Hungarian media is reporting that the former head of the BfV, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency. has called Hungarian conservatives a ‘bulwark in this increasingly insane European world, which is overrun by woke ideology and the new socialism.” According to a report in Hungary Today:
October 26, 2022 The former head of Germany’s domestic security agency, Hans-Georg Maaßen, talked to the Hungarian weekly Mandiner about his impression of Viktor Orbán, Hungarian conservativism, and the war in Ukraine. “My impression is that Fidesz and the Hungarian conservatives are a kind of bulwark in this increasingly insane European world, which is overrun by woke ideology and the new socialism,” Hans-Georg Maaßen, the former president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic security agency, told the weekly Mandiner. Speaking about a recent panel discussion with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Berlin organized by German outlets Berliner Zeitung and Cicero, he said he felt a little ashamed of German journalists who almost apologized for inviting Orbán, “as if he was not a welcome guest.” “I was very impressed by the openness and directness with which Mr. Orbán answered all the questions in a really thoughtful and professional manner,” Maaßen said, who is also a politician of the Christian democratic CDU party. According to him, Orbán’s words resonated well with many people, for example on sanctions, the ceasefire, and family policy. “But he disappointed many people in one respect: Orbán acted as the Hungarian prime minister and not as the leader of the European conservatives, as many would like,” Maaßen added. Speaking of the war in Ukraine, the German politician said that he agrees with Viktor Orbán that “this is not a bilateral war, so it has to be seen in a global context.” “It is a proxy war between America and Russia. It is also clear to me that the Americans do not want an armistice and do not want negotiations for the time being. Unfortunately, this is our big problem, because we are the biggest victims of this war, along with the Ukrainians,” he explained.
In 2019, German media reported that Maassen was joining a law firm representing the far-right German political party Alternative for Germany (AfD). The Deutsche Welle report also notes that Maassen was forced into retirement from the BfV in 2018, partly over allegations he had passed sensitive information to the AfD and harbored sympathies with the party’s anti-immigration stance. In February, Der Spiegel reported that Maasen is still suspected of not only having resisted monitoring the AfD but also had given the party tips on how it could avoid being targeted by the services. The Spiegel article also reported that Maassen had become further enmeshed in far-right extremism:
Day by day, Maaßen seems to be diving deeper into the world of right-wing ideologues and conspiracy supporters. On the special-interest channel “Hallo Meinung,” which also provides a platform for AfD politicians, he rails against the “deliberate destruction” of social structures by the left. At “Junge Freiheit,” the central organ of the New Right, he warns against “creeping into socialism.” And on Gettr, he posts a video of an anti-Semitic Corona belittler telling wild conspiracy stories about vaccination. For Maaßen, it’s a “moving appeal” to the “urgent need for a Covid vaccine ban.”.….“Socialist and globalist forces” had conspired to destroy “traditions and national cultures,” Maaßen said.
Read the rest here.
“Woke” is an English adjective meaning “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination” that originated in African-American Vernacular English. Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism. It has also been used as shorthand for American Left ideas involving identity politics and social justice, such as the notion of white privilege and slavery reparations for African Americans. Of late, “woke” has been used indiscriminately by both sides of the political spectrum. As CNN reported in January:
If 2020 renewed calls for racial equality as Black Lives Matter protests exploded throughout Europe, 2021 brought in the backlash as parts of the political establishment waged a so-called “war against woke.” Stripped of its original meaning of a person being awake to progressive issues, “woke” has been appropriated from the Black vernacular and turned into a political lightning rod in the West’s culture wars. It is now used pejoratively by lawmakers and pundits from both left and right, criticizing the perceived excesses of social and racial justice movements. The politicization of the word, which has seen degrees of success in the United States, has bolstered political resistance to calls for more equality in Europe. The amorphous term has also been interpreted differently, depending on where it is deployed.
Reads the rest here.
Western culture wars and opposition to “wokeness” are key themes for Russia and the Global National Conservative (GNCA) alliance, described in a Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) report as follows:
Russian President PUTIN has expressed an interest in Russia becoming the ideological center of a new global conservative alliance, and European far-right leaders have taken pro-Russian positions based on a similar ideology. Hungary is at the center of a developing alliance between European far-right nationalists and American conservatives that Russia could potentially exploit for use in information warfare. This alliance operates under the rubric of “National Conservatism,” centered on national sovereignty, cultural identity, and opposition to global institutions and representing a potentially radical change for the US conservative movement away from long-held Reagan-era philosophies.
Read the full report here.
In October, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s political director appeared on a US rightwing podcast where he discussed concerns about “Wokeness” as a “brand new issue in Hungary.” Also in October, GIOR reported that Putin had once again delivered a speech in which he extensively referenced so-called “culture war” themes commonly espoused by rightwing/conservative Western elements. We reported in September on the third US-based National Conservatism Conference in Miami, where “wokeness” was a key topic. We reported yesterday that former US Congresswoman Tuli Gabbard had resigned from the Democratic Party, accusing the Democrats of being “under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers, driven by cowardly wokeness.”
Germany has one of the largest Russian diasporas, with an estimated 6 million Russian-speaking people living there. The AfD has more support in eastern Germany, which is skeptical of EU membership and where historic ties include ‘residual cultural empathy with Russia. A new poll from late September showed that the AfD would be the strongest political party in the former East Germany were elections to be held now, with 27% of people in the East voting for the party as opposed to 12% of former West Germans. A German academic has concluded that the AfD is a national-conservative party with many bridges to Germany’s rightwing extremism; in December 2021, we reported that the coverage of RT Deutsch showed significant congruence with the political and social positions promoted by the AfD. In October, we reported that a planned visit to Russian-occupied Ukraine by AfD politicians had been canceled.