Being conservative and “normal” today is seen as rebellious, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, told a conference in Budapest on Tuesday.
In the West, self-proclaimed progressive forces are the ones that get to decide what is or is not acceptable, Gulyás told the event focusing on culture wars in the 21st century. “Everything changed after 1968,” he said. “The 1968 generation felt that it could dictate what morality and norms are and what others have to abide by, and that it could stigmatise anyone that thinks differently.”
Anyone in western Europe who “goes against the left-liberal mainstream is harassed until they disappear from public life”, Gulyás insisted, adding that central Europe had now become “the place for freedom”.
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On the topic of the ongoing protests across the United States, Gulyás, referring to violent anti-government riots in Hungary in autumn 2006, said: “We know that there’s no excuse for police brutality but it is not a justification for erasing the past and reshaping the future.” He said the American public was being “manipulated” by the “well-organised” protests with the aim of “destroying the country’s national history, traditions and morals”. He said the American “left-wing media” was “pushing the narrative that the police and those in power are racist”.
Meanwhile, western European societies are being transformed through the replacement of their national identities, Gulyás said, insisting that some saw migration as a political and cultural opportunity to be exploited.
“The liberal spirit, which originally wanted the best, had been degraded by the postmodernism that had led intellectuals into nihilism and the masses toward helplessness,” Gulyás said quoting Nobel-laureate author Imre Kertész.
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Mária Schmidt, a historian who heads the pro-govt 21st Century Institute, the organiser of the conference, said Hungary had become the “stronghold” of European culture and no longer wanted to be like the West, which she said no longer had a basis for its “arrogant sense of superiority”.
featured image via Lajos Soós/MTI