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A left-wing outsider cautions against alliance with Jobbik

December 6th, 2017

A well-known Marxist philosopher argues passionately against the idea of a Left-Jobbik alliance, as the supposedly only way to vote the incumbent government out of office. He places his arguments in a broad-brush tableau depicting the rise of the right and the demise of the Left and of Liberalism.

On his HVG.hu column, Gáspár Miklós Tamás thinks defeating the ruling Fidesz party is a strategic priority for the Left, but ‘not at any price’. An alliance with Jobbik, he suggests, would be just too big a price to pay. The former anti-Communist dissident, turned first conservative liberal and then Marxist finds nothing special in the pathetic state of Hungary’s left-wing parties, because as he sees it, the centrist shift provoked by the likes of Britain’s Tony Blair, Germany’s Gerhard Schröder and other Social Democrat leaders stripped the left-wing parties of their true mission. When the liberal model started to become dysfunctional after its happiest years in the 1990s, new forces emerged to channel discontent – and these were invariably on the right wing. That is why Jobbik has become the number one opposition party in today’s Hungary, Tamás explains. He doesn’t rule out the possibility that Jobbik leader Gábor Vona may be sincere in moving toward the centre, but suggests that it would be morally unacceptable for the Left to ally itself with him. All the more so, he argues, since a Fidesz victory could not be prevented anyway, as most left-wing voters would refuse to vote for Jobbik candidates and vice versa. The only outcome of an alliance with Jobbik would be for the Left to lose even the chance of coherent and critical speech. ‘And that is all that remains to us’, he concludes.

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