Embracing Hungary’s ‘Illiberalism’ as the Road to Peace

Gavin M. Wax
5 min readFeb 10, 2023

Through the haze of propaganda, partisan commentators and elected officials seem to have lost their bearings with regard to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, now entering its second year.

Many one-time peacenik Democrats, people who were once flower children and then wielded “No Blood for Oil” signs during the Bush neocon wars, now beg to see Russian bodies piled into mass graves. Likewise, many Republicans, fresh off watching the deep state and controlled media contrive every imaginable lie (and some unimaginable lies) about Russia for half a decade, promptly began regurgitating war propaganda about Russia’s relations with Ukraine. Do they not remember that Ukraine has been routinely rated one of the most corrupt nations in the world and was where Hunter Biden routinely passed “Go” to collect money to fuel his coke and hooker binges?

The Western response to the ongoing conflict illustrates how dysfunctional, crass, idiotic, embarrassing, and dangerous American political discourse has become-and the parts of Europe under the yoke of globalism fare no better. European elected officials in national capitals and appointees in Brussels have shown a disturbing willingness to commit economic suicide through the provocation of the Russian Federation, which has massive control over the European energy supply. These nations, the paragons of liberal democratic values, are collapsing under the weight of their own arrogance and corruption.

One nation stands out for its ability to remain rational and serve as a calming influence amidst the tension: Hungary. Hungarian officials have been the most prominent critics of the failed European sanctions regime, which has largely spared the Russian economy at the expense of the European one.

“If we make an assessment, an analysis, about the impact of sanctions, it’s obvious that they have not fulfilled expectations,” Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign affairs minister, told CNBC while appearing at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month.

“Russia’s economy is not on its knees, definitely. We can have different assessments of how badly they perform but they’re not on their knees, and the war is not coming to its end. And Europe’s economy is suffering more from sanctions than the Russian economy,” Szijjártó continued.

“So if you look at it in a practical way, not in an ideological way, what was the impact of sanctions, you see they are more harmful to Europe than Russia. So we should not move forward with the sanctions because simply they have not fulfilled the expectations and target we have put on them,” he added.

To that end, Hungary has spoken out against continuing or strengthening the sanctions regime as the belligerent Western powers have no recourse but to push ahead with their failure.

“We will not allow the plan to include nuclear energy into the sanctions be implemented,” the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said. “This is out of the question.”

Orbán and his administration once more stand alone-a bulwark of rational thought aiming to prevent the suicide of the West. The collective follies of a direct Western conflict with Russia would make the Afghanistan and Iraq failures look mild by comparison. Even the ancillary support for Ukraine has pushed Russia closer to China, which is also being pressured by Western powers in opposition of its Taiwan policy. India is still willing to do business with Russia, meaning that the West’s support for Ukraine is catalyzing stronger economic relations among Russia and two of the three major powers in the world. It is the United States and Europe who are on the outside looking in on the burgeoning multipolar economic order, not Russia and its allies.

Besides the Ukrainian people who are being conscripted, shoved into the meat grinder, and sacrificed on the altar of globalism, the liberal, democratic Western order is the biggest loser in this conflict. It has been exposed for its derangement, its hypocrisy, and its extreme repression.

At no point in recent history has it been so plainly demonstrated to so many that the system operates at the behest of an elite class woefully out of touch with the average citizen. These select few get richer as these governments balloon their budgets, politically connected corporations post record profits, and virtually no leader speaks out against this organized system of injustice. The thought control in the United States and Europe is more potent than in most outright dictatorships; North Korean despot Kim Jong-un must be watching in awe at the ubiquitous compliance enforced by the globalist War Party.

Orbán is an outlier because he is simultaneously an adept politician and a man of the people who struggled against communist authoritarianism in his younger years. Orbán’s authenticity and years of wise decision-making have resulted in an overwhelming and ever-growing majority of the Hungarian people coalescing behind him. This steadfast support at home enables Orbán to take positions that prioritize the interests of his nation and not be beholden to any external powers propping him up.

While most Western countries have had only a veneer of independence since 1945, with facile leadership that merely strings the public along for the whims of a distant oligarchy, Hungary’s government, having already overcome communism, is an authentic projection of its people and their national self-interest. President Donald Trump attempted to bring such authentic leadership to the United States, but he was unable to overwhelm the entrenched deep state corruption we sadly endure.

Orbán is also blessed to have a country with a homogenous, unified population that still respects Christian morality. The United States and the rest of the West have transformed into openly decaying moral hellscapes, with secularism rotting the very foundations of civil society as divided and fractured populations have been deracinated and atomized, seemingly beyond repair.

Such circumstances are no accident. In fact, they are the environment deliberately created by our elites to allow the corruption they need to take hold, as the public mindlessly rushes into any stuporous propaganda-driven movement with the same fervor they show for professional sports teams. Such mindless populations cannot be the stuff of strong, independent countries.

Additionally, Orbán transcends the typical conservative shrinking in the face of baseless slurs thrown his way by the Left. When they hurl insults like “Putin pawn” or “Putin shill” in response to his questioning the need for World War III, rather than buckling and apologizing, he stands tall. He ignores the profit-fueled jingoism pushed by the military-industrial complex because his supposedly “illiberal” mandate has removed dependency on the demands of a million special interests, agenda-driven NGOs, incessant media chatterers and other functionaries. These parties exist to drive the world toward conflict and despair; he exists to serve the Hungarian people.

Ironically, it is today’s so-called liberalism that is dooming the world to endless war and mass destitution, while opposition to that movement is the world’s last hope for sanity and peace.

We can only hope that the America First movement and similar nationalist populist movements throughout Europe and the world, will strive to bring a similar sort of response to this phony liberalism in our countries.

I have frequently argued that America must adopt a form of Orbánism to survive. The war in Ukraine has underscored that point and also shown that every nation would benefit from its leaders being as pragmatic, wise, thoughtful, and courageous as Orbán. The road to peace, based on mutual respect and coexistence rather than subjugation under a new world order, depends on sovereign national leaders replicating Orbán’s illiberal blueprint. A better, post-liberal world awaits.

Originally published at https://amgreatness.com on February 10, 2023.

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Gavin M. Wax

Gavin M. Wax is a New York-based conservative political activist, commentator, columnist, operative, and strategist. You can follow him on Twitter at @GavinWax