Lévy: Europe's future hangs on Orbán

If the illiberal system wins, Europe will collapse, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy told Hungarian news portal Index in an interview.

"Europe's future hangs on Viktor Orbán, who is a kind of godfather for all European radicals - if the illiberal systems wins, Europe will collapse," Bernard-Henri Lévy said in the interview, preceding the Hungarian premiere of his solo play, Looking for Europe.

Bernard-Henri Lévy, often simply referred to as BHL, is a French philosopher, a disciple of Jean-Paul Sartre. He is also a political activist who recently penned a manifesto against the rise of populism, entitled "The house is already burning".

He is in Budapest preparing for his play. BHL told Index that using theater as a medium was the advice of his mentor.

"Because theater in itself is political. My mentor, Jean-Paul Sartre always said that if you want to talk about politics, you should choose the theater. And he always did so," BHL said, adding that Budapest is the focal point of European political processes.

"Of course you are the center. Budapest is important for two reasons: on the one hand, it was one of the capitals of the Habsburg Empire or, an empire described by Milan Kundera as 'a sketch of Europe'. On the other hand, Budapest was one of the capitals of the fight against totalitariansm," BHL said.

He said the fight for Europe will be waged between French President Emmanuel Macron and Orbán.

"If Orbán wins, Europe will collapse and Trump, Putin and Erdoğan will have won. Thank God and the great American democracy, Trump may be gone in two years' time but for the moment they form a coalition against Europe and Orbán is part of that coalition," he said.

Referring to the play in which he says Trump is the pack leader of all populist politicians, BHL said "Orbán is more intelligent than Trump. In another life he was a dissident and a democrat, but the fact remains that the tendencies are the same. He has the same approach (as Trump) to the press, law and justice".


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