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Published on: August 7, 2014
Putin's Mini-Me
The Mask Is Off

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has openly renounced Western-style democracy for the nationalist authoritarianism of Putin’s Russia.

Charles Gati, Senior Research Professor, European and Eurasian Studies at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, is author of Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt (2006) and editor of Zbig: The Strategy and Statecraft of Zbigniew Brzezinski (2013).
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  • qet

    Let’s not be too hard on the Prime Minister. In case you haven’t noticed, many of our most elite, best and brightest here in the USA are also calling openly for a more authoritarian Executive power, getting tired of all that righteousness blazing away in the White House being obstructed by a bunch of racist reactionary misogynist homophobic legislators in thrall to Big Oil, Big Food, Big Bank. They yearn for the simple efficiency of the Chinese government who are able to get things done without having to pander to a bunch of Neanderthals in the Flyover bitterly clinging to their guns and NASCAR. They view our current President as the very incarnation of the General Will and seek to remove all structural inconveniences to his exercise of righteous power.

    And it is beyond ironic that the White House is keeping him at arm’s length considering the worldviews and governance philosophies of the African heads of state currently being hosted there.

    • Arkeygeezer

      Obama took his mask off in 2009.

    • Barna Toth

      The courts lost their freedom here in Hungary. The high prosecutor is a former member of Orban’s party and refuses to investigate ANY case when the goverment is involved in corruption. Smaller churches are banned and bigger ones are financed by the state. Free press is almost dead. Apart from RTL’s channel all bigger TV channels are owned by the government. Governmental officers investiate and harass civil organizations while they created a governmental “civil” organization that does public protest FOR the government. Read 1984 and you’ll see what I’m talkin about.

      • qet

        Thanks Barna. I am not equating the present situation of Hungary with that of the USA. What I am claiming is that the same tendencies against representative democratic institutions are evident here. Court freedom limited by unchecked prosecutorial discretion? Check. Limitation of church and religious freedoms? Check. Free press? Are you joking? Do you read our press? Government harassment of our civil organizations? Are you aware of the actions of our federal tax collection agency in recent years? All these actions are being not merely tolerated, but more and more openly encouraged by our so-called progressive elites in the media, government and academia. The only difference–and it makes ALL the difference–is that our elites here wag their fingers at Hungary because the dominant party is of the “Right.” Therefore everything it does is Q.E.D. unethical. Whereas our dominant party is of the “Left,” therefore all of these curtailments of freedom are justifiable to “protect” the people.

        And personally, I consider Hungary’s fight against the EU to be basically the good fight, as I consider the EU to be a model of an undemocratic government, even if the people in Hungary doing the fighting are not good people and have ulterior motives for fighting.

        • Barna Toth

          If fighting against the EU would mean standing up for our rights within the alliance I’d say ok even if I dont like Orban. In this case this fight means the destruction of our democracy and sell the country to Putin. The foundation of Orban’s politics is that all their supporters are REAL hungarians, while the others are not. It doesnt matter who you support you can not discriminate your fellow hungarians by their political views. funny but sad part is that Orban and the real hungarians just sold our future to Putin. And trust me people here would rather be free EU/USA citizens than Russian slaves.

          • qet

            I don’t doubt what you say in the slightest. Not being Hungarian myself, I of course defer to your characterizations of the political situation there (as well as the characterizations of the other Hungarian commenters here) and I thank you for offering them.

            But I continue to believe that this rejection of liberal democratic institutions from the Right in Hungary is a predictable, one is tempted to say natural, response to the rejection of those institutions from the Left. The Left throughout Europe, as in the USA, has decided that parliamentary democracy (I use the term in its most general sense, to cover even the US system), by allowing the meaningful participation of undesirable elements in society, is hindering the progress of society toward the realization of those goals the Left believes are self-evidently the true and proper ends of civilization. So for years the Left has surreptitiously undermined the legitimacy of parliamentary democracy and other liberal democratic institutions and lately has done so openly. So it should come as no surprise that those elements of society marginalized by the Left’s quest for power would organize themselves into effective political parties and themselves seek to seize that power without regard to democratic principles their opponents equally disregard.

          • Barna Toth

            Words like Left or Right doesnt make sense in Hungary. Even if Orban claims to be Rightie he acts like a far Leftie. Democracy is pretty new in Hungary so all the isims are empty words here trust me. No global compeherence is correct in this case unfortunately.

      • bannedforselfcensorship

        “The high prosecutor is a former member of Orban’s party and refuses to investigate ANY case when the goverment is involved in corruption.”

        This sounds exactly like Eric Holder’s DOJ.

        “Governmental officers investiate and harass civil organizations while they created a governmental “civil” organization that does public protest FOR the government.”

        Sounds exactly like IRS scandal.

  • Nelson

    Shameful! Absolutely shamful what Mr. Gati about Orban says. He is interpreting things in his (Orbán,s) speech, what Orbán never said. I, as a native hungarian, I read the original hungarian text. Orbán did not say anything new, what he did not say before. The main topic of his was, a kind of criticism of the current western type of liberalism. He was registering, that;
    1, Our western typ liberalism was incompetent to make preventiv steps at the outbrake of the financial crisis 2008.
    2, The West was uncapable to stop the huge accumulation of debts in most of the western states, including USA.
    3 He never said, that countries like Russia, Singapore, Turkey should be exemples to follow.
    He just registered, that those countries showed more sustaining power in their economy during the crisis. And so on, and so on…
    Basicly nothing is correct what Mr. Gati says. Obviouasly he dislikes him, (Orbán) and he feels, that
    he is qualified!, he feels called to urge other EU authorities to try remove the freely, with substantial
    majority elected Orbán from his office.
    What a impudence! Who is he!

    • Propofol

      is that you Lázár? 😉
      Gati has riight. Orbán and his mates destroyed Hungary’s present and future totally. By me, I leave that country as a doctor as soon as possible because of them. Thanks orbán! Iam just an example of thousands just sayin

    • Barna Toth

      bullshit. he’s a wannabe putin and is about to build a dictatorship. get lost man or move to russia

      • Orson OLSON

        Based upon what this man of Hungarian descent reads elsewhere, like the Moscow Times, Gati is mistaken and Nelson is more correct. There, “The wind is blowing from the East” – is misattributed to Orban, who never said this.

        What he said was this precisely: “The ship of Hungary is navigating under
        Western flag, but in the global economy the wind is blowing from the
        East.”

        I think what we have is faux outrage and wilful misinterpretation to shove Orban into convenient and misperceptive anti-liberal categories because the PM is opposing comfortable and se;f-comfirming prejudices.

        It’s tough for people – including in these comments above – to think outside the box, indeed. There is much more continuity and common sense in Orban’s words than these “outraged” drones are able to admit.

        • Barna Toth

          the soon to be foreign minister was the head of the “Eastern-opening foreign affair governmental organization” He visited ONLY authocracies and opened offices in lovely countries like Kazakhstan. Hungarian population is 10 million ppl. 3.3 million lives in deep poverty and it’s been increasing. These poeple live from 300 dollars aproxx/month. Orban should fuckin work on but he built his “elite” voters base of 2 million ppl who grant him power. Poor people dont vote here. I live here I know what Im talkin about but thanks for the theories anyway. regards

    • dorian0955

      As also a native Hungarian, I listened to Orban’s whole speech live and disagree with your comment. Unlike you, I am very sad to see that this speech was given at all and to what level our PM is degrading the intellectual level of political intercourse in Hungary.
      We would be much better off if it was possible to misinterpret – simply out of personal dislike as you suggest – the openly authoritarian, anti-liberal message and demagogue nature of the speech. But it is not possible. On the contrary, it is a crystal clear embodiment of everything Orban has been doing in the past 5 years: the systematic transformation of our country into a quasi democracy.
      And now we indeed got a glimpse on what more is to come.
      As a Hungarian living in Hungary and bringing up my family here, I am very much concerned. Orban has already shot us back at least 25 years by erasing most of the institutional and legal framework that was the most important achievement of the system change in 1989. But the journey has not ended, he will clearly take us back much further in time.
      Unfortunately, Hungary is not a priority either on the American or the EU agenda. Yet, I hope more and more people will understand and see what’s going on here. This is not a Hungarian issue. The downfall of Hungarian democracy can have far reaching consequences in the region (CEE) and also within the EU itself.
      Thus it is good to see articles like this that show Orban for what he really is.

      And I hope people will keep in mind that Orban is not Hungary. He was elected with a majority but there are millions opposing him and their number is growing!

  • Nelson

    Gati has no right. I move back to Hungary from Germany this month. I love Budapest, I love Hungary, I love the people, and I hate injustice, and I also hate how Orbán is treated by some western media.
    So. We are different. And it is OK that we can be different. By the way I am not Lázár

    • mfod

      I love Hungary, Budapest, etc. I suspect when you say “we” you mean “fideszesek” – you do not speak for Hungarians, you speak for yourself and whoever agrees with you. I am part of the huge masses in Hungary (we would be the majority, if Fidesz would not be manipulating the media) who think Orbán is our biggest problem. We disagree with you and pretty much agree with Gáti. I must however agree with you Nelson on your last point: “We are different.” Indeed you are.

    • ploni

      Gati has no right? Got to be joking.

    • Peter Varga

      it is natural that you don’t yet understand why Orbán is dangerous, if you have just moved back to the country.
      give it a few years of close inspection.

  • Melan

    Okay, but let’s not forget, that Orban doesn’t equal Hungary. Many hungarians begin to question his power, more and more every day. Of course, he has a loyal voter base, but the majority of these people’s votes were bought by Fidesz. You see, the major porblem with Hungary is that the people here are struggling with living, even the basic commodities are way too expensive (at least for a hungarian paycheck). I am from ‘middle-class’, upper middle-class to be precise, but all I have is crippling student loan and debts. I don’t own a house, nor a flat, or even a car. I simply can’t afford it. And I’m upper middle-class, let’s not forget. As long as Orbán can purchase people votes in a mass, he can and will stay in power.
    So this situation in Hungary isn’t really about far-right, and neo-nazism, nor is about loyal, nationalist voters who oppose Brussels in a mass.
    It’s just about survival.

    • Duperray

      Perhaps present Hungary’s population economic starvation is linked to the EU venture: National Electricity industry has been mostly sold out to foreign Polish and Czech public investors, which in turn increased a lot public electricity fares “to reach profitability”. 2009 revolt was that.
      This is an example that boldly implementing western economic rules in a country not prepared for creates havoc, sometimes for ever. The only ones benefitting are foreign investors, those who do not need EU help at all….

      • Brian Reynolds

        I can completely understand the frustration and despair. The Euro has created imbalance in the region. The price of a loaf of Bread (or energy, or any other staple) in Germany is much more than the price of a loaf of bread in Hungary or Romania… and so the price of necessities in Hungary and Romania are inflated to a level which is difficult for the local population to afford. It will eventually become equal, but probably not for 10, 20, or 50 years. In the end, it will benefit everyone in the EU… but only if they are patient.

        I know that this is difficult because you need to feed your family NOW. I wish I knew the answer to your problem. But if you and the people of your country are patient… persistently pursuing a strong and unified European Union… you and your descendants will benefit for many generations in the future.

        • Duperray

          Be quiet about me, I live in western Europe with good income… Nevertheless the Euro came too early or should have been installed only for a group of states of same economic policy: Low inflation, budget constraints, nice investements, public infrastructure development and maintenance… The others, always overspending for the sake of population remaining quiet, too much public economy weight, too much taxes could have been left withering in the vine or take steps to join the Euro group only once their system is on line, not 40 years too early.

    • Hurubbi

      Well, I voted Fidesz, but they did not pay for me. Maybe it’s a surprise for you, because the socialists did buy your vote, I don’t know.

      • Melan

        talán nálad nem volt rezsicsökkentés? akkor uccu neki, nyomd fel a közös képviselőtöket, ha nem a rózsadombon laksz. a lekezelő stílust meg dugd fel a seggedbe te paraszt

  • Sándor Mátyás

    Hungary is down on the slide in every sense. Huge masses, millions of people live in utmost poverty, they can be manipulated by the state/government. Intellectuals just shut up or are paid by the government to collaborate. Corruption pervades everything, the laws are neglected and made flexible to serve just very few people. Hundreds of thousands (mostly young people) have left the country because there are no perspectives, no jobs, no proper wages, no money to start a family or to buy a flat, there is nothing in Hungary just empty slogans, nationalism, rudeness and apathy.

    • mackykam

      That’s what happens when you participate in killing off the most productive parts of society: the Jews. Show me a single country that has been successful without Jews.

      • Moshe Shekelwitz

        Nobody is successful without us jews! And if they are, we just have our dumb goyim cattle in America bomb them back into the Stone Age,like we did to the terrorist toddlers of Gaza who were operating Hamas training camps out of UN schools and hospitals.

      • Peter

        Show me a single country that has been successful with Jews.

        • mackykam

          The one you’re living in.

      • Brian Reynolds

        Ummm… how about China? They’re doing pretty well these days. Sure, lots of their citizens are still very poor by US standards, but many of their citizens are achieving “middle class” status every year… and I don’t think there are many Jews in China.

        I’m not anti Semitic by any measure, but you asked for an example of a single country… so here you have it.

        I visited Hungary and Romania for two weeks last year. I had lots of opportunities to converse with the native populations of both countries. One of the amazing things about the region, from an American’s perspective, is that people there still invite you into their homes to eat and drink with them… even if you are a complete stranger. They will take time out of their busy day to have a lengthy conversation with you about politics, the economy, the environment, and so-forth. They do so without malice, and they are patient with a foreigner who doesn’t completely grasp the nuances of their culture, politics, and economy. Overall, I was very impressed with the hospitality of the people there. I will definitely return in the future.

        My impressions are this…

        The Romanians are mostly “disappointed” about the current state of economic affairs in their country, but they are optimistic that the future holds promise. They are a very proud people, and everyone I encountered was kind to me in the extreme.

        The Hungarians are mostly “angry” about the current state of economic affairs in their country, and they are NOT optimistic about the future. They were polite to me, but not as friendly as their Romanian neighbors. At the time in July 2013, I was completely unaware of any growing anti-West or anti-American sentiment.

        In both countries, people seem keenly aware of the corruption in their government. The Romanians seemed more determined to eradicate that corruption.

        • mackykam

          Whereas there may not be many Jews in China today, the governments, past and present, have never persecuted Jews, or their descendants in Kai’feng, of which there are several thousand. And during WW2, Shanghai was refuge for thousands of Jews that had fled Europe via Russia.

          • Brian Reynolds

            So, explain to me how the Jews who fled to China during WWII became the “most productive parts” of Chinese society today.

            Simple answer: they didn’t stay in China very long, and they aren’t a part of the most productive parts of China today.

    • Hurubbi

      Then you can leave, too!

  • Duperray

    Americans, better wake up soon: Present Administration is far more authoritarian, ideologically driven and despotic in its behaviour than felt, aiming at performing a non-reversible change of all US economy. And this goal is close to be achieved….After this, is time to cry only…

  • Nelson

    To Barna Toth
    Orbán was elected. And in 3 and half years there will be a chance to remove him from the office of ministerpresident by elections again. Wait my friend! Tolerate please, the decision of the hungarian people.
    I know, the Lenin boys don,t know the word “tolerance”, but you have to learn it! Accept please, that there is no red army right now to move into Hungary to “restore” again the demokracy. The Deutsche Wehrmacht is not reachable right now either. So, sorry, you have to accept the rules.

    • Barna Toth

      Read what OSCE said about the elections. Im not afraid of too many things in life but I’m afraid the next elections will be even shittier. No control on the goverment. Do you think ANY news apart from some leftie online news ever talked about the frauds that happened this spring? Becasue thats what OSCE said. What you dont see is the democraical system is so new to hungarians that they have no clue about it. for an englshman or for someone from the states at least the basic rules are clear. Note that most pople in hungary were socialized during dictatorship back before ’90. So if Orban destruct free press people will not realize they are loosing the control over the government. Last year a new law was introduced saying journalist must have a searious reason (whats serious) to get the financial data’s of governmental investments. Practically we will never know what our money is spent on. Never.

  • Nelson

    In this situation in Hungary the problem is not Orbán, but the fact, that the left opposition is completly incompetent, inpotent, a total blunder in every respekt. This is the problem, this is the couse of the 2/3 majority and not Orbán. The 2/3 majority also not ideal in my opinion, but this is a produkt of the opposition, and not Orbán,s.

    • Barna Toth

      and the same old reasoning: blame the oppositon. as they would make a difference…Cmon it’s Orban time for 5 years now plus I think he will make it to the eternity! God save our big strong leader! (no)

  • Sándor Mátyás

    What are you talking about? Orbán is the biggest lier and cheater in the EU nowadays (he himself was bragging about his successful “peacock-dance” with the EU in the past two years!) and you are blaming the opposition?
    They are weak, it’s true, but the the electorial system and all the laws have been altered in a way that nobody could win just Orbán’s party. What are you talking about? Lenin boys and and the Red Army of the weak opposition? Nowadays it is exactly the Fidesz Party and the Orbán Government who act and manipulate the people according to the good old communist methods that they had learnt from their ex-communist fathers. Hungary and its turncoat prime minister will be a serious source of anxiety for Europe in the future if it goes on like this….

  • Sándor Mátyás

    It also must be known that the 2/3 win that the government and its fans like to refer to is far from the 2/3 of the population. The truth is: the majority of the Hungarian people do not go to elect or vote at all, most Hungarians have sunk into total apathy.

  • Nelson

    It is realy funy too see what kind of a pool of sharks is this forum! So much frustration! Unbelievable!
    Total incapability to realise and accept the realities. If it would not be so sad, we could have a good laugh about this “freedom of madness”.

  • Sala

    The problem is, that those four points would not reach the majority of Hungarian people. No ground in media would transfer such measures as information or it would bios it.

  • Irenaeus

    Mr Gati represents the interests of a small group, which is not the same as the opinion of the majority!

    The Hungarian Jews should be responsible in the connection between the Hungarians and the world’s Jews. But instead they isolate themselves and propagate hate both in Hungary and abroad.

    A well-organized network, (in the USA, Austria, Sweden,…) the media there receive informations from special persons to propagate humiliation both about the Hungarian government an about the Hungarians.

    The Hungarian government has repeatedly asked for forgiveness about Auschwitz, but we always hear that the Hungarians are guilty!

    Why do we not hear anything about those, who sacrificed their lives for their Jewish brothers and sisters?

    Today’s new generation has nothing to do with it!

    Why we do not hear anything about what happened in Vojvodina (Vajdaság), in Transylvania (Erdély), in Transcarpathia (Kárpátalja) and in Felvidék, where there are no village or towns, where have not died Hungarians after the Trianon, because they were Hungarians?

    This is Hungarians’ Auschwitz, about which Mr. Gati never talks!

    Where was the USA in 1956 and in many other cases, when the Hungarians needed its help? Where was the USA, when our Jewish brothers and sisters needed to be saved?

    From here originates all disappointments towards the USA!!

    We need such experts, who know the real situation in Hungary and who not represent a small groups’ opinion!

    We do not hear about many things, which represents the opinion of the majority!

    Our Jewish brothers and sisters complain a lot but the Hungarian Academy of Sciences celebrate Vámbéry Ármin (1832-1913) (who was a great scholar) in 2013 and never popularized the first Hungarian lady archaeologist, Dr. Zsófia Torma (1832-1899) (who was a great scholar too)!
    Please, Mr. Gati write about the reality in Hungary!

    • Breif2

      And here we go.

      We’re having a discussion about the nature of the regime Hungary’s rulers might be striving for, and Boom! “It’s all because of the Joooooos!”

      The title of this post has become most apposite.

      • Barna Toth

        what she says is not her thoughts but represents the opinon and view of cca 2 million voters who keep Orban in power. Of course its because of the jews and EU and IMF and eeerm wait a sec who else? Ah Obama of course! Thanks god there ae still good people on this earth like Putin!

    • mackykam

      The reality is that Hungarians hunted Jews to turn over to the Nazis. Hungary will never wash that bloodstain out, nor will Germany or France. Good catholics still blame the Jews for the death of one Jew they turned into a god. Well Hungarians have the blood of 900,000 dead Jews on their collective conscience, each and every one of them God’s Chosen people.

      • Moshe Shekelwitz

        WHY ARE YOU MINIMIZING THE NUMBER OF JEWS TURNED OVER TO THE EVIL NAZIS BY THESE RACIST HUNGARIAN CATTLE? Are you a Nazi? At least a bajillion jews were gassed to death in the wooden gas chambers of death,killed with pneumatic hammers, or re-purposed Rube Goldberg machines at Auschwitz alone,you Holocaust denier!

        Remember the 60 trillion!!!

    • Benton Moore

      Take heart. I know no one that thinks about Hungary at all. You are free to forge a positive identity.

      • Barna Toth

        dont bother.she is repeating the all universal hungarian excuses. we are good people but bad people always forced us to do shit. responsibilty is unknown in Hungary

    • Barna Toth

      Dumb. Thats the right word for this comment. Talknig about new generation…The leader party collaborates with the 2nd biggest party the openly nazi Jobbik. The government is antidemocratic, does nothing against racism, and supports antisemtitzm. Plus they are under the influence of Putin.

      • Moshe Shekelwitz

        What-what-WHAT!? The goyim in Hungary are trying to create a non jew-approved type of government,neglecting racism against non-Whites instead of just ignoring racism against Whites by non-Whites,founding a government that we can’t buy off to use for our own purposes or turn into a communist oligarchy or dictatorship by saying it’s the will of the (jewish) People and to top it all off they hate us Chosen Ones, the people who brought you backwards and primitive goyim the wonders of racial miscegenation,pedophilia,bestiality ,homosexuality,usury,slavery,and Bolshevism!?

        How DARE they?

        I think it’s about time for Israel to “defend itself” against Hungary too!

        • Barna Toth

          what are u smoking?

          • Moshe Shekelwitz

            I’m not smoking anything,I’m here representing the poor persecuted jewish minority community in a sea of stale,pasty,bourgeois White goyim. I’m reminding you of your obligation to remember the 60 bazillion and remunerate any jew who claims to be a “Holocaust survivor” with your hard-earned shekels,whether you or your country fought for or against Nazi Germany. I’m also reminding you goyim to support everything that Israel does, even shooting babies in the head with sniper rifles as they cower in UN schools and hospitals.

            Remember the 60 bajillion.

          • Barna Toth

            Good one, thanks

    • Moshe Shekelwitz

      HOW DARE YOU invoke the sacred name of those Chosen Ones who suffered so harribully at Auschwitz!? Our talmud teaches that you Hungarians,as well as all other goyim, have less value than a jewish fingernail clipping,that your souls are satanic, and your bodies are the bodies of animals! And here we can see it confirmed,with you DARING to mention the jews who had such atrocities as being forced to take showers and being given haircuts visited upon them at Auschwitz by the evil Nazi regime,which all of you Europeans are guilty of, even Britain,and all of you must be punished with death for, including the USA!

  • mackykam

    ‘national foundations’ is code word for the Jobbik party’s anti-semitism.
    When all else fails, blame the Jews. Good Catholics, those Hungarians. They made even better Nazi collaborators.

    • qet

      From what I can tell about Europe generally, anti-Semitism is a principle shared by both Right and Left.

      • Moshe Shekelwitz

        Oy gevault, why do dey poisecute us jews so harribully? And after all that we went through with the Shoah! We had nothing to eat but diamonds!

    • Moshe Shekelwitz

      Jobbik is so harribul! If we don’t shut the Nazi baztids down dere’ll be anuddah Shoah! Oy vey!

      • mackykam

        You need to remove the foreskin from your mouth. It will improve your speech immensely.

        • Moshe Shekelwitz

          You filthy Nazi, I’ll call Abe Foxman and have dis site shut down for anti-semitism!

          • mackykam

            See! Your English has improved.

          • Moshe Shekelwitz

            Do you see the kind of anti-semitic bigotry we jews have to put up with? Look at this hate speech!

          • mackykam

            Putz! If it is written it’s not speech, it’s prose.

          • Moshe Shekelwitz

            Oy gevault,you have the chutzpah to say that after your previous anti-semitic outbursts!? You’re minimizing the suffering of a Holocaust survivor!

          • mackykam

            I’ve had enough! While you may find engaging with me sexually stimulating l finding you intellectually boring.

          • Moshe Shekelwitz

            I don’t find you sexually stimulating at all but I’d be willing to overlook dat to marry into some shekels. That’d make any green-blooded jewish man stand up and salute.

          • mackykam

            Tell the truth: the thought of fondling my shekels stimulates you sexually. I’ll bet you’re drooling right now.

          • Moshe Shekelwitz

            Like my mother used to say before the Nazis turned her into a lampshade, then a bar of soap and then a fountain pen,if there’s three things that we jews do well it’s homosexuality,coprophilia,and pinching shekels.

  • noStarBucks

    “liberal democracies”. LOL. Like in America?

  • jb willikers

    he claims that the U.S.
    president “openly speaks about economic patriotism,” and he does so in a
    way that would have been “unimaginable six or eight years earlier.”
    Again, one wonders what Orbán had in mind.

    It is clear what he has in mind and it’s a point in his favor when it comes to free markets. He is referring to Obama trying to force the repatriation of overseas cash that has built up due to US tax laws. That sir, is a strong point FOR free markets.

  • Attila Fenyes

    Mr. Gáti is looking at the Hungarian situation trough a pink liberal/progressive lens. If he read/listend to Orbán’s speech he totally misunderstood the meaning, or he does not have the mental capacity to understand the Hungarian language. For Mr. Gáti to criticize Hungarian politics while living in the USA and not noticing the political landscape of the USA is total hypocrisy. Cherry picking words out of the speech to criticize is unethical. Mr Gáti is a leader of expatriate Hungarians who is one of the leaders in scolding the Hungarian nation whether it deserve it or not. I, as a Hungarian-American am ashamed of Mr. Gáti’s propaganda activities.

    • Barna Toth

      Oh no! It’s liberals again! They are against all free dictators! I live here and dont support any party and I think Orban is a shame. Not Gati who talks about his shit.

      • Attila Fenyes

        Oh yes! It’s progressives again! I don’t know where you live, “here” is not a geographic location. However, here in the USA the progressives are the dictators, like our president and his administration. You mention “Orban is a shame”. Could you be more specific and give us some specific examples. What ruffled your feathers?

  • Brown Slav

    I’m pretty sure “Barna Toth” is one of those trolls the US government pays to post on websites to sway opinion their way. (Yup. Good old USA. Propaganda paid for by the taxpayers!) Notice how he is continually responding like it’s his job….hmmmm…I guess things aren’t so bad for him in “Hungary” that he has to keep busy at a job. I am an American living in Hungary. And I come from the other side. The economy in the US is abysmal. The cost of living is extremely high. The numbers Gati talks about are pure lies. 6% unemployment?!!! Hahahah! People can’t get jobs. People are crippled with hundreds of thousands of USD $ in student loan debt. It was studied by a top university and we have an oligarchy running the show. There is no more democracy. Our government is bought and paid for by Wall Street/Banks and the corporations. Stop preaching democracy when there is none!!! US gov is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Much worse than an open dictator. I have seen great improvements in Hungary. The food is not poison Monsanto GMOs, there are fair prices, they are building infrastructure for the people. At least all the taxes aren’t going to the government to spy on its people, to grope them in airports, and to bomb innocents where there is oil they want. (Yay Freedom! Yay democracy!) US used to be good. But it is gone. If you are one of the elite top maybe 10%, your life is awesome in the US. Everyone else struggles like the working Hungarians. Keep fighting the good fight, Mr. Orban.

  • EllenO

    Here’s a newsflash. Maybe Orbán is right!

    Maybe he is simply being insightful. After all in many respects Western societies are indeed in decline unless you are into the multiculti nonsense. UK, France and other smaller European countries will have Muslim near majorities by the late 2030s. Should be interesting. Pretty fair chance of a civil war here and there. And the the US will be a Brazilian like mess with manic citizen surveillance and concomitant economic ineptitude. Obungler is just a prelude.

    What’s that I hear from the libs? Racist! racist! Neocon. (Perhaps even Nazi). Yeh whatever. But who can deny that the track the West is on is not going well with a decidedly downward trajectory.

    Perhaps Mr Orbán, demagogic as he is, is simply more perspicacious and less suckered by two-bit wishful thinking lib ideas than US based Mr Gati.

  • Brother Mathias

    Budapest is the capital of Hungary and it is where goulash comes from. When I was a kid goulash was pretty much spaghetti sauce with paprika and macaroni was the pasta of choice. Now I find out real goulash is beef stew (with paprika added); that is the extant of my knowledge and interest in this vibrant EU nation. How can Europe get along if Hungary defects?

  • Moshe Shekelwitz

    I believe it’s time for Bibi to call Mr. Obama and have these meshugganah goys razed with rockets like da terrorist toddlers of Khamas! It’s like my Rabbi,G-d rest him, used to say:“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel.”

    “In Israel, death has no dominion over them… With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money.

    “This is his servant… That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew.”

    “Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat… That is why gentiles were created.”

    I don’t know why G-d always takes the good ones, like my dear departed Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

  • Vasant Moharir

    I hope the Hungarians have not forgotten the Russian Invasion of Hungary in 1950s when Hungarians showed inclination for doing away the shackles of Soviet Union. It seems Hungarians are not pleased with any system. It was fortunate for Hungary to become a member of EU and share with other peace and democracy loving nations benefits of a greater economic and political organization. If Hungarians are fond of the Chinese Model of Democracy and Development they can do that but not remaining a member of EU. When the whole EU has taken a strong stand against Russia and have decided on stringent sanctions against it, Hungarian increasing bonhomi towards it is not strengthening the efforts of EU.VasantMoharir

  • PubliusDemocritus

    Great article – it actually convinces one that Orbán is right, despite the author’s bias. I need to really read Orbán’s original speeches, now, because he comes across as more intelligent and visionary than his ex-professor and now critic. Good luck in saving your nation from the collapsing Western feudal regime, Mr. Orbán.

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