A great man.
A great man.
I also like the idea that Hobsbawm didn't get on board with Eurocommunism. This thread is hilarious.
Actually Irving didn't do less than a muttered affirmative. Irving denied that that the Holocaust took place, did so in books and articles.
I'd like to see this clip and what the mutter consisted of. But if he did it then I cannot defend it.
I actually think that some of the advice he gave to Labour and the TUC in the 1980s was damaging because he was stuck in the 1930s and saw Thatcher as Fascism reborn. The only response he could find was the Stalinist turn to the Popular Front. He was into campaigns forming fronts with SDP/Lib and vicars instead of building Labour independently. Thatcher was not a fascist, just a conservative.
Bryan Appleyard makes the fair point that if a right wing historian who had expressed admiration or support of Hitler had died, he would receive a very different response than Hobsbawm
Found it, no defence. Just a comment, the Stalinist Terror wouldn't have started yet at that stage but people died en masse due to famine, some natural, but a lot caused by mismanagement and forced collectivisation.IGNATIEFF: In 1934, millions of people are dying in the Soviet experiment. If you had known that, would it have made a difference to you at that time? To your commitment? To being a Communist?
HOBSBAWM: This is the sort of academic question to which an answer is simply not possible...I don't actually know that it has any bearing on the history that I have written. If I were to give you a retrospective answer which is not the answer of a historian, I would have said, 'Probably not.'
HOBSBAWM: Because in a period in which, as you might imagine, mass murder and mass suffering are absolutely universal, the chance of a new world being born in great suffering would still have been worth backing. Now the point is, looking back as an historian, I would say that the sacrifices made by the Russian people were probably only marginally worthwhile. The sacrifices were enormous; they were excessive by almost any standard and excessively great. But I'm looking back at it now and I'm saying that because it turns out that the Soviet Union was not the beginning of the world revolution. Had it been, I'm not sure.
IGNATIEFF: What that comes down to is saying that had the radiant tomorrow actually been created, the loss of fifteen, twenty million people might have been justified?
The face of the enemy | Samizdata.net
It is clearly a e defence Ramon. And he also defended Stalinism for long after 1934 so that's not an excuse!
The Russian people did not 'make sacrifices'. They were victims. Sacrifice implies that they willingly offered themselves up to the Behmoth of totalitarianism. A bit like talking about the 'sacrifices' of the Jewish people under the Nazis or the Irish people under Cromwell.