I guess tenure really does make one both unimportant and unproductive.
How else to explain the denial, a denial of pathological proportions, that continues to influence the lives of ensconsed intellectuals.
There are only a few people similiar to the weight of Eric Hobsbawn: Kim Philby, Whittaker Chambers come to mind. So do most of that young generation of Great Britain in the 1930’s who loathed with seething hatred their own Crown, and joined the pathos that became Fascism. Most just don’t understand how passionate those young people were, but their ardent desire betrayed them, for in giving themselves to Fascism they were tied to the Communist cause as well. It is these heady nights that keep Eric Hobsbawn awake at night, but it was also those same political passions that transformed both Chambers, Podhoretz and Irving Kristol into fierce bulwarks against militant secular humanism.
“How to Change the Word: Reflections on Marx and Marxism” has just been released by Yale University Press by the 94 unrepentent Communist militant Eric Hobsbawn. It really isn’t worth the thirty five dollars!
I’ll leave it to the great Sovietologist’s like Robert Conquest, David Pryce Jones and Daniel Pipes to defend what they have revealed about Hobsbawn: namely that he suffers from “massive reality denial.” Such denial is only justifiable for those who are pathologially sick.
Hobsbawn is desperate in revealing that “the Marxism practiced by Lenin, Stalin and Mao was a clumsy misinterpretation of Marx’s theories, and as such, does not invalidate the communist project.”
Without getting into a detailed historical understanding of British domestic political and social life prior to the end of Empire, most readers just cannot seem to fathom how any erudite, acclaimed historian can sustain such massive moral equivalence.
Its actually quite simple: the absolute sincere passion in the militant belief of equality that drives atheist humanism requires a relativity of moral judgment. The end justifies the means. And if human dignity or expressions of liberty get in the way: crush them in the run to criminalize political differences.
There remain really only three writers who ever penetrated the lie that was Soviet Marxism: Conquest, Pipes and Chambers. But the list should include Solzhenitzyn and Leszek Kolakowski’s “Main Currents in Marxism”.
To penetrate the ideological veneer of the sons of equality requires a hardened faith not found or nourished in the consumerist west.