9 Pages

The tasks of the Sociological Society (Presidential address)

Szabó gave the presidential address on the anniversary convention of the Society on 23 November 1912, although formally he had been (since 1907) only its v ice-pres ident , but Gyula Pikler, the pres iden t , lived abroad and the actual leadership was indeed in Szabó’ s and the energetic Jászi ’s h a n d s . The foundation of the Society in 1901 - a year after the s ta r t of ‘Huszadik Század’ - and , even more, the decisive shift to the ‘left’ after its crisis in 1906, when the suppor te r s of the nationalist-conservative government left and founded a counter-society , were indeed historical events in Hungarian intellectual life. The Society se rved , under the given condit ions, simultaneously as a scholarly body and as a forum of scientific propaganda, and did both tasks with great success . Szabó was often attacked and mocked by socialists for engaging in this mixed, bourgeois en te rp r i se , and has been faulted for it in re t rospect by Communist cr i t ics . How he himself judged the compatibility of revolutionary politics and detached, but seriously cri t ical , hence progress ive social science, is best expressed in this speech. It was p r in ted , together with other matters of the convention inter alia the greet ings from the Fabian Society, in ‘Huszadik Szazad’ , pt I I , 1912, p p . 459-70.