3 Pages

Masses or individuals

This early journalistic piece, originally published in the 24 April 1902 issue of ‘Volksstimme’, the Hungarian Social Democratic Party’s German-language newpaper (writ ten for the still unassimilated German craftsmen and skilled workers) is one of Szabó’ s attempts to find a common ground between the heroic Russian revolut ionaries , whom he admired since his youth , and the socialist mass p a r t y . Szabó seems to have been ‘ in charge of Russia’ in the Social Democratic p re s s in those yea r s , and used the occasion of the assassination of Sipiagin to present not only his admiration for the Russian s tudents but also ra i se , however moderately, his objections against the str ict discipline and centralized command of German-type Social Democracy that did not encourage individual initiative and heroism. Szabó’s image of an o rganized mass led by courageous individuals who remain closely enmeshed in the s t ruggle of the masses is one of his best passages , in pa r t s because the subject helped him to overcome his alienation towards a dialectical approach. That he had serious theoretical quandar ies in this matter is clear from his le t ters to Kautsky (see above p p . 55-66), and finally he opted in terms of political s t ruggle also for the more individualis t-anarchist position, of course , always insist ing on the primacy of the class as the main actor in history and revolution.