PM Orbán: To be Hungarian is a calling and a mission

The prime minister said Hungarian culture and the language were “not understood other than by those who are born Hungarian”.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a political event at the weekend that to be Hungarian “is a calling and a mission, probably the most beautiful mission in the world”.

Speaking at the Tranzit Festival in Tihany, the prime minister said Hungarian culture and the language were “not understood other than by those who are born Hungarian”, adding that the culture, “1,100 years of statehood” and “opportunities it affords our children” would only survive “if we nurture them”. “If more and more young people grow up thinking that being Hungarian is exceptional and involves obligations that must be met; if they think it is good to serve the homeland, we will be many.” PM Orbán said it was regrettable that liberal democrats internationally were “far ahead of conservative democrats” in terms of political PR. This state of affairs could be reversed but “the other side is overpowering”, he said. Meanwhile, he said Hungarian political history showed that “great national parties were formed time after time”. Noting Fidesz’s run of four election wins, PM Orbán said: “We want to continue in the habit”. Reaffirming a declaration he made in 2012 that Fidesz’s “two-thirds rule is rock-solid,” he said, “It has been rock-solid ever since…” and would stay that way.

Concerning the difference between Fidesz and the opposition, PM Orbán compared professional football to amateur soccer. “Amateurs run to where they see the ball, while professionals run to where the ball will be,” he said, adding that the ruling Fidesz party had a strategy “for the short, medium, and long term”, while the opposition parties were absorbed in “picking an issue and creating a scandal”. He said international financiers looked for agents to promote their agendas and had found those agents “within Hungary’s left.” He likened them to Goliath, “and we are David”. Meanwhile, PM Orbán said young people should decide whether they have a homeland “or whether they just want to have a good time in the world…” They should ask themselves whether they have obligations or obligations arising from that identity. Once those questions are answered, they would “have both feet on the ground, and can start collecting similar people around them to build a large national army in a spiritual and political sense.” The prime minister said Hungarians’ duty was to “cultivate their land” in the Carpathian Basin.

Asked to compare the communists of the past and the current Western mainstream, the prime minister said the worlds of liberals and communists were “very far apart at first glance”. But after the fall of a communist regime, most communists had become liberals. He said the right-wing, conservative worldview hued to the idea of happiness, but “there are some things in the world that are more important than ourselves”, he said. These, he said, included the family, the homeland and God “and our relationship with him”. “If these things are more important than myself, then an answer must be found as to how to serve these,” Orbán said. “This results in different kinds of politics”. This dividing line is not ideological, political or anthropological in nature, Orbán said. He identified two political schools on the conservative side. One of them, he said, organised thought about things more important than the individual along the lines of rational answers. The other, the Christian Democratic school, says there are sacred things “that life or enemies want to turn profane, and this must be prevented”. Orbán said the answers to the questions of human existence and political questions converged both on the right and the left. He noted that liberals in 1990 “quickly took over every institution” and worked out the linguistic framework “for describing what is happening in a way that is favourable to them”. That was when they came up with the idea that democracy must be liberal, he said, adding that whereas other types of democracies had existed in the past, “this is now prohibited; there is only liberal democracy now”. Liberals, he said, had achieved a hegemonic position in the use of the means needed to shape public discourse, language and thought. And conservatives were happy to finally see the end of communism, but before they knew it “the other side had long organised itself both internationally and domestically”. Conservatives, he said, were still lagging behind by about ten years.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said Europe was currently witnessing a battle between the concept of the nation-state and the imperium, “and for us Hungarians, the chance for a good life lies in the Europe of sovereign states.” Because the Roman Empire was brought down not by another empire but by different tribes, Europe, too, is made up of nations, but it always carried with it the memory of the Roman Empire and the desire for cooperation, the prime minister said. Whereas Hungarians value the existence of nation-states, the left desired “an imperial order”, he said. Both ideas were European traditions, he said, and as long as they were in balance, “the European machine functions quite well”. PM Orbán said that when the United Kingdom had been part of the EU, it and the central European nation-states had represented the nation-state concept with roughly equal weight to the French-German axis’s representation of “the imperial concept”. The UK’s departure from the bloc was followed by the appearance of “those things that are cleverly packaged in the Anglo-Saxon way, presented as being good” and wrapped in the garb of European unity, but in fact are constantly taking the important elements of the sovereignty of nation-states, he added. “We must fight against this and if we can’t protect ourselves within the European institutions, there will be trouble,” Orbán said. At stake in next year’s European Parliamentary elections was “moving the scene of the fight to Brussels”, he added.

PM Orbán said the biggest European right-wing alliance was not fulfilling its mission to fight “empire-building” and stand up for nation-states and national independence. Instead of offering Europeans an alternative, it constantly cooperated and entered into coalitions with the left, borrowing and approving issues and language defined by the left. “That’s why we have to try to get the moderate right to stand up for its own interests instead of seeking cooperation with the left.” The right, he added, was not without its faults, “but we must work together”. At stake in next year’s European Parliamentary elections was whether this right-wing unity would become a reality and win a majority against the left, he added. Asked about the war in Ukraine, Orbán said ending the bloodshed could not begin by drafting a peace plan, as the liberal community proposed. It must begin with a ceasefire, after which there would be time to draw up a peace plan, he said. Rather than being “globalised”, the war should have been localised, but Hungary alone represented this position, he said. The West’s strategy of having the Ukrainians fight and give their lives while supplying “money, information and weapons” was not working. This strategy was not sufficient to defeat Russia, he said.