Yes, the lines criticizing multiculturalism and talking about the cultural identity of peoples who “live in our own homeland” were tough. More on that below. But in his speech in Tusványos, Prime Minister Orbán went no-holds-barred on five points that they would really rather sweep under the carpet. Here they are:
- We need a new war strategy, one that does not aim to win this war, but wants to make a proper peace offering
According to PM Orbán, Western strategy regarding the war in Ukraine is based on four pillars. While this strategy looked good on paper, all four pillars now seem to be cracking: Ukraine will not be able to win the war even with weapons and training from NATO; Moscow does not tremble under the energy sanctions, which hurt Europe more than they hurt Russia; and, most importantly, the world demonstrably did not line up behind us.
To end the war, the prime minister proposed, the West must abandon the policy of trying to win the armed conflict, and instead we must “stand between Russia and Ukraine” and make a “good peace offer”.
- Sanctions are not working, Europe needs a new energy policy
Even though it sells less energy in terms of quantity, Russian revenues from oil and natural gas have increased dramatically, and Gazprom’s profits have doubled. American energy giants ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips also seem to profit from the energy crisis. Meanwhile, the European Union’s energy deficit has tripled and it’s now showing a shortfall of 189 billion euros.
Western governments and Brussels bureaucrats, however, conveniently ignore these hard facts and still advocate a failed sanctions policy. In PM Orbán’s view, Europe must withdraw from natural gas and shift over the bulk of its energy needs to electricity, as the burden caused by electricity (nuclear and solar energy) is much smaller compared to other energy sources.
- Europe must not strive for a global role as long as it’s unable to keep things in order in its own backyard
In his Tusványos speech, Prime Minister Orbán spoke up against the EU elite’s push for a common European foreign policy based on simple majority vote. While Brussels sees the promise of a stronger, more effective EU policy in the new system, the real reason why Europe struggles to become a strong global player is that it’s unable to keep its own house, its “own backyard” in order. According to PM Orbán, the EU, for example, should focus on Balkans enlargement, as there now is a “big black hole” between Greece and Hungary. Similarly, the European Union should focus on defending its own borders, and support those who do, like Matteo Salvini, instead of trying to punish and even imprison them.
- The pillars of Western civilization are cracking
Once thought unshakable, the pillars of Western civilization are now cracking: We used to think pandemics have become extinct, but then came COVID; we thought there could never be war in Europe again, but now there is a war in Hungary’s neighborhood. We also believed that the Cold War was over, and the world dominated by blocs could never return. Many signs today point in the opposite direction.
The balance of power is shifting in the world due to the asymmetrical distribution of energy carriers and energy resources, most of which fall outside Western civilization.
- A global economic crisis is imminent, and a shifting of political powers within the EU
As Prime Minister Orbán has been saying for months now, Europe is in the grip of recession. While Hungary has every chance to become a local exception in a global recession, and grow its economy even in times of crisis, the rest of Europe will face a grave economic downturn.
And this economic crisis will speed up the convergence of Central Europe’s upbeat economies to the countries of Western Europe. Around 2030, PM Orbán predicts, there will be a new power dynamic within the EU, because by that time we Central Europeans will become net contributors.
Finally, regarding the PM’s criticism of open-borders immigration and the folly of multiculturalism, his remarks were rather frank, but the response was over-exaggerated. The PM didn’t say anything in those lines that he hadn’t said before.
Here’s what he said in the speech. Read it for yourself:
“The internationalist left employs a feint, an ideological ruse: the claim – their claim – that Europe by its very nature is populated by peoples of mixed race. This is a historical and semantic sleight of hand, because it conflates two different things. There is a world in which European peoples are mixed together with those arriving from outside Europe. Now that is a mixed-race world. And there is our world, where people from within Europe mix with one another, move around, work, and relocate. So, for example, in the Carpathian Basin we are not mixed-race: we are simply a mixture of peoples living in our own European homeland. And, given a favourable alignment of stars and a following wind, these peoples merge together in a kind of Hungaro-Pannonian sauce, creating their own new European culture. This is why we have always fought: we are willing to mix with one another, but we do not want to become peoples of mixed-race. This is why we fought at Nándorfehérvár/Belgrade, this is why we stopped the Turks at Vienna, and – if I am not mistaken – this is why, in still older times – the French stopped the Arabs at Poitiers.”
But Prime Minister Orbán, along with many, many others have been questioning whether immigration and assimilation are working. The PM has been outspoken on this topic for years. We managed to find not one, not two, but 63 speeches and interviews from the last seven years when the prime minister touched upon the problems of mixing radically different peoples and cultures.
I’ll give you a couple of examples:
“In the nations that have made themselves immigrant countries I see no evidence of the strength, ability or knowledge that would enable them to revert to being non-immigrant countries. But if they are unable to do this, they will become countries with mixed populations, with a Christian element and a non-Christian element which has a strong religious identity. And if I judge the laws of biology and mathematics correctly, the ratio between these two elements will continuously shift away from Christianity and towards the non-Christian religious communities.” (September 16, 2017)
“The future depends on young people who understand that if we want a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe – and that is exactly what we want – then we must also want a Christian Hungary and a Christian Europe, instead of what now threatens us: a Europe with a mixed population and no sense of identity.” (October 2, 2017)
“Whatever the reason, Western Europe has become an immigrant zone and a world of mixed populations; and, unlike central Europe, it is heading in the direction of a completely new development future. This is bad news for us. This means that Islamic civilization – which has always seen its mission as the conversion of Europe to what it calls the true faith – will knock on Central Europe’s door not only from the South, but also from the West.” (February 18, 2018)
“They don’t want to see Czechs, Poles, Hungarians or Germans: they want to see a new race of Europeans resulting from their process of importing people from distant parts of the world, from different civilizations, and mixing them with us. They believe that this will result in a nobler, greater Europe than our Europe of Czechs, Hungarians, Poles – or, indeed, Germans.” (December 14, 2018)
“We don’t want to have to mix with people from foreign cultures so that in the end – as in your countries – we have to adapt to newcomers instead of them adapting to us. Because already this is the situation in the West. We don’t want to go down that path. We wish you every success, but we don’t want to step onto that path.” (July 24, 2020)
It’s no accident that the PM has been making this argument regularly since 2015, a year that saw several terrorist attacks and some of the worst days of the migration crisis, when over a million illegal migrants entered Europe.
Those who are misinterpreting what Prime Minister Orbán said in his speech on Saturday clearly don’t understand the difference between the mixing of different ethnic groups that all originate in the Judeo-Christian cultural sphere, and the mixing of peoples from different civilizations.