Above is the complete video, with English subtitles, of Orbán’s speech in Transylvania, in which he highlighted his accomplishments and outlined a vision of a renewed Central Europe pursuing its own geopolitical interests, but also being a region based on national sovereignty, Christian values, and resistance to contemporary Left-wing “liberalism,” as well as the rejection of non-European immigration and the values of the “’68 generation.” The link is to the complete text of this speech, which is a bit long to follow along comfortably with the subtitles – at least it is, for me.
There is much in this speech that is worth “reading, marking, learning, and inwardly digesting,” but one item that leapt out at me were the five tenets he proposed for not Hungary alone, but Central Europe, in the years and decades ahead. They are these:
“I have formulated five tenets for the project of building up Central Europe. The first is that every European country has the right to defend its Christian culture, and the right to reject the ideology of multiculturalism.
“Our second tenet is that every country has the right to defend the traditional family model, and is entitled to assert that every child has the right to a mother and a father.
“The third Central European tenet is that every Central European country has the right to defend the nationally strategic economic sectors and markets which are of crucial importance to it.
“The fourth tenet is that every country has the right to defend its borders, and it has the right to reject immigration.
“And the fifth tenet is that every European country has the right to insist on the principle of one nation, one vote on the most important issues, and that this right must not be denied in the European Union.
“In other words, we Central Europeans claim that there is life beyond globalism, which is not the only path.”
With obvious adjustments based on region and political alignment (particularly for those of us who are – thankfully! – not part of the EU), it seems to me that these five tenets make a good deal of sense for all who value national sovereignty, identify, self-expression, history, heritage, and tradition over globalist suppression of these elements.
And then there is this, in which he has placed his finger squarely upon the crisis facing Europe itself:
“I can tell you that if we take a look at Europe, we can see that it was once a great civilization. Europe was once a power center that shaped the world. This was so because it dared to think, it dared to act, it was brave, and it embarked upon great endeavors.
“If we look at one civilization or another from a spiritual perspective – and there is a branch of literature devoted to this – we can conclude that civilizations are comprised of four things. Civilizations are entities of a spiritual nature. They are formed from the spirit of religion, the spirit of creative arts, the spirit of research, and the spirit of business enterprise. These are the spirits that can form a civilization.
“If we look at our Europe now in terms of the spirit of religion, we see that it has rejected its Christian foundations. In terms of the spirit of creative arts, we see that there is censorship, and political correctness is forced upon us. In terms of the spirit of research, we can say that the US has overtaken our Europe, and soon China will also have done so. And as regards the spirit of business in Europe, we can say that instead of the spirit of business, today Brussels and economic regulations are ruled by the spirit of bureaucracy.”
“The gravity of the situation – the gravity of the situation of European civilization – has been revealed by the migrant crisis. Let me take a complex thought and simplify it: We must face up to the fact that Europe’s leaders are inadequate, and that they’ve been unable to defend Europe against immigration. The European elite has failed, and the European Commission is the symbol of that failure…
“Now we should ask ourselves why the European elite – which is today exclusively a liberal elite – has failed.
“The answer to this question – or at least this is where I look for the answer – is that first of all it has rejected its roots, and instead of a Europe resting on Christian foundations, it is building a Europe of the ‘open society.’ In Christian Europe, there was honor in work, man had dignity, men and women were equal, the family was the basis of the nation, the nation was the basis of Europe, and states guaranteed security.
“In today’s open-society Europe, there are no borders; European people can be readily replaced with immigrants; the family has been transformed into an optional, fluid form of cohabitation; the nation, national identity, and national pride are seen as negative and obsolete notions; and the state no longer guarantees security in Europe. In fact, in liberal Europe, being European means nothing at all: It has no direction, and it is simply form devoid of content.”
This could, of course, be said about the West in general, at this point in our history! But the situation is even more poignant and critical in Europe itself, which is the homeland of its own indigenous people – Europeans – as well as acutely vulnerable (due to its location) to masses of migrants pouring in from elsewhere… and particularly from regions with alien cultures and ethnicities.
The potential result, if left unchecked, is the complete annihilation of Europe itself: a threat which should be of concern not only to anyone of European heritage, anywhere in the world, but of anyone, anywhere, who has any concern for legitimate multiculturalism, true global diversity, and cultural survival – not the ersatz version of “multiculturalism” spewed by the globalist Left.
“If you think back over the past one hundred years or so of European democracy, you can detect a pattern in which matters in Europe have effectively been decided by competition between two camps: on one side, communities based on the continuing foundations of Christian tradition – let us call them Christian democratic parties; and, on the other side, the organizations of communities which question and reject tradition – let us call them Left-wing liberal parties…
“Christian democratic politics means that the ways of life springing from Christian culture must be protected. Our duty [from a political perspective] is not to defend the articles of faith, but the forms of being that have grown from them.
“These include human dignity, the family, and the nation – because Christianity does not seek to attain universality through the abolition of nations, but through the preservation of nations. Other forms which must be protected and strengthened include our faith communities. This – and not the protection of religious articles of faith – is the duty of Christian democracy…
“Let us confidently declare that Christian democracy is not liberal. Liberal democracy is liberal, while Christian democracy is, by definition, not liberal: it is, if you like, illiberal. And we can specifically say this in connection with a few important issues – say, three great issues.
“Liberal democracy is in favor of multiculturalism, while Christian democracy gives priority to Christian culture; this is an illiberal concept. Liberal democracy is pro-immigration, while Christian democracy is anti-immigration; this is again a genuinely illiberal concept. And liberal democracy sides with adaptable family models, while Christian democracy rests on the foundations of the Christian family model; once more, this is an illiberal concept.”
“Illiberal” is a word-concept that rings with some dissonance on the contemporary ear, especially here in the U.S., where there is still a memory of classical or traditional liberalism, with its connotations of broad-mindedness, generosity, and tolerance. The sad truth, however, is that what passes for political “liberalism” in today’s world has strayed very far from those concepts. Par exemple:
For our Founders, liberty involved freedom from excessive government interference; for today’s liberals, government enforcement of their preferred social norms is not only permissible, but expected, even demanded. For liberals of the past, freedom of speech and expression was a fundamental, core value; for the so-called “liberal” Left of today, freedom of speech may be, and they would argue in some cases should be, suppressed to prevent what they view as “offensive” speech. Such are the vagaries of linguistic development, in the sociopolitical sphere!
In such a context, to classify what Orbán calls “Christian democracy” as “illiberal” is not only comprehensible, but logical: liberalism having betrayed its own foundations, it must now be reigned in for the good of society, and for the future of humankind. As a first step in that direction, he cites the upcoming European Parliament elections, scheduled for next May:
“Let us brace ourselves, let us launch ourselves into this intellectual debate, and so let us steel ourselves for the European Parliament elections. We are on the threshold of a great moment, and we’ll see whether or not it comes to fulfillment. The opportunity is here. Next May we can wave goodbye not only to liberal democracy and the liberal non-democratic system that has been built on its foundations, but also to the entire elite of ’68.
“If the elite of ’68 leaves the field, there is only one question to be answered: who will arrive to replace them? And the modest answer we must give to this is that we are on our way. Calmly, and with restraint and composure, we must say that the generation of the ’90s is arriving to replace the generation of ’68. In European politics, it is the turn of the anti-Communist generation, which has Christian convictions and commitment to the nation.
“Thirty years ago, we thought that Europe was our future. Today we believe that we are Europe’s future.“
For someone such as myself, who is deeply concerned about the direction of the West, it is impossible not to read these words and be encouraged. Not that Orbán is perfect; there is One and only One perfect man, One and only One Saviour: Jesus Christ our Lord. As one commentator points out, many of us are
“always looking for a hero – Putin, Trump, Orbán, or whoever – and as we know this sometimes leads people to ignore their flaws and hero-worship them, all of whom in the end are, after all, nothing more than politicians, even if they do things that are in some ways beneficial for us.
“And there are certainly valid criticisms one can make of Orbán, especially for a Hungarian. But I still think that the positives far outweigh the negatives. There can be no question that Orbán has done great work on behalf of all in the West by standing up to Brussels over immigration.”
Indeed. I wish him, Hungary, and the Visegrád Four (as well as their allies in Austria and Italy) all the best, as they struggle to protect the sovereignty, self-identify, culture, history, and heritage of Europe – Christian Europe – against a rising tide of alien immigration from without, and atheistic nihilism from within.
Read the speech (or listen to it and read the subtitles). There is much more than I have recounted here, and though a lot of it is specific to Hungary and/or Central Europe, there is much that’s worth reading by the rest of us!