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Rising fascism in the US

 
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2019 05:50 pm
Not the US, but WTF!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/05/thousands-in-budapest-march-against-slave-law-forcing-overtime-on-workers?CMP=twt_gu&__twitter_impression=true
Thousands of protesters in Hungary braved snow and freezing temperatures on a march against Viktor Orbán’s rightwing government, denouncing harsh new legislation that has been dubbed the “slave law”.

Passed in December, it allows companies to demand that staff work up to 400 hours overtime a year – or the equivalent of an extra day a week.

Hungary’s opposition has been fractured and ineffectual as Orbán has steadily amassed power since he was elected prime minister in 2010, but the “slave law” has created a rare rallying point.

At least 10,000 people marched through Budapest, from the historic Heroes Square to the parliament building on the banks of the Danube. Many also channelled wider concerns about attacks on academia, the judiciary and media.

Some were protesting against new courts that critics say could be politically manipulated. Others, in an apparent attack on bias in state-controlled media, shouted: “The TV is lying.” Banners included slogans such as “sweep away the regime”, or called for a “national strike”.

“We disagree with almost everything that is going on since this government got into power, from corruption to pseudo-democracy,” Eva Demeter, a 50-year-old woman, told Reuters. She said more Hungarians were pouring on to the streets because the slave law “affects a bigger crowd”.

Orbán’s Fidesz party, which has widespread support, won elections with a landslide last year to seal a two-thirds majority in parliament.

His government has wrested control of previously independent institutions, and last year the European parliament voted to bring disciplinary proceedings against Hungary for putting the rule of law at risk.

Viktor Orbán
Viktor Orbán has taken control of independent institutions. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images
In early December the Central European University also announced it will leave Budapest for Vienna after a protracted battle with the Hungarian government, in the first case of a major university being pushed out of an EU country.

rally was organised by opposition parties, trade unions and civic groups. Zoltán Mucsi, who leads the union at the steelmaker Dunaferr Vasas, said the “slave law” was undemocratic. The big trade unions may call a strike if the government does not sit down with them to negotiate, he told Reuters.

When it was put forward in parliament, opposition MPs whistled, jeered and sounded sirens in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to block its passage.

Then they took to the streets, and some camped out inside state television headquarters for nearly 24 hours, demanding a chance to read a list of demands on air, as protesters marched through Budapest.

Previous demonstrations have mostly been peaceful, though there were some clashes with police who used teargas. The latest march appeared to end peacefully, with demonstrators singing the national anthem. Orbán has so far been defiant in the face of the protests. István Hollik, a government spokesman, repeated the claim that George Soros, a Hungarian-American billionaire, was funding the marchers; in December officials also accused the opposition of “unprecedented” behaviour in parliament.

Soros is a frequent target of official attacks, including a poster campaign that was widely criticised as antisemitic. The posters were part of a campaign about immigration, an issue which has been at the heart of repeated government campaigns.

Orbán’s government has taken a fierce nativist line, portraying itself as fighting powerful and “shadowy” pro-migration forces. Critics point out that hundreds of thousands of Hungarians themselves have migrated to other countries, and say he is stirring up xenophobia to distract the electorate from issues from more pressing issues including corruption and economic woes.

georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2019 07:52 pm
@Lash,
Orban is reacting to the excesses of the EU. The border control and like issues that He is advancing are held by Poland and, to a lesser degree, by the Czech Republic as well. There are also such reactionary movements in Germany and France, though they are not yet close to gaining a political majority.

The EU is at a turning point relative to whatever yet remains of national sovereignty. It turns out that the mantra of "ever closer union" is about as realistic as the early Leninist forecast that the state would simply "wither away".

The Eastern European member states, with a more recent memory of Russian and Soviet tyranny, are generally more involved with NATO, and interested in protecting their borders, than are the Western European states, which have exploited the American security umbrella for decades. and are just waking up from their illusions.

Now the EU is having to face the issue of its security in a still dangerous world. If Russia were to seize the former Russian Empire vassal states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the EU and major European powers would be unable to resist. The EU has lived in the shade of U.S. protection through the NATO alliance signed, not by the EU, but by (most of) its member states, which have for decades failed to live up to their NATO military commitments. This is a long standing issue that has been a source of friction with the U.S. and NATO for a long time.

How all this will play out in Europe remains to be seen. Chancellor Merkel of Germany ( the de facto leader of the EU) has expressed the view that nationalism is a regrettable and outmoded idea and sentiment, one that, according to her, is being replaced in Europe by the EU. Not everyone in the EU agrees, and the recalcitrance of Hungary, Poland and others as well as the resurgent nationalist parties in Germany, France and Italy is symptomatic of that.

Describing this nationalist reaction as Fascism is simply a cop out for modernists who haven't yet figured out that the world is still a dangerous place. Europe is surrounded by nations and cultures that don't wish it well, and poking its head in the sand won't change that for the EU.
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 12:08 am
@georgeob1,
Seven years ago Viktor Orbán promised a national revolution in Hungary. He kept his word. Today Hungary is an autocracy promoted by the EU.

Hungary receives the highest per capita support in the Union. Some 30 billion euros have been transferred from the EU budget to Hungary over the past seven years. The subsidies represent almost four and a half percent of Hungary's gross domestic product each year. None of the other 27 EU member states profits more in this respect.
Orbán's family also benefits from support from Brussels. His son-in-law, who renews street lighting with a company, is has accepted EU-funded construction contracts. Orbán's brother has received EU subsidies for his technology company.

And now, even Miklós Horthy becomes again a "national hero" and "exceptional statesman" in Orbán's own words.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 03:10 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
The Eastern European member states, with a more recent memory of Russian and Soviet tyranny, ... Chancellor Merkel of Germany ( the de facto leader of the EU) has expressed the view that nationalism is a regrettable and outmoded idea and sentiment, one that, according to her, is being replaced in Europe by the EU.
... ... ...
Obviously, george, you forgot that a large part of Germany (including that region where Merkel lived) was heavily inspected by Russians like Major Wladimir Putin until 1990.

Besides that, I'm always amused that you introduce to the many EU-institutions - the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission - the one of a de facto leader.
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 11:54 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Obviously, george, you forgot that a large part of Germany (including that region where Merkel lived) was heavily inspected by Russians like Major Wladimir Putin until 1990.

Besides that, I'm always amused that you introduce to the many EU-institutions - the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission - the one of a de facto leader.

I did not forget either that or the fact that German reunification was accomplished with the very substantial support of the United States. The Soviet Union was crumbling from within, but still a potential danger, as forces within it worked to sustain the Soviet Empire in Europe. There was still some lingering fear of German reunification among western European States, but in this situation, with some farsighted action on the part of both President Reagan and German Chancellor Kohl, a new era in Europe was established.

Since then the increasing reach of the EU in governance throughout Europe has significantly altered the relations among the Western Powers, and, as well, has bred a growing resistance within Europe to the new bureaucratic empire that has emerged there. Meanwhile Europe has seen the reemergence of old threats from the South and East for which it has not yet found either a remedy, or a will to resist.

History, it turns out, is not over. What the next page in its story may reveal is not yet clear.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 12:25 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
I did not forget either that or the fact that German reunification was accomplished with the very substantial support of the United States. The Soviet Union was crumbling from within, but still a potential danger, as forces within it worked to sustain the Soviet Empire in Europe. There was still some lingering fear of German reunification among western European States, but in this situation, with some farsighted action on the part of both President Reagan and German Chancellor Kohl, a new era in Europe was established.
What always surprises me - that said without any evaluation - is that Reagan get the benefits, but here in Germany (and other European countries) it was thanks to Soviet leader Gorbachev that the symbol of division fell.

The Hungarian contribution has not been given (outside Germany and until a few years in Hungary) the emphasis it deserves: the Pan-European Picnic organised by Hungarian opposition parties on August 19, 1989, at the Austrian-Hungarian border.
Finally, to shorten the story, on September 10, the Hungarian government decided to allow all East Germans to leave Hungary through the border with Austria. At least 70,000 left within a few days.
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 12:46 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

[What always surprises me - that said without any evaluation - is that Reagan get the benefits, but here in Germany (and other European countries) it was thanks to Soviet leader Gorbachev that the symbol of division fell.


It was Reagan who called attention to the "symbol of division" in Berlin, as well as the ongoing disintegration from within of the Soviet system (due to its own internal contradictions). The pressures he brought to bear on them accelerated the end of that empire, and the real divisions it created. Gorbachev was indeed an admirable figure, who was trying to save what he could of it, but who, with Reagan, saw the process through without rancor.

Walter Hinteler wrote:

The Hungarian contribution has not been given (outside Germany and until a few years in Hungary) the emphasis it deserves: the Pan-European Picnic organised by Hungarian opposition parties on August 19, 1989, at the Austrian-Hungarian border.
Finally, to shorten the story, on September 10, the Hungarian government decided to allow all East Germans to leave Hungary through the border with Austria. At least 70,000 left within a few days.


These were merely the details that followed the collapse of the USSR.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 12:57 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
These were merely the details that followed the collapse of the USSR.
The USSR collapsed more than two years later.
Lash
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 01:09 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
You could argue that they admitted it publicly later.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 01:14 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I really think that Reagan played a great role in the reunification of Germany.
But the Berlin Wall's fall was more a result Gorbachev's actions, not Reagan's speech in 1987. Gorbachev started in 1985 glasnost (openness) and perestroika - and that's what finally lead the ten-thousands Wast Germans to "make holidays" in Hungary with the plan to escape from there to the Federal Republic. (Some thousands came to my native town, because we got a collecting point for people coming to North Rhine Westphalia from the GDR there.[And I worked there, too.])
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 01:20 pm
@Lash,
Lash wrote:
You could argue that they admitted it publicly later.
Of course you could. You could argue as well that it happened in the GDR three, four years earlier (according to SED-papers and party letters].
(But nevertheless: the dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991.)

I wonder, if the reunification could have happened than. And I wonder even more, if the Two Plus Four Agreement could have been signed years earlier.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 02:05 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

I really think that Reagan played a great role in the reunification of Germany.
But the Berlin Wall's fall was more a result Gorbachev's actions, not Reagan's speech in 1987. Gorbachev started in 1985 glasnost (openness) and perestroika - and that's what finally lead the ten-thousands Wast Germans to "make holidays" in Hungary with the plan to escape from there to the Federal Republic. (Some thousands came to my native town, because we got a collecting point for people coming to North Rhine Westphalia from the GDR there.[And I worked there, too.])

Perhaps so. However it was merely the detail that set off the destruction of the wall that would have happened even without that specific event. The GDR too was collapsing, as was the whole of Soviet empire in Europe.

As for Glasnost, it was merely a belated effort to save a sclerotic Soviet Socialist/Authoritarian system that was collapsing from its own contradictions, in a long-term confrontation with an (until then) united West.

0 Replies
 
 

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