Hobsbawm

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at mindspring.com
Fri Sep 20 21:22:18 MDT 2002


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We all have faults.
Hobsbawm's two major faults are 1) His dismissal of nationalism as a
progressive force, and 2) his inability to free himself from bourgeois
cultural hegemony.

The first fault came from his East European root where nationalism was a
conservative force against the Holy Roman Empire, unlike the nationalism of
the Third World, a progressive force against Western imprialism.

The second fault came from his exile in England where tolerance is prized
more than fidelity.

Despite his formal retention of CP membership, Hobsbrawm's influence among
non-Western communists has been minor. Third World revolutionaries never
objected to a loss of "freedom" under liberalism, simply because Western
liberalism is allied with imprialism and never allot
non-Westerners any measure of "freedom" or human rights.  Hobsbrawn's case
illustrates that the place to carry your card is in your head, not just in
your heart.


Henry C.K. Liu


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