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Hungarian Press Roundup: Roger Scruton Remembered

Hungary Today 2020.01.15.

Commentators on both sides of the political divide portray the deceased conservative British philosopher as an ally of Prime Minister Orbán. The Hungarian PM awarded him a high state medal in London in December, just six weeks before Roger Scruton died of cancer on Sunday.

Hungarian press roundup by

Magyar Hírlap online carries a selection of videotaped speeches and interviews by Roger Scruton, whom the pro-government daily describes as an unflinching conservative and a staunch supporter of Hungary.

On Válasz, András Stumpf, who seven years ago was supported by Scruton at an international meeting in his defence of Hungary as a democracy against two prominent liberal critics, now believes both he and Scruton were fundamentally wrong then, although nor does he deny today that Hungary is a democracy. He recalls that Roger Scruton was ahead of the Hungarian Prime Minister in criticising liberal democracy as well as in attacking what he called the ‘Soros network.’ He also stood up, until the end of his days, in defence of Viktor Orbán.

On Mérce, Marxist philosopher Gáspár Miklós Tamás defines Roger Scruton as an extremely gifted colleague and former friend who eventually became ‘an ultra-reactionary poseur’. Tamás, a former anti-communist dissident, was an enthusiastic conservative in the 1990s and chose Scruton, a fervent supporter of East European dissidents, as his daughter’s godfather. Now he accuses Scruton of dismissing the idea of constitutionalism and the rule of law. Originally, he was asked to write the obituary by Válasz, but the editors declined to publish his paper.

On Látószög, London-based Hungarian born sociologist Frank Füredi calls Scruton the undisputed number one conservative philosopher in contemporary Europe, and praises him for his courage in defending unpopular but important ideals.

In a highly emotional obituary on Mandiner, philosopher Gyula Pál calls on conservatives to ‘take up Scruton’s burning torch’ and ‘make the future a better place for our culture, families, countrysides and – Life, ultimately.’