Thursday, 31 May 2012

Hungary: Philosophers cleared

Plato: 'foggy and useless'

From a friend in Hungary. He cites:

Agnes Heller and other Hungarian philosophers found 
not guilty of any criminal act – majority of the Hungarian 
press ignores the verdict.

Since the beginning of January 2011 the Hungarian philosopher and sociologist Agnes Heller and her “clique”* have faced accusations of misappropriating funds, along with half a dozen colleagues, 2 million euros for what were described as “foggy and useless” texts.

It was alleged that state funds had been used wrongly for research infrastructure, and according to one newspaper, “for translating Plato from Hungarian into Hungarian,” referring to a new translation of Plato into Hungarian.


The witch-hunt was initiated by two dailies that describe themselves as national conservative, the Magyar Nemzet and the Magyar Hírlap.

They are now keeping silent about the fact that no charges are being brought after the police investigations. The so-called accountability commissioner of the Orbán government. Gyula Budai, has also failed to comment.

 It is not known yet wether the Accused would sue for slander and/or ask for compensation at least for the damage of their reputation and loss of jobs.


*[The second case] is from Hungary where renewed nationalism has launched a hatred-driven and antisemitic-reeking media campaign against Agnes Heller and her “clique” (four other philosophers) as charged by influential Hungarian media investigating this “cosmopolitical” conspiracy. Agnes Heller, 81 years old, is a philosopher and a sociologist trained by Georg Lukács. She has taught in different countries including the United States (where, in the 1970s, she occupied the Hanna Arendt Chair at the New School, after escaping the persecutions of the communist regime. Since the beginning of this year, she has been accused of misappropriating, along with her colleagues, 2 millions euros for “foggy and useless” texts. Unsubstantiated charges try to slander her reputation, asserting that she has brought her fatherland into disgrace. In fact, nothing but her political engagement is being targeted. Like other intellectuals, she stood against the new Hungarian law that curtails the freedom of the media and denounced the authoritarian drift of the Viktor Orban administration.- International Sociologists Association via FB

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