Popular history – History is not currency
The phrase “History is written by the victors” is something that we received with the coming of the modern age, but constantly abused by some. The byproduct of this, the ominous rise of self-proclaimed experts and professors kills history as a science of human development and origins, leaving it only as a political playground or as a rich foundation for nationalists to exploit. People today, rarely see the difference between patriotism and nationalism, as well as between fascism and racism. They sank deep.
The freedom to express one’s own opinion and viewpoint is a hard-earned privilege, for which many people died in the past and in some countries still die. To eliminate today’s politics from elaborating a certain idea became an impossible venture, since you can be sanctioned or judged biased if you disagree with the widely accepted opinion. This is nothing new – it was always the special right of the few powerful people to squash the ambitions/opinions of the smaller people, not because they were malicious, but they would sway the current of power by shaking the pillars of the elite’s power that was gained by propagating their ideals that are usually wrong and/or harmful. If you stand out, you will break or bend.
The most controversial topic in these discussions is religion, nationalism, and everything else that has something to do with them. Depending on who are you talking with, the discussion about the above mentioned themes can produce sparks and shocks that can culminate in a fight. Despite the willingness of the one side to be open to discussion, the other can display astonishing feats of arrogance and refusal to discuss anything outside the box. Dogma can be both the blessing and the damnation.
Take this example: a few weeks ago, I talked with an old acquaintance of mine about the crucifixation of Jesus Christ. I merely suggested that Pontius Pilate was not responsible for the crucifixation and that there is a more profound agenda behind it all, to what he replied that I have no idea or whatsoever about the whole thing. The conversation further heated up when I (again) suggested that Pilate did not condemn Jesus, because he preached the following: “to love and forgive your fellows”. This “statement/advice” was useful to the Romans, especially in Judea, that was almost openly hostile to Rome and where they were outnumbered 5 to 1. However, the local power cliques had other plans in mind, so the suffering of Jesus could indeed prove worthwhile to them. In my view, Pontius Pilate was but a mere proxy, between the malicious intents of several groups.
This case above is not important – the crucial thing is to understand that history cannot be an exotic accommodation or a slave to be sold at the slave market – it is a property of the entire mankind, and to manipulate it or claim ownership, is a serious crime. The saying “Victor writes history” says enough – who knows what would have happened if the stories were told/written by the defeated side, or the third side that remained neutral. If you have military and economic power, everything can bend to your will; everything and everyone could be bought or bent. Numerous kingdoms, empires and countries today exercise that kind of authority that causes oppression and suffering to the less fortunate and poorer side, despite their superior cultural tradition and/or longer recorded history.
Therefore, I arrived at an enlightening conclusion: any pre-meditated deviation from the accepted academic opinion results in open ridicule and public derision. Calling Tokugawa Ieyasu a cheapskate or Takayama Ukon a pious Christian is a mortal sin, though Takayama’s later life is much unexplored. I sometimes call the today’s revisionism and modern history a joke, a poison knowing that it hides a lot.
This shows us that people are drenched and stuck in a cesspool of wrongly displayed ideas that became a commercial asset and a mandatory dogma – no ideas or initiative of their own, just blind & blunt “that is what it is because someone said so”. We are deprived of much real history that is stored in an old and fragile archive and are being kept in the dark about various matters by a century old decree. To think with your head is something to be admired today, without falling into traps or collided sides.
Shall we talk about communism next? psyche!