Monday, July 31, 2017

Viktor Orbán’s Speech on the Anniversary of the 1848 Revolution

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's in front of the National Museum giving his anniversary speech of the 1848 Revolution
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in front of the National Museum, delivering his anniversary speech of the 1848 Revolution.
Photo: About Hungary Blog/In the spirit of 1848, says PM Orbán, we have a chance to transform Europe

On March 15, 2017, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered what I consider to be one of the most relevant and significant speeches for both Hungary and Europe, on a national day when Hungarians commemorate the 1848 Revolution; a revolution that became a war of independence from the Austrian Empire, ruled by the Habsburg dynasty.

Orbán's speech is just one in a long list of impressive speeches, given by a man whose leadership and patriotism is beyond reproach; a man who is, in my view, a modern day hero in the making.

Perhaps what best illustrates Orbán's unwavering patriotism and strong leadership abilities has been the exemplary manner in which he has fulfilled the primary responsibility of any prime minister; that is, to ensure the safety and security of the citizenry.

One need only look to the border security measures that Orbán has put in place since the summer of 2015; measures that have ensured that Hungary's borders are protected from hordes of so-called "refugees," (economic migrants) who not only pose a threat to the economic, political, and social stability of Hungarian society, but to the very core of Hungary's Christian identity, heritage, and culture.

Orbán accomplished this in a most identifiable way by the construction of two military fences at its borders, that together with a group of security forces—3000 border-hunters, modern-day border-fort garrisons, officers and the police, and members of the defence forces—has in effect, shut down the Balkan migrant route, of which Hungary was an extension.

To get an even greater sense of just how seriously Orbán takes his responsibility for providing safety and security, consider reading my blog post, Hungary's New Border-Hunters: A Response to the Ongoing Migrant Crisis.

Orbán's Speech

In keeping with a long-held tradition Orbán delivered his speech at the front steps of the National Museum, where in 1848, a mass demonstration—an event that is considered to be one of the central events that set the revolution in motion—against the Habsburg dynasty assembled during which the "Twelve Points" were read: a list of demands to the Habsburg governor co-authored by Sándor Petöfi and his Nemzeti Dal, a revolutionary poem.

Orbán began his speech by welcoming Polish visitors, who regularly attend this most important national day for Hungary; one that Poles intimately understand and support.

Using the analogy of taking a photograph, Orbán characterized the national celebration—a Hungarian national holiday—as synonymous to the taking a family photograph of the Hungarian people, who have stood the test of time in many battles, wars and uprisings, and through the sacrifice of many courageous compatriots, exist today allowing Hungarians, along with those courageous people from the past to be "photographed" together. It is a photograph that, in part, pays tribute to and honours those brave souls!

Referring to Hungary's history, Orbán mentioned how in the past, those who won battles against Hungary, eventually lost the war, "The Tartars are gone without a trace, the enormous Ottoman Empire wasted away, the Habsburg Empire evaporated, and the Soviet colossus simply perished." These are facts that Orbán referred to as irrefutable proof that, "...[W]e were, we are and we will be."

Perhaps one of the most salient points of the speech was with respect to 
Orbán's highlighting the importance of 1848, as a common thread that continues to run through Hungarian history and life, becoming both a touchstone and a moral compass for the Hungarian people. It is a point that can only be fully understood in 
Orbán's own words:

The importance of 1848 not only lies in the fact that it happened, but also in the fact that it has been happening ever since – and not only in our annual celebrations: 1848 has become our inner touchstone, and our moral compass. The touchstone and compass of ’48 indicate to this day the measure of every person in terms of their homeland: who is loyal, who is a patriot, who is committed, and who is brave. They show us what greatness is. But they also show us what pettiness is, what falsehood is, and what it is to kill dreams; what it is to build our country, and what it is to destroy it. The touchstone of 1848 defines our personal positions within the nation, and 1848 equally defines our position among nations. And we have reason to be proud of our position, which we deserve. In 1848–49, the Hungarian community contributed more people to fight under the flags of freedom than did all the other countries of Europe combined.
Orbán also referred to the 1848 revolution as a link between Rákóczi’s War of Independence (June 15, 1703 – May 1, 1711) and the October of 1956, which as he put it, "...[D]elineates the backbone of a great freedom-fighting nation and defines its historical bloodline..."

Continuing in the tradition of nation building, Orbán spoke of the important and fundamental duties and responsibilities that his current generation must take on and fulfill for the sake of the future generations: the duty to pass on to the younger generations a country with a spiritual and moral inheritance that will allow for the emergence of courageous individuals to fight for freedom; the task of safeguarding the country to retain the nation for them; to provide them with guidance on what they must do; and to ensure the continuity of the nation that includes the embracing of a variety of professions and fields of work.

Orbán spoke of the rebellion currently going on in Europe; a rebellion by nations against the "...[H]ypocritical alliance of Brussels bureaucrats, the global liberal media and international capital, with its insatiable appetite."  

Today in Europe, the "winds of '48 are blowing once more," as Orbán pointed out, but it is a rebellion whose energy can be released within constitutional boundaries and reforms brought about in a peaceful manner. In order for this to happen Orbán identified a few fundamental problems that must be resolved, "...[M]asks of hypocrisy in Brussels must be removed, and we need straight talking and open debate on the future. The machinations hidden behind fine principles must come to an end."

The Hungarian people are well positioned to spearhead the necessary changes; a people whose history and character has illustrated the important role Hungarians can play in the implementation of these changes.
Orbán highlighted this important role by describing the spirit of the Hungarian people, paraphrasing Széchenyi, one of Hungary's most respected statesman:
Széchenyi urged us on by saying that when the whole of Europe disintegrates, Hungary – rising from its ashes – will, to the glory of humanity, stand guard over order, peace and freedom: just as when it once defended Christianity. When within us there is more patriotism than envy, and more civic virtue than desire for glory, I sincerely believe that the Hungarian nation will come to something – and something great.
Reinforcing the need for peaceful reforms, Orbán referred to the essence of the Twelve Points, "Let there be peace, freedom and accord."

Recognizing that there are some in society who do not want peace but division, Orbán emphasized that his focus is on nation building!

That nation-building effort was further emphasized when Orbán paraphrased Lajos Kossuth, "...[W]e are a nation, and we have the right and the strength to pursue our own goals, and not to be the tools of foreign ambitions." It is a statement that goes to the heart of Hungary's current struggles in the European Union and with those foreign interests trying to destabilize Orbán's government, so as to impose their own agenda, of which George Soros is at the top of that list.

Addressing Hungary's current problems with Brussels, Orbán continued to encourage his fellow citizens with several statements that made it abundantly clear to Brussels, that Hungary's history, people and future will not be manipulated or compromised by foreign interests and interference. Hungary is determined to manifest its own destiny because that destiny matters to Hungarians:
Perhaps neither the past nor the future of the Hungarian nation matters to Brussels and international capital – but they matter to us. Perhaps the security of the European people does not matter to Brussels and international capital – but it matters to us. Perhaps whether or not we remain Hungarian does not matter to Brussels and international capital – but it matters to us. We know what János Arany expressed thus in verse: “If the storm of times blows us away, God will be never more have Hungarians.” This is also true today, and this is what is at stake in today’s European rebellion. In defence of our independence and national sovereignty, we must bravely fight the battles that lie ahead of us. We must stop Brussels: we must protect our borders; we must prevent the resettlement of migrants; we must make the networks that receive their funding from abroad transparent; we must keep the right to regulate taxes, wages and household utility charges here at home. And in this, Dear Friends, we can only rely on ourselves. Therefore we must continue to keep the responsibility of governance within the nation.
Most noteworthy was Orbán's effort to strengthen the bonds of amongst Hungarians by emphasizing an extremely important aspect of nationhood; that is, "A nation is not only a shared language, culture and past, but also the sum of every moment in which the trials of history weld our hearts together." 

Elaborating further, Orbán mentioned how Hungary's rebellion against the slavery of debt has welded together the hearts of the Hungarian people; and so has Hungary's struggle for economic independence and the repelling of the "mass population movement."

Hungarians today stand on their own feet, "eat their own bread," and do not serve the interests of foreign powers. Today, Hungarians are a unity people with strengthened families.

Progress has been made in the form of breaking through barriers of class, background, age, religion and political belief, all of which adds to the growing list of positive achievements in Hungarian society. All this, as Orbán reminded the audience, was accomplished under the pressure from the "alliance of hypocrites."

Orbán concluded his speech with a warning, that all Hungarians should be cognizant of the fact that unity needs to be maintained with hard work, and on a daily basis. He also pointed out the need for Hungarians to protect their achievements, "There is no achievement which will defend itself."

Further to this he stated that, it is up to Hungarians to defend unity and achievements, and to advance both in an effort to make society functional. 

Orbán ended his speech with a very optimistic statement that is telling of the continued success—the details of which can be read at my blog post from 
Orbán's State of the Nation addressthat Hungary has enjoyed since 2010, "The Hungarian nation is strengthening and rising, and, through its talent and hard work, will rightly receive recognition among the community of European nations. The name of Hungary will again be a fine one, worthy of its great fame in days gone by. Long live Hungarian freedom, long live our homeland."

God bless Hungary.

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