Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán: Sovereigntist world order to replace progressive-liberal one

An inglorious period of Western civilisation could be brought to an end this year, by replacing the world built on progressive-liberal hegemony with a sovereigntist one, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his opening address at the CPAC Hungary conference in Budapest on Thursday.
25. April 2024 17:56

Orbán said the progressive-liberal world order had failed as it had only brought about wars and discord, economic collapse and chaos.

Its followers claimed that their job was to realise their own ideals rather than representing the people, Orbán noted, adding that they divided the world into democracies and autocracies and said that their role was to wage a crusade against autocracies.

The leaders emerging from that world order were “unfit for the task, heap error upon error, and end up walking into their doom”, he said.

Liberal leaders thought that “everyone aligning themselves with a hegemon ideological control” was necessary for peace.

This year, there was a “unique chance” to replace that declining progressive liberal zeitgeist, he said. The sovereigntist world order has no global ideology expected to be avowed by everyone, because states’ actions are determined by national interests, he said.

In a sovereigntist world order, “the people are the ones who are truly sovereign,” and elected representatives and politicians will determine the right course of action “rather than suspicious experts and academics”, he said.

Rather than building American financier George Soros’s open society, the sovereigntist world order will construct a “protected society”, protecting the borders rather than managing migration, where raising a family is a value and families are protected as an important institution of the nation, he said. The sovereigntist world is organised without ideologies, along mutual interests, he added.

“Advocates of this old world are still sitting in Brussels, and, although it is not my job to intervene in American politics, I’m afraid they are still there in Washington as well,” Orbán warned.

“This year, we will do our best to drive them out of there,” Orbán said. “Let the age of the sovereigntists finally come, let’s return to the peaceful and safe path that made the West great,” he added. “Make America great again, make Europe great again, go Donald Trump, go European sovereigntists!”

Hungary is nowadays “a conservative island in the European progressive liberal ocean”, Orbán said.

Hungary today has a reputation in international politics, the prime minister said, adding that this was “unusual” given that it is a country of 10 million people with a “modest army” and a medium-sized GDP.

Most of the interest in Hungary, he said, was driven by the fact that while “the entirety of Europe has been flooded by a progressive liberal ocean, by some miracle there remains a conservative island, an island of difference, that defies the liberal tide, the thunder of Brussels and the hurricane of Washington”. “Not only is it defiant, but it survives and prospers and keeps winning again and again,” the prime minister added.

Orbán said CPAC’s Budapest event was a conservative conference in Europe which was not under threat of being shut down, whose organisers were not threatened and which did not have the police called on it the way it had happened last week in Brussels.

Contrary to wide-spread reports, the rule of law is robust in Hungary, “where people are free to organise any conference they choose, rent the place they like and say what they like”. Referring to the NatCon conference in Brussels earlier this month, Orbán said he could not influence judges to issue decisions on such issues even if he wanted to. “Hungarians don’t like interference in their affairs.”

Regarding the upcoming elections, Orbán said the year 2024 “is the year of practice, not theory”: there will be elections worldwide that must be won.

Orbán said the elections coincided with great changes in world politics and geopolitical trends.

The world order is changing, and “we must take our cause to victory amid those changes,” he said.

Progressive liberals were feeling the threat that the change of eras meant they would also be demoted, and the end of a progressive zeitgeist, he said. “They are ready for anything . and they are still in power, so they are dangerous opponents without moral scruples.”

Orbán said progressive liberals would not hesitate to use the tools at their disposal, including state institutions. Similarly to the communists of old, now progressives had used five steps to turn state institutions into tools of oppression, he said.

First, “they re-define what’s normal to mean the exact opposite of what it actually means: war is peace, and migration is a resource.” Then that “inside-out normality” is enforced through state institutions. Then, those with “dangerous views” are identified as a security threat, and the liberal press and activists are “sent after them”, he said. The process is concluded with state institutions getting involved, he said.

Hungary had fared that way in Brussels, and liberal European capitals and the US, “where they are trying to remove Donald Trump from the ballot through court orders”, had treated conservatives similarly, he said.

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