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Szelényi, Iván

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hvg - Hungary | 13/12/2007

Iván Szelényi on capitalism and democracy

The Hungarian sociologist Iván Szelényi, who teaches at Yale, talks in an interview with János Dobszay about the political role of intellectuals in Hungary: "In Hungary it was the intellectuals who brought about the fall of communism because there was no bourgeois class of property-owners at the time. Since then, a new and prosperous class has emerged that demands its share of political power. This may sadden intellectuals, but in a conservative democracy only politicians or parties that enjoy the trust of the bourgeoisie can come into power. Moreover, we still don't know which capitalist model will prevail: we must give up the illusion that liberal democracy is the most natural form of capitalism. After all, it certainly doesn't apply to those countries (like Russia and China) that are most dynamic in their development."

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