26 oct. 2012

Il secolo stronzo/5. A proposito di rimozioni, The Nation riesce a scrivere un necrologio di Hobsbawm senza accennare nemmeno una volta alla sua orgogliosa adesione all'esperimento comunista e alle sue conseguenze. Questa la frase più esplicita al riguardo:
In 1952, Hobsbawm helped to found Past and Present, which became the world’s most influential English-language historical journal. Its board included many Marxist scholars—Christopher Hill, E. P. Thompson and others—who left the Communist party in the wake of 1956. Hobsbawm, as noted above, did not follow them out of the party, but he made his intellectual home with them. He remained on the editorial board until his death.
Segue spiegazione della sua passione per il jazz.
Ecco l'Hobsbawm-pensiero in poche, disgraziate, battute, a beneficio di chi lo dimentica o lo rimpiange (ahinoi):
HOBSBAWM: You didn’t have the option. You see, either there was going to be a future or there wasn’t going to be a future and this [the Communist Party] was the only thing that offered an acceptable future.
IGNATIEFF: In 1934, millions of people are dying in the Soviet experiment. If you had known that, would it have made a difference to you at that time? To your commitment? To being a Communist?
HOBSBAWM: This is the sort of academic question to which an answer is simply not possible…I don’t actually know that it has any bearing on the history that I have written. If I were to give you a retrospective answer which is not the answer of a historian, I would have said, ‘Probably not.’
IGNATIEFF: Why?
HOBSBAWM: Because in a period in which, as you might imagine, mass murder and mass suffering are absolutely universal, the chance of a new world being born in great suffering would still have been worth backing. Now the point is, looking back as an historian, I would say that the sacrifices made by the Russian people were probably only marginally worthwhile. The sacrifices were enormous; they were excessive by almost any standard and excessively great. But I’m looking back at it now and I’m saying that because it turns out that the Soviet Union was not the beginning of the world revolution. Had it been, I’m not sure.
IGNATIEFF: What that comes down to is saying that had the radiant tomorrow actually been created, the loss of fifteen, twenty million people might have been justified?
HOBSBAWM: Yes.

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