Statue of György Lukács in Budapest To Be Removed

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tags: Marxism, Budapest, Gyorgy Lukacs

The reinvigorated assault by the pro-Trump, right-wing government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, against what it perceives to be its liberal opposition, is now in the midst of a protracted campaign against symbols of ideological opposition. As part of that effort, the city council of Budapest, which is dominated by Orbán Fidesz party, will reportedly follow through on plans to remove a statue of the renowned Jewish literary critic and Marxist theoretician György Lukács, reported Le Monde.

Lukács is one of the few Marxist literary critics of the interwar period whose work remains influential (and devoid of the dreariness of much doctrinaire Marxist literary criticism). His work inspired a litany of thinkers and writers that ran from Thomas Mann to the Frankfurt school. Lukács was from a bourgeois family, a German-speaking Jewish Hungarian with a taste for Russian novels, and his complex legacy does not fit at all with in the framework envisioned by with the new Hungarian nationalism.

The philosopher’s melancholy statue, cast by the well-known sculptor Imre Varga, was removed from Szent István Park, which encompasses the area that included the International Ghetto where a large number of Hungarian Jews had survived in “protected houses.” The statue is due to be replaced by that of Saint Stephen, who founded the Hungarian state a thousand years ago, reported the Hungarian Free Press.

The removal of Lukács statue is symptomatic of the crisis of liberalism that much of Europe currently finds itself facing.

Read entire article at Tablet Magazine