6 Pages

Back to Marx! Editor’s preface to vol. I of the ‘Selected Works of Marx and Engels’

The first Hungarian translation of a major selection of Marx’ s and Engels’s writing was planned by Szabó in co-operation with the Social Democratic Par ty towards the end of 1903. Utilizing Kautsky’s sugges t ions , the plan was soon adopted and the first volume published in 1905. Szabó intended to produce a collection that would address the learned social scientist unfamiliar with Marx as well as the in te res ted , but uneducated worker . It was for the lat ter that he had the volumes published in inexpensive pamphlet form in instalments. Owing to the editor’ s i l lness, only two of the projected th ree volumes were completed, the second only four years after the f i rs t . The selection - and Szabó’s reasons for it (see above, Letters to Kautsky 1 and 3) - reflect the editor’ s historical and economic orientation. Every selection was introduced by Szabó with an essay , many of which (see below, p p . 74-92, 139-49) not only explain the place in the oeuvre of the classics but also add much of Szabó’s own thinking to i t . The fate of Hungarian socialism was such that no similar extensive publication of Marxist classics appeared in Hungary until after 1945, hence Szabó’s two volumes remained the main source of Marxian thought for several generations of sociologists , social scientists and socialists.