The L Word

When I was growing up in the United Kingdom in ghe ‘60s and early ‘70s, the “L” word was extremely fashionable, particularly amongst the young. Most of us liked to think of ourselves as “liberals” in terms of our attitudes towards immigration, towards ethnic minorities, towards gender equality and, most of all, in our attitudes concerning sex. My father was a Liberal with a capital “L”. He regularly voted for the British Liberal Party in those halcyon days when the Party was led by such sterling gentlemen as Joe Grimond. Of course, that was before the Liberals merged with the SDP and before they appointed, as leader, the unspeakable (and probably unelectable) Nick Clegg.

Here in Hungary the “L” word has different, less positive connotations, particularly in circles close to our Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, and his associates. In a speech he delivered in western Romania, at Tusnádfürdő, in late July, Orbán declared that he is building “an illiberal state, a non-liberal state” in Hungary. He held up Turkey, China, Russia, Singapore and (inexplicably) India as possible illiberal role-models for Hungary.

Perhaps I'm an incorrigible liberal, incapable of adapting to new times and to new ways of thinking and behaving. But, for me, liberal values of freedom and human dignity, of respect for a free media and for open intellectual debate lie at the very heart of all true democracies.


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Twilight of Liberal Democracy

Sunday 22 January 2017
From: Social Europe The Fourth Estate and The Twilight of Liberal Democracy, Part One by Stephen Pogány on 18 January 2017 78 Shares Share Tweet Share …...