One of the greatest hits of legendary 1970s rock group Ten Years After was “I’d Like to Change the World”. The song his highly appropriate when we talk about Hungary.
Ten years after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party came to power for the second time, it’s time to examine the fundamental changes in Hungarian society, politics and ultimately history, that the past ten years have brought.
The day after his 2010 electoral victory, Orbán made it clear at a press conference that what happened was far more than a simple change in government, as the overwhelming number of votes for his party amounted to a “polling booth revolution”.
But what was the reason for this upheaval? The answer is rather simple.
The majority of people thought and felt that—in terms living standards, moral and spiritual sense—they were on the losing end of what we can call for lack of a better term, the “regime change”.
The underlying reason for this sense of loss was that the changes that occurred in 1989 with the Fall of Communism had been slowly but inexorably brewing since the 1970s and resulted in the Eastern parts of the continent left as a free-for-all area of vast resources to be exploited by others.
Sensing a chance to divide and conquer, the global power economy brutally split Hungarian society into three distinct strata.
The upper 5 percent — the local minions in Hungary working at the behest of global powers — were in charge of assuring the robbery could go on without interruption, for which they were rewarded with 80 percent of all the wealth seen in Hungary.
On the flip side, there was the remaining, destitute 80 percent of society having to make do with the remaining 5 percent of wealth. Wedged between the two was the thin strata of intellectuals who were supposed to run the country as it was.
Formally, there was some sort of balance here, but the upper echelon lived in constant fear of losing their privileged positions while the thin middle was frustrated by the illusory promise of ever making it to the top.
This also meant that Orbán’s government inherited a system with very high built-in tensions and a socio-economic structure that would regularly cycle back into depression.
Ten years on, it is quite clear what has been achieved since: A new social, economic and political order is being born, which may not yet have a consensual name, but its main traits are evident. Chief among those traits is the willingness to serve and work for the betterment of the group called the Hungarian nation.
This also means, however, that the new order has generated a huge amount of conflicts both at a global, European and national level.
It also means that this new order can only survive as long as Hungarian society is both able to recognize the threats to it and actively combat them. This is the only way to ensure the success of the next ten years.