Monday, August 02, 2021


There sure are a lot of American right-wingers hanging out in Viktor Orbán's Hungary, or drawing influence from Orbán. First there was this guy, who's spent the past several months there:

Dreher has written love note after love note to Orbán. At the same time, Dreher's friend J.D. Vance has praised Orban and echoed Orbánist denunciations of childless adults.

And now there's this:
Fox News host Tucker Carlson is billed as a speaker at a far-right conference in Hungary on Saturday, according to a flier for the event. The appearance will come days after the Fox host met with the country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Carlson will purportedly offer his insights at MCC Feszt, an event hosted by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium, which the New York Times described in June as a government-funded plan to “train a conservative future elite.

... It’s part of a larger, four-day long program that also advertises a talk from a representative of one of America’s esteemed conservative institutions of higher education: Dennis Prager of PragerU, which makes up for what it lacks in physical space, accreditation, and discernible curriculum in Facebook virality. Prager will deliver a talk on “media and free speech.”
Orbán treats MCC extremely well, according to that Times story:
The privately managed foundation, Mathias Corvinus Collegium, or M.C.C., was recently granted more than $1.7 billion in government money and assets from a powerful benefactor: Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban.

A hero to Europe’s far right, Mr. Orban says he wants to overhaul education and reshape his country’s society to have a more nationalistic, conservative body politic. But his critics argue that the donation is legalized theft, employed to tighten Mr. Orban’s grip on power by transferring public money to foundations run by political allies.

... The $1.7 billion transfer to the educational foundation is about 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The foundation now controls assets worth more than the annual budget of the country’s entire higher education system.

“This is not about Hungarian higher education,” said Istvan Hiller, a lawmaker from the opposition Socialist Party and former education minister who now serves as a deputy speaker of Parliament. “This is about building a foundation to solidify power.”
I don't know if the American rightists who flock to Hungary are merely the reactionary equivalent of past lefties who made pilgrimages to Moscow or Havana -- I don't know if they go to Hungary just because they think they see the future and they think it works. I think they might be cooking up something more than that, but I don't know what it is. I'm sure they'd be delighted if Orbán began a march across Europe and then set his sights on America -- they'd love a right-wing Christianist version of the caliphate ISIS promised its members. I just can't tell if they just see Hungary as a paradise or they have a plan to spread Orbánism elsewhere.

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