Beyond the CEU-affair

After everybody has expressed their opinions on the political implications of the Central European University’s current situation, let me discuss it from a different point of view. This is the point of view of a parent who raises a 11-year-old boy and, just like so many others in this country, strives to help his child become a successful, happy and satisfied adult. Besides that, I also want him to be honest, a good patriot and a true Christian who is a pride of his family and earns the respect of the people who know him. Last but not least, I want him to be a free man; someone who can make life-forming decisions and take responsibility for them, too.

That’s exactly why I don’t want to dictate him how he should achieve all that. It doesn’t matter if he grows up to be a teacher, doctor, IT expert, banker or a craftsman, carpenter or bricklayer. I’m not even scared by the idea that he might take on a career in politics. I don’t want to tell him what schools he should graduate from. All I want from him is to always remember the values that he was given at home.

But it doesn’t mean that I would be afraid for my son to be in the company of people with different views on the world. I myself was never afraid of that, and I spent a lot of time among liberal and leftist people during my university years. Indeed, I had a lot of debates with them, I argued for my own truth and I learnt a lot about how to stand for what is important for me. So I wouldn’t be scared even if my son wanted to go to a university like the CEU. A true patriot, a true Christian can tell the good from the bad and stand for his own truth.

This is the big difference between true patriotism, true conservatism and what this sticky-fingered Hungarian government is doing. Their problem is not the ideology of the CEU... Not at all, come on! Their problem is that they don’t own the CEU. Viktor Orbán doesn’t want to raise Hungarian children to become patriots or true Christians. He wants to raise servants. He wants people who can be made to kneel before the Fidesz-delegated mayor while they are in elementary school, their creativity curbed by the Fidesz-appointed principal while they are in high school and finally be thrown into a local assembly plant of a big western corporation. And if they like none of these options, Fidesz will mercifully allow them to go abroad, just to be called traitors by Fidesz’ media back home. That’s why the Orbán regime wants to put its hand on every school. They’ve already taken most of the universities, now it’s time for high schools and then whatever is left. However, they can’t put their hands on the CEU and that’s their real problem.

Today it’s not just a CEU issue. It’s not the political cause that we must stand for. What we must stand for is the Hungarian universities and the honour of knowledge. I stand for freedom that is based on knowledge and independence that is based on a willingness to engage in debates. I stand for my son being able to decide what he wants to become and not having to rely on the guidance of any mayor or Fidesz puppet, just like I never had to rely on either the council chairman or any foul-smelling Communist comrade. I want to raise my son to become a confident Hungarian man and not a kowtowing servant. I also want all other young Hungarian men to be proud Hungarians who know their place in the world. And the real threat to this effort is not the CEU but Viktor Orbán and his regime...


(Published on the Facebook account of Márton Gyöngyösi)