Friday, 29 December 2017

Who Makes History?

Marx wrote that men make their own history but not in circumstances of their own choosing. See here. He meant men collectively, not individually.

Archimedes claimed that, from a fixed point, with a long enough lever, he would be able to move the earth. See here.

Both were correct. History is collective human activity and individuals, like cogs, can move masses. An individual can redirect a political party that can lead a class that can change a country that can transform international alliances and the world economy. Lenin succeeded so far but was knocked back.

This is relevant to the idea of time travel. See Individuals. I hope to post on the extent of the contribution of Saul/Paul. See Sacrifice And Resurrection In Faith And Fiction.

1 comment:

  1. Politics is particularly vulnerable to small fluctuations because the number of individuals making important decisions is limited, sometimes very limited.

    Studying the beginning of WW1, I've come to the conclusion that during the crucial months in 1914, about 20 men in the Central Powers made the decision for war.

    Two were hereditary monarchs, and most of the rest were generals and aristocratic politicians -- the one without "von" in his name was Count Tisa, because Magyars don't use "von".

    And there was a 'crucial absence"; Franz Ferdinand, who had been absolutely opposed to a general war because he thought it would destroy the Dual Monarchy. FF's opinion had been crucial because he was heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and the monarch still controlled foreign and military policy decisions.

    There were a number of "necessary but not sufficient" factors -- the strong nationalism of the period, various longstanding national rivalries, the arms race, and so forth.

    But these merely -allowed- those 20 men to decide on a general war among the Great Powers. The decision was theirs.