Hobsbawm and the Analitic History

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Fri Aug 4 22:31:31 MDT 2000

On Hobsbawm and Analytic History: In the _Age of Extremes, Hobsbawm
specifically mentions third world nationalist movements, yet in a quite
prejudiced way. He basically characterizes them as "authoritarian",
"extreme", nativist/ middle class reactions to imperialism. So, the question
of nationalism is reduced to capitalist conspiracy. Not surprisingly, Hobs
depicts decolonization movements in the same way that he treats fascism in
Europe, disregarding the role of nationalism in an imperialist context.
Wherever the "third world"  is defined, it is meant to imply
"traditionalism" or "revolt against modernity". For example, Hobs says when
discussing migration to cities in Peru: " However much the migrants used
the tool kit  of traditional society to construct their urban existence,
building and structuring  the old shanty town like the old rural
communities" . See the peasant prejudism here on behalf of capitalist
modernization (modernizing city elites versus traditional rural migrants
dichotomy). I looked at the index of the book to see how many times Hobsbawm
uses the word "imperialism"; he does not use it in the way that we expect
him to see: White oppressor and oppressed colonizer; core-periphery model/
surplus extraction. The index says "refer to colonialism", and in the pages
referred, British colonialism in India is discussed, yet not from the
perspective of the colonized,  but from the perspective of the colonizer;
say, in a more general economic history framework, sometimes hidden in a
"real political" language; i.e.  how the British hegemony came to an end or
how anti-imperialist movements stabilized power relations in a bi-polar
world etc..

Nestor, what are you saying below? I  am dying to learn.. lovely language,
but understood a litte..

au revoir..


Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:

> En relación a Hobsbawm and  the Analitic History,
> el 5 Aug 00, a las 2:08, Ivonaldo Neres Leite dijo:
> >
> > > Jim Blaut Wrote
> > >
> > > > I agree with Gary 100%. Hobsbawm is hopeless on thenational
> > > > question and
> > > he
> > > > doesn't understand imperialism.
> > > >
> > > > In my outofprint book _The National Question: Decolonizing the
> > > > Theory of Nationalism_ (Zed 1987),  chapter  4 is entitled
> > > > "Hobsbawm on the Nation-State." I hit him very hard.
> > > >
> > > > Jim Blaut
> > > >
> > > > P.S. My book _The Colonizer's Model of the World, Volume 2: Eight
> > > > Eurocentric Historians_ is coming out this month (Guilford Press,
> > > > NY). I don't have a chapter on Hobsbawm though I thought of
> > > > writing one.
> >
> >
> >  Well, sometimes the people need to read better. Because a fast look
> > deceives and so the people see things don´t exist. First, my interest
> > is to debate Hobsbawm's historical method because he continues working
> > whit the Economic History and valorizing the "big History". He didn´t
> > adhere the intellectual fashions. Second, a little of modesty is
> > good... Someone can't agree whit Hobsbawm, but to say he doesn´t
> > understand imperailism or he is an example of colonialist... Patience!
> > Third,  personal bibliography isn´t argumentation in a debate.
> >
> > Ivonaldo Leite
> >
> >
> Querido Ivonaldo,
> Empezando por el final:
> En realidad, Jim nos hace un favor a todos citando su bibliografía.
> Sé que algunas de sus posiciones (y algo de su carácter) son
> discutibles, pero la crítica a Hobsbawm sobre la cuestión nacional es
> verdaderamente impecable y un ejemplo de análisis leninista.
> En segundo lugar, Hobsbawm es un gran maestro de la Gran Historia,
> con todos los honores. Pero eso no hace que comprenda mejor la
> cuestión nacional, y precisamente por ello sus mejores aportes
> corresponden al período de la formación de las nacionalidades
> europeas.
> Cuando estuvo recientemente de visita en la Argentina formó parte,
> conciente o inconcientemente, de la ofensiva imperialista -
> globalizadora. Esa es la amarga verdad. Sigo leyendo con deleite
> Industria e imperio, Las Revoluciones Burguesas y esa joyita llamada
> Rebeldes Primitivos. Pero coincido con Jim en que sacado de la Europa
> del siglo diecinueve (es decir del período anterior al imperialismo)
> Eric Hobsbawm no entiende la cuestión nacional.
> Son precisamente los méritos intelectuales de Hobsbawm, repito, los
> que hacen necesario criticarlo. Y ya que no aceptas que Jim te
> recomiende su bibliografía, te la recomiendo yo. Hay algunas cosas de
> él en los archivos de L-I, que seguramente te han de interesar.
> Un abrazo,
> Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
> gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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