Hungarian Conservative

Frank Furedi at NatCon 2023: ‘If We Give Up on Culture, We Give Up on Everything’

A screenshot of the video of Professor Furedi’s remarks on National Conservatism's YouTube channel
According to the famed sociology scholar, the woke left is engaged in a ‘systematic attempt to detach our communities from the legacy of the past.’

Hungarian Canadian professor of sociology Frank Furedi was one of the most anticipated featured speakers on the first day of the National Conservatism Conference in London, United Kingdom. He started his address to his large audience by decrying the apparent contempt the British national broadcaster BBC has for patriotism.

After that brief lamentation, he moved on to a broader topic of his speech, open borders. He recalled the time from many years ago, when he was asked to speak at an event by the Philosophy Society of Holland about open borders. He accepted, not realising what most attendees there meant by ‘open borders’. Furedi was about to discover that this is not about the free movement of goods and capital anymore, but

many on the left no longer believe a nation state has the right to have control of its own borders.

He then went on to point out that the fallacy of this belief quickly became evident with the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, when the international community—almost—as a whole voiced its support for Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.

Furedi then made the broader point that borders can be a metaphor for the distinction between moral rights and moral wrongs, both of which things, he believes, the left is trying to do away with these days. He also went on to emphasise what he believes the most important aspect of the battle against the woke left is, saying:

‘To me, it’s the war against the past that underpins the most important dimension of the culture wars. It’s not gender, it’s not your pronouns, it’s not critical race theory. None of those things is as important as the systematic attempt to detach our communities from the legacy of the past. The systematic attempt to break the organic continuity between generations over the centuries.’

All of this is based on

Furedi’s conviction that the most important duty of every generation is to pass down its useful insights and values to the next.

That is why he is sorely disappointed in the fact that schools these days are more focused on giving psychological care to children, instead of instilling morals.

To the critics who believe the right focuses too much on the so-called ‘culture wars’ instead of economic issues, he had this to say:

‘What they really mean by that is that our willingness to defend our culture, our willingness to defend our values, is somehow a distraction. Because we should really be talking about economics, we should really be talking about other, more mundane matters that are very, very important to people, not realising, that if we get robbed of our culture, if we become cultureless…we undermine the ability for generations to have the confidence they need to face the challenges that confront them. The culture war is not a distraction, because if we give up on culture, we give up on everything.’

Furedi has a similar political lifepath to Dave Rubin’s, as in he too used to be a left-wing liberal intellectual. He mentioned this near the end of his speech, but also pointed out that there was never as big a difference between his liberal self and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s as there is between him and the woke left today.

Watch Frank Füredi’s Speech At NatCon UK 2023 Below

Frank Furedi | The War Against National Belonging | NatCon UK

Frank Furedi’s address at the London National Conservatism Conference on May 15, 2023.


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According to the famed sociology scholar, the woke left is engaged in a ‘systematic attempt to detach our communities from the legacy of the past.’

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