts.
      *
      Orban is totally lost, amateurish, and a nice sample of how political impotence inevitably lead to dictatorship. He knows he should be smarter but as he also knows that he is not, he is taking his other choices from the classical assortment; than cheat or hit hard.
      *
      The poor rebuking letter of Zoltan Kovacs exemplarily proves that they are incapable of carrying any meaningful communication or argument. Even that was rich, considering their intellectual performance lately. Obviously, they don’t even understand what they should understand at firs place. All their political activities are nothing else than a loud, meaningless, and disturbing monologue, right up with a Disney cartoon for sheer entertainment value.

      Why he has no rivals? Many of the Hungarians could do his job; in fact, any average person could do it on the same level or better. However, that would need to be cooperative, well organized, logical, and supportive toward each other and these qualities are unknown for the Hungarians. In addition, the capable ones already left the country or on their way or just silently busy with making their living and gave up all hopes.
      The deed has been done and specifically enough Orban and the core of the Fidesz selectively attract the fanatic, the immoral, and the mentally and intellectually degraded followers.
      Orban, as well as the whole Fidesz leadership is more akin to a trumpery religious sect than a responsible and capable government. The moral and intellectual damage they cause to the Hungarian nation is quite considerable.

      • dbeata

        “Why he has no rivals? ” What came to my mind first, that Hungarians tend to put all eggs into one basket, and wait for wonder to happen. When it doesn’t happen, first thing they do (and of course they are not alone in this “human behavior” is that they try to put the blame and reponsibility on someone else. Then they go and vote on someone else, who hasn’t been in power before. Not once do they think, that they could also be at fault, not only politicians. I’ve done my share of it as well, therefore I know what I’m talking about.
        Until we vote against something or someone, and not for something (like Hungary’s future or our children’s future, who want to stay in Hungary and not seek career elsewhere (which I also understand under current situation), this downward spiral will not discontinue. These are not the only reasons for the current situation, but in my opinion they are not helping us.

        One other note. Unfortunately, Orban has a rival. But his name is Gábor Vona, I think.

      • Kanyamadar

        “However, that would need to be cooperative, well organized, logical, and supportive toward each other and these qualities are unknown for the Hungarians.”

        A bit of Hungarophobia, ain’t it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hey-Europe-sorry-about-our-Prime-Minister/200431290042349 Hey Europe, Sorry about our PM

    Sorry for the broken link above, this is the correct one to my facebook group.

  • http://oikosz.blogspot.com/ Ervin Nagy

    Dear Professor!

    In the past days, you have published a couple of articles and you have given an interview for the weekly, HVG, expressing your concerns related to Hungarian democracy. For this reason, I, as a Hungarian philosopher, would like to express our gratitude. It is a great honour for us Hungarians, that a world-famous scholar examines and expresses his worries about our democracy. On the other hand, we are concerned about your mistakes deriving from neglect and your superficial knowledge

    First of all, let me remind you of Tocqueville’s thoughts from 19th century, whom you have also quoted. (Democracy in America). Liberalism and democracy are not the same concept and their roots are also different. The former one is a political ideology; the latter is a form of government. Liberalism is just one (but not uniform) of the many system of norms or standards, which may fill democracy with a political and economic content. Thus, the liberal variant may not enjoy exclusiveness in the democratic development. As you know, John Gray in his book (Post-liberalism, 1994) gave up his previous idea, that the liberalism could be universal and adaptable in any society. It couldn’t import to any society. Instead he recommended pluralism. (Not liberalism!) (“I conclude that none of the four constitutive elements of doctrinal liberalism – universalism, individualism, egalitarianism and meliorism – survives the ordeal by value pluralism”) He refuted the logic of your theory that has led to your worldwide fame. Let me note: your famous book, ‘The End of History and the Last Man’ wasn’t epoch-making either. Daniel Bell already suggested in 1960 in ‘End of Ideology’ that modern liberal democracies would see an end to ideological debates. You put this prophecy into a global framework after the fall of Soviet Union, which is already irrelevant, since history has confuted your theory. Accepting the principle of classical liberalism (but denying the post-modern variant), a patriotic, conservative political party embracing Christian values came to power in Hungary. Let us not forget: from the free will of the majority!

    Secondly. Do you really think that a central bank means a counterweight to a government? The primary function of a central bank is to manage the nation’s money supply (monetary policy), through active duties such as managing interest rates and setting the reserve requirement. Together with the government, and not against it. Furthermore: the one of the strongest ‘checks and balances’, the Constitutional Court, exists in Hungary as opposed to your homeland – and it is working. (Still, we are not worried about the American democracy.) As for the press: in fact, there is freedom of opinion in a country, where it is possible to write about the supposed ‘dictatorship’ on the cover pages.

    Thirdly: EU and IMF cannot function as power balances within European countries. This is a Pharisaic thought, considering the fact that it was Brussels who put pressure on Greece and Italy, in order to change the governments without general elections. Leaders of the EU have thus destroyed the people’s will.

    Fourthly: I would like to remind you of an important fact: until now, the minorities have not had the inalienable right to send representatives to the Hungarian Parliament. Following an initiation by the Orbán government , this will be possible at the next general election, in contrast to many other European countries. The Orbán government has taken several steps for making democracy more open than any of its predecessors. In the case of the cardinal laws, the government has held a consultation, in which all Hungarian citizens may have related his opinion.

    And finally: would nobody trust the government of Fidesz? Would the examination of Ferenc Gyurcsány’s assignment be anti-democratic step? Don’t you read public poll results? Or is it only the liberal press you follow, all of which are biased? There is indeed a smaller confidential crisis (which is still above the European average), according to the researches, but it is an unanimous opinion that Fidesz continues to lead highly. According to some surveys, Fidesz would win with 2/3 at the moment. At the Peace March for Hungary, more than five hundred thousand people stood by the government. And only in a dictatorship it is possible to question the possibility of the accountability of a former prime minister. Ultimately, after all these, I have to ask the question: do you believe in democracy? Or are you only worried about liberalism?

    I hope I have helped you turn towards Hungary’s affairs with more background knowledge and better understanding for the future!

    Yours Sincerely,
    Ervin Nagy
    a Hungarian philosopher

    • Magyar

      Ervin Nagy, good rebuke, retort and analysis.
      Your problem is, that Fukuyama has a bias, an agenda, which makes him deaf to your reasoning.

      • http://oikosz.blogspot.com/ Ervin Nagy

        Thank you. I think you’re right.

        • Kanyamadar

          Copied and saved it, in case something happens with the original.

  • Magyar

    Bye Sophie.
    Adios, muchachos.
    Time to leave; the noxious critters are multiplying.

  • Richard

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama,

    please kindly consider my present affix to my post of 141.

    The post 151 of Nagy Ervin perfectly fits the line of the Hungarian government tendentious arrogance to aim all Europe and practically anybody and anywhere, who venture to say a single world or dare express different opinion by raising their voice for democracy.

    That comment is the very same sort of circumlocution of what Mr. Szajer addressed Ms. Neelie Kroes with, as a rebuke for her taking the courage to reply to Mr. Navracsics Tibor.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//www.origo.hu/itthon/20120213-szajer-eles-hangu-levelben-biralta-neelie-kroest.html&sl=hu&tl=en

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//fmh.hu/belfoldi/20120213_szajer_beszolt_neelie_kroesnak%23s%3Drss&sl=hu&tl=en

    http://szajerjozsef.blog.hu/2012/02/10/level_neelie_kroes_biztos_asszonynak#more4091251

    http://index.hu/belfold/2012/02/13/szajer_beolvasott_neelie_kroesnek/

    This seems to me a well-engineered professional piece of work to humiliate, ridicule, and destroy the credibility of practically anyone who can make sense, by intimidating, insulting, discouraging, or muting them all, indiscriminately.
    Please, see post 142. and many others of that kind.

    At first, it seemed to me the usual hysterical overreaction of a mentally and psychologically fragile, fumbling, incompetent government circle. Now, it seems to me much more. After muting “clubradio” in Hungary, they are ready to cross the borders and mute anybody practically at any part of the world.

    At first, it seemed to me their attempt to jump on the stepwagon and by exploiting the present hardship of the EU get themselves out of their problems of their own misgoverning by exporting domestic problems in a righteously rebellious insurgent manner. By now, I see it as an attempt to extend their destructive influence to the neighborhood for personal gain of power and wealth.

    At first, it seemed to me as a “The best defense is a good offense” tactic. Today it seems to me as a plague that is capable to infect many others. That is how they hope finding followers in order to strengthen their position. I do believe it is exactly what they do.

    Hungary socially and morally – including democracy – is fossilizing, which wouldn’t be a big concern until the unfortunate work of the present government crosses all borders.

    I am certainly sorry for addressing you personally with this issue. I know, you wrote this column as a part of your work and not with the intention of becoming an active player in this tasteless game, but as the Fidesz and Mr. Orban destructive work is crossing all borders with total intolerance toward everybody who disagrees, with due respect I ask you to kindly consider my request in my post of 141.

    Thank you again.

    Best regards.

    Richard.

    • Kanyamadar
      • Kanyamadar

        “At first, it seemed to me the usual hysterical overreaction of a mentally and psychologically fragile, fumbling, incompetent government circle.”

        I agree. That is why those circles were
        swept away by Fidesz :P

        ” Now, it seems to me much more. After muting “clubradio” in Hungary, ”

        Actually, Clubrádió is still on the air
        but why Mrs Kroes did not invite the
        Hungarian Media Authority (what is more,
        she did not contacted them!) and where was
        Autórádió’s representative – you know, the
        radiostation, which offered more for the
        channel?

        “they are ready to cross the borders and mute anybody practically at any part of the world.”

        Now, THAT is hysteria.

  • Richard

    Amendment;

    Correctly, I referred to the post of 158 of “Ervin Nagy says:February 13, 2012 at 2:00 am”

    Sorry for the mistake.

  • Richard

    One more amendment to my post of February 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm;

    The reference to post 141 is incorrect.
    That sentence correctly should be “referring to my previous post of Richard says: February 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm”
    ——-
    One more correction;
    The incorrect reference is “Please, see post 142. and many others of that kind.”
    ——–
    Correctly:
    “Please, see the post of Danny Ikadesa says:
    February 9, 2012 at 3:12 am and many others of that kind”
    ———
    I apologize for these mistakes, I either notoriously mistook the ordinal numbers or possibly some of the improper posts were deleted and the numbers consecutively have changed. I should have referred to the posters by name and date and not by number. My wrong. Sorry for causing confusion.

  • trollface

    someone start criticize fukuyama’s grammar plz. lets show them they started to mess with the ‘rong nation!

  • Sophie

    You need a sample of an intelligent blogger on the subject of Hungary, Professor Fukuyama. Do have a look at Fouad Khan’s:

    http://blogs.thenews.com.pk/blogs/2012/02/24/imran-and-orban/

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  • Joe Palinko

    Hungary has its own problem just like any other nation. They have a governmet supported by 2/3 of the country population it does not mean that Professor Fukujama has any right to send warning to the Hungarian Gowernment about its polocy. Professor Fukujama has no need to worry about Hungary at all. Hed need to worry where does the newxt bag of rice comes from. He is a Ch-in-k t-r-a-i-t-or by any Japanese standards. He is living in the USA who wanted to e-r-a-d-i-c-a-t-e the whole Japan with an a-t-o-m-i-k b-o-m-b despite he is a professor he most have a l-o-w IQ and little knowledge of history. If this ch-i-p m-o-n-k-i has any brain he would not reside in the USA.

  • Laszlo

    “Ferenc Gyurcsány was prime minister and I could well appreciate the degree of disgust that people felt toward the government at the time”

    You are right about this. We want changes. Big changes. Of course the government might make some mistakes, but we desperately believe in democracy and support our government.

  • Balint Szekely

    Dear Mr. Fukuyama, dear fellow Intellectuals!
    I would like to apologize on behalf of some of my Hungarian compatriots for their manners and raw reasoning skills: by “raw”, of course, I mean very weak. What puzzles me is the number and enthusiasm of self-appointed experts of political science, sociology, economics and law. I have a pair of eyes, yet I don’t have a theory of vision and if I can’t see I don’t try to fix my eyes myself, I go to the doctor. But when it comes to politics some have a compulsion to defend their favorite politicians, or ideological systems, without either the proper education, or the time and effort necessary to thoroughly evaluate social phenomena, ie. to check the facts from several independent resources, the structure of the reasoning based on those facts, and the variety of underlying axioms of our anthropology, social theory, etc.. To do all of the above mentioned would be impossible, so there is need for intellectual authority to guide our thinking: that would be the consensus of social sciences. Keep in mind that politicians usually have some sort of higher degree diploma, but by no means does that make them scientists or experts in any field, for that matter. Their trade is politics: power, as opposed to reason (in the enlightened sense). To those who believe, without any doubt, that FIDESZ is your glorious chivalry of uppermost morality: please educate yourselves in politology, political psychology and you might discover politicians using the same standardized tools for gaining popularity all over the world, that is guided neither by reason, nor by morality.
    Getting back to the discussion here, I think most of the misunderstandings are not about the facts or the underlying axioms. The issue of debate is the interpretation of the facts: the argument. The fact is that power is being centralized; reforms target the branches of power, and great effort is put into symbolic changes concerning the country, while the real social problems are still unaddressed, such as health, employment (50.000 or so seasonal jobs as road sweepers is insufficient to deal with structural unemployment concerning about 1 million people), education (claiming that “we don’t need it”, or rather, “you don’t need it” is not solving the problem, it’s a one way street to deep, lasting poverty), changing demography (destroying private pension funds do not address the issue for which they were created in the first place), racism (handing out pamphlets at film festivals claiming there is no racism in Hungary is just a waste paper), etc.. (Please do not take my comments in parentheses too seriously, as I do not aspire to paint the whole picture, but do intend to be moderately humorous)
    In any case, some of the popular, but certainly incorrect, arguments used by my fellow over-enthusiastic countrymen must be addressed: 1) the unique Hungarian civilization argument: our democracy is unique and its fine the way it is. The only ‘hungariqum’ is that we have no democratic culture, those who defend this 18th century definition of European democracy barely know the meaning, let alone the history, of democracy. 2) The ace of spades: the communist card. All of our problems stem from communism, or in the newer version: from “liberal-Bolshevik treason”. While the statement is obviously ridiculous, it also ignores the fact that FIDESZ has been in power for 2 years now, yet again and again they are “surprised” by some socialist mischief that has led to the problems theywe are facing today. Even if one feels inclined to point at scapegoats, it is still a clear proof of FIDESZ’s utmost incompetence in dealing with these challenges. 3) This one I find most entertaining (btw, another version of the communist card, also adapted to dealing with any sort of foreign or local coverage criticizing the Orban regime): “Mr Fukuyama is a left-wing pig” Why did he criticize the regime? Because he is a left-wing pig? Why is he left-wing? Because he criticized the regime. This is known as circular reasoning, one of many logical fallacies we engage in every day, that are re-enforced by our politicians. I strongly encourage everybody who participates in arguments of any sort, to learn about formal and informal logic, informal fallacies and the rules of rational argument. Studying these would reveal that most of the things politicians say to the people are nonsensical. Then you can decide for yourself whether these politicians are manipulative, or just plain stupid. But this intellectual equipment that enables us to evaluate arguments comes through education and sustained effort, not through blind faith.
    The turmoil of our times is in part due to our unfortunate history, especially that of the 20th century. For almost 100 years extreme left and right wing ideas fought each other with violence, assuming power in succession and driving the other one underground. In 1990 these forces boiling in the deep rose to the surface once again and resulted in an open clash of ideas, fought in a more consolidated environment, but with our traditional weapons: insult, violence, destruction. The mentality is, as always: all or nothing, it’s either us or them, the end justifies the means. There is no peaceful coexistence in diversity, and that is reflected in the attitudes of both the common people and our elected politicians. But all is not lost and I am not alone! I speak on behalf of many Hungarian folks and almost all intellectuals when I say that I want peace, democratic progress and a place among enlightened western nations. Our voice may yet just be a whisper, but please don’t give up on us: do not deny us the moral and intellectual help that we so desperately need!
    Sincerely yours,
    Balint Szekely

    • Sophie

      Self-styled intellectual Mr Szekely is screamingly funny: ‘To those who believe, without any doubt, that FIDESZ is your glorious chivalry of uppermost morality: please educate yourselves in politology, political psychology…’. Well, this dictum sure is the fruit of an impressive politology!

      Having blown a brain cell or ten to get out this politological gem, our intellectual Mr Szelkely proceeds in his inimitably inchoate way to attribute views and attitudes (that can form only in his befuddled head) to the supporters of the present Hungarian Government. Sit back, Mr Szekely. I shall disperse your fantasy by reminding you of why we support Fidesz.

      We support Fidesz because it is making excellent headway into ridding us of the legion of MSZP-SZDSZ thieves and grafters who damned near succeeded to destroy our economy, and with that, our national security. We put Fidesz in power, and kicked out the MSZP-SZDSZ government decisively, precisely because we wanted this party to reclaim our economy, such that it becomes geared to serve the national interest, and ceases to serve the interests of the MSZP-SZDSZ thieves and grafters, and that of their foreign friends and relations. Fidesz is doing that to our satisfaction.

      And what are you and your ilk (no more than some 2% of the Hungarian population) doing in the meantime? You are rushing around feverishly, maligning us Hungarians and our popular, democratically elected government in any foreign forum that lets you in, hoping desperately that your friends in the ‘West’ will help you back to political power in Hungary.

      And here, you have a problem: No matter how many Fukuyamas your chief maher Gati manages to co-opt in the cause of your rehabilitation, your ilk is terminally discredited in Hungary. You were assigned to the garbage bin of our history in 2010. Your Communist forebears, and you, their postcommie heirs, have no chance of re-admittance to the political life of this country. Nix. Zilch. Nada.

      It must be hard for you to arrive at an understanding of this. After all, you have wielded power in Hungary, and lived the life of Riley on the fat of the land, ever since 1945, with very little interruption. But you will get yourselves, in the fullness of time, to the point of cognitive appreciation of your rejected condition. Bon voyage.

    • Magyar

      Your stuff is unreadable.
      Use paragraphs.

      Your “apology” (I got that far), means nothing if your style marks you as an undereducated person, with a poor command of written English.

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  • MoominTroll

    Good move all you Hungarian “patriots”! Scored yourselves a very nice “own goal” by making the world think that Hungary is full of vicious xenophobes writing in atrocious English.

    Back in the last century, the average American knew Hungary through the fiendishly clever exiled geniuses who created nearly everything important during the era (e.g. Janos Neumann, thanks to whom you can put your rantings out into the world cybersphere, rather than leaving them hanging in the foul air of a cheap winecellar). Now what must the average American reader think of the country?

    Might as well just post Borat singing “Throw the Jew down the well”.

    • Magyar

      The Hungarian responders’ command of English is significantly better than most Americans’ English responses. For ample demonstration of this fact go to Yahoo.com home page, pick ANY news items and read the comments.

      Your English is not that hot either.

      BTW: We don’t give a crap what the stupid undereducated uncouth peasant Americans think of our country. Honest.

      You (Americans/America) no longer matter; you have now become the armpit (and some say pariah) of the world. You’re toast – thank God. We look at you as you are our (Europe’s) dumbest REJECTS.

  • Kati

    Francis? Who Are you? What Are you talking about here? Are you Hungarian? Do you live there? What do you know about Hungary? You shouldn’t write so many horrible things. Hungary trying to fix problems wich isnt easy and is hard to make for everybody a right thing. This is whats happening in the USA also. Not everybody will like Obama.
    But you aren’t a right persone just even write about Hungary. The is FiDESZ trying hard.
    Instead asking ” What is wrong with Hungary?” I’m asking what is wrong with you?

  • Gyongyi

    Well, reading some of the hateful notes disparaging professor Fukuyama, the US, the EU, the IMF, the Jews, the liberals, the socialists, anyone in general who dares to criticize our “precious” government, I cannot help but agree with a statement I heard on one of the Hungarian TV channels the other day: “Nevetséges, kicsi, mérges ország vagyunk.” (We are a ridiculous, little, angry country.) Anyone who thinks Hungary is important enough in any way to be a desirable target for occupation / colonization, is deranged. Exactly this attitude made us enter into two world wars on the wrong side and lose the 2/3 of our country. We don’t have to defend our country, our territory, our culture, our independence, etc. from anyone except the inhuman and merciless Fidesz government whose greediness for power and money is unsatisfiable.

  • Andras Schweitzer

    What’s Wrong

    Hungary is truly a peculiar example of a state where well designed political institutions of a healthy liberal democracy have been systematically eroded by an autocratic regime. Of all the countries that joined the West in the Annus mirabilis of 1989 Hungary has returned to exist again in history in the sense Fukuyama talked about.

    Orban’s government created a peculiar system, which could be called a borderline democracy. It walks the rope of taking all possible undemocratic measures to ensure its power (from gerrymandering through concentrated denigration campaigns to limiting free press) while at the same time trying to maintain all the formal legal criteria of democracy. In order to produce laws that serves its political interests but doesn’t contradict EU legislation it collects and connects “worst practices” from other European countries.

    In an essay written in 2012 I summarized the reasons of this unfortunate downturn in 7 points. (It is published now on academia.edu.) Of all the reasons I gave the most important ones have to do with culture. In essence I would tend to view the Hungarian example as the manifestation that even exemplary political institutions don’t guarantee success if they have to work in an unfavorable cultural environment marked by the lack of social trust, by disbelief in the possibility of impartiality, by closed and fearful mindset of a significant part of the population.