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|| 23 sor
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|| 251 sor
||Re: Laborfalvy Benke csalad (mind)
|| 22 sor
||Re: Great Moravian Empire (mind)
|| 11 sor
||Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind)
|| 52 sor
||Re: The hotels and Horn (mind)
|| 20 sor
||teaching in Hungarian (mind)
|| 24 sor
||Re: Catching up (mind)
|| 15 sor
||Re: Literacy bias! (mind)
|| 180 sor
||Re: Classical capitalist (was re:jargon) (mind)
|| 32 sor
||Re: *** HUNGARY *** #173/now something else (mind)
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|| 63 sor
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|| 41 sor
||Private fights--et tu, Eva? (mind)
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|+ - ||Magyarization et al. (mind)
Joining to the thread in Hungary #194 by Eva S. Balogh
>And your observation about France, that
>>While people did assimilate, it was through
>>natural processes rather than government policy.
When judging about the Eastern European minority laws/practices
one should really take a look at a civilized country like France.
At the beginning of the century the French language was practically
unspoken from west to the Vannes-St. Brieuc line, Breton was widely
used. Then the Breton minority was strongly suppressed for example
the famous sentence :
"Defense de cracher par terre et de parler breton"
(Spitting to the floor and speaking Breton are forbidden)
could be seen in every Breton school and the pupils were physically
punished if they spoke Breton. There is a strong movement for
restoring the Breton to its rights. Learning Breton and in Breton
in schools is still not a public service and French law does not
know the notion of "minority". My friend who is a native languedoc
speaker spoke about the same practices in Ardeche. The devastating
effects of forcing such practices in Eastern Europe are evident.
Regards : Gabor Paller
|+ - ||Re: Literacy bias! (mind)
On Sun, 15 Jan 1995 10:24:46 CSTT Charles said:
C>On Sun, 15 Jan 1995 06:42:43 -0800 Tibor Benke said:
[among other things,snip]
T>>Post Modernism is admittedly over my head. As far as I can see, it is a
T>>way of talking over everybody's head in order to gain the rhetorical
T>>ground and be able to tell a truth without actually giving up one's
C>--Well, I agree that it is a way of talking designed to gain the
C>high ground while earning tenure, but the post-modernists have no better
C>claim on truth than anyone else.
Nor do they claim any, but some of the stuff seems "pregnant with
possibilities", so to speak.
T>> I don't think that all cultures are equally legitimate. Western
T>>is considerably *less* legitimate then any fourth world culture. My
T>>cultural relativism is the old fashioned kind developed by the
T>>I learned in the U.S. and Canada. It is a venerable tradition and has
T>>with us for a century.
C>--Sure. And common among anthropologists. Your position, of course,
C>is as value-laden as any other. The fight starts around the notion
C>of legitimacy. But that, of course, is a Western critical view. I
C>doubt that many fourth-world cultures worry about it, but simply engage
C>in a struggle for survival. As a matter of fact, I can't think offhand
C>of anybody but Westerners who have been preoccupied with legitimacy.
Precisely, but I am confused. I thought I was accused of postmodernist
doublespeak. I'll settle for methodological relativism. I'll revise my
statement above and say that from the point of view of many modern
Australian Aboriginals, Western Culture is considerably *less* legitimate
then any Fourth World culture. The inevitable value judgement is now in
the phenomenon I am speaking of and not in my argument.
T>>To call a culture backward _in toto_ is an overgeneralization.
C>--I'd agree that it is a generalization made with some model of
C>moderninity before one. I would agree with you that Eva Balogh
C>is on dangerous ground in using the term "backward." My post
C>was intended to show that her position was a widely-shared one
C>and the writers that I mentioned clearly are thinking from a
C>perspective of contemporary Western civilization. Their position is that
C>Hungary was--and is, in the case of Glenny--backward compared to
It is backward compared to Western Europe if one views it from the point of
view that Western Civilization is 'ahead'. A long time ago Babylon was
ahead. Where is Babylon now?
("Babylon that mighty city,// Rich in power, wide in fame;// Oh! God!,
pride of Man, // Broken in the dust again ...." [Quicksilver Messenger
C>We can't settle this. If your preferred model is the Tlinglit, then
C>all other cultures--other than those that resemble the Tlinglit--are
C>inferior. I suppose that my position is a cop-out, since I really
C>don't want to argue which culture is morally superior to another. I
C>think that to do so is a mug's game. One can argue that one culture
C>or another has solved some environmental challenge in a way that has
C>improved the culture's chances of survival and growth, but that is a
C>purely pragmatic argument, since the surviving culture may have done so
C>simply by killing everyone else off!
Where as Modern Western Civilization only kills people off when it thinks
it has no other choice, when brainwashing doesn't work and prison is too
expensive ? What is going on in Chiapas ? Is someone going to send
humanitarian aid to them too? ;-)
Seriously though, it is a dillemma, as Kurt Go"del showed in formal logic
and Karl Mannheim demonstated once and for all in his Ph.d. thesis:
"Structural Analysis of Epistemology". What is to be done, then?
T> Not all traits are
T>>amenable to this kind of analysis however. Is cubism more valid then
T>>impressionism or Kwakiutl ceremonial mask art?
C>--I don't want to talk about validity. This implies that there is a
C>moral standard about art. This issue is so clearly a function of
C>time, place, and taste that the argument ends up out in the car park.
Precisely the point I was getting at before I was accused of doublespeak.
T> Is Islam (being more
T>>monotheistic then Christianity) a more advanced religion ?
C>--Again, the answer depends on the model in one's head. Probably
C>it would help if everyone recognized that they had such a model and
C>made it explicit. We might not all agree, but at least we would
C>know where each of us was coming from. As long as humans are
C>individual units and not linked together as are some fungi, we will
C>look at reality with the eyes that we have developed in interaction
C>with the environment and with each other.
Exactly, but I submit that in our own historical dispensation only a
methodological cultural relativism will enable us to survive as a species.
But you will notice that yet another absolute value has crept in. I am
assuming that we want our species to survive at any cost with respect to
our other values. Not only that, but I assumed (though I think on good
grounds) that unless we adopt this relativism nobody will survive, (and I
could be wrong and those who advocate the extermination of the heathen and
the heretics and the sinners are closer to the actual truth, which, of
course, doesn't exist.)
(" 'There must be some way outa' here,'// Said the Joker to the Thief//
'There is too much confusion,// I can't get no relief,// Business men, they
drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,// and none of them along the line//
know what any of it is worth.'//// 'No reason to get excited son,' // the
thief, he kindly spoke // ' There are many here among us, // Who feel that
life is but a joke,// But you and I, we've been through that// And that is
not our fate, // So let us not talk falsely now,// The hour's getting
late!.' " [ Robert Zimmerman, "All Along the Watchtower"])
T> Progress in
T>>any one area may be accompanied by degeneration in another area.
C>--And not all change is progress, vide instant coffee and McDonald's.
But most instances of change are seen as progress from the point of view
of some people. Vide all those Hungarians standing in line on Vaci Utca.
T>>Eva was talking about literature oral and written and claimed that just
T>>because some monk wrote down Beuwolf and it got copied while nothing got
T>>written in Hungarian between the tenth and thirteenth centuries, Hungary
T>>was more barbaric.
C>--Yes, but you understand that Eva B. is writing from the point of view
C>that there is a continuum whose anchor points are civilization vs.
C>barbarism, and that civilization, as we know it, has certain demonstrable
C>advantages for survival, growth, variety in life style, and so on.
I understand this, but I dispute it. Hungary's national myth (and I am
using 'myth' in the anthropological sense, which makes no judgement about
truth) is that it has stood as the bastion of Western Civilization for a
millenium. A further part of the myth is that before, the 'honfoglalok'
(that's 'honfoglalo' plural) were the 'scourge of God' because Christendom
was in need of correction - "the Lord chastiseth whom He loves" etc.. If
it be so, I think it's time for another bout of scourging, and if we don't
want any, we better get out of the way.
T> christians in the heat of saving the heathen have been
T>>known to obliterate literature, that of the Mayans, for example, whose
T>>writing was not discovered until a decade ago because the Spanish
T>>methodically burned their books and defaced their inscriptions.
C>--I have no wish to apologize for the Roman Catholic Church, but I
C>understood that it was the civil arm of colonization that was responsible
C>for most of the destruction in their search for gold. Of course, I
C>haven't read anything that said that the priests openly opposed the
C>soldiers, so I guess that they were accessories. Don't expect me to
C>defend cruelty, greed, or avarice. But, on the other hand, don't
C>expect me to wear a hair shirt for events of a history for which I
C>have no responsibility, either. I weary of colleagues who argue for
C>noble causes while living comfortable lives. I realize that you are
C>not one of them, but it is from them that I have most often heard
C>the argument that Western Civilization sucks. None of them have
C>given up the comforts of it to live among the Tlinglit.
I am afraid, I am not about to live with the Tlinglit either, they wouldn't
want me to clutter up their country anyway. Though anthropologists often
live with people, if I were lucky enough to be able to do field work I'd go
to Carpatho-Ukraine and collect folk tales and oral histories - BTW is
anyone doing it? It's urgent, before the material disappears. I am also
afraid, I lead a very comfortable life. My monthly income is C$ 740 (HF
59,200) per a month and I live in an apartment that would be C$600, but I
only pay C$ 260 because my co-op's housing charges ('rent' is considered
politically incorect term here) is adjusted to income. For the time being,
(until the national health plan is disassembled to curb the deficit) I have
full medical and dental benefits. My uncle in Budapest, who retired as a
director of the environmental research institute, with what is considered a
healthy pension in Hungary, agreed, when he visited me this Summer, that
my standard of living was as good or better then his. On the other hand, I
am very lucky,most people in my circumstances would have to live in a
rooming house in the slums, and do.
I think that from a material point of view, Western Civilization would be
wonderful if it were sustainable. But since it's not only not sustainable
but its social patterns seem to me to leave a lot to be desired both from
my subjective point of view and from the point of view of numerous ethical
systems of standards , like Christianity, for example, I criticize it. I
criticize it as those few priests criticized the coquistadors (yes, there
were a few - I just don't remember where I read about it, there is a
collection of letters going back and forth that were published) and as
liberation theologians now criticize. But isn't it a Christian doctrine
that all sin is forgiven as soon as it is repented and stopped ? What is
the chance of stopping it, or who is going to repent?
T>>Comparing the cultures of peoples who are on different historical
T>>in different ecological circumstances is even more chancy, because
T>>illegitimate values are involved.
C>--There's that word again. How do you decide that one set of values is
C>legitimate while another is illegitimate? Only by applying a set of
C>selected Western ideas.
Sorry, I meant 'illegitimate' with respect to the requirements of objective
analysis. (Yes, I know this is contradictory, too, (the notion of
objectivity being illegitimate in this universe of discourse) but I am
nailing jelly to a tree, what can I do?)
T> One can make a solid case for the
T>>superiority of Australian Aboriginal culture if one chooses the right
T>>of criteria. The only achievement that argues for Western Civ being
T>>"advanced" is that we can blow up the whole world, blow it up good!
C>--I am indeed sorry that you find no more of value in Western
C>than advanced knowledge of explosives. We should never have listened to
C>the Chinese when they told of dragon fire.
There is a great deal more of value in W. C. , but those don't make it more
advanced. And I think the problem started not with Chinese dragon fire, but
with the alchemists' search for the Philosopher's Stone (radon and uranium
?) and the secret of turning base metals to gold. Makes me wonder what
those ancients knew and why Oppenheimer quoted the Bagavad Gita? And why,
for that matter, are all those metals named for gods of the underworld? -
Pretty scary, eh?
|+ - ||Re: Laborfalvy Benke csalad (mind)
Eva Balogh wrote,
>For those of you who are not from Hungary, let me tell you that Tibor's
>family name is a very distinguished one. One of the most famous bearer of the
>name was Laborfalvi (Benke) Ro1za, Mrs. Mo1r Jo1kai, the famous nineteenth-cen
>tury actress and the wife of the beloved Romantic writer, Mo1r Jo1kai, friend
>of Peto3fi, and one of the young revolutionaries of 1848. Her dates are:
>Miskolc, April 8, 1817--Budapest, November 20, 1886. Her father, Jo1zsef
>Benke, was also an actor. She was a member of the National Theater from its
>establishment on, that is from 1837 on. Retired at the end of the 1850s.
To readers of this list: take note that I am the black sheep of the family
and nothing I have written or may write in the future represents anyone but
me. I had no intention of supporting any of my arguments on grounds of my
heritage (such a strategy is fortunately no longer effecatious in any
case, fortunately). I don't want to embarass anyone who was or is related
|+ - ||Re: Great Moravian Empire (mind)
Thomas Breed writes:
> I suppose the United States of America should change its name because
> are other states in both Americas, and some of them are even united. :)
May I ask what this has to do with a duchy that fought for some
independence and a lot among its own subjects (and to my knowledge never
refered to itself or was refered to by its contemporaries as an empire)
being called an empire by empire builders come lately.
|+ - ||Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind)
On Sun, 15 Jan 1995 12:52:36 PST JELIKO said:
The leadership was
>generally the "wild eyed liberals" who always seem to know better than
>anybody else how to run everything in spite of never having run anything
>successful before.(or thereafter).
--A hit! A palpable hit!
In the US, the drang nach link is the
>hobby horse of academia where the costs are rising fastest and the quality
>is dropping at the same rate. Is that a good experience to emulate in
--Jeliko, when did you meet my colleagues? Not too many here, but some.
My experience is that the most fervent communists today are teaching in
Eastern American universities.
>How many leftists do you know who are industrial workers?
--Aw, Jekiko. This is not fair. There were two in the Second
Internationale around the turn of the century--August Bebel and
Keir Hardie. Actually, only Hardie actually had held a real job.
Thomas Breed had said:
>> begin acting as bureaucrats, they are no longer members of the same
>As stated above, they never were.
--Surely Jeliko you have heard the song--sung to the tune of
The working class can kiss my arse,
I've got the foreman's job at last!
>Most of the same leftists of academia have the barest minimum contact with
>the working people, they look down on them most of the time.
--I think that this is a fair generalization. Some of my friends are
secretaries and I used to play golf with a guy who worked on the
grounds crew. You should hear them talk about the faculty.
I have never met a leftist who felt that his philosophy
>could or should be rejected by the people. Whenever the good folks vote
>other than left they always are mislead, misinformed, etc. Apparently, it
>is the people's duty to follow.
--Good point, Jeliko, but boy, are you going to get fried! Which will
bother you for maybe three seconds, tops.
|+ - ||Re: The hotels and Horn (mind)
On Mon, 16 Jan 1995 10:15:06 +1000 George Antony said:
>I try not to be flippant about people who do not seem to understand
>what a contract is. In the case of McDonald's, they had a valid
>20-year lease on the site. In the case of the US hotel chain, all
>they had was a letter from the State Property Agency saying that their
>offer was accepted: a letter of intent, yes, but not a signed contract
>about the sale of the hotels.
--I stand corrected. I understood wrongly that it was an actual offer
that had been accepted. If it was, in effect, a bid, then of course
the matter is different. At the same time, questions arise. Why did
the State Property Agency issue such a letter if this was so obviously
a bad deal? And since the new price was only--sorry, I erased the
numbers--7 or 8 million higher, wouldn't that still be underpriced?
And doesn't this whole thing undercut the credibility of the State
Property Agency in future negotiations? Why bother with them in
future? Why not negotiate directly with Horn?
|+ - ||teaching in Hungarian (mind)
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Phone: (502) 852-1985
Greetings to all who subscribe to Hungary!
We are looking for a few good men and women to teach Hungarian history and/or
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We are organizing a summer school of three weeks' duration in July. The school
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The school has been in existence for the past 27 years (this will be its 28th
year!). It operates under the auspices of the Hungarian Scout Association but
one need not be a member of the Scout Association to attend this camp. It is
located in Fillmore, New York (about 75 miles south of Buffalo).
The work is hard but rewarding. For more information or an application form:
Dr. Klara Papp
Nyari Magyar Iskola
P.O. Box 221036
Louisville, KY 40252-1036
|+ - ||Re: Catching up (mind)
Let's apply your argument correctly;
some capitalist countries ended up totalitarian, this also
means that eventually they all will...
> Eva Durant writes:
> > You can work out a relationship/rule without knowing all the facts.
> Over here we call it "My mind is already made up, don't cofuse me with
|+ - ||Re: Literacy bias! (mind)
On Mon, 16 Jan 1995 03:29:44 -0800 Tibor Benke said:
>Nor do they claim any, but some of the stuff seems "pregnant with
>possibilities", so to speak.
--My advice is not to try to tell a post-modernist that his or her
claim is no better than any other. Of course, it is their official
position, but in reality they believe that they are right and that
traditionalists--or anyone else--is wrong.
I'll revise my
>statement above and say that from the point of view of many modern
>Australian Aboriginals, Western Culture is considerably *less* legitimate
>then any Fourth World culture. The inevitable value judgement is now in
>the phenomenon I am speaking of and not in my argument.
--And is this opinion original with the modern Austrialian aboriginal,
or is it the result of contact with Western ideas? And is it phrased
in terms of a philsophical quest for legitimacy or in a more common
sense belief that "the whites stole our land, and we resent it."
>It is backward compared to Western Europe if one views it from the point of
>view that Western Civilization is 'ahead'. A long time ago Babylon was
>ahead. Where is Babylon now?
--Sure. My point exactly, but you said it better.
>Where as Modern Western Civilization only kills people off when it thinks
>it has no other choice, when brainwashing doesn't work and prison is too
>expensive ? What is going on in Chiapas ? Is someone going to send
>humanitarian aid to them too?
--Since I do not share your value system, I do not believe Western
Civilization to be any more villain than hero. I don't know of
any civilizations, past or present, who haven't done brutal things
to someone. And, in a sense, Western Civilization has been less
brutal when taken in total that some. True, there are nasty wars
and some very bad examples, e.g., Hitler's Germany, but I refuse to
argue that Western Civilization is the worst thing that happened to
>Exactly, but I submit that in our own historical dispensation only a
>methodological cultural relativism will enable us to survive as a species.
>But you will notice that yet another absolute value has crept in. I am
>assuming that we want our species to survive at any cost with respect to
>our other values.
--Probably a primitive urge of all humanity. Survival is the prime
directive of the human being when push comes to shove.
Not only that, but I assumed (though I think on good
>grounds) that unless we adopt this relativism nobody will survive, (and I
>could be wrong and those who advocate the extermination of the heathen and
>the heretics and the sinners are closer to the actual truth, which, of
>course, doesn't exist.)
--And would it be a great tragedy if the human race became extinct?
>not our fate, // So let us not talk falsely now,// The hour's getting
>late!.' " [ Robert Zimmerman, "All Along the Watchtower"])
--This is the same Bob Dylan that spent 7 mil for a house in Los
Angeles? Gee, I'm impressed by his penetrating social analysis.
>But most instances of change are seen as progress from the point of view
>of some people. Vide all those Hungarians standing in line on Vaci Utca.
--When I went past it in 1991, it was virtually empty. I suspect that
the novelty had worn off. On the other hand, the really good restaurants
in the area were pretty crowded and deservedly so. I ate well in Budapest.
>I understand this, but I dispute it. Hungary's national myth (and I am
>using 'myth' in the anthropological sense, which makes no judgement about
>truth) is that it has stood as the bastion of Western Civilization for a
--At last! Someone who uses the term myth correctly. I think that it
is possible to advance the argument that Hungary became the frontier
of the West at about that time. As long as one remembers that Hungary
was not as "advanced"--using that term as relative to Western
Civilization--as countries further to the West. The problem again is
that one must make explicit his or her baseline.
>it be so, I think it's time for another bout of scourging, and if we don't
>want any, we better get out of the way.
--Aren't you one of the non-violent ones?
>I am afraid, I am not about to live with the Tlinglit either, they wouldn't
>want me to clutter up their country anyway.
--There is ample historical precedent. St.John Crevecouer who wrote
"Letters from an American Farmer" in the 1780s went to live with an
American Indian tribe who offered to take him in after the American
Revolution. He realized quite clearly that his family would become
Indians, and he willingly accepted this outcome. Unfortunately,
I know of no record of what actually happened to the family.
Though anthropologists often
>live with people,
--Yes, and often fall in love with them and develop a depressing
sense of white guilt for their ancestors' sins. I have often
wondered what the locals thought of the anthropoligists. There
is one author whose name I can't remember who suggested that
the locals spun a lot of tales to Margaret Mead since she seemed
to enjoy them.
For the time being,
>(until the national health plan is disassembled to curb the deficit) I have
>full medical and dental benefits.
--I note that the Canadian dollar is sliding. It is attributed to
Canada's huge external debt. Supporters of extensive social programs
have yet to recognize that someone has to pay for them through
productivity. As your compatriot John Galbraith pointed out years ago,
the normal condition of the vast majority of people was poverty until
the industrial revolution. I expect that if the Left gets its way and
kills the goose, we will return to that normalcy. Actually, you should
be encouraging profligate spending on the part of the Candian government,
because it would hasten the day that we could get back to subsistence
>I think that from a material point of view, Western Civilization would be
>wonderful if it were sustainable.
--It is sustainable, but not if one considers the standard of living to
include all the gadgets of contemporary life. I've heard members of the
younger generation whine that their standards of living will be below
that of their parents. Of course. That is true of most young people.
Further, their view of standards of living include a level of gadgetry
that our grandparents never knew and didn't need. We could all live
more simply than we do, and it wouldn't hurt us irrevocably to do so.
But isn't it a Christian doctrine
>that all sin is forgiven as soon as it is repented and stopped ? What is
>the chance of stopping it, or who is going to repent?
--Wow. Well, first we'd have to agree that sin is what we are talking
about and not just stupidity. This requires us to know the will of
God so that we can define all deviations from it as sin. Not too
appropriate for the HUNGARY list. Maybe there's an alt.theology
out there somewhere.
>C>selected Western ideas.
>Sorry, I meant 'illegitimate' with respect to the requirements of objective
>analysis. (Yes, I know this is contradictory, too, (the notion of
>objectivity being illegitimate in this universe of discourse) but I am
>nailing jelly to a tree, what can I do?)
--Right. Objectivity is a Western idea. And if you want an example
of what I think is doublespeak, try "universe of discourse." Do you
mean in simple English "conversation?" Personally, I don't have much
faith in objective analysis. I rarely find examples of it. I think
that the one appealing point that the post-modernists make is that
all statements have presuppositions and all theories carry a lot of
political--in the sense of the distribution and use of power--baggage.
>There is a great deal more of value in W. C. , but those don't make it more
--I thought that we agreed that "advanced" or "backward" were clearly
relative terms depending on the model in one's head. I try to avoid
these terms--or at least I put them in quotes to show that I know
that I'm using them in a context that I expect the reader to
>for that matter, are all those metals named for gods of the underworld? -
>Pretty scary, eh?
--Nah. I'm an Episcopalian. All the pageantry with none of the guilt.
|+ - ||Re: Classical capitalist (was re:jargon) (mind)
Just that I've never met or heard about anyone, who built up capital
from wages earned. Even with overtime... At best perhaps a fish-n-chips
shop, but that is not what I call capitalist.
I think this is an urban legend, I am sure less than 5% of people
can make capital from nothing like that. Most inherit it or posh
enough to get a bank to lend to him/her, or earns more than
his/her worth. 90% of mankind 10 hours/day and has barely enough at the
end to eat. Their own fault - doing the same in the US makes you a
millionaire appearently... No wonder they break their neck to
get there, Jeliko, please let them in, give them the chance you had.
> Let's take this ape, he .while spending time observing and "developing" the
> tool, he was not spending his time munching on babanas or hand digging
> termites, thus he was somewhat hungrier maybe he was even weaker, maybe he
> was a she and due to having babies did not have the time to hand dig
> termites. All of you "let's take awy from somebody else" types, assume that
> the "capitalist", through some miracle starts out with having enough
> capital to start a business. Here, where most new businesses are started
> (probably more than in the rest of the world put together) the first person
> who is "exploited" is the fellow starting the business. Rather than playing
> or entertaining himself (and others!) he spends a lot of extra time working
> to build up capital, before he is capable of employing someone else. He has
> the same obligations to pay gas bills and mortgages as others. (I never
> heard the gas company forgive payments because one is trying to build up
> capital to start a business). Earnings from EXTRA work are the most common
> ways of building capital.
|+ - ||Re: *** HUNGARY *** #173/now something else (mind)
> I don't think that you are thinking about it. I think that you are
> fantasizing about it. Did you have anything to do with the recent
> Hungarian hotel deal?
Well - should everything go on the cheap as untill now?
I think Horn's lot probably reflect public resentmennt about
"giving away" public assets to often dubious firms under
|+ - ||Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind)
> --Age isn't the problem. You tout your approach as a new approach.
> You persist in arguing that it is practical, yet nobody has ever
> figured out how to make it work. What the world needs, I guess,
> is better people.
You mentioned the age of socialism with glee. It is a new approach
if it is on democratic basis. I think you are utopian again
with your better people thing.
> --Oh, well, sure. But Tony Benn is a loonie.
I think you'd just demonstrated my point.
> we missed something unusual?
So I take the press is democratic in the US, and everybody
has a chance to be
well-informed by all points of view without any effort.
I take a note.
> >Balls. People feel totally helpless and hopeless in a chaotic
> >humaneless world where everything can be justified in the name
> >of profit.
> --Sorry. Can't recognize this image. Must be too brainwashed.
I didn't say that...
> --I don't scoff at peace and love. I just don't think that the
> 1960s produced it. Or we would have it now.
We were talking about the morality of the 60's you said it was the cause
of all today's evil.
> --Having read the arguments on this list, I marvel that you can
> believe that Americans all think that everything is just fine.
> Clearly, there is an ongoing dialogue--often acrimonious--in
> this country on a wide variety of issues.
I did not say ALL of them - just you for example...
> Have a nice day.
> --I am chairman of a committee devoted to putting everyone who tells
> me to have a nice day in the public stocks where they can be pelted
> with overripe fruit by an angry populace.
> in extended discussions on a variety of talk programs and public
> television. And organizations try to persuade their members to vote--
> including the League of Women Voters and the American Association of
> Retired Persons and various civil rights groups. It's a real problem,
> I agree.
Voting is not good enough if there is no choice in ideas.
If there are no ideas at all. I'm not all that motivated myself...
> >The only reason....?
> --Of course not. My point is that poverty is not desireable even
> to capitalists who ostensibly have no other reason.
So what do they do?
|+ - ||Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind)
On Mon, 16 Jan 1995 16:29:52 +0000 Eva Durant said:
>You mentioned the age of socialism with glee. It is a new approach
>if it is on democratic basis. I think you are utopian again
>with your better people thing.
--Well, as near as I can figure out, your new approach involves
economic and political self-determination. Sounds like the
free enterprise system in a republic. I support that.
>> --Oh, well, sure. But Tony Benn is a loonie.
>I think you'd just demonstrated my point.
--But I've listened to Tony Benn. And I think he is a loonie.
I didn't dismiss him without listening. I expect that you are fond
of Tony Scargill, too, aren't you? To give equal time, I think that
Rees-Mogg may not have an elevator--pardon me, lift, that goes all the
way to the top floor, either.
>So I take the press is democratic in the US, and everybody
>has a chance to be
>well-informed by all points of view without any effort.
>I take a note.
--No, one does have to subscribe to a paper! And turn on the
television set. They don't come to the house like town criers.
>We were talking about the morality of the 60's you said it was the cause
>of all today's evil.
--Unfortunately, there was more to it than peace and love. There
was the so-called sexual revolution that conned a lot of women into
providing a guy with a relationship with no obligation on his part and
the recreational use of downright dangerous drugs.
>I did not say ALL of them - just you for example...
--Oh. Okay. I'm all right, Jack.
>Voting is not good enough if there is no choice in ideas.
>If there are no ideas at all. I'm not all that motivated myself...
--At least it is worthwhile to try to make choices among alternatives
rather than to leave it up to others.
>So what do they do?
--Besides investing in a business, they generally provide social
insurance. Being covered by Old Age, Survivors, Disability, and
Health Insurance, I will not be poor in my old age. I also have
a generous pension plan provided by my employer. And I have lived
simply and saved a few bucks. Of course, I had a good job, because
I took advantage of the educational opportunities that were available
to me. I worked up to 40 hours a week while I was at university, but
that was a valuable part of the experience. My grandfather was a poor
dirt farmer. My father worked in a tractor factory, because the farm
got sold early in the century when my grandfather died young. And I
worked my way to an education. Why, Eva, I AM the American dream.
Not only that, I'm pretty cute too.
|+ - ||Re: Taxes on GNP (mind)
Thomas Breed writes:
> redistributing money for education so that children in less wealthy
> neighborhoods could have the same chance at succeeding as those in
I think there are numerous evaluations showing that expenditures per pupil
have no relationship to achievement levels. For example most catholic
schools achieve a lot more for a lot less than most public schools. IMHO,
until the teachers unions are removed from the trough with their equal pay
for equal number of years turning out uneducated kids, there will be no
knowledge improvement regardless of funding improvements. While I am not
against some equalization, I have never seen anything work better just by
throwing more money at it.
|+ - ||Re: The hotels and Horn (mind)
>[...] questions arise [about the about the Hungarian hotel sale]. Why
>the State Property Agency issue such a letter [accepting the offer of
the US hotel chain] if this was so obviously
>a bad deal?
The answer depends on whether you subscribe to conspiracy theories.
I do not, hence my guess is that the market price is somewhere betwewn
that paid for the Duna Intercontinental and what was offered in this
deal by the US company, and that the negotiators of the State Property
Agency may not have been crash hot.
>And since the new price was only--sorry, I erased the
>numbers--7 or 8 million higher, wouldn't that still be underpriced?
If one would to accept the Duna Intercontinental price as a benchmark,
certainly. Note that the new asking price had another hotel thrown in
as a sweetener, the Hotel Budapest, ugly 1970s constructions, probably
not the fanciest inside, but in a good location.
>And doesn't this whole thing undercut the credibility of the State
>Property Agency in future negotiations?
Definitely, although statutory authorities are known to be sensitive
to the political wind everywhere. Worse, it creates the impression
of policy making by the government on the run, of confusion and of
political interference in technical matters. Now, one can find ample
examples of such sins in the West, but the Hungarian government
would have to be holier than them as it is still establishing its
credentials. Watch the next determination of Hungary's investment
risk by credit-rating agencies Standard and Poor or Moody's (sp ?).
>Why bother with them in
>future? Why not negotiate directly with Horn?
In serious deals it always advisable to seek out the organ grinder
rather than dealing only with the monkey. What this affair does is
to lower the threshold of the deals for which prospective purchasers
will have to seek political blessing.
|+ - ||Private fights--et tu, Eva? (mind)
Private fights--et tu, Eva?
NFerenc has written a note about a Hungarian-language communication which I
mistakenly sent to this list instead of the Forum. Once I realized my mistake
I reposted it in the Forum.
First of all, let me translate the little passage quoted here:
AP: "Ultra neoconservative liberals will leave Hungary [once there is
rightwing political takeover] for Vienna and New York, while the plundered
Hungarian will remain."
EB: "Do I understand it correctly that the ultra neoconservative liberals are
NFerenc then proceeds:
>Having too thin a skin and imagining an ethnic slur in some statements where
>there may be none.
First of all, I am not too thin skinned and I am not just imagining ethnic
slurs. The gentleman in question is well known on the Internet for his
extreme rightwing utterances. His explanation for my question, by the way,
was that the emphasis was on the "plundered" and not on "Hungarian." Hmmm!
|+ - ||Horn and the hotels (mind)
George Antony normally knows what he is talking about, and if he thinks that
this kind of intervention is commonplace in international deals I believe
him. But still, the international press and public opinion are taking a
negative view of what happened in Budapest.
Let me add a few facts as I am finding them in an article in HVG (January 7,
1995, pp. 83-87). First of all, to make things clear for everybody. The price
which was turned down was not for 100 percent of the shares of HungarHotels
but only 51%. Four years ago a Swedish company (Quintus) was planning to buy
the hotel chain (then consisting of 50 hotels) but the deal fell through,
because of the Hungarian state was dissatisfied with the price. At that time
the HungarHotels itself negotiated the deal and was planning to use part of
the money to pay its considerable debt. The price then for the 50 hotels was
$90 million. The exchange rate then was $1.00 to 60 Ft. as opposed to $1.00
to 111 Ft now. The sale of the chain was "put on ice" for four solid years.
Meanwhile they sold the most attractive hotels individually. The real gem in
the chain of hotels was the Duna Intercontinental. The other 35 hotels were
sold individually and the prices were not very high. Moreover, the sale of
these hotels didn't bring in much actual cash, because a fairly large portion
of them was sold for compensation coupons.
Out of the current 14 hotels 11 are called of modest value (actually szere1ny
szi1nvonalu1 is the description) and are situated in provincial towns. For
example, the Park Hotel in Eger and the Raba Hotel in Gyo3r. Only three
hotels are situated in Budapest which are worth more money. The AVU estimates
that if they sold the hotels individually they couldn't get more than $20
million for all eleven. Moreover, there could be the real danger that these
modest hotels couldn't make it individually and would go bankrupt. The result
could be the loss of the only hotel in town.
According to the article the HungarHotel (with its 13-14 hotels) produced 510
million forints in profits after taxes. However, one already privatized
hotel, the Danubius, had 600 million forints in profits. Therefore, obviously
there are hotels and hotels. It seems that the three more profitable ones are
paying for those which actually lose money.
One more thing, it seems that in the last four years, the AVU had to pay back
HungarHotels' considerable debt. The money ($20 million) came from the sale
of the Duna Intercontinental. If that debt had not been paid there would have
been no buyer, according to HVG.
HVG emphasized that there were only three parties interested at all.
Independent estimates of the chain's value came from several independent
sources (Deloitte and Touche, Credit Suisse First Boston, etc.) and the opinio
n was that the AVU should not accept anything under $42 million. Apparently
it took the AVU quite a bit of armtwisting to get $57 million for the hotels.
According to the newspaper, the Korma1nyzati Elleno3rze1si Iroda (KEI;
Governmental Inspection Office) came to the conclusion that the $57 million
was not realistic *in four days.* Moreover, according to the head of KEI
there were no hotel experts on the team.
I may have left a few important things but even from this brief summary it is
obvious that the HVG, a respectable economic weekly, does not think that the
decision was justified.
And finally if I may add an observation of my own. Here is a new government
in which the major coalition party is the Socialist party, the direct
successor to the former communist party (MSZMP). This party promised quick
privatization. And indeed Western business and political circles are watching
the activities of this government with certain interest. Then it turns out
that all through 1994 not one privatization deal was closed. Or rather, the
Socialist prime minister of this government again stifled the only deal
negotiated all through the year. The former government was slow enough but
this one does absolutely nothing.
Meanwhile, I read on the Internet news and since then I heard from relatives
in Hungary, that we ought not to worry. Some Italian firm offered $120
million! I don't believe one word of it. Who in his right mind would offer twi
ce as much as was the asking price!
P.S. Since I finished this piece I read the Voice of America reports as well
as reports in Hirmondo about the negative reactions in Financial Times and Le
Mond. I must say that all the reports are uniformly negative.
|+ - ||Mezo"seg (mind)
Thank you for Louis Elteto's correction of the geographic area, Mezoseg. This
is what happens when one doesn't check one's facts.
|+ - ||Relative backwardness (mind)
>But how was Eastern Europe behind and how do you know?
By all economic indicators--if you want statistics I can suggest a book at
least for the 19th century. Berend-Ranki wrote a nice little book about East
European economic development and relative backwardness. They provided very
detailed comparative figures.
Otherwise Tibor completely misunderstands me. I am not saying that Hungarians
were more barbaric than others or that their culture was inferior. I am
simply saying that since they were late arrivals at a geographic area which
historically was less developed than the western parts of Europe, they were
economically, socially, and, yes, culturally, behind the west.
|+ - ||Re: The hotels and Horn (mind)
Eva Balogh wrote something to the effect that I normally know what I am
Well, in the case of the American General Hospitality bid for Hungarhotels,
not quite. I did not realize that they bid US$57m for a 51 per cent
share of the company, hence the offer looks much more in line with the
previous sale of the Duna Intercontinental.