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Szelényi, Iván
From State Socialism to Post-Communist Capitalism
Critical Perspectives
pages/dimensions: VIII, 322 pages, 17 tables, 5 figures
language: English
binding: Book (Paperback)
dimensions: 17.00 × 24.00 cm
weight: 625g
publishing date: 27.07.2022
prices: 78,00 Eur[D] / 80,20 Eur[A]
ISBN: 978-3-447-11858-3
978-3-447-11858-3
Printed Version
78,00 Eur
978-3-447-39289-1
E-Book (pdf)
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This volume presents articles by Iván Szelényi – William Graham Sumner Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Yale University since 50 years. The world has changed a lot in this half century. When the first contribution to this volume was published in 1969, Hungary was the “goulash communism” of János Kádár. Its disintegration began in the 1980s and in 1989/90 transitioned into “market capitalism” that looked like a bourgeois-liberal democracy. Finally, in 2014, Viktor Orbán began to realise his vision of an “illiberal regime”. The last article of 2022 deals with the struggles between liberalism and illiberalism. How much coherence in thought and action can one expect from a social scientist in this rapidly changing world? Although Szelényi changed and often fundamentally modified his views over time, all his writings belong to what we call critical social science: immanent critique and ironic examination of both socialism and capitalism. None of his essays recommend either socialism or capitalism as the sole solution, but he tried to give, as far as possible, an objective analysis of what was possible in the most turbulent times of the last half century, leaving the ideological-political decision to the readers. To paraphrase Karl Marx’s Eleventh Thesis: The task of the philosopher (or sociologist) is not to change the world, but to interpret it.

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