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  1. #51
    redsaint redsaint is offline

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    A great man.
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  2. #52
    Seanie Lemass Seanie Lemass is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by IvoShandor View Post
    Why should we have a problem with that? There are great investigative historians who are research oriented and then there are great synthesizing historians whom pull it all together.



    Hmmp, that was his problem, he refused to get on board with Eurocommunism when the old faith became untenable. It is really puzzling why a keen mind like his,familiar with all the contradictions and complexities of history,would have attached himself with such determination to such a mechanistic,obscurantist and deterministic creed (never even mind the brutality) as Stalinism,especially considering his ability to ignore its prescriptions when he saw fit. No accounting for the human mind and the way it compartmentalises things.

    You answer your own question to me in the second part of your own post!
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  3. #53
    Seanie Lemass Seanie Lemass is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramon Mercadar View Post
    Where did he write this and in what context?

    I admired him as a historian and essayist with some disagreements.


    See above. He said this on several occassions.
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  4. #54
    Garibaldy Garibaldy is offline

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    I also like the idea that Hobsbawm didn't get on board with Eurocommunism. This thread is hilarious.
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  5. #55
    Ramon Mercadar Ramon Mercadar is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilbarry1 View Post
    Extract from the Daily Telegraph obituary by Michael Burleigh
    Eric Hobsbawm - 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.

    David Irving was jailed for far less than this. There is a difference between playing down the numbers of victims of mass murder (Irving) and suggesting that it may be justified (Hobsbawn). Even after the collapse of Communism, there is still a moral rot at the heart of academia.

    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.
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  6. #56
    Ramon Mercadar Ramon Mercadar is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanie Lemass View Post
    See above. He said this on several occassions.
    I responded. I'd like to see the clip or some other reference than the Telegraph before I convict a man on a mutter in response to a lengthy question.

    But if he did then I cannot defend it.
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  7. #57
    borntorum borntorum is offline
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    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
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  8. #58
    Ramon Mercadar Ramon Mercadar is online now
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    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.'

    IGNATIEFF: Why?

    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?

    HOBSBAWM: Yes.
    The face of the enemy | Samizdata.net
    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.
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  9. #59
    Seanie Lemass Seanie Lemass is offline
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    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.
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  10. #60
    Ramon Mercadar Ramon Mercadar is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanie Lemass View Post
    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.
    Sorry! I was unclear, I meant I would make no defence of his comments. The comment was then mine, not saying that he was just making a comment,
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