Second Hungarian uprising is as inspirational as the first
So it is with the chorus of condemnation of Hungary over its new constitution, which came into effect on 1 January. As the lamentations of the bien-pensants suggest, it is a long time since any western nation produced a document of such intellectual and cultural integrity, moral worth and wholly admirable quality. In the moral desert of 21st-century Europe, it is startling to find this gem of traditional values, patriotic assertion and respect for genuine freedom. Naturally, Brussels and Obama-occupied Washington are anxious to force its repeal: they should read some Hungarian history before embarking on such a futile confrontation.
The first issue that has provoked dismay among critics is that Hungary is no longer a republic. The words “Republic of” have been excised from the nation’s official title. According to left-wing commentators, this suggests democracy is in danger. Considering that Hungary was declared a republic on 1 February, 1946, by a Communist-controlled government that had gained power with 17 per cent of the vote, the term hardly seems redolent of civic liberties. By its immemorial constitutional tradition, Hungary is ruled by the Holy Crown of St Stephen, the ultimate symbol of authority. The royal seal of Hungarian kings did not bear the monarch’s name but the inscription: “The seal of the Holy Crown of Hungary.”
The removal of republican nomenclature was the culmination of a process begun under a new law, the Lex Millenaris, when the royal regalia were carried in procession to the Hungarian parliament on January 1, 2000, as the symbols of authority. Although the monarchy has not been restored in the person of an individual, if a Habsburg restoration were eventually thought politic the Archduke Georg, the Magyarised son of the late Crown Prince Otto, already resides in Budapest. Hungary’s post-Habsburg history has been tragic. At the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, Woodrow Wilson robbed Hungary of 71 per cent of its territory, 66 per cent of its population and its only seaport. That was a preliminary taste of American foreign policy initiatives.
The new constitution makes the classic statement of Burkean philosophy: “Our Basic Law is the foundation of our legal system; it is a contract between Hungarians past, present and future.” That recognition of the seamless continuum of history and the transience of generations stands head and shoulders above the trashy verbiage of EU treaties. Not only does it “recognise the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood”, it “professes that the family and the nation constitute the principal framework of our coexistence”. No wonder it is anathema to the Frankfurt Marxists of the EU.
It protects human life from the moment of conception and defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It lists the crimes of Communism and lifts the statute of limitations that protected the criminals of the Soviet era who despatched 600,000 Hungarians to concentration camps. Hungary’s transition to democracy is often called painless, because the Red nomenklatura saw the game was up, liquidated state assets and became the new rich. The Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party dropped one word from its title and soon regained power: Ferenc Gyurcsány, prime minister from 2006 to 2009, was the former president of the Communist Youth Organisation. In a world where nonagenarian Nazis who should have been hanged in 1945 are carried into court in oxygen tents, why is it an outrage for Hungary now to target Red murderers? Well, er, because the right commits atrocities, the left commits mistakes.
Judicial activism is also being curbed by lowering the retirement age for judges from 70 to 62. The president of the Supreme Court requires at least five years’ Hungarian judicial experience, which eliminates the incumbent who instead has 17 years’ experience of going native in the European Court of Human Rights. Yet the biggest canard is that it is “undemocratic” for the government to gain influence within the Hungarian Central Bank. Why? Because elected representatives may overrule cronyism among the bonus-entitled classes – exactly what every European electorate yearns for in vain.
The Hungarian constitution reflects an awakening of cultural and moral sensibilities, a revolt against Brussels-directed integration and PC impositions. It is the product of a highly civilised nation reclaiming its heritage and autonomy. It should be an inspiration to the rest of Europe, marinated in moral relativism and political passivity. As this noble documents states, “we have an eminent need of spiritual and intellectual renewal”. «