Conservative or Revolutionary?
Three aspects of the second OrbÃ¡n-government. A piece by Ferenc HÃ¶rcher with a response from Eszter Babarczy.
Ferenc Hörcher argues in his pamphlet that Viktor Orbán is one of the most debated figures of contemporary European politics. During the second term as Prime Minister (2010-2014) he enjoyed a two third majority in the parliament and with a sharply divided opposition he decided to use the opportunity to remap the Hungarian political system. He could push through his programme in spite of the world economic crisis and the strong criticism in the political elite of the European Union, as well.
Before the 2014 national election in Hungary, this essay analyses his performance and looks for the explanation of how he could keep his camp together in spite of all the challenges. Written by a well-known Hungarian political philosopher and historian of political thought, this essay is published here to open a debate about the performance of Viktor Orbán and his second government. (Please click here to download the pamphlet.)
In her response Eszter Babarczy agrees with her colleague that criticism directed at Mr Orbán is often misguided.
While his strategy is to amass power and control at the expense of consensus-seeking or even respecting the constraints of the law, his main objective is not to abolish democracy or the rule of law. His goal, I believe, conforms to the blueprint identified by Andrew Janos -- to create a new elite that would support Fidesz and its allies behind the scenes.
Yet, despite all the revolutionary rhetoric and fighting words, he seeks legitimacy in election victory. Pro-market and pro-democracy critics often fail to understand that he has no intention of transforming Hungary into a post-Soviet dictatorship with himself at the helm. Mr. Orbán prefers capitalism – especially in manufacturing and agriculture – to a state-run economy, and prefers democratic legitimacy to dictatorship backed by raw force.
On the other hand, he is impatient with open debate and the democratic process, or too much independence on the part of economic actors. Hence he has created an environment that gives him maximum control and a way to efficiently and swiftly push forward with his own agenda. This agenda, in my opinion, resembles those of past Hungarian revolutionary elites with one crucial difference: it relies more on the carrot than the stick.
Please click here to download the response of Eszter Babarczy.
Norman Stone on his book "Hungary - A Short History" (video)Videos
Historian Norman Stone talked about his book about Hungarian history.
Video: Reflections on the Revolution in FranceVideos
Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Ulla Terkelsen and Eszter Petronella Soós on the political situation in France.
What If International Borders Just Melt? (video)Videos
A lecture by Charles Crawford.
MCC Budapest Summit on MigrationPast Events
The MCC Budapest Summit on Migration March 22-24, Várkert Bazár
Jobb elnök lennél, mint Trump?Past Events
Bizonyítsd be! Nyerj gyakornoki helyeket és más értékes díjakat a szimulációs versenyen!
George Friedman on The Future of the Transatlantic AllianceVideos
Keynote lecture of George Friedman (Chairman and Founder, Geopolitical Futures).
Brexit - Where To Go From Here?Past Events
The clock is ticking. An event of International Diplomatic Student Association.
Fateful Years: the memoir of Vilmos Nagybaczoni NagyPast Events
The introduction of the first English edition with György Schöpflin, John O'Sullivan and Sándor Szakály.
Reflections on the Revolution in FrancePast Events
Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Ulla Terkelsen and Eszter Petronella Soós will comment on the political situation in France which includes several months of rioting throughout the country by the Yellow Vests
Mid-Trump: a lecture by Byron York (video)Videos
A lectury by Byron York on the American politics in 2018.
MAPH-1067 Budapest, Eötvös u. 24.
Phone: +36 1 269 1041
Switch to a larger map