Hungary

Viktor Orbán's Reelection Shows Mere Democracy Is Not Enough

The less of our lives we allow to be put to a vote, the better.

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Westerners, used to thinking about liberal democracy as a package deal, rarely stop to consider the ways in which the two components can work against each other. Liberalism has to do with the protection of rights and liberties for all members of a society. Democracy has to do with rule by the people, whether directly or through representative elections. But what if a population uses democratic processes to empower an illiberal regime?

On Sunday, the Hungarian people voted in a landslide to give Prime Minister Viktor Orbán his fourth term since 2010. Current tabulations give parties allied with the incumbent leader a vote share above 53 percent, an outright majority.

Orbán is a self-proclaimed proponent of "illiberal democracy," which distinguishes, in Amnesty International's summation, "a fully democratic 'Western' system based on liberal values and accountability from what he calls an 'Eastern' approach based on a strong state, a weak opposition, and emaciated checks and balances." Orbán has spent more than a decade engaging in aggressive gerrymandering, court packing, use of state power to drive out or co-opt dissenting media, and more. Corruption is rampant. The Constitution has been rewritten and ever more power concentrated at the top.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which took the rare step of sending a full election-monitoring mission to Hungary, has raised questions about the vote. So arguably the country should not be thought of as particularly democratic or particularly liberal right now. The nonprofit Freedom House rates it as only "partly free" and gives it 45 out of 100 democracy points, making it a laggard among European nations on both counts. 

At the same time, Orbán's sweeping victory suggests that many millions of Hungarians, well aware of his record, are on board with his vision for their country. This raises the specter of a true illiberal democracy—it shouldn't be hard to imagine a country with genuinely fair and open elections but also majority support for authoritarian leaders and policies that deny equal rights to all.

The point of contemplating such a scenario is to recognize that "assaults on democracy" are not the only threat we face. A society in which 51 percent of a population votes to oppress the other 49 percent can claim the mantle of democracy. The problem is that it is illiberal, not undemocratic. 

Democratic institutions, important as they are, only get us so far. We must insist on liberalism as well: free speech, private property protections, religious liberty, freedom of movement, constitutional constraints and separations of power and rule of law and all the rest. We can't know which side of the 50 percent mark we'll fall on; the less of our lives we allow to be put to a vote in the first place, the better off we'll be.

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  1. Westerners, used to thinking about liberal democracy as a package deal, rarely stop to consider the ways in which the two components can work against each other.

    Actually we do more than you think. And some of the things that can threaten a liberal democracy, glibertarians cheer on without a second thought. Always be careful what you wish for.

    1. She doesn't seem to have thought much about the difference between democracy and mob rule, or how sloppy that definition is.

      Orbán is a self-proclaimed proponent of "illiberal democracy," which distinguishes, in Amnesty International's summation, "a fully democratic 'Western' system based on liberal values and accountability from what he calls an 'Eastern' approach based on a strong state, a weak opposition, and emaciated checks and balances."

      Is there any 'Western' system which does not have a strong state, or an opposition less than 50%, or emaciated checks and balances?

      I have heard so many claims that Hungary is on the edge of fascism, all backed up by similar such spurious definitions, that I begin to doubt them.

      1. As far as I can tell from articles like this, Hungary is just becoming more like the US.

        1. Home income solution to enable everyone to work online and receive weekly payments to bank acc. Earn over $500 every day and get payouts every week straight to account bank. (re60) My last month of income was $30,390 and all I do is work up to 4 hours a day on my computer. Easy work and steady income are great with this job. More information. >> https://brilliantfuture01.blogspot.com/

        2. Or at least that Hungary is what the left seems to want, just as long as they're the ones at the wheel.

      2. No big deal. What can fascists take away from us that liberals already haven't?

        1. How about nobody take any Individual Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property of anybody else's,..including Witches?

          Fuck off, Witch-Burner!

          1. I feel the nip on my ankle and hear the unmistakable yapping of a Chihuahua...

      3. And why does the rest of the world need a US or Western style democracy? Canada and Australia are currently showing that their "democracy" is different then ours. Democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan has not worked, at least the form they set up. Iraq was formed by the West and different factions that want to destroy each other were glued together to form a country. Democracy there just means the biggest group wins and can destroy the others. The Hungarians have been around longer than the US. They can make their own choices.

      4. Bingo. Now that Poland has capitulated on immigration, Hungary is the last EU member even trying to resist the woketardism that is ruining the western world. This is why I favor the Russian side in the war.

        1. I could be wrong, but I think that Poland’s recent “capitulation” on the refugee issue is limited to Ukrainians. Ukrainians and Poles are a lot alike, and Ukrainians are not likely to commit terrorism and ruin your country.

          Plus, they have a common history of having an asshole next door neighbor.

      5. The USA is in a class by itself regarding freedom of speech, so pick any country you want and it suffers in comparison. So it's like using a meter where everything is off scale, and trying to make comparisons that way...not useful. The rest of the world has hate speech laws, so if you want to compare, you pretty much have to leave the USA out. I see no evidence Hungary is worse than any country geographically close to it regarding freedom of speech, and given Hungary's history of exceptionally (if you don't count the USA) strong movements toward freedom of speech and corresponding jurisprudence, much to make me believe Hungary will continue to be better than the average European state in that regard. Heck, the Jews and Roma in Hungary are organized against stronger or broader hate speech laws, while in most countries they tend to favor them for their own protection, as they perceive it.

        Look at the tables in the section beginning on p. 61 of https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2020/655135/IPOL_STU(2020)655135_EN.pdf and you'll see Hungary compares equally or favorably in all the comparison aspects regarding freedom of communication vs. other selected EU members. The committee making the report faults Hungary for not having stronger or broader hate speech laws in certain respects!

        Indeed, that seems to be the primary complaint of Europeans who say Hungary is "right wing": that there's too much hate speech in the country, because too much of it is legal!

        1. Home income solution to enable everyone to work online and receive weekly payments to bank acc. Earn over $500 every day and get payouts every week straight to account bank. (qaz05) My last month of income was $30,390 and all I do is work up to 4 hours a day on my computer. Easy work and steady income are great with this job.

          More information. >> http://StartEarning10.Cf

        2. Yes, much of the criticism of Orban seems to be based on his unabashed pro-Christian beliefs and his wanting to enforce borders. As for the rest of the list, I'm not sure more established European countries also don't fail at the metrics the author listed. Fuck, we even have gerrymandering and have changed our constitution, I mean we even have politicians openly stating we should just ignore the constitution. And as to court packing, pretty sure one party has been pushing that for several years and only didn't accomplish it because two members of their party defected.

          1. > and his wanting to enforce borders

            I mean, insofar as that's credible with them being in the EU. That's kinda like talking about enforcing the UT / CO border.

    2. Reason is still ignorant to the hundreds arrested at J6 for non violent acts facing 52 month plea deal agreements. Or Elias trying to kick conservatives off ballots. Or the J6 committee subpoenas to email and donor lists of the opposing party.

      1. Really, the Democrats shenanigans since 2016 make anything Orban is even inferred to have done look positively respectable.

      2. Are you really sticking up for the traitorous fucks on 1/6?

        Quite frankly the lot of them could be hanged and a lot of us wouldn't give a shit. Those illiberal shits are the absolute last people to argue for.

        1. The traitorous fucks are the people who lied about what happened, called it an "insurrection" and used it as an excuse to purge the military, censor the internet, request a military coup, ring DC in troops, illegally detain people indefinitely without charges, illegally snoop on civilians without warrants and deplatform anyone who questions their legitimacy.

        2. How about we hang fascist fucks like you instead, fuckberry?

          1. Hangins is too good for 'em. Impalement sends a better message.

            1. Catapults into shark filled waters. Cheaper than helicopters and environmentally friendly. The catapults could even be hand-winding models, which the prospective chums could wind themselves prior to their flight.

        3. Learn what treason is and maybe you can sit at the adult table.

        4. Stupid cunt.

        5. Treason is a concept invented by Bronze Age tyrants to cow their superstitious and illiterate peasantry into obedience. I’m surprised that anyone in the 21st century takes it seriously anymore.

        6. Are you really sticking up for the traitorous fucks on 1/6?

          Not at all.

          They should hang.

          I just wish that huge crowd had been able to stop them from installing their fake 'president'.

        7. It's possible to not support the 1/6 rioters while also being concerned that Adam Schiff might go full-on McCarthy with his comission, except that this time around nobody in the MSM would question him enough to play the Ed Murrow role.

      3. Muh democracy!

        https://twitter.com/julie_kelly2/status/1511387956648583169?t=fO5Ub4xxZIUjLWrqSfgRyQ&s=19

        I will try not to swear with abandon as I explain what happened in DC District Court today.

        Ethan Nordean has been in jail for 14 months. He is not charged with any violent crime related to Jan 6--he didn't assault anyone or carry a weapon. His only "crime" is being a Proud Boy

        Judge Timothy Kelly--A TRUMP APPOINTEE--has denied release for Nordean and other Proud Boys also not charged with crimes of violence.

        (His contact information is here)

        Today, Judge Kelly...

        ONCE AGAIN caved to this abusive DOJ and VACATED Nordean's May 18 trial date.

        Why?

        Because DOJ AGAIN admits it doesn't have all its evidence ready--15 MONTHS AFTER THE FBI STARTED ARRESTING AMERICANS FOR JANUARY 6.

        As I noted the other day, defendants have no choice but to...
        concur bc attorneys haven't seen all evidence incl exculpatory evidence to defend their clients.

        LOOK AT THIS: @USAO_DC doesn't want Judge Kelly to be "distracted" by the fact Nordean and his co-defendants have BEEN IN JAIL FOR OVER A YEAR WITHOUT BEING CONVICTED OF A CRIME:

        Here is Matthew Graves, a Biden campaign advisor whose wife is a leftwing activist in DC, mocking their ongoing detention status and, of course, the law.

        Everyone shut your f*cking piehole about Putin.

        Political prisoners.

        [Links]

        1. This.
          What the American establishment pulled with J6 and Trudeau pulled with the truckers has zero difference compared to Putin and Russian critics of the invasion.

          And as far as the invasion goes, let the country who didn't invade Iraq and bomb Libya cast the first stone.

    3. “aggressive gerrymandering, court packing, use of state to drive out or co-opt dissenting media, and more. Corruption is rampant. The Constitution has been rewritten and ever more power concentrated at the top.”

      They cheered that on in 2020. I dont see where Orban is any worse than Denocrats

    4. Diane, I would add that

      (1) Your point is correct and applies to Utopian Capitalism especially, but

      (2) That the libertarian argument that 'the market' must be 'free' and people should 'vote' with their wallets is not inherently illuminating. It can obviously lead to illiberalism as much as plebiscites do. Market fundamentalists seem to miss that point.

      There have been grand promises of Capitalism leading to Liberalism and actually, we can see over the last 100 years that oftentimes freedom and Capitalism are at odds and that consumerism gives many a false sense of liberty and choice.

      Perhaps free minds and free markets can coexist but they do not always go hand in hand. I feel as if the rise of Russia and China, et al. over the last generation prove this.

      1. I see you’re still finishing your degree. I suggest you work on your writing skills because you come across as an insufferable ass.

  2. On Sunday, the Hungarian people voted in a landslide to give Prime Minister Viktor Orbán his fourth term since 2010. Current tabulations give parties allied with the incumbent leader a vote share above 53 percent, an outright majority.

    53% is not a landslide, especially when it includes allied parties.

    1. PoPuLaR VoTe!

      1. Nothing else matters. Right?

    2. The "allied parties" was as a single electoral slate running on a single ballot line.

      And, well, Orban's slate at 53% got half-again more votes than the largest slate he was running against (United for Hungary), and a third-again more votes than all other seat-winning slates combined. That's reasonably landslide-like.

      1. This.
        In a parliamentary system 53% for a single electoral ticket, even if it is composed of several parties, is a landslide.

        Justin Trudeau in Canada came to power with just 33% of the vote, while the opposition Conservatives had won 35%.

      2. You can't count allies on one side and discount them on the other. 53-47 is not a landslide.

        1. I didn't count allies on one side but not on the other.

          There were a number of slates in the election. One of them was Orban's two-party alliance running on a single slate, which got 53% of the vote.

          One of them was the six-party alliance of every opposition party in the previous parliament running on a single unified slate, which got 35% of the vote.

          One slate was a brand-new further-right-than-Orban party which got 6% of the vote.

          And then there were a fuckton of irrelevant slates that split the remaining 6%, all failing to meet the vote threshold and accordingly won no seats at all.

          So, Orban's slate got a third-again more votes than every other party that will be represented in the new parliament combined, and half-again more votes than the six-party united opposition got.

          If you want to say that kind of margin isn't really a "landslide" because a bunch of people voted for the joke Two Tailed Dog Party (yes, really, that was the fourth-place slate) and several even more-irrelevant parties, fine. It's still a substantial margin of victory.

      3. And by most accounts, that slate was more nationalist than Fidesz.

        1. Apparently their main reason for existing is that they like Fidesz's policies, but find many of their leaders uncouth ‐ the same complaint many have about D. Trump.

    3. 53% is not a landslide, sure, but that doesn't matter. 51% would have been just as good for their purposes. The point is that it's an outright majority, so his party (and their allies) can pass whatever laws that they want to pass without worrying about opposition or compromise. In an illiberal democracy, a 51% majority can oppress a 49% minority.

      1. "and their allies" means it is not an outright majority.

        1. I get that you're being pedantic but you're also being stupid for it. This is like desperately declaring the US Senate isn't tied at 50-50 because Bernie Sanders is independent, true but irrelevant in any context.

          1. This is like desperately declaring the US Senate isn't tied at 50-50 because Bernie Sanders is independent, true but irrelevant in any context.

            The Senate ISN'T tied at 50/50.

            It's at 50/49/1. How the Democrats have all the power in the Senate is anyone's guess. We don't have a parliamentary system. leadership goes to the majority PARTY, not the 'majority coalition'.

            And yet here we are, just one more affront to the Constitution among the many vomited forth since the insurrection installed their fake president.

  3. The Constitution has been rewritten and ever more power concentrated at the top.

    No need to rewrite the Constitution for that. Just let the legislature delegate all of its powers to the executive branch like here in the US.

    1. Or allow government employees (judges) to interpret the Constitution and define government's limits.

    2. No need to rewrite it, just let the judges tell us what the words mean now.

      1. Or ignore the judges until you find one that agrees with you. How much illegal, unconstitutional shit was done in the name of public health the last two years? Has there been any consequence whatsoever the the people who did it? I'm yet to see anyone face any.

        1. Consequences like what?

          Drawn and quartered?

          Most of the people creating and administering these policies are unelected, career bureaucrats counting the years until they get their sweet, sweet government pension.

          1. So...no, there have been no negative repurcussions for their insanely unconstitutional actions.

            1. Bitching about unaccountable bureaucrats fucking shit up is like bitching about the rain.

              1. Why should we permit it to slide?

                1. Who is we?

                  It doesn't include me because there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. All outrage does is raise blood pressure. Doesn't solve anything.

                  1. Things certainly change when nobody says that there is a problem.

                    1. Dude, it's an institutional problem. There's nothing any of us can do about the thousands of federal regulators churning out thousands of pages of bullshit with the power of law. It took a century to create the regulatory monstrosity. It's not like getting mad is gonna do anything. Take a sedative. Relax.

                    2. It's an institutional problem, yes.

                      Segregation and Jim Crow were also institutional problems. Doing nothing was not going to resolve those issues.

                      I am not saying I disagree that getting anything done about it nigh impossible. But the same could be said about civil rights in the 1930's. But you have to eventually make the decision to go for it.

  4. I guess the opposition should have fortified the election.
    Oh wait, no deep state in Hungary

    1. That's right. Soros is a wanted man in his homeland.

  5. So, fascists want a small elite to rule people. Communists want the collective to rule people. If there only was a system that did not seek to rule people.

    1. Federalist republics are the closest society has ever come to such.

  6. Also, it's time to take off the blinkers. It's time we recognize that the concerns of small, landlocked Eastern European countries, and the people that live therein are vastly different from a huge, diverse western melting pot that was built on immigration and... in its late stage is primarily run by a cabal of internationalist, corporatist globalist coastal elite.

    Hungarians make their choices based on a set of concerns that are miles away from what your average silicon valley blue checkmark spends xer day thinking about.

    1. Reason can’t even walk in the shoes of libertarians in their own country that don’t live on the coasts among the elites, you can’t expect them to do so for average Hungarians.

    2. Neither Reason nor your blue checkmark Twitter can do that.

      Not because it would break them on their own hypocrisy, but because it would reveal that people can achieve happiness outside of liberal democracy, which begs the next question: of what use do the people have for the system?

      1. To elaborate: all modern western societies are founded on the belief that no one can have hope, peace, happiness or love outside of liberal democracy. Viktor Orban fundamentally breaks this, so he must be opposed.

        1. They were founded on the belief that everyone has the right to believe what they want, say what they want, and defend their lives from those who would take it.

          A “liberal democracy” was just seen as the best way to SECURE those rights. Not the ONLY way.

  7. If these unacceptable populists keep winning elections, democracy is dangling by a thread.

    1. We're gonna need some more fortification!

  8. Remember the worldwide criticism when Parliament gave Orban unlimited emergency power at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?

    1. EmErGeNcY pOwErS!

  9. Whenever I tire of the WaPo's editorial slant, I can come back to Reason and observe what an outlet carefully steering around forbidden issues and commentary truly looks like.

    An informed version of this piece might have explained how Orban's control over Hungary's media ensured that his opponents would have difficulty getting their message out to voters, or how Orban's meager 53% of the vote share will translate into an outsized margin in the legislature due to heavy-handed gerrymandering and constitutional changes designed to bring about a permanent majority, or how late-in-the-game changes on voting rules enabled and encouraged "vote tourism" (where people could vote for representatives of districts where they didn't personally live). And on and on. To say nothing of rumors of "lost" ballots and the like, still not corroborated by mainstream news sources.

    But acknowledging the ways in which Orban has stacked the deck in his favor would, perhaps, make the comparisons to American Republicans too hard to obfuscate. So let's talk about fundamental freedoms, instead! Never mind that Orban's strategy has given him the power to unilaterally amend constitutional protections of fundamental freedoms, anyway. (Much as how the Republicans in the U.S. are perilously close to being able to amend the Constitution as they deem fit, themselves.)

    1. What long game do you claim Republicans were playing when they suppressed the Hunter laptop story?

    2. So let's talk about fundamental freedoms, instead! Never mind that Orban's strategy has given him the power to unilaterally amend constitutional protections of fundamental freedoms, anyway. (Much as how the Republicans in the U.S. are perilously close to being able to amend the Constitution as they deem fit, themselves.)

      Perhaps an antidote to this would be to get a Democratic majority in both houses and fortify the presidency.

    3. Riiiiiiight. Because Reason is always carrying the GOP's water.

      1. Um, yes? I mean, they do the normal "libertarian" thing where they pretend they're so free thinking and above it all but are just milquetoast Republicans who like to smoke weed all the same.

        1. Explains the difference in treatment of the Kavanaugh and Biden's token pick's hearings.

          1. Shitlunches is delusional.

            1. He’s probably a fed.
              So, he’s not very smart.

    4. "But acknowledging the ways in which Orban has stacked the deck in his favor would, perhaps, make the comparisons to American Republicans too hard to obfuscate."

      Is today opposite day on your planet, Simon?

      "Whenever I tire of the WaPo's editorial slant"

      Oh, I see. A WaPo reader.

    5. An informed version of this piece might have explained how Orban's control over Hungary's media ensured that his opponents would have difficulty getting their message out to voters, or how Orban's meager 53% of the vote share will translate into an outsized margin in the legislature due to heavy-handed gerrymandering and constitutional changes designed to bring about a permanent majority, or how late-in-the-game changes on voting rules enabled and encouraged "vote tourism" (where people could vote for representatives of districts where they didn't personally live). And on and on. To say nothing of rumors of "lost" ballots and the like, still not corroborated by mainstream news sources.

      IOW, Hungary isn't all the different in from from any American state controlled by the DNC.

      1. And the US Democrat control of media and SV tech to both amplify their preferred narrative and suppress/quash dissent. Gotta love ignorant marxists like Simon.

    6. The second paragraph is written in the article, nearly verbatim. It even linked to the Amnesty explainer that originated your talking points.

      As to the rest? The election was considered a tossup until the vote actually happened. It's almost like you morons refuse to learn from your mistakes.

    7. Independent media and journalism has expanded in Hungary since he took over. Stop getting your news from Twitter.

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/hungarian-media-freedom-is-alive-and-well

    8. "how Orban's meager 53% of the vote share will translate into an outsized margin in the legislature due to heavy-handed gerrmandering"

      Dems have 51% of House seats. Yet they seem to have near total power in the House. Is that not ALSO outsized, out of curiosity?

      "how late-in-the-game changes on voting rules enabled and encouraged "vote tourism" (where people could vote for representatives of districts where they didn't personally live)."

      That's different than on-demand voting day registration demands and universal mail in voting....how?

      "But acknowledging the ways in which Orban has stacked the deck in his favor would, perhaps, make the comparisons to American Republicans too hard to obfuscate."

      Republicans ingeniously buried the Hunter laptop story and banned people on social media for discussing it. SHEER GENIUS!

      "(Much as how the Republicans in the U.S. are perilously close to being able to amend the Constitution as they deem fit, themselves.)"

      You mean by a specifically Constitutional mechanism that requires, what, 38 states or so to support Republican governance? Sounds like a real cabal there.

    9. Hear hear!

  10. The less of our lives we allow to be put to a vote, the better.

    Just a heads up. If the FBI shows up in the next ~24 hrs. and asks me "What's the most insurrectionist thing you've heard in the past 24 hours?" I'm sending them in your direction.

    1. This might be a threadwinner. I'll let others decide.

  11. And the Republicans are taking Orbin as a model as to what they want in the US. Be warned.

    1. A leader who looks after his own country first?
      Fascism!

      1. The fact you think he is looking after the country and not himself...wow. I used to find it hard to believe there were so many stupid people but after 2016 and 2020 it is just staring me in the face hard.

        1. Would rather be Hungary than China, but YMMV.

          1. If you were Hungary and had China, two hours later you'd be Hungary again.

            1. You're Peking my interest for some Turkey.

        2. I used to find it hard to believe there were so many stupid people but after 2016 and 2020 it is just staring me in the face hard.

          Have you tried closing the window that shows what your webcam is looking at?

    2. And the Democrats explicitly are taking the CCP as their model. Bowf Sidez!

    3. And the Democrats are looking at the old Soviet Union.

      1. Okay, so you choose whatever is not fascism. If you insist that's the choice.

        1. Careful, I've heard fascism leads to endless genocide. I've been genocided 3 times this week, and it's only Tuesday.

        2. Might want to rethink that bubba, the Soviets killed far more of their own citizens than fascism did. Almost double.

    4. Weird. It is the left implementing many of the same strategies.

      1. Horseshit.

        How about some sources Jesse?

        Oh I forgot. Idiots like you just spout your bullshit like rain falling from the sky without any concern for facts and grounding in reality.

        You guys really do live in fucking fantasy land.

        You get angry at this make believe "leftists control it all" while ignoring the fascism on your end. It makes sense though. Who else would elect the dumb motherfucker in Trump besides people who are even dumber than him?

        1. The Equality Act is an outright assault on fundamental freedoms including religion.

          1. The bill ensues fundamental freedoms to the LGBT community.

            1. No, it decides that religious people have no right to refuse to serve somebody they find morally repugnant. It also fucks over women eight ways from Sunday.

              1. Religious people do not have a right to discriminate for any number of reasons. Being religious is not a "ignore any law you want" pass. Religious people said the exact same thing about serving blacks, that it was repugnant to them.

                1. "Religious people do not have a right to discriminate for any number of reasons."

                  Odd. 1st Amendment protects something but feelings trump it. Got it.

                  "Being religious is not a "ignore any law you want" pass. Religious people said the exact same thing about serving blacks, that it was repugnant to them."

                  Feel free to provide a citation.

        2. Which specific citation do you want dummy?

          1. They haven't paid attention to anything before now, what makes you think shitlunches will change their diet now?

    5. No need. Congress has already delegated so much of its power to the executive that it's mostly irrelevant at this point. Executive agencies write rules with the power of law, enforce these rules, and adjudicate them too. With no accountability or scrutiny. So we already have a federal government with most of the power invested in the executive.

    6. Get bent, fuckface.

  12. The less of our lives we allow to be put to a vote, the better.

    By the way, this is the Biden administration's tagline.

    1. The subheading stuck me as well; I translate that to "trust your betters, and do what you are told."

      Solution? Have and respect a solid constitution that is designed to protect the minority with such things as a BOR. IOW, you cannot vote me into slavery.

      1. ^THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Solution? Have and respect a solid constitution

        Of which never gave our 'Feds' even 10% of the authority they presume they have. They've turned into a rogue agency. A Nazi-Regime. They've destroyed the USA from the inside out.

        It shouldn't be so darn hard to find politicians who swear an oath to the U.S. Constitution to actually be elected to actually do their sworn oath job instead of playing [WE] mobs rule politics....

        1. Seem very clear to me, but instead we get people like Justice Breyer who tell us that we must accept a "working compromise" with our vast government bureaucracy.

          They have absolutely no desire to recognize the Constitution in any of its original form or intent.

    2. In fairness, that belongs more to the Progressive Caucus in Congress, who have been begging him to act like some form of Peronist/Chavista style marxist.

    3. "The more we trust the science, the better."

  13. Pretty clear to me that the Hungarians (and the Poles) aren't so much voting for Orban's authoritarianism as they are voting against the EU's.

  14. "Mere Democracy Is Not Enough"

    Indeed. Too much democracy is actually a bad thing — especially if politicians have to answer to the middle and lower classes.

    As a Koch / Reason left-libertarian, my ideal system of government would be one in which only the richest 30 or so Americans had any input. Just think of the utopia this would produce:

    Unlimited, unrestricted immigration
    $0.00 / hour minimum wage
    Regressive taxation
    Explicit LGBT2SQIA+ advocacy in all public kindergartens
    "Populists" effectively banned from the Internet, banking, holding jobs, or just participating in society at all

    But unfortunately we don't have such a system yet. Working within the current system by voting Democrat is the best we can do for now.

    #BillionairesKnowBest

  15. The author ignores the fact that Hungary's press is largely government controlled and opposing voices severely limited, so the democratic process is corrupted to the point of dysfunction.

    1. How's that different from the Democratic Party's control over the WaPo, NYT, MSNBC, USAToday and CNN?

      It was well known among the Democratic presidential candidates that DNC chair Tom Perez gave CNN its marching orders. Here’s former Dem candidate saying the quiet part out loud.
      https://youtu.be/FEVtuXtgrqM?t=118

      1. Yeah sure- that is completely believable....

        Do we forget that Trump made Fox News his mouthpiece last admin? Or that that and the OAN garbage, etc. parrot the lies that the Republican party holds dear?

        Get fucked dumbass. Get educated while you're at it.

        1. Care to compare viewership to NBC, CBS, ABC, etc?

        2. "Yeah sure- that is completely believable...."

          You didn't watch it, did you, you fucking retard. It was only 30 seconds of her talking and you couldn't even spare the trouble in order to keep your retort from sounding retarded.

          And now you're trying to redirect by whining about other media outlets that make you butthurt.

          For fucks sake Tony, this is why you'll always be a fifty-centing failure. Because you're to stupid to argue about anything you can't find an answer to on your talking-points cheat sheet.

    2. Good thing the white house isn’t telling social media which posts to delete.

    3. Fuck Joe Friday.

    4. Shockingly Joe is ignorant repeating his act blue talking points

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/hungarian-media-freedom-is-alive-and-well

  16. Protection of individual rights is the end.

    Democracy is just a means. And, to borrow from George E. P. Box, "all democracies are wrong, but some are useful."

  17. "...he calls an 'Eastern' approach based on a strong state, a weak opposition, and emaciated checks and balances." Orbán has spent more than a decade engaging in aggressive gerrymandering, court packing, use of state power to drive out or co-opt dissenting media, and more. Corruption is rampant."

    Orban is a New Deal Democrat?

    1. ^

  18. We cant have democracy because people vote the wrong way - Reason.

    But I never read a Reason.com article lementing Hamas being elected.

    1. Eh when it's you under the boot in the future maybe you'll understand.

      Or perhaps you'll just keep licking it.

      1. Oh, poor progressives, always under the boot. Shame they only control all cultural institutions, the media, etc. We need to PROTECT progressives because they are so brutally put upon.

      2. People aren't under the boot in the US? I must of missunderstood the whole civil rights movement.

      3. What boot?

        1. It's not oppression if they wear heels.

  19. "Orbán has spent more than a decade engaging in aggressive gerrymandering, court packing, use of state power to drive out or co-opt dissenting media, and more. Corruption is rampant. The Constitution has been rewritten and ever more power concentrated at the top."

    Trudeau's been doing all that, plus suppressing protesters and suspending the constitution, and yet none of the proggy bien pensants are having a meltdown over it.

    1. That's 'cause he's so dreamy.

    2. Wait until Reason finds out about Canada’s immigration laws.

    3. What do you expect? He's their fucking hero, and is setting an example for what they want to do here!

    4. Funny, the Republicans have been doing all that but the fascists here don't mind.

      1. Really? Can you give us an example, Tony? Or are you talking out of your ass again?

        1. If he’s talking, he’s lying.

      2. You asked for a citation above. Where's yours?

    5. Trudeau is also more racist than any politician I can readily think of.

      1. You just hate him because he's black.

  20. Always a pleasure to see liberalism getting a well deserved and long overdue fist in the teeth. Apparently the Hungarians prefer a pleasant and peaceful country to legal hookers and blow, and having unlimited migrants treating their country treated like an international public toilet. Good for them. If only the US were so illiberal.

    Probst!

    1. Apparently in your part of the world, fists in the teeth aren't reciprocated with with cracked skulls or worse.

      No one has to partake of hookers and blow in a free society or even our present society. But you do have to respect Individual Rights to Life, Liberty and Property if you want that respect for yourself. Otherwise, your home is Utopia, literally "No Place," never mind a toilet.

      Fuck off, Witch Burner!

  21. If one doesn't know which side of the 50% you will fall on in future, the best way to ensure liberal protections is not democratic institutions but sortition (selection by lot aka jury duty) institutions

    1. Fuck off, slaver.

  22. Almost as if a Republic, with a Constitution that's not easy to amend, with power divided among different branches, and a federal system with multiple political subdivisions, is a good idea.

    Screw this democracy crap. 50%+1 is no way to run a country.

    1. We’re almost there now.

    2. The Constitution wa designed to protect slavery. It was neither liberat or democratic except in relative terms

      1. You came put of hiding for being wrong on covid for that?

      2. What the actual fuck?

      3. Did you have a stroke?

  23. There's no pleasing Stephanie. The Hungarian Constitution says: “the life of the fetus must be protected from the moment of conception”. This is exactly what religious Comstockists, Prohibitionists and Republicans have repeatedly demanded be injected into the Constitution since women were ruled individuals with rights in 1973--to the horror of The Papacy. The guy is clearly repeating the Positive Christian National Socialist exhortations so successful (maybe not for Jews) since 1933. It's their tradition.

  24. There are no bigger supporters of fascism in America than Charles Koch, so go fuck yourself.

    1. Tell us more about the ongoing genocide Tony.

      1. Are you referring to the ongoing genocide of the human species by morons with oil interests?

        1. Explain why the use of fossil fuels isn't the opposite of genocide, you ascientific idiot.

        2. No, I think he's referring to ACTUAL genocides practiced by your progressive boo, the CCP.

        3. You said over the weekend that the Florida law is causing trans genocide. I'm asking for where.

          1. If trannies can’t fuck kids, they die.

        4. How donoil interests commit genocide on humans?

      2. I don't see his drivel since the mute option arrived, but I suppose he's going on about how oppressed he is and how deplorables and so forth want to corn hole him and only a big government can take care of and protect him from such a rabble as us.

        1. Tony's pulling out his latent ecoterrorist mask today. He'll move onto something just as dumb soon enough.

    2. Why yes, Mr. Koch is the Alfried Krupp of the imminent transgender holocaust.

    3. We may finally agree on something.

  25. The bellyaching that goes on over Orban is less about his authoritarian tendencies and more about the fact that he so readily thumbs his nose at the Davos/WEF class of western internationalists. It's not an accident that he got on their shit list when he told Middle Easterners "LOL NO" to settling in Hungary and put up fences to divert them.

    Even if he doesn't do anything else that's good in his lifespan, he'll always be a legend for making Soros persona non grata there and kicking that nation-wrecking parasite's intellectual and financial viral vectors out of the country.

    1. Why do you hate successful capitalists and love government tyrants?

      1. Explain how the Davos corporatists love the free market in a way that's different from how pedophiles love children.

      2. How is bribing government officials "successful capitalism"?

        1. Fascism is well over by the left. Especially corporate varieties.

      3. Why do you hate non-pedophiles and love kiddie fuckers?

  26. Why are people always surprised when someone pushes back against the International Liberal Order??

  27. I suspect that Mr. Orban and his followers might very well counter, not without a good deal of merit, that the claims of the ostensibly "liberal" democracies of the West aren't all that liberal in themselves. Political prisoners? Rampant cronyism between the government and economic elites? Suppression of dissent? Control of the free flow of information to the official narrative? It's hardly a stretch to say any of these aren't characteristics of the EU or the good old US of A in 2022. To suggest that somehow these can be overlooked in the name of liberalism when coupled with a commitment to the progressive social values of small New Class "elite" seems absurd.

    1. Yes but those "liberal democracies" are on their side!

    2. Do you even open borders bruh?

  28. Hard to decipher this article...takes way too many complex concepts jumbles them up and spits them out, using selective definitions for them. It's very hard to say what definition they mean as Hungary doesn't really fit any "pure" definitions of the words as they take ideas from many systems (communism, fascism, authoritarian, democratic, representative) and ends up with something worse. It's hard to even understand what definition of "liberalism" the author is using. I think they are trying to argue some form of "libertarianism" but what they are asking for is just as cumbersome and nonfunctional as what they argue against. The reality is that once a society becomes divided on their ideology and way of life a friction occurs and the government is only the tool used by each side to limit the impact the other has. Remove the government from the equation and the friction still exists...without a convergence of societal norms you ultimately end up with anarchy as everyone pursues a different agenda.

    1. UR such an idiot... Why I've never heard a more winded sales pitch for....

      "without a convergence of societal norms you ultimately end up with anarchy as everyone pursues a different agenda"

      Sell your souls to the [WE] foundation; because You don't own You, [WE] own you......

      I sure hope you don't live in the USA because you know absolutely nothing about the USA. The USA was founded on principles of Individual Liberty and Justice ( different agenda's )....

      1. I think I proved my point, what's your definition of "Individual Liberty and Justice". Your Individual Liberty ends where other people begin. I'm sure you are fine with transgenders in public bathrooms as that is an individual liberty, but many people are uncomfortable with it. Just because you are a liberal doesn't bean everyone else is. Just because the concept of rules and laws is foreign to you doesn't mean that society doesn't have to have a common set of them. It doesn't get better when you allow for "individual freedom's" that conflict and fist fights break out in bathrooms. Trying to gaslight because you are too shallow to understand why laws exist is cute.

        1. I hate libtards probably more than most. And the reason for that is their pulling out Gov-Guns to create a collective hive of obedience and slavery (i.e. worship the regime mandates)...

          "without a convergence of societal norms" does not apply what-so-ever to Individual Liberty.. It's a collective mandate.... I think your mistake is acknowledging that the this nation has gone communist and is being dictated just like a Nazi-Regime. Far too much 'public' exists - but that is the problem; which [WE] mob gets to make the "societal norms" is not the solution... Individual Liberty and Justice is.

          1. Take your meds kiddo, don't go around starting fights because you don't understand what "societal norm" means. It's just the limits of acceptable behavior...when is it is acceptable to act how you choose. I don't care what you are, the point is that you have to live in a world with other people and most people would rather not interact or be around you but are forced to. Something needs to exist, as maybe you like to like to start fights when somebody does something you don't like, or you don't get what you want. Per my previous example, if people can't agree on who gets to use a public bathroom there is nothing to dictate what's acceptable and your "individual rights and justices" go out the window as two people disagree. You as an individual have no authority over me as an individual.

            1. "Something needs to exist" = Personal private property.
              "if people can't agree on who gets to use a public bathroom", either the taxpayers or the owner dictate what's acceptable...

          2. I think the problem is that you don't acknowledge that you want to do whatever you want with any disregard to what anyone else wants, else you believe that everyone wants what you want. That's fine if you never have to interact with people that don't disagree with you. That's exactly the point I was making...laws exist because people can't agree on what is acceptable (i.e. "societal norms"). You can't rant political ideology all you want as I didn't make a political comment. It was a social observation that when people disagree on what is acceptable behavior it creates a situation where more authoritarian laws are enacted to prevent disputes. That's just reality and how the world works, I didn't say I was happy or in favor of it.

            1. ...And I continue to observe that [WE] ownership is the only thing you're acknowledging.

          3. The idea is that people who individually CHOOSE (freely) to abide by certain customs of culture and tradition work with others who have also freely chosen to abide by those same customs of culture and tradition to pass laws that support those customs.

            When a group that has been cohesive in that pursuit has another group with competing customs of culture and tradition (or wants to smash theirs to bits), conflict ensues and Democracy is the means by which that conflict is mediated. Immigration control is the means by which the majority attempts to prevent MORE conflict or to be turned into a minority.

            This is why subsidiarity in government should be promoted, especially by libertarians. The loosest definition of custom should exist at the highest level. But that should allow for tighter definitions as you get closer to the individual - not decided by the state, but decided by the majority that share, at an individual level, the same customs.

  29. Do I have to buy the magazine to read the full piece or is this actually what passes for an article?

  30. "The less of our lives we allow to be put to a vote, the better"

    Every absolute monarch's dream. Interesting to see Reason taking the Top Men route after decades of pretending to be against it.

    1. I took it as an the "libertarian" argument that everyone should be able to do anything, and the government should stay out of everything. Of course, this is nonsensical and a "utopian" fantasy as nobody lives in a vacuum and everyone's actions effect everyone else, but the argument prevails. Of course, the author also argues against a "pure" democracy and that the majority isn't always right, so you paradoxically make a point as at what point does the majority not matter and the individual get to dictate the rules for others.

    2. You'll notice this is the concern and mantra now that the marxist Left is in positions of power in the bureaucracy to keep the revolution going if the rabble can no longer vote in new leadership. Also note she doesn't call for government to have less control, just for you to have less input into government.

  31. Gotta love Reason. After decades of promoting one shit show after another on the pretext they're necessary to Freedom'n'Equality, they're shocked, shocked! to find out that Freedom'n'Equality are suddenly in bad odor with the voters.

    Now who could've seen that coming?

    1. I did and do, Antinominalists did, Quakers did, Unitarians did, Universalists did, Deists did, The Founding Fathers did, the Abolitionists did, and every other minority did and do to this day.

      This is why you don't get to have Inquisitions, Exorcisms, Tarring-and-Featherings, Lynchings, Queer-Bashings, and--how could I forget?--Witch-Burnings.

      Fuck off, Witch-Burner!

  32. "But what if a population uses democratic processes to empower an illiberal regime?"

    See Biden, Joe.

    1. See damikesc, idiot.

      1. Your mirror dirty again?

      2. "NO! U!"

        Great argument, Tony.

  33. Greece failed.

    1. Without a morals every government fails...

  34. But the Bud Spencer statue still stands in Budapest. That is what matters to me.

    Eastern Europe and the Balkans will always be politically difficult by our standards but who are we to lecture with our own glaring foibles. I am also inclined to be skeptical of the Soros agenda and he has been front and center in wanting to usurp Orban.

  35. "a fully democratic 'Western' system based on liberal values and accountability from what he calls an 'Eastern' approach based on a strong state, a weak opposition, and emaciated checks and balances."

    Sounds like you're describing Joke Biden's America.

  36. Viktor Orbán's Reelection Shows Mere Democracy Is Not Enough Good

    FTFY.

    The less of our lives, liberties, and property we allow to be put to a vote, down to nothing, the better.

    Again, FTFY.

  37. So, just about everything the author accuses Orban of doing is actually part of the Democrats platform.

  38. Viktor Orbán's Reelection Shows Mere Democracy Is Not Enough
    The less of our lives we allow to be put to a vote, the better.

    A proposition that Victor Orban actually agrees with. Unlike the progressive authoritarians in the Democratic party and at Reason who want to tell everybody how to live.

    What makes you particularly vile is that you label your authoritarianism "liberalism" and "libertarianism".

  39. Sort of ironic that all the things the left complains about in Hungary's election: expanded use of mail in ballots, less rigorous ID requirements, additional procedures for voting when you're not on the official voters list, are the very procedures they want to enshrine in U.S. voting law.

  40. https://twitter.com/SikhForTruth/status/1511403208295469060?t=bMnc6O9FqOqPFWJG5Vl6Mg&s=19

    The WEF says the public will soon ‘rent’ everything they require: Stripping the rights of private ownership under the guise of ‘sustainable development’ [SDGs] & ‘saving the planet’ [net zero]. Of course, the tiny elites who rolled out this Great Reset will own everything.

  41. https://twitter.com/WarReportUk/status/1505620775788765184?t=p2D5rgVm4pRFSU00vuQRdA&s=19

    The wife of ex-deputy Kotvitsky tried to smuggle 28M$ and 1.3 M euros through Transcarpathia. Ukrainian customs officers in Transcarpathia "did not notice" $28 million and € 1.3 million exported from Ukraine. Hungarian customs officers, in turn, noticed this money - and so

    [Link]

  42. I think the main point has been missed. Americans should mind their own business.

  43. Democracy does not protect the minority. It is mob rule. Here in the good ol USA we have some illiberal actions by folks who label themselves liberal.

    For example free speech attacks. The "hate speech is not free speech" crowd. I've read 1A and for tyhe life me I can't finds that exclusion

    That everyone is treated equal under the law, 14A. Once agin for the life of me I can't find a clause that says unless we wish to favor a certain group based on their skin color,. We'll call it affirmative action too!

    Pot meet kettle

  44. Except for re-writing the constitution, this paragraph could be taken as a relatively accurate description of what California has become in the last 20 years. The "Calexit" push a few years back might actually have been equivalent to an attempt to re-write the constitution (or at least get the CA gov't out from being bound by the limits of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th amendments.

    Orbán is a self-proclaimed proponent of "illiberal democracy," which distinguishes, in Amnesty International's summation, "a fully democratic 'Western' system based on liberal values and accountability from what he calls an 'Eastern' approach based on a strong state, a weak opposition, and emaciated checks and balances." Orbán has spent more than a decade engaging in aggressive gerrymandering, court packing, use of state power to drive out or co-opt dissenting media, and more. Corruption is rampant. The Constitution has been rewritten and ever more power concentrated at the top.

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