2. Fairy-tales in illiberal times
Hungary US EU
In the end, this government does not care much about Soros; what they care about is putting up big enough smokescreens to divert people from the real conversations that need to be had, to systematically uncover how this country has been immensely damaged by a political group over the past few years, that has no vision for the future beyond the preservation of its own power.
- These conversations must include stark allegations of corruption and nepotism, particularly well covered by the investigative and privately funded Hungarian news-portal direct36 or the deterioration of Hungary’s education sector on all levels.
- One aspect they must include, to exemplify the scale of problems Hungary is dealing with, is a collapsing health system.
- This government does not care much about Soros; what they care about is putting up big enough smokescreens to divert people from the real conversations that need to be had.
Hungary’s medical council recently published a statement that medical treatment and medical financing in Hungary is at the same level as during the second world war. Hospitals in Hungary are in a desperate state, salaries are miserable, encouraging thousands of valuable medical personal to leave their home and try their luck abroad.
Thousands of doctors had to be reactivated out of retirement by the government to just fill the most basic gaps. Patients have gotten used to under the counter payments to medical professionals in hope of better treatment, de-facto degrading what would be among the most respected and best funded professions in most other societies.
In comparison to migration to Hungary, which at this point is practically non-existent, this is a real and pressing problem which the Hungarian government is not willing to acknowledge as it would simply demonstrate its own impotence and the damage it has broad to Hungarian society through actively diverting attention from pressing issues.
After all, none of this is about George Soros and none of this should be about George Soros. Commentators on and in Hungary should dodge this debate as this is exactly where the Hungarian government would like to direct it.
What needs to be done is to highlight and support investigative reporting of free but financially struggling news organisations such as 444.hu or direct36.hu. That would help to highlight the considerable societal problems Hungary is grappling with and to contrast them to the shallow rhetoric of a supposedly omnipotent government.
This is the basic act of holding a government accountable, the one thing this government is afraid of under its self-proclaimed ‘illiberal democracy’. It is also the only way to overcome the social paralysis under which a considerable part of Hungarian society remains due to the instrumental use of conspiracy theories from the side of its own government.
In the end, there is no evil frog in the well but once we look deeper we may see that the well has been badly maintained and is in serious danger of running dry.