Nations experiencing economic downturns seek to uncover answers for what has happened to create large scale unemployment. In the history of Europe, bad times invariably result for seeking a scapegoat and in many areas of eastern Europe the convenient group is the Roma population which already is viewed with disdain and fear by many people. During the past few months in Hungary there have been a series of attacks on Roma families which have resulted in the murder of several individuals. These assaults have ranged from burning homes and then killing Romas attempting to escape the building to killing a man returning from work. Police investigators believe there is a pattern to the murders including the probability that shooter is an expert marksman to the mundane fact that most of the murders happened in buildings which were the last house on the street.
In virtually all cases of these murders, those killed were citizens who were working or family members with no record of having been in trouble with others. The patterns suggests the murderer simply hates Romas and most probably stalks the victims to determine the right moment for death.
Many frequently compare modern times with its economic dislocation to the events of the 1930s. Ironically, as the Depression rolled over the world there were competing ideologies and groups with rigid beliefs who thought themselves in possession of the truth. A recent survey in Hungary exemplified the lack of passionate belief in anything other than a sense of disillusionment with the prevailing government. The survey revealed 36% supported the current government and 12% supported the opposition, but no party had support from a majority of the electorate. Over half wanted the present parliament to be dissolved and 80% want a new election. But, there is no indication, based on what people tell interviewers, that a significant number of people want X or Y as their political party. It is akin to a “pox on all you politicians.”
The world is seeking answers at a time when virtually every ideology has lost favor with a majority of the population. It is as though ideas have disappeared in the vortex of time and there is simply a hole that goes on and on. Does the world need a new guru, and if that person arrived, would anyone pay attention?