Commentary

"Orbánism" book includes many false allegations

In her latest blog entry, historian Mária Schmidt takes a look at a book on "Orbánism" by liberal Hungarian philosopher Ágnes Heller.

One of the still active voices of the left-liberals, philosopher Ágnes Heller dedicated an entire book to Viktor Orbán and Orbánism. More precisely, to tainting Hungary and the Hungarians. (Orbánism. The case of Hungary: from liberal democracy to tyranny. Published by Castelvecchi in Italian on March 14th, 2019, 65 pages)

Right from the start, the blurb tells us how Heller, "at the risk of her life" is taking a close and critical look at Orbán, the ruthless autocrat. It would have been nice if she gave us some indication of how exactly her life is in danger in today's Hungary. The breaking wheel? Dismemberment? Perhaps executed for high treason?

For some time I have been ignoring her on account of her advanced age (she is 90), Schmidt writes, but I have decided to take her seriously because her work is symptomatic and discounting her defense of old-age dementia I will concentrate on the substance of the book.

In the book, not only does Heller portray Orbán as a dictator and a despot, but also as an ignoramus.

"...as far as I know, football is Viktor Orbán's sole cultural interest, he has never attended a concert, theater or opera performance unless it was linked to an official event. Science doesn't interest him either and I don't know if he has read any books," Heller writes.

Well, I must disappoint her, Schmidt adds. Viktor Orbán possesses an outstanding intellectual capacity. Few are those who are as informed, open and erudite as he is. Should Orbán inform Heller of his cultural pursuits - or even ask her permission? Or submit his reading diary for her inspection?

As for football: that sport is about intelligence, strategy, situational awareness, nervous system and team or in other words community. Fight and victory. Defeat and starting over. Only libbers like her look down on football with such disdain, but the majority of people - including myself - couldn't care less about her opinion, Schmidt concludes.

 

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