Poetry 'n Prose

New World Amnesia

In the new world
amnesia we
Distance our history
with Syria’s

By 67paintings

A dialectical site of poetry, painting and the odd musical excursion into the unknown.

6 replies on “New World Amnesia”

I was saddened but not shocked to read that Hungary used tear gas and water cannons on refugees at the Hungarian-Serbian border.

It’s very disturbing to witness this brutality. The purpose of asylum is to escape persecution, and yet this treatment amounts to nothing less than what drove civilians to flee in the first place.

I’m disparaged too by the language of protecting a so called “Christian” Europe as justification for building fences. I’m not Christian but we don’t have to dig deep to see Christ’s teaching of love thy neighbour as a non exclusive principle. Sad times indeed.

You are right. It is a worrying expression and one that can only bode ill for our already troubled world. Certainly, religion should not be the crutch we use to ‘move’ into the future.

Very sad times, right.

Recently I revisited the first rendition of this poem for reasons of accuracy of the words I used. Poetry must be accurate.

In the piece I originally referred to amnesia as ‘Hungary forgot’, which implied that a significantly large proportion of Hungarian society suffers with amnesia over the revolution of 1956. They do not. They live, relive and retell stories about the revolution. They remember it very well.

The other correction was concerning Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister, and his position with the Syrian refugee situation. Looking again at his anti-immigrant rhetoric it is more appropriate to use the term ‘ignores’ as to suggest a temporary memory lapse of recall is seriousness misunderstanding of his far right agenda.

What I am left with however is the term New World Amnesia which I think applies to the mainstream media which covered the story of the refugee crisis in 2015. And the inability to connect these events as related struggles for freedom from oppression.

The global media has somehow lost the relevance of political history in the portrait that has been painted of refugees. The same has happening in other parts of Europe and indeed the world. This is what I term new world amnesia.

Orban ignores, yes….but then again, he has been elected twice by the people of Hungary, and as such stands for the majority.

Thanks for the comment. It’s correct the majority did vote for Fidesz, and it was then a declared far right party. There is no ignoring this. However much of anti-european and anti-immigrant rhetoric that has been ratchetted up since the last elections. The recent moves by Orban to stop immigration, bears some resemblance to the language of democracy, for he now proposes a referendum to end Brussel’s influence over hungarian affairs.

If you look closer you see behind this stance Orban’s exploitation of the language of fear and nationalism. For example Orbán called his regime the “System of National Cooperation.” If you don’t cooperate, you are not part of this nation. Fidesz and its supporters defend the national interest so if someone criticises Orbán’s policies, this person is the enemy of the nation. As we know, this kind of striving for national unity usually ends in disaster.

So my point was not the function or dysfunction of democracy. It’s a concern of how easily democracy may become warped, forgotten and even destroyed by nationalism. Any differences of opinion, any kind of political division, are signs of weakness in Orbán’s worldview just as the German variety of nationalism feared ethnic and religious differences.

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