chapter
20 Pages

Socialism

Szabó’ s exposé on Socialism was his opening lecture in a series of discussions organized by the Sociological Society in 1904 on The Direction of Social Development. Since, as the introduction s ta ted , ‘even the educated in Hungary accept such cliches as Liberalism = Manchester, the exploitation of the poor by the economically powerful, Socialism = land distribution (!) and Conservatism or Christian Socialism = black cassocks and bleak reactionaries’ , the Society wished to present the major contemporary t r ends in western social thought . The main speakers represen ted Liberalism, Anarchism, Socialism and Conservatism (with a focus on Christian Socialism). In twelve sessions more than th i r ty scholars and politicians spoke on the topics . The debates focused very much on socialism, not only because of the s ignificance of the issue but also because Szabó’ s lecture was unquestionably the best of all. Hence, he did not overs ta te , when, in his closing words after replying to the diverse objections and opposing views, he s ta ted: ‘One social ideal s tands out that clearly falls into the direction of social p r o - g re s s : the socialist ideal.’ The debate was published in ‘ Huszadik Század’ , vol. II (1904) and also separately as ‘A társadalmi fejlódés iránya’ (Budapest , 1904); Szabó’ s lecture is on p p . 37-66 of the la t te r . The last par t of the lecture was also published in German as Psychologisches zur Frage der Freiheit in der sozialistischen Gesellschaft, ‘Neue Zeit’ , pt 2 (1903/4), p p . 414-6.