Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

A left-wing criticism of the left

July 11th, 2013

A young alternative left-wing activist accuses the main left-wing parties of betraying Social Democratic principles. He recommends that they adopt the values of the Western anti-capitalist left, rather than sticking to what he calls their current ‘neoliberal’ principles.

The Hungarian left aims at polarizing the public as much as the right, Ármin Lánger writes in Kettős Mérce. The young commentator, an activist of the alternative  demonstrations organized by Milla in 2012, recalls that the mainstream left-wing parties in Hungary have from the beginning been hostile to the anti-globalist social movement. “They told us to go to Jobbik,” Lánger remembers the “old lefties,” telling them, who likened all anti-capitalist messages to those of Jobbik and Fidesz.

As for their political ideas, the mainstream left-wing parties have nothing in common with Social Democratic principles, Lánger suggests. Former PM Gyurcsány and Bajnai are both neoliberals who want to cut welfare spending as much as possible in order to serve the interest of investors both within the country and abroad. Lánger finds it highly controversial that Bajnai, a former Minister in the Gyurcsány government poses as someone above party politics. Bajnai is “a typical East European oligarch” committed to neoliberal principles and so his reelection would be the continuation of the past rather than a new beginning, the young blogger asserts. Instead of “being subservient and unconditional supporters of the IMF and the World Bank”, the Hungarian left should co-opt the messages of West European Socialist parties highly critical of banks, the IMF and credit rating agencies.

Lánger finds it disturbing that left-wing media and intellectuals try to deepen political cleavages by labeling as fascist anyone who does not agree with their pro-market message. He suggests that this strategy of the left is highly counterproductive, and the real reason behind Jobbik’s success at the 2010 election.

Tags: , ,