Keyword – national identity

Sükösd, Miklós:

Sükösd, Miklós:

Orbán’s victims

This paper explores the key features of Viktor Orbán’s populist rhetoric, which remained essentially the same from 1989 to the 2020s. Orbán speaks in the name of the nation as a whole, envisions dangerous enemies instead of democratic political opponents, and mobilises against an external occupying power. By systematically evoking fear, the desire for revenge, and naming the ever-present enemies, he transforms historically rooted ressentiment, grievance culture and notions of (self)victimisation in Hungarian national identity into active hate politics. With his rhetoric, he awakens the desire for an authoritarian leader who saves us from a fearful and dangerous world with dictatorial state policies. Theoretically, I analyse Orbán’s speeches and their powerful impact with the concepts of speech act theory and securitisation. The texts include Orbán’s famous speech in 1989, and his series of seasonal addresses during the last twenty years (including a secondary analysis of a database of 41 speeches).

Keywords: national identity, orator, political communication, propaganda, ressentiment, rhetorics, securitisation, speech act theory, Viktor Orbán

Orbán’s victims

Médiakutató Autumn-Winter 2022 pp. 59-77

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Sükösd, Miklós:

Sükösd, Miklós:

The technologising of the word and the realms of memory: From local oral traditions to printed national history

The influential Hungarian non-fiction writer Károly Eötvös (also a liberal politician and lawyer; 1842–1916) chose an interesting position as an author: he deliberately addressed future generations. In his major, widely read work A Journey around Lake Balaton (1900, 1909) he collected the oral traditions, true stories and family histories around the lake and sent them to the future as messages in a bottle. His work may be considered an early form of literary journalism and ethnography, and his book may also be seen as an encyclopedia of patriotism that features positive patriotic examples. As a liberal patriot, Eötvös wanted to contribute to the development of a modern, democratic Hungarian national identity that wished to integrate national minorities within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His Balaton book invites three interpretive frameworks: Ong’s medium theory contrasting oral and written cultures, Benedict Anderson’s analysis of the co-emergence of nationalism and mass printing, and French historian Pierre Nora’s notion of the sites of memory

Keywords: Balaton, cultural memory, genius loci, liberalism, lieu de mémoire (site of memory), oral culture, print-capitalism, national identity, patriotism, written culture

The technologising of the word and the realms of memory: From local oral traditions to printed national history

Médiakutató Autumn 2020 pp. 23-43

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