The Second World War presents a problem for the left. Continue reading
Counterfactual history (asking, and attempting to answer, “what if?” questions about the past) does not enjoy academic respectability, Continue reading
Hobsbawm‘s opening chapter is a dazzling survey of the world (specifically, the European world) on the eve of the “dual revolution”. He sketches out the forces and relations of production and shows how intellectual and political structures and developments derived from this economic base. This is a dynamic picture of a world in flux and on the brink of revolutionary change – poised between old forces and new, dynamic elements and static, governed by a political order rendered obsolete by economic change. In short, this is a magnificent application of the method of Karl Marx to elucidate, to understand, and to explain. Continue reading
Eric Hobsbawm is my favourite historian. His oeuvre constitutes a monumental demonstration of what Marxist history can do. Continue reading
Disclaimer: I make no claims for the profundity or originality of what follows. This post derives from a seminar for sixth form students and is intended to provide some basic context and raise a range of questions.
The Manifesto of the Communist Party is the most widely read political pamphlet in history and one of the most famous texts ever written. It is also an obvious starting point for the student seeking to explore the thought of Marx and Engels, and to understand the world communist movement. Continue reading
The new school term started today. I won’t be able to write as much during term time, but I still hope to post something new at least once a week.
Upcoming posts and projects:
- reading Gibbon’s Decline & Fall
- an introduction to The Manifesto of the Communist Party
- Thucydides versus Herodotus
- a people’s history of the Second World War
- comparing Trotskyist world histories
“…liberal pressure for further reform could be expected to gather momentum. Meanwhile, the military power of the State remained sufficient to maintain order while the beneficial medicine of socio-economic development consolidated the bases for a western-style pluralist democracy. ‘Then, as a thunderbolt, came the terrible catastrophe of 1914, and progress changed into destruction.'(Pavlovsky)” Continue reading