Washington, DC – The “Hungarian Review”, the English-language affiliate of the bi-monthly journal Magyar Szemle, edited by Gyula Kodolányi and John O`Sullivan, has published its first 2014 issue.
This issue features analyses of recent Hungarian and European political developments, and reflects upon the nature of democratic systems in the context of 20th century history. During this period, European nations experienced the horrors of totalitarian regimes. The most disquieting questions still revolve around how to understand and treat this burdened legacy. Árpád Kadarkay’s essay on Arendt’s famous interpretation of radical evil also stimulates the rethinking of our structures of identities.
Following Hitlerism and Communism, Europe embarked on a project of democracy and unity, which aimed to prevent future wars among European states. In this regard, European unification has been a remarkable success. However, in the wake of the most recent financial crisis, the EU is widely perceived as increasingly centralized and decreasingly democratic. György Granasztói, in his essay entitled “Is it possible to vote against Europe?”, examines this paradoxical nature of European unification. He encourages the reader to prefer a European system which supports independent and critical thinking in political matters. Pitr Naimski shares Granasztói’s pessimism, arguing that political responsibility should lie with national governments, and democratic accountability with the member states.
Hungary is still struggling with how to assume responsibility for crimes of the past. The interview entitled “The Devil that Failed: Murder most Utopian” provides stimulating points in this debate, encouraging the reader to draw parallels between right- and left-wing totalitarianisms, and raising provocative questions, such as: “Why does the West not condemn communism as a crime against humanity?”.
Political maturity certainly includes the ability to assume responsibility for the collective past. But there are other lessons from the past 25 years. Gerald Frost draws attention to the dark side of political intemperance, which is widespread in Hungary too, emphasizing that extravagant claims and willful misrepresentation discourage analysts from making nuanced distinctions.
Other essays in this issue include James P. Kelly’s comparative analysis on the Fundamental Law recently adopted in Hungary, and Ishore Jayabalan’s essay on the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 on Catholic religious leaders. The section devoted to historical research, art and literature also offers intellectual delights.
The Hungarian Review has been published since 1991 by the BL Nonprofit Kft in Budapest, Hungary. Currently, eleven issues of the Hungarian Review (from 2010, 2011 and 2012) can be ordered from Amazon.com; or directly from the publisher; or by calling the Coalition office in Washington.