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Marxist philosopher bashes the Left

September 20th, 2014

A Marxist pundit expresses his complete lack of surprise if at the October local elections, the Left receives its third consecutive blow from voters this year. The Left’s unpopularity is due to its inconsistent politics, he suggests, and without a complete overhaul, it has no chance to regain its strength.

In Népszabadság, Gáspár Miklós Tamás writes that the Left in its current form can hardly overcome its internal contradictions. The Marxist philosopher believes that the Left should boycott the political system, since it considers both the new Basic Law and the new electoral rules illegitimate. In an aside, he notes that former PM Gyurcsány, who likes to call for a united and uncompromising opposition to the current regime, both belongs to and benefits hugely from the current political system both as an MP and a successful businessman. He likens that position to that of the one-time reform-Communists who wanted to reform the Party from the inside rather than turning against it.

Tamás also finds the Left guilty of co-opting the anti-Roma rhetoric which is “common on the Right and Far-Right”. (For the controversy over the left-wing mayoral candidate in Miskolc see BudaPost, July 21). Anti-Roma politics undermine the MSZP’s efforts to rebrand itself as a genuine Social Democratic party critical of neoliberal and neoconservative ideas, since the wider redistribution of wealth implied in Social Democratic models would benefit first and foremost poor Roma, Tamás maintains. He concludes by noting that authentic left-wing politics only exists outside the official public sphere, and real change on the Left is unlikely without a huge social or economic crisis that breaks down the Right, in which case a new generation could rebuild the Left from scratch.

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