Central European University, under relentless pressure by Hungary’s popular prime minister to get the hell out, is about to do so. It will probably move to Vienna. Lots of people are upset about it. Hungary’s only world-class university has been chased away by paranoid hyper-nationalist know-nothings.
UD proposes that this might be for the best. The ultimate provincial backwater and proud of it; known, if known at all, for its suicide rate, Hungary, like our own Mississippi, elects chauvinistic dolts and ejects the non-doltish. Mississippi and Hungary are hemorrhaging population, whereas Vienna – precisely the sort of place (despite its own rightish political leadership) to which intelligent Hungarians flee – is growing.
If it is the will of people that the places they call home dissolve into nothingnesses ruled by Ubus, if they want to be places outsiders visit to track the spread of wisteria over Faulkner’s manse, or get soused with the ghost of Gyula Krúdy in his favorite watering hole, eh. It’s their right; precisely because of their “shabby littleness,” these places threaten no one.
A five-member committee at Budapest’s Semmelweis University says academics at the then-independent University of Physical Education should have noticed and called attention to similarities between large parts of Schmitt’s thesis analyzing the Olympic Games and works by other authors.
West Virginia University is gradually reducing itself to nothing – no foreign languages, a lot fewer professors, no grad program in math, fewer undergrad programs.
Shit, place ain’t got no money, and customers are voting with their feet.
Lotsa boohoo about all this from the liberal elites, but hold on jest a minute! Hang on jest one sec! UD ain’t crying, and she’ll tell you why.
As you know, UD sees no reason why a country (Hungary) or a state (New Mexico, Nevada, West Virginia, Florida) that wants to reduce itself to an intellectual desert should be kept from doing so.
The American system is already correcting for this. Notice, for instance, how Hampshire College has stepped up to offer an easy transfer to New College students who can’t take it anymore. Nevada has always done beautifully on the dumbshit tourist trade and doesn’t need fancy theories to run casinos. Its wretched state university system should call it a day; smart young Nevadans can go to California. Same deal for other pro-ignorance states – this is a big country with oodles of good (and some supremely great) universities.
As for West Virginia. Feast your eyes on UD‘s coverage, over many years, of WVU – a hopelessly drunk and disorderly party school in a hopeless state from which those who can flee are fleeing. Morgantown runs with squalid bars in which frat boys try to kill pledges via drink. The kids riot after purty near every football game. The football and basketball coaches continue to be paid like princes. It’s a world, to be sure; a party school world which is about what a state like WV can manage if you tell it to establish a university. But you’re never gonna get the yahoos in the legislature to smarten the place up, and fact is most of its students are fine with the way things are. Those who aren’t will find good schools in driving distance: FIVE states border WV, and three of them have good schools.
[M]ost professors, even conservative ones, will avoid institutions they know are restricting academic freedom. They know that in such places, because of whom it might upset, they may not be able to engage in the research they wish to explore and cover topics relevant to their academic discipline.
Texas is the other state you don’t want to be in if you’re a self-respecting academic. Look how the state’s lieutenant governor started blubbering when one of Texas A&M’s most impressive professors said something negative about him.
Patrick Deneen is the revolution’s Menshevik to Adrian Vermeule‘s Bolshevik; but he’s a prominent enough theocrat to score a scathing review in today’s NYT.
Me, I’ve got some sympathy for Deneen: He’s deeply invested in top-down Bang ‘Er Mandates, as in Viktor Orban’s spectacularly failed mission to get drunksuicidal Hungarians to do the missus and seed the world with Hungarians. Orban’s more than done his bit, focusing relentlessly on getting women out of college and splayed panting ‘pon the ágy; but so reluctant are the men that the state has confiscated the fertility clinics, and – in a blow to Natural Law and all that stuff – been engineering the little buggers. Sad.
When they tell you YOU get knocked up and make Japanese babies you stupid motherfuckers, you shouldn’t be offended because you’re the ones who make life hell for Japanese women and now you want to make it more hellacious by burdening them with children in a nauseatingly patriarchal state.
I mean, take a look at Hungary, boys! Same deal. How’s Hungary doing as it frantically tries to get its dick up the national vaginal canal?
… go ahead and say FAAAAACK you to America, with its absurd independent judiciary and disgraceful separation of church and state … Get thee to Jerusalem, where no one’s going to get between you and queer-hating orthodoxy.
I mean, you can waste your time and money appealing, but I’m gonna guess that even our pious Supreme Court’s gonna disappoint you. Realistically speaking, your options are Israel, Hungary, Iran, Afghanistan, and Vatican City, and I’m thinking Israel is your best option.
Also the Iranians’ incredibly brave efforts. The attention of the world is, rightly, on the dissenters in the streets of Tehran as well as on the Ukrainians. But the forces of illiberal democracy – A sham designation, no? Fascism is better. – in Russia, Hungary, Italy, and of course right here in the MAGA movement – are certainly on the march, and we must always call them out, and fight them with whatever weapons we have.
I do wonder about Europe’s militant hijabis. What do they have to say? Why have we not heard their opinion of this massive anti-hijab movement?
He’s more scathing about the “postliberal” intellectuals of the American right, with their admiration for Hungary’s Viktor Orban, like the legal scholar Adrian Vermeule (whom he describes as having “flirted with the idea of overtly authoritarian government”) and the political scientist Patrick Deneen.
The more high-profile outing of our enemies, the better. Bravo, and keep bashing.
Mr. Orban found support from Mr. Trump, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and fromthe Italian populist leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini. But they are all gone, as Mr. Jansa is expected to be…
For UD’s completely bored take on Hungary, go here.
Oh, and note to Vermeule and the brethren: Reserve your Budapest Baptismal Blowout today! While you still can.
In the wake of Orban’s massive victory, Les UDs have been going at it hammer and goulash on whether they should give a shit. If you read UD, you know where she stands: Countries determined to shrink to nothingness should be allowed to do so. Hungary’s population can’t even manage ten million (Orban’s efforts to get Hungarians to reproduce are going nowhere — too drunk to get it up.), and many of those are actively trying to kill themselves.
The smartest have left — Hungary is brain-drain central. Maybe these people noticed that the country had one world-class university and itthrew it out. To thunderous applause from its suicidal populace.
The UN estimates a population of only 6.4 million by the end of the century.
“Can you name one famous Hungarian dissident?” UD asked Mr UD – a Pole, and a political scientist extremely well-versed in the region. Long pause. “K-Konrad?” “You can’t even remember his first name?” No. “And I don’t want to upset you, but he died in 2019.”
“Hungary is becoming the center of the intellectual far-right world…”
“Oooh, scary. Karlovich, Vermeule… the freak show freaks in Nyíregyháza!”
Mr UD looked pissed.
“Look,” said I. “The national anthem of modern Hungary is I GOTTA BE ME. Until it invades the Rhineland, Hungary, like all other countries, has a right to drill down to its essence – hyper-conservative, rabidly anti-intellectual, radically insular – and be that thing. The upside for us is that we can safely ignore it forever. Hell, it seems to be ignoring itself. If you want to visit faded post-imperialism, go to Vienna.”
Update: Hungary is also a big loser in the kleptocracy sweepstakes, with the EU proceeding toward possibly stripping it of the billions of dollars for public works projects that Orban has long been siphoning off for his oligarchs.
Catholic integralism has enjoyed a small renaissance on the right in recent years, taken up by prominent apologists like Adrian Vermeule, a law professor at Harvard, and Sohrab Ahmari, the op-ed editor at the New York Post.
[In this connection, a] sort of authoritarian tourism [is emerging among] a new generation of right-wingers who, alienatedfrom the secular liberalism of America, are attracted to illiberal alternatives. The same impulses that took [Brent Bozell] to Franco’s Spain now attract the Tucker Carlsons and Rod Drehers of the world to Orbán’s Hungary. Theorists like Vermeule and Ahmari might dream of a Christian commonwealth, but Orbán is showing how it is actually done, providing a real world model to emulate…
Afghanistan’s caliphate will no doubt be Vermeule and company’s next stop on the authoritarian theocracy tourist trail. Excise Mohammed and you’re in the same spiritual universe, with a close to identical social ethos. Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, with his global ambitions, is a far better tourist attraction than provincial Orbán, for while integralist Hungary contents itself with its iota of irrelevant territory, Akhundzada is just getting started.
The ONLY one; and he represents people way over THERE… over on the far right… the eastern shore… which is BARELY Maryland… Let’s call it Tidewater West Virginia or something …
Back over here, in MARYLAND, we don’t elect stinky doodoos who do a doodoo in front of the Capitol police days after a violent insurrection because they MUST be allowed to break the rules and carry their guns onto the House floor because what if there’s another insurrection and he can be of assistance to the Proud Boys? Pence is gone, but someone’s gotta pop Pelosi…