Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
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31-05-2013, 03:56 PM
Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
In the short term it may be true but what about after the said victor has ceased to exist or has remained dormant for centuries, just some brain chewing gum.
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31-05-2013, 04:41 PM
RE: Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
(31-05-2013 03:56 PM)tear151 Wrote:  In the short term it may be true but what about after the said victor has ceased to exist or has remained dormant for centuries, just some brain chewing gum.

Rome is still dictating what we know of Carthage. There are other examples but generally the longer ago it was and the more complete the victory the more that holds true.

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31-05-2013, 04:47 PM
RE: Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
If the victors records remain; they have written the history, regardless if the civilisation has since faded from its time. For instance the Roman or Persian Empires. They won battles; noted their histories. Now they are long gone, they were still the victors of countless wars and battles, or at least we must assume, until evidence contradicts their accounts.

if there are no records, there is simply another piece in the great gallery of Human history without a spot-light shining upon it.

A single action is worth more than the words it takes to describe it.
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31-05-2013, 04:47 PM
RE: Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
Yes, they really do.

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31-05-2013, 05:19 PM
RE: Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
Generally, but the perfect counterexample is the Lost Causers after the US Civil War. That started barely a generation after the fact, and dominated historiography (or at least popular culture) for decades.
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31-05-2013, 08:06 PM
RE: Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
I'm not sure there is much difference between historical fiction and history. Think of all the urban myths that are prevalent today that most people are sure are true. And I include myself in that crowd - every now and then, I find that something that I have always known to be true, is in fact, either false or non-existent.

And how about all of the total untruths put out by the news media to try to be first out with a story. Archaeologists of the future will find a fragment of tabloid and deduce that some popular leader named Elvis led a revolution that destroyed the evil towers in York City.

How much worse are the facts coming from a past where news was word of mouth, or written out by hand?
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31-05-2013, 08:26 PM
RE: Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
In general for victors writing the history to be 100% true:
1) The losers have to be exterminated.
2) The victors have to suppress all dissent.

Sometimes it does happen that way, but not always.

Best counter-example to victors writing the history, even in the short run: The American Civil War.

Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is a very important science.
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31-05-2013, 08:40 PM
RE: Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
(31-05-2013 08:06 PM)morlock Wrote:  ...
Archaeologists of the future will find a fragment of tabloid and deduce that some popular leader named Elvis led a revolution that destroyed the evil towers in York City.
...


This, basically?


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31-05-2013, 08:44 PM
RE: Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
victors writing history is a simplistic view of history, it's useful to understand some aspects of the records, but it's not always true

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31-05-2013, 08:50 PM
Do the victors really write the history in the long term?
The way history is recorded is constantly improving. In the future will the collection of information really be limited to victors if enemies are not totally eliminated? Even then, we now live in a much more globally aware world than we once did. Third parties are likely to record unbiased accounts of events.

In the far future, where our methods of recording past events no longer relies on language alone, how will our histories be recorded then. Will it be easier or harder to discern the truth from propaganda?

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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