Can we say it now?
National socialism used to be regarded as evil and there used to be a consensus about that in the aftermath of the second world war – hence its appeal as everyone’s favorite got-to evil. As a consequence, comparisons to Hitler and naziism have been overused in western culture. Any mention of Hitler, naziism (or fascism, because the word is better for spitting it at the opponent) was meant to serve as the end of the discussion, leaving little room for meaningful intellectual inquiry.
Admittedly, some have gone too far in their analogies and some had invoked the nazis way to early and often to be taken seriously. But that doesn’t mean that the same brand of intellectual evil (ethnic collectivism, collectivism, corporatist corruption, state-level central planning and the quest for ethnic/genetic purity) does not exist today and is not making a comeback – with massive popular support. Just call it something else – and it flies again.
Of course, some don’t even bother to conceal their intellectual debt to naziism anymore. And that is even more disturbing than ignorant repetition of historic mistakes.
By 2021, Real Existing Orbánism has reached the point of unabashed self-aggrandizing. They don’t just invent new, self-serving national holidays and spend horrendous sums on “strengthening the ethnic consciousness” of children, student, teachers, etc. – they also ignore economic and even pandemic rationality when doing so.
Despite the alleged pandemic emergency they allow for mass events without any pandemic measures (no masks, no distancing, no participant limits, no vaccine requirements) like the Catholic Eucharistic World Congress (100 thousand pilgrims expected just from abroad, football and car racing mass events, a hunting exhibition (the hobby of Orbán’s deputy) and the country’s biggest August 20 celebration, complete with a new parade. (The budgets and the eminent stealing opportunities therein should be the real scandal here, but circus is meant to distract, not to educate.)
When the most-expensive-ever August 20 celebrations included this newly invented parade, a few eyebrows were raised. Not only did Orbánists invent a new, self-aggrandizing parade that is also a splendid stealing opportunity for event-themed cronies – their lackeys have copied a 1930s nazi parade in Munich directed by Leni Riefenstahl, beat by beat.
The similarities are way beyond coincidence. They did this on purpose.
Can we say it now?
As far as parades go, this one was not very well attended. Judged by aerial photos, a serious car crash attracts more bystanders. The crowd around the neonazi parade is barely more numerous than the number of chaperones that would have to be in attendance to watch out for their kids (because kids were also ordered to parade for the viewing pleasure of the old men, of course).