Friday, 8 July 2016

Thoughts on official version(s) of history

It's a sign of a healthy society that the validity of an official version of history may be openly queried.

It's also healthy that an official version of history (of course everyone is entitled to maintain their own personal version) be managed by accepted academia (i.e. peer reviewed, by publishing in established independent media; journals, conferences, etc), who are constrained for the sake of their reputation to backing up statements they make with academically verifiable evidence.

The way to change history in this case is to invest the time required to do it through academic channels. That would usually involve getting a Ph.D and because of the rigor necessitated by this approach, is usual only feasible to do a bit at a time.

The other way to change history is by war - revolutionary change to an official version of history can be achieved this way. A version of history implemented by war works for the winner; for the group of people that they manage to win rule over and for as long as they choose to operate a dictatorship.

Perhaps all official histories started out by being imposed by war. As peace ensues though and as academia becomes free to explore, official history becomes decreasingly biased.