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25 May 2018

The Renewed Social Contract – Hungary’s Elections, 2018



THE POLITICAL CONTEXT AND CONFLICTS


The general elections of Hungary in 2018 have produced a third consecutive two-third majority in a row since 2010 for the incumbent ruling party alliance called “Fidesz–KDNP”, i.e. FIDESZ–Hungarian Civic Alliance and Christian Democratic People’s Party. It is rare in a democracy that a party can win three consecutive elections, but three two-third majorities are practically unknown in the history of modern democracy, provided the democracy is a real democracy. And here comes a series of questions, allegations and accusations that challenges all the Western experience and assumptions about how a democracy should look like or should behave. When it is always the other who wins, let it be economic, social, political or almost all types of competitions, very soon the winner will be subject to accusations of “fraud”, dictatorial behaviour”, or being “the enemy of democracy”. To some extent it resembles the development of anti-capitalistic mentality, convincingly described by Ludwig von Mises some sixty years ago, which was based on an alleged moral insight: if I do everything in order to be successful in my economic activity, yet there are some who are more successful than me, then they must commit fraud or they cheat. Mises’s own words: “He is at least as brilliant, efficient and industrious as those who outshine him. Unfortunately this nefarious social order of ours does not accord the prizes to the most meritorious men; it crowns the dishonest unscrupulous scoundrel, the swindler, the exploiter, the ‘rugged individualist’.”1 Thus the fact that the Viktor Orbán-led Fidesz could win three consecutive elections by a two-third majority needs to be justified not only on grounds of a democratic procedure but also on a broader political and moral basis. Constant success is always suspicious especially in politics, sports and sex.

All voices which tend to label Hungary’s political development over the past eight years as “authoritarian”, destroying the rule of law”, and “anti-democratic” are primarily motivated by views mainly framed by intellectuals who are the heirs of the intellectuals of the Communist period and poignantly described by Czesław Miłos as “captive mind(s)”. Not only Communism may enchant the intellectually more committed but any other set of structured ideas. What is indispensible is the belief in the Method: “Paradoxical as it may seem, it is this subjective importance that convinces the intellectual that the one Method is right. Everything proves it is right. Dialectics: I predict the house will burn; then I pour gasoline over the stove. The house burns; my prediction is fulfilled.”2 In a post-Communist country like Hungary many intellectuals are still in a state of “captive mind”. The label changed, the adoration of the Method has remained. Not as if Western intellectuals and academia would ever be free from the enchantment of the Method. Does it have any concern with what is seen as a revolt against “liberal democracy” in the name of a rather dim concept of “illiberal democracy”? Yes, it does. Because what is going on is a revolt against the Method, also in Hungary, 2018.

Without entering into a turbulent discussion about the issue why democracy has become the unchallengeable form of regime around the globe, it is necessary to declare that modern democracies through their main instrument, the regular elections, provide opportunities for the elite and the electors to conclude or renew what was called by early modern political theorists a social contract. This regime, therefore, from its inception is based on a modern liberal conception, the idea of social contract. Most public intellectuals are, however, inclined to forget that in order to run a society you need to ensure the majority of votes, and this job is more than endless moralising and playing out the authority of the intellectuals. It is easier to denigrate the successful political opponent as “populist” than to work for the active support of the people, and suffer intellectually for the more profound understanding of the conditions of the world.

Another major feature of the democratic regime is that its political context is the nation- state, or a political community that has legally, socially and culturally determined limits or boundaries. The only exception is the economic side of the issue, for today economic development is less and less tied to any of the above described political communities. A current assessment of the global political developments at least over the last 15–20 years suggests that the nation state is dying and liable to disappear in the face of global development. Rana Dasgupta, for instance, argues that if the dominant nation state system of the day remains the only political framework, the global economic and technological developments would prevail without any political control. This is what he says: “If we wish to rediscover a sense of political purpose in our era of global finance, big data, mass migration and ecological upheaval, we have to imagine political forms capable of operating at that same scale. The current political system must be supplemented with global financial regulations, certainly, and probably transnational political mechanisms, too. That is how we will complete this globalisation of ours, which today stands dangerously unfinished. Its economic and technological systems are dazzling indeed, but in order for it to serve the human community, it must be subordinated to an equally spectacular political infrastructure, which we have not even begun to conceive.”3 The nation state, which was a historical product of the Westphalia Peace Treaty of 1648, has become obsolete, and if we fail to respond adequately to the globalisation of economic force and technological development, it may even disappear.

Dasgupta has three points to tackle the current political crisis manifesting itself in the demise of the nation state. Firstis clear: global financial regulation. Today’s great engines of wealth creation are distributed in such a way as to elude national taxation systems”; second, “global flexible democracy. As new local and transnational political currents become more powerful, the nation state’s rigid monopoly on political life is becoming increasingly unviable. Nations must be nested in a stack of other stable, democratic structures – some smaller, some larger than they – so that turmoil at the national level does not lead to total breakdown”; and third, “we need to find new conceptions of citizenship. Citizenship is itself the primordial kind of injustice in the world. It functions as an extreme form of inherited property and, like other systems in which inherited privilege is overwhelmingly determinant, it arouses little allegiance in those who inherit nothing.”

These three points neatly summarise the key issues that affect the judgement of every single election around the globe in recent years including the Hungarian elections since 2010. Dasgupta refers to Viktor Orbán several times in his essay. For instance, “similar varieties of populism are erupting in many countries. Several have noted the parallels in style and substance between leaders such as Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, Viktor Orbán and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan”, or “[l]ike Putin or Orbán, Trump imbues citizenship with new martial power, and makes a big show of withholding it from people who want it: what is scarcer, obviously, is more precious”. The world press is full of fixed mantras about Viktor Orbán (and his associates). The dominant view on Orbán’s policy is embedded in a context tilted towards the mainstream liberal interpretation of politics, i.e. liberal democracy is good, political matters are judged from the individual’s perspective who acts behind the veil of ignorance, and the idea of progress ultimately triumphs in all debates. The trump against Orbán and other politicians who challenge this context is the concept of “populism”, a political attitude, style and partly ideology that presents a new model of democracy which is neither liberal, nor demagogic. The focus has been removed from the liberal intellectuals and institutions to the people and the idea of leadership. The underlying ideology or set of ideas might vary in a wide range of intellectual spectrum including classical natural right and law arguments, religious conceptions, common sense judgements, and also the hubris of modern scientific achievements.

There is a very simple method of how to stave off the contextual and ideological confusion. It is the opposition of the realist and the utopian approach to any politics. By realist I mean the actual framework of a given political development, the actual motives and interpretations of the political agents, and the actual series of events not independently from past experience. By utopianism I mean the assessment of all ideas put forward by political agents which are meant to convince the electorate about the most desirable aims to be achieved in the future. This is a very loose or soft conception of utopianism, deliberately so.

 

THE REALIST VIEW – WHAT THERE IS

 

The Orbán-led Fidesz got 650,000 more votes in 2018 than in 2014, and had 336,000 more votes than the total votes of the opposition parties. The people voted for Orbán in an undisputable proportion and manner after two terms (2010–2014 and 2014–2018) full of real reforms and decisions, all derived from political principles, and amid often rude and threatening international reception. A lot of modern political science textbooks must be replaced after Orbán’s third uninterrupted success, it seems.

Firstly, the crucial factor in interpreting the successful Orbán governments is Viktor Orbán’s own political career itself, and his personality. There are appallingly few works dealing with Viktor Orbán as a person. Personal cult is far from his character, and very few people are able to put him on a proper scale which involves not only his usual data since his birth, but the development of his political thought. All works on him concentrate upon his political evolution distinct from the evolution of his thinking. He never practiced law as his original profession, because his whole mindset has been revolving around political thought and action from scratch. He is also a political thinker. His intellectual evolution can be interpreted as an emancipation process from under the biases of modern social sciences, the intellectual milieu in the last decade of the Communist period in which a mixture of soft (“human-faced”) Marxism blended with undigested liberal concepts, without having any direct experience of how the actual Western constitutional order worked. What he, as all of us, knew was that Communism as an economic and social system was over, and Russian troops must leave Hungary where they had been stationing since 1945. In Hungary the anti-Communist dissident movement was weaker and intellectually less diverse as in, say, Poland. Orbán’s early liberal naïveté was ended due to practical and moral reasons. At the 1994 elections the internally divided Fidesz barely passed the electoral threshold, and Orbán was forced to re-evaluate his attitude towards the Hungarian liberals who supported a party (Alliance of Free Democrats), which entered the coalition government led by the post-Communist Hungarian Socialist Party. And what is more important, his relationship completely turned sour with liberal intellectuals who acted arrogantly and superciliously. His simultaneous discovery of religious ideas and conversion did not yet give a new character to his first premiership between 1998 and 2002. His government did his best on the basis of his early political convictions, yet he failed with a close shave in 2002. That defeat considerably modified his mind and view of politics and government. Like Trump, Orbán has a character the catch-word of which is you either win or lose. If you lose, you are nobody. His first name “Viktor” really defined his character: someone who wins. Life is a constant competition, and politics is a concentrated race, struggle and fight. By 2010 Orbán had already considerably modified his view of politics, the trends of the world and the nature of democracy. It can be summarised as “in a democracy you need to have the majority of the votes”. In other words, in politics it is success and nothing else that determines your opportunities to implement your policy. Politics is profoundly moral, but a political actor wants to win elections and not a world championship of morality. He also recognised that political ideas are ineffective without social organisation and embeddedness. Political activity derails if you are unable to reach out to the grassroots. Urban intellectuals hardly win national elections. It is remarkable that Orbán won the latest elections with evenly distributed votes from every category of the society – blue-collars, intellectuals, rural population (outstanding figures), middle-class, religious and non-religious voters, young and old etc. all contributed to his exceptional victory. He has really created a people’s party. In a nutshell, Orbán has always wanted to understand what is going on in the world, what new thoughts are around, and then he has always wished to translate thoughts into the language of political action. Who is not? But he is aware of a precondition. He clearly distinguishes between the high brow intellectual activity, and the field of political action. Each has its own goals, means and forms of action. In Hungary he is the first Prime Minister in this new era who appoints politicians to key positions, and never public intellectuals.

Second, Orbán is the only major political leader today in Hungary who started his political career as an anti-Communist in 1989. His prime motivation has remained to carry out the regime change not only constitutionally, but also socially, economically, morally and culturally. He is not a powermonger; for him power is a means for precious political goals based on principles like pertaining to the bond between the nation-state and democracy, the guiding principle of national identity and interest, and a balance between faith and rationality in decision-making which helps to find answers to the most demanding issues like demography, economic development, social sustainability and cultural identity in the face of globally prompted necessities or demands. Western interpreters usually fail to consider that Orbán is an arch anti-Communist, a self-evident fact unfortunately often overlooked.

The point I wish to convey is that the spiritual and intellectual relationship between Communism and today’s liberal democracy is closer than the liberals would be ready to accept. The debate, mainly between historians about the pertinence of levelling the evils of fascism and Communism, is continued by a most disputed distinction between Communism and liberalism. However, there is a growing observation that one might consider Communism and liberalism as related in spirit.

Similarities in intellectual mentality are as follows: you are in possession of the meaning and secret of progress (history for the Communists, unlimited economic and social development for the liberals; global state without internal boundaries; equality should be seen as absolute). Thus, people are equal in terms of economics and politics based on public property for the Communists, and equality is secured by secondary distribution through taxes and state interventions; cultural equity through political allegiance to the regime, i.e. all cultural productions are legitimate as long as they do not challenge the political arrangements; this is what liberals call political correctness by referring to the norms of pluralism and tolerance.

From a realist point of view both types of ideology are founded on a normative aspect allowing utopian thought to occupy practical and applicable grounds, i.e. the utopian aspect of all political thought is radicalised and materialised. Figurative norms prevail in all modern regimes which consider themselves from the vantage point of the future, thus celebrating the priority of the would-be to any other forms of existence. Both Communism and liberalism are not just utopian ideologies, but by changing the meaning of knowledge they claim to know what is to come and therefore what is to be done. Anti-Communism today assumed a new dimension: anti-liberalism using the concept of illiberal that covers various forms of modernism.

The third aspect of Orbán’s third electoral success is due to the dire straits of the Hungarian opposition including mainly leftist parties, but also the originally radical right-wing party called “Jobbik”. Altogether the leftist opposition parties garnered 320,000 less votes in 2018 than in 2014, and Jobbik practically could not increase the number of its supporters, though still about one million voted for them among the 5.6 million voters. Why is that sharp decline in the left–liberal camp? Like in similar issues, there is no one single answer to the question. The Hungarian post- Communist left and the liberals have always looked to the West to borrow ideas indiscriminately from and implement them on home soil. But the leftist ideologies have got exhausted by now. It was in the 1960s when the Left could last put forward new or politically viable ideas thanks to the reinterpretation of Marx basically derived from a long-time unknown manuscript entitled The Economic and Philosophic Manuscript of 1844. What the Left could produce afterwards is linked to the liberal tenets about the individual’s growing or extended rights regarding almost every aspect of human existence. This co-habitation or merging of leftist and liberal ideas ended up with an emaciated content of leftism. The only mobilising ideology left for it is that what is produced as a result of market economy or “capitalism” should be redistributed by norms which are constructed in liberal labs like the Rawlsian conception of the “justice as fairness”.

Anyone who is not committed or enchanted by the latest liberal ideas concerning gender or radical egalitarianism, will be reduced to refurbishing ideas of the discarded past, especially the natural right or natural law theories, and traditions which are seen on the Left as obsolete or untenable. But they are neither obsolete, nor untenable. Today the exciting or novel ideas come from the less leftist and less liberal quarters of thinkers. Conservative or common sense ideas have been becoming more and more attractive in Europe recently than the leftist ones. Epoch-making changes are underway in political thought.

The political symbol of Orbán’s political world is the new constitution enacted in 2011. It is based on regained national pride, a re-interpretation of Hungarian history, and a complete system of democratic institutional arrangements based on classical liberalism, while rejecting the goals of modern radical liberalism.

 

THE UTOPIAN VIEW – WHAT THERE SHOULD BE

 

The Orbán-led Fidesz did not produce election programmes either in 2014 or in 2018. There was no need for them. Programmes depicting the future along election promises had become obsolete and in 2018 it was not a point of debate anymore. In 2014 Orbán simply sent a message instead saying that “We Carry On”; in 2018 he did not repeat it, but had another message for the citizens: “For Us Hungary is First”. An election without an explicit programme or promises does not mean that Orbán does not specify what are the central goals of his policy- making. Just the other way round. He has always bothered much about talking about ideas, and has done a lot in order to diffuse widely his political messages. If you have not got a programme, you need to amend the meanings of politically charged words and expressions unceasingly. In order to be able to maintain the image of your readiness to act and the focus of your politics, you must constantly develop or spin the story of the outcomes of your decisions. Orbán’s story has at least two boosts. The one is his character, and the other is the way he indentifies issues as the focus of his politics. As to his character, he knows that a politician is finished if he or she is caught red-handed as a liar. Politicians are notorious for lying, no doubt about that. But there are many ways of lying, and many ways of telling the truth by lying. Orbán once called on his audience not to care about what he says but to attend to what he does. This is not a cynical statement, but an open admission that in politics it is impossible to do always what you have talked about. Things change rapidly in politics, and agendas become obsolete.

What does the Orbán government want? What is the core of an undisclosed policy? There are three concepts that shed light on the fundamental aspects or intentions. These are family, sovereignty and a meritorious moral system.

 

FAMILY

 

In Orbán’s political thought and action, government is primarily conceived as a political instrument. Governing is more than administration of affairs, it is the expression of political purposes or intentions. Politics is about goals that are offered to the people as a result of vital insight and consideration about basic necessities not yet really made conscious by the people, therefore they are to be convinced of the relevance of the goals. The key is a necessity revealed. The more fundamental a necessity, the bigger the political stake. The idea of family has played, and will be playing, a central role in all Orbán’s governments, affecting economic, financial, social and educational issues and decisions. But the fundamental political idea that underlies the politics of the Fidesz governments was substantially framed in the new Hungarian Fundamental Law (2011) as follows:

 

Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman established by voluntary decision, and the family as the basis of the survival of the nation.4

 

There are two powerful and decisive statements in this article. First, the basis of a family is marriage between a man and a woman, thus making a clear distinction between the institution of the traditional family, and any other forms of living together chosen by individuals; second, there is a strong connection between the family and the nation. The latter idea is supported by another article in the Fundamental Law:

 

We hold that the family and the nation constitute the principal framework of our coexistence, and that our fundamental cohesive values are fidelity, faith and love.5

 

Both on philosophical and political grounds this dual function of the family constitutes the core of the Orbán governments and public arguments. This will remain even more so in the period between 2018 and 2022. It immediately directs one’s attention to suggestions of declaring the nation state dead or at least a dead- end of political progress. The most controversial aspect of this idea, as it was already noted by Rana Dasgupta, is the distinction between the nation or nations and the nation state. 20th and 21st century developments of globalisation and technology are “cracking nations into fragments”, and global political processes and institutions will destroy the nation states, yet, as Dasgupta suggests, the nation as such will not disappear but will get impoverished, and will assume new forms like “post-national solidarities: roving tribal militias, ethnic and religious sub-states and super-states”. So whereas the nation states can be done away with, and Dasgupta regards the EU as a promising post-national organisation, the nation is still there. But what should be done with the nation under the new conditions? Once again the words of Dasgupta:

 

As new local and transnational political currents become more powerful, the nation state’s rigid monopoly on political life is becoming increasingly unviable. Nations must be nested in a stack of other stable, democratic structures some smaller, some larger than they so that turmoil at the national level does not lead to total breakdown. The EU is the major experiment in this direction, and it is significant that the continent that invented the nation state was also the first to move beyond it.6

 

If we compare the outspoken Hungarian Fundamental Law’s claim on the relationship between the family and the nation, no wonder that many critics of Orbán severely criticise the traditional idea of the family put forward by the Fundamental Law. At the same time many eulogise Orbán for his courageous politics in this respect.

It is obvious that Dasgupta’s arguments about the nation, if not blurred, contain several uncertainties and a failure. He seems to concede that the nation is somehow a natural phenomenon, i.e. its existence does not depend on human will, so the most he can hope for is that the idea of nation can be relativised and declared unimportant. But here comes a necessity most often depicted in terms of demography. Almost all European countries have been facing the economic, social and cultural consequences of their declining population. The smaller a nation is, the less likely they are to share the view of bigger nations’ seemingly comfortable solution to the problem: migration. There are enough working hands globally, their argument goes, only their allocation is by far not reasonable.

Ultimately the whole issue boils down to the conflict of whether it is the individual or the family that is the smallest unit of the community. If it is the individual, then the global society is about to reach its final form, liberal democracy; if it is the family, then the strengthening of nations is inevitable with all its merits and “handicaps”. The question is whether man has a real opportunity for choice, or he is tied to natural laws. There seems to be a powerful correlation between the thriving of families and the solidity of nations, and vice versa. After the Second World War in Europe, when the nation states became the prime butts and culprit of political criticism because of the two World Wars, and within the frameworks of the rising EU, integration came to be the number one political slogan, and the standards and qualities of the nation state were heavily attacked, parallel to the decline of the family and the tendency of worsening demographic data. Orbán is one of the few political leaders in Europe who can see the correlation between the weakening institution of the family and the growing antipathy against the idea of the nation. This is why family plays a pivotal role in his politics.

 

SOVEREIGNTY

 

This concept has a special meaning beyond the usual ones. It includes the style and method of using power beyond its original meaning, developed by Jean Bodin in the 16th century, and became one of the burning issues of political thinking afterwards. Sovereignty is about the size or extent of authority that a certain power can apply. It was decided that since sovereignty is the core of power, it must be limited, but it must also be avoided that the functions of wielding power, most eminently governing, be paralysed, thus endangering the decision-making and the government of a political community. All power is limited to various extents, there is no power without incursions of other or alien authorities.

From the very beginning the idea of sovereignty has been the central idea and instrument of Orbán’s political actions. Among his early campaign slogans we find this one: “Small victory, little changes; big victory, big changes!” by which he meant to convey to the people that the size of the voters’ entitlement would decide the depth of political changes after the elections. In other words, the people’s will has to be assessed not only by pure numbers or results, but also according to the intensity of emotions, passions and the expected achievements of a new government. Second, wielding power needs to have at least two conditions: one is the attractiveness and reasonableness of the political goals, and the other is the reliability and loyalty of the political background that provides the necessary strength of the government. What Orbán managed to draw as a lesson of his 2002 defeat was that it is not enough to have popular goals and suitable policies, but you must organise the political machinery without which leadership turns out to be a mere puppet of the administrative levels of government, and very soon would lose control over the political developments.

Third, legality or legal avowal enjoys priority over any political action. Both internationally and home, the Orbán administrations are always keen on having legal justification before implementing a political decision. Fourth, bravery, creativity and swiftness in managing things will remain in the focus of managing a legally obtained majority. Fifth, sovereignty means the enforcement of national interests, the preservation of national identity with special regard to ethnic Hungarians living in the neighbouring countries, and freedom from foreign powers that have threatened the Hungarians at least since the Ottoman Turks’ intrusion into Hungary in the 16th century.

Most conflicts between Hungary and the EU have arisen owing to the measure of sovereignty that has been put to the test in many ways, most conspicuously with the mass migration that has been causing a constant political irritation within the EU, and which helps surfacing other issues connected with the disputed principle of sovereignty.

 

SHIFT TO AN ETHIC OF INVIDIUAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

Every regime needs a moral foundation, or a system of moral relationships which cement the political community. One of the most interesting aspects of a three- times two-third majority is the question of what provides the lasting moral support to the Orbán-regime. After the Second World War the most influential moral philosophy was John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice. This book and the underlying ideas have served to justify the welfare-state redistribution practices by focusing on the concept of justice while ousting utilitarian ethics and highlighting equality that can be harmonised with the priority of freedom. Today the Rawlsian “justice as fairness” together with the most cherished idea of human rights serves to spread the moral foundations of liberal democracy.

At least until the 2008 crisis this moral system had no viable alternative. Something, however, began to change already at the turn of the century partly due to 9/11, partly to the more and more frequent conflicts that were being created because of the principle of fairness. Is it really fair that migrants claim rights to eking out goods from the Western wellbeing? And what if justice is more defendable than fairness, or even more, the idea of good might be preferred to justice? Too harshmodern liberals would say while nodding their heads. The moral confusion as to what is right and what is wrong seems to have reached its climax in Western civilisation. The key issue is the idea of rights and/or law. Political arguments are supposed to be based on the idea of rights. The idea of rights used to have a natural law/rights background up until high modernity. Today nobody believes any more that the idea of rights should be justified by the traditions of natural law/rights. Yet rights is a comprehensive term and each single right must be and can only be justified by human reason. Rights and/or law are either by nature or by human intellect. There is no compromise between the two moral systems described above because completely different political conclusions would have to be drawn from the two divergent arguments. The monopoly of the modern liberal interpretation of rights is being widely challenged, with more and more effect.

The Hungarian PM has been aware of the philosophical abyss underneath the issue. But being a politician he has had to make a choice expressed in the plain language of plebeian politics. The issue is always this: “May I do it?” or “Is it right if I do this and not that?” and what is more, “When am I safe?”, and “How can I participate in my community’s life?”; “What keeps the Hungarian community or nation together?” Orbán’s answer was this: in a mixed moral environment we must resuscitate the traditionally binding moral ties in the face of outside challenges. The egalitarian concept of justice still has a strong grip in a post- Communist society also encouraged by the Rawlsian concept of justice. But the question is whether the individual-based morality of the West can and will hold despite the real experience of the people amid the conditions of the regime change. A change of regime is about anything but justice. In addition the emphasis on the individual’s rights and satisfaction was shifted to the front issues of the community. What makes us a moral community? Rights are nothing if there is no community that warrants them. So the primary issue is the unity of the community when the individuals can trust each other to an acceptable extent. In my understanding Orbán discovered the system of the meritorious moral relationships alleviating the development of this moral requirement. You have rights, but first you have to fulfil your obligations. Without your personal merits, your community cannot stand by you when you need it, community assistance is not unconditional. Mutual merits are the basis of the harmony between the individual and the community in the country. The moral basis of the Orbán regime starts out from one’s fulfilling his/her obligations, to which the community would react favourably. This is the moral meaning of the 15 per cent personal income taxation for all. Work more, risk more, and you will be rewarded. It is also the meaning of requiring some performance of tasks for the community in return for social benefits – in one word, workfare. The central moral virtues are obligation and responsibility. Individual rights are dependent on them – that is the secret of an “illiberal” morality.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The renewed social contract between the people and Viktor Orbán and his party is founded on a historical condition (demise of Communism), a defective process of regime change (lack of a robust self-confidence and national identity), and a new moral context that can be called meritorious. The intellectually exhausted post- Communist Left as well as the dogmatic liberals have manoeuvred themselves toward the margins of the community. But Orbán’s political model managed to tackle both leftist and rightist radicalism. His politics is about the political centre defined in terms of national history and identity, the Christian context of our way of living, and a view of the good life primarily based on the question of “How do we want to live?” His suggestions to the electorate have been proved to be convincing in 2018.


 

Notes:


1 Ludwig von Mises: The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. Libertarian Press, 1972, p. 14.

2 Czesław Miłos: The Captive Mind. Penguin Books, 1980, p. 15.

3 Rana Dasgupta:The demise of the nation state.” https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/ apr/.../demise-of-the-nation-state-rana-dasgupt.

4 Hungarian Fundamental Law, Article L/1.

5 Ibid. “National Avowal”.

6 Rana Dasgupta:The demise of the nation state.” https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/ apr/.../demise-of-the-nation-state-rana-dasgupt.




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