June 11, 2005

Historical License

Eric Hobsbawm, writing in the LRB:

What is even stranger, I find myself in an assembly of political ghosts. Leaving aside the Chinese, who avoid public discussions, a surprising number of those who made the world-changing decisions of the 1980s are here. But those who run their countries today are absent. Nobody represents Putin’s Russia, Wolfowitz’s Washington, Schroeder’s Germany, or Blair’s Britain. Only the unchanging logic of French foreign policy provides continuity in Paris. [emphasis added]

"Wolfowitz's Washington." Heh. Pre-World Bank Wolfy is right up there with Blair, Putin and Schroeder among those who "run their countries." Didn't you know? Still, let's give Hobsbawm points for the little gem re: the "unchanging logic of French foreign policy" providing "continuity in Paris." That's a good one too, isn't it?

Posted by Gregory at June 11, 2005 04:51 PM | TrackBack (12)
Comments

Hobsbawm really gets my dander up. He retained his affection for Stalinism long after most intellectuals of his generation (those that weren't sensible enough to see through it from the beginning that is) had the decency to see it for what it was and feel duly embarassed. He gave an interview a year or so ago and his defence of it was truly toe-curling.

Posted by: Anthony at June 11, 2005 09:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

You have to pity the poor old fool. He is still basking in his prominence as one of the predominant Soviet agents of influence in the West. He has spent his entire life worshiping a false god that still devours its victims in NoKo death camps. His paean to Gorby ends by slamming him as the man who ruined Russia. He can only console himself by remembering a nostalgic visit to the Finland Station. Who knows? Perhaps one day Putin will honor him by burying him in the Kremlin wall alongside John Reed.

Posted by: John Van Laer at June 11, 2005 10:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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