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A Marxist philosopher on Horthy and capitalism

November 13th, 2013

Addressing both liberal and conservative critics of last week’s Horthy commemoration, Gáspár Miklós Tamás, a well-known leftist philosopher ridicules those who confine their criticism of the interwar era to anti-Semitism alone.

”Sometimes it looks as if we had reactionaries of all sorts on one side, and the righteous Jews on the other. A madhouse!”, Gáspár Miklós Tamás writes in Népszabadság. Those who protested against the inauguration of Horthy’s bust by extreme right-wingers at the entrance of a church in central Budapest, (see Budapost November 7 and November 9) only voiced one complaint, namely that Horthy was still in office when over 400 thousand Hungarian Jews were deported to Nazi death camps. Tamás shares their indignation, but argues that the interwar regime was socially and politically unjust and was considered by Hungary’s progressive intellectuals to be an oppressive system. All capitalist societies, he suggests, are intrinsically unjust and oppressive and likely to generate “anti-Semitism”, which he equates with racism –­ the hatred now directed against immigrants in the developed countries. Ultimately this is all the fruit of private property and anti- Communism, Tamás believes, and since Hungary’s conservatives are running a system based on those two principles, they are wrong not to embrace Horthy’s heritage.

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