The proclamation of national cooperation

The proclamation of national cooperation that Viktor Orbán read at the end of his speech on the occasion of the opening of the parliament on May 14, 2010, has become a hot topic in Hungarian politics. Therefore, I decided to translate it.

Viktor Orbán began his proclamation of national cooperation with the words of the "March Youths" of 1848. Sándor Petőfi, Mór Jókai, Pál Vasvári, Józse Irinyi, Alajos Degré, and others are collectively called the March Youths; they represented the most radical wing of the reformers. These were the people who, ignoring censorship, printed their demands1848, legyen beke, szabadsag es egyetertes entitled "What does the Hungarian nation want." Before they listed their twelve points one can see the following: "Let there be  peace, freedom, and harmony." It is with this sentence that Viktor Orbán began his own proclamation. How fitting. After all, if he claims that a revolution occurred and thus he will be heading a revolutionary government, it makes sense for him to go back to the roots, to March 15, 1848, which, by the way, wasn't a revolution either. But Orbán has never bothered too much with historical accuracy.

Here is the text itself. "At the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, after forty-six years of occupation, dictatorship and two confusing decades of transition, Hungary at last recaptured its right to self-determination and its capabilities (sic). The struggle for self-determination of the Hungarian nation began in 1956 with a glorious but failed revolution. The struggle continued after the change of regime with political pacts that instead of bringing freedom brought helplessness, instead of independence brought indebtedness, instead of prosperity brought poverty, instead of hope and brotherhood brought a deep psychological, political and economic crisis. In the spring of 2010 the Hungarian nation once more collected its remaining strength and in the voting booth it accomplished a successful revolution. The Hungarian people achieved this victory with the overthrow of the old regime and the establishment of a new one, the regime of national cooperation. The Hungarian nation with this historic act obliged the newly elected parliament and government to work, without any hesitation or compromise, for the establishment of the regime of national cooperation. We, the representatives of the Hungarian Parliament, declare that we will place this new political and economic system that came into being as a result of the will of the people on secure foundations that are essential for prosperity, worthy of human beings, and that connect the members of the Hungarian nation of varied colors. Work, home, family, health, and law and order. These are the pillars of our common future. The regime of national cooperation is open to every Hungarian whether he lives inside or outside of the borders. It is a possibility for everybody and an expectation of all who live, work, or conduct business in Hungary. Our  firm conviction is that with the collaboration embodied in the regime of national cooperation we will be able to change the future of Hungary, we will be able to make our fatherland strong and successful. This cooperation that sets free incredible energies entitles all Hungarians, regardless of age, sex, religion, political views, regardless of where they live, to be hopeful. After many decades here is the opportunity that Hungarians at last can achieve their own goals. We will devote our lives to this task in the next few years."

The reactions I leave for tomorrow.

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Viktor Orbán is full of sh.. s… self-aggrandizement.
Because he was elected Prime Minister, Hungary didn’t have just an ordinary election. No. Hungary had a revolution! Yes, another Hungarian Revolution. And only four years after the last one, in 2006. Yawn.
He finds himself at the crux of the most significant regime change in Hungary’s history. No doubt about it.
1956 was a “glorious but failed revolution,” unlike Orbán’s stunning victory at the polls. The “new political and economic system that came into being as a result of the will of the people” was only possible because Orbán was at the helm of his party. It wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
Orbán thinks big. That was evident in 2000 when he was instrumental in bringing the Holy Crown to parliament. Soon he will be able to wear it thus making him one of the greatest Hungarians of all time.
Can someone please wake me when all the cheering and adulation is over…


“National Cooperation” sounds very much like the “Nemzeti Osszefogas” (national gathering) promoted by the faux coalition of the mid-1940s. In this definition the “nation” was limited to the communist party, its allies and followers. As the communists did away with their friends one by one, the definition of “nation” became progressively smaller.
As Orban’s definition of nationhood is similarly limited to those who adore him, I wonder whether we might soon witness a similar process here. After all, political opponents of Orban (or jobbik, for that matter), are routinely labelled “anti-Hungarian” already, as the mere gall of opposing them obviously means they are traitors (or Jews