Sunday, February 08, 2009

If you want to be viewed favorably by history be on the side of change.

Looking back, reactionaries are often despised or laughed it. Whereas those who support or fight for the more liberal changes are regarded as heroes. Where are those who fought for Prohibition, vs.those who fought for wider suffrage? Where are those who fought for internment of Japanese-Americans without trial, or supported the Palmer raids? Yet those who fought for peace, liberties, education are regarded positively.

Even if we disregard any value judgment, it implies that if you want to be remembered favorably, be progressive and support change.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

I agree with your value judgments, but the effect you're witnessing is that history is written by the winners.

If you support a cause that becomes unpopular in the future, you won't go down as a hero in history. But I don't think there's any guarantee that people in our future will share your values or mine. Who knows? The future is up for grabs.

Maybe the advocates of Prohibition will be honoured at last in the 22nd century. Unlikely, but possible.

Surely, 'progressive' is a subjective label. It depends on what you think of as progress.

And 'change' can be good or bad. Prohibition was change, internment of Japanese-Americans was change, etc. If you were in a country invaded by the Mongols in the 13th century, that was change.

Probably I'm taking you more literally than you intended.