“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Hardly a self-help book is written, sales conference attended, or business launched without citing some variation of this axiom. It is important for an organization to know its purpose.
It doesn’t take too long to figure out why this is important. With so many different distractions, objectives, and busy-work vying for your attention, you need some sort of a guiding principle to distinguish between choices in agreement with your goals or in conflict with them.
In more extreme cases, it can identify projects or distractions that — if pursued — would take them further afield from that central goal; this being the “plan to fail” part of the proverb.
When sight of that central goal is lost, cohesion falls apart, and each faction fights to have their subordinate goal become the main goal. Sometimes they can limp along in mediocrity forever, sometimes, things collapse under its own weight. This is one of the dangers of organizations becoming lumbering behemoths.
What is true of a company is also true of a nation. “Why does a nation exist?”
Some people have no answer. When pressed, they might parrot from someone currently fashionable in academia, packed with enough important-sounding words to strip their answer of any real meaning.
I’ll try to provide a layman’s answer without the claptrap. “A nation is a group of people who, together, rely on a particular set of leaders to defend their collective interests”. Those interests will need to include a system of laws for maintaining peace within their borders, and also protection from military threats. Other things, however popular with the citizens, are extras.
(Ideally, it will also protect the freedoms of its citizens, but a great many do not prioritize that at all, even though they would still be considered nations.)
The crisis brewing in Europe right now is a tremendous example of the fail to plan / plan to fail axiom in action. Socialist European nations have spent generations doling out government handouts in an effort to placate voters.
The role of the government as the designated defender against threats (foreign and domestic) has morphed into a role of provider. Provider of this and that institutional benefit. Much of the Public would happily affirm the duty of the government to accept uncritically whichever people may arrive, in whatever numbers, and offer unreservedly whatever those people might need.
But Hungary is Different. They have a plan.
When a nation has a plan, we are really referring to their Constitution. It spells out what the role of the leaders is (and is NOT) in their particular nation. What powers exist, what limitations of those powers exist, and what recourse (if any) might apply should someone in leadership abuse those powers.
Many places and their leadership pay only lip service to their foundational documents — sometimes even if they were a “constitutional law professor” at an Ivy League school. This can get administrations tied up in knots where the law both applies and doesn’t apply to the same person in the same circumstance.
Hungary’s PM, however does more than pay lip service to their Constitution. And it just might save his country from disaster. In a recent speech, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said what few world leaders would have the cojones to say. “To be clear and unequivocal, I can say that Islamization is constitutionally banned in Hungary.”
This is a strong example of that guiding principle discussed earlier.
Islamism is corrosive to both the security and the culture of the any nation. Large numbers of people bringing a divergent worldview, and settling en masse within their borders will be disruptive to the nation and culture Hungary has built for themselves. Hungarians have every right to defend that culture and nation.
Result? They have built a wall to keep foreigners from unilaterally deciding they should enter Hungary’s borders. Also, they have enforced immigration laws. Nearly 1500 people were arrested in the first half of March.
Hungary understands its sovereignty is not a gift given by outside parties. It is owned by those who live there, and must be defended by the same. They’ve even taking the UN to court, claiming an exemption from obligations to receive an exemption from UN resettlement plans.
Orban said it plainly: “We have a right to choose whom we want and don’t want to live with.”
We see in Orban a clear sense of the purpose of a nation; a clear sense of his responsibility to its citizens; and a willingness to defend their interests.
As someone who grew up at the tail end of the Cold War, it is unthinkable to me that a former Communist nation has a better grasp of such things than a sitting President of the United States of America. But here we are.