Vladimír PALKO:

Your Eminence, ladies and gentlemen.

Cordial greetings to each one of you. I am honoured to have the opportunity to speak to you in the company of such distinguished co-presenters. From that wonderful synthesis by His Eminence who spoke of the struggles over millennia I would now like to move to the struggles taking place only during the last few decades. I am going to talk about the struggle with progressivism a central european cooperation. I would like to present fifteen points.

I. Our opponent has no name

I have called the opponent progressivism, but others prefer to call it left-liberalism, and yet others call it cultural Marxism. Most recently, the name "Wokeism" has emerged. Who has many names, as if he had none. The communists had a name, that's how they were visible. However, we are fighting an opponent without a name, which makes it difficult for us to mobilise against him.

II. The underlying themes of modern progressivism are the relativization of the value of human life and the family

In this sense, progressivism can be considered to have been born in 1917, when abortion was first legalised in Soviet Russia. Having lost the appeal of Soviet communism, as the commentator Joseph Sobran put it, the queen bee of the progressivist hive gradually moved from Moscow to Washington. Changed definition of marriage, euthanasia, surrogate motherhood and later gender ideology became the next stages of progressivism.

III. The method of progressivism is to control institutions

This concerns institutions such as media, education and the arts that influence culture in its broadest sense as the way people live their lives. If the persistent Gramscian march through the institutions succeeds, the society will change its values to the opposite of the original ones, and political victories in parliament and government will follow. This process has, with a few exceptions, been completed in the West.

IV. Progressivism rules through the courts

A progressivist judge is more important than a progressivist minister. In America, the Supreme Court, not the Congress, has made all the important decisions. The Supreme Court banned prayer in schools, allowed abortion, and then changed the definition of marriage.

A couple of years ago in Slovakia, the Constitutional Court ruled that four specific questions could not be asked in a referendum on the family, even though 400,000 signatories of the petition demanded it. One of them was a question about civil partnerships. In the Czech Republic, the Constitutional Court removed the ban on adoption of children from the law on registered couples. This is judicial tyranny.

Progressivist decisions have also been made by the court of the EU, i.e. the European Court of Justice, and by the court of the Council of Europe, i.e. the European Court of Human Rights. There have been many such court decisions.

V. Progressivism dominates multinational organisations

Supranational institutions like the UN, WHO, European Union, Council of Europe, etc. would not be bad in themselves. But progressivism abuses their grounds to promote its ideology. For example, by signing international treaties, such as the EU Charter of Rights or the Istanbul Convention, at a supranational institution, with subsequent incorporation of the new ideology into national legislation. Then, over time, the treaties are interpreted by the courts in ways we would not have even dreamed of. This way, these factors, supranational institutions, supranational treaties and courts, are intertwined.

VI. Progressivism has undemocratic and totalitarian tendencies

The progressivist media continued spreading their ideology contrary to what the non-progressivist public wanted, until they tired the public to the point where it stopped resisting. In 2004, during presidential election, twenty American states held referendums on marriage, and everywhere the voters decided that it should be a union between a man and a woman. However, the outcomes of the referendums did not make any difference because eleven years later the Supreme Court overruled them.

Progressivism treats its opponents as class enemies. People opposing progressivism can usually count not on imprisonment, but frequently on loss of employment and marginalisation as a form of punishment.

VII. The philosophical basis of progressivism is anti-transcendentalism

What is a human being according to progressivism? There is a certain continuation of the Marxist-Leninist thinking in progressivism. Again, the division of the world into oppressed and oppressors is the goal here, the goal being the liberation of the oppressed, meaning sexual minorities, women, migrants, non-white races, etc.

At the most fundamental level, I believe progressivism is anti-transcendentalism. It does not recognize a purpose of human life beyond earthly existence, nor a transcendent authority. As a consequence, the man himself is deified.

VIII. Developments are accelerating

Mnohé z predošlého som popísal v knihe "Levy prichádzajú", ktorá prvýkrát vyšla pred desiatimi rokmi. Dnes sa mi to zdá neuveriteľné, ale v tom prvom vydaní nie je ani zmienka o rodovej ideológii. Pojednanie o nej som do knihy doplnil až v neskorších vydaniach. Jednoducho pred desiatimi rokmi rodová ideológia nebola verejne príliš viditeľná. Dnes o nej hovorí každý. Pýtame sa, čo príde ďalej.

IX. The Big Business is progressivist

Think of the American electoral coalition of the 1980s when Ronald Reagan was elected president. It brought together fiscal conservatives, including big business, anti-communists and social conservatives. It is the past now.

In 2014, world-renowned computer scientist Brendan Eich became CEO of Mozilla. The LGBT lobby noted that Eich had backed the campaign for traditional marriage in 2008 ahead of a referendum in California. They launched such a media campaign against Eich that he didn't last a week in office.

This was an example of a major company just giving in to pressure. But now, Big Business has already progressed even further. It is already helping to create that pressure itself. We are seeing "woke" capitalism.

X. Christian Democrats and Conservatives have de-Christianised

In Western Europe, non-progressivist political forces have disappeared. This is also true of parties that formally carry the word conservative or Christian democrat in their names. They have taken on the progressivist agenda.

XI. Progressivism grows into something bigger

So far, I have spoken mainly about the topics of the protection of life and family. New themes are becoming increasingly important, such as the theme of uncontrolled migration, where progressivism sees the right to migrate as absolute. We, on the other hand, recognize such a right only to the extent that it does not go against the common good.

I am concerned about new threats that I cannot yet even name exactly, but of which we are seeing signs. I am a thrice inoculated opponent of conspiracy theories. However, the excessiveness of some government measures during the COVID pandemic is a fact, rather than a conspiracy.

What will progressivism bring in conjunction with the development of information technology and the secular religion of environmental protection? How worried should we be about the surveillance state in relation to our digital footprint, our carbon footprint, which is supposedly damaging the environment, the introduction of cashless-only payments? What will the vision of transhumanism do to us?

And where is the thinking of global elites heading? For example, the speeches of the philosopher Yuval Noah Harari, advisor to Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, deserve attention. Harari talks about the problem of useless people. Yes, he uses that term. These are people who have no use in a materially secure society and are apparently doomed to spend their lives playing computer games.

The paradox is that Harari is the author of the bestseller Homo Deus, i.e. Man God. It seems that human divinity will not be of the same quality for all.

Let us keep a close eye on these trends.

XII. Winning over progressivism is feasible

This is demonstrated, for example, by Poland achieving a reversal in the protection of unborn life, Hungary stopping the sexualisation of children, and the Visegrad countries successfully resisting EU migration quotas in 2015. Slovakia succeeded in eliminating the ratification of the Istanbul Convention two years ago.

XIII. The Iron Curtain is still visible

Over the past decade, Central European and Balkan countries have inspired each other and passed laws affirming marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The dividing line between traditional and homosexual marriage is more or less identical to the former Iron Curtain. People who have experienced communism are more resistant to social utopias.

XIV. Cooperation among non-progressivist forces is necessary but it has its limits

Perhaps the first European politician to warn that the EU institutions were being used to promote progressivism was Ján Čarnogurský. In 1995, at a meeting of European Christian and conservative parties in Nice, he proposed that these parties should agree to jointly promote the principle of sovereignty of EU member states on cultural and ethical issues. The principle was that the EU should not interfere in matters of protection of life and the family, which would remain the competence of the Member States. The reaction to his proposal was complete indifference. It was already impossible to reach agreement on the Christian Democrats' ground, let alone on the EU's ground.

However, an alternative is emerging. What we failed to do at a meeting of European Christian democratic parties, we succeeded to achieve in the Slovak Parliament in 2002, when the Parliament approved the draft Declaration on Sovereignty in Cultural and Ethical Matters.

In 2003, the Polish Sejm took inspiration from us and adopted a similar declaration, and Polish governments led by the Law and Justice (PiS) party are adhering to it in their policies. When the Lisbon Treaty was adopted, Poland negotiated an opt-out from the Charter of Rights on the subject of the family.

In 2015, the Visegrad Four countries acted together successfully against the European Commission's efforts to enforce migration quotas. Suddenly we have discovered real Central European cooperation.

Since non-progressivism is punished in the EU, as exemplified by the threats by sanctions against Poland and Hungary, expressions of solidarity with those affected are desirable. In November 2021, we initiated a statement signed by eighteen well-known Slovak intellectuals, where we stood up for Poland.

The question is whether Central European cooperation should be formalised and institutionalised. I do not think that this cooperation has the potential to become an alternative project to the EU in the foreseeable future. Because people still want to give the EU a chance.

It is also important to acknowledge the considerable diversity in attitudes among Central European countries. For example, there is still some tension between Slovakia and Hungary, which is a legacy of the last decades of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. I hope it is more or less just a psychological problem, but it is still visible.

I do not want to raise the subject of the relationship between the West and Russia, but we can see that attitudes of individual Central European countries differ here. Slovakia and Hungary, for example, do not have as strained a relationship with Russia as Poland or the Czech Republic.

That is why I am advocating for cooperation between Central European countries on an ad hoc basis, i.e. on selected topics. I would like to see more, but I don't see that possibility yet.

XV. It is necessary to endure

The last point is brief. In the struggle against progressivism, we must endure.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention.