“The Word and Image are Mightier than the Dollar”
Essays in idea-dynamics that came out of the Wizard’s head
and which have the power to change the present world
MAKING HISTORY. . . RECORDING THE PAST OR CREATING THE FUTURE?
We live in a world of symbolic meaning and motivation to act. Only the insane can escape their existential location in history. Much of what we believe happened in the past can only be known by oral and written accounts. By checking with other accounts of the same events, dating records and identifying authors through content analysis and stylistic comparisons and by studying archaeological remains we can get “closer to the truth”. Our own location in a unique cultural meaning system will always distort “the truth”.
Historians claiming to provide an “objective” account of past events is a fairly recent phenomenon. To illustrate my point I have chosen to analyse some key examples of history writing where the motivation of the authors was obviously not to provide an objective account of past events but to interpret them in such a way as to influence the behaviour of others in the direction they desired.