“Viktor Orbán officially, openly and solemnly declared the end of democracy in Hungary. This is no laughing matter… Worsening social conditions will sooner or later generate discontent in this country. And there will be insane people, with no conscience, who, faced with a nightmare situation, will not hesitate to ruin the country.”
Philosopher and former Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) MP Gáspár Miklós Tamás called Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Tusnadfurdo speech in which he proclaimed a new, “illiberal democracy” a “game-changer” on ATV’s Egyenes Beszed (Straight Talk) on Monday.
The new element brought about on Saturday by the prime minister is that his approach is now “organized into a coherent system,” according to Tamás. Orbán had broken off not only with his entire political past but with Hungary’s acceptance of basic post-1945 principles. According to Tamás, this means that Orbán “officially, openly and solemnly declared the end of democracy in Hungary. This is no laughing matter”.
“From now on, Orbán’s personality is officially part of the Hungarian political system. He is not going to peacefully let this power go because, like any tyrant, he is here to stay. It is time to take Orbán’s personality seriously at last. Whoever wants to get Orbán out of office will have to consider the worst-case scenario,” Tamás said, adding that he predicts a tragic outcome for Hungary. “Worsening social conditions will sooner or later generate discontent in this country. And there will be insane people, with no conscience, who, faced with a nightmare situation, will not hesitate to ruin the country. What we heard (from Orbán) is life-threatening.”
Tamás told ATV’s Olga Kálmán that even though policies of worker oppression, anti-liberalism and anti-equality have already appeared on a legislative level, the Fidesz leadership has now formed a unified worldview out of their so-far ad hoc attitude towards Hungarian people.
According to this new concept of “workfare state”, “slave labor” has been legalized in Hungary within the framework of “an extremely aggressive, xenophobic, hard-hitting, oppressor-state,” Tamás said, adding that for the time being there is no effective way to resist what the Fidesz government is doing. “Our society is tired of this fight, and rightly so. You simply cannot expect self-sacrifices from people without giving them any hope. This will not stay like this forever but at present this is the situation.”
According to Tamás, with his speech “Orbán managed to write one of the blackest pages of the country’s history” adding that, as the speech took place in Romania in tandem with some of Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén’s “provocations against” Romanian authorities, it created the image of a senselessly intolerant state.
Gáspár Miklós Tamás, who was originally from Transylvania, became known as a dissenter against the party state in the 1970s. He was one of the first independent candidates to the Kádár-era parliament, joining liberal SZDSZ’s first parliamentary faction in 1990. Since then he quit SZDSZ and abandoned liberal politics, and by the mid 2000s had become a virtually lone voice in Hungary for the new Western European left.
When Orbán returned to power in 2010 Tamás lost his job at the Philosophical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In recent years Tamás has been one of the hardest critics of Orbán’s social and cultural policies, as well as the Western-type market liberalism advocated by mainstream Hungarian opposition. He has helped establish a number of new small left-political parties, the newest of which is Balpárt (Left-wing party).
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