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May 01, 2019


Gibson Block

This strikes me as an example of the George Washington problem.

Washington was a slave-holder. We rightly find this despicable but he had another very significant, positive role and one can praise the latter without being accused of approving of the former.

Corbyn doesn't criticize his middle-eastern friends for their undisguised anti-semitism. That appears to be the most legitimate critique to me.

Mick H

I'm not sure what George Washington's got to do with it. Where's Corbyn's corresponding "very significant, positive role"?

But no, he doesn't criticise his middle-eastern friends for their undisguised antisemitism. The reason is increasingly apparent: it doesn't bother him in the slightest.

Gibson Block

Mick, I came back to clarify what I meant and saw your note.

I didn't mean that Corbyn was a George Washington. I meant that Hobson's book had historical significance in addition to its anti-semitism.

So one could endorse it for its economic or political or historic value without approving of its anti-semitism.

I will admit though that a modern reviewer should have taken the time to condemn the anti-semitism even as he approved of the other content. This, as I said, seems to be Corbyn's main failing in this regard.

Does it mean that he is anti-semitic or simply insensitive? I'm not over there in England and I don't know.

Mick H

OK, gotcha.


His views on NATO and the Warsaw Pact are more telling - '“The Soviet influence was always different and its allies often acted quite independently,” writes Mr Corbyn.' He's a Tankie isn't he? we're about to have a Tankie as PM.

The Russians must be rubbing their hands in glee....


"Tankie"? Can you enlighten us Yanks on what that is?

Mick H

A "Tankie" is basically a communist sympathiser who supported the Soviet Union all the way. Even when tanks were sent in to suppress revolts in Hungary or Czechoslovakia. In other words, a Stalinist.


Sorry, I don't buy the "Hobson may have valuable insights despite his anti-semitism" argument.

There are plenty of people writing at the time who criticised Imperialism without recourse to blaming Jews. Hobson's contribution to the argument is not his anti Imperialism but his locating the problem on Jews.

As a contrast, we have George Orwell who also had an antisemitism problem
but in his case we can genuinely look past it to contributions of merit

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