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the historical ramifications are for longer than that

Sorry, apparently my meaning wasn't clear enough. That is certainly not what I meant.

I mean that any particular view of history-- that is, trying to answer the "why?"-- is subject to change over time (and even place). Historical cause and effect is a matter of perspective, sometimes of situational perspective, such as one's view of Hiroshima being affected by whether or not you are American or Japanese. That is to say, your social identity affects your view of history.

Second, viewpoints are often a matter of timing, such as the justifications for colonialism being so 'obviously true' at the time and so 'obviously false' now. Morals and ethical laws are most certainly not immutable. As the mainstream sense of right and wrong shifts, our view of historical events and people shift.

Our perspective changes depending on the time and place of our existence, because these both affect our worldview. In other words, the 'truths' are history are fleeting, at best.

Not to say we cannot have an opinion, no, that would just be absurd. But when we become convinced that our view is not just correct, but the only legitimate viewpoint (ie, fact), when we take disagreement as a personal affront, or, worse, when we begin to see dissent as a threat to our 'truth,' that is the beginning of tyranny....and of ignorance.

And if I'm still not being clear enough, maybe this exchange will help illustrate things.

Kissinger: What do you see as the long-term effect of Napolean on Europe?
Mao: Too soon to tell.

I love that bit.

Best to you, Rat.


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