By Steven Yates

February 11, 2022

“We must fight against an opponent which is different from us. Their faces are not visible, but are hidden from view; they do not fight directly, but by stealth; they are not honorable, but unprincipled; they are not national, but international; they do not believe in work, but speculate with money; they have no homeland, but feel that the whole world is theirs.”  —Viktor Orbán, ceremonial speech on the 170th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 (March 15, 2018).

“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.”  —Viktor Orbán, Tusnádfürdő speech, July 28, 2018

“Hungary was led to bankruptcy by a government of former communists pursuing liberal policy. This example strengthens the conviction that in fact there is no such thing as a liberal: a liberal is nothing more than a communist with a university degree. If we had taken their advice, right now Hungary would be in the intensive care ward, with the tubes of IMF and Brussels credit attached to every limb. And the fingers on the valves regulating the flow of credit would belong to George Soros.”  —Viktor Orbán, State of the Nation speech, February 19, 2020

Anglo-European Regime Media hates Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán—who since 2010 has led his country in a direction independent of the liberal-leftist-globalist mindset that dominates the European Union (and Regime Media itself, of course).

He’s been hit with the usual demon words: autocrat, authoritarian, proto-fascist, xenophobic, and so on.

Who is Viktor Orbán, and why is he important? Why is he so despised? What does he have to do with the narrative wars being waged on our side of the Atlantic?

Born in 1963, he studied law in one of Hungary’s major universities. He went into politics following the collapse of the Soviet Empire which freed his country from the 1945 – 1989 Communist dictatorship. He has served as prime minister twice, the first time from 1998 – 2002. He was elected again in 2010.

He is up for reelection in less than two months.

Orbán leads the country’s conservative Fidesz Party. He has unabashedly stood up for Christianity and defended strong families—establishing policies that incentivize parents to have children. He has stood against unlimited immigration and open borders. He actually had built an electrified fence along the country’s border with Serbia to keep illegals out. It is important to note: Orbán has not blocked immigration tout court. Just illegal immigration.

His efforts on behalf of Hungarians have worked! Arguably Hungary is a stronger and more prosperous country today than it was twelve years ago!

If this alone is not enough to arouse the ire of leftists who despise independent success whenever and wherever they see it, European or American, Orbán has openly attacked George Soros — also Hungarian-born but cut from a very different piece of cloth!

Orbán’s person and accomplishments were recently highlighted on a Tucker Carlson Original entitled Hungary vs George Soros (the second such program I know of, the first being on possible FBI involvement on January 6, 2021). This just-under-30-minute presentation has aroused still more hostility from all the usual suspects.

Watch the video. All Tucker does is allow the Hungarian leader to speak for himself. With Tucker as guide, Orbán allows us to see inside the country he has led and shaped for the past 12 years.

What we see is an unabashed nationalist. If he had a tagline, it might read, “Hungary for Hungarians!” And why not? As Carlson points out—and as anyone who digs into the regional history can confirm — Hungarians as a distinct people have been subject to sometimes brutal conquest and outside rule numerous times over the past few centuries: the Ottoman Turks, the Hapsburgs, the Nazis, and finally the Communists.

And now the EU, which unlike its predecessors but like most globalist entities dominates through financial control and cultural subjugation instead of overt military conquest.

Orbán understands that there are more subtle ways to destroy a country than by subjecting it to overt totalitarian rule by foreign invaders.

Just force open its borders. Never mind whether the justification is freedom of migration or “free trade.” Just let inside anyone who wants to enter!

Then do not compel assimilation, or teach them the language! Instead, let them form colonies and slowly dilute the traditions and practices that make up a national identity!

Censor criticisms or depictions of the results by calling them racist and xenophobic!

Within a generation or two, you no longer have a country with its own culture and identity!

This is what multiculturalism and political correctness have done elsewhere in the EU. Just look at the messes that characterize France, or Germany, or even the U.K (Brexit notwithstanding). The banking and other political-corporate oligarchs who run the EU doubtless live in gated and heavily-guarded communities and do not have to see the carnage on the streets and in deteriorating neighborhoods.

If you want to destroy a nation, moreover, support NGOs that serve as conduits of moneyed support for liberalism/leftism/globalism. Support academics who promote leftism and technocracy to a generation of students who then will not have been exposed to anything else. This is all where George Soros comes in.

Among the reasons Orbán is hated is that while opposing all these tendencies that dominate elsewhere he’s openly called Soros onto the carpet.

According to Regime Media, that’s not only being a “conspiracy theorist” but an “anti-Semite” to boot (Soros being Jewish)!

Orbán has called Soros “the most corrupt man in today’s international politics,” that he stands behind the financiers of the EU who threaten Hungary and monetizes their marching orders, which include supporting initiatives within the country that would force it to dismantle its border protections.

The war of words between the two escalated in 2020 following Soros publishing an article in the globalist Project Syndicate accusing Orbán of doing the very thing he has been doing for years, and advising that both Poland and Hungary be punished for rejecting a 1.15 trillion euro seven-year budget package that would enable EU member states to “become part of a unifying European empire under the banner of a global ‘open society,’” as Orbán put it. He invokes the “rule of law” so as to avoid having to call it rule by the elites.

Orbán calls Soros an “economic criminal” who “made his money through speculation, ruining the lives of millions of people, and even blackmailing entire national economies….” He adds that many believe prime ministers must not debate with economic criminals, just as governments “must not negotiate with terrorists.”

Soros embraces the idea of Europe as Empire. Orbán rejects this idea, contending that every attempt to build an empire in Europe has failed. Thus:

“ … the Soros network, which promotes a global open society and seeks to abolish national frameworks, is the greatest threat faced by the states of the European Union…. The goals of the network are obvious: to create multi-ethnic, multicultural open societies by accelerating migration, and to dismantle national decision-making, placing it in the hands of the global elite.”

Orbán signed a law giving Hungary more banking freedom than other EU nations. He understands that without this sort of independence his country will eventually be at the mercy of the EU elites. He does not reject cooperating with other European nations. Obviously, international cooperation is essential to solve common problems. But they should cooperate as independent nations, not as vassal states controlled from Brussels.

He thus cooperates on his own terms. Sometimes the results fuel the criticisms against him. For example, he has met with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose reinauguration ceremony he attended in 2018. Erdoğan has also met with Orbán in Budapest to discuss common interests. What Orbán said: “A stable Turkish government and a stable Turkey are a precondition for Hungary not to be endangered in any way due to overland migration.”

Orbán has not gotten everything right. Back in 2014 he proposed an Internet tax, which drew widespread criticism and protest. The idea was scrapped.

Far worse is that like nearly all national leaders, he drank the covid-19(84) kool-aide, importing the same injections as everyone else has done. Teachers and health care workers have been required to get them. Orbán hasn’t supported mandating them by law as Austria has done, though, leaving the matter in the hands of employers as the U.S. has tried to do. Six million Hungarians (out of a population of 9.8 million) have gotten two shots, with 3.3 million receiving the third. A fourth is being introduced. The percentage of those vaxxed in Hungary is significantly less than its neighbors. There is, like elsewhere, a determined opposition characterized in all the now-familiar ways.

Hungary’s next national election is April 3. Orbán has a tough fight on his hands. Donald Trump has endorsed him, for whatever this is worth. Otherwise, the sharks are circling. He faces a front of six opposition parties spanning the conventional spectrum. They have united behind Péter Márki-Zay, probably best characterized as a center-right, pro-EU globalist-by-default. What’s united him with them is such allegations as were made by the NGO Freedom House (an example of Soros’s meddling?) that Hungary is now only “partly free.”

As of this writing, neither Orbán’s Fidesz Party nor the opposition has an advantage according to polls. A referendum on special LGBTQ rights is to be held the same day. Among the questions to be asked voters is whether they support sexual orientation workshops in schools without parental consent and whether they favor promoting “gender reassignment” procedures as options for children. This is typical EU.

Orbán has come out against rights and privileges for homosexuals as we’d expect, and this, too, has brought down on his head the wrath of leftists. He has accused the Bidenistas in the Asylum on the Potomac, bureaucrats in Brussels, and the George Soros network of meddling in Hungary’s internal affairs ahead of the election.

He’s been criticized for “repressing” leftists in universities such as the Soros-founded Central European University which moved to Vienna in retaliation alleging having been “forced out” of Hungary and claiming their academic freedom was violated. I am unsure the education reform Orbán championed was a good idea, but it might be worth noting:as longtime readers know, academic leftists nearly always view any criticisms of their ideas as tantamount to violations of their academic freedoms; or worse (and more dishonestly), they accuse their critics of being racists, fascists, xenophobes, etc., ad nauseam. This leaves me wondering whether there is anything here to take seriously or whether this is the same as we see in American universities where leftists yell bloody murder if anyone tries to hold them accountable.

Why do events transpiring in a relatively small Eastern European nation of 9.8 million matter? Because they demonstrate before the world what actually works, i.e., brings genuine benefits to a people, versus what leaves other nations in the shambles that describes much of the rest of continental Europe (except Switzerland and the handful of other places where globalist elites typically congregate).

They demonstrate — again! — the lengths to which voices of the Regime will go, to demonize anyone exercising real leadership within his nation.

This is as true in the U.S. as it is in Europe.

Hungary now hangs in the balance. Will it remain a small but bright beacon of Christian nationalism, an “illiberal democracy” (Orbán’s phrase) in the heart of liberal-leftist-globalist Europe? Or will its voters allow it to go back down that road, sinking a unique place back into the multicultural mire? They probably ought to keep a very close eye on what happens April 3. If there’s any election the globalists would probably like to steal, it’s this one.

Steven Yates’s new book What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory (Wipf and Stock, 2021) is available here and here.

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