Is Hungary unfairly demonised in the West? – Documentary answers
The 2022 Hungarian Parliamentary election is just around the corner, and it will decide whether the current government could hold its position for another four-year term, or the Hungarian joint opposition will eventually dethrone Fidesz after twelve years.
Mandinerreported that the British The New Culture Forum put together a nearly hour-long documentary on the situation of conservativism in Hungary trying to find answers on why Hungary has gotten demonised by Western politics.
Over the past three terms of the Hungarian government, the country, or maybe more accurately Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has been widely demonised by the Western media. But what is the reason behind it and how well-founded it is?
Hungary is a country with a rich history, but its people were oppressed during the majority of the past five decades, most recently by the communist regime that ended only three decades ago, the documentary said.
The demonisation began not long after the election of Fidesz in 2010. This event marks the time when the relationship between Hungary and the European Union, or the West in general, started to worsen. The change became painfully clear following the events of the 2015 migration crisis in Europe.
“One would be forgiven for thinking that Viktor Orbán was the head of an authoritarian regime, but in reality, Hungarian conservative thinking has always been about the preservation of the country’s sovereignty and freedom in the face of threatening forces from whatever direction and in whatever form they may come,” – Peter Whittle, the interviewer and narrator of the documentary said.
The Hungarian government led by Viktor Orbán had a clear stance on migration that opposed the mainstream thinking within the EU, which has led to debates and the distancing between the two parties in a growing number of aspects of political thinking since then.
“Essentially a lot of it is down to political spite, […] unfortunately, Hungary has had a bad reputation because people have been attacking Orbán,” Tibor Fischer a journalist and Head of Literature at the Matthias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) said.
The Hungarian government said that they wanted to replenish the population of the country keeping to the traditional family model and supporting existing families as well as encouraging couples to have children, as opposed to strengthening the country’s population through outside sources, such as migration.
“Every year for 40 years, more Hungarians have died than born but rather than look to immigration to solve this problem, the Hungarian government decided to incentivise the growth of families from within,” – Peter Whittle highlighted.
Due to these views and the attempt at differentiating between illegal migration and legal asylum seekers, the EU and the West put Viktor Orbán in the crosshairs and he became the target of political attacks.
“Orbán is not someone who likes to be pushed around; he is a very independent-minded man,” – Tibor Fischer added as an explanation for the bad relationship between the Hungarian Government and Brussels.
John O’Sullivan, a Director at the Danube Institute Budapest said the following about the current political assessment of Hungary:
“Well, it is demonised because I think it represents a society which we all of us remember from the societies in which we grew up in which the government is not particularly interested in your ideas and lets you get on with life, it is in the old-fashioned sense of live and let live”.
“I do not think the Hungarian government for example has the slightest interest in whether you go to church on Sundays and if so, which church you go to, but they do think that the traditional morality and religious views of the Hungarian people deserve the respect of the law and of international law and organisations,” – John O’Sullivan added.
He also argued that Hungarians do not like the West’s take on the so-called „woke” revolution because Hungarian people can easily associate its preaching with the one they were listening to during the communist regime only three decades ago.
“While the hostility to the traditional family continues to wreak havoc in the US and the countries of Western Europe, Hungary has pursued a pro-family agenda which is reaping a bountiful harvest,” – Peter Whittle said in connection with the increase in the number of births and marriages.
Peter Whittle ends the documentary by drawing a parallel between the political restoration of pride and identity with the currently ongoing Haussmann-project, which aims to revamp Budapest’s Castle District.
He says that the project speaks “more broadly” about the Hungarian political situation; “it speaks of the restoration of identity, beauty, respect and love for the country’s heritage, of the things that bind people together as a culture, a community”.
I have never read so much nonsense. You can tell that this whole thing was not cobbled together by the DNH – the standard of the English language is way beyond what they write. No, it is piece from ‘above’.
I’d love these guys to explain this to all of our well qualified youngers (holding Hungarian university degrees we paid for) who we see leaving to other EU jurisdictions, in droves. @DNH – there surely must be numbers, available, somewhere?
Every time one of our twenty or thirty something professionals walks into my office saying “I need to tell you something”, my heart sinks.
Usually, it is: “I’ve had a great offer from abroad and I am handing in my resignation”. Jobs they applied for. Why leave our very own Land of Milk and Honey?