Mr Orbán recalled that Oxford University Professor Timothy Garton Ash had criticised Hungary and the Government; he spoke of “another Europe” which he regarded as dangerous for the European Union.
“In my opinion, there is indeed another Central European cultural, intellectual and political entity that is becoming ever more different from that of Western Europe, but this is not a danger, not a threat, but a godsend for the European Union, and also for Western Europe,” the Hungarian Prime Minister said, adding that Timothy Garton Ash’s harsh criticism inspired his address which attempted to grasp the intellectual essence of today’s European debates – “as we see them” – in categories that also the Western public can understand.
Citing his address, Mr Orbán highlights that during a period of unquestionable development and brilliant success – despite evident mistakes, blunders and grave shortcomings – the conviction that the overall balance of the mission of Western civilisation and the West was fundamentally positive held out for a long time. However, something had changed by the beginning of the 21st century, just when the West led by America and Britain had won the Cold War. The thinking of Western societies is increasingly characterised by an apocalyptic mood, and Western civilisation is indeed facing severe challenges. In America, after a liberal hegemony had removed conservatives and their thoughts from the equation, Neo-Marxism is taking control of the institutions that shape thought and public thinking. In Europe, “a Muslim demographic, political and economic flood has been induced”. It seems that the West is unable to provide adequate political answers to these problems on either side of the “Big Water”. And add to that the expansion and spectacular success of China and non-Western-type societies.
“In summary, we Central Europeans take the view that the West has gradually lost its faith in its own mission. It no longer seeks meaning in its own history; instead, it keeps saying that it will end soon. It re-interprets or deletes entire chapters of its history, finding them shameful and so to be cancelled, and in the meantime it is unable to replace them with anything else. And those who are not paralysed, but are in fact very much active are such deconstructive, negative forces that would be better-off paralysed,” the document reads.
Today open society is the West’s only intellectual school of thought that can be regarded as ideologically consistent. However, the concept of open society has deprived the West of its faith in its own values and historical mission, and with this now – at the time of the Muslim flood and the rise of Asia – it is preventing the West from setting its own mission against the rising intellectual and political power centres.
“We here in Central Europe believe that without a mission we’re doomed to failure. We don’t think that anyone can make progress whilst losing their faith in that what they’re doing is important, and not only important but has a higher meaning,” the Prime Minister said.
Facts show that our rivals “are racing past” Western countries. “As far as I can see, today this process determines the life of the West. They’re rich and weak. The most dangerous combination. Those now emerging see nothing respectable in us, we’re nothing but easy prey for them,” the document lays down.
The disputes between Brussels and Hungary stem from that very difference. For the educated Western public, a sense of mission shared by a political community, a nation is now unacceptable, even suspicious; meanwhile, for the Hungarian people “this is an elementary condition of existence, and is as natural as breathing”. Ever since the establishment of the Hungarian State, the Hungarian people have had a single purpose: to organise the Carpathian Basin together with the peoples living here. “If we’re looking for the lesson of the story that is relevant to the present, the state framework is secondary. What matters is the cooperation and organisation of the peoples living in the region,” the text reads.
The Prime Minister drew attention to the fact that when politicians talk about Christianity and Christian democracy, they seek to “defend the forms of existence that grew out of the societies imbued with Christian faith. Defending personal dignity, the freedom of man created in the image of God, family as was created in Christianity, the national community and communities of faith. This is the essence of Christian democratic politics, not the defence of religious beliefs and dogmas.”
According to Mr Orbán, history in Central Europe has resulted in a mindset different from that of the West, in national self-esteem, in different notions of life.
“When today I speak to the leaders of Western European countries about gender, migration, national sovereignty and Brussels’ dangerous imperial traits, they see these debates and differences as us lagging behind, stuck in an earlier phase of development. They believe that we’re simply just behind them, but will surely catch up with them. They don’t understand that, in actual fact, there is a profound cultural, geopolitical and philosophical difference which has nothing to do with historical development as conceived by them. … In the West, an ill-adopted decision, a poor choice of career or a job completed on the basis of flawed principles is a mistake that can be easily rectified. Here in Central Europe every error or mistake can well be the last one ever made. Here life is such that the work and overall personal performance of every member of the community, of the nation add up in a big joint effort to accomplish our mission. Every child is a new guard post, every job done well and every productive life is a contribution to a big common Hungarian venture: the accomplishment of our calling of many hundreds of years. This is why we are what we are,” Mr Orbán said.
“This is a great gift of fate; this is why we may live in a country where every single Hungarian – from the street cleaner through the industrial worker and office worker to the company executive – tends to look upon their work as their own personal mission that their life depends on. This is what mysteriously twines us into a common fate that we call Hungary,” Mr Orbán’s writing entitled ‘Samizdat No. 12’ – which can also be read in English on the website – reads.