Following a brief lighthearted warm-up, PM Orbán set out to place Hungary’s contemporary political climate in a historical perspective. Regarding the current national government’s holding a majority within the Hungarian parliament for over a decade, the prime minister explained that this fits the pattern of Hungarian and European political history, as “the occasional emergence of large national parties with a majority mandate in elections over a longer period of time can safely be described as a European phenomenon.” He cited the Bavarian CSU as another, non-domestic example.
In PM Orbán’s view, this ties into the larger ideological contrast between the international Left “representing global trends in an intellectual, ideological sense, along with the great world powers in a sociological, financial sense,” on the one side and the organizing force behind national political thought, which serves as a “community” with its own “interests, talents and goals” on the other. For this reason, PM Orbán added that “obviously, we will not be allied by international forces, because we are their enemy, precisely because we do not want what they want, namely for them to use Hungary in a certain sense.”
What makes this a more existential question is the fact that, as PM Orbán noted, “Europe is necessarily made up of nations, but there has always been the memory of the Roman Empire.” And this memory of a hegemonic European empire has never faded, as “it is coded into European history.” As the prime minister put it, “the other side, the Left, necessarily and constantly wants imperial order,” and while the idea has merits on paper, he emphasized that “in this battle, Hungarian national interests mean that we only have a chance of a good life, remaining who we are, and being successful in a Europe of sovereign states.”
Therefore, “while unity is important, it should be an order of unity of nations, and nation-states, not an imperial order.”
Imperial thinking is also present in Europe’s handling of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. PM Orbán highlighted that the “first mistake was deciding to globalize this war.” The decision was to escalate, instead of “limit” and “localize” the conflict; meanwhile, the dominant stance became “truth must prevail.” And this truth simply became “whatever we think is true,” according to the prime minister. This resulted in a strategy where “Ukrainians give their lives and their blood without our direct involvement, and we give money, information, and weapons, hoping that these together will be enough to defeat Russia.”
But as Prime Minister Orbán pointed out, “what has become clear over the past year, or more is that it is not working” and “certainly not leading us to any victory” but only resulting in perpetual mayhem. Therefore, PM Orbán reaffirmed that either “peace must be made immediately, or a new strategy will be needed,” adding that sadly so far, “there is no new strategy.”
Regarding Hungary’s ongoing battle with Brussels and international players, PM Orbán referred to this as the fight between “David and Goliath.” In his view, the Right must organize its politics “in relation” to this battle, with the main question being “how” it can do so.
In this regard, there are many ways to preserve the Hungarian identity or mindset, according to the prime minister. He then pointed out that this is no mere historical “coincidence” but rather a “mission.” Due to its unique cultural and historical framework, the preservation of the very essence of Hungarian identity is the mission itself; while a “German has no such mission,” this “is not the case with Hungarians.”
“We settled the area of the Carpathian Basin, and we have been cultivating it for 1,100 years, and a man has a duty toward his own land or garden. Even if he didn't buy it, but inherited it from his ancestors, he still has a duty to maintain it.”
And in this sense of duty lies both the question of “How can we do this?” as well as “What exactly do we want?”
The answer is simple.
In Prime Minister Orbán’s words:
“We want Hungary to be rich and to be strong so it can turn its strength into a secure Hungary. We want Hungary to be rich, strong, and secure so that every country in the world will give us the respect we need to feel comfortable in the world. That is what we want because that is all there is to it. There must be a plan for this. If there is no plan for this, then why do we have politicians?”