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  • 1 Comparative Literature, Eötvös University Múzeum körút 4/a, H-1088 Budapest, Hungary
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Summary The paper discusses the political views of János Asbóth, an outstanding representative of the nineteenth-century Hungarian Conservatism, explained in his various works. Asbóth's Conservatism cannot be characterized by Friedrich A. Hayek's terms as 'fear of change' or 'fondness for authority'; it rather shows similarity to Edmund Burke's attitude. Asbóth clearly considered progress the task of the human race, but he wanted progress to be continuous and organic. He might be regarded as a disillusioned Liberal too, since his Conservatism seemed to be based on the criticism of Liberalism, which he did not think could cope with the challenge of Socialism. On the other hand, he thought that Conservatism was more flexible an ideology, since it started from given circumstances and focused on the needs of the state and its citizens, while Liberals started from principles, which involved certain goals. The paper also discusses Asbóth's criticism of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the relations between political and cultural Conservatism.

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