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A call to rebuild the Left from scratch

June 23rd, 2014

A left-wing analyst argues for “creative destruction” on the progressive side to create a movement that could defeat the governing right wing in 2018.

In Élet és Irodalom, political scientist Attila Ágh warns that no election can be won in Hungary with the promise of restoring the pre-2010 status quo.

The Socialists suffered a crushing defeat then, he explains, because they had no answers to the chronic crisis of Hungarian society. The regime change (and the ensuing demolition of Hungary’s outdated heavy industry) produced catastrophic consequences for the unskilled, while the financial crisis of the past years has proven a severe shock for the middle classes, he continues. As a result, most Hungarians feel they belong to the losers of the system change, and disenchanted with the Socialist Party. Many former left-wing voters have become Jobbik fans and some even stand behind Fidesz. The idea, borrowed from the liberals, that Hungary should move forward and modernise first, and only care for the poor after that, has proved to be a complete failure, Ágh argues. Leaders identified with that course should disappear, and a completely new left-wing movement must be born, he thinks. He hopes that the younger generation will produce one fairly soon. He finds that young bloggers and environmentally-conscious people gathered in PM (the left-wing party born from a split in LMP which won one seat in parliament as part of the left-wing alliance) represent the seeds of a new movement that can defeat Fidesz in four years’ time. He predicts that midway between two elections the government will be shaken by a deep crisis and if the new movement is on the scene by then, it can quickly gain strength as a result of the crisis. However, that will not be possible without immediate “creative destruction followed by rapid reconstruction”.




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