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Sunday, April 14, 2019

On Marxist Historians

Gertrude Himmelfarb
Gertrude Himmelfarb notes that Marxist history is a continuation of politics by other means. Here’s an excerpt from her book The New History and the Old (Page 88-89):
It is this idea of history more than anything else—more than the specific ideas about class and class struggle, consciousness and culture, mode of production and social relations—that is the common denominator of Marxist history. Marxist historians can be revisionist about almost everything else in the Marxist canon, but they cannot separate politics from history. They cannot abandon, or even hold in abeyance, their political agenda of changing the world while engaged in the historical task of interpreting it. 
The Marxist historians are so assured of their thesis that they tend to invoke arguments that they already know to be correct. By the same token, the Marxists avoid invoking arguments and facts that they know to be true because they don't want to undermine the orthodox Marxist doctrine or divert from their polemical agenda.

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