Orbán is resorting to fascist rhetoric, says Lajos Bokros

November 10, 2015

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“It’s very interesting in this situation, when Europe is being strained by such great social and economic contradictions, that someone would unleash a wave of hatred onto a society that is already suffering great tension due to income inequality, unemployment, and poverty. . . .  But by saying that he is defending Christian culture from every other religion, race, ethnicity, and culture, and by condemning both liberalism and multiculturalism, (Viktor Orbán) is constructing a single race, culture, and religious perception that closely resembles fascism”.  – Lajos Bokros, Chairman, MOMA

Lajos Bokros, chairman of the center-right opposition party Movement for a Modern Hungary (MOMA), says Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has resorted to using “fascist themes to illustrate how global conspiracies are causing Hungary’s suffering”.

Bokros says Orbán is pandering to the sentiments of far-right extremist ideologues in Hungary by speaking about global financial conspiracies, referring to the refugee crisis as being “organized” and “financed” by conspirators, and by saying that Christian Europe needs to be defended or else will cease to exist.

“If someone uses such themes, conspiracy theories, racial pride, and notions of attacks on European Christianity, and adds these together to justify the savage response against refugees — it precisely fits the selection of themes originating from the Goebbels ministry in the past,” Bokros said.

According to Bokros, Europe and Hungary already suffered the consequences of such political messages 70 years ago.

Bokros also touched on a phrase that numerous Fidesz politicians and government officials have started using since undertaking their war on refugees, namely that Europe must defend its “Judeo-Christian” cultural heritage.

“Indeed, there was a time when certain people felt the need to defend Christianity from Judaism,” Bokros said. “Now they’re saying they want to protect Judeo-Christian culture from the religion of Islam. There will always be someone they target with exclusion. That’s not a good thing because exclusion always results in people garnering hatred, and it will stop people from paying attention to those economic, societal, cultural, and moral problems that are really affecting society.”

The MOMA chairman says that drawing a parallel between Orbán’s rhetoric and that of Goebbels is spot on because both espouse a certain degree of perceived racial superiority. Furthermore, Bokros says, both are premised on the fact a “protector” (in Hungary’s case, Orbán) must defend the Christian Europe that the enemy seeks to destroy.

Bokros said Orbán’s sense of what it means to be Christian differs greatly from Pope Francis.

“If we listen to what Pope Francis says – who it would be difficult to call the enemy of Christianity – Pope Francis speaks about love, empathy, and being open to help others coming from other religions, faiths and races.”

Bokros said Hungary’s political elite and a number of its Christian churches have turned against these principles and behaved in a manner that condemns the teachings of Pope Francis.

“It’s very interesting in this situation, when Europe is being strained by such great social and economic contradictions, that someone would unleash a wave of hatred onto a society that is already suffering great tension due to income inequality, unemployment, and poverty,” Bokros said. “It’s very dangerous”.

Bokros thinks that Orbán doesn’t have to say “Jew” in order for his extremist rhetoric to come across as anti-semitic. By targeting and naming George Soros and combining his name with “international financial oligarchy”, Bokros says Orbán is using a tool that was “very important terminology even back during the communist times”, that is, Orbán is deliberately inferring that a Jewish conspiracy is behind a deliberate attempt to undermine what he regards as “Christian Europe”.

“This is the result of a deliberate theme selection [on behalf of Orbán],” Bokros said.

“Everyone knows there are words that shouldn’t be spoken out loud. This is precisely the kind of political correctness that Orbán frequently attacks. Orbán himself is eager to make sure that he is politically correct by not naming ‘Jews’ openly. But by saying that he is defending Christian culture from every other religion, race, ethnicity, and culture, and by condemning both liberalism and multiculturalism, he is constructing a single race, culture, and religious perception that closely resembles fascism.”