One of Hungary’s major parties, Jobbik, is a nightmare out of the 1930s: it’s anti-Roma (Gypsy), it’s anti-Semitic, and it even had a paramilitary arm. But the immediate threat comes from Fidesz, the governing center-right party.
Fidesz won an overwhelming Parliamentary majority last year, at least partly for economic reasons; Hungary isn’t on the euro, but it suffered severely because of large-scale borrowing in foreign currencies and also, to be frank, thanks to mismanagement and corruption on the part of the then-governing left-liberal parties. Now Fidesz, which rammed through a new Constitution last spring on a party-line vote, seems bent on establishing a permanent hold on power.
I say I am worried because I am currently reading Erik Larson‘s book In the Garden of Beasts, his superlative view of Germany, small and weak after the first World War, and the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party in the early 30s when they could have been easily stopped and catastrophe could have been avoided. I am particularly concerned with the anti-Semitism which the European right has fallen back on too many times before…along with the anti-Roma movement which has also plagued earlier European depressions.
Maybe we are that stupid.