Corruption is a feature, not a bug / Real existing Orbánism

What do you get for calling the EU “Soros’ gas chamber”? 80 million euros, castles, night clubs and to be your country’s culture tsar

In December 2020 the political appointee at the helm of Petőfi Literary Museum published a combative editorial calling George Soros the “liberal Führer” whose “liber-aryan followers worship him more subserviently than Hitler’s did Hitler”. He called Europe “George Soros’ gas chamber”.

It was an extraordinarily distasteful piece – but the tone is nothing unusual in the inner circles of Real Existing Orbánism. We hear this shit a lot on Orbánist TVs, read this in their papers – there seems to be a competition of who can sink deeper and distinguish himself to Orbán.

Naturally, the guy who wrote this was not fired. If you get into a scandal and he opposition demands your head, your position is more secure than ever. Punishing an idiot (if Orbán even thinks he was wrong) is less important than showing the plebs that their protestations will never bring any result. So stop trying.

Orbán will never remove someone who is under attack by the opposition – and Demeter knew that. Everyone immediately assumed he was just about to lose his job and made the scandal just to keep it.

He was soon promoted. He received his very own feudal fiefdom from Orbán in the form of one of Orbán’s new “foundations” that are stuffed with state assets but free from any state oversight – present or future. They are run by curators who are appointed by Orbán for life on fat salaries. And they never, ever have to answer to anyone on government, just perhaps to Orbán in person.

It is difficult to follow how much money and assets have since been put into this particular “foundation”.

It started with approximately 76 million euros to “retune the Hungarian pop music strategy” and to keep it ethnic lest it disappears. And number kept going up.

In April 2021 a gigantic package of assets, palaces, castles, marinas, night clubs and a countrywide network of real estate for artist colonies went to him. But it wasn’t over. He received a big chunk of the location where the government wants to build the much-debated Chinese mega-university.

Last night another 2 million euros (cash this time) went to him in the now-usual midnight flurry of legislation. It insults my intellect to even look up what the supposed excuse was. And I am also certain it wasn’t the last bit of spare change that was thrown at him.

Even if state interference in pop music were desirable (it is decidedly not), this would not be the way to do it. This is just the outsourcing the entire wealth of the state into crony hands – and this one had earned his fiefdom by exposing himself as a rabid Orbánist and antisemite.

This is how fortunes are made today in Hungary. Orbán, and only Orbán is the way to get rich. There have never been huge fortunes made on the free market, the state has always been the source of big money in Hungary. Which is a tragedy in itself.  But the Orbánist statism goes beyond anything we have seen before. And the way to distinguish yourself is the way this guy did.

How it affect the morals I don’t want to know.

Featured image: Wikipedia – Elekes Andor –, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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