Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think you understand the Dorian Gray reference - I'm trying to account for the dislocation between the flash and opulence of the Allee or Arena shopping plazas, with those early morning services full of people from Győr and the surrounding countryside heading to Budapest to do manual or semi-skilled labour for terribly low wages. Somewhere in this is a middle class which is strident and determined, and sees itself as somehow omnipotent.

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.

by car05 on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 03:15:16 PM EST
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