“Radio 4 used lefty hand-wringer Simon Schama to do the honours. Result; an apology for a man who excused murdering monsters”
“Hobsbawm reminds me of Bertrand Russell, the “brilliant” academic, dumb as a daisy when confronted with real life questions”.
The BBC made it sound as though maybe the discoverer of penicillin or manned flight had died, someone who had left a marvellous legacy of success and help for mankind, not some loopy old academic who supported the Soviet tyranny through thick and thin and who was wrong about everything political during a long life.
Eric Hobsbawm, life-long communist lauded by the BBC and the Labour Party, was a disgrace to academia. He never understood that Soviet Communism and German Fascism were peas from the same pod, and given that he had some first-hand experience of living in the 3rdReich, that attests to his flimsy grasp of reality.
Hobsbawn, consistent in his wrongness to the end, was excited about the so-called Arab Spring, as though this was not the replacement of military tyranny with a probably worse Islamic one.
He wasn’t a great historian either. He regularly distorted the evidence, according to A.N.Wilson. He never conceded that Russians murdered 20,000 Polish soldiers in cold blood at Katyn. He never conceded that the price of socialism in Russia was so high, although he did admit once in an interview that the death of 15 to 20 million was worth it. And yet this man has been feted by the left for his entire career. I wonder if he ever read Ayn Rand’s great novel “We The Living”? (http://www.wintonsworld.com/news/opinionconstructs/opinionframeset-3.html)
The death of someone this controversial calls for the attention of a leading light of the right, like Niall Ferguson perhaps, (who has a surprisingly warm recollection of Hobsbawm) but BBC Radio 4 used lefty hand-wringer Simon Schama to do the honours. Result; an apology for a man who excused murdering monsters. You knew where this programme was going when Schama reminded us that he was a supporter of CND in his youth. That’s a mark of someone who can’t see the wood for the trees, just like Hobsbawm. BBC TV’s NewsNight also had an uncritical segment on Hobsbawm.
Hobsbawm reminds me of Bertrand Russell, the “brilliant” academic who was a dumb as a daisy when confronted with real life questions. If Russell didn’t invent the phrase “Better Red than Dead”, he might well have. Hobsbawm demonstrated with Russell in the campaign for unilateral nuclear disarmament. They wanted the West to give up nuclear weapons, even if Russia didn’t. How dumb was that?
You have to wonder how a well educated man like Hobsbawm could become a worshipper of socialism, when it demonstrably is the road to nowhere, with chains along for the ride. It must be some kind of mental defect. Some brains presented with clear evidence that two plus two equals four, actually make this come out at five. He knew about the cruelty and counter-productive nature of Soviet Communism, but was apparently fooled by its worthy-sounding aims.
According to the Daily Telegraph’s obituary, Hobsbawm wrote that the shining light of the Bolshevik Revolution and the subsequent dictatorship of Stalin had been positive and talked of the “far from unimpressive records” of dictators like Honecker (East Germany) and Ceaucescu (Romania). And he wrote that in 1994.
Despite his academic awards, this man was a useful idiot for Stalin and beasts like him. It’s interesting, not only how he could have been so wrong, but how the Labour Party and BBC don’t seem to be aware of this.