I think of TLP because the Haidt's essay on microaggressions and relying on third parties for complaints is an echo of this TLP essay. People have abdicated problem solving and conflict resolution for a variety of reasons. This has infected our lives from the political all the way down to the personal. This probably has something to do with the state usurping roles that were formerly held by private institutions. Wherever TLP is, there's a crew of readers just wondering when the hell that book of his is going to drop.
Last week I wrote on Viktor Orban and how he changed the game in Hungary to restore sovereignty. It is also what allows him to act and speak on immigration as he does. This week, I will talk about a possible next step for #BlackLivesMatter. If you think about BLM, where does the logic and tactics carry them next?
"Our answer is clear: we would like Europe to remain the continent of Europeans. [. . .] We can say we want it, because it depends only on us: we want to preserve Hungary as a Hungarian country." - Viktor Orban
If one has noticed the migrant crisis or third world invasion 2015 of Europe, Budapest is a flashpoint for the problem. Hungary has implemented what Western media calls emergency anti-immigration laws, but the Hungarian leader would call protective measures. The man in charge of Hungary, criticized for a hard stance versus "migrants", is the man quoted above: Viktor Orban. He has many more quotes on the crisis of Europe, which is not just of immigration but of multiculturalism, history, existence and will (Orban's full speech is wonderfully recapped and discussed here). Orban is the only immigration hardliner in charge of an EU nation, and he is feeling the heat for not complying with the elite's agenda. Orban is a rebel in more ways than just immigration, and it is best to look at what he has done in Hungary to explain why he can speak publicly as he does on the invasion.
Viktor Orban was your standard politician. As a young man, he received a scholarship from the Soros Foundation, studied at Oxford, and founded a political party like a good, little post-communist reform minded young man. Orban worked in his career towards centralization, and shook hands with the proper US/EU leaders. Something changed dramatically though after the 2010 elections. This is where we can say that democracy and elections are bad, and the GOP is a flase opposition, but not all right wing parties are the same. Orban's Fidesz party decided to make sweeping changes to Hungarian politics.
Fidesz took control of parliament with a supemajority, and with that supermajority decided to rewrite the constitution. Seats in parliament were reduced, taxes and pensions were altered a bit, with an important change being super majorities to make future changes where they were formerly strictly done by the current government getting a majority. Bigger changes were elsewhere. The retirement age was lowered for judges and prosecutors, pushing out hundreds. Judcial review was scaled back on certain matters. It was an attack on a power node that Fidesz did not control, freeing Orban and company up to shape the ruling apparatus to their needs. They did not stop there.
Orban and Fidesz passed laws with regards to the media that caused Western media to shriek. It was not just what the media could do, but who could watch the media. They could not reform the institution, so they created a separate institution with power over it as well as replaced individuals. One can feel the anguish of the Western writer in these words,
Soon after Orban's Fidesz party came to power in 2010, the Fidesz-dominated parliament adopted new media legislation. Changes included a requirement that all media register with the state and that their output should be "balanced", of "relevance to the citizens of Hungary" and "respect human dignity". It also weakened protection of journalists' sources. Penalties for breaking the rules included fines, suspension, or being shut down.
Enforcing these new rules was a new watchdog, the Media Council. Its composition is decided by parliament. Because Orban's Fidesz party has a two-thirds majority in parliament, the council is made up exclusively of Fidesz appointees.
In another change, all state media and news production was bundled together in one organization - MTVA - whose leader is the leader of the Media Council. According to critics of the legislation, including the European Parliament and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the cumulative effect of these changes was to jeopardize media freedom.
No one ever asks if media "freedom" is a good thing? Declared good thing: freedom of soft censorship of what news is reported and bias of how it is reported. Media freedom in America allows for local crime stories like the Martin-Zimmerman altercation to be twisted beyond belief and become national conversations and foment wider problems. Imagine Martin-Zimmerman portrayed in a balanced manner. Does it even make trial?
Orban and his lieutenants did not stop there. Reform is impossible, so create systems and replace. While they could watch and control the message, there is always the problem of not having your guys deliver the message.
As Hungary's media laws changed after Orban became prime minister in 2010, there was also a clear-out of staff in state media. Many senior executives and hundreds of staffers were removed, union representatives said.This is framed as unfair firing for political reasons. As an observer of Western media and academic practices, this is hypocritical to bemoan. This is supposedly unfair, but how many lecturers, tenure candidates and other academics, even at the foundational, "prospective protege to groom" level, have been filtered out by the Left for political reasons? It is fair when the Left does it, but not when it is done to the Left. The Left hates this, and can fake impartiality and defending freedom to attack anyone doing to them what they did first. Controlling chokepoints allows for filtering and changing the flow. As one reporter put it, "One party controls the system now", and this is not a pro-globalization, USG puppet party.
While Orban's old moves in his early days were about centralization, now Orban's government moves towards seeking and restoring sovereignty. Orban has also taken aim at foreign NGOs and paid off the IMF loan early that Hungary accepted prior to his recent premiership. Expelling NGOs is a new approach Russia started and that others like Hungary and India are following. Orban's government is aware of the undermining influence that NGOs supply a host nation.
The new approach to debt is not just about the IMF loan, which was an easy money supplement to aid them in the economic crunch of the post-2008 crisis. Hungary has actually reduced their debt to GDP levels since Orban's ascension. We live in an interconnected world, but removing NGOs and eliminating the IMF loan and controlling debt destroy avenues for foreign infiltration. Governments around the globe are re-learning lessons prior generations (Argentina being one) learned that debt becomes a tool for foreign influence and then a means to extract wealth from an impoverished nation.
Back to Orban's quote at the top of the essay, it is as if Orban is trying to make the government and nation represent the Hungarian people. Orban's government did not stop with hard mechanisms of government but attacked softer issues. Hungary supposedly curbed women's rights (life starts at conception + requiring precriptions for emergency contraception), restricted the vote from those "mentally limited" and HORROR said marriage is between a man and woman... while allowing gay couples to register unions. Western press is pushing it as attacking democracy and flirting with human rights violations, but it can also be framed as asserting sovereignty and aligning modern government functions with traditional values. A government aligned to its people. How refreshing to hear! How horrible for globalists!
This is where we find Orban as a key figure in the current migrant crisis. Orban is saying no. He is enacting policies, building walls and speaking out against the West's self destructive elite that is welcoming migrants by the thousands. Eyes are on him as Western media outlets lash out as his immigration stance as if he is a horrid man. Like all Western propaganda, they use a Hungarian writer so you think it reflects that nation's sentiment and is not a Western attack. Unfortunately, looking at these authors like Peter Kreko, we can see he is a Western friendly prog with connections to George Soros and the USG cathedral. These outlets are pure cathedral organs that seem to have an unusual focus on Orban's changes.
Orban is also giving the people something beyond bread and circus. Pointing out the problem as externally driven from below (migrant waves) and above (Western elite), Orban gives Hungarians bad guys to channel negative energy towards. In the preamble to the new constitution, there are dramatic changes that would sound alien to Western, secular ears.
The new constitution's preamble is laden with references to God, Christianity, the fatherland, the "Holy Crown of Hungary," and traditional family values...Fidesz is trying to publicly affirm old beliefs. Similar to Putin's attempts to re-invigorate the Russian people with historical references, Orthodox imagery and natalist policies, Orban is connecting this regime and the country it represents to a deep past that current Hungarians should identify with and remember. The new constitution even mentioned the old Crown of St. Stephen. It is a cultural rallying cry reinforced in the very constitution with Orban placed at the front in a defender role. Saying no to waves of illegal immigrants reinforces that image and plays into the "Hungary for Hungarians" nation-state molding Orban is attempting. It is a role defending on different fronts, preventing framing that is merely us vs a specific them.
While originally a product of it, Orban now stands as a rejection of the globalist mission. Speaking out publicly against this wretched policy and weakness of Western elites is important not just in fact but in symbolism and source. The defiance comes not from a fringe party labeled a quasi-hate group officially but evil, racist xenophobes unofficially like Marine LePen's National Front or Nigel Farage and the UKIP. This is a head of state pointing out the bankruptcy of the West. Hajnal line history may come into play as Orban echoes similar sentiments as spoken by Vladimir Putin in recent years. Hungary, like Russia, is new to Western democracy with less than a century under its belt with an interruption due to communism. Orban and Putin both know the core fact that no Western leaders voice. The West is committing national suicide, but it does not have to be this way. It is not inevitable. There is a choice. What is required is will.
Orban, and Putin before him, can make these bold statements that so many in the West would love to hear their leaders speak, look at their control of their national systems. Western "leaders" have no such control, nor could assume such control. American readers can hear the hypothetical cries that would come from all of the media, "How could we have a watchdog?!? Our nation was founded on a free press!" Free to be bought. Free to be corrupted by any conspiracy of zealots. Look at the steps Orban and Putin have taken to completely change the framework of how their nation operates.
This frees Orban to speak as he does. Greece could hold the line and use their naval resources to deal with migrants on boats, considering their special position on the continent and Mediterranean, but they traded national sovereignty for bailouts. Not all is perfect, Orban has his faults and populist democracy is still subject to the threats of democracy. Orban and his party is still subject to the people, which is a danger, but they have taken steps to control how the people see them and what the people hear. This is why Orban can position himself against the immigration invasion fostered by the West.