If Orbán won next year Fidesz would govern for 12 or even 37 years like Mugabe – stated Ágnes Heller. The worldwide acknowledged philosophy professor stated that Jobbik is no longer a racist or far-right party. In contrast, Fidesz is now the far-right party according to her. She cleared that without Jobbik it is unimaginable to remove PM Viktor Orbán’s illiberal and more and more autocratic regime. According to Heller, autocracy stands against a constitutional state today and Jobbik is on the side of the latter. Prof. Heller gave an interview on Jobbik and the 2018 election to Magyar Narancs (MN). Our résumé on it.
To start with, Heller stated that all opposition parties must join forces with Jobbik to defeat Fidesz. This means that there can be
no more opposition national lists than two
and only one opposition candidate in each electoral district.
According to Heller, it is very important that Jobbik offered cooperation to LMP and Momentum Movement because this might result in a joint national list. This and the other opposition list consisting of Socialist and Democratic Coalition-candidates are one of the prerequisites to win the 2018 election.
According to Heller, Jobbik can have candidates in electoral districts who are not racists or anti-Semites. “There are many of such people behind the party.”- she added. Heller said that opposition parties should agree on some issues like Paks II, satisfactory financing of health care and schools, the importance of accountability, securing free press or initiate effective measures to hinder emigration. She stated that candidates should campaign with this simple program in all 106 electoral districts. Furthermore, there should be only one opposition candidate in each electoral district who is supported by most.
However, today each opposition party highlights which party they cannot cooperate with. This means that they do not want to win the election – according to Heller.
In addition, everybody says they want to protect Hungary from anti-Semites.
“But I am the holocaust-survivor and not them! And I say that if there is no cooperation with Jobbik Fidesz will remain in power. And that would be a tragedy for Hungary.”
– she stated.
Heller added that Jobbik’s past does not concern her. If we start to talk about what they said years before we would be unable to think normally – she added. Furthermore, the aim is simple; the country must get rid of a leader who would ruin it. “This is about patriotism, if I can use this word. Everybody talks about nation, but nobody does anything for it.” – cleared Heller.
MN asked whether Jobbik has changed since 2014 when Heller said that nobody should cooperate with them. She replied that both Jobbik and the political situation has changed a lot since then. For example, many thought after Orbán’s victory in 2014 that a period of peace will come and Fidesz will let others live, as well. In contrast,
the more power Fidesz has, the harder they supress others.
“Do we want free press to disappear? Do we want to become totally defenceless towards Russian interests because of the atomic reactor [of Paks II – the editor]? Do we want our children to go abroad? Do we want Mészáros and his friends to buy the whole Hungary? Do we want the NGOs to be banned? If we do not want all these, we must follow my American friends who voted on Hillary Clinton putting aside their antipathy.” They voted on her because they did not want Trump – she added.
“Jobbik was never a neo-Nazi party”
Szilárd Teczár, the reporter of MN replied that Hillary Clinton is not the same category since Jobbik was regarded to be a neo-Nazi party for long.
Heller cleared in her answer that Jobbik was not ever a neo-Nazi party. She regarded it as a racist and far-right party thus, she was against any cooperation before. However, today
Jobbik is no longer racist and at this moment Fidesz is the far-right party in Hungary
– she added.
And people change their minds in Hungary, for example, I know many Fidesz-members from the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party. [During the one-party system of the communist era Hungary was led by the HSWP – the editor].
To her mind, the question regarding Jobbik’s moderation to a people’s party should not be asked. According to Heller,
[she referred to the compromise between the Habsburg emperor, Francis Joseph I and Hungary – the editor]. Without such a compromise Fidesz would remain in power not for 4, but 12 or 37 years like Mugabe. According to Heller, opposition parties can win the 2018 election but from 2022 they cannot.
Heller added that 2018 is the last chance to hinder becoming a dependent state from Russia and atomic energy. ‘This is not a joke!” – she added.
Opposition parties see what at stake is. But they act as if they did not know how huge their responsibility is for the future of the country.”
Professor Heller stated that Hungary has already the worst international reputation ever. If Jobbik entered the government this could not worsen. But since Jobbik would not be able to govern alone, there would be other parties in the government. Therefore, they could re-establish liberal democracy together. As a result, Hungary’s reputation would get better – she concluded.
Jobbik struggles for a constitutional state
She added that Fidesz already lost support of conservative intellectuals. However, they are needed to re-establish democracy. According to Heller, autocracy stands against a constitutional state today. Fortunately,
all opposition parties, including Jobbik would choose for a constitutional state.
This is the base one should build on – she added.
Heller highlighted that the Orbán-government developed much bigger hatred towards migrants than Jobbik ever did against anybody. Though it might be hard to find a counter-poison, it is not impossible.
Regarding the question of emerging populist parties, Heller denied that it would be global phenomenon. She highlighted that if liberal democracy works, no one can become a tyrant. A good example is Trump’s presidency since at first, he could not abolish Obamacare. Furthermore, he could not build the promised wall on the Mexican-American border and Congress outvoted him in the case of Charlottesville, as well.
Heller thinks that in time
all her friends will recognize that she is right regarding the case of Jobbik and the opposition.
Unless the opposition cooperates, they will not stand a chance against the government. As a result, Fidesz is going to remain in power for decades – she concluded.
Photo: MTI, Presseteam Uni Innsbruck, Balázs Béli,