Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote the foreword to a 2011 new edition of John Atkinson Hobson’s 1902 book “Imperialism: A Study.”
Hobson was one of the most influential English anti-Semites of his day, according to a number of academic studies. In the 1890s, he blamed Russian Jewish immigrants for endangering the livelihood of native English workers and advocated limits on immigration. He tied the Boer War in South Africa to “Jew Power” and dubbed Johannesburg “New Jerusalem.” He claimed that “Jewish financiers,” “parasites,” as he referred to them, manipulated the British government to dance to their “diabolical tune.”
OK by Jeremy Corbyn, who endorsed all this drivel four years before becoming Labour’s leader. He wrote that Hobson’s book was “correct and prescient,” a “great tome,” and praised Hobson’s “brilliant, and very controversial at the time” analysis of the “pressures” behind western, and in particular British, imperialism at the turn of the 20th century.
History professor Norman Etherington has suggested that the book, which had a great deal of influence on Marxist writers such as Nikolai Bukharin and Vladimir Lenin, did not need the segment about “Jewish control” to define its views on the evils of imperialism. Etherington believes Hobson included the accusation that there was an international conspiracy of Jewish financiers not because it was relevant to his economic discourse, but because Hobson just hated Jews.
The Jewish Chronicle cited a Labour party spokesperson, who stated: “Jeremy praised the Liberal Hobson’s century old classic study of imperialism in Africa and Asia. Similarly to other books of its era, Hobson’s work contains outdated and offensive references and observations, and Jeremy completely rejects the anti-Semitic elements of his analysis.”
Yes, but as the JC’s Jonathan Freedland noted: “If that’s true, why didn’t he reject them in the foreword where he so warmly praised the book?”
Probably because it didn’t occur to him, because, like many modern-day Marxists, he is mired in the belief that Jews control the world. If it writes forwards like a duck, it’s a duck.