Eric Hobsbawm

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Eric Hobsbawm

Dr Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm, CH (9 June 19171 October 2012) was a British Marxist historian and author, once the leading theorist of the defunct Communist Party of Great Britain, and former president of Birkbeck College, University of London.

Quotes[edit]

  • First, utopianism is probably a necessary social device for generating the superhuman efforts without which no major revolution is achieved.
    • Primitive rebels; studies in archaic forms of social movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, page 60 [1]
  • (Carmine Crocco) A farm-labourer and cowherd, had joined the Bourbon army, killed a comrade in a brawl, deserted and lived as an outlaw for ten years. He joined the liberal insurgents in 1860 in the hope of an amnesty for his past offences, and subsequently became the most formidable guerilla chief and leader of men on the Bourbon side.
    • Bandits, Penguin, 1985, p.25
  • Look at London. Of course it matters to all of us that London's economy flourishes. But the test of the enormous wealth generated in patches of the capital is not that it contributed 20%-30% to Britain's GDP but how it affects the lives of the millions who live and work there. What kind of lives are available to them? Can they afford to live there? If they can't, it is not compensation that London is also a paradise for the ultra-rich. Can they get decently paid jobs or jobs at all? If they can't, don't brag about all those Michelin-starred restaurants and their self-dramatising chefs. Or schooling for children? Inadequate schools are not offset by the fact that London universities could field a football team of Nobel prize winners.

Nations and nationalism since 1780 programme, myth, reality (1992)[edit]

Eric Hobsbawm (1992). Nations and nationalism since 1780 programme, myth, reality. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 76-77. ISBN 0-521-43961-2. 

  • [N]o serious historian of nations and nationalism can be a committed political nationalist... Nationalism requires too much belief in what is patently not so.
    • Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality, Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed. 2012, page 12 [2]
  • Nevertheless it is evident — if only from the Greek example just cited — that proto-nationalism, where it existed, made the task of nationalism easier, however great the differences between the two, insofar as existing symbols and sentiments of proto-nacional community could he mobilized behind a modern cause or a modern state. But this is far from saying that the two were the same, or even that one must logically or inevitably lead into the other. For it is evident that proto-nationalism alone is clearly not enough to form nationalities, nations, let alone states.
    • p. 76-77
  • However, mass expulsion and even genocide began to make their appearance on the southern margins of Europe during and after World War I, as the Turks set about the mass extirpation of the Armenians in 1915 and, after the Greco Turkish war of 1911, expelled between 1.3 and 1.5 millions of Greeks from Asia Minor, where they had lived since the days of Homer.1 Subsequently Adolph Hitler, who was in this respect a logical Wilsonian nationalist, arranged to transfer Germans not living on the territory of the fatherland, such as those of Italian South Tyrol, to Germany itself, as he also arranged for the permanent elimination of the Jews.
    • p. 133

The Age of Extremes (2004)[edit]

Eric Hobsbawm (2004) The Age of Extremes, Abacus Publishing, London, p. 414

  • Human beings are not efficiently designed for a capitalist system of production.
    • p. 414
  • The paradox of communism in power was that it was conservative.
    • p. 422

External links[edit]

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