Saturday, January 9, 2021

the last book I ever read (Anne Applebaum's Twilight of Democracy, excerpt eight)

from Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism by Anne Applebaum:

Caldwell also praised the mystical “organic community” that he believes Orbán has created instead. Though only a foreigner would call Orbán’s closed, corrupt, one-party state—a world in which the prime minister’s friends, family, and cousins get rich, people are promoted and demoted depending on their party loyalty, and everyone else is left out—an “organic community.” And only an ideologue could believe that Hungary’s European neighbors are annoyed by Orbán’s “Christianity.” In reality, they are annoyed by the cultivated xenophobia of the anti-Soros and anti-European campaigns, they are annoyed by the legal manipulations that have given the Hungarian prime minister nearly complete control of the press and the electoral process, and they are annoyed by his corruption and use of EU money to fund cronies. In the spring of 2020, they were outraged when Orbán used the coronavirus as an excuse to give his government near-dictatorial power, including the power to arrest journalists who criticized the government’s response to the pandemic. The hypocrisy is infuriating, too: In fact, plenty of non-Europeans and non-Christians—Syrians, Malaysians, Vietnamese—do emigrate to Hungary. They just have to pay.

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