The Past Controls The Future Analysis

1352 Words 6 Pages
History is the study of the human past. It is defined as a series of discourses about the world. Based on careful analysis of surviving primary or secondary texts and artifacts (objects made by humans), the historian attempts to reconstruct the past events and processes which have created the current world. Voltaire, a formidable satirist and polemicist, rejected the proposition of a divine providence in history. His quote “history is the common lie agreed upon” is a product of the times in which he lived and the views he held. Voltaire lived in the time of absolute French monarchy where he witnessed and also personally experienced arbitrary controls by the state authorities. His exile (imprisoned for insulting a French nobleman) influenced …show more content…
That is that people only rely on the powerful and influential individuals/groups when it comes to the notion of truth. This is because the powerful have the ability to manipulate the information or historical facts themselves which can be transmitted more effectively as compared to the commoners. George Orwell beautifully illustrates his quote “Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past” in his book ‘Nineteen Eighty-four’ by showing how Winston Smith, a low-ranked member of the ruling party, works to distort and remold the history for the communist party. The book also shows how the ruling party oppresses its people by controlling them and their thoughts. A real life example of this can be the Nazi Propaganda, also known as The Biggest Lie. This theory states that no matter how big the lie is (or more precisely, since it's so big), people will believe it if you repeat it enough. Hitler reasoned, everyone tells small lies but only a few have the guts to tell colossal lies. Because a big lie is so unlikely, people will come to accept it. By the time Nazism arose in Germany in the 1930s, anti-Semitism had become common. The J¬ewish people had suffered a long history of prejudice and persecution. And although Nazis perpetuated centuries-old lies, this time those lies would have their most devastating effects. Like never before, anti-Semitism was manifested in a sweeping national policy known as "the Final Solution," which sought to eliminate Jews from the face of the Earth. Adolf Hitler and his minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels accomplished this by launching a massive campaign to convince the German people that the Jews were their enemies. Having taken over the press, they spread lies blaming Jews for all of Germany's problems, including the loss of World War I. One outrageous lie dating back to the Middle Ages

Related Documents