But now we get the more nuanced view - and Eugene Genovese goes to the heart of the matter.
It is the Russian Revolution that is at the heart of Hobsbawm’s reading. He sees it as the principal spur to the great changes of the century. In his view, the revolutionary challenge from the left compelled capitalism to institute the deep restructuring that was required for its survival. (He also acknowledges, subtly and without reductionism, that capitalism’s political class was also responding to a Nazi threat.)
Naturally, those who merely have to experience imperialism and its consequences have a different view of imperialism from those who get to impose it - and this applies to the sundry Western imperialisms, Anglo-American, French, German or Russian, and derivatory Japanese. And for them (us) Hobsbawm's analysis remains coherent, especially when taken in conjunction with EP Thompson, Noam Chomsky and Christopher Hill. What consistent left wingers (named above) get right is that those who suffer left-wing imperialism need to shut up and like it (as with Hobsbawm Hungary and Czechoslovakia), as there is a need to have a necessary corrective to right-wing imperialism!
Neither view - the right wing one championing consumption by the few on behalf of the few, or the left wing one championing consumption by the few on behalf of the many - addresses the actual crisis today which is the practice of ever-increasing consumption itself.