The realism of moralism: the political philosophy of Istvan Bibo

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It is a safe prediction that, especially now with cultural contacts freely flowing between East and West in both directions, the Hungarian thinker Istvan Bibo will soon be given full accolade as one of the most outstanding political theorists of this century, in stature equal to the ‘greats’ in the entire European tradition of political thought. Bibo's significance far exceeds local, parochial interests. While profoundly original and organically stemming from Hungarian culture, Bibo belongs also to the ‘West’. If his political thought is to be epitomized in one succinct phrase, it is ‘the realism of moralism’, or the almost flawless synthesis of a deeply radical, morally infused vision and value-system with the hard-nosed, unsentimental realist-s insight into enduring problems of politics and society. This synthesis is ‘almost’ flawless: in the closing section of this article I will advance a few constructively critical remarks concerning some questionable points in the trajectory of Bibo's thought.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Hull.

Publication date: January 1, 1992

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