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the conservative heirs of the really old bourgeois and the gentry (like the inhabitants of Buda
These would be upper class, I expect... we maybe should leave these out of it as they're relatively small in number?
the more liberal heirs of those who were 'parvenu' a century or so ago,
Can't quite place these... are there really many around?
then the new middle class of the Kádár era,
let's say the state sector intelligentsia (and offspring) upon which the left in Hungary almost entirely draws its leaders
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).
undoubtably, this is an important section. However, I'd also add a subsequent group, consisting of those who came of age around the time of the transition and, despite qualifications, may be less than financially secure, despite possibly being able to rely on parental resources for help. For me it is this group, now just hitting middle age, which has become politicised by the repetition of right-wing themes and which has the feeling of entitlement combined with resentment. It is possibly the first genuinely consumerist generation in Hungary. Dorian Gray doesn't get older; he looks great and carries on looking great, but his sins are depicted in the picture stored in the attic, just as the lifestyle, social irresponsibility and modus operandi of this part of the middle class are imprinted onto an inequal and troubled Hungarian society. Hope i'm not stretching the metaphor, but I think it carries some truth.
Part of them may be the poorer heirs of a onetime upper class (who became not-so-upper-class when losing wealth in Austria-Hungary times or in the Rákosi era), but I mean the culture and heritage that goes back to the really old bourgoise, the urban population preceing the big urbanisation waves.
Yes. Hungary had a major wave of urbanisation from the first half of the 19th century to WWI, especially after the Compromise of 1867. In Budapest resp. its predecessors, the population grew from c. 50,000 at the end of Emperor Joseph II's reign to c. 250,000 at the time of the Compromise and then to 1 million by 1930. Most of the new urban population (former peasants, servants and bankrupted lower noblemen) became working-class, but part of it became middle-class bourgeois (the new bureaucrats, artists, engineers). The assimilated Jewish middle-class dates to this era, too (as does the parallel anti-Semitic 'tradition'). The children and grandchildren of these people would then look down upon and exclude those who entered higher education during the communist era from a peasant or working-class background.
The Kádár-era educated state sector was a combination of those who rose socially in the Kádár era, and those from the previous urbanisation wave who could maintain or restore their middle-class status after the Stalinist era. I'm not sure BTW if "intelligentsia" covers all or most of the middle-class: it would appear to me that intelligentsia assumes some participation in public life, dealing with ideas (something even the upper-class can do); whereas you can be middle-class and spend all your professional and free time on issues not touching any of that. If so, I claim that the pre-WII middle-class maintained its domination of intelligentsia through the Kádár era, but the communist-era new middle class had more clue about the economy outside the ivory towers of the intelligentsia. These differences don't matter that much nowadays, though earlier there was some mapping to SzDSz vs. MSzP.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
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