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Gyurcsány's Demokratikus Koalicio groupings are really prominent at all of these events, certainly were at the Szolidaritas demo.

They were the only ones carrying party symbols (based on the Hunger March, I suspect Socialists outnumbered them but were less intent on campaigning here). It would indeed be fatal if Varánusz1s wish would be fulfilled by DK rather than any other party. Interestingly, in the media (that is he non-right-wing media), the LMP presence was noted, due to the signature collection; some news even accused them of hijacking the protest, ignoring that Szolidaritás gave full support and collected signatures itself (at the southern end of the square).

BTW a note on LMP. Back when they obsessed about the 2006 dishonesty of Gyurcsány, I saw that as a naive liberal/bourgeoise attitude that completely misses the point of the "lies" speech (namely that he wanted to scare his fellow Socialists into supporting neolib reforms), the point that should be attacked in 2012 to prevent another run of the Shock Doctrine. So it came as a surprise that after the internal troubles, the kicking of the opposition roundtable, and the strategic declarations about aiming for the votes of disgruntled Fidesz voters, it came as a surprise that they went full-throttle about the social referendums.

I think reclaiming the language of Hungarianness by wearing a tricolor is a start

(IMHO it's an aside and I hope for another generation in a few years that rebels against the obligatory display of patriotism. This is not a region of Europe where an exclusive "we have been wronged/we have had heroes" view of history won't overlook horrible wrongs by ancestors and martyrs on the other side and thus won't lead to serious conflict.)

The hardest bit is confronting the Hungarian middle class with their Dorian Gray-type image

I only know that Dorian Gray is an Oscar Wilde figure who had eternal youth, so I'm not sure I get the association. If I guess right, then you mean the self-image of the liberal part of the middle class, in particular that of liberal intellectuals. If so I can relate to that very much: that's my family, with me between the stools: I mean, I am like them (speech, tastes, interests), but my political views and job environment have made me aware of how they always ritually demarcate themselves against the "uneducated" or even the 'parvenu' and seldom move in circles not part of their own (my) social class. (As I don't tire to say just travelling on public transport rather than by private car will give one a better perspective on the social consequences of economic 'reform'.)

On the other hand, being relatively young, I don't think the middle class in Hungary (or the rest of the former East Bloc) is uniform, and this has some reflection on the party landscape: though I wouldn't draw clear lines, I would distinguish at least the conservative heirs of the really old bourgeois and the gentry (like the inhabitants of Buda), then the more liberal heirs of those who were 'parvenu' a century or so ago, then the new middle class of the Kádár era, finally those who rose and had success in the small enterprise wave from the late seventies and now fiercely stick to their economic independence (resenting taxes, regulations and solidarity).

These segments of the middle class have different self-images, though all have negative views about other classes (and other sub-classes). This is sharply reflected in my company (MÁV) where employees are strongly differentiated according to education level and those with higher levels traditionally boss around those with lower levels even if not subordinates (with a few exceptions, predominantly younger ones).

And sure, we do like ourselves, as we consider ourselves nice, but this can be at the expense of responsibility

That's true and the low interest in (or fear from) participating in anti-fascist actions is a particularly sore point for me. (I wish I could join actions like this.) But is it enough or even meaningful to expect for the middle class to reform themselves? In Marxist terms, the middle class are the have-somes who want to protect the little they have. They will never act in ways like the have-nothings (like the organiser of the Hunger March or indeed like the youth joining the Hungarian Guard or the riots).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 02:21:34 PM EST
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