Since the 19th century the tension between modernizing processes and the terms like tradition, patriotism, and nation have become the constant feature of the development of modern Hungarian society. The dispute between 'modern' and 'traditional' culminated usually during great national crises. Paradoxically, the language of the dispute made possible the use of the word 'modernization' against real modernization, when the effort to raise the nation was undertaken in the name of defence of national values against 'cosmopolitan' modernity coming from abroad, or when the Hungarian nation was defending its 'traditional progressiveness' against the national demands of 'backward' non-Hungarian nations. The effort to find the balance between 'general' democratic and 'particular' national principles have permeated programmes of all significant political parties throughout the 19-20th centuries. The achieved consensus in this matter served also as one of the arguments supporting the decision to accept integration of Hungary into NATO and the EU, and, on the other hand, the Hungarians perceived both integrations as historically unique opportunity to resolve traditional tensions between 'progress and patriotism'.
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