October 1, 2012
NOW HE'S GOOD:
Eric Hobsbawm: A believer in the Red utopia to the very end : The grotesque facts never got in the way of Eric Hobsbawm's devotion to communism (Michael Burleigh, 10/01/12, The Telegraph)
Throughout, there was a dogmatic refusal to accept that the Bolshevik Revolution had been a murderous failure. Asked by the Canadian academic and politician Michael Ignatieff on television whether the deaths of 20 million people in the USSR - not to mention the 55 to 65 million victims of Mao's Great Leap Forward - might have been justified if this Red utopia had been realised, Hobsbawm muttered in the affirmative.Everything Hobsbawm wrote deceitfully downplayed the grim role of the Communists in Spain in the Thirties or the forcible nature of the coups the Soviets carried out in Eastern Europe after 1945. Such a cosmopolitan thinker had ironically become imprisoned within a deeply provincial ideological ghetto, knowing or caring nothing for the brave Czechs or Poles who resisted Stalin's stooges, while being manifestly nonplussed by the democratic transformations of Central Europe since 1989-90.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 1, 2012 7:48 PM