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Problém s politiky a historiky

STANFORD – “Historie se neopakuje, ale rýmuje,” jak vtipně poznamenal Mark Twain. Političtí lídři tomuto postřehu po generace propůjčují věrohodnost, protože se snažili utvářet své odkazy, kdy si připisovali úspěch za to, co fungovalo a naopak vinili své předchůdce či politické oponenty z toho co selhalo.

Mnoho politiků si dobarvuje skutečnost dokonce i poté, co opustili úřad. Britský premiér Winston Churchill se jednou chlubil, že “historie ke mně bude vlídná, protože si ji plánuji utvořit.“ A opravdu, jeho několikadílný opus o druhé světové válce obsahuje nejen většinu jeho památných výroků (“their finest hour,“ “tolik dluženo tak mnoha lidmi tak málo jiným lidem“), ale je také napěchován opodstatněními jeho akcí během války.

Churchillovi spisy mohou být možná zaujaté, ale nabízejí pozoruhodnou interní informace a detaily, které nejsou snadno vyvoditelné z poznámek instrukcí, které jsou obvykle nekompletní a střežené ve velkém stylu. Jak je všem historikům známo, existuje velký tlak k pamatování minulosti v podobě, v jaké ji chtějí vítězové. Jak kdysi řekl Napoleon Bonaparte, “Historie je souborem dohodnutých lží.“

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