Robert’s nice new friend

Eric Hobsbawm, according to Robert Manne in the May edition of The Monthly:

The forum begins with Eric Hobsbawm, the author of the magisterial quartet The Age of Revolution, The Age of Capital, The Age of Empire and The Age of Extremes. Hobsbawm, a former communist and lifelong member of the Left, is not only unquestionably the most formidable interpreter of the patterns of world history from the French Revolution to the present day. In his final volume he analysed, with great prescience, both the cultural contradictions and economic instability of the post-Keynesian neo-liberal era. Hobsbawm praises Rudd’s courage in recognising the depth of the present crisis. However, he thinks Rudd underestimates the difficulty of what now needs to be done. 

Eric Hobsbawm, according to Wikipedia:

Hobsbawm joined the Socialist Schoolboys in 1931 and the Communist party in 1936, supporting both the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact and the Soviet invasion of Finland. He was member of the Communist Party Historians Group from 1946 to 1956. The Soviet Invasion of Hungary in 1956 marked the end of the Communist Party Historian’s Group and led most of its members to remove themselves from the British Communist Party. Hobsbawm, uniquely among his colleagues, remained in the Party, however, going so far as to defend the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Writing in the Daily Worker in late 1956, Hobsbawm argued that “Whilst approving, with a heavy heart, of what is now happening in Hungary, we should therefore also say frankly that we think the USSR should withdraw its troops from the country as soon as this is possible.”

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