Orbán on sectarian liberalism, democracy and Hungary’s place

Hungary and Prime Minister Orbán have been being attacked for its “illiberalism” recently. Even President Obama has made a  quite hostile remark about Hungary:

From Russia to China to Venezuela, you are seeing relentless crackdowns, vilifying legitimate dissent as subversive. In places like Azerbaijan, laws make it incredibly difficult for NGOs even to operate. From Hungary to Egypt, endless regulations and overt intimidation increasingly target civil society

And Obama has let the (poor) cat out of the bag in the same speech. This sentence speaks for itself:

I believe America’s support for civil society [in foreign countries] is a matter of national security [for the USA].

Can they?

In case somebody didn’t know,  Obama included Hungary in that list  because of the  Norway Civil Fund … which is not so Norwegian after all. For more details about this matter, see my earlier post  titled Epic fail.

No doubt the current USA leadership  really wants their “liberal” stooges back in power, the postcommies who call themselves  “democratic opposition”.  Since Fidesz has been supported by about half of the decided Hungarian voters  for quite a while, and the five or so “democratic parties”  stand at less than 20% altogether, a “colour revolution” has got slim chances in Hungary.  After the national elections in April and the European Parliament elections in May, Fidesz is going to win its third landslide election next week on the local elections.

Anyway,  let’s see what Orbán said in a speech a few days ago, a few days before Obama’s speech.

No smaller task is ahead of us than trying to establish a new Hungarian state, independent of the taboo system of political correctness well-established in Western Europe, which would make our (national) community successful in the worldwide race.  It’s important to note that the thoughts of  Adenauer or Schuman, the great figures of Christian democracy, wouldn’t qualify politically correct in Eurospeak today. So Christian democracts must not be scared even if the high priests of the Liberal Sect demand  our excommunication louder and louder. This way they would excommunicate the great figures of Christian democracy as well from European politics.  The supporters of liberal democracy think something is either liberal democracy or it is not a democracy. They can do so only because they think what they represent is the exclusively right point of view.  That is how the majority principle gets replaced with the principle of “kizárólagosság”  and this is how the liberal and democratic principles become contradictory.  [Leto’s remark: “kizárólagosság” means “exclusivity” but “absolutism” may be  actually more appropriate in this context.]

The liberals defend themselves from the unpleasant feeling of being in the minority this way .  This may be understandable from a psychological point of view but it’s absolutely not acceptable in a dispute about principles, values and eventually in a dispute about choosing political models.

The will of the majority is something you cannot circumvent in a democracy, in a European democracy.   There are several acceptable forms of democracy. Democracy is not necessarily liberal and if something is not liberal then it may still be democracy. The liberals always want people believe one can choose only between two possibilities. One of the most important issues in the future is that we, Hungarians should avoid this dead end [Leto’s remark: that is this false dichotomy, black-and-white-thinking]. We must keep  on agenda what democracy means in Europe.  It’s imperative that we state that a political community may have other goals than realizing abstract principles and abstract trains of thoughts.  Such goals could be ensuring one’s (biological) survival and defending one’s basic beliefs.

Our politics, what we followed in the recent years, also goes against the interests of political groups which are built on the taboo system of political correctness. So they are not  choosey  with the tools and methods they employ.  If you don’t accept today’s monopolistic liberal value system then you’ll be a supporter of dictatorship and they will mention you together with China, Russia or Singapore. Of course they themselves know their claim is false since Hungary is an inseparable part of the West. Even Communism and the Soviet Union couldn’t uproot us from there. This is why we are a member of the European Union and NATO, too.

 

The Legacy of Totalitarianism Today

The View East

Last week I spent a few days in Prague, where I was attending an International Conference ‘The Legacy of Totalitarianism Today’ (Dědictví Totality Dnes). The conference was organised by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience in association with several of their partner organisations, and hosted by the Senate of the Czech Parliament. In addition to two full days of conference presentations and discussion, two linked film showings were offered at European House (Evropský dům): Andrzej Wajda’s Katyn (2007) and a special screening of The Soviet Story (2008) followed by a great Q and A session with Director Edvīns Šnore. You can read more about The Soviet Story (and order copies!) at the official website here.

It's always nice to have a reason to visit beautiful Prague! Photo ©‎ Kelly Hignett. It’s always nice to have a reason to visit beautiful Prague! Photo ©‎ Kelly Hignett.

A particular highlight for me was the invitation to attend the presentation of the…

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25 years ago

I’ve taken part on quite a few political rallies in my life and at least one of these will surely be in future history textbooks. That’s the reburial of Imre Nagy, the  Communist Prime Minister executed by his comrades after  the ’56 revolution and, of other martyrs, on the 16th of June, 1989.  We’ve just had the 25th anniversary of this major Hungarian political event.

I must be somewhere in this picture

I still remember the feeling of somehow being part of history in the middle of a more than 100,000 strong crowd on Heroes’ Square.   I remember the long queue of speakers who didn’t really make much of an impression. And I remember that finally a young unshaven lad came and he delivered a speech everybody remembers. He demanded that the occupying Soviet troops should leave Hungary. I remember the astonishment in the crowd, the disbelief that somebody dared to say that then. I remember it crossed my mind that his microphone would be switched off immediately and he would be arrested by undercover policemen on the spot.

MSZMP, the state party of the Communist dictatorship shed the letter M (for “munkás”, that is “worker”) a few months after this event and it became MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party). They were already busy at converting their political power into media and economic power. Then they returned into government in 1994.  That young stubbly lad who delivered that speech beat them first in 1998 against the odds and he became prime minister first in 1998.  Viktor Orbán did a pretty good job: Hungary had a five percent GDP growth in 2000 and Hungary’s already big public debt was decreased to 54 percents of the GDP.   Unfortunately the postcommies, that is MSZP and their ‘left-liberal’ sidekick SZDSZ, won the 2002 elections with the slogan “more money to people!”.  They did so indeed … by taking out foreign loans again. And, of course, their own people got the real money.  Soon these postcommies completely ruined the Hungarian economy but they still managed to win the 2006 elections by “lying day and night“, with the active help of the European Commision.  The West preferred the ex-Communists, who served the Soviet Union and switched to serving the Western interests, to those troublesome Hungarian nationalists, populists, anti-Semites, what-have-you.   Then Orbán won the elections again in 2010, Hungary’s debt ratio was already 80+ percents at this time,  and Hungary was overtaken in GDP per capita by many countries (Slovakia, Poland, Estonia, etc.) we were much ahead of ten years earlier.  Hungarians gave Orbán a huge political mandate so that he should put things right … like how the economy performed at the turn of the millennium when he was prime minister. Well, it seems his government is delivering  results … but it’s a very long way to get back to that relative position Hungary’s economy enjoyed  in the region then.

Orbán delivering his famous speech in 1989 which burst him into Hungarian politics

 

MSZP started fragmenting after their crushing defeat in 2010 and one of these splinters is ex-Socialist prime minister Gordon Bajnai‘s party called ‘Együtt 2014’.   Hungary has a Soviet-built nuclear power station in Paks, which supplies 40% of all electricity,  and two of these blocks will have to be decommissioned in 2025,  two new nuclear power station blocks will have to be built by then.  The postcommies wanted to award the building contract to the USA or to France.  It was no coincidence that  Socialist prime minister Péter Medgyessy was awarded the French Legion of Honour for his activities… and the French nuclear company Areva caused a serious nuclear  accident in 2003. The problem  had to solved by the Russian Rosatom.  Orbán’s government decided in 2013 that Russia should build Hungary’s two new power station blocks because they’ve got the technological advantage here and Russia gave us a long term, low interest rate loan with a high percentage of Hungarian economic participation.   For comparison, just check out what the French company Areva has been doing in Finland…

And now comes the punchline: the successors of the Communist state party, those faithful servants of the Soviet occupiers, who had the reburied ones executed in the first place,   managed to say, on the 25th anniversary of the historic reburial of their victims, to the very man who first demanded the withdrawal of the Soviet troops that

Orbán sold Hungary’s independence out to Russia and he called in the ones whose driving away Imre Nagy and other martyrs gave their life for.

This is so unthinkably absurd…  If  somebody from Finland  reads this then  let me ask  them: Did the Finnish Communist party, or some successor party,  say that the Finnish government stained the memory of those Finnish heroes who fought against the Soviets in the Winter War when the Finnish government granted  Rosatom to build a nuclear power station in Finland?

 

 

 

EU is soft copy of Soviet Union

This blog entry is a translation of a radio interview, broadcast in Lánchíd Rádió,  with an extraordinary anti-Communist Russian man, Vladimir Bukovsky.  He was a leading member of the anti-Soviet dissident movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s,  he is a writer, a neurophysiologist and a political activist who spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, forced labour camps and forced-treatment psychiatric hospitals used by the Soviet dictatorship  as special prisons.  Eventually he was exchanged for a Chilean Communist in 1976 and now he lives in the UK.  Please read up on him on Wikipedia. So here goes the interview:

Vladimir Bukovsky

Q: You’ve been awarded the Petőfi Prize for your struggle for the freedom of Central European peoples. Do you think this freedom has been realized, two decades after the fall of the Soviet empire?

A:  This depends on which European country you mean because the situation differs in each. Some countries are free, some are less so.  Of course, Russia and Belarus are in the worst situation.  These haven’t changed much. Actually they’ve gone backwards, they are trying to restore the Soviet regime. The Baltic states are better examples [for achieving freedom] and the situation varies greatly in Eastern Europe, too.  Poland is very different and Bulgaria, too.  Unfortunately the Soviet regime should have been ended much more decidedly and it should have been condemned more. Things have slowed down. The old nomenklatura has survived and it still has a big influence. They are still in control  to some extent.  This hinders restoring things which works with differing efficiency in various countries anyway.  It’s a tragedy common to all countries that making Communists accountable [for their sins] hasn’t succeeded properly.

Q:  So do you think there should be a procedure for that like the Nuremberg trials for the Nazi?

A: Yes, that’s what we would have neededThis has become much more troublesome by now. It could have been done perfectly well in 1991 or 1992 and then the old nomenklatura could not have returned. However this didn’t happen, things have slowed down, then the Communists returned to power, they slowed things down even though these countries would have needed quick refurbishing. This is why it is very tragic and very bad what happened and how.

Q: You likened the European Union to the Soviet Union in an earlier speech. Do you think Brussels is similar to Moscow?

A: It’s a copy, a soft copy of the Soviet regime.  They don’t have Gulags yet but the structures are very similar. And their philosophies are similar, too: neither is democratic, both is controlled from the above and the leadership is not elected. We [citizens] don’t elect the European Commission. We do elect the members of the European Parliament but this has much less power then the management. Each MEP has 6 minutes to speak a year. This is ridiculous, they’ve got no power.  So both unions are undemocratic, governed from the above by a non-elected body, the nomenklatura, which cannot be sacked. They are expensive to keep and they spend an awfully lot of money on themselves, thriftlessly and absolutely nonsensically. This “crazy bureaucracy” comes up with things which have nothing to do with reality. Several policies are ridiculous.  For example, a few years ago the European Commission banned hunting horses and zebras for food… but where in hell are there zebras in Europe? So why cannot you hunt them? Do they think of a continent packed with zebras or what? This is similar madness as if it was an idea of the Soviet bureaucracy.

Q: However today, in the 21st century European Union, there are no labour camps for those who think differently from the mainstream. There are no mass murders, there is no forced psychiatric treatment like the one you were subjected to in the Soviet Union in the 1970’s.

A: Not yet.  Yes, like I said, this is a soft version of the Soviet Union. But they are working on it. You’ve got Europol, for example, which is tasked to police people in 32 crime categories. Out of these two, racism and xenophobia, aren’t crimes in any of the member states.  So Europol can arrest one for being racist and xenophobic while there’s no legal definition for these. If you are labelled “racist” then you may go to prison and this is bound to happen. Are they going to utilize psychiatry?  It’s very likely. I doubt they’d ever build a Gulag. There isn’t enough room for that, where could they do that in Europe?  Even the Scottish Shetland Islands aren’t big enough for this. So I think abuse with psychiatry will be more likely. There exists already “counselling”  that, if you are deemed not to be tolerant enough with other races or other sexual orientations, you are sent to. There exists such a thing already in Great Britain and you, Hungarians are going to have such a thing, too. If there is something in an EU country then there’s going to be such a thing in the rest, too. Then there are “culturally sensitive therapists”.  If you are not sensitive enough to certain minority issues then you are sent to a therapist who awakens your sensitivity.  What do you say about that?

Q:  You have mentioned the Europol which you consider as a good example for the standardization concepts of the EU. You  had the opportunity to see KGB documents where it was revealed how the Soviet Union influenced Western politics, both ideologically and materially.  That empire has ceased to exist. Do you think there would be something or some persons in the background now, too, driving these standardization efforts?

A:  Standardization belongs to the very essence of the European Union.  It was conceptualized that things must be made uniform before the EU was born.  That’s evident. This was not KGB influence, that was an own policy [of the EU]. But the Russian influence is very strong today, through economic ties, especially through the oil and gas supply.  They use this as a political weapon, as blackmail. Then you’ve got the expanding Russian business presence in the West. That’s also quite strong. Most Russian businesses are controlled by the KGB.  So if such “private sector businesses” get into a country then that means KGB got there, too.   Then they start working to accumulate [political] influence.  Their influence is very strong these days, much stronger than anyone would have expected after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It’s not ideological influence anymore.  There used to be such things as “left wing, Socialist  ideas” and so on. That’s gone. Today’s Russia is not controlled ideologically. It’s devilishly corrupt. This corrupt business-making keeps spreading, that’s the worst part.

Q: When you talk about ideological dictatorship in the EU, do you mean that leftist thinking has penetrated the European conservative parties, too?

A: Yes, the conservative parties have to accept this. Once you started aligning yourself to the [European] Union, you have to do as the EU says. Let’s think of the latest controversial decision [in the UK] concerning the marriage of homosexuals. This is now allowed  in the UK [ed: in fact only in England and Wales], Cameron introduced it, a conservative politician, who pushed it through the Parliament.  He is conservative but the initiative is typically  a leftist one. And why? Because he wants to suit the EU. Conservative or not, you must do what the EU wants.

Q:  The [second] Orbán government started working three years ago. There has been an awfully lot of criticisms about their political and economic policies. Does this signal the Hungarian government goes against the mainstream thinking?

A:  I think criticizing a government is normal in a democracy. There’s nothing wrong with that if people are dissatisfied then they criticize. That’s how democracy works. But in the case of Hungary, and especially in the case of Viktor Orbán, there is international pressure.  It’s not the Hungarians who criticize him for certain things but international organizations, institutions express their annoyance at him because he behaves uncontrollably, he seems to be uncontrollable. I know this very well since I’ve been accused  of being uncontrollable in all my life.  I always wanted to be that. If they don’t like this, that’s their problem. So I think there is an undeniable international campaign against Viktor Orbán.  That’s been like that ever since he took office. They  are looking for topics where they can arm-twist him and they’ve just started it again, I think. I’m not particularly surprised. He doesn’t have an easy job.

Q:  You mentioned concerning the [European] Union that its fall is approaching. But I’d like to have a more optimistic end to this conversation: what do you think needs to be done in order to change the European situation and to achieve freedom?

A:  I think the first step is to break up the European Union because the EU is the very cause of the lack of freedom and oppression. It has to be dismantled. We must return to the Common Market [also known as European Economic Community]. The EEC worked well, there was nothing wrong with it. It all went downhill when they decided they’d create a state in place of the market.  The best thing would be if we could turn back to 1985, the times of the Common Market.  To build a unified state, that’s just craziness. It’s a real Soviet project. It sounds exactly like the Soviet Union.

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