Saturday, 5 January 2019

Historical or hysterical?

You can learn a lot by listening and watching TV. There is some debate at the moment about the actions of historical figures. For instance, Cromwell, Cecil Rhodes. But why not Hitler, or Washington as well? There are loads more, Catherine the Great of Russia etc. But what is talked about is their actions, either done by themselves or condoned and perpetrated by others. We are talking genocide, murder, and a host of other unpleasant things. The problem is though we are now judging these persons by our present standards. I am not advocating that our present standards of life are something to be applauded, thinking about the knife murders in London and recently a knife murder in a London bound train, but surely we cannot judge historical figures by our own standards, views and opinions. Peoples’ attitudes were much more basic, life had a different meaning. Yes, people always wanted a peaceful existence but with the political systems of the past, the aristocracy vying for power and status, it was impossible. You only have to look at European history to note the ever continuing wars. Cromwell was no more than an answer to royal extravagance, a short-lived answer at that. I am no historian, I tend to look at the main picture and what I see is that it is completely nonsensical to take down statues of historical figures because they do not fit in with the liberal minority’s views.

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