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The Lost Atlanticists
I have some lost souls to remember on All Souls' Day. Lighting a candle for the Based Kadirov Conservatives.
Tomorrow is All Souls’ Day aka. the Day of the Dead, although in secular Hungary (and we are more secular than not) this morphed into one, the 1st of November (All Saints’ Day). That’s when most people take care of the souls of their dead, according to my anecdotal survey of our cemeteries.
There are some lost souls among the living: former Atlanticists who nowadays worship Putin, Xi Jinping or the Devil himself, as long as it annoys globohomo.
What we want from Russia
Unlike most of you lot — terminally online Twitter people in the West — we have first hand experience with them: they came as Soviets, and they were indistinguishable. We called them Russkies then. Then we’ve spent half a century in forced proximity, which should be plenty of time for nuances to be noticed setting Russians, Belorussians or Ukrainians apart, yet none surfaced. They remained alien and homogenous to us, so we still call them Russkies.
You newfound adoration from afar of Ukrainians is just as misguided as someone loving bear-riding, hypersonic Putin. You want to divide everyone into Russophile or Russophobe; pro-Ukraine or pro-Russia; we just want their oil and gas, without much love or hate for either.
The quote above (from myself 😎) is more true than not.
Hungarians however, especially on the Right, have been increasingly, and since the beginning of the Fidesz hegemony era relentlessly abused by our Western allies.
After 12 years of this bullying coming from our friends and tutors, we have some understandable resentment built up in our souls towards the West. That, I can understand, it’s well earned. Becoming Putin or Peking worshippers out of spite is where I draw the red line: it’s objectively wrong, and it’s metaphysically toxic. Overused or not, it’s a false dichotomy. (“Cognitive dissonance” became so overused that we shortened it to “cogdis”. So, Putin worship as reaction to hostility from Washington is a faldich? Sounds good enough. I’m sure it will catch on.)
It was announced last week that American nukes are being shipped over to Europe. This made one of the opinion leaders of Fidesz, ZsoltBayer, to give his two eurocents on the topic in an opinion piece published in Magyar Nemzet (on their website, but it might make it to print). Magyar Nemzet is the prestige mainstream Center-Right newspaper, having it featured there adds significant weight and recognition to his thoughts, beyond Zsolt’s own fame/notoriety.
He does have a blog where he’s not at the mercy of any editor, where he can go as unfiltered and as close to the metal as he wants to (and he does), but this particular piece was approved by at least one editor, an important one, which adds significant weight to it.
Under Right I mean the Center-Right and the Christian, Conservative kind.
The Far-Right has a long love for Putin, which is forgivable, just like any other love affair they have with the Khaddafis of the day: their base is made up of anarchist losers. To them, chaos that wipes the status quo away is always welcome, from whoever promises it. They can’t be judged by realpolitik or real life.
They were never Atlanticists.
Two forces opposed Hungary joining NATO in the 1990s: the Far-Left and the Far-Right. There’s your horseshoe theory before it was cool.
How we once worshipped the West
Bayer’s article, Make love, not war!, is an elegiac essay that is culturally difficult to translate. (Beyond the usual linguistic barrier that Hungarian itself presents. Neural networks are slowly taking care of that.)
Its core theme is his present day disillusionment with the Western Dream, recalling memories taking place chiefly in the broader 1980s:
It was '78 or '79, who can remember exactly... But I definitely remember the Red Star cinema, and Lenin Boulevard, and Zsuzsi Tóth, the best girl in high school, but maybe in the district, who I went to the Red Star with to watch Hair.
There’s also some implied STDs from East German girls. The kind penicillin whacks, nothing serious, just embarrassing. Zsolt is a Central(!) European libertine at heart, he likes to flex this, despite being a capital Conservative, he never misses an opportunity to go Hrabal.
And of course The Wall. We spent weeks translating the lyrics, learning more English in weeks than we would through years of private lessons or at school.
It was the Cold War.
We hated the Soviet Union like shit. And all the fucking party secretaries and party muftis, the foul-mouthed workers' guards and volunteer policemen of this fucking world.
And we dreamed that one day it would not be like this, that one day we would be free. And then they took me away to the army. [compulsory national service, Hungarian People’s Army]
We wondered what it would be like if our lives depended on these assholes [People’s Army officers] while we were attacking Austrian mountain hunters [Gebirgsjägers], because for some mysterious reason we were always training against Austrian mountain hunters.
And I, we, unseen loved all Austrian mountain hunters. Just because they were Austrian. We loved everyone who was west of us.
Then freedom comes, the dreams meet reality and disillusionment slowly sours the memory of these naive hopes. The story of the 90s.
He gets angry at the American foreign policy establishment, per usual. Not unfairly so, as many Americans on substack would agree. I would also agree, any other day, out of context. However, in its context, Bayer talking to his fanbase, his article is missing an important paragraph.
One last that would make it perfect, one where he lifts the reader out of the gloom, gathers his remaining strength and optimism and commits to chase the old dream, no matter what the West itself actually wants. That even the shittiest, warmonger West is better than the East, any day. Zsolt has a lot of defiance in him, he should have some left to make this extra step to end on a positive note, but he refuses to do so.
Without this addendum, his sobering anti-Western tirade, however well deserved, becomes poison, an extra dose to an already poisoned audience. An extra CH2 is the difference between ethanol and methanol, fun and death.
He himself recites frequently how a single drop of shit turns a cask of wine into a cask of shit; a single missing methylene molecule turns a bottle of pálinka into a bottle of poison.
Bayer’s readers don’t need any more poison. They need to detoxify. Without a twist at the end, his post is just stoking the dumpster fire of his fanbase, who’s already worshipping Kadirov. Is there anything lower than being the fan of that Chechen brute? I understand that the West abused the average Fidesz voter a lot and will do it a lot more, but cheering on Kadirov is low even for an average prole, let alone a European Conservative Christian, formerly Atlanticist or not.
A study of the Little Fideszers
On the Hungarian internet, the common people still have an unrestricted voice. They don’t even self-police themselves enough on Facebook: while that might land them some punishment from the jannies, it won’t carry over to their lives, save for careers in the eternally Left-dominated parts of the Soft Power. To be fair, you can also get yourself burned if you’re close to the Right’s Hard Power and dissent, but when that happens the punishment is clear and swift, and a path to atonement is always on the table; it’s not the eternal passive-aggression that one gets by landing on the Left’s blacklist, those fuckers never forget or forgive, they want you raped, dead and the rest of the famous Sam Hyde quote, even in Hungary.
So, people speak their minds freely, and as long as they can and do, it would be a waste not to tap this resource for social science.
Their reception of Zsolt’s article: hell yeah, fuck the West, they betrayed us and so on. As expected. They’re methanol drunk on faldich.
To highlight the Little Fideszers’ toxic sentiment I bought two news articles, both within 2 days of each other:
Volkswagen to completely stop producing internal combustion cars within ten years
Reaction: 99% negative. Dumb Libs, impossible, the electric grid can’t take it, it will be too expensive, general disbelief. There’s a funny one:
“With the kind of strategic decisions the Germans have made in recent years, I think VW will stop producing all cars in 10 years.”
Now on some level I like this: I’m also hypercritical by nature. The reactions are very Hungarian in their cynical negativity, it’s a sour taste that is acquired, not for everyone. I can appreciate it as part of my diet.
Then however, this formerly Atlanticist, Bayer-fan audience gets this news the very next day:
There are more e-vehicle charging points in a single province in China than in the whole of the US
Citation needed. You would expect that a crowd that’s critical by nature and also got recently burned by the apocalyptic news coming China regarding COVID would voice doubt about any outlandish claim originating from the land of ghost cities.
Instead, they cheer the “news” on just like they cheer Lavrov when he says something bombastic about crushing Ukraine. Zero doubt. Based Beijing owns the decadent West yet again.
The West is decadent, or was up until very recently, filthy Libs and Greens and all. But China, from an individualist’s perspective, is a nightmare on a whole different level. It’s everything negative Bayer attributes to the Sovietized society he had to live in during his youth, made way more efficient than the dying Hungarian Socialism could ever be by combining singe party collectivism with a level of pervasive techo-dystopia that makes the worst aspects of the system inescapable.
I’m not against economic partnership with China: it’s one of the two great elephants of the world for the near future, antagonizing them would be stupid. I get that the West’s problem with the Belt and Road Initiative is not dirty Chinese trade and influence getting into Europe, it’s dirty Chinese trade and influence bypassing its current channel, their ports.
If we can profit from it, we should; the Dutch have no qualms about making a profit on China (or Russia for that matter), moral grandstanding is second to business.
None of this cunning, hustling realpolitik shows up in the reactions: it’s fanboyism from a broken audience towards an oppressive regime that neither of them would actually want to live under. They are European, Christian Conservatives, but the West broke them. Maybe they’re not beyond saving, but right now it seems almost hopeless. They’re rabid, beyond reason. Poisoned.
Somehow I’m special, somehow I can’t get under this negative spell. I wouldn’t call it an evil spell, these people do “hate the antichrist”, but they hate it the wrong way.
Maybe it’s my zero tolerance for negative emotions that makes me see things differently, that I react to these articles the opposite way. Or maybe it’s my Volkswagen portfolio that forms a suicide pact between me and the German economy. (I prefer to believe the former.)
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We’re all in a suicide pact with the Germans anyway, from the latest newborn to the last pensioner; Hungary is economically colonized by the Krauts, and will be for the foreseeable future. Any schadenfreude we have at the Germans’ expense will be at our expense as well, sooner or later. You can have a few laughs before your bill to cover our common mess eventually arrives.
Laughing at the Germans is like laughing at you neighbor as his house burns down, right next to yours. Even if they are responsible for the fire department shutting down, even if they were richer than you and acting arrogant lately, your joy at their misfortune will only last for a short while, before the fire eventually spreads over to your house.
If it lasts after that point, if you keep laughing as everything goes up in flames, you’re insane. In either case you’re malicious, even if you’re factually right. Yes, you’re right about NATO, Brussels, Washington, The Swamp, etc., so what? So am I!
Yet I don’t crave Putin’s cock any more than I crave Biden’s. Grow a spine, Little Fideszer! Go on detox, go offline, go for a walk. Imagine that we’re Austria, the good and the bad. It would be an upgrade from this low point.
Malice is for losers. Winners have no malice in them, it never clouds their judgement, they always have their eyes on the prize. Winners get Zsuzsi, the best girl in high school, but maybe in the district.
Orban still represents the old dream (officially)
The destructive anger is not the official messaging the Little Fideszers are getting from the Party HQ.
I’ve already touched on the base’s sentiment arising from Western abuse when I covered Orban’s inauguration speech and the Party trying its best to keep anti-Western dissent under control:
Just like the aforementioned Russophilia, the base, the hard core of Fidesz would cheer, should the Hungarian government announce that we’re leaving the EU. There’s been too much antagonism, bad blood in the past 12 years for a self-respecting civilian to take, and any punches Orban received felt personal to these people. Politicians are not civilians though, so they have to be measured by different standards.
Orban clearly and repeatedly told his base that Hungary has a place in the EU and the EU is not inherently bad; it just needs to be reformed, returned to a path it once was on. The EU as it is today has been hijacked, so we’re not abandoning it, we stay and try to regain control (with the help of other members states with friendly governments), as long as we can.
The base begrudgingly accepts this, but illusions of Huxit needs to be continuously culled by the leadership, preferable after every punch from the West, which happens daily nowadays.
Huxit is less déclassé than Putin worship: leaving the EU is a very British thing, after all, but the two are are dangerously close within Fidesz’s base. As far as sorting Little Fideszers by their positions, the former is the subset of the latter.
The leadership is keeping the country aimed west, but it’s a populist party, populism is about prioritizing ideological flexibility based on reality over dogma, so they will have to bend eventually. Will Brussels keep their end of the bargain and send The Money, or will this winter prove the hawkish anti-Western faction right, once again? If so, how long can Orban keep ignoring them, and in some ways, reality, and pretend that the West is not irrecoverably malicious?
Time will tell. Soon.
I’m doing my part
I made a promise to myself not to waste time arguing online in comment sections; there’s no upside to it, it’s a total waste of time and emotional energy. In this case however I made an exception: I do
if I can wherever these Lost Atlanticists cheer on Putin or Xi or whoever; where they wish death and destruction upon themselves if it also means that the West burns as well.
Maybe I can shake a few out of this cancerous mindset and save them. If not, it’s still good for my soul to take a stand from time to time. I don’t mind being downvoted into the abyss anyway, in this case I could take a million of angry reacts, and I’d still be a hundred percent sure that I’m in the right.
Off to meet my family, first the alive part, then we go and visit the dead ones together. Do your part and save a Lost Atlanticist! Happy Halloween!
Spelled like “jolt” in French
What are you even doing here.
Social science is not science
Yes, I’m popularizing it, fuck it. So should you: