RussiaOctober 24 2022, 11:55 am

Hungarian Education Facility in Brussels to be Headed By Academic Who Writes for Russian Propaganda Outlet

The polit­i­cal direc­tor for Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orbán has announced that an edu­ca­tion­al facil­i­ty asso­ci­at­ed with the Orban gov­ern­ment is about to open in Brus­sels. Accord­ing to the tweet from Balázs Orbán, the Brus­sels cen­ter of the Math­ias Corv­i­nus Col­legium (MCC) will be co-direct­ed by Frank Fure­di, a Hun­gar­i­an-Cana­di­an aca­d­e­m­ic and emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor of soci­ol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kent:

Octo­ber 22, 2022 @MCC_Budapest is about to reach a major mile­stone and open its Brus­sels cen­ter under the lead­er­ship of @Furedibyte & Prof. Wern­er Patzelt! It is our goal for Hun­gary to become an intel­lec­tu­al pow­er­house, in which MCC plays a key role.

Accord­ing to a bio: Fure­di is:

…a soci­ol­o­gist and social com­men­ta­tor. Since the late 1990s, he has been wide­ly cit­ed about his views on why West­ern soci­eties find it so dif­fi­cult to engage with risk and uncer­tain­ty. He has pub­lished wide­ly about con­tro­ver­sies relat­ing to issues such as health, par­ent­ing chil­dren, food and new technology.

Fure­di is also deeply immersed in US-style “cul­ture war” themes, warn­ing about the dan­ger of “woke cap­i­tal­ism” and so-called uni­ver­si­ty trig­ger warn­ings. He is also list­ed as an author for the Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da media oper­a­tion RT (for­mer­ly Rus­sia Today), where he has pub­lished mul­ti­ple arti­cles on sim­i­lar themes, such as “Trans ide­ol­o­gy has no place in chil­dren’s groups like the Girl Guides” and “How the woke’s war on words took over 2021.” In anoth­er RP. piece titled “The sin­is­ter lega­cy of Jan­u­ary 6”, Fure­di accus­es “those in posi­tions of pow­er” of using the Jan­u­ary 6 US Capi­tol insur­rec­tion “to devel­op a cul­ture of fear.”

A recent Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report iden­ti­fied a new and devel­op­ing alliance between US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean nation­al­ists. This alliance, oper­at­ing under the rubric of “Nation­al Con­ser­vatism,” is a poten­tial means for Rus­sia to exert covert influ­ence in Europe and the US, using Hun­gary as a plat­form. The GIOR report iden­ti­fied the Math­ias Corv­i­nus Col­legium (MCC) as a pri­vate Hun­gar­i­an res­i­den­tial col­lege fund­ed by a mas­sive dona­tion of pubic funds and serv­ing as a cen­ter­piece for Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive efforts.

In July 2021, we report­ed that actors linked to Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tions were tar­get­ing Amer­i­can far-right audi­ences on alter­na­tive online plat­forms employ­ing cul­ture-war themes. In Jan­u­ary, the GIOR report­ed on a speech by Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladamir Putin that close­ly mir­rored right-wing themes that dom­i­nate the so-called “cul­ture wars” in the US. In Sep­tem­ber, we report­ed that a Dutch polit­i­cal par­ty extrem­ist fig­ure with ties to Rus­sia had spo­ken at this year’s open­ing of the MCC.


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