History as propaganda: Is history always written by the victors?
See also: Truth by consensus
In his "Society must be Defended", Michel Foucault posited that the victors of a social struggle use their political dominance to suppress a defeated adversary's version of historical events in favor of their own propaganda, which may go so far as historical revisionism (see Michel Foucault's analysis of historical and political discourse above). Nations adopting such an approach would likely fashion a "universal" theory of history to support their aims, with a teleological and deterministic philosophy of history used to justify the inevitableness and rightness of their victories (see The Enlightenment's ideal of progress above). Philosopher Paul Ricoeur has written of the use of this approach by totalitarian and Nazi regimes, with such regimes "exercis[ing] a virtual violence upon the diverging tendencies of history" (History and Truth 183), and with fanaticism the result. For Ricoeur, rather than a unified, teleological philosophy of history, "We carry on several histories simultaneously, in times whose periods, crises, and pauses do not coincide. We enchain, abandon, and resume several histories, much as a chess player who plays several games at once, renewing now this one, now the another" (History and Truth 186). For Ricoeur, Marx's unified view of history may be suspect, but is nevertheless seen as:
the philosophy of history par excellence: not only does it provide a formula for the dialectics of social forces—under the name of historical materialism—but it also sees in the proletarian class the reality, which is at once universal and concrete and which, although it be oppressed today, will constitute the unity of history in the future. From this standpoint, the proletarian perspective furnishes both a theoretical meaning of history and a practical goal for history, a principle of explication and a line of action. (History and Truth 183)
Walter Benjamin believed that Marxist historians must take a radically different view point from the bourgeois and idealist points of view, in an attempt to create a sort of history from below, which would be able to conceive an alternative conception of history, not based, as in classical historical studies, on the philosophical and juridical discourse of sovereignty--an approach that would invariably adhere to major states (the victors') points of view.
George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is a fictional account of the manipulation of the historical record for nationalist aims and manipulation of power. In the book, he wrote, "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future." The creation of a "national story" by way of management of the historical record is at the heart of the debate about history as propaganda. To some degree, all nations are active in the promotion of such "national stories," with ethnicity, nationalism, gender, power, heroic figures, class considerations and important national events and trends all clashing and competing within the narrative.
The same sort of rubbish is spouted in threads about WWII.... and many other topics. America are the saviours of the world and invented everything. And someone just pointed out to the American who claimed that America invented Cars and everything else. Always cracks me up how America is the centre of the universe for Americans. Do they teach that America invented everything? The TV & Car and Internet, Moving Pictures and whatever else? Because you really didn't. Is it kind of like North Korea??
This is how history is rewritten to the masses or don't you get that?
Might I add that this movie was apparently lapped up by Joe Public with its win at the Oscars.
Goebbels, who appointed himself "Patron of the German film", assumed, accurately, that a national cinema which was entertaining and put glamour on the government would be a more effective propaganda instrument than a national cinema in which the NSDAP and their policy would have been ubiquitous. The main goal of the Nazi film policy was to promote escapism, which was designed to distract the population and to keep everybody in good spirits;
I enjoy the entertainment and escapism that a good film provides, and that includes Hollywood blockbusters, but I don't like to see blatant fabrications being passed off as factual with the sole purpose of making Americans feel good about something
Originally posted by krazykanuk
How is it that someone can spend years chasing rainbows and unicorns whilst there are "real-time, real-life" conspiracies staring them right in the face?
You claim to be "aware" yet actually believe in fairy-tales! This is laughable....
Originally posted by NetStorm
"Danny Casolaro called it "the Octopus". A vast, interlocking network of criminal conspiracy that reaches into every branch and agency of the U.S. government, many other national governments, and every sector of our societies."
The Secret Team is the name of “a powerful, brutally violent and treacherous international team”, says Prouty, 'with operatives in the academic world (scholars), in intelligence agencies (spies), in the military (both officers and enlisted personnel), in private industry (businessmen & women), in the world of corporate and public sector high finance (bankers, financiers and stock brokers), in the news media (electronic & print journalists), in the publishing industry in the United States and abroad (book publishers).''
It has powerful connections in dozens of countries all over the world. According to Prouty, the Secret Team overthrows and influences governments almost at will, all over the globe. At the core of the Secret Team are members of the CIA, the National Security Council, and various and sundry other military and civilian officials, intelligence operatives, business people and academics.
The Secret Team is "the real power structure" which Prouty compares to “a sprawling octopus”. It has the world and the United States in its deadly grasp. The Secret Team
I'd suggest that such is the power of Hollywood, especially the major blockbusters etc, that they have a moral responsibility when relaying factual based events to be as honest and truthful as possible - regardless of how discomforting this may be at times to the domestic audience.
but I don't like to see blatant fabrications being passed off as factual with the sole purpose of making Americans feel good about something - and I'm absolutely certain that Americans would feel exactly the same if it was the other way around.
I politely ask you to re-read these posts and see just why many non-Americans find the literary licence taken with facts in this film and it's marketing as going a step too far. www.abovetopsecret.com...&mem=Freeborn
To be honest I fail to see the relevance in the Star Trek / Galaxy Quest - neither has ever been passed off as factual or 'based on a true story'. (And yes I have watched all the Star Trek films and Galaxy Quest, and enjoyed most of them).
Honestly, especially considering you are painting ALL Americans with the same brush here which is equally unfair....wouldn't you agree?
This reference is relevant since the Thermians took the TV show as fact...which you are coming across expecting Hollywood to do with entertainment based movies.
Originally posted by Krakatoa
Oh, and while I'm thinking of it, perhaps you should change your thread title to accurately reflect the content of this discussion to:
"Hollywood Rewrites History….Again!
edit on 25-2-2013 by Krakatoa because: (no reason given)
You wouldn;t want everyone to mistakenly think that ALL Americans rewrite history in this film.....rightedit on 25-2-2013 by Krakatoa because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by redoubt
It's not just Hollywood. We all do this... stereotype millions of complete strangers under a preferred header earned by one or a few.
I see both points here. I am an American and was very much alive and active in the world during the hostage crisis. I remember singing a rework of the old 'Barbara-Ann' song with 'Bomb, bomb, bomb... bomb-bomb Iran!' I also recall the subject of those Americans being saved by the Canadians. At the time, there was a lot of honest gratitude.
I also know that those in high offices, along with Hollywood, regularly rewrite history to create a designer public opinion for a specific purpose in time. The history of every major event and every single war we've ever been engaged in is always in some degree of rewrite. The US Civil War has been rewritten a million times and they haven't yet offered up the truth of all the whys, hows and wherefores.
So, it's basically up to us to go out and learn this stuff first hand. We have to forget what we read in the media and what PBS, National Geofunky or the Smithsonian cranks out. This means going to a good library and pouring over the records that survive, to this day, from all those many events that did change history.
It's either that... or finding comfort in fairy tales.