A recent programme of BBC Radio 4’s Archive on 4 was dedicated to the life and works of the Marxist historian, Eric Hobsbawm. One of the striking things to emerge from Simon Schama’s extended interview with Hobsbawm was that the interviewee’s commitment to Marxism had not diminished or even been fundamentally re-evaluated in the light of the final collapse of the Soviet Union and its East European empire in 1985-1991. Hobsbawm even re-affirmed his commitment to Marxism, oblivious or indifferent to the fact that Marxist regimes had slaughtered tens of millions of people in trying to build some global socialist utopia.
Classicist KENNETH ROYCE MOORE delves into one of the oldest and most important ingredients of Western civilisation. Spartan tradition, both real and idealised, had a profound influence on such notable philosophers as Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Diogenes the Cynic, Zeno of Cyttium and others [EDITOR’S NOTE: Zeno of Cyttium (c 340-265 BC) was the founder of Stoicism]. This is especially the case in terms of those who speculatively explored political theory and that which we would today refer to as utopianism and, by extension, the subsequent Western traditions that derive from their philosophies.