George Soros is the face of the conspiracy tormenting Hungary, the manifestation of the legend of left-liberal Jews being responsible for the losses and failures of World War I. And according to Orbán, the tools Soros is using to dismantle Hungary, Europe and Christianity are NGOs, such as the Open Society Foundation, which was forced to move to Berlin, and the Central European University, which has been forced partially to Vienna and used as bargaining chip in the EU.
2 The Trenches Within Hungary
Hungarian society has become sharply divided into two separate, parallel cultures. Supporters of Fidesz and the party's far-right ideology perceive the diverse, fragmented and disorganized opposition, broadly framed as "left-liberals," as an existential threat. Indeed, even the formerly neo-Nazi party Jobbik has started to show a more centrist and cooperative face recently , after realizing that there is no air left to the right of Fidesz. Though the divide has grown considerably deeper after every election, it has deep historical roots. Hungary was occupied by foreign powers from 1526 until 1920 and again from 1945 to 1989, national traumas that created an atmosphere of us against them, and more specifically, those with them (the traitors) and those against them (the rebels). To the surprise of many, the schism not only reemerged after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, but it was no longer between those who fought for democracy and the former communist rulers, but between liberals and conservatives. Even moderate right-wing elements did not raise their voices when a conservative government in 1993 gave an honorary military funeral to Miklós Horthy, the fascist governor of Hungary during the interwar period. He was the first leader to introduce racial Jewish laws in post-Enlightenment Europe in 1920 and was later a faithful ally to Adolf Hitler, ultimately responsible for the deportation of 437,685 Jewish Hungarian citizens to Auschwitz, among other crimes against humanity. What the Holocaust is for the left, the Treaty of Trianon, the World War I peace deal, is for the right.
This divide cuts across contemporary Hungarian society. On the one hand, there are the "true Hungarians," who consider themselves to be the heirs of Horthy, and anyone who holds different views to be "anti-Hungarian," including, but not limited to, those who oppose Fidesz, "left-liberals," members of the LMBTQ community, Jews, Roma, foreigners and any "alien hearted" elements. Until 2010, the attitude that only the political right and Fidesz represented true Hungarians was more or less accepted as a skewed but legitimate worldview, a necessary compromise to establish enough of a consensus to run the country. The divide has also been kept alive by elements of the political left who, for example, honor János Kádár, Hungary’s Cold War dictator who was responsible for executing hundreds and destroying the lives of thousands.
3 The Value Context of Hungarian Society
Hungary is one of the most individualistic countries of the EU, second only to the United Kingdom and on par with the Netherlands. But in sharp contrast, personal responsibility is low and distrust is high. In such an environment, one of the few things you can count on is being tricked. As such, the most reasonable behavioral strategy is to be the first to trick others. This kind of unique social pressure contributed to the rise of two prominent cultural ideals of the Hungarians: the betyár and the gentrified hussar, both of whom team up to dominate others but yet value loyalty to each other above all else. They follow their own moral code, yet put themselves above the law.
The betyár is the Robin Hood of the Hungarian puszta, or steppe: he robs from the rich and distributes the bounty among the poor. Betyárs have become folk heroes; they fought the powerful by outsmarting them and brought justice in opposition to the unjust laws of the rulers. It is important to note that one of the most extreme neo-Nazi groups in Hungary calls itself the Betyár Army. Hussars, the famous cavalry squads of Hungary, are nobility without estate who managed to keep their aristocratic privileges, even if not their wealth, thus enabling them to climb the ranks in the military easily. Blue blood is their greatness, irrespective of merit.