No Self-Respecting American Should Aspire to Hungarian-Style Nationalism

Extolling the virtues of Viktor Orbán's culture war over a sumptuous meal in Budapest is next-level cognitive dissonance.


Though much of the great August 2021 debate over the aspirational role Viktor Orbán's Hungary plays in America's still-fermenting National Conservative movement has amounted to a willful misconflation of politics with policy, it's still worth lingering for a moment on Tucker Carlson's fondness for Magyar architecture.

"Here's what I like about the landscape of Hungary, a few Soviet remnants notwithstanding," the top-rated cable news anchor said in a speech Saturday. "It's pretty. It is pretty, the buildings are pretty, the architecture uplifts. So this is another third rail in American politics: You're not allowed to note that our buildings are grotesque and dehumanizing. Why are they bad? Because they are ugly, and ugly dehumanizes us…'dehumanizing' is the act of convincing people that they don't matter, that they're less significant in the larger whole."

Well, about that. Budapest—and the nearby upstream cliffside town of Esztergom, where the Fox News host was delivering his remarks—are indeed lovely to look at, if you don't mind the shabby bits lurking just off-camera in the postcard shots, and otherwise avoid venturing out to the concrete panel housing units that scar all formerly communist metropolises.

But what pleases the foreign eye in the Hungarian capital is often a Potemkin grandeur, the projection of insecure nationalism, the architectural equivalent of fin de siècle bling, dating from that all-too-brief half-century (1867–1914) when Hungary was not just a small-population serial loser of wars, but rather the dual (if junior) monarch of imperial Austria's last Habsburg stand. For a brief window, Budapest got to dress up as Vienna, and boy did it ever.

The city's most celebrated piece of architecture, the Parliament Building (completed in 1904), with its neo-Gothic bones rattling over the Danube, never fails to awe from land or river. Yet inside the structure it's hard to suppress a giggle, once you see the spatial ludicrousness of devoting the world's third-largest legislative building to the unicameral parliament of the planet's 94th largest country. It's like designing the Sistine Chapel to host Wednesday night bingo.

Around the corner is another spectacular colossus I spent too much time in during the mid-1990s, reporting on what would eventually be an ominously illiberal post-communist media law. In that space during the first decade of the 20th century (exact dates vary) opened the Budapest Stock Exchange, then "the largest building of its kind in Europe," and "of a scale far beyond Hungary's requirements." The bourse was liquidated by the state at the bloody end of World War II, and then in 1957, mere months after the Soviet Union put down the October 1956 uprising within Molotov-throwing distance of the palace's magnificent arched entrance, this temple of capitalism was transformed into the imposing headquarters of…communist state television.

It is indeed a gorgeous building, especially now that the audiovisual apparatchiks have decamped. But television journalists from the Land of the Free might pause a breath before whistling too sweetly at nationalist Gargantua that started out as monuments to free enterprise only to be conscripted by the state for purposes of blasting out government propaganda.

The thick roots of 21st century Hungarian nationalism are no mere tangential offshoots from the allure of Orbánism; they anchor the whole enterprise. Though you will usually hear Orbán's GOP fan club enumerate exactly three of the prime minister's tangible accomplishments—he pays Hungarians to reproduce, he limits immigration, he tells Western elites to get bent—the hiding-in-plain-sight attraction to the Fidesz leader is about politics far more than policy. And those politics spring directly from a paranoid sense of historical grievance no self-respecting American should want to experience, let alone emulate.

"Viktor Orbán is winning his culture war," declared the Hungarian's leading American herald, Rod Dreher, in The Spectator last week. "Orbán's Hungary…is an unapologetic beacon of National Conservatism….Hungarians would like to stay Hungarian, without the blights of mass immigration and Heather Has Two Mommies textbooks in kindergarten," enthused ex-National Review columnist John Derbyshire at the "race realist" site VDARE, in a piece Dreher enthusiastically retweeted and then later recanted, maintaining he had no idea that a site named after the first English child born in America may have some off-putting hangups.

"Western elites are terrified that their smear campaign against Hungary will unravel," added a palpably thrilled Frank Furedi at Spiked: "The globalist media have succeeded in establishing a cordon sanitaire around Hungary."

The media have indeed supplied enough hyperbolic fuel to keep a battalion of conservative anti-anti-Orbánists well-fed, grossly mislabeling him a "fascist," a "far-right autocrat," and even "the ultimate twenty-first century dictator." (Xi Jinping would like a chat.) The pattern is eye-glazingly familiar by now in the age of Donald Trump: Politician does or says something provocative (Orbán delights in assuring western nationalists that "liberal democracy" is "over"); an appalled political class overreacts; the anti-anti brigades man their battle stations; and around we go, dumbly, until the next controversy.

This depressing cycle may appear newish to American eyes, but it's old hat in post-communist Europe, where opportunistic pols learned early and often that you can gain and consolidate power by replacing the "commun" prefix with "national." Sometimes it would get bloody, as in Slobodan Milošević's Serbia; sometimes it could come off to outsiders as bloodlessly rational (as with the Czech Republic's Václav Klaus, who preceded Orbán in playing the Anglo-American right like a fiddle). But always, the nation is being besieged by globalists from without, undermined by possibly disloyal intellectuals from within, and requiring a father figure to navigate the treacherous waters.

When Trump escalatored successfully into our political lives, those of us foreign correspondents who covered three-time Slovak Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar immediately began sending each other can-you-believe-it notes. A crudely entertaining, larger-than-life serial litigant barking conspiracy theories and crazy lies, while also steadfastly, democratically, venturing into corners of national life that the condescending elites had long abandoned? Generating unhinged hyperbole while also governing as an unhinged hyperbolist?

It was stunning to see such politics find fertile soil in a mature liberal democracy. And even after that hard-earned lesson in humility, it's jarring still to watch Americans kiss the ring of a prototype of the form, albeit one considerably more polished. (Mečiar once told me before a 1993 trip to the U.S. that he'd consider the visit a success if "people see that I don't eat children.")

Orbán can point to the electoral scoreboard—he's governed Hungary for the past decade, and most of this century—and he also whets the power appetites of American conservatives who no longer have patience for due process, individual autonomy, and limited government. "You are thinkers, but we are doers," the prime minister told a rapt audience at the February 2020 National Conservatism Conference in Rome. The I-wish-we-had-that-here fantasia at this point is right out front. "Orbán impresses," Dreher wrote this week at The American Conservative, "because he understands better than our own politicians the kind of wicked insanity we are up against."

But aside from electoral success, there are some aspects to Orbán's national-politics variant that are unique to Hungary and should be uniquely worrying to those of us who value freedom in the United States (which, Carlson's host-flattery notwithstanding, beats Hungary's like a drum).

Magyar grievance-nationalism begins with a wound the U.S. has never come close to absorbing—losing nearly two-thirds of its territory at the post–World War I Treaty of Trianon. Granted, Hungary's pre-war landmass was at an ahistoric high filled with subjugated minorities, but the peace agreement left millions of Hungarian-speakers stranded outside their native country.

Given the feebleness of interwar Hungary, the fascist irredentism of its Axis-allied WWII regime, then the Communist control after the war, this created not just an unrequited nationalism, but an unrequitable nationalism. Orbán's most fateful political choice (on which more below) came in recognition of a persistent national itch that can never fully be scratched.

The Hungarian language plays a key role in nurturing national paranoia, for the salient reason that almost no one else understands it. (Not even Finns, despite sharing the same linguistic family tree.) Poland and Czechoslovakia may have also been small countries frequently overrun by militaristic neighbors, but at least they shared the same Slavic roots as their Russian tormentors.

Hungarians, particularly in the capital, have long since mastered the art of presenting one face to the world in German, English, or Russian, quite another amongst themselves in their secret code of a mother tongue. Meanwhile, a majority of the country's 10 million people do not speak a second language, rendering them surrounded by sporadically hostile Slavs and German speakers they cannot comprehend.

Perhaps the biggest example of Tucker Carlson telling on himself during his great inter-nationalism adventure is when he said, "Every Hungarian I have met…had better English than our own president." Not only is the joke feeble; it's a confession that he never visited the part of the country that gave Viktor Orbán his political power in the first place.

This is where the unstoppable Hungarian encomia of the anti-globalist anti-elites finally meet an immovable paradox. Carlson, Dreher, and the Fidesz-fluffing brigades love-love-love them some Budapest. Love it! Not just the chest-puffing dual-monarchy architecture, but the sprawling street cafés, the flamboyant Franz Liszt sculptures, the foie gras, the bathhouses, the Tokaji, the Jewish quarter, the Turkish influence, the multilingual intellectuals, the stylish young things parading down endless pedestrian streets. It's all so sensual, so intoxicating, so…cosmopolitan. And Viktor Orbán has been politicking against the place for a quarter-century.

Almost every country has some version of the rural/urban divide; country mouse vs. city mouse. But almost nowhere is it so dominant as in Hungary, whose capital city, at 1.75 million, contains 18 percent of the country's population, and whose second city you've almost certainly never heard of. (It's Debrecen, at 200,000.)

Orbán started his political career as a pretty young thing, co-founding Fidesz (the Alliance of Young Democrats) with a bunch of Budapest university pals in 1988 as an anti-communist, pro-environment, pro-Western political movement that was originally—and spectacularly!—limited to those under the age of 30.

After getting around 5 percent of the vote in the 1990 parliamentary elections—the nationalist Hungarian Democratic Forum, with 24 percent, would run the government for the next four years—Fidesz put Orbán in charge of the party in 1993, upon which he made a fateful decision: No more would this be the party of young urban liberals; Fidesz would re-position to the center-right, stumping for the Puszta vote with consciously anti-cosmopolitan politics.

The Budapest liberals of the party, many of them Jewish, bolted in alarm (the country has a fraught history of murderous anti-Semitism), joining the Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz), a center-left anti-communist grouping that then shocked many Hungarians by joining the unreformed Socialist Party in an uneasy coalition government after the 1994 elections. (It should be noted here that Hungary's "goulash communism" was considerably softer than the totalitarianism of many Warsaw Pact countries, and that by some measures the mid-'90s Socialists were about as pro-market as Klaus' Civic Democratic Party in the Czech Republic.) In opposition, Fidesz and Orbán tacked increasingly nationalist and illiberal, and by 1998 that translated into Orbán becoming prime minister and SzDSz largely scattering to the wind.

Orbán has been the country's dominant politician ever since. And judging by one of the key measures Republicans used to care about, he has been a disaster.

In 1988, when Fidesz was just getting its start, Hungary and its goulash communism was far ahead of the regional pack in privatization, adopting market reforms, and the resulting GDP. As late as 1993, the country was still at or near the top of the Visegrád Group including Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, and ahead of the newly independent Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Ever since 2012, near the beginning of Orbán's current reign, Hungary ($15,900 in 2020 GDP per capita, per the World Bank) and Poland ($15,700) have been at the bottom of the pack, and not by a little—Estonia's up at $23,300, the Czechs are at $22,800, and even once-lowly Slovakia is kicking it at $19,200. Like a meal at McDonald's, nationalism looks tempting in the ads but doesn't digest particularly well.

Instead of examining his economic stewardship, or taking seriously critiques of his record, Orbán's American boosters are left cheering on his culture war triumphs from the luxurious comforts of Budapest's cosmopolitan excess. It's a bit like crediting Donald Trump for the civilizational glories of the Bay Area while cavorting in Nob Hill; it does not quite compute.

Worse, by aspiring to Orbán's strategic and proudly anti-liberal wielding of consolidated state power against perceived internal enemies, the Hungaro-cons are threatening to sink deeper into the conservative rut of anti-factual paranoia, enemy-scapegoating, and egg-breaking, swapping out even the pretense of philosophical governing principle for a transparent will to power.

"The key insight about Orban is that he believes that the future of his nation and of Western civilization hangs in the balance. He's right about that," Rod Dreher wrote last week, after a no-doubt sumptuous dinner in Budapest with Tucker Carlson. "I prefer the (possibly flawed) ways that Orban is meeting the crisis than the ways that the American Right is failing to do same."

So it's Flight 93s all the way down, then, only this time hijacked by a Hungarian. Perhaps one day the American right will regain its faith in America.

NEXT: Hawaii Limits Indoor Social Gatherings to 10 People. Will More States Follow Suit?

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  1. So it's Flight 93s all the way down, then, only this time hijacked by a Hungarian. Perhaps one day the American right will regain its faith in America.

    Faith in America is Racist. Someone hasn't been keeping up.

    1. No, Faith In America now means accepting internal passports, because mask mandates are the only alternative, even though we need to mask up again anyway.

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        2. I’m at a loss to explain why the author doesn’t like president Orban.
          He doesn’t say exactly what he objects to
          Exactly how is Orban a dictator? What has he done?
          I see Jewish people left his political party when he won, but no mention of if he actually persecuted any Jewish people.
          I see that he didn’t allow unlimited Muslim immigration into Christian Hungary.
          Is that the problem?
          It seems normal to me that a small country with a unique culture would want to limit immigration so as to preserve their unique culture.
          And he seems to be resisting bullying by the European Union unelected bureaucrats.
          A country that only recently escaped from communist dictatorship is against European type socialism/communism.
          Again I don’t see the problem
          Seems to me that he has his country‘s best interest at heart

          1. What has he done? Here's some stuff he's done:

            I agree with you though. The argument in this article is weak

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    2. “Perhaps one day the American right will regain its faith in America.”

      I’m sorry, but it seems you’ve confused conservatives with Progressives.

    3. This is funny. Our democracy is under attack, the federal government is expanding their powers over the states, using social media to censor opinions, use our schools as indoctrination camps, segregating students, and this article criticizes Hungary which seems to be more free than America? At least Hungary puts its citizens first, control its borders, and have dialogue on differences of opinions! We are going in the opposite direction of freedoms aka China!

    4. Respect for self determination is no longer libertarian.

      Fuck off Welch.

  2. In Douglas Murray's book, The Strange Death of Europe he detailed the view of immigration between a right-wing Eastern European leader, and a left-wing Eastern European leader. Both of these leaders differed wildly on many domestic issues, but they were in agreement on one issue: Immigration.

    Murray describes this Eastern European agreement on this thorny subject by describing the Eastern mindset of maintaining "The tragic sense of life"-- something the West has lost.

    The 'tragic sense of life' is described as the very real perspective that the cultures of these tiny landlocked nations can (because they have been) swept aside by the hand of history at any moment- and so they tend to be in agreement on this central question of immigration- whether they hail from the left OR the right.

    1. Burying the lead so far it never appeared....what was the left and right agreement on immigration? That it should happen? Or not happen?

        1. Then what explains Merkel, or France, or numerous other examples of "accept the immigrant," often the Muslim immigrant, in various locales throughout Europe?

          1. Then what explains Merkel, or France, or numerous other examples of “accept the immigrant,” often the Muslim immigrant, in various locales throughout Europe?

            You may have missed these qualifiers:

            Eastern European


            tiny landlocked nations

            Neither of which describe France, Germany, Sweden, etc...

            1. He didn't read it through before thinking it through.

  3. Ah, so Reason (psuedo-libertarians) are pushing orthodoxy in thinking now ('Right Thinking'). Time to get off the train.

    1. So, it's back to Conservative National Socialist Gleichschaltung and Positive Kristian values? Bye. No need to write...

      1. Pretty sure Communist / Socialist are the all time leaders of killing people for not right thinking. Then, likely, religion.

        So reason joining the communist / socialist / religion side of orthodoxy of thought isn't a good thing, im.

        1. When I noticed hit pieces on Orban this week in both legacy media and lefty online media, it never remotely occurred to me that I would see Reason joining in the chorus.

          Fuck off, Welch.

      2. The Great Power Creep Forward

    2. Matt Welsh jumps right in. Putting forward the historical dirt followed by comparisons. Skipping over the key completey. Hungarians love their country. They want to preserve it. What's wrong with that?

      1. It means limiting immigration, a Reason/Koch no-no. Plus, Welch's significant other hates Tucker, and won't give him any unless he trashes him.

        1. Welch is an errand boy for the trans national left.

          Fuck off Welch.

      2. Sure and it's the Magyar achitecture talking.
        When it comes to the culture wars, Matt really wants to be an Austro-Hungarian Umpire

  4. What Hungary is doing is is blowback to progressive policies in Brussels that are affecting the continent.

    1. That is correct, they see the results of the EU octopus on culture and want to keep their own intact. Strange how this idea arose that what the values, policies, educational curriculum, laws and so on should be in countries that have their own culture.

      Where is the concept of "multiculturalism" in this?

      What began with the shine Euro coin and no passports and the beautiful slogan of "tolerance" has mutated into you are nazis who shall be summarily defunded and cancelled if you try to keep your cultural traditions and values alive... We, the judge and jury shall dictate what those shall be henceforth...

      1. Budapexit.

      2. Where is the concept of “multiculturalism” in this?

        Multiculturalism means getting rid of white people, Judeo-Christian traditions, and Western culture.

    2. It's also blowback on government itself, but no one will say that. The problem arises as government intrudes more and more into daily life. When the US government was small, it bothered very few people enough to rebel, and they found it easier to simply move west. But government got bigger and more intrusive because that is what governments do, and now you cannot avoid government, even if there were a virtual 1800-west to move to; your choice is to bend the knee or try to take it over.

      It is literally more profitable to sic government on others before they sic government on you.

      1. Reason is kinder gentler statism.

    3. That is the 'strange' part the Welch's anti-Orban/Trump diatribe, he fails to address the libertarian take on EU diktats.

  5. I keep seeing these articles pop up - and they all only ever seem to have 'their architecture is a LIE!' as their main point against Hungary.

    Generating unhinged hyperbole while also governing as an unhinged hyperbolist?

    Compared to the current President? The one openly breaking the law - all in the hopes the court system will be delayed long enough for him to achieve his goals?

    Orbán can point to the electoral scoreboard—he's governed Hungary for the past decade, and most of this century

    Ok? But what's *wrong* with him. All these articles talk about how he's bad - but they never talk about *why*.

    The Budapest liberals of the party, many of them Jewish, bolted in alarm (the country has a fraught history of murderous anti-Semitism),

    But . . . nothing came of this. Orban and his people never did anything to attack them.

    1. It's exactly the same as with Trump. They hate him because they don't control him, and so every excuse is good enough to call him Hitler, from voters voting for him to 19th century Neo-Gothic architecture.

      1. "they hate him 'cause they aint him"

        1. They hate us cause they anus!

    2. Funny how that works.

    3. The Budapest liberals of the party, many of them Jewish, bolted in alarm (the country has a fraught history of murderous anti-Semitism)

      But but but...they felt like he might!!!! Don't you remember the horrendous early days of Trump when gays and transes had to go into hiding for similar reasons!!!


    4. Having lived in Hungary and speaking Hungarian, I have a certain fairly direct perspective on this. Orban’s regime has been a pretty naked kleptocracy. For example, a group of private companies supposedly just decided to build the Pancho Aréna, a soccer stadium for ~3,800 people, in the village Orban grew up in, right next to his estate. As a business decision, this made no sense as the village itself has a population of less than 1,700 and isn’t a regional center for anything. And, just coincidentally, those companies all won major contracts from the Hungarian government. It's the sort of cronyism that libertarians generally condemn.

      On the issue of anti-semitism, Orban has played an interesting game. He uses the Jobbik party as his proxy for a lot of things. They are the only party that is really addressing the West Virginia-level poverty in rural Hungary in any fashion. Jobbik is openly anti-Semitic and is allied with Fidesz. Fidesz uses Jobbik as a stalking horse for a lot of its more distasteful positions.

      1. So, these are valid criticisms - strong ones even, if true.

        Which has me wondering why all the ant-Orban stuff is 'Hungary isn't as rich as Orban pretends and, like, they build ridiculously large government building for what is really a tiny government, tee hee'

        Is it that they're afraid that bringing up these substantive accusations against Orban leaves them open to having it flung back in their face ala Biden and the Democratic Senators?

        1. Yes, that and the fact that corruption of a system doesn't discredit the fundamental system. People don't like Orban for his corruption, they like him for his nationalism and preservation of Hungarian life, culture and values. If they could have Orban's policies without the corruption, I'm sure the people of Hungary would take that, but that's not the choice they are offered.

          So, pointing out the corruption not only risks comparisons to the US political class, it's weak tea as far as discrediting Orban.

        2. It's Victor Orban's fault that the Communists took over Hapsburg property before he was born - or something.

          this was unintelligible babble. Hard to tell if Welch is a worse writer or worse Libertarian.

      2. So...what you're saying is...Orban's a New Yorker?

    5. The moment that led the American conservative movement to its hard on for Orban was when he suppressed riots from Muslims seeking asylum in Germany who were in the Keletti (Eastern) train station. What the conservative press conveniently omitted was that the riots were instigated by Fidesz: The government wouldn't let the asylum seekers leave the train station and then cut off food and water (except for what some independent relief agencies brought in) and then sat back and waited for the inevitable, which it then used as an excuse to crack down.

      I'm not saying there were no problems with folks pouring through Hungary, but it was political genius to create the situations for rioting and then use that to justify a course of action when the riots wouldn't have existed without his actions. Say what you will about immigration, but the Budapest riots were a contrived crisis, not an organic outcome.

      1. Sounds like the US border camps, and the BurnLootMurder crowd last summer.

      2. Say what you will about immigration, but the Budapest riots were a contrived crisis, not an organic outcome.

        This sounds eerily familiar.

    6. Re architecture, it's not far from the White House to less photogenic parts of DC. The same is true for any national monument in our capitol. But, the smug factor from 'objective journalists' is the important feature.

  6. Hungary Scrubs Criticism of China’s Xi Jinping From Tucker Carlson’s Interview With Orban

    Aidan McLaughlin

    2 days ago

    Tucker Carlson trip to Hungary to promote its populist leader took an awkward turn when a transcript of his interview was censored by the Hungarian government.

    Carlson spent the week filming his Fox News show from Budapest, where he interviewed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, toured a border fence built to keep out migrants, and spoke at an event funded by the Orban government.

    The Fox News host also touted Hungary, under Orban’s illiberal rule, as a “freer” place than the United States.

    Carlson’s characterization of Hungary and its ruler was put to the test on Friday when all mention of Chinese leader Xi Jinping was scrubbed from a transcript of the Carlson-Orban interview that was sent to reporters.

    During the interview, Carlson lamented to Orban that U.S. President Joe Biden has never referred to Xi as a “totalitarian thug” despite the fact that he has “murdered many of his political opponents.”

    New York Times reporter Benjamin Novak noticed that Carlson’s criticism of Xi was cut from a transcript sent to reporters by Hungarian officials.

    Politico Europe’s Playbook newsletter reported that after Novak’s tweet, officials sent out a full transcript of the interview.

    Orban has pushed Hungary towards closer ties with China, seeking out loans from Beijing for projects including a railway to Belgrade and a campus of a Shanghai university in Budapest. In recent months, Hungary twice blocked an EU statement condemning China’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong.

    1. Tuck's lurid indoor Green Screen debut was a disgrace to deepfakery - he knew he would be editied from the getgo

  7. I don't know anything about Orban, but given what Reason has turned into in recent years I'll take this lengthy but detail-free diatribe about his awfulness as an endorsement.

    1. Cato:

      In all those ways libertarians and other liberals changed the Western world and increasingly the entire world. Today libertarians, liberals such as Soros and Clinton, and conservatives such as Mitt Romney and Boris Johnson agree on such basic liberal principles as private property, markets, free trade, the rule of law, government by consent of the governed, constitutionalism, free speech, free press, religious freedom, women’s rights, gay rights, peace, and a generally free and open society. Not without plenty of arguments, of course, over the scope of government and the rights of individuals, from taxes and the welfare state to drug prohibition and war. But as Brian Doherty wrote in Radicals for Capitalism, his history of the libertarian movement, we live in a liberal world that “runs on approximately libertarian principles, with a general belief in property rights and the benefits of liberty.”

      So one might say that with all the differences libertarians have with Soros⁠—who has been the target of anti‐​Semitic campaigning by Orban⁠—or with the Clinton Foundation, they are at least more liberal than Orban’s “illiberal state” modeled on the successes of Russia, China, and Turkey, a regime that is shutting down universities, taking over media, suspending parliament, chipping away at democracy, and undermining the rule of law.

      1. Go to prison.

        1. Fuck you and your authoritarian boner.

          1. You should share a cell with Jared.

          2. .... it says in an authoritarian manner.

          3. GFY, pederast

          4. You’re a child rapist. Prison is mercy for you compared to what you deserve.

  8. If you want to consider yourself a citizen of the world, you're free to do so, but you also reveal that you prefer an omnipotent, centralized world government.

    There is nothing wrong with nationalism, and Welch is a little bitch who's just trying to gain approval from the totalitarian leftists.

    1. Nationalism is people wanting to preserve their traditions and culture.

      1. "Nationalism is people wanting to preserve their traditions and culture using state power."

        1. No

        2. Nationalism is preventing the government from eliminating traditions and culture using state power.

        3. When in the course of Human Events...

      2. Not even that, or not just that, it's people trying to share trust locally without capital.

        It's why broader socialism will consistently lose to national socialism. There's no problem lending someone the hammer you just finished using as long as when you need it you can get it right back. Lending it to a neighbor? No problem. Guy down the street? No big deal. Someone across town? Sure if you've met them a couple times. Somebody down state? If they're a relative or a relative's neighbor maybe? Someone you've never met and never will meet in a land you've never been to and never will go to? Fuck no.

        Speaking a common language and a shared understanding of The Golden Rule are nice and probably play a significant part of the decision, but part of it is straight up "Will I get an ROI on the time and effort I've invested in X?".

    2. "Welch is a little bitch"

      After reading through this foppish sop I have to agree with you.

      1. It was pretty weak sauce. I was only in Budapest once, 25 years ago, but I also was struck by the architecture (especially since my trip took me first to Poland). The absence of Soviet style buildings in the city was noticeable and we were told that it was due to the Hungarians desire to build back just as it had been before the war. This was an act of defiance on their part and I admired them for it.

    3. Conservatives love affair with anti-Democratic thugs like Putin, Trump, and Orban is rooted in theology.

      1. Like when Trump shutdown the economies of blue states with draconian stay at home orders then transferred covid positive patients into nursing homes with concentrated, vulnerable people. Not shockingly, thousands of them contracted then succumbed to the virus.

        1. Hey, be fair! The governors and mayors did it because they had no other way to get back it Trump. He is immune to their insults, wearing them like badges of honor. COVID was a surprise gift from out of the blue, and they could not jump on the lockdown bandwagon fast enough. About the only thing I'd give Republican governors and mayors some credit for is backing off sooner than Democrats.

          1. “ a surprise gift from out of the blue”

            Wink wink nod nod - Dr Fauci

        2. And then they gave him an Emmy!

      2. the lack of intellectual rigor of your posts is rooted in your intellectual vacuity

  9. Nationalism is almost always bad. Because it is usually accompanied by the racist policy called "border enforcement," which prevents billionaire employers like's benefactor Charles Koch from importing cost-effective foreign-born labor.

    Note I said "almost always." There is exactly one developed country that is permitted to be nationalist and even have a giant wall — Israel.


    1. If you’re satire does that mean you are anti-Israel?

    2. You flubbed that one. No one is more nationalist, dare I say racistly Han Nationalist, than the Chinese

    3. If your point is that those who rail against nationalism but make an exception for Israel are hypocrites -- I agree. But who does this? Certainly not Reason! I've been reading it for a long time and I don't remember seeing any posts on Israel.

    4. I would be pro Israel too if our Jews would move there

  10. "But what pleases the foreign eye in the Hungarian capital is often a Potemkin grandeur, the projection of insecure nationalism, the architectural equivalent of fin de siècle bling,"

    "... those of us foreign correspondents who covered three-time Slovak Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar immediately began sending each other can-you-believe-it notes."

    What the fuck am I reading? A gossip column from the Saturday Evening Post?

    1. Just turn to Page 3.

    2. The Ladies' Home Journal, October, 1933.

      1. "The Hungarian language plays a key role in nurturing national paranoia, for the salient reason that almost no one else understands it."

        I'm going with Teen Vogue on this one. Seriously, reads like Welch got drunk and typed it all up in a rather silly mood.

        1. But he really showed Tucker! Boy, it must sting to be in the receiving end of such a powerful missive! Because Tucker C and Hungary are the biggest threats to our freedoms today, by far

    3. More like a recounting of the actions of third graders, except with journalists.

      Teacher: "Mr. Welch! Would you care to share the contents of the note you were trying to pass? Don't be shy."
      Welch: " says "Orban is a doo-doo head.""

  11. Is “No self-respecting American “ going to replace “no true Scotsman “?

  12. Perhaps one day the American right will regain its faith in America."

    Could you do one about how the American left is obsessed with using patriotism as toilet paper? You might try seeing if you can tie it to their infatuation with the democratic socialism of the EU.

    1. *takes a knee while burning a flag*

    2. Every time I see an American flag, I have flashbacks to the white supremacist insurrection on January 6. It's truly a symbol of white nationalisms.

      1. If you turn 1/6 upside down, then add a 1, it's 9/11. Think about it.

        1. By Gawd, that's no coincidence!

    3. Welch's faith in America and the American left is that they will be the ones to finally implement communism correctly. He wonders why the American right isn't onboard for such a vision.

    4. Most of the left is interested in maintaining the United States as a viable and prosperous country. There may be a sliver of goth kids who hate America, but their Youtube channels are funded by Russia same as the entire Republican party. Only one of these can be easily dismissed.

      1. "...Most of the left is interested in maintaining the United States as a viable and prosperous country..."

        Shitstain lies and is too stupid to even recognize it.

        1. They, nor Reason, do not seem to be much interested in maintaining the United States as a country AT ALL.

  13. Everyone at Reason, except Matt and The Papist, understands that Europe is even more deeply split between Christian nationalsocialism and pagan communism than These Sovereign States (97%). Even English socialists, whether fanboys of the North Korean Dwarf or altar boys pining for James Battersby, literally cannot imagine, much less grasp, the notion of letting go of altruism and the initiation of force. Ku-Klux 'muricans are just as baffled that Europeans refer to laissez-faire policies as "liberal."

    1. Congrats on making less sense than Welch, I knew you had it in you

      1. Im pretty sure he’s insane…….

        That is our Hank. Notice the phrasing in the biographical information. Rife with words like ‘infiltrator’, ‘spoiler vote’, and so on. Which is the same shit he talks about in post here. He really does talk that way.

        1. Hank is a Hunter Thompson wanna be.

          He did all the drugs so thinks his garbled buzzword salad is profound.

    2. What the fuck is wrong with you?

    3. Western Europe is "dead" post WWII...they abandoned Christianity and traditional notions of not having kids outside of marriage and hard work and became dependent on the state and just like those in the US who did, their family unit has disintegrated..Eastern Europe still have the values that powered the continent to great economic growth and liberty during the 19th century...Hungary and Poland will be the engines of prosperity for Europe by the end of the 21st Century...France and Germany will be after thoughts.

  14. Hungary's chief sin in the eyes of the globohomo elite is the desire to remain Hungarian. Their enemy is the free Western middle class family, and it must be destroyed from without by mass Third World immigration and from within by gay/transgender/feminist programming.

    1. Globohomo is an entertaining misspelling of Judaism

  15. I don't know what the hoopla about Nicole Kidman's husband is, but you guys are weird.

    1. Hah. Nice.

  16. Orban is no doubt a lot like Trump - an absolute pig of a human being with a million flaws that no right-thinking person could possibly wish as the leader of their country. But still a million times better than the alternative.

    1. In my mind, it always circles back to the "And then, for no particular reason at all, the German people decided to elect Adolf Hitler." line of thinking.

      1. They didn’t really elect him. No party could take control of the reichstag, so he was appointed.

        1. They didn’t really elect him.

          No shit Sherlock.

          1. Eat a boner

            1. That’s more your thing. I’m sure Tony will accommodate your pole smoking proclivities.

          2. and to be honest if the Bolsheviks didn't go on a reign of terror in Berlin and Bavaria it is doubtful the Nazi party would ever have taken power...the cultural degenerates of the left in Germany scared the normal German folks especially the Catholics and there you didnt' help matters their leaders were not even Germans or Catholics...but eastern european communist academics who had never managed anything...just like Troytsky and his ilk. Hitler's rise to power can be argued was caused by the Bolsheviks who in turn were aided and funded by "liberal" sensitive intellectuals in the West and on Wall Street.

  17. Sometimes the enemy of your enemy.... Anyway, do they also steal elections in Hungary? Promote gender change in small children? Tear apart and occupy foreign nations for decades at a time? Spend trillions to wreck the currency and intentionally wreck a prosperous nation? Collude with billionaires and lie about funding a pandemic?

    I know who the enemy of liberty and peace is, Hint: not Hungary.

  18. Now do Israel.

  19. Why didn't the Con Man have the sense to ask this guy how to build a wall?

    I watched the Tucker program and that fence with the circular barbed with on top of it is very effective.

    1. Hungary still had the old plans in socialist Cyrillic. They know how to build border protection.

      1. That was to keep people in, not out.

        1. There's no difference.

  20. What is it with the American Right and their love of overseas authoritarians?

    1. What they really want is religious and racial purity. That is why all their End Times fantasies have their opponents zapped off the planet like bugs.

    2. They're just trying to catch up to the American Left? I don't think they realize that the Left has at least 100 year head start.

      1. Whenever I suggest there's no substantive difference between the Left and the Right, I get met with withering hatred. Truth is not wanted. Both Left and Right worship strong authoritarian leaders. They may not recognize that their heroes are authoritarian, but a strong man who can get things done is invariably an authoritarian. There are exceptions, but not many.

        1. You are an idiot, there is that

        2. Whenever I suggest there’s no substantive difference between the Left and the Right, I get met with withering hatred.

          Because this very notion IS leftist propaganda. It's designed to demoralize, to deter. It's the 'why bother?', the 'nothing matters', the 'it doesn't matter who you vote for'.

          It is designed, by the left, to keep people at home on election day. And it works better than anything else. There are pretentious intellectuals who will expostulate, at length, about the veracity of this.

          And it is not true.

          1. Yea, but weak, effeminate bitches with little intellect gobble it up.
            Helps assuage their obvious inadequacies.

        3. Whenever you post, you get called on your bullshit, TSDS-addled asshole

        4. Seriously? No substantive difference between the Left and the Right because they are both authoritarian. Pinochet and Chavez were both dictators. Would you rather be living in Chile or Venezuela today? Of course I still pine for the days of Ronald Reagan, but it's looking more and more like we will have to choose to between those flavors of authoritarianism.

        5. What kind of fucking moron wants a weak leader?

    3. In what way is Orban authoritarian?

      1. Seriously?

        From wikipedia: "Because of Orbán's curtailing of press freedom, erosion of judicial independence and undermining of multiparty democracy, many political scientists and watchdogs consider Hungary to have experienced democratic backsliding during Orbán's tenure.[3][4][5][6][7] Orbán's attacks on the European Union while accepting its money and funneling it to his allies and family have also led to characterizations of his government as a kleptocracy.[8] Between 2010 to 2020, Hungary dropped 69 places in the Press Freedom Index[9][10] and 11 places in the Democracy Index;[11][12] Freedom House has downgraded the country from "free" to "partly free."[13] Orbán defends his policies as "illiberal democracy."["án

        1. Hmm, you would think Welch's article might have touched on these substantive issues.

        2. There was a time (High school, maybe) when I took these kinds of things seriously:

          "Press Freedom Index[9][10] and 11 places in the Democracy Index;[11][12] Freedom House has downgraded the country from “free” to “partly free.”["

          I won't go as far as saying that they're useless, but they're very likely guided by a group of people with very strong biases and presumptions about how one defines thing like "press" and "freedom". Especially nowadays when "press" is no longer the exclusive domain of billion dollar newsrooms flanked by expensive lawyers.

          For instance, on the 'press freedom' index, the US is #44. Ten places BELOW the UK which, by any reasonable measure has far less press freedom because 1. They don't have a first amendment and 2. The press is regulated by the state.

          As much as I despise the American press (read: legacy media) I would rate the US as still having a very high press freedom index because we have people like Jimmy Dore, Joe Rogan, Tim Pool, The Young Turks etc. etc. I could go on.

          My point is not to inflame passions by suggesting the above are all scions of objectivity and truth-- which, in a truly free-press country would actually violate the principles of free speech and free inquiry.

          The US probably still has the greatest diversity and freedom in media, despite the legacy media working in concert with government to squash it at every possible level.

          Also, I'm not trying to suggest Hungary is a bastion of Western liberal style freedom, but where they fall on the "press freedom" index doesn't really tell me anything.

          1. The press is a good idea in theory, if only it weren't controlled by all those Jews!

            Yeah you're not a Nazi at alllllll

            1. Most of it is controlled by SJW atheist idiots. Not really people in the human sense of the word, but semi sentient creatures. Like you.

              1. I've learned something from this exchange. :surprised pikachu face:

                When you mute somebody, don't bother to unmute them out of idle curiosity. Those are two clicks I'll never get back, Tony.

          2. And in the UK truth is not an absolute bar to a finding of libel or slander. And they have enforced law on hate speech as a primary offense. So yeah, makes you wonder how Freedom House could be trusted to rate freedom of communication. Maybe they weight heavily that women can be topless on broadcast TV, or some relative trivium like that.

        3. Sounds a lot better than Obama or Biden

        4. From wikipedia? Seriously?

          1. Link your source. Go on. Do it.

        5. Orban sounds like a crook, the only thing good about him is the enemies he has made, who are more crooked and crazy than he.

          Also, I can accept that Hungary is "undermining of multiparty democracy" but they're not the only country to do so. Unless by "multi" you mean "two," America isn't much for multiparty democracy either.

          1. Are you defending this tyrannical moron solely because he's friends with Tucker Carlson?

            I knew all you retards watched him.

            1. It’s probably why you are condemning him. You have a serious hate binder for TC. Which you likely jack while watching his show.


          Are you sure that the best source for something like this is a site wherein right of center opinion is routinely hijacked, degraded, dismissed, and often eliminated?

          And the various indices it cites are just as suspect. Why is it that the Press Freedom Index ignores that most of Europe's press is state controlled except when they want to attack someone for being 'authoritarian' for engaging in the European norm?

          1. There is an excellent interview on Unherd with Jerry Sanger about why Wikipedia can no longer be trusted as a source.

          2. “Authoritarian” = pro European

  21. Trailer for a film that discusses Hungary opening its borders in 1989. The film is a bit slow but worthy for folks interested in the fall of the iron curtain:

    Iirc I had to buy and view it off the production company’s website.

  22. The Hungarian language plays a key role in nurturing national paranoia, for the salient reason that almost no one else understands it.

    The great Dr. Thomas Szasz (whose name still lurks on your masthead , I think) was, in his residency, shown a "schizophrenic" patient who would speak in some unique form of his own insane gibberish. As a native-speaker Szasz could understand the now-delighted Hungarian perfectly as the man asked why these crazy doctors were imprisoning him.

    1. He completed his residency at Cincinnati General; I imagine they regarded Hungarian as one of those golliwog languages that no scientific person need sully themselves with.

  23. We get it, you'd much rather have Chinese social scores and Soviet gulags if I read your big tech support for government demanded censorship and silence on Jan 6 protesters correctly. I get you're fine breaking a few skulls to get to your stoner communist utopia and aren't going to look too closely at your compatriots and their demands along the way.

    1. The Jan 6 Trump Cult insurrection was not a "protest".

      1. Neither was the summer of riots that preceded it.

        1. 1/6 (↑↓) 9/11. Think about it.

          1. Just imagine if the 9/11 hijackers had used invisible fire extinguishers.

            1. How many people did we put into a lawless Guantanamo bay hellhole because of 9/11?

              How many Trumpers do we get to torture until they confess?

              1. Confess what? I thought we had it all on video?

                1. The beauty of torture is that you can get people to confess anything.

                  Republicans: accelerating the demise of the USA since 2000.

                  1. Shitstain: Making a public ass of himself for many years

                  2. You’re such a worthless creature. You’re the kind of homo that even other gays call a faggot.

              2. We? I didn’t participate in such activities. Unlike you, I don’t advocate for torture. Though if you voluntarily climbed into a wicker man and set it ablaze I’d respect your freedom to do so.

      2. Nope, it was 50,000 Americans peacefully gathered in their nation's capitol expressing their doubts regarding an election, accompanied by 1,000 government agents assigned to incite a riot, which was effective in inciting approximately 500 to trash a mysteriously-closed Capitol building after being let in. Oh, and a cop shot an unarmed woman for trespassing. Oh, and some CIA planted a couple of pipe bombs outside the offices of the DNC and the RNC, only to be found in the nick of time before exploding.

        1. How convenient. I'm sure you have a citation for that.

          1. Tony, its literally the Associate Press.

            1. The 1,000 plants? I want to see the cite, right here. Small request.

              1. Why don’t you go read it for yourself, instead of raving, faggot.

  24. "What's wrong with nationalism?"

    Nationalism bad, the Nazi's were nationalistic.

    "That was racial nationalism, not cultural nationalism. Besides the National Socialists were also socialist and you don't think that's a problem."

    The Nazis weren't socialists! That's a right-wing lie! They only gave lip service to socialism, to trick people!

    "The Nazis said they were socialist. They prioritized socialism in their charter and platform. They endorsed socialism in every speech they gave, including Hitler. Outside the Warsaw pact and China they nationalized a record number of corporations."

    That's different because fuck you .

    1. Joseph Goebbels was a virulent anti-capitalist who sounded like a Bernie Sanders rally.

    2. National socialists despised capitalism. They nationalized businesses. They had their own version of CRT.

      1. They murdered millions of undesirables based on their threat to academia. You're the Nazi. You need to figure that out before you start lighting ovens.

        1. You're the one here, in this very thread, asking when you get to torture people.

        2. They were just doing what socialists do. They wanted other people’s stuff. CRT was part of convincing folks to go along.

        3. Do you know you can't touch a body killed with hydrogen cyanide because it will kill you too?

          1. And what does that have to do with Tony?

            Seriously, I'm interested.

        4. They murdered millions of undesirables

          But enough about Stalin, Mao, and Castro...

        5. They murdered millions of undesirables based on their threat to academia.

          Where do you think CRT leads?

        6. You ,internally just described yourself and your friends. You’re a shameless authoritarian, by your own admission here.

          That makes YOU the Nazi.

        7. You’re proof they were right

  25. Nationalism in the sense of "me being from my country makes me better than someone from another country" or "it's bad except when my country does it" is bad. But most of the nationalism being criticized by leftists and left-sympathetic libertarians is just a variation of federalism, albeit at a different scale and against organizations formed by groups of governments rather than a single government. Libertarians are supposed to be *pro*-federalism.

    1. Nationalism in the sense of “me being from my country makes me better than someone from another country” or “it’s bad except when my country does it” is bad.

      You're half right. The former isn't inherently bad or wrong as a personal belief and even gives rise to things like friendly competition and highlighting complementary features. America produces grain more abundantly and efficiently than Mexico, who produces cars and tractors more abundantly and efficiently is a totally nationalist statement with very little inherent negative impact and very obvious positive ramifications. Even when motivated by animus, such as the fact that my peoples' pizza is superior to pita-style imitations, it doesn't actively harm anyone and, even if you're unAmerican and prefer to sop up tomato soup with a pita and your filthy hands, is still pretty informative about which pizza choice is the right one.

      The latter, OTOH, is rather overtly is an excuse to cover bad things and, while excuses are bad, the whole point of an excuse is to cover up something worse.

      1. Real latins (Italians) don't sop up soup with a f'ing pita...that is grounds for war in my opinion... 🙂

  26. Libertarians are supposed to be pro-liberty. Sometimes federalism assists with that, and sometimes federalism gets in the way.

    1. They've never been pro-liberty for would-be trespassers. To me, that was the first red flag. "Government never does anything right except specifically what I, white male property owner, need from it."

      Sounds fishy.

      1. Right-wing libertarians are too self-absorbed. Their view of liberty tends to be, "I have the liberty to do what *I* want, and you have the liberty to do what you want, as long as it doesn't inconvenience *me*".

        Left-wing libertarians are too collectivist. They tend to view any barrier standing in the way of someone's happiness as representing a deprivation of liberty. No, sometimes it is merely an inconvenience.

        1. Two TDS-addled assholes in a self-supporting bullshit session!

        2. I’ll bet Tony will let you fuck his asshole. You should do it. Probably the only ass a fatty like you is going to get.

  27. Most globalism proponents indulge in nationalistic NIMBYism. They like the extensive regulations crippling local businesses for the sake of the environment and saving the earth from climate change. But also like consuming products from the carbon Sasquatch that is China who get their supplies from slave states like the Congo.

  28. Nationalism is just another type of collectivism.

    1. Just, virtually always, invoked against a larger more broader-reaching collectivism. We'd all be much worse off if Stalin and Hitler had been able to function more cooperatively. Especially Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, and parts of Romania.

    2. Rubbish. By this definition any country, state, organization, society, or party is "collectivism." I guess even anarchy qualifies as collectivism under such idiotic definition.

      1. Muting jeff helps avoid the stupidity.

      2. Yes, collectives are collectivist. Congratulations. If you insist on being individualistic, you actually should be individualistic. The nation is the most collectivist entity ever invented dude. If you want to make an exception to your rules for nations, which are not without their problems to say the least, then you need to explain why.

      3. Citizens of a state, when asked to perform roles associated with that citizenship, are participating in a collective. Now you are starting to get it.

        1. Citizens of a state, when asked to perform roles associated with that citizenship, are participating in a collective.


          Citizens of a state, when forced to perform roles associated with that citizenship, are participating in a collective.


          Learn the damned difference.

          1. Collectivistjeff doesn't have the gray matter for it

            1. He and Tony are both morons.

  29. Yeah we should emulate the rest of Europe and import lots of people. That way we can destroy the culture, impose authoritarianism and socialism, and become more like the countries they left.

    Not that I don't love the wokestapo far left nutbags running things now!

  30. How sad that I once confused Matt Welsh for Matt Walsh. Walsh is no libertarian and I often disagree with him, however his arguments are consistent, coherent and logical, unlike those of Mr. Welsh. Why does he write for an ostensibly libertarian magazine?

    1. Why do you have to support a foreign tyrant in order to be a libertarian?

      1. We know why shitstain has to drag strawmen around; he has no argument without them.

  31. You call the site "Reason," yet MW here is being far less rational than the compulsively religious Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. And of course the staff as a whole put in far fewer hours a week than those of us who perform real work for a living.

    Why don't you try taking a poll in other countries where distinct peoples have always occupied the same particular lands? You might find they're not ready for 50 genders, either.

  32. No Self-Respecting American Should Aspire to Hungarian-Style Nationalism

    Perhaps; after all, Hungary is actually a single nation with a very distinctive language and culture, so that indeed doesn't make much sense.

    But then, no self-respecting American should aspire to the progressive crap that Reason and Matt Welch are advocating.

    1. Hungary is a fiction we tell ourselves and draw on maps.

      You people are supposed to be the MOST unconcerned with preserving collective goods. Go to where you belong and leave us libertarians here to talk about freedom.

      1. Yeah. When I think of libertarian the first word associated with that is collectivism.

      2. is where you belong, Tony, you f*cking fascist.

      3. It’s a shame a treasonous piece of shit like you is alive.

  33. Is Matt a libertarian? Seriously..we know he likes to say he is but his history suggests otherwise..and hell he lives in wokedom.

    I'm not sure how nation states are a bad thing. You have to protect natural rights with borders not with utopian views on "migration." And multiculturalism is doing so much good in the US..facts are not reported if they don't support the tribal narratives..identity politics and scapegoating (there is the current media narrative of "white" bad..well let me define that a bit more..European American bad and deserves to get the shit kicked out of them." America was never a multicultural country..sure it had some exceptions in the cities where immigrants came into but within one generation the Italian or Irish were full blooded Americans..with a clear American identity. Now the cultural marxists and that is who is out to destroy the republic imposed "equity" and "multiculturalism" just fancy terms for tribal politics and brute force.

    Matt...lets get to brass you favor govt deficit spending? Can we shut down the Fed? Are you ready to shut down most Federal Agencies and revisit sections 2 and 8 of the Civil Rights Act? And do you renounce neoconservatism/neoliberalism..and adopt a foreign policy of John Quincy Adams and Ron Paul? No..well you are no libertarian my friend..get a gig at Slate or Salon and let Hungary be Hungary...better than the EU statists/socialists who are destroying a once great continent.

    1. "The buildings are pretty."
      His first time in Europe?

    2. The defining characteristic of the libertarian is his desire to restrict the freedoms of other people?

      1. The defining characteristic of shitstain is dishonesty.

      2. The defining characteristic of the libertarian is his desire to restrict the freedoms of other people?

        Well, that's certainly your defining characteristic, Tony, and you call yourself a "libertarian".

        1. Only as a joke.

          1. Fascists like you don't joke, Tony, you manipulate and lie.

    3. ".well you are no libertarian my friend..get a gig at Slate or Salon "

      One wonders, if they were all offered such a gig, how many of the writers here would stay?

  34. The interesting question is how many Republicans are sincere white supremacist Nazis who just want America to be white again like it was when Reagan rode that horse. And how many are actually doing the paid bidding of Vladimir Putin, fully aware, as we all are, that putting Republicans in charge will simply destroy the country forever.

    Not because it won't be white anymore, not because it will be too woke, not because it will be too polite to trans people, not because it will be overrun by scary black Antifas, but because it will fail as a state and erupt into possibly species-eliminating warfare.

    Putin, of course, is nuts. It's not in his interest, or Orban's, or Trump's, or Xi's, for Republicans to nuke the world because they stumbled on a banana peel or started becoming actively genocidal against blacks and gays and such, prompting violent revolution. These are stupid people with lots of ambition. They exist. They are the danger and always have been. Their interests are parochial and small. No rational person would be doing anything but trying to solve climate change right now. Cultural supremacy, culture at all, is simply not important right now.

    The point is none of this is being done for any good reason, no matter how important you think it is.

    1. You really should read Apocalypse Never. Might save you years of therapy for your climate neurosis.

      1. Shellenberger's positions have been called "bad science" and "inaccurate" by environmental scientists and academics.[9][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

        That's nine citations for professional criticism of that guy. Yet to you, it's the only truthful book on the subject.

        You need to go back to kindergarten science class and learn how the fuck to think like something that doesn't swing from trees anymore.

        1. You're not quoting Wikipedia are you . . . ? At any rate, who's the tree swinger? People like Schellenberger, who recognize that human beings are not a blight upon this earth, but an intrinsic part of it and capable of rational thought and innovation, or people like you, who want to use the strong arm of a centralized government to send us all shooting back to the Dark Ages because "people bad!"?

          1. None of that is an accurate description, but I'm not surprised given your approach to science.

            I want to make sure humanity isn't a blight on the world. Maybe 99% of the scientists are wrong and that widely panned guy you cherry-picked is right, but I am just not gonna put my money on it because I'm not a moron.

            1. I want shitstain to stuff his self-righteous lies up his ass.

              1. I would prefer he just commit suicide. He’s a malignant sociopathic traitor. His death will be a blessing for humanity.

            2. I want to make sure humanity isn’t a blight on the world

              You're a fascist, Tony, down to their obsession with a return to nature.

    2. Reagan rode that horse?..please respond in detail and not in some over affected, vacuous line or is Reagan rode that horse

      1. I thought it was a velociraptor!

    3. Keep passing along those talking points, no matter how irrelevant they might be to the discussion at hand....

    4. Tony,

      honestly are you confusing a desire for limited govt, a strict adherence to the bill of rights and our natural rights, no central bank, no foreign interventions, no bailouts or deficits spending and no govt attempting the "right" social outcomes by forcing discrimination "white supremacy?" that makes no sense.

      Do you have an issue with Americans whose grandparents came from Europe? Celebrate liberty and freedom...regardless of the "social outcomes"...culture plays a much bigger factor in why this tribe or that is underrepresented...

  35. This place has gotten even stupider than it was a month ago, which was stupider than it was a year go. I remember, BT (before Trump), when actual libertarians existed. People who were capable of not licking the taint of the nearest orange grifting authoritarian who poked their racist buttons.

    "Yeah! He says it like it is! I always wanted to make fun of cripples in public! My life is so much better!"

    There is a seriously concerning lack of intellectual rigor with you people.

    1. Boo Radley is feeling his oats.

    2. Making fun of cripples in public? Can't you just let that go? Biden was just having a senior moment, he did not mean to be so insulting...

    3. "This place has gotten even stupider than it was a month ago, which was stupider than it was a year go."

      Shitstain has been posting more often

      1. I know a dementia sufferer who complained that "Nothing makes sense any more!"

        He was as upset as Tony, and likely for the same reason.

  36. of course Matt knew none of the historical references he made before reading about Hungary in wikipedia...another Reason lightweight

  37. This "article" is all wind up and no pitch. I kept waiting for the why VO is a terrible guy shoe to drop and then it ends with a pointless warning to some undefined boogeyman. Huh? Wat? GDP isn't high enough? So if the GDP were higher he'd be OK? I was for Jimmy Carter when I was 19, but I'm not 19 anymore. I've seen the light. Borders, Family, language, free markets, culture, not exposing children to sexual propaganda sound like a good place to be. Maybe now that Tucker has introduced us to Hungary and it's advantages, western investors will crank up the GDP and Reason can jump on board. I won't hold my breath.

  38. Sorry, but what a crap article. I read and read, looking for details supporting the headline/premise.

    After 28 (!) paragraphs of fluffy and non-specific attacks on Hungary, including multiple references (3) to Trump, we finally get a tiny scrap of what is apparently driving this compelling article -- Hungary has not been doing well recently in terms of GDP per capita compared to its neighbors. (With no context as to why or what Orban did or did not do to let the economy slide.)

    That's it folks. Crap/Fluff/Waste of time.

    Sorry to be blunt --

    1. Thank God it's not only me.

    2. Wait. What? This chat room has articles?!?!

    3. "I read and read, looking for details supporting the headline/premise."

      You must be new around here.

      1. Facts, or lack thereof never seeming to be an impediment to the writers here saying whatever it is they want/are told to say.

    4. Reason would benefit greatly if they clearly marked op/eds for what they were. You are correct, of course, Welch has some kind of axe to grind with Hungary and Orban, but it has little to do with libertarianism or 'self-respecting Americans.'

      1. Or with journalism.

    5. It's called a "hit piece".

      Formerly the area of expertise of Buzzfeed and Daily Beast, and their ilk.

  39. I lost a few brain cells reading this retarded attempt at a hatchet job. So I guess Hungary’s success at maintaining its national and ethnic integrity doesn’t count because it has a lower GDP per capita? Maybe GDP isn’t everything.

    Ironic that the center left opposition had a lot of Jews when the Jewish state is very open about maintaining its demographic balance in the face of outside pressure. I’ve heard Jews complain that they are the only people who supposedly aren’t entitled to a land of their own; from my perspective they are one of the few peoples that still are.

    1. They’re entitled to their own ethnostate AND to make you a slave in your homeland.

  40. This is more thought and analysis than Reason has published on any of the current US administration's policies. And this, simply to attack Fox news opinion host.

    I really worry about this place.

  41. Hungary's long history with the Muslims combined with the Soviet years and it's not hard to understand their resistance to Brussels. Of course the real problem is government initiating force but I digress.

    1. Very good point. Italy also understands this too despite their idiotic leftist government. There's a reason why there hasn't been a major terrorist attack there either.

      It's because Islam conducts itself like the mafia that the Italian government has been fighting for the past 60 or so years. So in the end Eastern Europe and Italy may be the only safe countries in Europe to travel if Europe is Islamized.

  42. No self-respecting American, especially a libertarian, would oppose nationalism. The U.S.'s severing ties with England was a nationalist event since the Colonists revolted against England because they wanted to determine their own destiny and have their own country.

    Ayn Rand's wisdom will finish up my point. She articulated this in an op-ed she wrote for the Los Angeles Times in 1962 named "Nationalism and Internationalism":

    "Championed and propagated by 'liberals' for many decades, internationalism is collectivism applied to the relationships of nations. Just as domestic collectivism holds that an individual's freedom and interests must be sacrificed to the 'public interest' of society - so internationalism holds that a nation's sovereignty and interests must be sacrificed to a global community."

    1. " The U.S.’s severing ties with England was a nationalist event"

      More so it was a proto-nationalist event. As it formally marked the division that resulted in a new nation.

      Libertarian anarchy may indeed be polities of one all existing by free associations, but it is also utopian. So will never exist so long as actual humans are involved. Inevitably people will form polities of greater than one. It is axiomatic that those polities will better represent the interests of the actual members the smaller they are.

      Welch knows this, he just thinks his preferred outcomes align with the internationalists so offended by Hungary and Orban.

    2. Ayn Rand was not a libertarian.

      She had this to say.

      “Because libertarians are a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people: they plagiarize my ideas when that fits their purpose, and denounce me in a more vicious manner than any communist publication when that fits their purpose. They’re lower than any pragmatists, and what they hold against Objectivism is morality. They want an amoral political program.”

      1. Ayn Rand's thought regularly appears in libertarian literature and philosophical tracts. Like it or not, a lot of her philosophical thought is a part of the libertarian corpus. Reason's founder was an Objectivist too and even the founders of the Libertarian Party were heavily influenced by Ayn Rand. Here's another thing she had to say about nationalism which is found in "The Ayn Rand Column" # 20 Nationalism and Internationalism pp 59 - 60.:

        "For decades, the ‘liberals’ have regarded ‘nationalism’ as an arch-evil of capitalism. They denounced national self-interest—they permitted no distinction between intelligent patriotism and blind, racist chauvinism, deliberately lumping them together—they smeared all opponents of internationalist doctrines as ‘reactionaries,’ 'fascists’ or ‘isolationists'—and they brought this country to a stage where expressions such as ‘America First’ became terms of opprobrium."

    3. It's almost strange how she manages to contradict herself in just such a fashion as to tilt her in the direction of fascism.

      How is a nation itself an individualistic thing? It makes no sense.

      But she certainly does have the concept that a nation ought to be ruled by a deserving elite (who of course aren't elected), everyone else is a parasite who deserves to die, and utopia will be achieved once all the right people are in charge and the wrong people are dead.

      The reason her work appeals to you is because you think it tells you that you are the superman. But you're not. Supermen get over their Ayn Rand phase before high school.

      1. People, such as yourself, who make claims about something being "fascist" would not know fascism even if it punched them in the face. You want to see a modern-day version of facists, check out (cough, cough) ANTIFA. They take from Mussolini's Black Shirts:

        Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato (everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state).

  43. Can't Mr. Welch report on public policies? All I gather from this is that Orban's policies are pro-natal and anti-foreigner. Not a very comprehensive picture, so I get the idea Welch thinks something's wrong with him, but can't quite say what. Also that American "conservatives" applaud him, but can't quite say why.

    1. It's typical that only libertarians make logical arguments and try to say why. We don't get invited to cocktail parties anyway.

  44. No Self-Respecting American Should Aspire to Hungarian-Style Nationalism

    Let me rewrite that. "Aspiring to Hungarian-Style Nationalism will NOT get you more cocktail party invites".



  45. Welch is apparently oblivious to what's going on in the US and Europe for the past several years. That's the only thing I can guess without thinking he's completely lost his mind. Why would anybody who pretends to care about personal liberty want to open your arms and borders to this onrushing authoritarianism and overthrow of civilizations? Don't the bubbles get any sort of news services?

  46. Brave truth teller Welch is so deeply concerned about liberty. He is bothered that Carlson had the temerity to talk to a nationalist foreign leader.

    Meanwhile he can't bring himself to say squat about the fact that Carlson was targeted by Federal spooks for trying to arrange interviews with other foreign leaders, and his identity unmasked and publicized by someone in the current administration.

    There is no hypocrisy quite like faux libertarian hypocrisy.

    1. Obama shook hands with Castro, that makes him a communist.

      1. Yep, Tony that's exactly what made everyone think Obama is a Commie.

        Man, you sure nailed that.

      2. No, it doesn’t, Obama’s communism makes him a communist. Starting with being indoctrinated by his mother, the Marxist activist Ann Dunham. Continuing with being mentored by his mother’s ex lover, card carrying CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis. Then further cultivated when he gravitated towards his Marxist professors in college (his words, as described in his autobiography. I can go on from there too.

        So no, Obama was a Marxist for decades before meeting Castro. Although I’m sure it sent a thrill up his leg.

  47. Welch's ad hominem attacks against Orban, Trump and Carlson provided zero evidence to substantiate the article's sensationalized (and almost certainly false) headline.

    One of Welch's worst articles ever.

  48. As usual, the liberaltarians of Reason are overthinking the issue.

    Orban is admired because he protected the border and is opposed to Drag Queen Story Hour in the schools. OK?

    The rest of this stuff about the architecture is interesting, but not germane.

  49. Every column on Reason is another opportunity for the rubes to show that Reason has the worst commenters on the web. Just fascist, illiberal statism through and through, and almost none of them believes in (or even understands) libertarian principles.

  50. As a former Hungarian, I have some insight into the workings of that nation, even though I have left it decades ago. Hungary is a small and many times defeated nation, which it has no reason to boast about, but there is one thing it does not owe anybody: and it is reparations (the Jews already got it). Hungary has never had any colonies, to the contrary, for the past 5-600 years it has been occupied, and looted, by the Turks, then the Austrians, the Germans and finally the Russians (then called Soviets). I bet the hair on my chinny that none of those nations feel a smidgeon of guilt towards Hungary, and asking for reparations for the suffering and economic repression throughout the centuries would only result in being shown the middle finger. The point is that Hungary does not have a moral responsibility to take in descendants of people affected by the actions of the English, Dutch, etc. I’m not sure if that’s what guides Viktor Orban, but it might as well be.

    The historical knowledge of those defeats still permeates Hungarians. Its is still not a happy place. The brain drain that started in the middle of the 19th century, after Austria crushed the revolt against it in 1848, continues unabated (including yours truly).

    That the author does not know this, is understandable (even though a deeper inquiry would have revealed some of it). That he shows no respect for Hungary as a nation and a culture, that he, completely irrelevantly, makes condescending remarks about Budapests's architecture, is chalked up to him being an ignorant and arrogant American. But it is simply poor journalistic work, when he does not recognize that Orban's biggest faults are not keeping immigrants out, but the worst kind of crony capitalism, deep corruption, making family members billionaires (in USD), building vanity projects in his home village (from taxpayer money), being unable to stop the brain drain (which latter may shed light on why Hungary is losing economically to its neighbors).

    Those are the reasons why people, both to the left and the right of his politics, call him Viktator, not because he closed the borders.

    1. Xenophobia always goes hand-in-hand with this kind of political corruption. It's the simplest way to keep enough popular support to keep your head on your neck. Fear of the other is bargain bin politics, and terrible men use it to gain and keep power.

      Presumably the economic and cultural blows you describe are also necessary ingredient for authoritarianism. The interesting thing is that American conservatives aren't an exception to this rule, even though they are relatively wealthy and their society relatively stable. The brain doesn't work on an absolute scale. All they have to do is perceive the cultural and economic threat. It need not be real at all. Why would it when you spent your every waking moment being told it's true anyway by a Rupert Murdoch news channel?

      1. The interesting thing is that American conservatives aren’t an exception to this rule, even though they are relatively wealthy and their society relatively stable.

        The US is at the verge of disaster: racial conflict, massive debt, rising socialism, etc.

        Xenophobia always goes hand-in-hand with this kind of political corruption.

        Limiting immigration isn't "xenophobia". But flooding a nation with poor workers is a core strategy of socialism, which is why you favor it.

    2. "he shows no respect for Hungary as a nation and a culture"

      Entirely accurate. Also note that neither does Tony in his response.

      Birds of a feather.

  51. The rest of this stuff about the architecture is interesting, but not germane.

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  52. What about Tucker Carlson's love of the bullet holes in their architecture in Hungary, and wishing that our architecture had bullet holes? An obvious reference to Jan 6th.

    1. The point is that Americans have never experienced the total destruction of democracy, liberty, and their nation. That's why Americans are making the same mistakes Europeans made a century ago and voting for fascists and socialists.

  53. Marxists don't like that cultural and racial homogeneity go hand in hand. It's an intentional misattribution designed to make national solidarity appear racist.

    Ex. >99% of Japan is ethnic Japanese. They don't have any rules that prevent you from joining their society, but most non-Japanese people don't like their society and thus do not seek to join it. This doesn't mean Japan is racially exclusive, but if a bunch of similar people form common interest groups on a national level, a certain "look" is inevitable.

    You don't have to be white to be American, but if you take a random sample from any country that isn't America and import them, I guarantee you that America will change in more ways than just skin color.

    If it suits your fancy, pick a majority white country. You really think that we could just trade populations with Poland and all of a sudden their political mass will protect the Constitution and Bill of Rights? There's a reason we're one of the few countries on this planet with 1A and 2A.

  54. The Right is finally waking from its long slumber. Here at the precipice of spiritual annihilation, libertarians are realizing that civilization is worth fighting for, even if doing so involves “muh big gummint.”

    Hail Evropa, hail Victory!

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