PM envisions 'modern conservativism'

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Hungarians today do not follow any ideology, the prime minister said Sunday during an address in Debrecen, and “we reject utopia in all its forms and believe in freedom”.

In a speech to mark the opening of the school year, Orbán said that Hungarians had the opportunity to be “Europe’s most modern conservatives. ... In the sieve of liberal relativism and Socialist egalitarianism such words as dedication, commitment, praise, steadfastness, respect, greatness, home, devotion, rank, order and solidity have been filtered out.”

“These are no longer part of the vernacular, yet without them we’d hardly be here today; without them we would hardly have been survivors of the past hundred years,” the prime minister added.

Referring to current trouble spots, such as neighbouring Ukraine, he said it was not certain what the next months would bring about let alone the next hundred years. “A year ago it appeared inconceivable that a state neighbouring Hungary would be in danger of disintegration or that under the conflagrations of the Islamic State (IS) pictures of decapitated Christians would be circulated on the community websites of their executioners,” he said. “In such uncertain times, there’s a hotbed of cynicism, especially as far as peoples are concerned who were weighed under communist regimes, that goes: ‘work is for suckers’, ‘respect and honour are a sham’, ‘kids are a burden’, or ‘the nation is just a joke’”. Orbán asked students not to give into cynicism, since “nothing comes of it”.

The prime minister spoke at an event to celebrate Debrecen University’s jubilee held in the city’s Reformed Great Church. On the topic of education, Orbán said cultured human capital was Hungary’s most important “gold reserves”, and so there is a simple expectation: universities should multiply the value of “talent gained from families” with useful knowledge and a valuable degree.

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