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The Political Convenience of Rewriting History


It's been said that the victor of any war writes the history. Interestingly, modern politicians use revisionist history not merely after the war in order to establish their names as greats and validate the loss of lives in their cause; but also to legitimize the "morality" of war itself while it is being waged. It's a misnomer since war is not moral in itself. But who defines what is moral, but that which remains in power. History by semantics is 'his'+'story', and therefore will always be subjective.

However, there are generally accepted 'stories' which, should the world forget, will be a waste of humanity's toil. Consider the United Nations and the ideals that created it. Today it is perceived as an "unnecessary" organization and one unable to do any good in the world (Thanks to Bush's Unilateralism).

Interesting how disinformation in 4 years time diffuse truths of half a century's age. Here's an excerpt of an article worth reading.

The history told about the defeat of Nazism and the founding of the United Nations in the 1940s has become distorted. A false view of the past is being used today to shape how we think about our future. The military power of the victorious wartime allies is offered as a model for running the world, while the UN’s supposed utopianism is seen as ineffective and irrelevant.


Roosevelt and Churchill had both experienced the first world war and seen the failure of the League of Nations. They did not respond to fascism with a doctrine of pre-emptive war and totalitarian neo-liberalism. Quite the opposite: just three weeks after the surprise attack upon Pearl Harbour, they set about creating an agenda that, in modern terms, is left-wing social democracy. In doing so, they knew that hard bargaining and unpleasant compromise might be necessary. They understood that cooperation was essential to survival: a lesson learnt even before the invention of the atomic bomb. Today, that lesson has almost been forgotten in America and Britain – though not elsewhere.

- Dan Plesch, The Secret History of the United Nations

Read it. It's a shame if Filipinos believe the revisionist histories about the UN, to think that the Philippines is a founding member. It's like a slap to the face. We should not forget the cost of it all and the ideals that our heroes died for.

Re-writing history by politicians is so easy nowadays because the public opinion does not stop them if they do so. Furthermore, it has become more convenient for them to use on a very gullible electorate. There is no longer any moral culpability, nor any desire to lead on this basis.

How convenient it is to fabricate a history? Nobody cares if you tell the wrong story, anyway. If you're caught you just say, "I lied", and you're back in office by the next term. How convenient has it become for politicians to tell versions of history that suit their politics? Easy. Just Lie, Lie and Lie. It has come to that. Accountability is no longer a fad.

How easy is it to invent a diploma, fake medals, recreate a myth, redefine culture to suit one's politics? Easy if you have the power. It has happened before in the small country named the Philippines. Happened elsewhere in the other small countries in the world. Certainly it can happen in a more powerful country. In fact it happens as we speak. How many care enough to refute?

What a sad, sad development for what we call the civil society if none will protect the integrity of the truth. Will Durant will be in a bad bad mood.

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posted by Jdavies @ 5/24/2005,


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The Author


Jdavies lives in Quezon City, Philippines and has been blogging since 2002. A brand manager in a leading technology company and a freelance new media/web strategy consultant, he has refocused his blogging from personal, political & sociological observations, to marketing-related efforts and Internet trends that are relevant to his career and branding advocacies.

About This Blog

This blog is a depot of thoughts and observations on marketing trends which remain personally relevant to the Author as far as his marketing career is concerned. Having evolved from the personal blog of Jdavies, much of the earlier work contained herein are laced with personal speculation, political views, and similar advocacies. These posts are being kept for posterity's sake and for no other reason. No effort is being made to claim that the author will not contradict himself from his previous positions or that such advocacies are absolute.


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