- What is more important? The freedom of the individual or the interest of the public?
- Can nuclear energy be replaced by alternative energy sources?
- How do you see the future of the European Union in the next ten years?*
These are the questions students have to answer in their application to receive a monthly stipend from a foundation close to Fidesz to write articles for online and offline media outlets.
And before you wonder, the call for application specifies that it is for pro-Fidesz students when it asks for “students with bourgeois values”. And yes, it does mean Fidesz. “Bourgeois” was Fidesz’ hyper-successful buzzword of the 2000s. And I imagine it needs an explanation.
A country trampled by the malicious excuse for oppression called socialism and gobbled up by the Russian empire in the 20th century does not contain many people who could be described as bourgeois, by any measure. If you want to understand why so many people found the word “bourgeois” so appealing still, you have to look at their aspirations, not their reality.
The allure of having been brought up in affluence, living in a big townhouse, surrounded by books and your children learning the piano is so strong, people from all over the countryside hungrily identified with it the moment Orbán offered it as self-identification for his followers. It served as an aspirational buzzword, rather than an apt self-classification, but people tend to overreport their rank within any class system all the time.
The nuances can only be understand if you understand that the Hungarian translation of bourgeois, “polgári” means something entirely different than its foreign counterpart. The Hungarian word for bourgeois is ‘polgári’, and it means some kind of moderate, traditionalist, conservative thing – which is roughly Fidesz’ self-imace cca. 2001. Whereas the foreign-sounding version, ‘burzsoá’ is still used as an insult to spit at rich people.
We have even ended up with workers unions self-identifying as “bourgeois” or “polgári”, because that is how they signified that they are pro-Fidesz. To this day they vote Fidesz, rather than representing their members against Fidesz policies.
The call for application for bourgeois students is thus not just a code for pro-Fidesz, it means pro-Fidesz. It asks for students between 18-25, who will be willing to write their opinions about society, politics, the life the universe and everything – but strictly from “bourgeois” perspective.
Interested? Don’t run to apply just yet.
To make things absolutely typical of the times, the call has been published only two days before the submission deadline – until which prospective stipendees had to write an essay about one of the above questions as well as secure the recommendation of at least two “public or civic leaders”. Outsiders need not apply.
The foundation distributing the money was founded by the head of Fidesz’ youth arm in 2012 and is registered in the Fidesz party office.
To see the pettiness of the offer the recruits will only get their 200 euro monthly stipend for 5 months, between August and December, because there is really no need for anyone after the municipal elections in the autumn, is there? The new comrades will learn just how quickly they become redundant in this system. But do they ever learn?
* Oh, yes. And the answer to the above questions is:
- The public interest is more important than people
- Nuclear energy cannot be replaced because Russia is selling nuclear energy
- The EU is an imperialist rot that will surely be defeated by the forces of the light and those of nationalism.