Autobiography of a Politicized Century Cover Image

Autobiografija politizovanog veka
Autobiography of a Politicized Century

Author(s): Cvetka Hedžet Tóth
Contributor(s): Bojana Stojanović Pantović (Translator)
Subject(s): Metaphysics, Ethics / Practical Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Political history, Social history, Recent History (1900 till today), Marxism, Social development, Philosophy of History
Published by: Филозофски факултет, Универзитет у Новом Саду
Keywords: Eric Hobsbawm; Marxism; philosophy of history; metaphysics; utopia; anthropology of politics; ethics;

Summary/Abstract: The paper is an extended problem-focused analytical outline of the work of the English Marxist Eric Hobsbawm entitled Interesting Times. A Twentieth−Century Life. What is particularly underscored is the fact that Hobsbawm is someone who persists to the end, thus even today, even though everything that served as the build-up of the Russian Revolution fell to pieces. His interpretation of history delves into two concepts that have to be subjected to a critical analysis, namely distance and identity. One of the leading and at the same time concluding ideas of his Interesting Times is: “But history needs distance, not only from the passions, emotions, ideologies and fears of our own wars of religion, but from the even more dangerous temptations of ‘identity’.” His autobiography offers also the following thought that in many ways represents the leitmotif of his extremely interesting work: “We are the first generation to have lived through the historic moment when the rules and conventions that had hitherto bound human beings together in families, communities and societies ceased to operate. If you want to know what it was like, only we can tell you. If you think you can go back, we can tell you, it can’t be done.” Regardless of the fact that he is willing to admit, “I am prepared to concede, with regret, that Lenin’s Comintern was not such a good idea,” Hobsbawm as a Marxist and communist is aware that the world and its conditions are yet to change. “Still, let us not disarm, even in unsatisfactory times. Social injustice still needs to be denounced and fought. The world will not get better on its own.” To cherish and maintain the utopia of this possibility is Hobsbawm’s lasting contribution to the materialist and Marxist interpretation of history that calls for our reaching beyond frontiers of the past – also the frontiers of his politicized century.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 7
  • Page Range: 109-136
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Serbian