Viktor Orban: “Do we want to continue governing and political behaviors, which include the possibility of the reestablishment of the dual system?”

Viktor Orban:

[…] Let us take a glance at the field of party power in Hungarian politics. Until most recently, a field of party power divided in two has dominated Hungary. This duality has naturally not left culture untouched. This does not mean that those who play a role in culture also had to take a position on the political field, although this is true, but that the necessary concomittant of such a division of power is a permanent argument about values. In this twofold field of power, there are no common values, common goals,which both parties can accept, but there are continuous battles about the most fundamental questions. If we mention a system of family support, then they want to abolish it; if we mention dual citizenship, then they say 23 million Romanians will flood the country. We are engaged in a constant argument about values, not just about politics.

Until most recently, this divided field of power characterized Hungary’s political life. Today, however, the duality of this system seems to be coming to an end, and a central political power- field is evolving, which is, on the one hand, the result of the ascendency of the right wing, and on the other, the growth of our strength. Whether the political field will look like this after the elections, I do not know, but I would like it to. One thing is certain, there is a realistic possibility that the next fifteen-twenty years of Hungarian political power will not be determined by this duality, which has produced continuous arguments about values, and has produced divisive, petty and unnecessary social consequences. Instead, a large, governing party, with a central political field of power will be established, one which will be capable of formulating national concerns, doing so without continuous arguments, naturally representing these in its own way.

In terms of the goals and responsibilities of government, the question is as follows: do we want to continue governing and political behaviors, which include the possibility of the reestablishment of the dual system? Do we consciously accept this? Do we continue the shattering of our arguments about values concerning Hungarian society in the interest of day-to-day political goals, the arguments which again and again divide the whole society, or do we relegate these to the narrow circles of the elite, where they belong? More simply put: either we try to construct a governing system, which reduces the chances of the reestablishment of a dual field of power, and instead, in the long term, settles political questions in a large, centralized poltical field of power, or we prepare for shadow-governing, and then the dual field of power will be reestablished.

It is my conviction that we should not engage in shadow-governing, but we must strive for the actual governing of our national affairs. Naturally, there will be many consequences of such a decision as far as the government’s program, its style, the extent of its structure and a number of other, direct political questions are concerned. I believe that it makes sense for the right to debate this question in the coming period, so that it can show in terms of what political power alignments it sees the guaranteeing of the country’s interests in the long, fifteen-twenty year, term. I for one propose that in this debate, rather than a stance which is designed for a continuous and constant political struggle, that we choose one which is designed for permanently governing; that our thinking not be determined by a continuous and constant struggle against the other side, but that it be based on the convincingly strong representation of certain national causes. Naturally, there will be competition, and in the end, the voters will decide. The question is only what kind of alternatives do we offer: the continuation of the two-party system in a dualized field of power with continuous debates about values, or do we direct those to an appropriate place, and represent to the public the actions and goals of a political power which strives for a permanent position in government.

And cotinuing with Bibó, the above has important consequences for the country’s elites. The literature of the elites clearly states: in order for the elites to meet their responsibilities by means of creating culture, they cannot choose certain means of livelihood, in so far as they wish to live a refined, carefully selective lifestyle. This is the example that is desirable to spread throughout society. It is not possible, however, to live a refined, carefully selective lifestyle, if the elites are in a state of self-assertion; neither in the state of self-congratulation, nor in one that is charging ahead to success, nor existing in a state of constant attack, nor even one of anxiety, and certainly not if their day to day existence is defined by a fear of being called to account, or by defensive reflexes, or the compunction for self-justification. All of this must be avoided. I believe therefore that the task of those who will be governing culture next is to provide the opportunities for Hungary’s cultural elites to avoid such lifestyles, and to establish the prerequisites for an unstressful spiritual state, which is required for creative endeavors, as well as to guarantee the conditions for a refined, and carefully selective life.

(Translation by Steve Polgar)

Original (in Hungarian):