Registered On: September 7, 2015
I agree, Those who complain about rewriting of history do not understand that history is an ever evolving subject due to the reasons you outlie. We still learn more from history as new archaeological findings are unearthed and political changes make it permissible to re-evaluate the past. For instance, in Russia Stalin is still revered as a great man. We know he wasn’t, but history according to the Russians paints him in that light because he stood against fascism (when he could no longer deny it and could no longer delude himself into thinking war with Germany wasn’t inevitable. Even after they invaded he thought diplomacy could be achieved in the early stages). Those who whine about changing history to be more accommodative of the negative aspects wouldn’t be so outraged at Russians reassessing Stalin’s role as a national hero, surely?
If it’d be ok for them, why not for us? And the fact that Russia should surely reassess Stalin’s portrayal as a national hero for many should give a clue that reassessing history isn’t some cardinal sin against the discipline’s merit.
Yes, there are those on the left who would sanitise history for their own agenda, but this isn’t it. The NT are just honestly assessing the history. The left wing wouldn’t have an argument to stand on regarding the UK ignoring its history if the government and its supporters didn’t get outraged at attempts to not ignore it. Then the right may be in a better position to point out left wing overreach on historical interpretations.
The argument I would offer is that these actions are not destroying history but making it, and in themselves become primary sources providing us with valuable information on the thoughts of a particular group at a fixed point in history.
This is a good point. I bet the toppling brought more attention to Colston as a historical figure than preservation of it ever did, despite its existence apparently being in need for memory. While the statue may no longer exist, information in museums, books and the internet still do, and shouldn’t go, so the argument for the need for statues over this falls on its face in my opinion.