On liberalism, by a capital Liberal
Orban's former roommate turned rival definitely has a philosophical inner monologue, one that produces clarity, thus it's worthy of a listen, whether you're a liberal or not.
Worthwhile, quality expression, let it be in any form, image, text, speech or — may Allah blind me for stating so — a TikTok video, articulates memorable ideas, ideas that help you get forward, ones that offer a better model to understand the world, superior clarity over what you thought you’ve already had on the topic.
“Clarity above all!” — says the motto of this substack, so today I’m featuring one that was good enough to stick with me to this day, from Hungary.
Fodor Gábor (Hungarian name order). To have a better context for the ups and downs in his bio, open up the Hungarian Post-Socialist Power Cheat Sheet.
Founding member of Fidesz in 1988, then spokesman and briefly vice-president in 1993. He was a member of the Bibó College, as a fellow of Viktor Orbán and László Kövér, among others.
Viktor Orbán and Gábor Fodor were soldiers together [mandatory service], and they were roommates in college.
In 1993, due to the conservative turn of Fidesz, Gábor Fodor - among others - left the party and resigned from his seat as a member of parliament.
Member of the de facto Liberal party, SZDSZ (1994-2010), MP for most of the time, minister here and there, education, environment, etc.
On 27 April 2013, he announced the formation of a new party, the Hungarian Liberal Party (Liberals for short). Resigned in 2019 as he did not wish to participate in the opposition coalition that was then taking shape.
30 wild years summarized into a few sentences. Enough to say that Gábor has seen things.
He was also, for a while, the most popular Hungarian politician!Which is not as good as it may sound, we really, really hate our politicians, so being the most beloved one puts you on the same level of public approval that an unlicensed taxi driver or an insurance agent would get. A politician in Hungary is usually a lawyer who decides to upgrade to being a prostitute. Still, credit’s due, well done Gábor for topping the love charts!
From a lengthy interview, A democracy doesn’t need to be liberal, this September.
There is a pendulum in societies, and it is has now swung out to the extremes, as in the case of the cancel culture. At the same time, political correctness has given people a lot of positives, because it thought them that words can be dangerous weapons. We can cause trauma if we’re unable to empathise with the sensitivities that arise from the different abilities of another person.
Unfortunately it’s true that an Orwellian, Far-Left lunacy is raging around the world in places, which I, as a liberal, watch in amazement and I oppose it in the strongest possible terms, because freedom of speech and expression is being restricted from the Left.
This is something a liberal must fight against.
I see huge problems in Western Europe, and I am also concerned about freedom of the press in the United States. The way Donald Trump has been deleted from Twitter is unacceptable.
The money quote:
The Left is not pro-freedom. It restricts freedom whenever it can. We have seen this in the terrible and damaging experiment of decades of socialism, with its anti-freedom social and economic policies at its core. Principally, the Left's core value is not freedom, but equality. For the Right, it is tradition, and for liberalism, it is freedom.
A very clear separation of the (socialist) Left and liberalism, on the purest ideological terms (no distractions like “economic liberalism” and such), simplified to the bone.
Aged 60, having lived through the fall of Communism, he has plenty of credibility to judge. A judge, skilled with a butcher’s sharp cleaver: chop-chop-chop, this, that, and the other one, distinct, see, that's what's up, deal with it.
The liberalism Fodor’s talking about is 90s liberalism, uncorrupted and ideal, as it was (mis-)interpreted over here, in the colonies, back then. I could have clarified that before, but I wanted his quote to speak for itself. You may disagree, say that it’s not actual liberalism (you’re welcome in the comments), but ultimately that’s a you problem, because it is (still welcome).
It’s anachronistic, even in Hungary, as of 2022, but it’s ever so sweet for those who once had a taste of the right stuff. We might have been a bit naive, in retrospect, but at least some of us realized something’s up, sometime along the way.
I want that liberalism back, and I, simultaneously, want to wage Holy Jihad and behead those who taketh away. I violently want the return of normality, as an honest-to-spaghetti-monster 1999 liberal. (Ramen.)
The multiplicity of post-post-modern man. Warrior and blogger.
I’m not asking for Liberals to be in power, even to have a share as a coalition partner: that’s too much. If the country is a school, I prefer a strict, humorless headmaster. I don’t want cool teachers with dreadlocks, it’s always cringe when the ones with actual power try to pull that off. The kids can keep the cool, as they should, let the serious parties figure serious crap out. Liberalism is a destructive force on the whole: necessary, essential to control zeal, but too irresponsible on its own to handle power. In its current, corrupted form, it’s zealous destruction, an autocrat wearing a skin suit of a once liberating spirit, preserving only its worst aspects, amplified. I want my old liberalism back, in the corner (of hard power, they always dominate soft power, that should be plenty), and I don’t mind any confrontation to get them back there, Allah be my witness!
Should you be also inclined so, join the Martyrs of the Great Paprika Famine Brigades of the Revolutionary Guards of Fodor by subscribing! it’s free!
Allah shall grant you strong, 100% heterosexual sons and meek, moral daughters who will never bring shame upon your house, should you share this post:
Old school liberalism must return to Our Caliphate again, and the Holy Rain of Justice shall wash the stain that these dogs have put on its name away! Alhamdulillah!
This article is #one off The List. Check ✅
It also says “take everything with a grain of paprika”; it still applies, it always applies. And of course 😎 for quoting myself.
Cover image is sourced from the same article. Viktor Orbán, Gábor Fodor and Tamás Deutsch at a joint commemoration of the de facto Liberals, Fidesz and social democrats on 15 March 1990.
How I capitalize: political sides are always capital Left or Right for clarity’s sake. Liberal or liberalism is lower case l, unless it identifies a party or a career choice, so a liberal politician is a Liberal, when they’re in a professional context. I try to keep this consistent throughout my posts, but I can slip up.
Chop-chop, technically, to divide in three, but three strikes sound better. Chop-chop-chop.
If you’re one of them Jordan Peterson fanboys, first clean your room, and once it’s spotless,
this post to show that a broadly popular Liberal with a 30+ year long career in the accepted mainstream basically has the same opinions as Canadian Internet Hitler.