Viktor Orbán (born 31 May 1963) is a Hungarian jurist and politician. He has been Prime Minister of Hungary twice: from 1998 to 2002, and from 2010 to the present. He is also the present leader of the national conservative Fidesz party, a post he has held since 2003 and, previously, from 1993 to 2000.
In the Hungarian parliamentary elections held on 3 April 2022, Orbán declared victory with partial results showing his Fidesz party leading the vote by a wide margin.
- Just because a state is not liberal, it can still be a democracy. And in fact we also had to and did state that societies that are built on the state organisation principle of liberal democracy will probably be incapable of maintaining their global competitiveness in the upcoming decades and will instead probably be scaled down unless they are capable of changing themselves significantly.
- Tusnádfürdő speech, 26 July 2014
- [T]here is a clear correlation between the illegal immigrants who are flooding into Europe and the spread of terrorism.
- Tusnádfürdő speech, 25 July 2015
- Today’s enemies of freedom are cut from a different cloth than the royal and imperial rulers of old, or those who ran the Soviet system; they use a different set of tools to force us into submission. Today they do not imprison us, they do not transport us to camps, and they do not send in tanks to occupy countries loyal to freedom. Today the international media’s artillery bombardments, denunciations, threats and blackmail are enough – or rather have been enough so far. The peoples of Europe are slowly awakening, they are regrouping, and will soon regain ground. Europe’s beams laid on the suppression of truth are creaking and cracking. The peoples of Europe may have finally understood that their future is at stake: not only are their prosperity, their comfort and their jobs at stake, but their very security and the peaceful order of their lives are in danger. The peoples of Europe, who have been slumbering in abundance and prosperity, have finally understood that the principles of life upon which we built Europe are in mortal danger. Europe is a community of Christian, free and independent nations; it is the equality of men and women, fair competition and solidarity, pride and humility, justice and mercy.
This danger is not now threatening us as wars and natural disasters do, which take the ground from under our feet in an instant. Mass migration is like a slow and steady current of water which washes away the shore. It appears in the guise of humanitarian action, but its true nature is the occupation of territory; and their gain in territory is our loss of territory.
- Budapest speech, 15 March 2016
- The main danger to Europe’s future does not come from those who want to come here, but from Brussels’ fanatical internationalism. We should not allow Brussels to place itself above the law. We shall not allow it to force upon us the bitter fruit of its cosmopolitan immigration policy. We shall not import to Hungary crime, terrorism, homophobia and synagogue-burning anti-Semitism. There shall be no urban districts beyond the reach of the law, there shall be no mass disorder, no immigrant riots here, and there shall be no gangs hunting down our women and daughters.
- Budapest speech, 15 March 2016
- By 2050 Egypt’s population will increase from 90 million to 138 million. The population of Nigeria will increase from 186 million to 390 million. Uganda’s population will rise from 38 million to 93 million, and Ethiopia’s from 102 to 228 million. It is János Martonyi who usually warns us – and how right he is – that projecting current trends into the future requires caution, because in history there are always events which can change their course. But as we cannot prepare for unforeseeable events in the future, common sense tells us that we must project these figures into the future, and we must prepare for them. They clearly show that the real pressure on our continent will come from Africa. Today we are talking about Syria, today we are talking about Libya; but in fact we must prepare for the population pressure coming from the region beyond Libya – and its magnitude will be far greater than anything we have experienced so far. This warns us that we must be steely in our determination. Border protection – particularly when we need to build a fence and detain people – is something which is difficult to justify in aesthetic terms, but believe me, you cannot protect the borders – and thus ourselves – with flowers and cuddly toys. We must face this fact.
- Tusnádfürdő speech, 26 July 2016
- With regard to migration, I welcome Europe’s increasing movement towards a sensible policy and sensible measures. I would like to make it clear that recently Hungary has closed all the legal loopholes, and it is also prepared for the potential failure of the agreement between the EU and Turkey. At the Hungarian-Serbian border we are able to stop a migration flow of any size. Hungary has also taken the first steps towards elimination of the migrant business: several NGOs clearly see the migrant issue as a business issue, so we shall create conditions for the full transparency of NGOs in Hungary. In my opinion, on the whole we are moving closer to a sensible policy. Those arguments are invalid which seek to link the issue of migration to funding which European policy entitles us to. In the future I shall continue to maintain that we in the V4 must not allow ourselves to be intimidated: we must remain committed to a sensible migrant policy.
- Speech after the meeting of the Visegrád Four, 28 March 2017, Warsaw
- For a country to be strong, demographic decline must be out of the question. At this point in time, this is Hungary’s Achilles heel. A country which is in demographic decline – and, to put it bluntly, is not even able to sustain itself biologically – may well find that it is no longer needed. A country like that will disappear. Only those communities survive in the world which are at least able to sustain themselves biologically; and let’s be honest with ourselves, Hungary today is not yet such a country.
- [T]here is no cultural identity in a population without a stable ethnic composition. The alteration of a country’s ethnic makeup amounts to an alteration of its cultural identity.
- It is some improvement that for married couples – or male-female couples in general – the fertility indicator expressing the nation’s demographic situation has risen from 1.2 to 1.44, and this is promising, but 1.44 is still very far from 2. In order to feel safe demographically, the average statistical ratio of children to Hungarian couples should be 2.1. In practice this is hard to implement, but this is the average figure we should have. Until we reach that point, Hungarians must be seen as an endangered species demographically; and the people – but the Government above all – should understand the imperative which is implicit in this.
- Over the next few decades the main question in Europe will be this: will Europe remain the continent of the Europeans? Will Hungary remain the country of the Hungarians? Will Germany remain the country of the Germans? Will France remain the country of the French? Or will Italy remain the country of the Italians? Who will live in Europe?
- Naturally, when considering the whole issue of who will live in Europe, one could argue that this problem will be solved by successful integration. The reality, however, is that we’re not aware of any examples of successful integration... In countering arguments for successful integration, we must also point out that if people with diverging goals find themselves in the same system or country, it won’t lead to integration, but to chaos. It’s obvious that the culture of migrants contrasts dramatically with European culture. Opposing ideologies and values cannot be simultaneously upheld, as they are mutually exclusive. To give you the most obvious example, the European people think it desirable for men and women to be equal, while for the Muslim community this idea is unacceptable, as in their culture the relationship between men and women is seen in terms of a hierarchical order. These two concepts cannot be upheld at the same time. It’s only a question of time before one or the other prevails. Of course one could also argue that communities coming to us from different cultures can be re-educated. But we must see – and Bishop Tőkés also spoke about this – that now the Muslim communities coming to Europe see their own culture, their own faith, their own lifestyles and their own principles as stronger and more valuable than ours. So, whether we like it or not, in terms of respect for life, optimism, commitment, the subordination of individual interests and ideals, today Muslim communities are stronger than Christian communities. Why would anyone want to adopt a culture that appears to be weaker than their own strong culture? They won’t, and they never will! Therefore re-education and integration based on re-education cannot succeed.
- We can never show solidarity with ideologies, peoples and ethnic groups which are committed to the goal of changing the very European culture which forms the essence, meaning and purpose of the European way of life. We must not show solidarity with groups and ideologies which oppose to the aims of European existence and culture, because that would lead to surrender.
- We must make it clear that the reform of Europe [the EU] can only start with stopping the migrants, putting an end to immigration, and everyone using their national competence to protect their borders. After that, as part of a joint programme the migrants who have already arrived in Europe illegally must be transported back to some place outside the territory of the European Union.
- Our Western European friends, who are tired of enlargement, must frankly admit that there will be no peace in Europe without the full EU integration of the Balkans. We must therefore enlarge the European Union, and must first of all admit the key state, Serbia.
- Speech at the 28th Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp, 22 July 2017, Tusnádfürdő
- We must fight against an opponent which is different from us. Their faces are not visible, but are hidden from view; they do not fight directly, but by stealth; they are not honourable, but unprincipled; they are not national, but international; they do not believe in work, but speculate with money; they have no homeland, but feel that the whole world is theirs.
- Ceremonial speech on the 170th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, 15 March 2018
- This speech attacking George Soros was widely reported.
- Let us confidently declare that Christian democracy is not liberal. Liberal democracy is liberal, while Christian democracy is, by definition, not liberal: it is, if you like, illiberal. And we can specifically say this in connection with a few important issues – say, three great issues. Liberal democracy is in favour of multiculturalism, while Christian democracy gives priority to Christian culture; this is an illiberal concept. Liberal democracy is pro-immigration, while Christian democracy is anti-immigration; this is again a genuinely illiberal concept. And liberal democracy sides with adaptable family models, while Christian democracy rests on the foundations of the Christian family model; once more, this is an illiberal concept.
- Tusnádfürdő speech, 28 July 2018
- Instead of migrants, European families must be given the money to enable them to commit to having as many children as possible.
- In a liberal system, society and nation are nothing but an aggregation of competing individuals. What holds them together is the Constitution and the market economy. There is no nation – or if there is, it is only a political nation... When there is no nation, there is no community and no community interest. In essence this is the relationship between the individual and society from a liberal point of view.
- Is it possible to successfully reject migration, to protect families, to defend Christian culture, to announce a programme of national unification and nation building, and to create an order of Christian freedom? Is it possible in all this to survive against the full force of an international headwind, and indeed to make it succeed?
- Tusnádfürdő speech, 27 July 2019
- Hungary was led to bankruptcy by a government of former communists pursuing liberal policy.
This example strengthens the conviction that in fact there is no such thing as a liberal: a liberal is nothing more than a communist with a university degree. If we had taken their advice, right now Hungary would be in the intensive care ward, with the tubes of IMF and Brussels credit attached to every limb. And the fingers on the valves regulating the flow of credit would belong to George Soros. This is no exaggeration. I’ve been plying the craft of politics for more than thirty years now, and with my own eyes I’ve seen George Soros attempt to plunder Hungary on three separate occasions.
The first time was in the early nineties, when he wanted to buy up all the country’s state debt: all of Hungary’s state debt in the hands of one person, the fate of every Hungarian in the hands of George Soros. It’s spine-chilling even thinking about the situation we managed to avoid. Gratitude and recognition are due to József Antall for preventing this from happening. And I remember 1994, when Soros wanted to plunder us a second time. He tried to acquire OTP Bank, which was then the uniquely dominant Hungarian retail bank. No less spine-chilling is the vision of almost every Hungarian’s money in the hands of one person. Gratitude and recognition are due to Gyula Horn for not allowing that to happen. Today the soaring success of OTP is proof that he was right to do so.
Even young people can remember the third attempt. In 2015, people-smuggling networks disguised as human rights organisations brought hundreds of thousands of migrants to the Hungarian border. And when Europe was already straining under the weight of migration, Soros announced that he was ready to offer credit to finance the settlement of one million migrants a year. Please bear in mind that the Soros Plan, the planned settlement of foreign population groups, is still on the agenda: the operation is in progress and we must man the defences, stoutly and unwaveringly.
- After the Communist era we made many mistakes. By the time we noticed what was actually going on, we had lost control over key national resources – the energy system, the banking sector, the media – all of which passed into the hands of foreigners, and not on the basis of some rational plan, it was simply taken away from us. I’ve been working for 10 years to get back what we should not have wasted.
- Interview with Glas Koncila, 20 June 2021
- The Westerners have chosen to live in a post-national and post-Christian world, and we respect that. But they want even more. They want us to live that way too. For this reason, if any spirituality emerges in regional cooperation that includes the protection of national Christian cultures, ideological attacks immediately follow – a left-liberal attack that stems from Brussels but which is linked to American liberal and economic powers. They don’t want us to be free, they want us to be free only in the way they would like us to be.
- Interview with Glas Koncila, 20 June 2021
Quotes about Orbán
- Hungary’s parliament on Monday passed the emergency law, [...] allowing President Viktor Orbán to rule by decree for an indefinite period. This arguably makes Hungary the first dictatorship within the EU and the first democracy to fall victim to the coronavirus.
- Joshua Keating, Strongman Medicine: Suspicious Numbers and Brutal Quarantines (April 02, 2020), Slate
- My old friend Rod Dreher of The American Conservative argued that because the left controls the commanding heights of the culture and the economy, the only institution the right has a shot at influencing is the state. In these circumstances the right has to use state power to promote its values. “We need to quit being satisfied with owning the libs, and save our country,” Dreher said. “We need to unapologetically embrace the use of state power.”
This is where Viktor Orbán comes in. It was Dreher who prompted Carlson’s controversial trip to Hungary last summer, and Hungarians were a strong presence at the National Conservatism Conference. Orbán, in Dreher’s view, understands the civilizational stakes of the culture war; he has, for instance, used the power of the state to limit how much transgenderism can be taught to children in schools. “Our team talks incessantly about how horrible wokeness is,” Dreher said at the conference. “Orbán actually does something about it.”
This is national conservatism pursued to its logical conclusion: using state power to break up and humble the big corporations and to push back against coastal cultural values. The culture war merges with the economic-class war—and a new right emerges in which an intellectual cadre, the national conservatives, rallies the proletarian masses against the cultural/corporate elites. All your grandparents’ political categories get scrambled along the way.
- Hungary now stands politically well-positioned to continue to act as a beacon of the Right throughout the world by presenting a rare success story in both Fidesz and Mi Hazánk. “The whole world could see here in Budapest tonight that Christian Democratic policies, conservative civic policies, and patriotic policies have won,” as Orbán said in his victory speech. “We’re sending the message to Europe that this is not the past, this is the future. This will be our shared European future. The whole world can see that Hungarians love their country.” It is fervently hoped that Hungarian Rightists will seize this hard-won opportunity to take their “illiberal” counter-revolution even further and deeper in the years to come.
- John Morgan, So Much Winning in Hungary, Counter-Currents, 4 April 2022
- When nationalists marched in Hungary in 2015, and Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, spoke that summer about the threat posed by illegal immigrants, his speech itself goose-stepped along, in the words of one social media wag, to the theme of "fear, hate, fear, hate, fear, fear." Orban's speech as the authoritarian populist's to make: the government was "to adopt stricter regulations . . . allowing us to detain people who have illegally crossed Hungarian borders, and to deport them within the shortest possible time," he said, as he pointed to a sham consultation that confirmed this as the "people's will." But it was democratic Europe's own handling of an unfolding refugee crisis, which had in weeks packed full the grand train station in Budapest with a mess of bodies and their carted possessions: and this provided him with the tools. These are lessons that America under Donald Trump is now learning the hard way.
- Simon Reid-Henry, Empire of Democracy: The Remaking of the West Since the Cold War, 1971-2017 (2019), p. 10
- Orban made significant changes once taking power and has delivered to constituents.
- Fred Watson Jr., Orban Keeps Winning, The American Sun, 5 April 2022
- Orban instituted pro-natalist policies for his constituents.
- Fred Watson Jr., Orban Keeps Winning, The American Sun, 5 April 2022
- Here’s what Viktor Orban knows: that “liberalism” has produced a society and a culture that despises itself, and is committing suicide. It hates the traditional family. It hates Judeo-Christian religion and moral norms. It hates the history and traditions of the countries where it governs. It hates certain people because of the color of their skin, and loves others because of the color of their skin — in both cases, irrespective of the content of their character. It has no respect for free speech, freedom of religion, and other traditional liberties. It believes that it has the right and responsibility to spread its beliefs globally. It has conquered every institution in the West — most importantly, Big Business — and is using soft power to silence and marginalize the “deplorable” people who disagree. The news media lie by commission and omission in order to prop up the Narrative. This is not liberalism. This is illiberal leftism, which wears liberalism like a skin suit.