One of latest news comes from Hungary of Viktor Orbán, but could have come also from Poland, Czech Republic or Slovakia. Governments in some Eastern European Union countries have long eroded democratic institutions to defend ir ultraconservative policies more vigorously. A magazine akin to Orbán, who has just won in polls his third term with a xenophobic discourse, has published a list of names of 200 activists, journalists and professors who considers George Soros, great enemy of this nationalist Hungary Become a champion of Christian values. A list that sends a turban message: we have you controlled.
More than twenty years ago, in mid-nineties of last century, historian Tony Judt gave a series of lectures that later gared in a book titled A Great Illusion. It occupied Europe with its incorruptible critical spirit and avoided any kind of triumphalism. Enlargement to east had not yet been made. Careful, he said, y are countries that have had a very different history and Eastern Europe is not as Europe as or.
The mere fact that y were admitted to Western club, he said, "would not erase effects of more than fifty years of terror, dictatorship, repression and stagnation." He also explained that nationalist sentiments of east could not be underestimated and that Europe had little flattering connotations for its inhabitants: among m image of union had curdled like that of a "rich indifferent". "If we are not going to be Europe, at least we can be within it", that was question, according to Judt, which concerned in those countries. And he wondered: "Is this, too, an illusion?"
"Just as obsession with growth has left a moral vacuum at heart of some modern nations, Europe's abstract and materialistic condition is proving to be insufficient to legitimize its own institutions and maintain popular trust," He wrote Judt n. The devastating 2008 crisis that had already arrived with eastern countries within Union had not yet occurred. So today problems are more serious, and authoritarian drift of some countries is one of m.
And here comes a blacklist in Hungary, in worst repressive tradition that so well know who went through decades of Communist rule. They do not paint things well in Union and that is why it is necessary to recover ideas that have nourished m. In 1992, writer and politician Jorge Semprún defended Europe "as a spiritual figure, to use formula of beautiful and rigorous conference of Edmund Husserl in Vienna, in May 1935". A Europe, he wrote, "conceived as unity in diversity, as a community supranationality in which regional and local identities are asserted, rar than dislocated or blurred." It is that spiritual figure that urgently touches back. There is No or choice to combat that "abstract and materialistic condition of Europe," which Tony Judt referred to, and to end any kind of "moral vacuum." Authoritarian temptations can only be placated by reinforcing legitimacy of democratic institutions.
You can follow country opinion on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe here to Newsletter.