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Tuesday, 27 August 2013 00:00

Progressives aren't all nice guys

Oliver Cromwell was a military dictator who repressed both his own people and the people of Ireland. Yet he was historically progressive.

In Scotland John Knox was an odious hypocrite with a 15-year-old "wife" who preached hellfire and damnation to sinners and Catholics. Yet he was historically progressive.

Both these "gentlemen" were leaders of a bourgeois revolution which unleashed productive forces which were undreamt of in feudal times. And a bourgeois revolution which lifted people out of feudal idiocy and superstition.

You don't have to be a nice guy to be historically progressive. End of story.

As to the debate about statues, perhaps we should leave that until after the socialist revolution.

John Swinburne


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