| Twentieth Century Communism | MR Online

Eric Hobsbawm’s dialectical materialism in the postwar period 1946-56

Originally published: Lawrence & Wishart Independent Radical Publishing on Autumn 2020 by Andrea Bonfanti (more by Lawrence & Wishart Independent Radical Publishing)  | (Posted Nov 21, 2020)

This article aims to demonstrate that Eric Hobsbawm was a dialectical materialist. It considers what dialectical materialism meant for him by analysing four prominent characteristics of Hobsbawm’s Marxist study of history found in his writings between 1946 and 1956. That class-struggle analysis was the primary analytical lens for Hobsbawm is the major claim that this work challenges. Hobsbawm’s thinking was guided by dialectical materialism, which was a scientific outlook based on analysis. It always accounted for unpredictable human agency and, though economic factors played the principal role in the development of history, this study rejects the claim that Hobsbawm was a mechanical determinist. Further, dialectical materialism aimed at fostering the socialist revolution, with its ultimate goal being to overcome struggle and reach unity.

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