In the fifth installment of the popular Harry Potter books, Dolores Umbridge, the personification of government meddling in education, forbids professors in Hogwarts from disclosing anything beyond what is strictly pertinent to their lessons. One rebellious schoolkid, however, points out in Umbridge’s class that she cannot reprimand him for misbehaving during the lesson, as it is irrelevant to the subject. He gets detention.
It is a basic need for every human being to connect with others. Social psychology classifies the need for connection as one of the basic human motives, since humans are essentially social beings. Belonging somewhere has countless advantages. But what about when it’s not a partnership or a group, but a crowd?
Hungary’s right-wing government, since Fidesz’s first landslide victory in 2010 and their subsequent successes in 2014, 2018, and 2022, has been increasingly willing to put cultural issues, particularly gender and LGBT+, at the forefront of its campaigns. Fidesz’s framing of the issue regularly contained the need for children’s protection rather than overt attacks on sexual and gender minorities.
In 2019 Projekt: Polska with support of the Prague Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom initiated a project called “Ed Net. Education for Human Rights and Diversity”. The project idea grew from hostile sentiment of populist Central European governments towards anti-discriminatory, anti-hate speech and sexual education and total lack of such education in other Eastern European countries.
Human rights enforcement at the international and at the regional level is difficult, since it is mostly up to individual states to decide which rules they implement within their boundaries. Furthermore, coming up with rights that are universal in nature is a difficult task, therefore, legal documents tend to be rather general when dealing with this topic.
Viktor Orbán’s national conservative Fidesz party is famous for its method of relentlessly searching the ideal topic for their next populist campaign. They need topics that allow them to dominate public life in the long term, and can be used to generate intense anger.
Dancing gorillas, yodeling Lithuanians on a canon, gypsy music combined with hip-hop – these are just a few productions from the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. For those who don’t follow every single aspect of the contest, the political significance of the event might still be rather interesting.