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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

How Empires End

“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

Histories are generally written by academics. They, quite naturally, tend to focus on the main events: the wars and the struggles between leaders and their opponents (both external and internal). Whilst these are interesting stories to read, academics, by their very nature, often overlook the underlying causes for an empire’s decline.

Today, as in any era, most people are primarily interested in the “news”—the daily information regarding the world’s political leaders and their struggles with one another to obtain, retain, and expand their power. When the history is written about the era we are passing through, it will reflect, in large measure, a rehash of the news. As the media of the day tend to overlook the fact that present events are merely symptoms of an overall decline, so historians tend to focus on major events, rather than the “slow operations” that have been the underlying causes.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While "Academics" may write most of the "history" (I doubt this statement) it is their BOSSES who instruct them on the writing. These bosses are referred to as Editors usually. In most cases the Editor is hired by the publishing company.

A more accurate statement about the writing of history might be this: History is written by the winners.

Nobody doubts that statement.
The winners are the folks with the MONEY.

We do not know what we think we know. We know what we are told. It doesn't occur to most of us to question the source of our information. But that is exactly what we should be doing: questioning the source of our information.

Who owns the media?

That is a more important question that "What happened"