Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts A New Political Movement Emerges on Hungary’s Far Right
A New Political Movement Emerges on Hungary’s Far Right

A New Political Movement Emerges on Hungary’s Far Right

“We don’t fear being labeled radicals.”

 -László Toroczkai & Dóra Dúró

Hungary in the last several weeks witnessed a new radical nationalist political force, Mi Hazánk Mozgalom (“Our Country Movement” aka “MHM”), emerge from a fractured Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom (“Movement for a Better Hungary” aka “Jobbik”). Jobbik is an ethno-nationalist political party founded in October 2003, which despite (or more alarmingly, perhaps because of) a vocally anti-Semitic, anti-Roma platform, grew to become Hungary’s second-largest political party. Not long ago, Jobbik was thought by some to menace Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s center-right Fidesz–Magyar Polgári Szövetségis (“Fidesz–Hungarian Civic Alliance”) governing coalition, until, that is, Mr. Orbán coopted the heart of Jobbik’s resentment agenda.

MHM founder László Toroczkai is a former Jobbik deputy chair whom the party expelled in late May after a failed leadership challenge. He minced no words in launching the new movement, calling for a “White Hungary” (fehér Magyarországot) and “the Tricolor instead of a muddied rainbow.”[1] Proclaiming, “We want a country that will remain a white island in Europe,”[2] he decried “that while Hungarians emigrated in the hundreds of thousands, the number of Gypsies grew from 400,000 to 876,000.”[3] His criticism of Jews and Israel is likewise abject. Mr. Toroczkai blames Israel “for destabilizing countries in the Middle East and North Africa, like Syria and Libya, which in the past were able to help stop illegal immigration into Europe.”[4] And pushing back on worldwide condemnation of Polish President Andrzej Duda’s effort to criminalize accusations of wartime complicity in the Holocaust, Mr. Toroczkai said, “It’s bloody monotonous listening to how everyone is guilty except the Jews.”[5]

Many Jobbik stalwarts thought (now former) party leader Gábor Vona’s push toward the political center—and aspirations to bookend Mr. Orbán by means of a right-left alliance with Hungary’s Demokratikus Koalíció social democrats—ill-advised and coming at the cost of the party’s radical nationalist (radikális mozgalma) soul. A former party vice president who was among the first of its leaders to follow Mr. Toroczkai out of Jobbik, Előd Novák, said it had degenerated into “a colorless, odorless, tasteless” (színtelen, szagtalan, íztelen) party.[6] Not everyone on the far right has fallen in behind Mr. Toroczkai, however. Fellow Jobbik tergiversant Tamás Gaudi-Nagy—no moderate himself, in February 2014, he marked his final day as a Jobbik parliamentarian by tossing a European Union flag out an Országház window[7]—called the MHM’s founding “hasty” and said Hungarian radical nationalists needed “consensus, after careful planning and development,” not “another party.”[8]

Mr. Toroczkai is at least equal parts political opportunist and radical nationalist. Earlier in his career, he embraced—then just as quickly abandoned—the Mi, Magunk (“We, Ourselves”) coinage he briefly used this time before re-coining the movement as the MHM. Persistent rumors of ties to Hungary’s security services have stalked him for years, running acting as a minor informant to an agent provocateur. Citing “a common value system,”[9] he took a page from Jobbik’s playbook and quickly aligned the MHM with the neo-fascist Magyar Gárda Mozgalom (“Hungarian Guard Movement”), an organization described by the conservative German newspaper Die Welt as “the nucleus of a racist paramilitary army.”[10]  Nor is there any reason to think today’s more polished Mr. Toroczkai is less abjectly racist than he was in August 2012, when he suggested this approach to so-called “Gypsy crime”:

There is a governmental approach, which is to assert political leadership and throw them out of the country . . . Then there is another way, like how they deal with them in Arab countries. There, they usually do it in dungeons, or say, like in Iran, by the hangman.[11]

His virulent, anti-migrant rhetoric is played up by the likes of the Russian agitprop portal Geopolitika, which exploits migration as a political wedge in Russian soft power targets throughout Central Europe and the Balkans.[12] Noting how Mr. Orbán artfully (if cynically) coopted Jobbik’s anti-migrant plank, the Moscow think tank and Russian soft power instrument Fond strategicheskoy kul’tury (“Strategic Culture Foundation”) observes:

The West does not have influential opposition instruments in Hungary, on the basis of which it would be possible to take the offensive against Orbán. And Budapest is pursuing an increasingly independent policy from Brussels.[13]

Jobbik’s footprint is shrinking, flanked now to the right by MHM and to the center by Mr. Orbán, a “democrat against democracy” in András Bozóki’s phraseology.[14] Peter Wilkin wrote earlier this year:

The success of Fidesz and Orbánization is not inevitable, although authoritarian regimes do tend to present an aura of invulnerability . . . All political movements are coalitions of often conflicting interests.[15]

The presence of radical nationalists to his right inoculates Mr. Orbán from competing instrumental and communicative exigencies. Instead, he directs his energy on, as Andrew Feenberg wrote in another context altogether, on “gaining control of a new base of power, the coercive and administrative institutions of the modern state.”[16] Mr. Toroczkai’s MHM plays the political vanguard of a sort, not of Mr. Orbán personally, but undoubtedly of the illiberal ethno-nationalism that defines Orbánization. In Georg Lukács’ memorable phrase, the MHM fulfills its destiny by remaining always one step in front of Mr. Orbán’s move rightward.[17] And the farther right the MHM moves and the sharper its political rhetoric becomes, the more Jobbik political terrain opens to Mr. Orbán for the taking and the more marginalized Hungary’s center-left opposition parties become.

It is true there is precious little room to Mr. Orbán’s right available for Mr. Toroczkai and the MHM to stake out a distinguishable migrant policy, no matter how acerbic its tone. That opportunity to distinguish itself—and the attendant risk of regional disruption—is associated with what Dmitry Semushin calls “the Carpathian geopolitics of Hungary.”[18] Mr. Orbán relies on political support from ethnic “Carpathian” Hungarians in neighboring Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, and Romania. The Hungarian constitution grants Carpathian Hungarians the right to dual citizenship—and thus to vote in Hungarian elections. Hungary now has nearly 380,000 non-resident voters, 250,000 of whom live in Romania where ethnic Hungarians account for about 6 percent of the population. Mr. Orbán first seized upon the Carpathian Hungarian issue in 2002, when he demanded Czech and Slovak membership in the European Union be conditioned upon formal repeal of the so-called “Benes decrees,” which authorized the post-war expulsion of thousands of ethnic Hungarians (along with some three million Germans) from Czechoslovakia.

But much more so than with migration, governing party exigencies within the European Union and NATO temper Mr. Orbán’s agitation for Carpathian Hungarian cultural and territorial rights. In May 2014, for example, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk pushed back forcefully against Mr. Orbán’s call for Carpathian Hungarian autonomy in western Ukraine. The Romanian newspaper Adevarul accused Mr. Orbán of “follow[ing] the ‘Kremlin doctrine’ of protecting Russian speakers living outside the Russian Federation, which Moscow invoked to annex Crimea and justify its demand that a neighboring country [Ukraine] federalize.”[19] Eva Galambos saw its instrumental, rather than ideological foundation:

[Mr. Orbán] has adopted two methods to counter a strong rival. First of all, he is coopting Jobbik’s core policy themes, placing strong emphasis on the issue of Hungarians beyond the borders. And here, the cause of [western Ukraine’s] Carpathian Hungarians fits like a glove. Voters must perceive Orbán as equally concerned about their situation as Jobbik is.[20]

Here is the potential threat posed by shrewd political opportunists like Mr. Toroczkai and his MHM radicals: unmoored by the practical constraints of governing, they will seize upon and further radicalize the Carpathian Hungarian cause. MHM-allied irredentists such as Magyar Gárdát and Hatvannégy Vármegye Ifjúsági Mozgalmat (“Hatvannégy County Youth Movement” aka “HVIM”) have long agitated among Carpathian Hungarians in places like neighboring Transylvania, where Romanian authorities accuse them of stirring up anti-Roma sentiments.[21]

To the question of whether (and if so, how much) Hungarian right-nationalist intermural politics are relevant beyond the country’s borders, two things bear remembering. The first is that the Russian government has proved adept at manipulating ethnic fractiousness all along its western borderlands and into the Balkans. That includes inflaming domestic political opinion over the claimed persecution of ethnic kinfolk in neighboring countries—witness the screaming headline in the pro-government Russian news portal Life last February, “Not sparing either the living or the dead: Ukrainian Nazis burn Hungarians in Transcarpathia.”[22] The Russian government channels revanchist territorial ambitions in Hungary, Romania, and the Balkans to drive a wedge into the EU and NATO and to block accession aspirations in Ukraine and elsewhere. The second thing worth remembering is that the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s evinced that time dulled Western European sensitivities—if not erase historic memory altogether—about what happens when extremists cynically exploit the cause of “diaspora” kinfolk for domestic political advantage.   


In early June, Jobbik expelled László Toroczkai,[23] a noted anti-migrant, anti-Roma[24] campaigner and leader of a rump radical nationalist faction inside the party. A former Jobbik deputy chair and the mayor of Ásotthalom on Hungary’s southern border with Serbia, Mr. Toroczkai stood accused of establishing a faction or platformnak (literally, “platform”[25]) within the party. “What we are seeing is merely the last act of the play,” is how Mr. Toroczkai put it.[26] That play’s figurative first act was Gábor Vona’s surprise announcement that he would resign as party chair should Jobbik fail to win an outright victory in Hungary’s 8 April parliamentary election. Jobbik as it turned out gained three parliamentary seats—going from 23 seats (out of 199) in April 2015 to 26 seats—although its share of the popular vote fell slightly, from 20.22% to 19.06%. Prime Minister Orbán’s Fidesz party and its coalition partner, Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt (“Christian Democratic People’s Party” aka “KDNP”), held on to all 133 seats and gained 4.4% in the popular vote, nearly achieving (49.27%.) an outright majority.

Mr. Toroczkai immediately demanded Mr. Vona honor his pledge. He was defeated in the ensuing party leadership vote held on 14 April by the leader of Jobbik’s moderate faction, Tamás Sneider, although by an unexpectedly slim (53.8% to 46.2%) margin.

New Jobbik Chair Tamás Sneider Addresses a Party Conference
(Credit: Index)

Mr. Toroczkai’s platformnak move followed on the heels of his defeat for the post of Jobbik chair. He dubbed it Mi, Magunk (“We, Ourselves”), which is the Hungarian translation of Sinn Féin. Jobbik leaders immediately cried foul and accused him of fomenting “intentional division and disruption.”[27] Asserting party by-laws do not provide for platformnak, they announced Mr. Toroczkai would be subject to an ethics committee investigation. Mr. Toroczkai boycotted its sole hearing, claiming the procedure was biased.[28] The facts seem to bear this out: in a television interview a week ahead of the ethics committee’s hearing, Jobbik Vice President Márton Gyöngyösi announced Mr. Toroczkai would be expelled from the party, quickly qualifying that “there’s an ethics process that has to conclude.”[29] Committee Chair Gábor Staudt went ahead despite Mr. Toroczkai’s absence (and the party’s own rules, which required a deferral) and the committee voted unanimously to expel Mr. Toroczkai from Jobbik.

“Excluded”: Jobbik’s Gábor Vona & Tamás Sneider “Orchestrate” László Toroczkai’s Ouster
(Credit: Kuric)[30]

Mr. Toroczkai quickly renamed Mi, Magunk as Mi Hazánk Mozgalom (“Our Country Movement” aka “MHM”) and was joined in short order by former Jobbik Spokesperson Dóra Dúró[31] after she was excluded from the party’s parliamentary group, effectively stripping her of her parliamentary seat.

Former Jobbik Spokesperson Dóra Dúró. The slogan on her laptop reads, Méhében él a nemzet! (“The nation lives in the womb!”) (Credits: Szeretlek Magyarország (t) MTI (b))

Ms. Dúró was joined by her husband, Előd Novák—in 2016, he, too, was stripped of his seat by Jobbik’s parliamentary group—who declared on his Facebook page “I am who I was, and I will be who I am,” and posted an updated photo to include the couple alongside Mr. Toroczkai’s.[32]

Some reports dismissed Mr. Toroczkai’s ouster as Jobbik simply expelling its more extremist elements, in the hope of forming an opposition coalition with the center-left Demokratikus Koalíció[33] that would politically bookend Fidesz. Calling the MHM a “new right-wing phenomenon, a Hungarian alt-right” that “attacks political correctness” (politikai korrektséget támadó), Dániel Mikecz of the Hungarian think tank Republikon Intézet observed that it remains an open question whether the MHM can marshal resources sufficient “to guarantee the new radical rightwing party’s consolidation and survival.” Mr. Toroczkai does not deny “the challenge of building a new party from nothing,” adding colorfully in a late June interview that “we jumped into the abyss, like Titusz Dugovics, but at least we separated ourselves from the Jobbik traitors.”[34] While many see the MHM as “a very small rightwing extremist group, compared to which Fidesz may seem like a moderating, harmonious force,”[35] the MHM could, if it gains political traction, challenge further rightward moves by Fidesz to coopt the remainder of Jobbik’s populist agenda.[36]

Several days after his expulsion, Mr. Toroczkai alleged Jobbik was purposefully “ruined” by persons “sent to infiltrate the party.”[37] He identified its communications director, László Radnai, as the “number one traitor.”  Mr. Toroczkai said he was trying to obtain Mr. Radnai’s communist-era State Security archives. MHM supporters are “looking for other sources and witnesses that may help “to take down the traitor to Jobbik” and to uncover “who, how and why Radnai was used to control Jobbik’s presidency.”[38] Mr. Radnai, writes the pro-government Ripost,[39] “had a spectacular career” in the communist-era Chemolimpex,[40] a state trading company used by the Belügyminisztérium Állambiztonsági Szervek[41] as a counter-espionage (kémelhárítás) cutout.

Radnai was only 21 years old when he was appointed a department head at Chemolimpex, a well-known front company for the communist-era secret service, without a college degree. Only “reliable comrades” could have a role in the company, so it is an interesting question as to what outstanding qualities led to a 21-year-old being placed in charge of the export division.[42]

Mr. Radnai answered these allegations in a letter to the editor of Zsúrpubi stating that while “he just arrived in Egypt for vacation . . . these statements are all false and lack any foundation” and that “my private and professional lives are fully transparent.”[43]

Some see Mr. Toroczkai not as a target of Fidesz subterfuge, but as intent on destroying Jobbik as a political force. Zsúrpubi suggests that Mr. Toroczkai acted as a confidential source inside Jobbik for at least one pro-Fidesz journalist,[44] asserting, “László Toroczkai is acting in the interest of Fidesz” and “We would not be surprised if we uncovered some correspondence that clearly proved Orbán and Fidesz are behind it all.”[45] It scoffed at Mr. Toroczkai’s allegation that Mr. Radnai was “a communist agent” inside Jobbik:

It is itself amusing that the controversial Mr. Toroczkai, who was himself a mole (ügynöknek) according to many reports, now says that he was the victim of a mole.[46]

There have been recurring whisperings about Mr. Toroczkai‘s possible association with Hungary’s Nemzetbiztonsági Szakszolgálat (“Special Service for National Security” aka “NBSZ”)—his rumored role extends from casual informant to deep cover operative—during the period in which he led the far-right Hatvannégy Vármegye Ifjúsági Mozgalom (“Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement” aka “HVIM”). His HVIM activism—some allege it was merely a cover for counter-intelligence work[47]—among Carpathian Hungarians led to his expulsion from Serbia (2004), Romania (2005), and Slovakia (2006). Journalists documented his activities in Serbia in the late 1990s, when he was a conduit for financial support to Vojvodina Hungarians opposed to Slobodan Milošević.[48] Mr. Toroczkai, however, dismisses the matter derisively:

According to Milorad Mircsics, one of the leaders of the Serbian Radical Party, for example, I am a CIA agent, I am working for the Romanians, I am an MSZP agent under the leadership of Fidesz, and according to some I recruit for the Mossad among the drunks at Magyar Sziget.[49]

More recently, Mr. Toroczkai admitted to “loose contact” with Hungarian security services, but not to actual collaboration, adding with characteristic sarcasm, “Anyway, let’s decide whether I’m a Fidesz, a MSZP, a Serbian, or a Romanian agent.”[50]

This is not the first time Mr. Toroczkai used the name Mi, Magunk. During Hungary’s September 2006 anti-government protests, Mr. Toroczkai led an HVIM mob from Budapest’s Kossuth Square to sack and briefly occupy the headquarters of Magyar Televízió (“Hungarian Television” aka “MTV”). He afterwards distanced himself from HVIM and organized Mi, Magunk, only to disband it and return to the HVIM fold the following month after Hungarian authorities cleared it of any wrongdoing.

László Toroczkai in front of the Magyar Televízió headquarters c. September 2006

Before splitting from Jobbik, Mr. Toroczkai vigorously denied rumors the party was negotiating with the center-left Demokratikus Koalíció, insisting, “There will be no Vona-Gyurcsány coalition”[51] and denying that a coalition to bookend the ruling Fidesz–Magyar Polgári Szövetség (“Fidesz–Hungarian Civic Alliance”) was even possible. Even if Jobbik managed now to form a right-left coalition, its impact would be greatly reduced. A mid-June Magyar Idők survey found about a third (35%) of Jobbik voters support MHM and nearly half (49%) believe Jobbik should hew more closely to Mr. Toroczkai’s radical platformnak.[52] None of this is unlikely to dissuade Mr. Toroczkai’s skeptics, however, some of whom steadfastly believe he acted as a Fidesz mole inside Jobbik.

Mr. Toroczkai’s actions over the past several years foreshadowed his eventual split with Jobbik. As mayor of Ásotthalom—a village located 3 kilometers from Hungary’s southern border with Serbia, it first elected him in 2013 with overwhelming (71.50%) support—he produced a 2015 YouTube “message to illegal immigrants to Hungary” warning that “Hungary is a bad choice, and Ásotthalom is the worst.”[53]

László Toroczkai poses in front of detained migrants near the Serbian border (Credit: Betyársereg)[54]

In November 2016, Ásotthalom’s municipal council passed what Mr. Toroczkai called an “action plan”—in lieu, he said, of “of looking for a scapegoat”—that he characterized on his Facebook page as “a defense against the forced mass resettlement [of migrants] by Brussels . . . more than 90 percent [of which] are Muslims.” Its purpose was “to protect our community and our traditions against any resettlement plan, or any effort to subvert them,” he wrote on Facebook. He claimed some provisions “were adopted from the western half of the European Union,” specifically “Switzerland and France.” The ordinance prohibited building mosques “or any faith-orientated building that would diminish the importance of the existing Catholic church in our village.” It also prohibited anyone from wearing clothing “that covers the entire the body and head, and partially or wholly covering the face” including “burqas and chadors” and “the so-called burkini” as well as the call to prayer by muezzins, “as it may cause public disturbances as well as fear, alarm, and distress to local people.” The second part the “action plan” was based on “Russian laws” and prohibits “any kind of propaganda activity” in support of gay marriage or “that [does] not recogniz[e] marriage or parent-child relations as the basis for family relationships.” Prohibited “propaganda activity” extends to “any public action such as performances, demonstrations, posters, leaflets” and the like.[55] That the “action plan” was itself a propaganda ploy is made obvious by the ordinance’s final clause, which rendered it invalid the day after its effective date. Regardless of that, the Magyarország Alkotmánybírósága (“Constitutional Court of Hungary”) in 2016 invalidated the ordinance as unconstitutional, ruling “local authorities could not pass regulations directly affecting a basic right or restricting it.”[56]

Pesti Srácok reported at the time that “The tension between Jobbik and László Toroczkai and Mihály Zoltán Orosz[57] suggests an internal fracture line exists within the party.”[58] By mid-2017, a new nationalist coalition emerged on Hungary’s far right, comprised of Betyársereg (“Outlaw’s Army”), a militant nationalist group and self-described “patriotic sports movement,” along with two other groups, Érpataki Modell Országos Hálózata[59] (“Érpatak Model Nationwide Network”) and Identitárius Egyetemisták Szövetsége (“Identitárius Association of College Students” aka “Identitesz”). Given each group’s longstanding if informal ties to Jobbik, many commentaries saw the coalition as challenging Mr. Vona’s effort to move the party leftward toward Hungary’s political center. “The gap created [on the right] by Jobbik’s recent changes needs to be filled,”[60] wrote Magyar Idők, to which Index added, “based on the material appearing in the pro-government media, Fidesz seems to want the new extreme right-wing movement to become a party itself and weaken Jobbik in the elections.”[61]


“Well, it seems Jobbik is our political opponent now, yes,” said Mr. Toroczkai in an early July Hír TV interview.[62] Mikecz Dániel questions whether “a new, radical rightwing party” formed “from dissatisfied Jobbik members” can coalesce and ultimately survive as a political party.[63] Perhaps not, but a fractured Jobbik substantially deflates its one-time threat to Fidesz. Mr. Toroczkai is determined to press ahead, declaring, “There is no viable opposition party”[64] to Fidesz. He announced the MHM would register as a political party “in a couple of months” and begin in 2019 to contest municipal and European Parliament elections.[65] The MHM wants “answers to real social problems,” he said, including Hungary’s declining birthrate—at 1.5 children per woman, it is well below the 2.1 figure recognized as the minimum replacement rate—as well as “the issue of immigration and emigration, the status of the European Union and Hungary, and Hungarian-Gypsy coexistence.”[66]

Of greater consequence to Hungary’s neighbors, it may well encourage Mr. Orbán—having rendered his domestic political opposition largely inconsequential—to focus on hegemonic aspiration. He supports Slovenian nationalist Janez Janša, whose Slovenska demokratska stranka, (“Slovenian Democratic Party”) won a plurality in the early June parliamentary election. He picks fights with Ukraine over new sanctions against dual nationality as well education language laws, which he claims target ethnic Hungarians, many of whom—as in Romania and elsewhere—are eligible to vote in Hungarian elections. Attila Ferenc calls Mr. Orbán “Putin’s best student” (Orbán Putyin legjobb tanítványa),[67] which while meant as a warning about Hungary’s crumbling political opposition may, albeit unintentionally, be a warning to the region as a whole.

Mr. Orbán’s recent electoral success has bolstered his position in Brussels, where Fidesz is part of the center-right European People’s Party (EPP), the largest bloc in the European Parliament. While Mr. Orbán’s more provocative statements no doubt rankle EPP leaders, it is not lost on them that Fidesz’s eleven MEPs account for nearly half the EPP’s margin over the next largest parliamentary bloc, the Socialists & Democrats. His voice is clearly discernable in the recent draft EPP Group Priorities document, which calls for “protecting our borders to stop illegal migration,” “reducing migration flows to Europe” and “depriving EU visas” to “countries refusing to take back illegal migrants,” and “no EU Enlargement for Turkey.”[68]

Within the past several days, Mr. Orbán led the effort to derail Chancellor Merkel’s plan for a migrant quota system, declaring in a 2 July video posted on Facebook[69] titled Csata után (“After the battle”) that he was “tired but also satisfied” after “a great victory.” He exclaimed, “Hungary will not become an immigrant country—Hungary will remain a Hungarian country,” and claimed credit for defeating a proposed migrant resettlement measure, in lieu of which European leaders approved “our proposal . . . which clearly states that nobody can be resettled to another country without [its] consent.”

Mr. Toroczkai at the moment poses little real electoral threat, save perhaps to Jobbik’s increasingly frantic leaders. But in a neighborhood where opposition to migration is a popular animating theme, he can say little that ultimately is more inflammatory than is said daily by Mr. Orbán (when not savaging George Soros). That being said, Hungary’s political climate bears careful watching, given history’s perverse lessons about ignoring “small radical purist groups on the fringe of mainstream.”[70] The transition from fringe paramilitarism and resentment politics (à la Betyársereg) to MHM’s radical populism can occur, as Anton Shekhovtsov warned,[71] with disquieting speed and force.

The translation of all source material is by the author. The opening quote reads in the original Hungarian “Nem fogunk félni a radikalizmus bélyegétől.” It is from a late June interview with MHM leaders László Toroczkai and Dóra Dúró on InfoRádió’s Aréna program, which can be heard in its entirety here:

[1] “Gárdisták, fehér sziget: keményen visszanyúltak a jobbikos gyökerekhez Ásotthalmon.” HVG [published online 24 June 2018]. Last accessed 27 June 2018. The quoted text reads in the original Hungarian “Trikolort a zavaros szivárvány helyett” in which trikolort (“tricolor”) refers to the Hungarian national flag.

[2] “Elindult Toroczkai új pártja, fehér szigetté tennék Magyarországot.” 444 [published online in Hungarian 23 June 2018]. Last accessed 27 June 2018. The quoted text reads in the original Hungarian “Olyan Magyarországot szeretnénk, ami fehér szigetként megmarad Európába.”

[3] “Toroczkaiék fehér Magyarországot akarnak – zászlót bontott a Mi Hazánk.” Hír TV [published online in Hungarian 23 June 2018]. Last accessed 27 June 2018.

[4] “Our Homeland, a New Party, is Born in Hungary: An Interview with László Toroczkai.” Counter-Currents interview transcript published online 25 June 2018. Last accessed 30 June 2018. Counter-Currents is an interesting choice by Mr. Toroczkai’s for one of his first English-language interviews since forming MHM. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Counter-Currents is the flag-bearer of what [its publisher, Greg] Johnson calls the ‘North American New Right,’ a concept whose main objective is to legitimize the idea of a white ethnostate. Mr. Smith declared in an October 2014 Counter-Currents essay that “The organized Jewish community is the principal enemy—not the sole enemy, but the principal enemy—of every attempt to halt and reverse white extinction. One cannot defeat an enemy one will not name. Therefore, White nationalism is inescapably anti-Semitic.” Johnson (2014). “Vanguardism, Vantardism, & Mainstreaming.” Counter-Currents [published online 9 October 2014]. Last accessed 30 June 2018.

[5] “Toroczkai László az izraeli befolyás miatt aggódik.” Magyar Idők [published online in Hungarian 23 February 2018]. Last accessed 30 June 2018].

[6] “A mai nappal végleg szétszakadt a Jobbik.” 888 [published online in Hungarian 23 June 2018]. Last accessed 27 June 2018.

[7] “Kidobták az uniós zászlókat a Parlament ablakán.” Origo [published online in Hungarian 13 February 2014]. Last accessed 27 June 2018. Hungary’s parliament building in Budapest is called the Országház or “Nation’s House”.

[8] “Radikálisok bírálják Toroczkaiék sietős pártalapítását.” Gondola [published online in Hungarian 24 June 2018]. Last accessed 27 June 2018.

[9] “Mi Hazánk lesz a neve a korábbi jobbikos politikusok alapította pártnak.” Infostart [published online in Hungarian 30 June 2018]. Last accessed 30 June 2018.

[10] “Neo-Fascist Magyar Garda Is ‘Hungary’s Shame’.” Der Spiegel [published online 27 August 2007]. Last accessed 30 June 2018. Re-formed in 2009 after its predecessor, Magyar Gárda Egyesület (Hungarian Guard Association) was banned by a Hungarian court, it is described by the Athena Institute as following “a far-right racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic ideology. Just like its predecessor, the group continues to carry out permanent hostile propaganda campaigns against the Hungarian Roma and Jewish communities. They often carry out intimidation and propaganda campaigns.” See: Last accessed 30 June 2018.

[11] “Húsz kőkemény idézettel cáfoljuk a patyolattiszta lelkű Vona Gábort.” Heti Világgazdaság [published online in Hungarian 15 August 2017]. Last accessed 30 June 2018].

[12] “László Toroczkai: we can save Europe from migrants – Ásotthalom is a good example.” Geopolitika [published online 2 March 2018]. Last accessed 30 June 2018.

[13] “Kampaniya «Stop Soros!» v Vengrii nabirayet silu.” Fond strategicheskoy kul’tury [published online in Russian 21 June 2018]. Last accessed 30 June 2018.

[14] Andras Bozóki 1992. “Democrats against Democracy? Civil Protest in Hungary since 1990.” In Gyrogy Szoboszlai (ed.). Flying Blind: Emerging Democracies in East Central Europe. (Budapest: Hungarian Political Science Association) 382-97.

[15] Peter Wilkin (2018). “The Rise of ‘Illiberal’ Democracy: The Orbánization of Hungarian Political Culture.” Journal of World-Systems Research. 24:1. 29. He defines Orbánization as “the transformation of Hungarian political culture into a form of illiberalism where the formal mechanisms of liberal politics remain (elections, a judiciary, a free press, the rule of law), but where the political system has been reorganized in a way that gives the government authoritarian power on a variety of levels.” See: Wilkin (2018) 27.

[16] Andrew Feenberg (2002). Post-Utopian Marxism: Lukács and the Dilemmas of Organization.” In John McCormick, Ed. Confronting Mass Technology and Mass Democracy: Essays in Twentieth Century German Political and Social Thought. (Durham, NC: Duke University Press) 68.

[17] Georg Lukács (1924). “The Vanguard Party of the Proletariat.” In Lenin: A Study on the Unity of his Thought. (London: New Left Books) 34.

[18] “Karpatskaya geopolitika Vengrii: raspad ukrainskoy gosudarstvennosti dayet redkiy shans.” Regnum [published online in Russian 21 May 2014]. Last accessed 1 July 2018.

[19] “Ungaria vrea şi ea să rupă bucăţi din Ucraina.” Adavarul [published online in Romanian 18 May 2014]. Last accessed 1 July 2018.

[20] Eva Galambos (2014). “Ce vrea de fapt Viktor Orban?” Adavarul [published online in Romanian 20 May 2014]. Last accessed 1 July 2018.

[21] Both groups were cited by the authors of recent legislation in the Romanian parliament to criminalize anti-Roma activities and symbols. See: “Börtönnel büntetnék a románellenességet.” Index [published online in Hungarian 29 June 2018]. Last accessed 2 July 2018. A different point of view was expressed by the Hungarian language news portal Délhír—whose self-described mission is “to provide wide ranging and thoughtful information about ethnic Hungarians living to the country’s south, without censorship”—which wrote of the Romanian legislation, “Of course, the draft is directed against the Transylvanian Hungarians, whom they argue are the root cause [of anti-Roma hatred] . . . That the reverse is the case is clearly illustrated by the fact that Romania’s aim is to completely eradicate the Transylvanian Hungarians.” See: “Románellenesség címén küldenék börtönbe az erdélyi magyarokat.” Délhír [published online in Hungarian 30 June 2018]. Last accessed 2 July 2018.

[22] “Ne shchadya ni zhivykh, ni mortvykh: Ukrainskiye natsisty vyzhigayut vengrov v Zakarpat’ye.” Life [published online in Russian 9 February 2018].украина/1086850/nie_shchadia_ni_zhivykh_ni_miortvykh_ukrainskiie_natsisty_vyzhighaiut_vienghrov_v_zakarpatie. Last accessed 1 July 2018.

[23] László Toroczkai was born László Tóth (the Hungarian word Tót means Slovak) and later changed his last name, supposedly because of ancestral roots in Torockó, an ethnic Hungarian town that became part of Romania under the 1920 Trianon treaty and is known as Rimetea. He founded Hatvannégy Vármegye Ifjúsági Mozgalom (“64 Counties Youth Movement” or “HVIM”), a group that advocates the unification of all territory occupied by ethnic Hungarians and the revision of the 1920 Treaty of Trianon. The “64” refers to the number counties comprising the pre-Trianon Kingdom of Hungary. Mr. Toroczkai led the HVIM until 2013.

[24] Addressing alleged Roma criminality, Mr. Toroczkai said, “I’m a believer in zero tolerance (zéró tolerancia) in this area. If need be, they must be dragged away in front of their own community and tossed into a paddy wagon to be sent away for a very long time, applying the ‘three strikes’ rule or even banishing them from Roma society.” See: “Toroczkai: attól féltek, hogy van szabad akaratom.” Magyar Idők [published online in Hungarian 28 May 2018]. Last accessed 13 June 2018.

[25] William Safire defined a political platform as “a list of principles and positions,” of which “the word plank was a natural derivative.” See: Safire (1993). Safire’s Political Dictionary (New York: Oxford University Press) 544.

[26]Magyar Idők, 28 May 2018, op cit  The quoted text reads in the original Hungarian “Az, amit most látunk, csupán a színjáték utolsó felvonása.”

[27] “Nem megy el Toroczkai az etikai bizottsági meghallgatására.” Origo [published online in Hungarian 7 June 2018]. Last accessed 13 June 2018. The quoted text reads in the original Hungarian “belső megosztásának és szétszakításának szándékával.”

[28] “Toroczkai el se ment az etikai bizottsági ülésre.” Népszava [published online in Hungarian 7 June 2018]. Last accessed 13 June 2018.

[29] “Elszólta magát Gyöngyösi: az etikai vizsgálat lezárulta előtt közölte, kizárták Toroczkait.” 888 [published online in Hungarian 1 June 2018]. Last accessed 13 June 2018.

The translation of all source material is by the author. The title text Ébredj Európa, ébredj emberiség! (“Awaken Europe, awaken humanity!”) is from an essay of the same title. See:ébredj-európa-ébredj-emberiség. Last accessed 21 June 2018.

[30] “Teljesítette a megrendelést a Jobbik etikai bizottsága.” Kuruc [published online in Hungarian 8 June 2018]. Last accessed 10 June 2018. A far-right portal based in California, is a platform for anti-Semitic and anti-Gypsy rants. It derives its name from a late 17th century movement of (mostly) ethnic Hungarian serfs opposed to Hapsburg rule. a May 2014 Hungarian Spectrum commentary speculates that former Jobbik parliamentarian, Holocaust denier and MHM convert Előd Novák “is most likely a member of the group responsible for” See: “Two Controversial Jobbik Appointments: Tamás Sneider and Dóra Dúró.” Hungarian Spectrum [published online 5 May 2014]. Last accessed 11 June 2018.,

[31] In 2014, Dóra Dura was a controversial nominee for chair of the parliamentary committee on education and culture based on comments like “Jobbik’s educational policy does not consider equality and integration as real values, but rather the fulfillment of people’s mission.” (A Jobbik oktatáspolitikájában nem az esélyegyenlőség és az integráció az, amiket értéknek tekint, hanem az emberek küldetésének a kiteljesítése) See: “Már rég összenőtt – A Jobbik sikerei.” Magyar Navancs [published online in Hungarian 27 April 2014]. Last accessed 11 June 2018. She is married to Előd Novák.

[32] Last accessed 11 June 2018.

[33] Demokratikus Koalíció (“Democratic Coalition” or “DK”) is center-left political party led by former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, who co-founded it in 2010 as a faction within the Magyar Szocialista Párt (“Hungarian Socialist Party” or  “MSZP”). In October 2011, the DK split from the MSZP to become a separate political party.

[34] “Toroczkai a Polbeatben: Dugovicsként ugrottunk a mélybe, de magunkkal rántottuk a Jobbik árulóit.” PestiSrá [published online in Hungarian 29 June 2018]. Last accessed 3 July 2018. Titusz Dugovics is a symbol of self-sacrificing patriotism and Christian resistance against Islam. He is a mythical Hungarian soldier who during the 15th century Siege of Belgrade, is said to have seized an Ottoman standard-bearer to prevent him raising a flag, and plunged with him off the bastion walls to their deaths.

[35] “Orbán akarja szétszakítani a Jobbikot Toroczkain keresztül.” Nyugati Fény [published online in Hungarian 23 May 2018]. Last accessed 11 June 2018.

[36] “Mi Magunk: pártból mozgalomba.” Magyar Narancs [published online in Hungarian 24 May 2018]. Last accessed 11 June 2018. The journal’s name, Magyar Narancs (“Hungarian Orange”), is a satirical reference to a lemon, taken from the 1969 film A tanú that parodied a failed Communist-era effort to cultivate oranges.

[37] “Toroczkaiék lerántanák a leplet Radnai állampárti múltjáról.” [published online in Hungarian 18 June 2018]. Last accessed 18 June 2018.

[38] “Toroczkaiék kikérik az iratokat az állambiztonsági levéltárból a Jobbik kommunikációs igazgatójáról.” Vásárhely [published online in Hungarian 19 June 2018]. Last accessed 19 June 2018.

[39] “Állambiztonsági iratok a Jobbik kommunikációs igazgatójáról, ő tette tönkre a pártot?” Ripost [published in Hungarian Last accessed 18 June 2018. Ripost is a pro-government news portal owned by Péter Schatz and Ágnes Adamik, who in March 2017 bought Macedonia’s Alfa TV, which is closely aligned with the Vnatrešna makedonska revolucionerna organizacija–Demokratska partija za makedonsko nacionalno edinstvo (“Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity”) aka VMRO-DPMNE. The pro-Russia/anti-NATO and former (2006-2016) Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski led the VMRO-DPMNE until it was badly beaten in December 2017 parliamentary elections.

[40] Formally, Chemolimpex Magyar Vegyiaru Kulkereskedelmi Vallalat (“Chemolimpex Foreign Trade Enterprise for Hungarian Chemical Products”), the enterprise was privatized in December 1991 as CHEMOL International Trading Ltd.

[41] The Belügyminisztérium Állambiztonsági Szervek (“Ministry of the Interior State Security Department”) was the communist era successor (post-1956) to the Államvédelmi Hatóság.

[42] “Ügynökmúltja lehetett a jobbikos Radnainak.” Lokál [published online in Hungarian 19 June 2018]. Last accessed 19 June 2018.

[43] Összenő, ami összetartozik: Toroczkaiék a fideszes sajtóval karöltve támadják a Jobbikot.” Zsúrpubi [published online in Hungarian 19 June 2018]. Last accessed 20 June 2018.

[44] “Megtaláltuk az „újságírót”, akinek információkat adott át a szivárogtató jobbikos.” Zsúrpubi [published online in Hungarian 7 June 2018]. Last accessed 20 June 2018.

[45] Zsúrpubi (19 June 2018), op cit.:

[46] Ibid.

[47] See, for example: “Toroczkai László: szélsőségek, titkosszolgálatok, Jobbik-alelnökség.” Origo [published online in Hungarian 27 September 2016]. Last accessed 20 June 2018.

[48] “Toroczkai László a ‘rossz emlékű’ tévéostromról, a Jobbik elvett lelkéről és román származású feleségéről.” Válasz [published online 25 September 2016]. Last accessed 20 June 2018.

[49] The quote appeared in Válasz (25 September 20160, op cit.) is from Milorad Mircsics. In the 1990s, Mr. Mircsics chaired the parliamentary group of the far right Serbian Radical Party (Srpska radikalna stranka), which was associated with the notorious White Eagles (Beli orlovi) paramilitary group. Sometimes called the “Avengers” (Osvetnici), the group was responsible for ethnic cleansing and other atrocities during the 1990s wars in Croatia and Bosnia. Mr. Mircsics is a well-known antagonist of Serbia’s Vojvodina ethnic Hungarian communities. In March 2008, he alleged that he possessed “homeland security and intelligence” information that Vojvodina Hungarians were engaged in pro-Kosovo activities. See: “Aggódnak a vajdasági magyarok.” Ujszo [published online in Hungarian 19 March 2008]. Last accessed 20 June 2018. Felvidéki Magyar Sziget (“Hungarian Island Festival”) is an HVIN nationalist festival first organized by Mr. Toroczkai in 2001 that is held annually in Verőce.

[50] “Toroczkai, a szelídített forradalmár.” Magyar Nemzet [published online in Hungarian 12 June 2016]. Last accessed 20 June 2018. “MZSP” is the acronym of Magyar Szocialista Párt (“Hungarian Socialist Party”).

[51] “Jobbik: Mi valóban küzdenénk a tömeges migráció ellen.” Mandiner [published online in Hungarian 5 March 2018]. Last accessed 10 June 2018. The report was first published by the independent Hungarian news agency, Magyar Távirati Iroda (MTI). Demokratikus Koalíció (“Democratic Coalition” or “DK”) is a pro-Europe social democratic political party led by former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, who founded it in October 2010 as a faction of the Magyar Szocialista Párt (“Hungarian Socialist Party” or “MSZP”) from which it eventually split in October 2011.

[52] “Népszerű politikusait veszítheti el a Jobbik.” Magyar Idők [published online in Hungarian 20 June 2018]. Last accessed 20 June 2018.

[53] See: Last accessed 21 June 2018. The quoted text reads in the original Hungarian, “Magyarország rossz választás, Ásotthalom pedig a legrosszabb.”

[54] Last accessed 21 June 2018.

[55] The text of the ordinances (in Hungarian) is available here: Last accessed 21 June 2018.

[56] United States State Department (2017). “Hungary 2017 International Religious Freedom Report.” Last accessed 21 June 2018.

[57] Mihály Zoltán Orosz was elected mayor of Érpatak after securing Jobbik’s endorsement. A self-declared admirer of Nazi collaborator and Hungarian Arrow Cross leader Ferenc Szálasi, Mr. Orosz does not mince words when defining his disagreements with Jobbik’s Mr. Vona, deploring, for example, Mr. Vona’s Hanukkah message because the holiday is “based on the denial of Christianity” and “Hungarians have our own national and religious traditions, we should concentrate on it.” “Új radikális párt alakulhat hamarosan.” Magyar Idők [published online in Hungarian 21 June 2018]. Last accessed 21 June 2018

[57] Ibid.

[58] “Vona megvédte a muszlimokat és elítélte Toroczkai rendeletét, aki ellen Orosz Mihály fatvát igyekszik kiprovokálni.” Pesti Srácok [published online in Hungarian 30 November 2016]. Last accessed 21 June 2018.

[59] The Érpatak Model group was founded by Mihály Zoltán Orosz.

[60] “Új radikális párt alakulhat hamarosan.” Magyar Idők [published online in Hungarian 11 May 2018]. Last accessed 21 June 2018.

[61] “Úgy érzik, szükség van egy szélsőjobboldali erőre.” Index [published online in Hungarian 24 May 2017]. Last accessed 21 June 2018.

[62] “Toroczkai politikai ellenfelüknek tekinti a Jobbikot.” HÍR TV [published online in Hungarian 3 July 2018]. Last accessed 3 July 2018.

[63] “Mi Magunk: pártból mozgalomba.” Magyar Narancs [published online in Hungarian 24 May 2018]. Last accessed 22 June 2018.

[64] “Toroczkai szerint nincs életképes ellenzéki part.” Hirado [published online in Hungarian 25 June 2018]. Last accessed 29 June 2018.

[65] “Toroczkai azt hiszi a farok csóválja a kutyát, nagyon el van tévedve a szélsőjobbos polgármester.” Balramagyar [published online in Hungarian 25 June 2018]. Last accessed 29 June 2018.

[66] “Toroczkai: nincs életképes ellenzéki párt Magyarországon.” Sztárklikk [published online in Hungarian 25 June 2018]. Last accessed 29 June 2018.

[67] “Orbán populista proletárdiktatúrát épít és ez lehet a veszte.” Zsúrpubi [published online in Hungarian 20 June 2018]. Last accessed 22 June 2018.

[68] “EPP Group Priorities.” Last accessed 4 July 2018.

[69]án-4/10156302305661093/. Last accessed 4 July 2018.

[70] René Karpantschof & Flemming Mikkelsen (2016). “The Rise and Transformation of the Radical Right Movement in Denmark, 1980–2015.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. 40:8, 712-730.

[71] Anton Shekhovtsov (2013). “From Para-Militarism to Radical Right-Wing Populism: The Rise of the Ukrainian Far-Right Party Svoboda.” In Ruth Wodak, Brigitte Mral, Majid KhosraviNik, eds. Right Wing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse (London: Bloomsbury Academic) 249-263.