The notion of the national community, with its shared spirit and values, appealed to the paternalistic documents. For them, everybody who shares a common language and cultural background with the Hungarians belongs to the national community. The paternalistic parties understood the nation to be defined by shared experiences, history, values and cultural heritage. By embracing th Hungarian identity one becomes Hungarian because one shares and understands what is it to feel like Hungarians. In this definition of the nation there is no need for blood or even soil because it is fully supplemented by the shared spirit. This spirit, though, should be cultivated among all those who consider themselves to be Hungarians.
In the specific circumstances of Hungary this definition of the nation had important consequences, especially for foreign policy issues. Significant Hungarian minorities in the neighbouring Romania, Slovakia, Serbia but also Ukraine, Austria and Croatia were considered to be an integral part of the Hungarian nation. These communities of foreign Hungarians should be supported in their struggle to sustain their identities and cultural heritage. The paternalistic parties advocated autonomy for Hungarian minorities in the countries where conditions for such a step existed.
Paternalistic manifestos in general condemned aggressive and simplistic nationalism based on the rejection of everything non-Hungarian. However they acknowledged the importance and value of national identity for all those who feel like Hungarians. It is important and, at the same time; the state’s duty to cultivate the national culture and to make it possible for Hungarians to be proud of their nation. At the same time the state should not promote Hungarian national interests and its culture at the expense of other communities and ethnic minorities. On the contrary, it should make sure that these groups also receive support for their culture and, more importantly, that they are protected from any kind of discrimination