Budapest, December 3 (MTI) – Hungarians and Poles suffered together under communism, House Speaker László Kövér said in his opening address to an international conference on dictatorship in Budapest on Thursday.
The two nations know it from experience that “gunfire starts where ideology ends”. He said dictatorships first restrict freedom of speech, then the freedom of thought and finally the freedom of action. This is then followed by open, raw brutality, he said.
Kövér said gunfire revealed the true face of dictatorships: the regimes known as communism and socialism were based on terrorising innocent civilians. The use of violence against civilians proved that the people in both Hungary and Poland were against the communists “who stopped at nothing to uphold their autocratic rule”, he said.
The House speaker said although communism fell in 1989/90, it was gradually replaced by liberalism in the form of political correctness, or the 21st-century method to restrict freedom of expression and thought.
Kövér said there is a growing divide between liberal ideology and reality, adding that there is a danger it could “swallow up European democracy”. He said central and eastern European countries have a duty to share their historical experiences “to bring Europe back from the edge of the cliff”.