Thank you Mr. Dalrymple for this article.
Here in India, a Marxist rag known as "The Hindu" ran long obituaries on this useful idiot Hobsbawn. (Usually lifting such articles from the Guardian).
This poem descibes this sort of dishonest thinking. The final line is the key to it:
When I become decided on some view
It's difficult to make me change my mind
And see my firm conclusion as untrue
Or otherwise believe it undermined
I see the world in line with my belief
Believe whatever keeps belief alive
Ensure that it can never come to grief
And nurture and protect it so it thrives
I deaf my ears to what I would not hear
And doubt the very sight of my own eyes
But grasp whatever evidence appears
Make use of arguments I should despise
Though questioning myself, still I agree
And all of this I do unseen by me
More like this at www.dailypoem.net
The best obit of Hobsbawm I have read yet. Perhaps one should not speak ill of the dead, but Hobsbawm himself had no such scruples, so we may consider ourselves liberated from that particular nicety.
The anecdote at the end is brilliant and hilarious. I'm dying to know who this courageous and insightful person is.
Anyone who can be sentimental to his childhood beliefs once they have proven failures on a grand scale is in denial, and to be in denial for a whole lifetime points to a great flaw in one's character. Eric Hobsbawm can be considered guilty of bad faith: stubbornly sticking to a god who failed.
This is the definitive article on this mentally disordered, genetically flawed atheist, can't-help-myself Jew, who was so intelligent, but stupid that he substituted Marx for Moses, Lenin for Christ, and Stalin for Buddha.
Hobsbawm's history books are among the best history books ever written, and will long survive him, and his name will be long remembered as a great historian. This must stick in Dalrymple's craw when he considers the fate of his own name.
I guess I need to add that I hate Stalinism as much as Dalrymple.
The problem with moralists like Mr. Dalrymple is that, once they get their focus on a negative aspect of something, everything elese must be viewed from this perspective. Hobsbawm was not a stalinist since the 1950s, like most intelligent people in the West, though still a Communist, and even so Dalrymple and other want to see him as if this was the only dimension in a 95-year life.
The passage he reproduces is easily understood by anyone who has known what the Soviet dream represented, in the West, for many people of Hobsbawm's generation. Before the Iron Curtain, Stalin's purges and mass death, there was the revolutionary dream. That is what Hobsbawm referred to, as even a child could understand. That is not an apology, but a confession. Do not turn in into an accusation of nostalgic stalinism. I do not see, for example, people demanding repentance from a Niall Ferguson for the bad deed of the British empire.
how many millions died in the Altantic slave trade and the 400-hundred year annihilation of Native Americans to create the capitalist utopia?
Odd that a holocaust denier should be accorded such acclaim and honours simply because he denied Stalin's holocaust rather than Hitler's.
I think it says a lot about the 'intelligentsia', the university establishment, the BBC and the Guardian types. And all that it says is contemptible.
T. Dalrymple´s writings has been very popular among decent people in my country.What puzzles me is the author´s belief that E.Hobsbawn had been very intelligent.
One would have to have done a good psychoanalysis to get at the source of that man's strange psyche, historian as he was. What would it take to rid oneself of an adolescent obsession and fealty to utter strangers socially and culturally? I still can see myself, at 7+ standing everyday at our dining room table, reading the NY Times transcripts of the Moscow Trials, horrified, at 7+ by the very language of Andre Vishinsky, and terrified too. So much so that when I was sent a biography of Stalin's Prosecutor to review, I couldnt crack the binding! As if it would spew poison at me! I gave it to a polisci fan, an old friend.
Reading Hobsbawm now and then in my youth made me nauseated. Intellectually a disgrace to mature human beings, rare as they are.
A truly evil man to presume that his intellect could justify the
indescribable agony of many millions of people, believing the end
would justify the means. He makes me hope for a hell and that he is
roasting, slowly, in it.
... and he was a Red spy : refer to A N Wilson in the the Mail online, London, 3 October ...
Unfortunately even in the west today there are still people who identify with communism. Some people are unteachable.
Never heard of this guy. Appears to be someone who should die in obscurity. What's written here really does show that the hypocrisy of the left really has no limit.
It also makes one understand how people can believe in all sorts of things, like ghosts, fairies, astrology, and that the Soviet system under Stalin was a good thing.
It also shows that some people get a schtick, and stick to it, through thick and thin.