Hungarian Conservative

No Country for Woke Men

Rainbow flag during Pride Week on the roof of the US Embassy in Berlin, Germany, 3 July 2021.
Rainbow flag during Pride Week on the roof of the US Embassy in Berlin, Germany on 3 July 2021.
‘The various proceedings and attacks against Hungary for years can not be traced back to rule-of-law issues or “democratic backsliding”, but “merely” to the fact that the domestic right-wing is fighting back against Wokeness—precisely in the wake of its triumphant victory.’

This article was published in Vol. 3 No. 4 of our print edition.

How the New, Janus-faced Ideology Is Attempting to Overthrow the Judeo-Christian Legacy, and How It Can Be Resisted with Common Sense

‘We are vaccinated against the Woke virus.’1

Viktor Orbán

According to the Oxford Dictionary, ‘Woke’ denotes an enlightened person who rejects racist social injustice,2 but in reality, it is a much more all-encompassing and injurious phenomenon. Woke is nothing more than the latest in a long line of left-wing ideologies that are, without exception, at war with reality, and which is just as dangerous as communism, anarchism, and national socialism, since it shares the same underlying logic. In fact, the phenomenon that we know as ‘Woke’—whether in politics, economics, or popular culture—is very similar to that encompassed by the terms political correctness, neo-Marxist progressivism, ‘snowflake’ culture, or the Open Society. In some respects, their essence is the same: the breaking down of borders and barriers in a geographical, moral-ethical, and human or biological sense. That is why it is in the fundamental interest of our nations, rooted in Judeo-Christian traditions and ways of thinking, to oppose it. Accordingly, the Hungarian right-wing ecosystem goes fully armed to fight against the neo-Marxists—causing a lot of frustration from the modern Robespierres and Saint-Justs, who wrap themselves in the worst virtue-signalling traditions of the Jacobin Enlightenment.

However, before we get into the details of the fight, it is worth looking at what we are fighting against and what we are defending. Woke—as a term—is also ‘officially’ closely related to the Enlightenment, insofar as it denotes the alertness, sensitivity, and affinity of the (post-)postmodern individual to various social problems (or ‘injustices’), such as institutionalized inequality, toxic masculinity, racism, sexism, discrimination— not to mention the potential carbon footprints of unborn children.

From Enlightenment to Madness

The essence of the common habitus of the two phenomena is that creative humanity, to whom God has entrusted the care of the created world, wants to take the place of the Creator—thereby becoming its own saviour. This is what all socialist and progressive ideologies are about, and their deity is the ego. These anti-sacral polytheisms—including Wokeism—exclude the transcendent from the range of possible world explanations, and exclude even the ‘possibility’ of falling into sin: according to the essence of this approach, mankind is fundamentally good, but human coexistence itself (society) as well as social institutions and customs corrupted us through the formal and informal traditions and habits formed during coexistence. And if all of these are ‘merely’ things humankind has spoiled, then humankind can fix them and eliminate ‘injustice’. It is important that, since according to this understanding there is no otherworldly component behind our existence, no creation, thus no duality of creator and created, so any kind of hierarchy—be it among people or values—is to be considered a mere social ‘distortion’. The ‘state of nature’ is total equality and the relativity of everything to everything. Moreover, since there is no other world, the mission of the enlightened or awakened person is precisely to straighten out and eliminate social discrepancies in this world, since existence is not infinite, but finite, so heaven must be created here on earth. However, since we are talking about ideological attitudes that in fact greatly fear even the possibility of infinity, the ‘struggle for social justice’, the mania for liberation, can never end, since that would acknowledge the fulfilment and finite nature of the movement itself. Thus, it is necessary to continually find (or invent) new rights born of desires, as well as oppressed groups and ideologies that function as a new substitute for religion, and offer answers to everything (see animal rights, sexual minorities, and the green ideology).

The toolkit of neophyte social engineers is quite diverse, as every age gives birth to its own human-made institutions and universal remedies: the class struggle, proletarian dictatorship, eugenics, scientism, human rights fundamentalism, the system of checks and balances, European values, international standards, critical race theory, political correctness—or the rule-of-law procedure and international legal principles. Some of them promise to disable certain human attributes (so that everything and everyone is ‘neutral’ and ‘independent’), while others promise that mutually exclusive bad qualities will cancel each other out (this is the basic idea behind the concept of ‘brakes’ and systems of counterbalances), and there are others who simply single out a certain group of people as scapegoats and then come to the conclusion that this group must be deprived of its possessions and expelled from society (this underlay the class struggle and the Nazis’ efforts to ‘rid Europe of the Jews’, but the new variant called Critical Race Theory, which in essence demands some form of reparations for the historical sins of the ‘white man’, is also leaning in this direction). The ‘results’ differ, of course, but only in the level of destruction they cause.

This socialist progression is therefore constantly chasing its own desacralized heaven, and then, instead of admitting that it can never be reached, continually redefining it. Of course, this left-liberal perpetual motion periodically devours its own children, with new aspirations frequently overwriting the ‘sanctity’ of previous ones: the fight against populism; popular sovereignty and the importance of universal suffrage; abortion propaganda and the right to life; gender ideology when it comes to feminism and the struggle for women’s rights (and science, which was previously respected as omnipotent, and also the legal import of biology); the ‘social justice struggle’ of anti-racism; the elixir of multicultural-fetishism and Willkommenskultur; the fight against anti-Semitism—and, yes, most recently the war psychosis that has replaced the formerly trendy, pacifist hippie position of ‘make love, not war’.

Wokeness Itself

One of the products of this process that is still in circulation—the idea institutionalized to correct the previous, sinful institutional system—is Wokeness itself. Incidentally, the term violates the English language in exactly the same way that its theorists violate reality, i.e. Woke is itself a form of self-deception. (According to popular mythology, the phrase comes from African American English and was first used with a political meaning by black Americans in the early twentieth century.)

‘It is important to reorient ourselves, and not allow the continent to become permanently left-wing, but to return to the security of Judeo-Christian ideals’

However, the idea, in the modern sense, is that the enlightened, ‘awakened’ or ‘woke’ person of the twenty-first century realizes that in fact all previous, ‘old’ things are not only to be overcome, but were conceived in sin, and must therefore be demolished and utterly erased—in fact, to replace the sinful culture of the past the culture of erasure must itself become the culture. After all, everything from the past that surrounds us is part of an oppressive structure, whether they are our heroes, after whom public spaces or schools are named; works of art from previous eras that do not pay enough attention to modern social sensitivities; or customs, forms of address, and traditions handed down to us by previous generations, but also the borders that separate countries or even genders. According to this view, Western history is itself worthless, since it was both made and written down predominantly by white, heterosexual, Christian men. God must be erased, nations as such are mere phantasmagoria, and the family is the most sinful oppressive structure, with its rigid male and female ‘roles’ that preclude individual development.

This trend also perfectly illustrates how ideologues completely independent of reality must rewrite the past, together with human nature, in order to have a greater impact on the future. It is alarming that neo-Marxists depict Western societies based on a Judeo-Christian foundation as irremediably evil, even though the ideas they themselves treat as foundational have claimed the lives of more than a hundred million people worldwide. If our future and that of our children were not at stake, we could laugh at the fact that in the twentieth century they came up with the spectacularly unsuccessful idea of ‘completely erasing the past’, and now again promise that ‘this fight will be the last’. It is striking, however, that this ideology is just as hateful in its thinking as Lenin. But there is another frightening parallel: in Woke thought, the egalitarian assumptions of the left are combined with racial hatred. We have seen such an idea before. It is called Nazism. What is more, the new-left Woke ideology is closely related to national and international socialism, in that it is based on an imperialist logic: the continental, international desire to spread an idea and, at the same time, the ethos of borderlessness is a crutch for globalism seeking to transcend national existence, to eradicate subsidiarity, and to dismantle actual (local) democracy. After all, in order for the already enlightened, awakened elite in the ‘developed world’ to be able to fight the injustices maintained by the majority society in an even more vigilant way, it is necessary to outsource decisions from the local level to the international level, thereby eliminating the ‘passing phantasm’ of state sovereignty, which after all ‘only arose in the Romantic Period’.

The arc of Woke thought is thus structured along the same lines as the most destructive ideas of the twentieth century: there is a social group—whether whites, Christians, or even just men who identify as men or women who identify as women—who must essentially carry all the sins of humanity on and within themselves. The cardinal sin is respect for the order of Creation, recognizing the unity of body and soul, thinking in terms of national existence, and venerating the sanctity of the family. The designated scapegoat must fulfil this role, must become the sacrificial victim, so that human society may be made sinless through the elimination of ‘privilege’. The ultimate solution is DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) training.3 Reading this acronym, every religious person who attended Sunday School as a child may remember that if one’s thoughts wandered a little during the teachings, only to be abruptly asked by the teacher what the solution to the problem being discussed was, one could not go far wrong by answering: God. It is obviously no coincidence that the ideologues of Woke created their own acronym equivalent to a Latin form of the word for God, which fully fits with what was described above, and at the same time indicates their desire to throw aside the cornerstone of our societies, namely the Christian religious heritage that completely pervades our culture to this day—since most of the everyday gestures, turns of phrase, and intellectual assumptions of Western people are connected (wittingly or unwittingly) to religious tradition. In other words, when they talk about the elimination of ‘oppressive social structures’, in practice they are attacking our Judeo-Christian foundations. The encouragement of migration; the creation of mixed societies; gender, abortion and euthanasia propaganda; and drug liberalization are all to be interpreted in this context. And talking specifically about a Judeo-Christian community is not misleading in this respect: anti-Judaism and anti-Israelism are increasingly joining the anti-Christianity of the progressive left.

Who Are We, the Anti-Woke?

If we have seen what we are fighting against, then it is also worth stating explicitly who we are, who is doing the fighting, and what we are trying to protect. A realistic and communitarian approach, anthropological pessimism, respect for the order of nature, and an anti-ideological attitude prioritizing common sense can help us avoid the fundamental mistakes of left-wing dogmatists. We do not seek to redesign either the person or the society with the medical scalpel or the compass and ruler, and tend to look at ‘the thing itself’. In this way, there is room for others besides ourselves in our thinking. We do not desire the impossible, or build towers of Babel, because we know that it always ends in confusion. We do not try to become omnipotent, but are content to cultivate the land entrusted to us by the Almighty. Meanwhile, anthropological pessimism gives way to theological optimism: ‘O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord’4—the apostle Paul sums up the Christian solution. This is why continental conservatism is so easily connected with Christian and Jewish religiosity, and why we, Hungarian right-wingers, cling to our Judeo-Christian cultural foundations, which have been our rock in past centuries, and have ensured our survival in the midst of all storms and floods even under the dominion of great empires.

‘The most effective remedy against Wokeness is courage and democracy itself’

The essence of Western culture can be grasped most simply through the trinity of ‘God, Homeland, Family’. Even if there is a kind of hierarchy between the individual elements, in our world the three cannot be understood in isolation: ‘Homeland before everything, God above everything’.5 The Jewish and Christian religions regard the protection of the homeland as a duty towards God (‘When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel’)6 alongside respect for the older generation. Children are seen as a gift, parenthood as a mandate from above. And this way of thinking has become ingrained in European and American societies to such an extent that the Enlightenment, and even forty years of communist dictatorship in the case of our country, could not erase it. Indeed, the latter resulted in greater adherence, in stubborn defiance of the ideological state.

As a consequence of their nature, as described above, left-wing ideologies attack the foundations of religiosity: Since the world is not without hierarchy, and there is a Being above us, we are not independent individuals, but rather social and communal. The Bible states that ‘male and female he created them’, and religion holds that there is an absolute, unchangeable difference between good and evil, so not everything is temporal and relative. However, just as the institution of the traditional family is in the crosshairs of gender ideology, so its sister, Wokeness, would destroy history, and with it national existence and national pride.

Women’s March in Missoula, Montana, USA, in January 2018. PHOTO: Wikipedia

However, these are the most important shields of the European person’s identity. They define who we are. And if we know who we are, we also know what our basic interests are and how we can live a beautiful life. Progressives think that we will be free when we replace these solid shells with some fluid material, substituting peat for bedrock. However, they do not care about the fact that they represent protection, and their destruction makes us vulnerable, causing our societies to lose their resilience in their absence. Freedom without all kinds of limitations and responsibilities is mere emptiness, nothingness—just like the individualistic person who alone is not free, but only lonely.

Is social engineering leading us towards a world in which average Europeans cannot say who their God is, what their country or homeland is, or even whether they are a boy or a girl? We might say that the map and the compass are being taken out of their hands. They are told that they do not need to know the landmarks, and can decide for themselves what is where. (And the empty person, who has no God, no country, and no family, is the easiest target for extremist ideologies.) However, this does not correspond to reality. The map can be redrawn, and what is now north can be called east—but the sun will not know about this, and will continue to rise in the true east, then set in the immovable west. If we are not able to identify points of orientation in the spiritual sense, then we cannot achieve our practical goals either, a striking example of which is the performance of the European Union in the recent period. A community that continues to commit civilizational suicide while being a Janus-faced do-gooder will be unable to achieve its goals from either an economic or a security point of view; our continent has fallen behind in the global race, and now the only question is how much it will retreat to a role on the periphery of one of the blocs in our increasingly polarized world. However, the damage caused by progressive ideologies is even greater. Today, Europe is not only unable to move forward, it is lost in the middle of the forest. And the shadows of the cold night are approaching more and more ominously.

With the deconstructed elements of our identity becoming increasingly inaccessible, European societies are floundering like soldiers struck by mustard gas, and at this point we need to say more about the left-liberal ideologues’ support for and encouragement of mass illegal migration. This makes it clear where their mad flights of fancy lead, as masses of people arrive who have a very strict moral code in their heads, and stable self-awareness. They have a map and compass, and when the apocalyptic clash of the two civilizations comes, we can be sure that progressive Europe, wallowing in Babylonian confusion, will not win. Therefore, it is important to reorient ourselves, and not allow the continent to become permanently left-wing, but to return to the security of Judeo-Christian ideals—or at least to the world of common sense.

Hungarian Common Sense as an Anti-Woke Grand Strategy

Central Europe (including Hungary) is an interesting litmus test for the Woke social experiment. It is in a state both better and worse than that of the capitalized West—and it is surviving. The situation is even better because, grotesquely, the communist Iron Curtain, which hermetically sealed off this region from the rest of the world for more than forty years, did not allow the new wave of progressive ideologies and worldviews that took off in the West from the 1960s (e.g. the Sexual Revolution, the riots of 1968, and the hippie movement), and so these processes were only catalyzed in this region much later, starting from the 1990s. However, now for the worse part: the door to this region was kicked in by Wokeism, which generally arrives scented with a pink left-wing bouquet because the essential socio-cultural institutional systems (the academic sector, media, economic elites, cultural platforms, etc.) still bore their post-communist heritage. More precisely, these subsystems are dominated by local leftists and the liberal elites that have grown up with them, because during the democratic turn, the communist nomenklatura successfully preserved its power capital and then converted it into economic, symbolic, and cultural hegemony within the democratic framework.

From 2010, the Hungarian right set out, bolstered by its two-thirds parliamentary mandate, to dismantle these ‘congealed structures’, so that at least a state closer to equilibrium could be created in these sectors (the press, think-tank world, strategic market sectors, etc.), as well as in public law and the symbolic space. ‘Illiberal politics’ is actually anti-Woke politics: a vision of a work-based society, where human dignity is based on work instead of unlimited self-realization, where the most important frameworks for living together are the family and the nation, where the protection of the country’s constitutional identity and Christian culture is the duty of all organs of the state, where marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and where the law protects the right of children to self-identity according to their sex at birth. Employment and tax policy serve to encourage childbearing, as the ‘Hungarian Grand Strategy’ seeks to overcome the demographic challenge by helping families inside the country and strengthening border protection on the outside.

Viktor Orbán highlighted the essence of this grand strategy when he made the following distinction between the world of Woke and normality: ‘There are groups of people who think that the most important thing of the world is their ego, themselves, “me”. This is the centre of the world. The other camp of the people, the other part of the society thinks that it is not true, because there are certain things which are more important than “me”, than my ego. Family, nation, God. And because they are more important than me, I have to serve these higher-level things. So this society has a majority here in Hungary.’7

The various proceedings and attacks against Hungary for years can not be traced back to rule-of-law issues or ‘democratic backsliding’, but ‘merely’ to the fact that the domestic right-wing is fighting back against Wokeness—precisely in the wake of its triumphant victory. However, it is fighting back with success, as is also shown by the results of consistent election victories, as well as migration and child-protection referendums: it therefore seems that the most effective remedy against Wokeness is courage and democracy itself.

Translated by Thomas Sneddon


1 Viktor Orbán, ‘Beszéd a IV. Budapesti Demográfiai Csúcson’ (Speech at the Fourth Budapest Demographic Summit), 23 September 2021, Miniszterelnöki Kabinetiroda, https://2015-2022.

2 Oxford English Dictionary, ‘woke’,, accessed 24 November 2023.

3 Aniela Unguresan, ‘Wake Up, Be Woke and Lead the Change: Overcoming DE&I Opposition’, Forbes, 7 July 2023), opposition/?sh=4f9062262902.

4 Romans 7:24–25.

5 ‘Orbán Viktor Beszéde a Fidesz – Magyar Polgári Szövetség XXX. Kongresszusán’ (Viktor Orbán’s Speech at the Thirtieth Congress of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance), 18 November 2023, Miniszterelnöki Kabinetiroda,

6 Deuteronomy 32:8.

7 Interview with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán by Tucker Carlson, Budapest, 29 August 2023, https://

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‘The various proceedings and attacks against Hungary for years can not be traced back to rule-of-law issues or “democratic backsliding”, but “merely” to the fact that the domestic right-wing is fighting back against Wokeness—precisely in the wake of its triumphant victory.’