Hollosi Information eXchange /HIX/
Copyright (C) HIX
Új cikk beküldése (a cikk tartalma az író felelőssége)
Megrendelés Lemondás
1 A Question of Tactics (mind)  82 sor     (cikkei)
2 Blind Spot (mind)  14 sor     (cikkei)
3 Research on Dr. Erdey (mind)  57 sor     (cikkei)
4 Trianon and all (mind)  55 sor     (cikkei)
5 Re: People of fertile plains (mind)  47 sor     (cikkei)
6 Re: Op-Ed (mind)  30 sor     (cikkei)
7 Re: Giants Among Us (mind)  31 sor     (cikkei)
8 see, that when people respect each other's views and (mind)  37 sor     (cikkei)
9 Re: Bela Liptak's Op-Ed letter (mind)  32 sor     (cikkei)
10 Re: Suicide (mind)  7 sor     (cikkei)
11 Bela Liptak's Op-Ed letter (mind)  17 sor     (cikkei)
12 Re: People of the fertile plains. (mind)  17 sor     (cikkei)
13 Laszlo Vass? (mind)  13 sor     (cikkei)
14 Re: Communists As Experts? (mind)  3 sor     (cikkei)
15 Old Military Records (mind)  6 sor     (cikkei)
16 Hungarian Museum of Passaic (mind)  23 sor     (cikkei)
17 Re: Research on Dr. Erdey (mind)  27 sor     (cikkei)
18 "Group rights" problem... (mind)  83 sor     (cikkei)

+ - A Question of Tactics (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

I'd like to thank Bela Liptak for his generous words, and the sober and
dignified tone he brings to the list.  After reading your response, it may
seem churlish on my part to keep pointing to what I consider flaws in your
argument.  I hope you take my objections in the spirit intended, i.e., as
an honest difference of opinion, with no intent to cast aspersions or
question personal motives.  I should not have to say this, but given the
tone of most exchanges in these parts, it must be said nevertheless.
I'll start with the MFN issue:

>      I for one never asked for the denial of MNF for Romania. Making the
> extension conditional on living up to the minimum standards of group and
> individual human rights is not the same thing. Those rights are in the
> interest of all Romanians.

So they are.  But politics is a multi-person game.  Making the extension
conditional on anything whatsoever gives the Romanian government two options:
meet the condition, or else.  If they take the second option, then Romania
is more likely to remain isolated, poor, and backward, to the detriment of
the Hungarian minority living there.  Advocating that the MFN extension --
or other acts of international recognition -- be made conditional on
Romania's good behavior means you are prepared to see this happen.

If it does happen, we can always blame the Romanian government for the
result, just as today we blame Saddam for the plight of the Iraqis.  After
all, the sanctions would (in principle) be lifted the moment he meets the
conditions imposed by the UN.  But as things stand, we are prepared to see
the Iraqis suffer for the greater good.  Meanwhile, the Iraqi government
scores nationalist points in its domestic propaganda, and blames the U.S
for Iraq's plight.

If you are successful in persuading the U.S. government to impose conditions
on Romania, and the Romanian government refuses to bend, then we will be
faced with a similar situation.  Romanian nationalist propaganda will
unquestionably blame Hungarians as a group for the plight of the Romanian
nation.  From a Romanian nationalist's point of view, the picture is quite
clear.  Every time they knock on a door -- be it the EU, NATO, the State
Department -- Hungarians were there first, buttonholing Western delegates,
whispering sweet nothings in their ear, doing everything in their power to
throw obstacles in Romania's way, imposing conditions of one kind or another.
Just the thing to feed anti-Hungarian paranoia.  God knows, Romania has
plenty of that already.

I think the smart thing would be the exact opposite of this tactic: clear,
unequivocal, and unconditional Hungarian support for integrating Romania
into the international system on the same time scale as the Visegrad
countries.  This includes MFN status, NATO, EU membership, etc.
The reasons:

o Hungarian efforts to slow Romania's entry are ultimately futile.  Hungarian
  lobbying can only affect things at the margin, delaying some moves for a
  few months at most.  Hungary's position does not carry that much weight.
  If you can't beat them, join them -- and get the credit and goodwill
  generated in the process.

o The sooner Romania is integrated in the international system politically
  and economically, the better the chances of restraining anti-Hungarian
  moves by Romanian nationalists.  The recent Greek-Macedonian conflict
  illustrates the point.  It could have gotten out of control but Greek
  nationalist hysteria was ultimately restrained, largely as a result of
  pressure from the EU.  A Greece stuck outside of the various integrated
  European structures could have pushed things much further.

o Political and economic integration of Romania in the international system
  will make Romania more prosperous, to the benefit of all citizens,
  including the Hungarian minority.  It will also make Romania more
  democratic, again to the benefit of the Hungarian minority.

o Whatever one may think of the long-term chances of a Danube Confederation,
  the most likely short-term prospect is that of an Eastern Europe with
  an Iron Curtain Redux running down the middle.  On the one side will be
  countries that are considered eventual candidates for European integration.
  On the other side will be countries more or less written off as hopeless
  basket cases, mired in ethnic conflict and authoritarian rule of one kind
  or another.  There is little doubt that Hungary will end up in the first
  group.  It is in the Hungarian national interest to make sure all
  countries with Hungarian minorities also end up there, and that Hungary
  does not become a front-line state along the new Iron Curtain that is
  about to descend on us.

Gabor Fencsik

+ - Blind Spot (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Dear Peter Kaslik,

I am terribly sorry.  The subject line you found so offensive ("People of
the fertile plains") was that of the article I was responding to.  Bela
Liptak was the author who came up with the title, quoting an earlier
phrase from his own Op-Ed article.  Preserving subject lines is customary
on the Net.  It is used to separate various threads of discussion.  I fail
to see the offense in the phrase, but in any case no slur was intended.
I cannot respond to your article except to say you misread what I wrote,
both the letter and the spirit.  I would leave it at that for now.

Gabor Fencsik

+ - Research on Dr. Erdey (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

RK writes, ironically, of course:

>   Nice  research  on Dr.Endrey. I can hardly  wait for  the  next
>chapters on Horn, Peto (mom  and pop), and the  rest  of  the  great
>Hungarian  leaders.

If you knew my political views just a little bit better you wouldn't have
written this. I have a very strong reaction to Horn's political background,
and I have said so several times on this forum. And I wasn't mincing words
either. As far as Peto's parents are concerned--that is an entirely different
matter. Peto is in no way responsible for what his parents did or didn't do.
And one more thing, it is not irrelevant what Dr. Endrey thinks of Aron Monus
and his book, and let me quote some of his views here. The quotation is
originally from the *Nemzeti Ujsag,* of which Dr. Endrey is editor-in-chief.
My quotation comes from the *168 ora*'s article:

"Orszagunk nem csupan belulrol kerult a szervezett bunozok kezebe, hanem
kivulrol is bunozok halojaban vergodunk: a szabadkomuves vilag-osszeeskuves
halojaban. . . . Hogy ez nem mero fantazia vagy lazalom, azt bizonyitja Monus
Aron mar tobb kiadast latott es vilagnyelveken is megjelent konyve, melyben
elore pontosan megirta, mit terveztek orszagunk ellen az osszeeskuvok, es ez
azota szorol szora be is kovetkezett. A Nemzetkozi Valutaalap es a Vilagbank
altan rank kenyszeritett, katasztrofalis hatasu gazdasagi es penzugyi
politika is ennek az osszeeskuvesnek a szerves resze, amin meg csodalkozni
vagy ezt a megallapitasunkat vitatni sem igen lehet."

(A brief summary: Hungary is in the hands of a world conspiracy of
freemasons, as Aron Monus predicted it in his book. The World Bank's and the
IMF's economic policies which have been forced on Hungary are the part of
this conspiracy.)

I must admit I find Dr. Endrey's thinking primitive, and his world view
entirely skewed. I am sorry but I can't take someone seriously who believes
in the world conspiracy of the masons and the World Bank and the IMF as part
of it!

RK writes:

>In  conjunction  with  written  material it  would
>be  a  great  idea  to  ask  older  Hungarians  about their  opinions

If you think that I am in my 20s or 30s you are entirely young. You can add
another 30 to get to the correct figure. But I am sure that there are people
in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and so on and so forth who might find Dr.
Endrey's notions about the world appealing. I don't and I wouldn't have
either in my 20s. I is unlikely also that I will find them appealing in my
80s unless of course I become gaga.

And finally:

>Thank  you for  your  article  again, it  is  nice  to  know  what
>a  criminal  Dr.Endrey  is.

Well, I would choose another adjective--can you guess which?

Eva Balogh
+ - Trianon and all (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

The readers of Hungary might have noticed that I almost never engage in any
 discussion about Trianon and the Hungarian minority. This might seem strange
from someone whose main field is exactly the Paris Peace Conference and
Hungarian foreign policy. The reason for this silence is the emotional nature
of the topic in most Hungarian hearts and minds while we, historians, try to
look upon it in a less passionate fashion. However, this time I would like to
add my voice to the comments of Peter Hidas and Tihamer Ghyczy. I agree with
both of them.

I mentioned on this list at one time and also in the Szalon, a
Hungarian-language list, that Hungarian propaganda--public relations, if you
wish--is particularly inept. It is inept today just as much as it was inept
between the two world wars. Mr. Liptak uses today practically the same
arguments that the Hungarian government used seventy years ago. That
Hungarian propaganda was unsuccessful then and if it remains unaltered it
will be unsuccessful now. Worn-out phrases about the Golden Bull and about
Hungary as the Christian bastion of Europe are not going to lead us anywhere.
Neither will the East-European/Central-European Federation which was a dead
idea even when Kossuth first uttered it and was equally dead when Oszkar
Jaszi rewarmed it fifty years later.

I agree with Peter:

>The idea of a Danubian Confederation is not a realistic one. There is too
>much distrust in the region. Only the European Community  and NATO can hope
>to stabilize East Central Europe.

Mr. Ghyczy's point is also well taken:

>If a Confederation is indeed a viable alternative, we should invest our
>resources into debating the mechanisms of such an edifice instead of
>lamenting the ruins of past efforts. Mr. Liptak has chosen to invest largely
>into the past.
>If a Confederation is indeed a viable alternative, we as Hungarians must
>avoid at all cost the slightest appearance of irredentism or even of the
>glorification of Greater Hungary.  Mr. Liptak has not done so.

I admire Mr. Liptak's efforts on behalf of the Hungarian minorities, but
perhaps the contents of these efforts could be somewhat altered because I am
almost sure that the message as it stands will not make the desired impact on
the readers. If I were Mr. Liptak I would take the comments offered by Mr.
Hidas and Mr. Ghyczy very seriously. After all, the goal is to wage a
"successful" propaganda campaign. One which all readers would find absolutely
reasonable. One must step back and try to image himself to be the
non-Hungarian reader: the American, the Western European, the Serbs, the
Croat, the Slovene (By the way if your want to leave the sentence in, please
change Wend to Slovene. Foreigners wouldn't have any idea who the Wends
were.), the Romanian, and the Slovak. We do know from this list that there
are very reasonable Serbs, Romanians, and Slovaks, who are also able to step
back from the nationalistic harangues and agree with reasonable Hungarians.
But we must be reasonable too in order to have a meaningful dialogue.

Eva Balogh
+ - Re: People of fertile plains (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Thanks and applause to Bela Liptak for his sharp, concise and crystal clear
explanation of his views on the various proper uses of the Internet.

Bela wrote:

He feels that it's
purpose is to debate issues, look at their pros and cons, in that process
show how articulate, well informed, or clever we are, and eventually reach
some sort of concensus or majority view. This is a perfectly valid
perspective, similar to the role of debating societies or to the purpose of
the letters which people write to the editors of newspapers. I have no
argument with such a view.
        But there can also be a second purpose, a second use of such forums
and it is this second purpose which I find uniquely valuable in our fast
paced modern world. As we have learned during the Iliescu visit, among the
subscribers of Hungary, there were some 50 people, who were willing to write
letters, send faxes, make telephone calls on behalf of their oppressed
brethren in Romania. (One young man alone has organized the mailing of 120
fax-es from Columbia University.)These 50 people are not interested in
debating fine points, they know the facts, they agree on the need to protect
the human and cultural rights of the indigenous Hungarian minorities and
therefore they want to act. So a secondary purpose of forums, such as
Hungary, is to make the quick and effective joint action of the Hungarian
Lobby possible.

Concerning Gabor Fenscik's criticism of Bela Liptak's comments concerning
the affect weather and terrain have on the character/personality of a
people, it seems that in the US there is a strong belief among some that
all people are exectly alike, there are no differences among groups of
people, and any mention to the contrary is based on bigotry, discrimination,
and hatred.  How the concept of culture fits in to their views has always
been a mystery to me, and I've yet to get a reply on that point in
any conversation I've ever had on the subject (I'm not speaking
specifically fo Gabor here, but in general).  That differences are plain
to people I've spoken with from other countries, mostly fellow graduate
students, has confirmed the accurace of the observation, but somehow
many people in the US consider it a 'dirty' subject.  How they
reconcile their view on this topic with their belief in the truly
horrible concept of multiculturalism is also as yet a mystery, but
presumably there is no conflict in their collective mind.

Differences among cultures and people exist, it's a goods thing,
each group has something to offer the others, and the differences
are worth protecting from multiculturalism.

Paul Gelencser
+ - Re: Op-Ed (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Gabor Fencsik actually wrote:

Andras mentions Mr Liptak's charming piece of folk anthropology -- used
here to trash the Serbs, but widely applicable as a slur against whichever
ethnic group you dislike at the moment:

> The Krajina Serbs have a warrior mentality, they carry guns, for
> centuries they have been in uninterrupted conflict with the Croats,
> their view of life is based on constant struggle and hate for ones
> neighbors, their personality corresponds to the rugged terrain they
> have inherited. The placidity of the people of Vojvodina, including the
> Hungarians, corresponds to the openness of their fertile plains. Yet,
> their friendly and mild personality does not mean, that their patience
> is unlimited. They are a strong and determined people.

So then , Gabor, the children who have lived through the war in Yugoslavia
will not be affected by their experiences?  The will no be either more
or less aggressive then they would have otherwise, or like children in
nieghboring countries?  20 years from now people will be taking about
how warlike those Croatians and Bosnian's are, and they will be right.
When the children of todey in those regions grow up they will be
affected, and probably for the worse.  Will you then be arguing that
people who make such comments are racists and that the folks of
Croatia and Bosnia are just fine?  Nonsense!!!  Let's deal with
the way people are, and deal FAIRLY (did you notice I said fairly?),
but let's not pretend people are not affected by their surroundings.

Paul Gelencser
+ - Re: Giants Among Us (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Yet again, Gabor Fencsik wrote:
> So says the dwarf about the giant.

So says Joe in an unguarded moment, dropping his legendary courtesy.
I don't quite see what body size has to do with it.  Racist nonsense
spouted by field mice is still racist nonsense.  Racist nonsense spouted
by an 800-pound gorilla is likewise nothing but racist nonsense.  Racist
nonsense offered as Op-Ed material to the American press by an 800-pound
gorilla with unimpeachable credentials and the purest intentions is, yet
again, just racist nonsense, bound to hurt the cause it is meant to help.
The last thing you want in such a situation is to come across as just
another Balkan tribal demagogue spouting racist nonsense.

If you have an argument to the contrary, state it.

Yes I do.  How about the definition of racsim, maybe?
HONEST (did you notice I wrote honest?) critiscism is not racism.
Our environment has a strong influence on who we are, and sometimes
that influence is good, and sometimes it's bad.  To point out hte
affect of a bad influence is NOT NOT NOT racism.  The key to such
criticism is to be honest and fair.  If you are honest and fair you
cannot, by definition, be a racist.

As I have no personal experience in the Balkans I cannot say whether
Bela Liptak's observations are true or not, but the knee-jerk
reaction some people have to observations of culture and behavior
is just incredible.  Again, honest criticism is not racism.

Paul Gelencser
+ - see, that when people respect each other's views and (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

listen to what the other person is saying, agreement is so easy to reach. To
me, that is the most important conclusion of our correspondence with Gabor
      As to the specific points made in his last letter, I have little to
add, because I am in full agreement with his points: I don't want a Central
Europe separated by a new curtain which would leave some of my contryman on
the "other" side. I don't want to feed anti-Hungarian paranoia in Romania or
elsewhere, by hurting anybody, and I agree that often the boycotts and
blocades hurt the innocent, while covering up the inaction of powerful
 cowards. (Mark Almond wrote about the Balkan blokades: "Rarely has there
been so much peace-making and so few survivors.")
      As far as MNF is concerned, (a minor "stick" of an under $100 million
trade relationship, compared to the major "carrot" of USA good will), I would
defend the strategists of HHRF, who using the wise advice of people from Tom
Lantos to George Pataki, never pushed hard enough to deny MNF to Romania, but
used the yearly renewal process as a platform to air our grievences. I think
that this is the right strategy.
      The reason I was so happy about Bill Clinton's statement was not,
because of MFN or because he criticized the human rights record of Romania,
but because our, the Hungaryan Lobby's thousands of letters caused him to do
so. This never happened before! We never mounted such an effective political
compaign in the past. We never successfully used the political muscle of the
1.64 million (Pataki says 1.8) Hungarian-Americans. In the past, most
Hungarian-Americans were first Republicans, or Democrats, blue or white
collar, pro or nati-Jewish,  feminists or environmentalists, in other words,
they were almost anything, except pro-Hungarian! Therefore, in the past, the
first question asked about any action was: "who is behind it?" And after
hearing the answer, 90% would respond: "If he/she is for it, I'm against."
What the Net provided was the means for a "leaderless" movement, which
succeeded to overcome this fragmentation: the spirit of "nagyida." I am
convinced, that if the Hungarian-Americans can spread the news of this newly
found maturity and maintain this momentum, we will be able to do a lot of
good, not only for our oppressed brethren, but also for the whole of Central
Europe. If this becomes reality, then our emigration will not have been a
complete loss for out motherland.

Bela Liptak
+ - Re: Bela Liptak's Op-Ed letter (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Eva Balogh wrote:

I would also advise Bela Liptak to rewrite his piece for the New York Times.
Andras Kornai's two points were valid and should be considered seriously. I
have said before--and received nationalistic criticism for it--that Hungarian
diplomacy rarely manages to understand the mentality of the West, as opposed,
for example, to the that of the Czechs. Gabor's and Andras's objections to
this passage is well taken--it would not reflect well on the Hungarian

Eva Balogh

Unforunately this is correct, and to mention the 'warlike' aspects of a
people will not win many friends among the politically correct establishment
of the US.  I have not yet read Andras Kornai's two points with respect to
an article, but if they refer to the kind of thing that Gabor Fencsik has
criticised, then I'd agree that printing it in todays climate, and with the
intention of helping Hungary would not be a good idea - sad but true that
the liberal elite in the US can't handle honest debate.  I think it comes
from the civil rights fights for equality for blacks in the US.  As right
as that fight was and is, they have projected that fight into other, and
vastly different situations, where the sides don't fit the mold of the
US civil rights struggle.  To say without reasoned justification that
African_Americans are inferior to European_AMericans is not the
same as making an observation about the behavior of another group
of people who have been affected by their surrounding (see my previous mail
on the affect of the current war on the children of Yugoslavia).

Paul G.
+ - Re: Suicide (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

>I understand that Hungary has the highest suicide rate in the world.
>Could somebody briefly explain why this is the case?

Not really, but thier is a joke e in Hungary that Hungarian men die
young because of Hungarian women.  The young average age of death overall
is true, as comapred to neighboring countries, but the cause is under
heavy debate :-)   .
+ - Bela Liptak's Op-Ed letter (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

>>Andras Kornai's two points were valid and should be considered seriously.

I also found Andras writings proper, corect and helpfull.

>>Gabor's and Andras's objections to
>>this passage is well taken--it would not reflect well on the Hungarian

It is not proper to group Andras together with Gabor. One tried to be
helpfull, though he could have done it in a private letter, the other
had some meaness in it, and was wrong. (i.e. stating that environment
effect people, is a correct statement.) For example I feel, that because
of poverty, there are proportionatly more black robbers than white,
but this does not mean that the white race is better. (I sometimes
think it is worse).

+ - Re: People of the fertile plains. (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Fencsik Gabor writes:

o There are two ways of urging the U.S. to adopt a particular foreign
  policy.  One is to appeal to the audience's sense of justice, fair
  play, and committment to human rights.  The other is to persuade the
  audience that some U.S. national interest is at stake.  Which one
  applies to the situation in Vojvodina?

There is a third, and an important way. Political pressure, i.e. improve
your chance for reelections. In the case of the isreal lobby, it is surely
the most significant point. Since there are much less hungarians
(influential or otherwise)  it will probably will not overide the first
two, but it still provide influence. To say not to do something, because
it is a waste of effort, might be true, but it always carries in defeat.
It is better to try and lose, than not to try at all.

+ - Laszlo Vass? (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Laslo Vass is speaking on the Reed College campus,
October 25, on the topic "Interest Groups, Conflicts, and
Transition in Hungary."

        Does anyone have information about Dr. Vass, or
comment on Vass's relation to this topic?

        (The topic is vast, of course, and I am not asking
for comment on *it,* only on Dr. Vass himself.)

        Thank you,

        Richard W. Alexander )
+ - Re: Communists As Experts? (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

read your post. My family was exterminated by the able, compassionate
communist leaders in Hungary (except my mom).Can't believe they are making
a come-back, under any guise.
+ - Old Military Records (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

]Does anyone know a source of military records for the time
period 1888 through 1894?

I am searching for an enlisted man (not officer), likely a
conscript from the area of what is now northeast Slovakia
(Stropokov,  Solnik or Pucahu) very near the Polish border.
+ - Hungarian Museum of Passaic (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

You are cordially invited on October 29, 1995
to the Hungarian American Museum
(second floor of the Reid Memorial Library)
80 Third Street,
Passaic, New Jersey 07055

 EXHIBITION  1:00 - 3:00 PM

 "Miniature Masterworks" by Bela A. Petry

 "Trianon 1920 - 1995"


  "Centennial Anniversary of the Hungarian Reformed Church of Passaic
Presentation by Rev. Marianna Kiraly

Directions:  Take route 80 west to Exit 61, go South on River Road
(follow the river) to Monroe Street. Turn right, cross bridge and turn
left at Third Street. The Reid Library is on the left after several blocks.
(80 Third Street)
For further information call: Tel: 201-473-0013 or 201-836-4869
+ - Re: Research on Dr. Erdey (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

>And one more thing, it is not irrelevant what Dr. Endrey thinks of
Aron Monus

   I think Dr.Endrey is a kook. My  problem  is  with  the  excessive
 about  him,his  background  and  probable  associates. I don't know  anything
about  him  and so  far  what  I  read  here he  looks  like  just
another  eccentric old  Hungarian  who  went  home  to  retire.
   My  point  is; Dr.Endrey  is  not  even  a  bump on  the  historical
map  of  Hungary and  in no  way  contributed  to  the  shameful
period from 1945, 1989 to  the  present.On  the  other  hand, in  my
opinion, Hungary  would  do  well  if  somebody  did research on  who
the current  leaders  were/are, what  they  said/did  and  are
doing/or not doing.On  this  forum, there  are  many  statistics  and
publications  to  back  up  this or  that  argument and  facts  are
very  important. That  is  all  fine,  but  in  the  small  town  in
Hungary where  I  come  from everybody  knows  what  is  right  and
what  is  wrong/criminal.Dr.Endrey  is  not  on  the  latter  list  but
 plenty, if  not  most of the  names  in  key  government  positions
  As  to Dr.Endrey's maybe  friend Monus  and  his  Holocaust  apology
suit. If Horn  would  have  apologesied first  for  his and  his
friends past it  would  have  looked  a  lot  better. With  his  and
his comrades  past and  present,  to  apologize in  the  name  of
Hungary  is  insulting to  many.

+ - "Group rights" problem... (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Lectoris salutem!

        Trying to discuss the complicated Central/Eastern European
political conflicts and events, one easily collides with a theoretical
problem, that is not easy to explain to, let alone to make accepted by
even the friendliest partner. This is the problem of group rights or
collective rights, or minority rights.
        The international legal system for the time being recognizes two
types of rights for human entities: (1) - individual or personal rights,
(2) - rights of a state with internationally recognized borders.
        Rights of groups are deduced always from the concept of
individual rights, and are usually recognized and promoted by the state.
When exceptionally such collective rights are violated by individuals,
the state is there to garantee the rights of her grouped citizens.
        What if the violator is the state herself?
        In civilized democratic regions usually there exist some
international organizations which can be asked to try to persuade the
state involved. Still the state can simply declare the case an internal
affair, and then... (Greenpeace contra France?)?
        However there are less democratic regions, where the states
jealously refuse any possibility of recognizing some types of collective
rights, and immediately declare them internal affairs. An example could
be  the rights for self-determination of ethnically, geographically,
religiously, culturally etc. compounded permanent or temporary
communities. (With the new Romanian "flag ban law" can we imagine a
soccer-fan group shouting "Forza Italia and Hajra Olaszok" and flying
red-white-green flags in a Bucharest stadium? Group rights of soccer-fans
based on personal rights? Sounds funny?) Certainly one might find a huge
number of really serious examples of group rights violations in the
Central/Eastern European region.
        At this point we could say, that the theoretical  model of the
international legal system recognizing  i n d i v i d u a l  and
s t a t e  rights only and ignoring "inherent group rights" might be
working in democracies and failing or even counterproductive in
non-democratic regions of the world.

        In a less democratic state then what could be the way of trying
to achieve equal rights for cultural or ethnical or national minorities?
(Legal way to achieve an internationally accepted and respected status).
        I give you the paradoxical solution: form  a  N e w  S t a t e!
        I am serious with the logic. And this is just the scandal.
        Theoretically what else could be done? To see the tragic practice
let's have a look at the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union,
[where the problems were real and the responsibility stays  with the
Centers (Belgrade, Moscow)] and add the former Czechoslovakia [where (I
think) the problem was non-real and created by Bratislava].
        What is the acceptable solution? Perhaps this:
        The intermediate possibility of the existence of some
internationally recognized group rights could have helped in
        - securing more local autonomies that is decentralization,
        - avoiding the wish of ethnical minorities for dismembering
existent states in order to be internationally recognized,
        - weakening the centralizing tendencies of Belgrade, Moscow, etc.
        - consequently strenghtening the wish for democratic values.
        And all these with some sense of international garantees.

        Examples prove that the lack of the concept of internationally
recognized group rights was leading to the dismemberment of states, to
(civil, interethnic) wars in Croatia, Bosnia, Chechnia, Armenia, etc.
        Probably the Austro-Hungarian Empire  could have stayed together
by giving proper local autonomy to Czechs, Croats, Slovaks,
Transylvanians, Lombards, Venetians etc. The dualism of 1867 could have
been developed into more  smaller centers of local autonomies, that is
into a real federal  structure of the Carpathian Basin (Danubean
Confederation if you like).
Belgrade and Moscow could have learned their timely lesson from the
dismemberment of the  Austro-Hungarian Empire, but they did not.
Present day Centers are still strong enough to deny the right to coagulate
individual rights into minority rights, religious rights, ethnical
rights, cultural rights, that is collective rights. There is no
international garantor forum if a state declares, that such human rights
cases belong to the realm of her internal affairs.
        It would be perhaps the task of  s c h o l a r s  and
p o l i t i c i a n s   of traditionally democratic countries
to  t h i n k   over, whether the concept of the  r i g h t s  of
individuals and  states only, that is the  l a c k  of the concept of
internationally garanteed  c o l l e c t i v e  rights are satisfactory
preconditions for the  transition to  really democratic social, economic
and political systems in traditionally non-democratic regions of the
world. Our times seem to contradict to the theoretical principles of that
200 years old French revolution.

God bless us all...             Kadar Gyorgy