“I couldn’t stand to stay passive while all the lies, manipulations, fake news and insults toward my country were spread day and night”. An interview with Ferenc Almássy, editor-in-chief of the Visegrád Post

Dace Kalniņa:  What is your political affiliance/sympathies and the background of your activism? 

Ferenc Almássy: I have always felt, behaved and acted as a “free-man”. I have never been member of any movement nor party. I have always been eager to be free enough to discuss with anyone. I always enjoyed diplomacy and I always have been curious of why is it that people think differently. What are their motives, what are the interests they fight for? Being myself a bi-national (Hungarian and French — and within my frenchness, I have also other identities: Briton, Corsican, Normandic) I quickly understood that I was both French and Hungarian, but at the same time, neither of it. That helped me a lot to understand different points of views and to be able to understand and sympathize even with people I disagree with. In addition to that, I am part of the first generation that spent its youth on internet and got into politics not through street activism and party discipline, but through social media.

Quickly I helped people from many different political backgrounds – but of course mostly those what we can call on the Right — to communicate despite the geographical and cultural distance. I worked on destroying chauvinism and making people realize that Europeans, as they do have many in common, also have many different perspectives and different issues.

I moved from the French Republic to Hungary in 2010, and at this time, I was so desperate by my life in Paris – liberalism, massive immigration, individualism, overpopulation were the main causes of my suffering – that I was quite radical, at least as much radical as I was hopeless. But living in Hungary gave me the opportunity to start simply a normal life, with a perspective for myself and the society I lived in. Back then I was especially close to some people of the Jobbik, which at the time was a radical nationalist party. I was particularly afraid that what happened in France could also happen in Hungary, and I was looking for the strongest opposition to that model. With time many things changed. I became what Hungarians call a polgár – a responsible citizen, working, patriot, and involved in the functioning of the Polis — while the Jobbik became a centre-right, liberal party, not at all opposed to Western degenerate standards — quite the opposite…

Therefore, it can be said that I am quite close to [Prime Minister’s] Orbán’s line, even if I disagree with him on many topics – geopolitical approach, economical dogma, environmental policy. I am radical right-wing-anti-capitalist, Catholic and environmentalist. You can understand I don’t really find a party that fits me. But anyway, the point is that I don’t care about parties, my loyalty goes first for Hungary, then Central Europe, then Europe, and then the whole Mankind. 

D.K.: Can you tell more about the political situation in Hungary and the changes of Jobbik’s place in the ideological spectrum?

F.A.: Difficult to be tell it briefly! Until 2015, Fidesz, Orbán’s party, was a coalition of right-wing people. Fidesz was made of some liberals, some nationalist, some capitalistic right wingers, even some monarchists, but mostly middle-class people knowing where their social and economic class interest lies. At that time Jobbik was a radical nationalist party, in the Parliament since 2010, and pushing Orbán successfully to right, meaning: more hostility toward interference of the West and progressive ideologies, more social measures and, most importantly, an opposition to massive, uncontrolled and illegal immigration. When the Balkan Route brought hundreds of thousands of illegals to Hungary, Orbán did not hesitate. He hardened his political discourse and action regarding immigration. The country being in a crisis, objectively well managed by the government, it became increasingly difficult for the Jobbik, at this time working on its “detoxification” – meaning changing their image, their political brand, in order to appear acceptable for a larger part of the voters – to get visibility, especially on themes such as the immigration and the opposition to Brussels…

The Jobbik leadership quickly made its calculations: in order to maintain its support rate, and to increase it, they had to get voters from the Left and from the non-voters. All this happened with a destroyed Left – due to a disastrous Left-wing governance from 2002 to 2010. Back then Jobbik was the strongest opposition party. The liberals were already working tremendously on pushing their PSYOP, social engineering manipulations, with mantras based on well-known empty keywords: freedom of the press, democracy, tolerance, corruption, rule of law, and so on. They managed to capture one third of Hungarian voters with their alternative reality. As the main opposition party, leaders of Jobbik thought they could force their agenda on the rest of the opposition to make a united front against Orbán. But the opposite happened: they got caught by the traps of the liberals, neo-Trotskyists, progressives and agents of foreign influence.

This led them to collapse, as their result at the European elections shows. For the one interested to read more about this topic, I can recommend to read our article on the Visegrád Post.

D.K.: Why did you decide to involve in Visegrad Post project? What is the aim of this media, what are the current audience and the plans for the development? 

F.A.: In 2015, during the migrant crisis in Hungary, I was a direct witness of the migration wave. But I was also witnessing what the Western, and especially what the French media were telling. I couldn’t stand to stay passive while all the lies, manipulations, fake news and insults toward my country were spread day and night. I wanted to do something, even little, even insignificant, but in order to feel that I do my best for the truth and my country. I was asked by many French right-wing — id est mostly alternative — media to help them cover the events. So, I did. And I came up with the idea of creating a portal for foreigners about Central Europe. I created with a friend the idea of the Visegrád Post, we got a little sponsorship — thank you TV Libertés ! — and I started the website on 2016, March 31, in both French and English.

It was of course amateur, and we have evolved a lot since then. At the beginning, I was willing to cover the news, but it quickly become clear that we hadn’t the means to do so. So, we slowly made the portal into a page of analysis and opinions on Central Europe. Our work got the attention of many politicians, journalists, experts, students. We were bringing to people new points of view about a disregarded and overlooked region of Europe, but one which was getting back into the game of European politics.

Now we have managed to get subsidies form the Hungarian state, and this summer, the website will change completely. We’ll have better and quicker translations. We are now publishing in French, English and German, and we’ll get also a partial Hungarian version. We accept no adds, the access to the website is entirely free and the whole project works with donations, subsidies and our own funds collected from other works and projects. I want the Visegrád Post to become a prestigious and inevitable conservative forum.

D.K.: What is your view of the ideal model for the regional cooperation in Europe? Is Visegrad 4 close to it? And do you believe in a possibility of pan-nationalist network in a European level?

F.A.: The Visegrad Group, of Visegrad 4 or V4, is clearly a great step toward a better regional cooperation. It is already a good example that Central and Eastern Europe can work together without the interference of foreign powers – I think especially about the ones that brought us the biggest problems: Turkey, Germany, Russia and the USA.

It is certainly not enough. But it is probably the best we can do right now. We are under US military and cultural domination, German economical domination, Russian energetic domination. We have no choice than to cooperate, as we share many common issues, shared common suffering in the past and have a common understanding of each other, at least better than many of the neighbouring countries.

We also have a mission. For ourselves, for our children, but also to honour our forefathers: we are today from the most European countries the less degenerate part of the continent. I must bear this responsibility and fight for our civilisation. This is hard, as anyone are contaminated by liberalism, whether we like it or not. But we have no choice. And I think this have been understood at some extent by leaders of V4: we work together, overcome past divisions, support each other, develop the transport, energetic connections and communication between our countries and we fight systematically together when we agree on something – and at the meantime, respect each other’s differences and diverging opinions. This is the only way of building up a sustainable, non-totalitarian and efficient political cooperation between Europeans. I think the V4 is definitely an inspiration not only for the region, but also for whole Europe.

Regarding nationalists, as long as they’re not ruling their countries, they have to work like any party, NGO and movement in democracy to convince people of their usefulness and to work for the common good – even if it means never getting elected. As I explained, the obsession of getting elected brought the Jobbik to its damnation and downfall. A permanent, strong, influential opposition party could be much more efficient to reach some goals than a ruling party which cannot rule due to opposition by the whole system.

D.K.: Do you see way out of the current clash of the civilizations and crisis of values of the Western civilization? 

F.A.: I see many possible outcomes to this historical crisis, but not a lot that seems good to me. The technological revolution that changed the social organization of our societies has not yet been fully taken into account. We still struggle in the formulation of our answer to this new world we have to live in. Nostalgia and complaint, depression and violence are not good answers. I believe this current liberal-capitalist system will not work for ever. I believe that our generation will have to deal with its downfall – might it be a huge economic chaos, a world war, a global western liberal totalitarianism or some archeo-futuristic scenario – or a mix of some of these.

The question is: do we have something to propose? Are we able to anticipate and to avoid some of the potential issues and troubles for the people? How can we avoid violence and chaos? How can we cool down tensions and prepare for a better future? And most importantly: why? Why should we make all these efforts?

I believe the first reason of Europe’s crisis is that Europeans are experiencing a terrible spiritual ordeal. We are lost; and I think this is due to the traumas of the two World Wars. This is not something we can fix easily, quickly and with only political solutions. We have to make young Europeans aware of their identity, of their historical role and duty toward our civilisation. This fight begins in each of us. We have to face the void that is in each of us. Even the most pious of the Europeans are far away of what our ancestors used to be. We lack this inner force and confidence, we lack this link between us, we lack the faith of something bigger than us, something truly Good and something helping us to be better – day after day.

Liberalism and Islam are threats only because we have let them to become threats. Because we have become weak, we cannot fight back, we have accepted and tolerated everything that is unacceptable. It is time we face our weaknesses and get rid of them. I want to believe that conscious, good-willing Europeans will prevail and be able to build up again a strong, powerful, fair and protective Europe.

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