Barbarism: A User s Guide According to Eric Hobsbawm, barbarism is not something we learn, it s rather what we adopt from living in a society without cultivation, which is better explained by being street-wise. Hobsbawm s user s guide explains why and how barbarism has increased gradually during the twentieth century. He explains barbarism to mean collapse of rules by which the societies systematize. Barbarism occurs as a result of a state breaking down, while the men are under the influence of complete freedom. They are under the impression of everything being permitted and are having a blast at pointing a weapon and terrifying the defenseless ones. The gradual growth of barbarism continued with the European governments views changing comparing to the periods before and after 1914.

Before, the war was considered to be against the army and not its people. However, after 1914, this view changed and became acceleration for barbarism. According to Hobsbawm, WWI was considered barbaric because of massive murdering of civilians and because it was the first war. From 1920 s till the end of WWII, government officials, such as Hitler and Stalin represented barbarism.

WWII, according to him, was the greatest school of barbarism of all. Social revolution and colonial rebellion, according to him, were also barbaric because of superiority and inferiority between people. He also believes that more current civil wars occurred as a result of social and political breakdowns, which result in barbarism because of weaken in decency. Khaykina 2 I agree with the author s point of view on the fact that barbarism is not something we ought to learn. It s something we have adopted from the society we live in and the values established by our ancestors. There is no crueler torture in my mind that a human being could experience, than what the Jews experienced during the Holocaust in WWII.

The Holocaust was an action by Hitler, wh was a decision-maker, according to the author, whose actions were considered to be barbarous. Since the Holocaust, Jews were disliked in many countries in Europe and of course in Russia, where I came from. I personally experienced the hatred, being a junior high school student back in Russia. I was one of the very few kids in my school who were Jewish and constant brutal remarks have never escaped my mind for so many years. I am not very religious and even when I m asked my nationality, I always answer I m Russian. However, it s very disturbing for me to hear about the barbaric ways the Jews were treated and the hatred that continues to exist in the twentieth century.

Therefore, the author s point of view on barbarism passing on and increasing during the twentieth century is certainly something to agree with, especially being a part of the inferior group in my country.