• Two Views of History

    From Lee Lofaso@3:800/432 to All on Wed Nov 3 21:36:00 2010
    Hello Everybody,

    The explanation of historical events has always been
    the subject of wide debate by scholars and non-scholars
    alike. But what views shape those explanations? Can
    any particular view answer all the questions that come
    to mind? From what viewpoint should the observer base
    his/her conclusions?

    History is an interpretation of facts that have been
    gathered. Even the facts that have been gathered can
    be open to question. For example, who gathers the
    facts can be just as important as the facts themselves.
    And who is to say that all the facts gathered have
    been accounted for?

    Let us look at two views of history. Perhaps there
    are more, but I could find only two views that make
    any modicum of sense. And only one of those views
    gives an explanation that answers all the questions.

    The Accidental View of History -

    This is the view most commonly believed. Historical
    events happen by accident, for no apparent reason.
    They just happen. And there is nothing, absolutely
    nothing, that any ruler can do to keep those events
    from happening.

    "History is written more by accident than design,
    often by the wholly irrational acts of madmen."
    - James P. Warburg, The West in Crisis, (Garden
    City, New York:Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1959), p. 20.

    "History is much more the product of chaos than
    of conspiracy. ...increasingly, policy makers are
    overwhelmed by events and information."
    - Zbigniew Brzezinski, The New York Times,
    January 18, 1981, p. L 3

    The Conspiratorial View of History -

    This is the view most folks mistakenly believe is
    total hogwash. Historical events happen by design,
    or for a reason(s). These reasons are most often
    kept secret from the general public.

    Who in their right mind would hold this particular
    view? Aren't those who hold a conspiratorial view
    of history of bunch of nutcakes? Well, you tell
    me -

    "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it
    happens, it was planned that way."
    - Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States

    Isn't that amazing? Or maybe not so amazing, given
    the fact that presidents and other leaders often make
    plans to do one thing or another, for whatever reasons
    of their own. And nothing - I mean nothing - they
    do is by accident.

    If harmful events are planned - such as the Japanese
    sneak attack on Pearl Harbor - it stands to reason that
    those who were about to suffer the consequences would
    have acted to prevent such a thing from happening.
    Especially if they had known about the planned event
    in advance.

    Did FDR know about Japanese plans to bomb Pearl Harbor?
    If so, why did he choose to let it happen?

    Did George W. Bush know about terrorist plans to attack
    America on 9-11? If so, why did he choose to let it happen?

    People expect government to protect them from harm.
    Especially harmful events such as Pearl Harbor and 9-11.

    But what happens when government fails to do its duty?
    Why did government fail, when the people expected to be
    kept safe?

    There are only two explanations that are possible -

    1. The events themselves were too powerful to have been prevented.

    2. The events were allowed to occur because government wanted them
    to occur.

    So which is it?

    You tell me.


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