Sir Roger Scruton, Hungary’s Jewish “intelligentsia” and the “Soros network”

I’m starting to think that Sir Roger Scruton, the highly regarded 73-year-old English philosopher and writer, has had some influence on the anti-Soros campaign in Hungary. Scruton’s primary interests are aesthetics and political philosophy, particularly in the “furtherance of traditionalist conservative views.” He is also a frequent visitor to Budapest and many of his articles and interviews are re-published in Hungarian.

I was surprised to learn that he is a self-taught composer who has written two operas, The Minister (1998) and Violet (2005). A follower of the Church of England he has declared “I’ve always been drawn to the Catholic Church because of its respect for tradition, for the apostolic continuity it represents and for its attempts to imbue ordinary life with sacraments.”

I don’t know how and when Sir Scruton got interested in Hungarian politics, but I do know that he was invited to give lectures by a Budapest-based conservative group called the Common Sense Society. He has also written about Hungary’s “Jewish intelligentsia” and its connection to the “extensive networks around the Soros Empire.”

Sir Roger Scruton in Budapest with Mr. Marion Smith (right) of the Common Sense Society.

Here is a quote from 2014, well before the Hungarian government’s anti-Soros campaign: “The Jewish minority that survived the Nazi occupation suffered further persecution under the communists, but nevertheless is active in making its presence known. Many of the Budapest intelligentsia are Jewish, and form part of the extensive networks around the Soros Empire. People in these networks include many who are rightly suspicious of nationalism, regard nationalism as the major cause of the tragedy of Central Europe in the 20th century, and do not distinguish nationalism from the kind of national loyalty that I have defended in this talk. Moreover, as the world knows, indigenous anti-Semitism still plays a part in Hungarian society and politics, and presents an obstacle to the emergence of a shared national loyalty among ethnic Hungarians and Jews.” (Click for  Sir Scruton’s article here – for English version please scroll down)

A year earlier in a Hungarian-language interview Sir Scruton talked about “the Soros instigated conspiracy against Hungary” and said that Soros opposed Orbán’s nationalism because he is Jewish. (Read Scruton interview in Hungarian.)

Sir Scruton somehow thinks that all Jews are united against the government and share the same world view. Nothing is further from the truth. There are prominent members of the Budapest “Jewish intelligentsia” who support Mr. Orbán’s nationalism, including his party’s thinly veiled anti-Semitic agenda and the anti-Soros campaign.

Many members of Orbán’s inner circle are proud of their Jewish heritage and remain loyal to their party leader. One is Fidesz’s Budapest party chief, Mr. János Fónagy, an ex-Communist, long-time Orbán lobbyist and Holocaust survivor. He recently attacked Soros in a speech.

Another is ex-minister and close friend, Mr. Tamás Fellegi, who testified in Washington on behalf of Mr. Orbán; he claims that Hungary is fighting against anti-Semitism.

Mr. Tamás Fellegi assures the audience in New York of the Orbán government’s commitment to the fight against antisemitism.

There is also ex-European Parliament member, Ms. Ágnes Hankiss, who has talked about the Holocaust experience of her family yet does not oppose Fidesz’s cult of World War II Hungarian anti-Semites and fascists. In fact, not one pro-Orbán Jewish politician raised concerns about Fidesz celebrating the work and lives of anti-Semites József Nyirő and Albert Wass.

Ms. Ágnes Hankiss represented Fidesz in the European Parliament.

It is worth mentioning that the families of both Mr. Fellegi and Ms. Hankiss have made billions (in forints) in various government-backed or -connected ventures. It might be unique to Hungary, or to the Hungarian character, but having Jewish roots (or practicing Judaism) and supporting Mr. Orbán’s supercharged nationalism or even anti-Semitism can go hand in hand.

György Lázár

10 Comments

  1. There are people of all stripes in all human populations, and alas among Jews too, although they can least afford it, because the bad stripes rub off on the good ones, feeding bigotry and its trolls.

    About Roger Scruton — aesthete and apologist for tobacco, hunting and the good old days, critic of animal rights — the less said the better.
    http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/16th-february-2002/24/smoke-without-fire
    https://www.roger-scruton.com/books/126-on-hunting
    https://www.city-journal.org/html/animal-rights-11955.html

    • Indeed, Scruton’s failure to disclose his ties to big tobacco when he wrote multiple articles in support of smoking raise serious questions about his ethics (or lack thereof…).

      • I think the above referred to Spectator article is worth reading, as it provides some context (he writes that ‘it seems to me that there is a great difference between advocacy of a product — and in particular a brand — and discussion of the legal, political and social questions surrounding its use.’)
        Be that as it may, more interesting are the many books he’s written since, not least ‘The Soul of the World’ and his books on Beauty.
        (Barbara Day’s ‘The Velvet Philosophers’ seems interesting too, although I’m yet to read it.)

  2. The idea that Jews are united on political issues would be laughable were it not for its intent; namely, the way one could set himself against all Jews on a political rather than on less acceptable grounds. Such a contrived generalization allows one to set Jews outside the norms of politics where ordinary Hungarians can be for or against something and need to be engaged, but there is no sense in talking to the Jews whose minds obey no logic – only blind obedience to Soros.

  3. I think the claim that Orban is doing Hungary’s Jews a favor by not going along with the colonization of Europe by mainly Muslims from ME-Africa has merit. Just look at the elections in 2017 in Netherlands, France & Germany. The gay communities in those countries ended up supporting the anti-migrant parties by a greater proportion than the general population. They are waking up to the fact that the population that is now colonizing Europe is overwhelmingly homophobic. I think the Jewish community in Europe is starting to wake up to the generally anti-Semitic aspect of the colonist population. Despite the mass-molestation event in Germany from 2 years ago, I am sorry to say that Europe’s feminists are yet to wake up to the misogynistic nature of the colonists. And to think that all three of these groups ought to be natural supporters of the left, yet it is the right which now defends their interests, because there is nothing good for any of these groups in Europe about importing the culture that the left wants to colonize Europe with.

    • Peter, George, Lovas, whoever

      Cut the agit prop BS – colonization, mass molestation (where is the rape part ?), Soros and plans, etc.

      Let me remind all what’s the situation in Orbanistan right now:
      – after the last year’s violence incident, one of the “Christians” stated in parliament that “a woman should first of all bear four children and earn her respect ..” implying that until then she doesn’t deserve respect and occasional beating is ok.
      – there are almost no women in Fid high ranks, Orban says politics are too rough for them and they should not be exposed there.
      – the Orban regime has not ratified the Istambul convention on preventing and fighting violence against women and domestic violence and has no intention to do so (you can beat your wives as long as Orban rules)
      -there are still 50-60 killed in dom violence in Hun every year (and not a single one by any migrant)
      – up to now the Hun services stated they have no knowledge of any Soros or other foreign organisagion being involved in any activity which may threaten Hungary in any way.

      However, this doesn’t mean that democracy, transparency and the rule of law are not threats to Orban’s kleptocratic regime.

      • Just Peter actually! Aside from that, you seem to be stuck on auto-pilot. Your comment in no way presents a reasonable counter-argument, to the point, but rather a generic compilation of anti-Orban slogans.

        It is a very poor attempt at excusing the general misogynistic culture that came with the Muslim colonists, by pointing out that things are not perfect in Hungary. They may not be perfect, but the rape & molestation of 1,200 women in a single night, in a public setting, which has no historical precedent in peace time European history, but rather resembles something that would better describe Europe in 1945 when Soviet troops were streaming in, happened in migrant-welcoming Germany, not in Hungary. That is thanks to Hungary’s policy of not allowing the migrant hordes of mostly young men to settle in Hungary.

  4. BTW

    “anti-Semites József Nyirő and Albert Wass.”

    They were also active fascists, where Nyirő professed admiration for Hitler and his new order, Wass was wanted as war criminal in Romania, etc.
    Their writings were included in the curriculum of the new education/indoctrination (nevelési) system.
    http://www.hetek.hu/belfold/201206/irodalmi_kanon_leporoljak

    The Nobel prize Imre Kertész was left out.

  5. Guy,

    Here’s one piece of sh… you can’t even imagine, let alone make up:

    https://444.hu/2017/12/01/a-finn-gyerekek-katedralisokat-gyujtanak-fel-veres-utcai-zavargasokat-provokalnak-es-tomeggyilkossagokat-rendeznek-osztalytarsaik-koreben

    As you can see it was reproduced in 19 local papers (owned by Mészaros/Orban).
    For English speakers my translation of the conclusion:
    “.. the Finncish choldren allegedly are very happy (in their education system), as an expression of this happiness they burn cathedrals and churches, sometimes provoke bloody street riots, and in some schools carry out mass murders of schoolmates with the weapons of their parents”.

    And NO, these are NOT quotations from the ranting of a deranged lunatic, this is Hungarian gov press.

    I rest my case.

  6. Scruton’s history with FIDESZ dates back to the 1980s, when he was a regular guest at the Bibó Kollegium on Ménesi utca. He came to Hungary quite often at a time when few western journalists or academics did, meeting with the original FIDESZ crowd, who were all from the countryside (the Bibó was open only to students from outside budapest.) He also met with SZDSZ who were then still an amorphous grouping of urban dissidents, mostly from the city and therefor including quite a few Jews. Scruton was regarded by the young – and then “liberal” – FIDESZ members as one of the most renowned political philosophers of the time (since he was the only one they had actually met in person) and they were quite surprised and put off by my derision of Scruton as a crackpot wine columnist and art gadfly who published in the Spectator, alongside other right wing nutcases such as that Nazi twit Taki Theodoracopulos.

    At the time I was involved with the Bibó I can assure you that George Soros was a very popular and beloved figure among FIDESZ. I taught my classes in the law library that Soros donated, and copied assignments for my students on the “Soros’ Xerox machine.”

    As for Fellegi, he taught at Bibó before I arrived. He’s fully aware that he is doing the “Court Jew” dance for the Emperor. It pays well.

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