Hungary Post-Elections: Our Fun-House Mirror?

April 23, 2010 at 8:49 am (By Amba) (, , )

Hungary could not be more different from the United States, yet the push and pull among corrupt Socialists, populists, and the Right feels eerily familiar.

What the Socialists did was catastrophic. For eight years they governed they steered the country on a zigzag course. All their attempts at reform failed, the budget in Hungary was so poorly managed that Hungary was hit extremely hard by the global economic downturn. But you could not really call them a socialist party. They no longer uphold socialist values. Behind the mask of socialist slogans lies an authoritarian pattern. This is the legacy of the Kadar regime: a caring state which tolerates no opposition. And again, it was riddled with corruption which inculpates the socialists in power.

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The party political struggle became nothing but a front for the battle for cash.

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[Y]ou shouldn’t be surprised at [far-right populist party] Jobbik’s popularity when desperate family men are constantly being laid off only to be rehired under worse conditions. The Europeans should not just look for the easy way out now by simply distancing themselves from these genuinely abhorrent neo-fascists. These people were not born that way.

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The country is heavily in debt and in need of radical reform – in education, health, pensions. The bureaucracy is absurdly inflated. A third of the population lives off the state.

Hmmm.  My friend Casselman the Prairie Editor sees omens and lessons for America in the upcoming British elections.  Yesterday on NPR while driving the van I heard Bolivian president Evo Morales kick off the alternative climate summit at Cochabamba by saying, “Capitalism dies or Mother Earth dies.  Capitalism lives or Mother Earth lives.”  These shifting winds are blowing around the globe.

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