On New Year's Day, Hungary's new Constitution, which was ratified in April of this year, comes into force. Reactions from Leftist elites in Western Europe have, to say the least, been unfavorable. A recent blog post on the subject hosted on the website of the Stavanger Aftenblad, one of the largest regional newspapers in Norway, is entitled “Ungarn tar farvel med demokratiet,” which translates to “Hungary Says Farewell to Democracy.” An older article, courtesy of Human Rights Watch and written when the Constitution was first ratified, has the title “Hungary: New Constitution Enshrines Discrimination.”
What has provoked this fury? Wikipedia explains it quite well:
The life of a fetus is protected from the moment of conception [...] Same-sex couples may legally register their partnerships but marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman. [...] The country's name is changed from "Hungarian Republic" to "Hungary", and although the country remains a republic, the preamble contains references to the Holy Crown, as well as to God, Christianity, the fatherland and traditional family values.
No doubt, the new Hungarian Constitution partly constitutes a cynical power grab on the part of Fidesz, the senior party in Hungary's ruling coalition, and this is indeed somewhat worrying, if not quite to the extent suggested by the apocalyptic rhetoric quoted above. But this can not be the real reason why it has provoked the ire of Western European elites, since they remain completely silent about the draconian anti-discrimination laws that exist in their own countries, and which make even the most authoritarian aspects of the new Hungarian Constitution seem effusively liberal in comparison. I did not hear them complain when the German security services nearly shut down the newspaper Junge Freiheit, a fairly tame liberal-conservative publication, for its alleged thoughtcrimes. They have never complained about Norway's so-called “Racism Paragraph,” which allows for prison sentences of up to three years for anyone who makes public moral objections against homosexuality. They did not wring their hands and gnash their teeth over the state of British democracy when it was revealed that the Blair government had promoted increased immigration into the UK in order to secure a loyal, state-dependent voting bloc for itself.
No, Leftists do not hate Hungary's new Constitution because it is undemocratic, but because it is a hindrance to one of their main projects, well documented by American journalist and foreign policy expert Mark Hackard: the colonization of the former East Bloc by unelected Eurocrats and NGO officials, who aim to finish what the Soviets started – cleansing the region of its Christian heritage and national traditions. Human Righs Watch are refreshingly honest in this regard when they express their offense that the Constitution secures “a right to life for the fetus from the moment of conception,” as “this could lead to efforts to overturn Hungary's abortion law and result in restrictions on abortion that would put a number of fundamental rights for women at stake.” (The ever-changing human rights charter now apparently includes a mother's right to murder her own child – sorry, “fetus.”) Furthermore, they complain, the Constitution includes “a definition of marriage as between a man and a woman while implying that a family based on marriage is the only type protected by the state,” which “denies LGBT people access to state protection for their families and relationships, and is inconsistent with Hungary's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union Charter on Fundamental Rights.”
For me, the most striking thing about these complaints is that they do not even acknowledge the validity of socially conservative views on marriage and abortion. In fact, they barely acknowledge their existence. Such opinions, especially when they are written into law, are not regarded as disputed views which can be debated rationally, but as self-evidently evil and fascistic, something to which all right-thinking people ought to be opposed. Is that “democratic”? Of course not – it's downright totalitarian. But neither is it surprising. When modern Leftists, utterly convinced as they are of the rightness and goodness of their cause, speak of “democracy,” they do not mean popular participation in the political process. For them, democracy is just another word for the unquestioned hegemony of Leftism. And as I've said, one of their main projects in recent years has been the imperial expansion of that hegemony into Eastern Europe. The main vehicles of this project has been the European Union and Leftist “human rights” groups. The new Hungarian Constitution is a heartening sign that the colonizers may face a tougher challenge than they'd anticipated. Let's hope Hungary, a nation with a long history of fighting off invaders, has the courage to stand its ground against them.