The left, after no longer being able to be a politically successful community by restoring its own credibility, turned to radicalism. In addition to its own past and domestic precedents, it also tried to “follow” the international tendencies of recent years and decades. The rejection of the traditional community and social values may be partly in line with George Soros's "open society" utopia, while the real spiritual father of turning against the political norms was the chief ideologue activist, Saul Alinsky (1909-1972), whose school did not accept the traditionally adopted, normal social practice of policy-making from the outset.
In modern politics, the creator of community organization was Alinsky, who tried to organize like-minded people into a network of radical activists for both tactical and strategic reasons, from economic corporations to trade unions and various churches to a wide variety of radical groups. This network, even beyond the world of legitimate political tools, would be able to bring about rapid social change, a change in public mood. Although the main ideology for the new norms of social construction today is provided by George Soros and his intellectual network, the principles of community and network organization were created by Alinsky and others.
Some think that the international trend and practice also stems from the fear of adopting traditional norms, that is, from the fact that the radicals, the left, cannot hope to convince the majority in the traditional way, to win the majority in elections. That is why the Hungarian left could also embark on this path, and this is how the younger generation of politics emerging in the last five to ten years, the “new SZDSZ”, Momentum, the former radicals of the fading LMP, DK (the “far left” of MSZP) could merge into one community with the far-right, the formerly loud and racist Jobbik. The “pagans,” verbally (and over time physically) aggressive radicals of the far right and far left of the country, began to build their own Alinsky network.
In order to radicalize politics, Alinsky provides clear guidance for the representatives of the left. The American thinker’s work of 1971, The Rules for Radicals, offers personal attacks, intimidation, constant pressure, annoyance and the obstruction of opponents as a suggested method. He also suggests that the radicals should exhaust the opponents so that they force them to act according to their own rules, by triggering unexpected and pressing situations. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules,” Alinsky writes.
In Western Europe, this ideology and method has been nurtured mainly by the traditional far left and the New Left and green movements, that is, among movements that have already proclaimed a radical or profound transformation of the society as their main goal. In recent decades, the green idea and green policy can be clearly linked rather to the left, but many thinkers (e.g. András Lányi in Hungary) take the view that the green idea may be closer to the conservative right in promoting an organic development and believing in well-thought-out social changes. The European trend, however, is that the greens are increasingly viewed by the public as a green left, as is the case with Europe’s first and most successful political force, the German Green Party.
The greens of Europe, from the Germans to the Scandinavians to many Hungarian eco-politicians, actually contradict their own ideology, as, abandoning long-term (social and eco-moral) objectives, they promote goals and programs in the hope of short-term political success that is often ill-considered, autotelic and radical, and for which violent action and aggressive behaviour are considered legitimate tools. Thus, greens are not really green: natural social phenomena, organicism and more far-reaching environmental protection are sacrificed on the altar of political activism and radicalism, for which they offer a specific approach and narrative, a false narrative, which is difficult to accept or is not acceptable at all to the social majority under normal circumstances. If, however, they fail to deliver the social message, they use even more radical means.
This is how Soros’s idea of a great social transformation, the pro-migration green and the radical left meet at Alinsky’s method: almost everything is allowed here, especially the constant disregard for moral considerations, scruples, and the undisguised advocacy of increasingly open violence. In Hungary, following such a change in the political trend could only be accepted by the left and the far right which has been promoting a typically confused, demagogic nationalist socialism of a racist nature reminiscent Ferenc Szálasi, while conservative-civilian forces have never sided with those who use the means of violence and riots. Fidesz stuck to lawful means in the autumn of 2006, when the MSZP-SZDSZ government mired the country in a moral crisis. At the same time, the party of Viktor Orbán, the incumbent head of government, has always supported the peaceful, free, democratic expression of the social majority, and has, from time to time, sought to provide an opportunity for this. In early 2007, Fidesz, for example, used the tool of civil disobedience by removing a barricade for half an hour, and in support of democracy it called for a social referendum in the autumn of 2006 against the radical and hasty reforms to be implemented by the left, despite the resistance of the society.
This is a basic difference: on the basis of civic values, the conservative right-wing has basically sought and found the right tools in peaceful and legitimate democratic means. Thus, it also waited for the parliamentary elections in April 2010, when it could win the trust of the vast majority of voters.
As opposed to the radicals of Alinsky, the left and right extremists serving the Soros network, only the civil-national centre-right reaffirms faith in the protection of the country’s internal, democratic right to self-determination and in the relentless preservation of national sovereignty in the foreign policy arena.
The radicalized Hungarian left and its unprincipled political ally, Jobbik, has attacked Hungary and its government during the migration crisis and the defence against the coronavirus as well, and, from time to time, expects and gets help from its like-minded international comrades. As the parliamentary disruptions in December 2018 showed, they follow the Alinsky method: They sometimes try to upset the representatives of the governing parties who want to protect the peace and dignity of the National Assembly even in the most extraordinary circumstances, by insulting them physically, and to exhaust them while applying their own set of rules.
However, with this unprecedented manoeuvre, the Hungarian opposition also eliminates the remaining moral basis of its own identity belonging to the nation, disrespecting a significant part of its followers.
The viral crisis of recent months has shown that we are now facing new challenges not only nationally but also internationally. The European Union has ceased to exist – a world-famous French essayist Éric Zemmor made a sharp but witty remark in an article in April, who wrote about the almost forgotten significance of nation-states and the fall of Brussels in Le Figaro.
The left does not understand the true essence of the apocalyptic international changes now taking place, and instead of offering substantive, supportable proposals, normal social visions, it clings to its own radical madness: the practice of Soros and Alinsky’s radicalism, the revelling public upheaval going to extremes.
The real counterpoint to this kind of radicalism, sometimes painted green or redder, can only be modern conservatism that believes in authority and social order, founding its policies on the respect for worthy traditions and the existing social system, and despite the current troubles of global origin, it intends to prevent the risks of anarchic social transformation.
While Soros's supporters are increasingly demanding a basic income and obstructing the Hungarian government's employment policy at the time of difficulties caused by the virus epidemic, the right wisely and consistently rejects the revolutionary changes and the artificial attempts at equalisation, which can only achieve their goal by force anyway.
This is why Hungary needed, and Europe would need, a conservative, stable majority committed to the nation-state.
Author: Lomnici Zoltán Jr., legal expert at the Századvég Foundation