Debates


Historia y fuentes


I have to say sir. This is one of the first really serious rebuttals I have read so far. You are quite right. 
 
The ROW (Rest of World) knows what Europe is, what North America is. They know both sides (whereby we can all ask whether the benefits have not been minor in comparison to the disadvantages). Yet we can look far and wide before we find people in Europe or North America who even know where the ROW is on the map. 
 
It is not only true as you say that there have always been records. There has always been memory. The real problem of the modern world was explained by people of whom Orwell was only the most well-known (and misrepresented). Orwell, and Garcia Marquez in a different way, described how the mass media would fabricate the past from one day to the next without regard for "yesterday's facts". People would learn to love or hate whomever they were told from one day to the next. History would disappear with the bodies and the witnesses and the newspapers would be changed to fit the new story.
 
In many countries his books were interpreted as anti-communist allegories. But in fact he was writing about the West-- not the East. Today we can see that one day a dictator is "friendly" and the next day he is a war criminal. The people who control the media do not care about documents because Television is not a document, it cannot be "read" afterward to check its accuracy. These images do disappear once they have damaged the brains of those who have seen them. Memory can be and is deliberately destroyed.
 
There was a nice storm about a certain Spanish pretender who, it was claimed, was insulted by the elected leader of a Spanish-speaking Latin American country. There are people who find it offensive when they are reminded that they are wrong or have made a mistake or even done something very seriously wrong. They distract from the wrong of which they are accused by returning an insult or making accusations-- instead of answering the accusation first. In the case of this storm, one must look at the documents too. This Latin American country liberated itself from a certain European monarchy. Today it is a democratically-governed republic supported by popular election. 
 
In contrast there are some who should be embarrassed to hold office at the gift of a usurper who destroyed the democratically-elected and governed republic and substituted for it a monarchy that had long been rejected by its people. This can be found in the historical documents although there are those who believe that some 30 years make the facts change. It has always been bad manners for monarchs to speak in the home of republicans.
 
Your sobre reminder to remember the documents and treat them critically is strong and sensible advice. If we do not retain our sense of history-- without the metaphysics as you say-- then we are at the mercy of any charlatan or forger who can hold a television camera.
 
Dr. Patrick Wilkinson
Cognitive Consulting and Language Logistics
Kirchstrasse 32
D-40227 Düsseldorf