La historia contra Europa

PRINCETON – La Historia tiene importancia, pero de diversas formas. En algunos lugares y para algunas personas, la Historia significa conflictos eternos modelados por fuerzas geopolíticas profundas: hace cuatro siglos lo mismo que ayer. En otros lugares y para otras personas, la Historia indica la necesidad de encontrar formas de escapar de antiguos conflictos y prejuicios trasnochados. Esa división es la que caracteriza la batalla intelectual que se está riñendo ahora en Europa y cerca de ella.

Con el centenario en este año del estallido de la primera guerra mundial, docenas de nuevos análisis de “la guerra para acabar con todas las guerras” han salido de las imprentas y resulta tentador ver paralelismos contemporáneos en la autocomplacencia de la Europa imperial, en particular su firme convencimiento de que el mundo estaba tan interconectado y próspero, que ningún retroceso era concebible. Actualmente, pese a los supuestos efectos civilizadores de las cadenas mundiales de suministro, lugares convertidos en polvorines como Siria o el mar de la China Meridional podrían hacer estallar el mundo... exactamente como lo hizo el conflicto de Bosnia en 1914.

La de reflexionar sobre la herencia de la Gran Guerra ha sido también una ocasión para resucitar las mentalidades de aquella época. En el Reino Unido, el Secretario de Educación, Michael Gove, inició recientemente una polémica contra los historiadores que subrayaron la futilidad de la guerra, al calificarla de “guerra justa” dirigida contra el “despiadado darwinismo de las minorías selectas alemanas”. Parece una alusión levemente velada a las luchas de poder de la Europa contemporánea.

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