A Schizophrenic conversation with Eric Hobsbawm

"I, with my tiny life and tinier knowledge as compared to Mr. Hobsbawm, defer from his almost decisive statement that Empires are dead" - Jitendra Rajaram


Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm CH FRSL FBA (1917-2012)
“Born in 1917 and died in 2012, Eric Hobsbawm has actually lived 300 years. His ability to connect past, present, and future of this world in a very comprehensive yet inclusive manner has helped us know how this world has arrived in 2017 from 1492. Born in Egypt and died in Britain, he lived in each and every state born and reborn after his birth. I am going through his book “Globalization, Democracy and Terrorism” published in the year 2007 by Little Brown Publication UK.

I, with my tiny life and tinier knowledge as compared to Mr. Hobsbawm, defer from his almost decisive statement that Empires are dead. Also, I agree with him that while empires can be created by the power of arms and might, it cannot be sustained without active local participation and involvement.

My argument


Empires are not dead yet is based upon my hypothesis that imperialism is living through nationalism which is supported by capitalism. The global hegemony of the USA or the failed hegemony of Soviet or the failed attempt of the hegemony of Nazi Germany is nothing but the successful experiments of keeping empires alive behind the curtain of nationalism. The nation-state is another fictitious emotion created out of a fictitious identity called religion.

The rise and fall of East India Company followed by the fall of British hegemony of colonial Empire was not a conquest of revolutionaries. It was a wishful retreat of empires. When great powers retreat they do so after well-hatched plan B which is a full proof. Colonized America was a model test of the colonial system for the British Empire that they immediately implemented in Australia followed by Africa and Asia. When the cost of colonizing increased they planned to the keep the colonial markets dominated by their products and keeping the colonial politics in control indirectly. Even in twenty-first-century arms trade is heavily dominated by these ex-colonizers.

Use and abuse of people driven-technology
A lot of thinkers and civil society leaders curse the technology. They assume that massive impact of new technologies on the mankind is destructive. I believe this is not true! Technology is going through two kinds of the upgrade. One which is in hands of the people and they are inventing or innovating as per their needs and curiosity. Another is the one which is funded, lab tested and used by the power class to keep the conflict alive. Most of the innovations are taking place in these corporate funded lab tests but this is also true that common people are innovating and inventing out of their curiosity for getting an easy life for the people.

State controlled technologies like nuclear energy, space research, mining have not yet reached to the common use for the people. On the other hand, people driven technologies like internet broadcasting earned publications and derived audience created out of social media is very much driven by the people. Advancements like mobile application led home automation are empowering people. These technologies are the natural growth of the ability of mankind. However, these technologies are not controlled by the people. Any single human being is not more than a drop of water in the whole big ocean. It is not the capacity of one human or a small group of people to keep eye on everything and filter out what is truth and what is not but Imperial agencies have always been doing this. They were doing it then without technology, they are doing it now with technology. It is not that they control everything, but they control enough to keep controlling what satisfies them as the owner of this world.

My hypothesis of the new world order
This world is being governed as if it is a small village and everyone is in check with the central power of that village. Though organizations like United Nations, NATO, BRICS, ISBA, SAARC, EU, OPEC, OECD and more are not powerful enough to solve problems of inter-state or state-militia conflicts, mass migration or virus outbreak but these unions do play a very instrumental role in making this world a single unit of governance. This hypothetic power center works in three layers, corporate, state and Imperials. Corporate being the front desk of this power center keeps on demand and summiting more rights and power from the state and Imperials but at center, the most powerful institution of this power center is imperial.

Imperia is working from behind the curtain, it knows the power of remaining invisible. They don’t control everything, they just control capital and state. Capital and state know Imperia is their bonding glue, they will rip apart each other if Imperia are gone. Now because Imperial gives them all the power they agree to bow to imperial. This is Imperial gets satisfied as a ruler of the of the world.

I Agree with Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm was the member of Fabian Society, so was Jawaharlal Nehru. I admire both of them because of their ability to let everyone experience that they’ve earned a space on the floor. Fabian Society believes that evolution is not the only method of social reforms. It is possible to adopt reforms without dismantling the existing institutions. In the 21st century, a revolution to the tune of what we had seen in Eighteenth Century or before is less likely to happen and this is good news. We don’t need the blood of the innocents to keep the hope for a better tomorrow ignited. The demand of revolution is a type of injustice to many. Tendering sacrifice may be right but the demanding sacrifice is way too much greedy. I am discrediting revolutionary leaders all I am saying that with the resources that we have today and with the technology that we have built up today, it is possible that we can bargain greater reforms for the people from the power centers without engaging into the bloodbath of revolution.

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