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The Budapest School (Hungarian: Budapesti iskola, German: Budapester Schule) was a school of thought, originally of Marxist humanism, but later of Post-Marxism and dissident Liberalism that emerged in Hungary in the early 1960s, belonging to so called Hungarian New Left. Its members were students or colleagues of Georg Lukács. The school was originally oriented towards developing Lukacs' later works on social ontology and aesthetics, but quickly began to challenge the paradigm of Lukacsian-Marxism, thus reconstructing contemporary critical theory. Most of the members later came to abandon Marxism. The School also critiqued the "dictatorship over needs" of the Soviet states. Most of the members were forced into exile by the pro-Soviet Hungarian government.
Members of the school include Ágnes Heller, Ferenc Fehér , György Márkus, István Mészáros, Mihály Vajda and Maria Márkus, among others. The Budapest School's writings have been read and researched widely since the 1960s.
The 1956 Hungarian Revolution was one of the most important political event of Agnes Heller's life, for at this time she saw the effect of the academic freedoms of Marxist critical theory as dangerous to the entire political and social structure of Hungary. The uprising confirmed Heller’s ideas that what Marx really intended is for the people to have political autonomy and collective determination of social life.
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