Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Hungary: an unexpected beacon of the European values?

In Hungary, the mother is a woman, the father is a man, and the sex is determined when you're born. What a shocking sequence of propositions ;-)

Two years ago, Székesfehérvár was trying to become the 2023 European Capital of Culture, something that my hometown of Pilsen could still easily become in 2015.

This was one of the videos in which these folks promoted themselves. They were abruptly eliminated because the video features too high a percentage of happy, white, straight, and even Christian people. And the European Union, the NGOs connected to its rectum, and other would-be humanist entities don't like such people! White people are bad, the EU says, almost like the orange people.

Needless to say, the conflicts between the common sense pro-European Hungary and the unhinged anti-European EU didn't start in 2018. The history of this increasingly tense relationship largely overlaps with the biography of Viktor Orbán, the current PM.

At the end of the communist era, Orbán was a pro-democracy student activist and his or their student movement ultimately transformed to Fidesz, the party that dominates the Hungarian politics. As an anti-communist student, he even got some support from George Soros. In the 1990s, it became clear that Orbán wasn't another braindead person who just wanted to replace the mindless obedience to one left-wing ideology ruled from Moscow by the mindless obedience to a mutated left-wing ideology controlled from Brussels. He actually knew what he wanted. Orbán was an ideologically anchored conservative and he is still one.

Fidesz won in 1998 and he tried four years in power. The years 2002-2010 belonged to the socialists but since 2010, Fidesz has celebrated one landslide victory after another. So indeed, the EU-Hungarian conflicts may be pretty much traced back to 2010. Along with Poland but sometimes without Poland, Hungary has established itself as the most important country that opposes – and, in fact, effectively counteracts – the mass immigration from problematic regions; the country that fights the overgrowth of hardcore homosexualism, transsexualism, and feminism (Hungary banned public programs in Women's Studies at universities); and that is simply doing many similar things right.

Today, the lawmakers amended the Hungarian constitution. When a person is born, it is determined whether it is male or female, by looking at anatomic signs of the sex. This identity holds for a lifetime, the constitution says. Also, the adoption of kids by homosexual couples is effectively prohibited. Needless to say, almost all Czech Internet commenters praise Hungary. The Western fake news media are full of hysterical, anti-Hungarian proclamations authored by the far left activists.

The Parliament has also made it easier for the incumbents to defend the power and for their allies to get the public money. I am not sure whether these New-York-Times-like statements are right and even if they were right, well, you can do deeper, more permanent changes to the country's political system if you gain the constitutional majority.

European nations sometimes share certain traits but otherwise the continent is extremely diverse and inhomogeneous, a point that geographically illiterate Americans tend to misunderstand completely. I thought that Europe was a country, a blonde singer said when asked what European country had Budapest as its capital. ;-) Hung[a]ry, is that a country? I've only heard of Turkey... Approaches to many political issues differ, too. When it came to Covid, Sweden became the only standard Western country that has adopted the right attitude to the virus, namely the business-as-usual scenario (at least from the viewpoint of the most typical members of the public). I have argued that this was possible because of Swedes' respect for the government decisions. And it just happened that the public health bodies were largely controlled by a competent epidemiologist. Also, Sweden may be said to have some kind of toughness as well as a non-empty track record of eugenics which may have helped.

Nevertheless, it's still surprising to some extent why the Covidism – which became the ultimate PC ideology in 2020, something you really can't contradict – became so absent in Sweden, a country that was co-leading Europe in many other stupid PC ideologies such as multiculturalism, feminism, and Gr@tinism. Is it similarly surprising that Hungary turned out to be the main beacon of the European values, family of the European type, and Christianity?

Well, it's actually much less surprising for me than the Swedish anti-hysterical Covid approach. Why? We must start by asking who are Hungarians.

Well, they are relative newcomers in Central Europe. Their exotic ancestors were Huns, Ungrs, or some Ersatz Turks, nomadic tribes living in the Eurasian steppes. Their language isn't even an Indo-European language. You may compare these tribes to the Slavs. Both lived in the East except that the Hungarians' ancestors lived far more to the East than the Slavs. Slavs came from a homeland that was close to Belarus or Ukraine; the Huns lived closer to Mongolia or at least Northern Caucasus etc. And the Slavs came to Central Europe in the 6th century; the Huns came in the late 9th century.

And Hungarians loved it in Pannonia. They must have mixed with the surrounding nations. These days, their DNA looks almost indistinguishable from the surrounding Slavic peoples and Romanians; the apparently nomadic admixture is just several percent of the DNA. I am actually confused about what the late 9th century newcomers looked like. At any rate, this Hungarian nation kept the exotic language but adopted Christianity.

Between 900 and 910, they used the internal clashes within Great Moravia and took over Slovakia ("Upper Hungary"), the Eastern half of Great Moravia. At that time, they were already pretty much a settled nation. Our leader Boleslaus the Cruel taught them not to organize futile raids a few decades later (by spanking their aßes). Nevertheless, the Hungarians became a viable regional power that ruled the surrounding nations. That status of a regional power continued even under the Austrian (House of Hapsburg) ownership of the region. Hungarians always kept a high degree of autonomy and became formally equal to Austria proper in 1867 (when the Austrian Empire was superseded by Austria-Hungary). Incidentally, for some 2 decades, Bohemia-Hungary has existed as a single country, a personal union with (ironically) an ethnic Polish king on top of both.

They have controlled a far greater region of Europe than the land with the Hungarian-speaking majority for more than 1000 years. At any rate, that era ended at the end of the First World War, in 1918. Well, this is the Czech interpretation of the timing. The Hungarians kept on denying for 2 years that the oversized Kingdom of Hungary was over. According to the Hungarian textbooks, the kingdom was only dissolved by the 1920 Trianon Treaty. I assure you that the Czech picture corresponded to the actual conditions on the ground in 1918-1920. Many Hungarians keep on denying the Trianon rearrangement even in 2020. It's something that looks crazy to Czechs and others; on the other hand, I can sort of understand it, Hungarians have taken those territories for granted, as their land, for over 1000 years. It's a long enough time to get used to something even if that something is detached from reality. The other nations controlled by the Hungarian aristocracy have been obedient (and pretty much satisfied, you know) for 1,000 years and it was conceivable that this unnatural state of affairs could continue for another 1,000 years. ;-)

During the 2nd millennium, Hungary enjoyed their new settled, Christian life – combined with their wild folklore music and some spicy food. Of course, we sometimes like to make them look very different, much more emotional, we are emphasizing their non-European language etc. But at the end, I think that most of Czechs – and several similar nations – really believe that Hungarians are very similar to us.

However, Hungary was much more successful in preserving their political elites that could change geopolitical conditions in Europe. Czechia has gradually lost this ability especially after 1620, due to several waves of a systematic elimination (and emigration) of the Czech elites that continued up to the 2nd part of the 20th century. These waves turned the Czech nation into an oversized working class nation ready to be governed by someone else (which also has its advantages). Hungary's elites always survived, that's also why they could negotiate the better status within the Hapsburg Empire, and that's why Hungary is playing a much more self-confident political game towards the EU than Czechia today. The double-faced, ambiguous attitudes of the Czech goverments are a norm and they're really determined by some DNA of the nation, by events that took place decades or centuries ago. However, among the regular citizens, it is totally possible that Orbán's attitudes to the new left have an even greater support among Czechs than among the Hungarians.

Meanwhile, during the 2nd millennium, Hungary was an important country that was defending Europe against the Islamic invasions – invasions by the Ottoman Empire i.e. the Turks. Sometimes Poles came to help the Hungarians to do this work; the friendship between these two no-longer-adjacent nations (Slovakia in between was transferred from Hungarians to Czechs in 1918 and we agreed with their independence, why not, a very different approach to the empire building LOL) is very old, indeed. Other nations including mine have enjoyed the results of this Hungarian hard work. We've never had any Turks here, except for the Turks living in Germany who sold me the brass jewelry as gold for $10. ;-)

Other European nations have surely agreed with Hungary a century ago or four centuries ago. But most of Western Europe has adopted the multiculturalism, partly because they had to grant some rights to the inhabitants of their former colonies; partly because they had bad conscience because of these colonies; partly because the imigration from the colonies seemed unstoppable and it automatically led to a nonzero political power held by these exotic people and their relatives and allies. Nothing like that has happened in Hungary. Hungary hasn't had any Islamic or otherwise exotic colonies. Hungarians still think the same thing about the macroscopic influx of very different cultures as their ancestors four centuries ago. Multiculturalism is still a threat that must be avoided – this common sense view has never become "controversial" in Hungary.

Similarly, they have kept their opinions about the traditional family, the sexual identity and the role of sexes, and similar questions. Especially in these topics, but mostly in the multicultural topics as well, the Hungarian opinions are naturally shared across the post-communist Europe. No one is really excited about feminism or multiculturalism etc. here because those are just new left-wing ideologies that are promoted analogously to communism but look even stupider than communism. People are experienced enough to know that most of the "great stuff" promoted by the left-wing ideologies are no good so they're not enthusiastic about that stuff. Western Europe is succumbing to this garbage because it lacks the immunity created by the vaccination of communism.

Hungary differs because it keeps its thinking of a regional power. To some extent, the same holds for Poland which also likes to think of itself as a regional power. (Czechs don't and in the case of nations like Slovakia or even Slovenia or the Baltic nations, such suggestions would sound borderline comical due to their small size; for Bulgaria and Romania, the regional power status sounds comical mostly due to the relative poverty, and so on.) There are some differences between Poland and Hungary. One of them is that throughout the 2nd millennium, Poland remained a culturally uniform country (which often had a union with Lithuania, however). On the other hand, Hungary was always a multi-ethnic kingdom near the battlefront with the Turks. That's why Hungarians arguably feel more self-confident in this topic; they know something about the co-existence of different nations, unlike the Poles. Concerning the Christian family values, of course Poland is much more religious. But the problem with that is that the nearly fundamentalist Christian approach has led to a strong enough backlash which is why Poland sometimes has the anti-Christian activists that resemble the Western ones. Hungary is far less religious (although still much more religious than Czechia) and more religiously uniform. The societal sexual and family preferences aren't due to a Christian theory (which would be the case in Poland); they're just Christianity-inspired in Hungary (and Czechia). [The previous sentence uses terms that are analogous to string theorists and string-inspired phenomenologists.] That's why there is a greater consensus about the basic, moderate, consequences of Christianity for the family setup and the sexual identity issues.

At any rate, the new extreme leftist ideologies have become so strong and omnipresent in Europe that Hungary – sometimes just Hungary, sometimes along with Poland – is the only EU member that officially and unambiguously defends the traditional European family and sexual-identity values. The percentage of the European countries' citizens who agree with Orbán is arguably comparable to 50% and it is closer to 100% than to 50% in Czechia. However, the new leftists have managed to acquire a disproportionate amount of power. The political institutions (and even schools and companies, not to mention the media) seem to reflect an alternative Europe in which 95-100 percent of the Europeans apparently believe that sexual minorities should be treated as superior and granted special privileges, aside from other, similarly insane propositions.

Lots of the EU leftists are already working on the expulsion of Hungary from the EU. Well, they would like to do more than to expel Hungary. They would love to damage that country, too. I hope that the actual outcome will have the opposite sign. Either Hungary succeeds and spreads its traditional common sense policies in the EU where they will become the default rules once again; or the European Union will decay, Hungary will be the core of a much larger bloc, and the rogue, neo-Marxist bloc will be defeated in a new Cold War just like the Soviet bloc was defeated by the late 1980s.

Hungarian is a very different language than the languages that most of us know but the values that Hungary defends are so crucial that we should be ready to learn some Hungarian in order to fit into the new Europe that will have defeated the perverse pathologies that spread from cities like Brussels.

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