[Marxism] Marxism Digest, Vol 111, Issue 38

Philip Ferguson philipferguson8 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 21 17:09:51 MST 2013

> From: Gary MacLennan <gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com>
> To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
>         <marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Marxism] Making up History
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> 6HfyxZ3+7iaVjcL40vshPbnXiRuZgcg0Btg-w8eZRORw at mail.gmail.com>
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> Of course Phil.  This is a very valuable point.  And while we are at
> it we should not forget to point out Hobsbawm's role in the
> legitimating an anti-republican historiography.
> comradely
> Gary

What a strange mixture Hobsbawm was.  I have some admiration for some of
his writings and he also seems to have been somewhat encouraging of new
left developments in the late 60s and early 70s.

But he belonged to that school of British left historians who had a blind
spot in terms of Ireland and, perhaps, British imperialism more generally.

In fact, I would say that this problem afflicted *most* of the British
ostensibly revolutionary left too.  I recall being very surprised a couple
of years ago in the Workers Party in NZ when a comrade who had joined after
migrating from Britain said the biggest failure of the british left in
relation to Ireland was that none of them had built anything in the north
of Ireland!!!

I had to point out that their job was to demand the exit of British
imperialism from Ireland, not to build replicas of themselves in the six

Mind you, he had been 10 years in the AWL!

It should also be kept in mind that the ideological hacks of imperialism
haven't been the only ones airbrushing Irish history.  The Provos, or at
least the cabal around Gerry Adams, have methodically constructed their own
fictional narrative regarding the past 40-plus years, although their
version of what happened during the hunger strikes has taken a bit of a
beating thanks to the work of Richard O Rawe and other left-republicans.



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