It was another bad week for the west's great Enlightenment tradition. On Monday, the Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán, leader of the highly conservative Fidesz party, introduced its controversial new constitution allowing itself discretionary authority over the media, courts, the central bank and even personal conscience.
There is to be no division of powers in Hungary between the executive, legislative and judiciary; no guaranteed freedom of the press, nor judicial impartiality; no freedom of worship. Abortion and same-sex marriages are outlawed. And echoing other horrific moments from Europe's dark past, Orbán proposes to offer ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries Hungarian citizenship, rather as Hitler did for ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia.
Now is not the time to turn our backs on Enlightenment values
From Hungary to South Africa, the US to the UK, the right no longer embraces progress or tolerance, reason or democratic argument
Will Hutton - Observer 08/01/2012