… the world,” writes George Konrád, in The Melancholy of Rebirth.

Free thought and free speech generally should serve as antidotes to the world, and it’s particularly depressing to see Konrád’s own country, Hungary, screwing up bigtime along these lines lately.  The country’s center-right government has passed a disgusting new press-restriction law.

Miklos Haraszti, former OSCE representative on freedom of the media, denounced an “unprecedented” attack against press freedom aimed at establishing the subordination of the media to the whims of the ruling party and instituting self-censorship among journalists. “It is practically like in Belarus,” he added. “This law is the tip of the iceberg at the ending point of a process whereby the Hungarian government is misusing its legislative majority to methodically dismantle legal balances and constitutional guarantees.”

Protests – online and on the streets (more than 10,000 people showed up at a Budapest rally yesterday) – are taking place.

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