Thursday, September 8, 2011

"History is written by the victors"

The tenth anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks has been causing many to look back over the last decade and in particular how the world has changed, how the world reacted to this great rupturing event - an event so dramatic it seemed to be placed in history as a fault line between millenia.

One article that I have read, and was particularly unimpressed with was from the Guardian:

While I actually agree with the main thrust of the article - that the future will more likely be influenced by the economic rise of China and India than the violent struggles between American Imperialism and Islamo-fascism, the headline strikes me as particularly inept. The Guardian sub-editor (for it is not the author who chooses the title) claims:

"The years since 9/11 already look like a detour, not the main road of history

What could this possibly mean? There is some main road of history which humankind walks down? Has the paper reverted back to a naive 19th century understanding of progress? One in which we march in a set direction? What other momentous events does the editor/author believe were mere "detours"? The rise of Nazism? The Holocaust? The second world war? What was the road and what was the detour?

History does not travel on roads - it always beats its own way through an unplotted course.

And most importantly - each of us holds a compass and has the right to choose our way. In the next decade, may we all know to follow paths of peace.

וכל נתיבותיה שלום

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