Sunday, 31 December 2017

Who Makes History?

From Logic of Time Travel:

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:

S.M. Stirling said...

It's easier for an individual to move politics (or war) than the culture in general, which is the result of uncounted thousands of individual decisions.

Eg., in the last century governments have often tried to affect demography, people's reproductive decisions. It turns out that it is possible and often not very difficult for governments to push fertility rates -down-, but almost impossible to push them -up-. This is true even of very authoritarian systems, like Communist Romania or China.

Of course, in the slightly longer term politics affects culture strongly.

Poul brought this out in THE SHIELD OF TIME very well, where the career of an obscure Italian knight turned out to be pivotal in the outcome of the fight between the Papacy and the secular lords of Latin Christendom... and that drastically affected the whole course of Western civilization.