Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Sunday, June 06, 2010

John Newsinger on British Imperialism

What it is important to recognise is that Britain’s Imperial adventures have always met with domestic opposition, that there have always been individuals, organisations and sometimes mass movements that have opposed the Empire. One thing I tried to do in my book was to make clear that there was always opposition to Empire in Britain. What history shows is that it is when the British working class is fighting in its own interests that you get British workers beginning to identify with other people’s struggles.

Clearly we face an uphill struggle today as far as arguing for recognition of the realities of Empire is concerned. This is demonstrated most clearly by the new government’s intention to involve Niall Ferguson in developing the history curriculum for schools. But growing resistance both at home and abroad will strengthen our arguments, will make our words flesh, so to speak.

A timely interview with the author of The Blood Never Dried: A People's History of the British Empire

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