Your correspondent has arrived to inconvenient conclusions.
- Often, the mainstream media lies. Most troubling is that it does so even when it is unaware that it does so. Ascribe this to the input of trusted “experts” that grind the axe that will decapitate the misled public.
- Even non-conforming individuals are influenced by “official” versions even if they realize that the non-PC treatment of censured topics reveals reality. The decision of what is debated is often predetermined by the Left.
- This condition reflects a fault of the media and its consumers. They might think that they are “independent” even while they are victims of manipulations that exploit the weakness of an imposed worldview.
Under these conditions, selecting the subject for the column involves painful choices. Outstanding among these is that there is much to say while only a fraction of the story can be told. The other is that there are easy and difficult subjects. The easy ones are those that are close to the personal experience of the geographically limited reader.
In the real world, the pressing topics are likely to be global in their origins and they will be softly transmitted by mandated inattention. Meanwhile, their local impact is, while significant, not immediate and initially indirect. The image is of a dark silhouette sneaking in the shadow with a dagger. The details are undefined. The planned action becomes newsworthy only once the knife is sunk into the back of the unaware.
In this case, the “difficult topic” is one that has been covered here last June. That makes this into a follow up story of one that received a new twist. A curve built into the ball’s flight aims the matter toward your backyard.
The reader might reckon that, due to the locale that produced the case, he is not affected. If, nevertheless, he continues to read, he must be reminded of the curve of the object’s flight. The boomerang might not seem to be directed at you. However, upon impact it causes more damage than the hit of some directly aimed missiles.
A weakness of the internationally spreading conservative movement comes to mind. Conservative progressives fight centralization, such as in more Federal Government in the USA or more “Europe”. By reacting, they can become insular in their views.
The inward looking perspective is understandable. A sinew of conservatism is local resistance to a threat from outside that claims to be “internationalist”. The menace to local self-determination is, however, identical and its originators are interchangeable. Consequently, the general challenge is overlooked because of its venue. Thereby its chances benefit from the unpreparedness of the victim. Additionally, the centralizers are wise enough to launch their initial attacks in peripheral areas. These can be ignored and distorted by the media. This preface may be an apology to the reader who is asked to follow the writer to a locale he knows little about. Currently Hungary is being used to create a precedent to score ultimately against others.
To make the case, background factors are needed. The change from Soviet-socialism to “democracy” has been early and smooth in Hungary. That reflects “gulyás communism’s” seemingly benign nature. This enabled “the son’s of the Party” to stay in power and to become rich by privatizing what their elders had managed for the Party. In the process, the communist era’s laws were left standing. Then, in 2010, an election produced a 2/3 conservative majority - its doctrinal home would be in the center of the US’ Republicans. This majority got power because the voter realized that the socialists had maneuvered the country close to bankruptcy. The mandate was to change the system that financed itself from foreign credits that paid for daily consumption. (The association with “Greece/Cyprus” is warranted.)
Under Mr. Orbán, the “Young Democrat” Prime Minister, a general renewal followed. The reception by the EU and the socialists abroad has been negative. This expressed resentment that their ilk lost power. Furthermore, the earlier “liberal opposition” of the Party-state is feeding the Left’s ire. These intellectuals served as the western press’ experts and stood for socialism without tanks. It needs to be added that this “tolerated opposition” lost influence as the old system receded into history.
Here the resulting relentless attacks, and EU’s pressure to heave back into power those that have lost it at the ballot box, must be skipped. This writing is limited to a single missile fired to lame Budapest.
The Orbán government undertook a revision of the 1949 communist-era constitution. Even before it had access to the text, the EU became hostile. One item to irk the leftists in Brussels was a prohibition of the display of “totalitarian symbols”. That meant the national socialist swastika and the arrow cross, as well as the red star and the hammer and sickle. Hungary’s proscription violated a leftist taboo. Its core is resistance to anything that equates National Socialism (renamed “Fascism” although that “ism” differs from NS) and Socialism.
It did not take long and a comrade displayed his CP symbols publicly. In turn, he was fined. He appealed from Hungary to “Europe”. There the exhibitionist Red was found to be innocent because the hammer and sickle is “esteemed” in Western Europe – where they did not live under real socialist tyranny. Reluctantly, Hungary repealed its law against totalitarian symbols.
Here you might conclude that this is a story that proves a malady. If so, you are right. However, the tale does not end with the absurdity that alleges that the GULAG does not count. Actually, the best part follows.
That “best part” is the nifty reaction of the left-leaning press to the lifting of the prohibition. Remember, the ban of totalitarian symbols including communist ones, was condemned as belated “cold-warriorism”. It was also depicted as the hysterical extremism of authoritarians that had the temerity to win a mandate to clean up a stinking stable. When Budapest caved in to Brussels’ pressure, the complaints did not cease. The ultimate goal of the attacks is to overthrow from abroad a non-PC government for which the internal votes lack. Therefore, the denunciation took a truly genial angle.
“Die Presse” is a good, centrist rated Austrian paper. It has produced a revealing headline to report the repeal. It testifies to not only creative fact making but also to the leftist virus at work in many journalists. “Hungary: The Constitutional Court Lifts the Swastika Ban”. (Ungarn: Verfassungsgericht hebt Hakenkreuz-Verbot auf.)
In this case, the presented half of the truth amounts to a full lie. To the careful reader the disinformation is obvious. The striking of a law forbidding totalitarian symbols in general because it “limits the free expression of opinion” and for the real reason of pressure from “Brussels”, is hardly covered by the phrasing. However, talking about “the swastika and the red star” would be a red cloth to the EU bulls. Putting it that way would equate, as did the objectionable law, red and brown terror. And that is an ideological no-no. Avoiding that association is even worth a massive lie to serve a good cause. An added benefit is that the phrasing upholds the claim that a non-socialist government in Hungary is evidence of “right-wing extremism” in action.
At the beginning of this essay, you were told, “they lie”. Here you have just been presented with a small example of how it is done.