The right wing – fond of hard-hand rule, supported by left-wing fears stemming from the arguments of security and empathy – has become the depositary of social emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the left and the right are very different, both camps share some common ground.
While most EU member states are primarily concerned with tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis, the Hungarian and Polish governments’ are focusing on opposition to the EU’s plan to “promote gender equality and women’s empowerment”.
Dóra Dúró, deputy leader of the Our Home Movement (“Mi Hazánk Mozgalom” far-right, national-radical mini-party), tore up and then shredded the book “Meseország mindenkié” (Storyland is for everyone) at a press conference in September.
The pandemic can rule the agenda, but it cannot rule the ideology. This is the main lesson of the past few days in Hungary. The government has introduced restrictions and a crisis management plan, while PM Viktor Orbán has began writing the new chapter of the Hungarian ideological-cultural war in the meantime.
The Law and Justice Party (PiS) has used three consecutive electoral victories in Poland to polarize society around the “gender ideology” issue, leading to the government’s unanimous opposition of every policy proposal that mentions “gender” or “gender equality”.
As of January 2020, 80 different declarations of “LGBT-free zones” were passed by various Polish cities and provinces in central and south-east parts of the country, including four voivedoships, the highest level of administrative subdivision in Poland.
Liberalism won, no doubt about it. The world is migrating towards more freedom, more equality, and as a result less poverty and war. Nazi Germany was defeated in World War II and the Soviet Union imploded unders its horrid lies. Why don’t we feel like victors then?