Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took to platform X to point out what he says is the “Orwellian world” the European Union is creating, including promoting war via a facility meant for peace and attempting to curtail media as a form of freedom.
“Brussels is creating an Orwellian world in front of our eyes. They buy and supply weapons through the #EuropeanPeaceFacility. They want to control the media through the #MediaFreedomAct. We didn’t fight the communists to end up in 1984!” wrote Orban.
#Brussels is creating an Orwellian world in front of our eyes. They buy and supply weapons through the #EuropeanPeaceFacility . They want to control the media through the #MediaFreedomAct . We didn’t fight the communists to end up in 1984!
— Orbán Viktor (@PM_ViktorOrban) October 5, 2023
Orbán is referring to the European Peace Facility, which is responsible for transferring billions in weapons to Ukrainian forces, a move that Orbán argues has only prolonged the war and cost thousands of Ukrainian lives.
According to the European Peace Facility’s own website (bold text added by original authors),
“On 26 June 2023, the Council adopted a decision to increase the overall financial ceiling of the European Peace Facility (EPF) by €4.061 billion (in current prices, or €3.5 billion in 2018 prices). The overall financial ceiling now totals more than €12 billion (in current prices).
On 20 March 2023, in a joint session gathering EU foreign affairs and defense ministers, the Council agreed on the three-track proposal put forward by the High Representative and Commissioner Breton. This proposal outlines how to urgently provide Ukraine with artillery ammunition, either coming from existing stocks or jointly procured.“
Orbán is referring to specific terms developed by Orwell in his most famous novel, “1984,” which describes how a fictional dystopian regime uses words to mislead the people into accepting the power of the party.
Orwell wrote in 1984: “The Ministry of Truth… was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 meters into the air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party: War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
A few lines further, Orwell described the different ministries, writing: “The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs.”
Orwell described these terms as “doublethink,” explaining the power of the concept to maintain influence and control:
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself — that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word —doublethink — involved the use of doublethink.”
Regarding Orbán’s reference to the Media Freedom Act, which was just passed this week in Brussels, the law is expected to directly take on Hungary and Poland’s media markets. Orbán wrote on X that the act is “another anti-freedom proposal from Brussels: establishing total control over the media. We Central Europeans have seen such things in the past. They called it the Kominform and the Reichspressekammer.”