[Marxism] Hungary's black shirts

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jul 26 12:18:34 MDT 2011


http://www.bostonreview.net/BR36.4/paul_hockenos_hungary_europe_right_wing_extremism.php

On the March
Hungary’s Ascendant Right Wing
by Paul Hockenos

How is it that Hungary, Central Europe’s democratic wunderkind of 
1989, could find itself the European Union’s problem child two 
decades later, with a nationalist strongman at the helm, the 
economy in shambles, and a ferocious far right both in its 
parliament and in black uniforms patrolling its suburbs? Hungary’s 
dire condition—and how it came to pass—is the topic of the veteran 
Mitteleuropa expert Paul Lendvai’s most recent book, Mein 
Verspieltes Land: Ungarn im Umbruch, or My Squandered Country: 
Hungary Transformed, released last year in German and in Hungarian 
this past January.

The 81-year-old Lendvai is one of the grand old men of Central 
European journalism, author of a stack of books translated into a 
dozen languages. But never before has one of his titles provoked 
such fierce reactions from the powers that be. The right-wing 
network of the Fidesz party, led by its undisputed front-man and 
Hungary’s current prime minister, Victor Orbán, has done all it 
can to discredit Lendvai. Thanks to a landslide victory in the 
2010 elections, Fidesz now controls more than two-thirds of 
parliament, and the liberal and leftist oppositions have imploded. 
Yet the right is paying attention to My Squandered Country—perhaps 
too much attention for its own good. Without a penny of 
advertising the book emerged as Hungary’s best-selling nonfiction 
title this spring.

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