[Hungarologia] "Vapauden kapea polku: István Bibón julkinen moralismi" / "The Narrow Path to Freedom: István Bibó's Public Moralism"

Kristof Fenyvesi fenyvesi.kristof at gmail.com
2017. Jan. 5., Cs, 07:03:28 CET

***Az információk magyar nyelven a hírlevél második felében olvashatók.

[image: Szövegközi kép 1]

University of Jyväskylä's Hungarian Studies Program's Spectrum
Hungarologicum proudly presents the publication of the first Finnish
monograph on István Bibó. "Vapauden kapea polku: István Bibón julkinen
moralismi" / "The Narrow Path to Freedom: István Bibó's Public Moralism" is
written by the historian Anssi Halmesvirta and this is the 9th volume of
Spectrum Hungarologicum.

The open-access publication can be downloaded in pdf-format from the link

Abstract: The task of this study is to listen to the moral voice of István
Bibó, a Hungarian democrat. Listening to past ‘voices’ is an approach of
intellectual history introduced by Stefan Collini, who has eavesdropped on
the conversations of ‘public moralists’ in the British intellectual life
from the period c. 1850–1950. What has been translated of and written on
Bibó’s thought in Hungary – irrespective of a couple of notable exceptions
not much is found abroad – is very ‘Hungarian’ in tone in particular, note
the very productive workshop (Bibó Szellemi Műhely), whereas I have tried
independently to develop Collini’s approach. Instead of uncovering the
meanings of ideas and concepts in the contexts of their utterance
(textuality and conceptual unity), Collini’s point is to study political
ideas and arguments in relation to some basic values that an intellectual
culture maintains and intellectuals reevaluate. My hypothesis is that
Bibó’s voice is ‘publicly moralist’, as he sent serious messages to his
reading public, not only to Hungarian intelligentsia but occasionally to
all Europeans. Not entertaining so much a ‘scientific attitude’, in times
of crisis Bibó detected
confusion, decay and loss of the fundamental values on which order and
legitimacy of power in a society rest. His main message was to awaken the
elites to their proper function of reinventing and resuscitating such
values as equality, freedom, solidarity, temperance, moderation, political
correctness, and social justice. He also pointed to their possible moral
failings; they had not been ready or willing in their governing practice to
execute timely reforms in accordance with such values. Bibó presupposed
that moral issues outweigh political, economic or aesthetic considerations.
His rhetoric was not only rational persuasion or political-cultural
criticism telling the truth and demanding some social reform from a set
political platform. Instead, he stood on a higher moral ground from which
he could preach the revival of democratic values that were, in his view, at
some critical historical moment brought to forebut lost (in Hungary e.g. in
1848–1849, 1945 and 1956). Bibó used his voice from a rearguard position
and took part in political life only when a democratic solution appeared
feasible (in 1945–1947 and 1956). Thus political theory for Bibó appears as
a parasite to social values and moral comprehension.

Keywords: public moralism, political thought, socialism, democracy.


A Jyväskyläi Egyetem Hungarológia Programjának Spectrum Hungarologicum című
kiadványsorozatának 9. köteteként megjelent az első finn nyelvű
Bibó-monográfia. A könyv szerzője Anssi Halmesvirta történész, címe:
"Vapauden kapea polku: István Bibón julkinen moralismi" / "A szabadság
keskeny ösvénye: Bibó István közösségi moralizmusa".

A kiadvány, a Spectrum Hungarologicum többi kötetéhez hasonlóan, ingyenesen
letölthető a Jyväskyläi Egyetem elektronikus könyvtárából, az alábbi linkre
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