The Sides of History
During part of 1941 and 1942, when the Luftwaffe was busy in Russia, the German radio regaled its home audiences with stories of devastating air raids on London. Now, we are aware that those raids did not happen. But what use would our knowledge be if the Germans conquered Britain? For the purposes of a future historian, did those raids happen, or didn’t they? The answer is: If Hitler survives, they happened, and if he falls, they didn’t happen. So with innumerable other events of the past ten or twenty years. Is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion a genuine document? Did Trotsky plot with the Nazis? How many German aeroplanes were shot down in the Battle of Britain? Does Europe welcome the New Order? In no case do you get one answer which is universally accepted because it is true: in each case you get a number of totally incompatible answers, one of which is ﬁnally adopted as the result of a physical struggle. History is written by the winners.
We are consistently reminded by our betters that we will end up on the Wrong Side of History - a History that will be written by the winners, a History that will be written by them. The History they write is simply one story about reality written and rewritten in order to maintain a generalized sense of continuity over time, even as facts, characters, places, and chronologies shift before the eyes of its observers. To win is to control the means of information in a quest to control all the other means. Control over the means of information allows our betters to be ever on the right side of history as they perpetually reinterpret the past, present, and future. What was never was and mustn’t ever be spoken of again. What is is what works for them.
Those who prepare for us our place on the wrong side of history rewrite our history in public. We must learn our History and if they change it, we must learn it again. Words we heard them say moments ago become words never actually said, even as they repeat the same words over again. We must have misheard or misunderstood, we’re told. What’s important is that we are wrong, regardless. They decontextualize and recontextualize the past, inverting the meaning, making themselves always humanity’s saviors in the face of the very savagery they blame, always, on those who resist them. To be history’s winners, they must not only have been the ones who conquered, what they conquered must therefore have been evil, because the good always win, and here we stand. This allows them to conquer again as needed. The job is never over. It is righteous work, we’re told.
The history of our ancestors is a History of chaos and destruction by savages, written by the winners, or so they would have us believe. Since we are the people still here, still ostensibly thriving, the savages were clearly not like us. Being like us is what allowed us to advance. We won, after all, did we not? We are collectively writing this History, all of us winners, and we agree with this right side of History even as it evolves and changes. The details matter not at all.
Because people like us presumptively agree upon that history, we don’t need to learn it. People like us already know what to think about it. We are not able to prove the History wrong ourselves, since we are not Experts, so whatever we are told must therefore be true. People better than us agree that this is the proper version of History. In fact, people better than us agree most strongly about what we’re told of our History. They know the most, which is why they write the History, as winners, just like us.
We are not the savages of history, then, and people like us would never repeat the savagery of generations past. People like us are the ones who prevent that sort of savagery. We do this by spreading awareness of, and demanding adherence to, the Slogans and the History. We do this by demanding compliance while we choose to comply, ourselves, only when people like us or people better than us are watching. If everyone commits publicly to following the rules, at least some of the time or when called upon, the savagery of the past will be kept in the past. The more rules we create, the more rules will be followed, and the more savagery we can avoid. As the definition of savagery changes over time, additional rules will be necessary, naturally, to eliminate additional behaviors that might one day become representative of our former savagery.
History is indisputable, and the source of all true knowledge, until one day it is not. When that day is reached, knowledge of History is declared to be the catalyst that makes us repeat History and recommit to chaos and destruction, we pitiful savages. History must be changed to properly frame the future. This is done in the name of progress.
If a new revision of History is doubted, the latest research will prove the new History true and it will always have been true. The past was savage and brutal, but we are not savages, so we must leave the past behind. If we discover enough about the present, we can forget history altogether, because the past was also ignorant and hateful. The best way to avoid repeating history is to never learn it in the first place. Orwell didn’t say this, but the remake of 1984 could, and the people sleepwalking us into dystopia would hear it and think it profound.