Tristram Hunt*1 “Eric Hobsbawm: a conversation about Marx, student riots, the new Left, and the Milibands” http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jan/16/eric-hobsbawm-tristram-hunt-marx

93歳にして最近新著How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxismが出たばかりの、マルクス主義歴史学者というか、世界左翼界最長老のひとりであるエリック・ホブズボーム氏へのインタヴュー。インタヴュアのTristram Hunt氏は現在労働党の国会議員。

Suddenly, Marx's critique of the instability of capitalism has enjoyed a resurgence. "He's back," screamed the Times in the autumn of 2008 as stock markets plunged, banks were summarily nationalised and President Sarkozy of France was photographed leafing through Das Kapital (the surging sales of which pushed it up the German bestseller lists). Even Pope Benedict XVI was moved to praise Marx's "great analytical skill". Marx, the great ogre of the 20th century, had been resuscitated across campuses, branch meetings and editorial offices.

The rediscovery of Marx in this period of capitalist crisis is because he predicted far more of the modern world than anyone else in 1848. That is, I think, what has drawn the attention of a number of new observers to his work – paradoxically, first among business people and business commentators rather than the left. I remember noticing this just around the time of the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Communist Manifesto, when not very many plans were being made for celebrating it on the left. I discovered to my amazement that the editors of the [in-flight] magazine of United Airlines said they wanted to have something about the Manifesto. Then, a bit later on, I was having lunch with [financier] George Soros, who asked: "What do you think of Marx?" Even though we don't agree on very much, he said to me: "There's definitely something to this man."
マルクス・エンゲルス 共産党宣言 (岩波文庫)

マルクス・エンゲルス 共産党宣言 (岩波文庫)


I think that it is globalisation, the fact that he predicted globalisation, as one might say a universal globalisation, including the globalisation of tastes and all the rest of it, that impressed them. But I think the more intelligent ones also saw a theory that allowed for a sort of jagged development of crisis. Because the official theory in that period [the late 1990s] theoretically dismissed the possibility of a crisis.

What happened from the 1970s on, first in the universities, in Chicago and elsewhere and, eventually, from 1980 with Thatcher and Reagan was, I suppose, a pathological deformation of the free-market principle behind capitalism: the pure market economy and rejection of state and public action that I don't think any economy in the 19th century actually practised, not even the USA. And it was in conflict with, among other things, the way in which capitalism had actually worked in its most successful era, between 1945 and the early 1970s.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, the capitalists stopped being afraid and to that extent both they and we could actually look at the problem in a much more balanced way, less distorted by passion than before. But it was more the instability of this neoliberal globalised economy that I think began to become so noticeable at the end of the century. You see, in a sense, the globalised economy was effectively run by what one might call the global north-west [western Europe and North America] and they pushed forward this ultra-extreme market fundamentalism. Initially, it seemed to work quite well – at least in the old north-west – even though from the start, you could see that at the periphery of the global economy it created earthquakes, big earthquakes. In Latin America, there was a huge financial crisis in the early 1980s. In the early 1990s, in Russia, there was an economic catastrophe. And then towards the end of the century, there was this enormous, almost global, breakdown ranging from Russia to [South] Korea, Indonesia and Argentina. This began to make people think, I feel, that there was a basic instability in the system that they had previously dismissed.

I don't believe that Marx ever had, as it were, a political project. Politically speaking, the specific Marxian programme was that the working class should form itself into a class-conscious body and act politically to gain power. Beyond that, Marx quite deliberately left it vague, because of his dislike of utopian things. Paradoxically, I would even say that the new parties were largely left to improvise, to do what they could do without any effective instructions. What Marx had written about simply amounted to little more than clause IV-style ideas about public ownership, nowhere actually near enough to provide a guidance to parties or ministers. My view is that the main model that 20th-century socialists and communists had in mind was the state-directed war economies of the first world war, which weren't particularly socialist but did provide some kind of guidance on how socialisation might work.

In fact, one of the things I'm trying to show in the book is that the crisis of Marxism is not only the crisis of the revolutionary branch of Marxism but in the social democratic branch too. The new situation in the new globalised economy eventually killed off not only Marxist-Leninism but also social democratic reformism – which was essentially the working class putting pressure on their nation states. But with globalisation, the capacity of the states to respond to this pressure effectively diminished. And so the left retreated to suggest: "Look, the capitalists are doing all right, all we need to do is let them make as much profit and see that we get our share."

That worked when part of that share took the form of creating welfare states, but from the 1970s on, this no longer worked and what you had to do then was, in effect, what Blair and Brown did: let them make as much money as possible and hope that enough of it will trickle down to make our people better off.

社会民主主義の危機には伝統的に社会民主主義を支えてきた「意識的で同定可能な労働者階級(a conscious and identifiable mass working class)」の終焉も関係しているのでは? という問いに対して、

Historically, it is true. It was around the working-class parties that social democratic governments and reforms crystallised. These parties were never, or only rarely, completely working class. They were, to some extent, always alliances: alliances with certain kinds of liberal and leftwing intellectuals, with minorities, religious and cultural minorities, possibly many countries with different kinds of working, labouring poor. With the exception of the United States, the working class remained a massive, recognisable bloc for a long time – certainly well into the 1970s. I think the rapidity of deindustrialisation in this country has played hell with not only the size but also, if you like, the consciousness of the working class. And there is no country now in which the pure industrial working class in itself is sufficiently strong.

Today, ideologically, I feel most at home in Latin America because it remains the one part of the world where people still talk and conduct their politics in the old language, in the 19th- and 20th-century language of socialism, communism and Marxism.

I'm not sure there has been a major shift, but there's no doubt: over the present government cuts there will be a radicalisation of students. That's one thing on the positive side. On the negative side… if you look at the last time of massive radicalisation of students in '68, it didn't amount to all that much. However, as I thought then and still think, it's better to have the young men and women feel that they're on the left than to have the young men and women feel that the only thing to do is to go and get a job at the stock exchange.

I suppose Zizek is rightly described as a performer. He has this element of provocation that is very characteristic and does help to interest people, but I'm not certain that people who are reading Zizek are actually drawn very much nearer rethinking the problems of the left.

Communism's gone, but one important element of communism remains, certainly in Asia, namely the state Communist party directing society. How does this work? In China, there is, I think, a higher degree of consciousness of the potential instability of the situation. There is probably a tendency to provide more elbow room for a rapidly growing intellectual middle class and educated sectors of the population, which, after all, will be measured in tens, possibly hundreds of millions. It's also true that the Communist party in China appears to be recruiting a largely technocratic leadership.

But how you pull all this stuff together, I don't know. The one thing that I think is possible with this rapid industrialisation is the growth of labour movements, and to what extent the CCP can find room for labour organisations or whether they would regard these as unacceptable, in the way they regarded the Tiananmen Square demonstrations [as unacceptable], is unclear.

最後に、新著How to Change the Worldについて。また、21世紀のグローバル社会の諸問題への解決策がどう呼ばれるかはわからないけれど、何れにしても英国や米国で理解されている意味での「資本主義」じゃないよという話。

How to Change the World is an account of what Marxism fundamentally did in the 20th century, partly through the social democratic parties that weren't directly derived from Marx and other parties – Labour parties, workers' parties, and so on – that remain as government and potential government parties everywhere. And second, through the Russian Revolution and all its consequences.

The record of Karl Marx, an unarmed prophet inspiring major changes, is undeniable. I'm quite deliberately not saying that there are any equivalent prospects now. What I'm saying now is that the basic problems of the 21st century would require solutions that neither the pure market, nor pure liberal democracy can adequately deal with. And to that extent, a different combination, a different mix of public and private, of state action and control and freedom would have to be worked out.

What you will call that, I don't know. But it may well no longer be capitalism, certainly not in the sense in which we have known it in this country and the United States.

ところで、ホブズボームの自宅がある倫敦北部のHampstead Heathはかつてのマルクスエンゲルスのご近所に当たる。

“Man of the extreme century” http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/sep/22/history.politicalbooks

ホブズボームの本としては、数年前にGlobalisation, Democracy and Terrorismを買ったのだけれど*5、まだ読んでいません(汗)

Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism

Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism