Recently in Hungarian public life the presence of civil movements struggling for political change has noticeably increased. There are several causes behind the mushrooming of these movements but it has already become obvious what they are fighting for: a new political culture worthy of the nation.
They want to think about politics in a different way than that hammered into us by the political parties and their media. They do not want to talk in the language of the political parties. They would like to break off with the existing, well-established traditional political forms that only renew themselves in words, much less in acts. They would like to revise the current politics emphatically; to lay new bases for comparison.
Today it is impossible to tell what the chances are for this. But as a favourable example, we could mention the persistence of the environment protection movement, owing to which a different way of thinking has developed about our surroundings. Apparently not excluding several options, two determining factors could be mentioned as potentially contributing to the success of civil movements.
One is that someone steps out of the framework of the current political life and reveals that the “emperor is naked.” It is enough to consider that the real holder of power is the global economy, not the political parties that have to make great efforts to maintain the illusion of the importance of politics. They waste money on inessential, superficial and manipulated issues, to maintain their apparent power. Or we could mention the dark side of politics, with its still obscure matters. As we have seen, most people have stopped shrugging off these issues.
The other possible road is powerful action by civil movements; people who will express what they have been silent about so far because they have no more tolerance for superficial politics without a vision, driven by slogans, and are sensing that our time requires a different way of thinking.
They sense that the current political elite is unable to keep up with the change going on in the world, they rather sink into smearing one another, in the mazes of the past, thereby satisfying their voter bases. But in the opinion of the civil movements, this story is about something else. It is about whether the voters continue to let themselves be lulled by such stories, or take the courage of confronting reality.
Civil movements no longer settle for criticism formulated in words. They want to enforce their ideas in practice, since in their opinion politics is not about roles appropriated by certain “self-proclaimed saviours”.
Certain political forces may prevent the success of civil movements, blocking the establishment of a different mindset about politics. After all, they are interested in preventing the public presentation of another available alternative, in preserving the fault-line, in having the voters think in terms of left and right, as opposed to a nation.
The author is a political analyst