Chasing away individual academics is so 20th century
December 4, 2018 1:12 AM   Subscribe

CEU has been forced out,” said CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff. “This is unprecedented. A U.S. institution has been driven out of a country that is a NATO ally. A European institution has been ousted from a member state of the EU. “

The full press conference is here.

Highlight at around 28:00: when Michael Ignatieff is asked if he is worried about being attacked in Vienna too, by the Austrian far right, he simply says: "Welcome to 2018".

And while the expulsion of CEU (the best university in Hungary) could be the biggest international scandal, let's not forget the proposed "slave law" that means raising the yearly maximum overtime from 250 hours to 400, while possibly letting the employees deferring payment for the extra work up to three years.

Maybe the German auto industry is not satisfied with the subsidies it already got from the favourite of Bavaria?
posted by kmt (25 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 


The law was widely seen as a targeted attack by Hungary’s increasingly illiberal government on CEU and its founder and honorary board chairman, the liberal financier George Soros.

According to the Post, [US Ambassador to Hungary] Cornstein downplayed CEU’s importance -- contrasting its 1,500 students to the much larger enrollments of major U.S. universities like Ohio State University -- and described the dispute as a personal one between Orbán and Soros.

“It had to do with two men,” Cornstein told the Post. “It doesn’t have anything to do with academic freedom.”


Fascists gonna fash.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:05 AM on December 4 [17 favorites]


CEU has now moved to Vienna. Though given Austria's populist-right tilt (with one of the governing parties being allied with Putin's United Russia Party, no less), one does wonder how safe their footing there is.
posted by acb at 6:57 AM on December 4


So when are Kirk and Spock going to show up to reset the timeline to the correct one?
posted by Automocar at 6:59 AM on December 4 [7 favorites]


Well, they've just shut down the Large Hadron Collider, so perhaps things will go back to normal.
posted by acb at 7:02 AM on December 4 [3 favorites]


they've just shut down the Large Hadron Collider

Why the anti-science fearmongering, acb?
posted by heatherlogan at 8:28 AM on December 4


I taught at CEU one summer in 1996. It was a great program, bringing together scientists and intellectuals from all over Eastern Europe who only recently had the chance to travel and study ideas from the West. I taught computer simulation. I went in with typical American arrogance figuring I was super smart and knew all this stuff these backwards former-Soviets didn't know. And yeah, I did know a few basic things, but the folks I taught were way, way ahead of me when it came to core science and math. Super well educated; turns out Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, etc all had excellent universities. And I was lucky enough to get to meet some of their best students and teachers.

Even in 1996 there was controversy. Not so much in Hungary at the time, but CEU had already had to relocate out of the Czech Republic where they were made unwelcome. They also originally had a presence in Poland, not sure what happened to that.

Viktor Orbán is a troubling politician. I know some Hungarians who support him because he's making Hungary Great Again or whatever, but from the outside it sure looks ugly.
posted by Nelson at 8:54 AM on December 4 [10 favorites]


Ignatieff is certainly having a more interesting time of it than he would've had he become Prime Minister of Canada.
posted by clawsoon at 8:55 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


Fuck this fascist asshole orban. Hungary had one of the great intellectual Traditions of the world and this dollar store Mussolini wannabe is fucking it all up - and helping fuck up europe too -with his nativist invented Magyar BULLSHIT

one of my friends is being expelled from her home and country where she has done good work for a decade because of this shit stain

Nationalism is a disease that will result in the death of civilisation, and our ecosystem too...
posted by lalochezia at 8:59 AM on December 4 [21 favorites]


Ignatieff is certainly having a more interesting time of it than he would've had he become Prime Minister of Canada.

In both cases things were kind of beyond his control but if I were a liberal institution and saw him coming I'd run the other way.
posted by srboisvert at 9:05 AM on December 4 [3 favorites]


Why the anti-science fearmongering, acb?

I can't speak to the original poster's intensions, but I interpreted their reference to the Collider as a joke. Perhaps it was in questionable taste, but sometimes black humor is all we have. :)
posted by Alensin at 9:26 AM on December 4 [3 favorites]


I can't speak to the original poster's intensions, but I interpreted their reference to the Collider as a joke.

probably it was a riff on the comment just above it, but the place wouldn't be the same without someone getting offended by it
posted by thelonius at 10:11 AM on December 4 [9 favorites]


Viktor Orbán’s bigoted vision leaves me ashamed to be Hungarian

Hungary was great because of its many waves of immigration and integration, not despite of them.
posted by benzenedream at 10:19 AM on December 4 [11 favorites]


CEU has now moved to Vienna. Though given Austria's populist-right tilt (with one of the governing parties being allied with Putin's United Russia Party, no less), one does wonder how safe their footing there is.

The Austrian Vice-Chancellor has apparently already called CEU the "so-called wandering university" to give you a sense of how well that's going so far.
posted by Copronymus at 10:19 AM on December 4 [12 favorites]


Just to be clear, acb's comment is [real]. The LHC is shut down (for upgrades; it will restart in 2021).
posted by ryanrs at 10:20 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]


The Austrian Vice-Chancellor has apparently already called CEU the "so-called wandering university" to give you a sense of how well that's going so far.

*sigh* please please tell me that's not a reference to the wandering Jew. It is isn't it.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:31 AM on December 4 [9 favorites]


Well, you know, it might be a slur against the Romani instead.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:38 AM on December 4 [14 favorites]


Viktor Orbán is a troubling politician.

Viktor Orbán is a vicious, bigoted, autocratic thug, like most "populists" on the European right. He openly stokes bigotry across the spectrum, including virulent anti-Semitism and a special level of hatred for Soros and the OSF. For this he's been rewarded by no less than Israeli PM Netanyahu, who himself has repeatedly invoked Soros and the Jewish left in general in ways that even centrist groups like the ADL would usually classify as anti-Semitic rhetoric. Meanwhile, Cornstein is a long-time crony of Trump's, who's been palling around with him for decades in both NYC and Palm Beach. Before getting a plum job in the administration which he was in no way qualified for, he was involved in the gambling, jewelry, and telemarketing businesses, the latter of which was--shocker!--involved in fraud cases brought by the NY AG. Like both Orbán and Trump, he's attacked Soros in pretty much the way you would expect, and has been involved in screwing with the CEU since he first set foot in Hungary.

This whole thing stinks.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:57 AM on December 4 [9 favorites]


*sigh* please please tell me that's not a reference to the wandering Jew. It is isn't it.

The modern incarnation of Strache's FPÖ party was formed largely from post-war Nazi and Nazi-sympathizing officials, so probably.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:00 AM on December 4 [3 favorites]




I know human progress isn't linear and all that, but if you'd told me back in 1995 that ideas like, "civil society", "democracy", and "higher education" would become punching bags for Republicans and a future Republican President I just... couldn't have believed it. It still boggles my mind that people could take the amazing open society work that Soros did and turn against him (and it).

I can't wait for this pendulum to start swinging back against fascism. I see hope in the resistance everywhere.
posted by ldthomps at 1:15 PM on December 4 [5 favorites]


It still boggles my mind that people could take the amazing open society work that Soros did and turn against him (and it).


it's a crystal clear "we have always been at war with eurasia" moment for the right wing

they fucking full-throatedly supported him - rightly so! - and OSF for more than a decade when it was viewed as anti-soviet-communist. they supported similar enterprises for decades before that.
posted by lalochezia at 1:30 PM on December 4 [5 favorites]


> the "so-called wandering university"

it might be a slur against the Romani

Or perhaps, since they're focused on an anti-Soviet-Communist Jew: rootless cosmopolitan
posted by XMLicious at 1:44 PM on December 4 [4 favorites]


Noga Tarnopolsky:
One hell of a scoop from @BarakRavid: Viktor Orban’s government is establishing a new Holocaust museum to be called "The House of Destinies". Orban appointed the historian Maria Schmidt* to found the museum

Schmidt is in Orban’s close circle and is known as a leader of the recent Hungarian movement to rewrite Holocaust history and formulate a narrative that reduces the involvement of Hungarians in Nazi crimes in the Holocaust. Sound familiar? Its much like that Polish law.

Sources told @BarakRavid the @IsraelMFA is holding to the line that no deviation from the historical record re: Hungarian Jews, as it is displayed in Yad Vashem & Washington's Holocaust Museum should be countenanced. BUT: @IsraeliPM office sees things differently, and have embarked on "negotiations" re: the museum's content. Two Orban advisers are in Jerusalem and tomorrow will meet on this subject with Netanyahu's foreign policy adviser, @ReuvenAzar.

Netanyahu's people have not invited Foreign Ministry reps to partake of the talks tomorrow, and source told Ravid of "suspicions" Netanyahu's compromises re: the Hungarian Museum will reflect those me [sic] made regarding the Polish law.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:54 PM on December 5 [4 favorites]


Wow, it actually gets worse:
Finally, @BarakRavid got a truly chilling response from @IsraeliPM: "Regarding the House of Destinies, the Hungarians have expressed the wish to create a consensus regarding the narrative as a condition for opening the museum. Israel and other bodies involved with the subject await Hungary's updated response in order to achieve the desired consensus."

Finally, why Maria Schmidt with an asterisk? Because we know Maria Schmidt. Schmidt established Budapest's House of Terror, a truly terrible museum designed to diminish the horrors of the Holocaust by comparing them to conditions of life under communism. Maria Schmidt is also the owner of Figyelő, the business magazine that last week published a cover depicting Andras Heisler, head of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, surrounded by banknotes.

Long story short: Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu is engaged in discussions aimed at achieving a "consensus narrative" on the fate of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust with the owner of [Figyelő].
posted by zombieflanders at 5:04 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


« Older Raycipes. Resippies. Re— Recipes.   |   Finding another person to love is finding another... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.