Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Hobsbawm on authoritarian ambitions

While we have all been a little preoccupied with the Labour leadership race, the Centre Left has not talked recently about foreign policy. But, a thought from that great historian, Eric Hobsbawm, on the run-up to the Second World War:
"However, another thing wove the threads of national politics into a single international web: the consistent and increasingly spectacular feebleness of liberal-democratic states (which also happened to be the victor states of WWI); their inability or unwillingness to act, individually or in conjunction, to resist the advance of their enemies. As we have seen, it was this crisis which strengthened both the arguments and the forces of fascism and authoritarian government."
Cf. Russia, Hungary, Turkey, Syria in 2015. 

As the Bard might have said: think on't.

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