Defiance in Budapest
Suppression of the National Policy Institute’s conference on The Future of Europe by the government of President Viktor Orbán was an event unprecedented in the history of post-communist Hungary. It marks a watershed for the Identitarian movement, and perhaps even for the continent itself, as its rulers have now made unmistakably clear that they will not permit advocacy on behalf of European interests in Europe.
We do not know exactly how the decision came about. There are three basic theories. First, the EU authorities may have put pressure on the Hungarian government. Orbán was already in a bad odor in Brussels for suggesting that Europeans have children of their own rather than importing populations from outside the continent. He has also spoken positively about Europe’s Christian heritage. These outrages had already led to calls for his ouster. Someone may have drawn a line in the sand and told him that if he did not act to suppress NPI’s conference, he would be suppressed himself.
The second theory is that Orbán was acting to discredit his right-wing rivals Jobbik, the Movement for a Better Hungary, ahead of upcoming elections. A representative of Jobbik was originally to speak at the conference, and the ruling Fidesz Party was no doubt pleased to imply that their rivals were associating with “White Supremacists,” or whatever the current buzz-word is. Jobbik responded, not unlike American conservatives, by withdrawing from the conference and denouncing “racism.” Still, I urge you to note whether Jobbik improves upon its 20 percent share of the vote in the elections tomorrow.
The third theory points to Jewish pressure. The Jewish population of Hungary is proportionally higher than in any other European country except France. Israeli investors have also been buying up a great deal of property in the country. The leader of Jobbik, Gábor Vona, has objected to this, declaring that “these investors should look for another country, because Hungary is not for sale.” As a consequence, he and his party have been officially declared anti-Semitic. The World Jewish Congress met in Budapest in May of 2013, in part to highlight its hostility to Jobbik. Orbán is no doubt under considerable pressure to placate Hungary’s Jews in some way, and suppressing a conference in which Jobbik was to take part must have seemed as good a way as any.
And the three theories I have just listed are in no way mutually exclusive. All of them could be true.
So, what actually happened? First of all, the Hungarian authorities contacted their counterparts in the native countries of at least two scheduled speakers. Local police then warned the men, gangland style, that unpleasant things would happen to them if they showed up in Hungary. The Chairman of the National Policy Institute was also detained at Budapest airport and deported via an outgoing flight.
The day before the conference, NPI President Richard Spencer sent out an email inviting friends and supporters to drop by a certain pub. This event was not a part of the conference. Nevertheless, Spencer’s message was discovered by the authorities and twenty policemen showed up to detain him and take down the names of those present in the pub—a task that probably required no more than three officers. Some of the men were visibly embarrassed over what they had been ordered to do, and even apologized to patrons of the pub for spoiling their evening. I repeat, nothing like this has happened in Hungary since the fall of communism.
The legal basis of the government’s action is unclear. Spencer had lawfully entered a Schengen area country and traveled by train to Hungary, a nation which does not require Americans to have visas for stays of less than ninety days.
Spencer was eventually told that Viktor Orbán had declared him a “national security threat.” He says he laughed out loud upon hearing this. I would have, too. He was held for 72 hours, made to sign various Hungarian-language documents he could not understand and prohibited from entering the Schengen zone, which includes most of Europe, for a period of three years.
The future is up for grabs. I have heard talk of suing the Hungarian government, but whether this is possible or how it would be done I cannot say. The one thing I can state confidently is that we shall meet in Europe again. It is not a matter of our own convenience or pleasure. It is not even primarily a matter of free speech. Europe’s elites, like our own, are in the grip of a delusion that will destroy Western civilization if it is not challenged: that of the interchangeability of populations. They believe a successful society of the European type can be constructed of any human material whatsoever—even with people who have never succeeded in creating any civilization at all. If Homo habilis survived anywhere, our masters would probably be trying to import him as well.
This suicidal delusion is tricked out in humanitarian language about human brotherhood and help for the poor in order to make it palatable to the masses, who are motivated and led by sentiment more than by reason and observation. That this apparently humane ideology leads to a dysfunctional society composed of mutually mistrustful groups in fierce competition is unimportant. What matters to the believer is the positive sentiments, not reality produced by implementing the ideology.
Our job is to remind others of home truths which may sound harsh to them at first, but which when acted upon will lead to higher-trust societies composed of people who understand each other well because they are similar. A world of nations in which people feel at home.
I believe that what happened in Budapest represents a positive development. Twenty years ago, the governments of Hungary and the European Union wouldn’t have considered us worth shutting down. But times are getting harder for Europe’s elites. It is becoming obvious to everyone that they are unable to deliver on their promises, and many Europeans are looking around for alternatives.
The attempted suppression of NPI’s conference was a clumsy move which will only arouse interest in us on the “banned in Boston” principle. That something like half of the attendees showed up anyway is also a very good sign. We need dedicated men who are prepared to step up and take the necessary measures when the current system ceases to function altogether. What I saw in Budapest leads me to believe that we are getting nearer to having the critical mass necessary for the job.