July 15, 2005


Kapital gain: Karl Marx is now the Home Counties' favourite (Mark Seddon, July 14, 2005, The Guardian)

Karl Marx is the nation's most revered philosopher. No, this isn't old Soviet agitprop, but the result of a Radio 4 listeners' poll organised by the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg for his series In Our Time. The veteran Marxist historian, Eric Hobsbawm, thinks he knows why. His reasoning is as contemporary as Marx's was visionary. "The Communist Manifesto," he says, "contains a stunning prediction of the nature and effects of globalisation."

Yeah, real class solidarity we witnessed on the 7th.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 15, 2005 9:47 PM

you really have to re-read Paul Johnson's Modern Times to gain the full amount of disgust at the ignorance of almost everybody regarding history!

Posted by: Mike Daley at July 15, 2005 11:11 PM

Only John Kerry and Barbara Boxer still believe in Eric Hobsbawm, much less Karl Marx.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 15, 2005 11:19 PM

Eric Hobsbawm is Juan Cole for a previous generation.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at July 15, 2005 11:28 PM

Even Eric Hobsbawm stopped believing in Eric Hobsbawm after the Berlin Wall fell.

Posted by: bart at July 16, 2005 8:38 AM

Given the European cultural predilection for telling people that they are nothing but peasants and that a class of elites knows better than they do and should make all their decisions for them in every sphere of human existence, it is small wonder that Marx should be such a favorite.

Posted by: bart at July 16, 2005 8:40 AM

failure admires failure. the eu elite are losers on a fantastic scale, so it's no surprise they admire a historical fraud like marx.

Posted by: cjm at July 16, 2005 11:10 AM

Marx thought that the choice was between G-d and Marx, and who are we to argue?

Posted by: David Cohen at July 16, 2005 11:10 AM

The Marxist snake-oil show was never more than a vehicle for class-, race- and culture-envy. It was a kind of asylum for the misfits and malcontents of the world, shaking their fists at God, their parents, their bosses, whomever. Why should we be surprised that it should inform present-day old Europe?

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 16, 2005 12:42 PM


Robert Conquest notes, however, that he gave an interview in the late 90s admitting that his commitment to the CP wouldn't have changed had he known about all the folks Stalin was killing. If you read the interview, you'll see he was largely exonerating the Soviets for their actions even at this late date.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at July 16, 2005 2:04 PM


His entire career is dependent on his continued hewing to a Marxist line. If he switched horses now, his career as an intellectual fraudster of such grotesque dimensions as to embarass even Jean-Paul Sartre and Noam Chomsky would be effectively over. Anybody would do a lot of mental gymnastics given a choice between an Oxbridge donship and continued acclaim by the chattering classes or slicing pastrami in a kosher deli in Golders Green.

Posted by: bart at July 16, 2005 4:24 PM