Politics in Hungary

By Peter A. Toma; Ivan Volgyes | Go to book overview
Save to active project

11
The Political Culture

To believe in God when there is no God. That's great, that's East European.1

Perhaps no greater difficulty exists for a political scientist than that of delineating the political culture of a society without empirical evidence. 2 Yet, for those political scientists who study closed societies, the gathering of hard data remains an almost impossible task. They have to rely on published information, literary evidence, personal experiences, and impression; they must measure and analyze the orientations of the citizenry through the old and not very scientific method of fingerspitzengefuhl. The difficulties of generalizing about the political culture of a Communist state are compounded by the tenuous relation between published evidence and reality. The conclusions of this chapter are based upon published data, literary evidence, and the personal experiences of the author, together with empirical data from 300 interviews conducted by the author in 1970-1971 and in 1974-1975. The evidence thus obtained should provide a reasonably accurate composite picture of the Hungarian citizenry's "modal patterns of orientations toward specific political objects." 3 In all political cultures, citizens manifest a variety of attitudes toward the political system, but in Hungary, because of the relative homogeneity of the population as well as the small size of the country and the common historical experience of the people, an identifiable composite sociopolitical orientation does exist. By and large, the Magyar population still accepts various stereotypes of itself a tendency decried by Akos Kertesz in his novel Makra, one of the most significant works of the late 1960s.

He who is black is a GYPSY. And what kind of [a man] is a gypsy? He steals, lies, knows how to play music, [is] subservient and underhanded. He who talks in a dialect is a PEASANT. The peasant is stupid, but cunning, and always complains. He whose grandfather is a Jew is a JEW. Erger- Berger-Sosberger, every Jew is a gangster. He whose hands are calloused is a WORKER. He who lives in Lorinc is a PROLI from the OUTSKIRTS.

-141-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Politics in Hungary
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 188

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?