Hungary leads the way in defending conservative values and culture
Although in many countries around the world liberal political views dominate, some Eastern European nations have notably resisted left-wing ideology. One of the most criticized among these is Hungary.
The Hungarian government defends national sovereignty and conservative values among the nations of the world.
At a Heritage Foundation event on Monday, “Promoting Conservative Values in Modern Europe”, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga offered a timely perspective on the protection and representation of conservative values in the modern politics and the future of European conservatism. (The Daily Signal is the medium of the Heritage Foundation.)
According to Varga, the left-wing tendency that dominates the European Union undermines the sovereignty of member nations.
This argument is reminiscent of Rod Dreher’s book “Live Not by Lies”, which discusses the cultural shifts that have taken place in the West against traditional values and how a “soft totalitarianism” seems to have taken over Western societies.
The characteristic of this soft totalitarianism is the desire to remake the world, to incorporate all areas of life and culture into the field of enlightened ideology, to create new forms of language and thought, and even to force people to lie to conform to the left. wing dogma and doctrine.
Moreover, the awakened view squarely seeks to destroy cultural memory and tradition. Considered separately and independently of each other, the various aspects, such as undoing cultivation or dismantling statues, seem unrelated.
Nevertheless, if we consider it as a whole, we can see that it is all part of an integrated worldview. Radicals from another age spread their ideology and ideas into academia, business and politics. As such, this soft totalitarianism can take over governments and clash with traditional values and conservatives.
In his timely speech, Varga explained how when Hungary returned to freedom after the fall of Communism, the nations of Eastern Europe realized that Western Europe had changed dramatically in terms of culture. . She argued that Hungary does not recognize Europe. Contrary to these problems of cultural displacement and birth rate, according to Varga, Hungary decided to take another path in terms of politics and governance, which led to success.
Varga said Hungary’s success is based on three things: 1) protecting its sovereignty; 2) consistent presentation of conservative values; and 3) sovereignty and conservative values are compatible with the democratic state governed by the rule of law.
These principles are threatened not only by the growing bureaucracy of the European Union with unelected bodies trying to govern all member countries, but also by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is trying to prevent that nation to freely associate with whomever it wishes in international relations and illegally annex Ukrainian territory.
In fact, all of this is very similar to the arguments made by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in her speech to CNN’s World Conference on Economic Development in 1992, and they turned out to be correct. In her remarks, Thatcher warned that a single currency, along with the increasing centralization of the European Union, would produce unemployment, mass migration across open borders and the alienation of people from their governments, leading to “the growth of extremist parties”. .”
Time has proven these warnings to be correct. Nevertheless, Hungary remains an example of another path that could be taken to preserve cultural memory and national sovereignty. The electoral success of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban demonstrates that his party’s approach of enforcing conservative values and using power to defend Hungary’s identity can, in fact, produce not only political results, but also achieve electoral success.
Orban’s party, Fidesz, won with more than 50% of the votes cast, representing the highest vote share of any Hungarian party since the fall of communism in 1989. In other words, the policies followed in Hungary produced a mandate from the Hungarian people. .
In short, conservatives around the world would do well to learn from each other by taking a close look at countries that have strong and enduring conservative coalitions and governments in power.
Going forward, conservatives should not be afraid to wage a culture war, nor give up things like sovereignty, the rule of law and cultural memory.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal