Orban closes CEU

Orban’s closure of CEU taps into memories of Europe’s darkest past

By Romeo Kabir  PUBLISHED 18:02 DECEMBER 7, 2018

Orban’s closure of CEU taps into memories of Europe’s darkest past

The authoritarian values promoted by Orban and his fellow strongmen – Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Belarus’ Alexander Lukashenko – are utterly opposed to the open and democratic principles espoused by both the EU and Central European University. Orban’s rhetoric, and near obsession, with Soros often paints him as the father of chaos and instability in Europe

During Orban’s time in office, Hungary has passed a constitutional amendment prohibiting “alien populations” from entry into the country. The term originates from anti-Semitic Hungarian theologian Ottokar Prohaszka, who is most famous for stating that ‘There are no Hungarian Jews, only Jews who speak Hungarian.’ Prohaszka, whose writings were widely disseminated under Hungary’s Hitler-allied wartime leader Miklos Horthy, is coincidentally a personal hero of Orban’s. HE has renamed streets and erected statues to Prohaszka.

one in four Europeans vote populist

Revealed: one in four Europeans vote populist

Exclusive research shows how populists tripled their vote over the past two decades

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2018/nov/20/revealed-one-in-four-europeans-vote-populist

The data shows that populism has been consistently on the rise since at least 1998. Two decades ago, populist parties were largely a marginal force, accounting for just 7% of votes across the continent; in the most recent national elections, one in four votes cast was for a populist party.
Populists tend to frame politics as a battle between the virtuous ‘ordinary’ masses and a nefarious or corrupt elite – and insist that the general will of the people must always triumph. The Guardian is adopting the classic definition of populism proposed by political scientist Cas Mudde. Populism, he says, is often combined with a ‘host’ ideology, which can either be on the left or right.
It reveals the different fortunes of rightwing populists such Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Italy’s Matteo Salvini, who have had the most success in recent years, and leftwing populist parties, which rapidly expanded in the aftermath of the financial crisis but failed to secure a seat in government anywhere other than Greece.

Populism in Europe goes back several decades: the far-right Freedom party of Austria was founded in 1956 by a former Nazi and first won more than 20% of the vote in 1994. It is now part of the country’s ruling coalition.

Populist parties enjoyed success in Norway, Switzerland and Italy in the 1990s. But it was not until the turn of the century that populist ideas, legislators and challengers started to proliferate, from the Netherlands to France, Hungary to Poland.

Since then, anti-establishment populism has snowballed, particularly after the 2008 financial crash and the 2015 refugee crisis in Europe. The anti-austerity Syriza took 27% of the vote then 36% in successive Greek elections; Ukip propelled Britain to its Brexit vote and Marine Le Pen became the second member of her family to reach a presidential run-off in France, winning 33% of the vote.

Claudia Alvares, an associate professor at Lusofona University in Lisbon, who was not involved in the Guardian research project, said: “The success of such politicians has very much to do with their capacity to convince their audiences that they do not belong to the traditional political system. As such, they are on a par with the people to the extent that neither they nor the people belong to the ‘corrupt’ elites.” social media had a role to play in the rise of populism, its algorithmic model rewarding and promoting adversarial messages. “The anger that populist politicians manage to channel is fuelled by social media posts, because social media are very permeable to the easy spread of emotion. The end result is a rise in the polarisation of political and journalistic discourse.”

RE-EUROPEIZING EUROPE

RE-EUROPEIZING EUROPE

http://almudenas.website/index.php/2018/04/18/re-europeizing-europe/

In the scholar arena of political studies, the notion of Populism seems clear. It is generally used when it comes to defining either political regimes headed by strong leaders who pretend to represent ‘the people’ as the case of Peron in Argentina, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and other leaders from different countries. Also, the political discourse, particularly of the far-right, populism arises during times of economic difficulty, as it is the case in several European countries like France, Austria, Hungary, The Netherlands or the independence movement of Catalonia in Spain. When the subjects who speak are the political actors, it is observed that the term ‘populist’ is used by both the right and the left, to stigmatize the opponent, or to self-defend against adverse stigmatization.

For the right-wing, the left is populist because it manipulates the working and less fortunate classes

for the left-wing, the right is populist because it manipulates the middle classes with discourses seeking to generate the most primitive emotion: the fear.

Eastern European Populism

How Eastern European Populism is Different

Slawomir Sierakowski

How Eastern European Populism is Different

Of 15 Eastern European countries, populist parties currently hold power in seven, belong to the ruling coalition in two more, and are the main opposition force in three.

Aside from hard data, we need to consider the underlying social and political factors that have made populism so much stronger in Eastern Europe. For starters, Eastern Europe lacks the tradition of checks and balances that has long safeguarded Western democracy. Unlike PiS Chairman Jarosław Kaczyński, Poland’s de facto ruler, Trump does not ignore judicial decisions or sic the security services on the opposition.

Another major difference is that Eastern Europeans tend to hold more materialist attitudes than Westerners, who have moved beyond concerns about physical security to embrace what sociologist Ronald Inglehart calls post-materialist values. One aspect of this difference is that Eastern European societies are more vulnerable to attacks on abstract liberal institutions such as freedom of speech and judicial independence.

This shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, liberalism in Eastern Europe is a Western import. Notwithstanding the Trump and Brexit phenomena, the US and the UK have deeply embedded cultures of political and social liberalism. In Eastern Europe, civil society is not just weaker; it is also more focused on areas such as charity, religion, leisure, and politics, rather than social issues.

Another major difference between Eastern and Western European populists is that the former can count on support not only from the working class, but also from the middle class.

 

paris france

The French, Coming Apart
A social thinker illuminates his country’s populist divide.
Christopher Caldwell Spring 2017

https://www.city-journal.org/html/french-coming-apart-15125.html

Christophe Guilluy calls himself a geographer. 2010, with the newest, Le crépuscule de la France d’en haut (roughly: “The Twilight of the French Elite”

At the heart of Guilluy’s inquiry is globalization. Internationalizing the division of labor has brought significant economic efficiencies. But it has also brought inequalities unseen for a century, demographic upheaval, and cultural disruption. Now we face the question of what—if anything—we should do about it.

A process that Guilluy calls métropolisation has cut French society in two.

Cheap labor, tariff-free consumer goods, and new markets of billions of people have made globalization a windfall for such prosperous places. But globalization has had no such galvanizing effect on the rest of France. Cities that were lively for hundreds of years—Tarbes, Agen, Albi, Béziers—are now, to use Guilluy’s word, “desertified,”

 

Italy and refugees

Italy’s Growing Refugee Problem

The large number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Italy continues unabated, with more coming now than in previous years. Many want to continue their journey to Germany. With Italian authorities badly overstrained, could this become Berlin’s next problem?

By Luigi Albonico, , Vladimir Otasevic, Charlotte Teunis and Katharina Wecker

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/italy-refugee-problem-spells-trouble-for-europe-a-1131506.html

What does this mean for Europe? If the political and economic problems in Italy continue to deteriorate, African refugees could soon become a more pressing matter at the European level. The populist parties in particular — Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini’s Lega Nord — may have an interest in trying to get as many refugees as possible to leave Italy.

the Interior Ministry has drafted a plan that, if approved, would see migrant boats sent back to North Africa directly after their rescue at sea.