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PM Orbán’s success explained

August 7th, 2018

A left-wing sociologist believes that Mr Orbán’s success is due to the popularity of illiberal populist politics in the wider world

In Népszava, Pál Tamás explains the success of PM Orbán’s politics with the broad popular need for an anti-elite and anti-globalist radical Zeitgeist. The veteran left-wing sociologist dismisses the assumption broadly shared both by Viktor Orbán’s supporters and critics that ‘Orbanism’ has been copied throughout the region. Tamás acknowledges that he was the first national leader to advocate anti-Brussels, anti-globalist, anti-immigration and anti-elite politics in Europe. His attitude, however, is part of the general anti-elite illiberal turn in global politics, Tamás believes. He points out that there are important variations in illiberal politics in Europe. As an example, Tamás mentions the Polish model, in which moral issues get much more importance than in Orbán’s rhetoric. As a result of the absence of a strong moral ideology, he adds, PM Orbán is unlikely to pose a grave threat to European politics or bring back the 1930s as many of his critics fear. In conclusion, Tamás notes that politics in Europe as well as North America is increasingly influenced by different and competing illiberalisms.

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