László Kövér on liberals, socialists, and the nation state

I was somewhat surprised that László Kövér, president of the Hungarian Parliament, within the course of a week gave not one but two very long interviews. The first appeared on June 26 in Pesti Srácok, an internet site catering to the far right of Fidesz loyalists and well-endowed by means of government advertising. The second was published on July 2 in Magyar Hírlap, an equally right radical organ owned by billionaire Gábor Széles.

As usual, these lengthy interviews covered many topics, from Brexit and migration to party politics at home. In deciding what to analyze, I ruled out Kövér’s comments about George Soros and the European Union, which only repeated what his fellow politicians have been saying ad nauseam. Moreover, most of Kövér’s views on European politics are so bizarre that they can be safely ignored.  The only thing that caught my eye was his visible rejoicing over the rise of the extreme right in some Western European countries. His message was: what wonderful lessons they are delivering to Brussels. As he put it, “By now the people of Europe have awakened and share our views.” He was clearly delighted by the results of the Dutch referendum which rejected a Ukraine-European Union treaty to forge closer political and economic ties. And he deemed the Austrian presidential election results “a smack in the face” that EU politicians deserved.

As Kövér’s statements demonstrate, the current leaders of Hungary openly and without shame identify with far-right groups that are gaining strength in France, Germany, Austria, and elsewhere. It is time to acknowledge that there is only one country in Europe that is being governed by a far-right political party, and that is Hungary. (Although the Polish government is trying to imitate the “Orbán miracle,” so far the imitation is pale.)

Kövér’s ideas about the nation and the socialist-liberal political forces place him solidly in the far-right camp. His thoughts were most fully spelled out in his interview with Magyar Hírlap. Kövér, by all indications, fervently believes in the necessity of nation states. If they were destroyed, which he maintains the socialists and liberals want to do, it would result in a tragedy akin to the Chernobyl disaster.

Moreover, a multicultural society, another ideal of the left, would be the end of the social order in Europe. Just look at what happened in Yugoslavia. The internecine war of the 1990s was the direct result of “Yugoslavism,” the forced gathering of different nations into a federated state. Once the conflict was over, liberal analysts came to the conclusion that “religion and nation” had been the culprits. They insisted that once national and religious differences disappear, war will become obsolete. But human beings “instinctively want to belong to a community in which the predictable behavior of others offers them security, [which] can be achieved only by sharing a common culture.”

Liberals, who can be found everywhere, even in Christian Democratic and conservative parties, want to create a multicultural society in Europe. Their “model is the United States.” What does Kövér’s United States look like? “There is no national culture there. The community is held together by external bonds, like cheap fuel, the artificially maintained myth of equal opportunity, and their belief in their superiority, their star-spangled banner, and their knowledge that they are able to put the rest of world in its place if a given president is in the mood.”

Kövér2

Kövér’s hatred of the socialists and the liberals, which is palpable in every word he utters, stems from his conviction that they are, by virtue of their rootless cosmopolitanism, the gravediggers of the nation. In the Pesti Srácok interview he elaborates on this point. Liberals and socialists, like some of the politicians of DK, “have been poisoning the air here and undermining our community for at least the last 120 years.” They are not part of the nation but are a cosmopolitan group, “people without a country” (hazátlan társaság). One cannot read these descriptions without suspecting that, in addition to communists, socialists, and liberals, the Hungarian Jewry is also included in this “hazátlan társaság.” All the markers of anti-Semitism are present here.

In Kövér’s eyes, the socialists can still redeem themselves “as long as they break with their anti-national heritage, which reached its moral nadir under Gyurcsány.” MSZP should be truly independent and “not the pawn of outside forces.” Who are these outside forces? Naturally, the liberals. For Kövér, “the big question is whether MSZP will team up with those Gyurcsány-types who betrayed their nation (nemzetárulók).” But MSZP’s remaining an independent party is not enough for its survival. It must abandon its age-old ideology of internationalism because if it cannot be a “national party,” it will simply disappear from Hungarian political life. One ought to be careful of advice coming from one’s enemies, and there is no question that Kövér is a mortal enemy of those he views as traitors. His advice would lead MSZP into oblivion given the electoral law Fidesz devised for itself.

Kövér’s parting words to the reporters of Pesti Srácok were: “We must set straight not only the history of 1956 but Hungarian history in its entirety.” This will entail of course a new kind of “national nurturing” (nemzetnevelés), which in effect means brainwashing children. He sadly noted that nothing happened in this arena after 1990, and even 2010 didn’t bring a real change. “Today the intellectual heirs of those who had earlier wanted to erase the past in the name of proletarian internationalism still want to dictate to us.” Obviously, they must be removed from all positions. In their place a new set of intellectuals lights, the likes of Sándor Szakály, will interpret history and nurture the masses in the national spirit.

July 3, 2016
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András B. Göllner
Guest

I wonder if his wife ever tried to kiss him on the lips. ? Must be a real hoot. That mustache is in need of a bit more anti-socialist bacon-fat, to withstand the forces of international cosmopolitanism. Oink….

Guest

Rather OT:
Or imagine him going down on her …

PS:
No problem if this gets deleted! 🙂

Member

Stay classy, Wolfi.

pappp
Guest

Let’s not forget Kövér’s nickname. He is the “conscience of Fidesz”.

Joe Simon
Guest

Kövér and others in the FIDESZ simply talk too much. Motherhood and apple pie, only these two topics politicians should talk about, according to MacKenzie King, one-time Canadian prime minister.
Still, all Kövér is saying, and repeated by others, that the EU should listen to the people. After all, the US Constitution begins: We, the people of the United States…..

webber
Guest

Is that all he is saying? I don”t think you’ve been listening. He’s saying a lot more than that.

Guest
London Calling! The problem with Kövér is that he is an unreformed communist – from a Nomenklatura family of the old regime. He deplores democracy and sees parliament as an inconvenience. He would prefer government dictat – fiats – to be issued to the people from the Central Committee Headquarters – which is another name for Hungary’s parliament – a debating chamber it is not. Viktorlae Orbanescu has to be retained in power to ensure Liberals are kept away from the pillars of power. And Magjar purity is preserved. Getting rid of enemies through propaganda is his preferred method and the use of brainless thugs – ‘Omega Férfi’ – is the discrete method of the old SecuriTEKti. It’s wonderful to hear him giving advice to MSzP! That’s an old trick straight out of Central Committee Headquarters – defining what the opposition is allowed to do so they never achieve power! As the poverty queues grow longer and his leader and he become more dictatorial in their castles – (Kövér’s already ensconced in Sandor Palace – Pal Schmitt’s old pad), we can only hope they become more isolated and finally shot by the avenging people – who at last realised what… Read more »
Observer
Guest

If anyone still had any doubts about the nature of this bunch, here is proof #2876: we are looking at a retrograde, primitive and hateful concoction with pronounced fascist smell. Even the language is largely borrowed from the 30s.
This half educated, malicious character not only is sitting in and presiding over the parliament, but has substantial influence over Hungarian politics. Every time he opens his mouth ignorance, bigotry, hate and malice pour into the systems of society. This is almost exclusively his contribution to the nation.

Hard to believe it’s 2016 in Hungary as well.

LwiiH
Guest

Like most people of his ilk, his thinking never evolved beyond that of a 3 year old.. I want my way, I want it now and I’m not willing to negotiate with anyone over getting my way no matter what the consequences…. because I’m right! the mindset of a 3 year old…

Guest

You know Mr. Kover just has to be a very miserable fellow too. It’s tough when a country gets individuals like him in such high position and allegedly being a political model with cement shoe thinking to emulate. With that Koverian mind the country soon could be sleeping with the fishes. His ossified thinking needs alot of air.

Today is ‘firecracker’ day in these parts. We celebrate independence and also a political ‘experiment’. Mr. Kover appears to have a visceral hatred for the US. The latter seems to be the Frankenstein haunting his dreams. The firecrackers say It’s alive! It’s alive! But Mr. K on this day probably has lighted the match to that ‘star-spangled’ thing which has a symbolism that he is simply incapable of understanding. Reds, whites and blues are just very uncomfortable to look at with his typically oblique Magyar gaze…;-)…

Guest

Reading Eva’s damning exposés day after day about the state of affairs in Hungary, I cannot but repeat my mantra: “Lucky me, Hungary is not my country and Hungarians are not my people.”

It puzzles me however, what the attractions of living in Hungary might be for liberal democrats from Western countries, just as I am puzzled by Jews opting to live in Hungary, rather than in other places around the world where they would be much more welcome.

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