Is there a "Right side" or "Wrong side" of history?

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Mr. ShadowCreek

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Over the past few years I've seen a lot of people agreeing over things and saying they are on the "right side of history while their opponent is on the "wrong side". This goes from gay rights, to the taking down of statues, to guns, to pro life and pro choice, to movies ,etc. Someone thinks they are fighting on the right side and history will always see it that way. This got me thinking though. Beliefs are always changing. The world is always charging and is doing so very fast now; possibly too fast. Change takes time and shoving down your views down someone's throat will only make someone oppose it. Because things are always changing how can their be a right or wrong answer? History is written by the winners. We don't know what would happen if the other side won. Who knows, maybe the world would be better if the Axles won WWII. Because it didn't haven we'll never know so looking into it seems worthless. How people look at us in 50 years might be different to how people look at us in 100 years. In 20 years we might be seen as bigots for making fun of fat people or trans kids, 60 years later we might be seen as in the right and the whole fat and trans acceptance thing was only a fad. Because it's always switching around how can anyone be on the right or wrong side? Are we all wrong? are we all right? Is there just no answer so debating about it is just a waste of time?


I wrote this to a person who was all for taking down statues. This was on a statue of Thomas Jefferson.

You really want 1984 to become real do you? You're really want that? Jefferson's beliefs were normal for his time. He was actually really liberal for time he lived in. He educated his slaves, gave them houses, good, etc. Of course that doesn't change the fact he owned slaves, but that doesn't mean he was an all bad person. Why should people in the past be condemned and forgotten for what was normal because beliefs are different today? If in 200 years child pornography was the norm and a 40 year old man wanted to marry an 8 year old girl should anyone against that today be condemned? If in a 100 years owning a pet is seen as slavery should the people of today be forgotten and erased? You might say that will never happen, but ask someone from a century ago if gay people will ever marry and you would get a big no. If you asked someone just 20 years ago if letting their child change genders would happen and become accepted you would once again get a no. The world is always changing and much faster then it used too. What is right today is wrong tomorrow. What is wrong today is right tomorrow. How could there be a right side or wrong side of history when everything is always changing and there's no end or definite yes or no? First it's the Confederate statues. Then the Founding Fathers. Then the great thinkers and philosopher of the world. Then it's the Bibical figures. One day the Statue of David will be destroyed by people like you. Oneday statues of Obama, his life, and anyone else today will be destroyed because they don't match up to what the people in the future think. If you one day become famous except to be written out of history in 200 years. One by one they will all go. They will be taken off maps, museums, history books, etc. They will be taken off maps, museums, history books, etc. This is what 1984 and various dystopia novels warned us about. Funny considering Orwell was a socialist and it's the socialist who are doing all of this.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” George Orwell, 1984
 

JambledUpWords

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There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” side to history. When people talk about the “right side of history”, they usually mean the victor (of whatever conflict). By using right and wrong, it takes away from the bad the supposed “right” side has. For instance, when discussing the Civil War, most will talk about the slavery of the South, but they won’t know (or bring up) the indentured servitude, harsh factory conditions, and intense anti Irish and German feelings of the Northerners (because the Germans and Irish worked for cheaper than the Northerners already there). Once you learn more about both (or multiple sides) to the story, you’ll realize that everyone has issues and that using “right side of history” is a very over simplified, and often inaccurate way of looking at history in general.
 

Dutch Courage

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There is a such thing as a right side and wrong side of history, but by the very nature of history, it can only become apparent after an extended period of time (from years to centuries). It cannot be judged right or wrong until it plays out and its ramifications and consequences fully absorbed.

By "right" and "wrong" side of history, I am not insinuating or implying any moral stance. I'm more referring to things the most people are generally glad happened, versus the things other people regret happening. How moral these outcomes are depend on the beholder. If this sounds like a victor/vanquished view of history, that's what "sides" are all about. But there is more nuance to it than that.

For anyone to claim to be on the "right" side of history or to accuse his opponents of being on the wrong side of it is presumptuous and stupid because it denies the very nature of history. At best, such claims are a coin flip; if you guess right, you can feel righteous even though it was only a coin flip. At worst, it is a ham-handed fallacious rhetorical tactic employed by the ignorant in order to spuriously claim a moral high ground.

It does raise the question of how malleable history is, and also how fragile. The historical canon is pretty easy to damage, and the burning of the Library of Alexandria is a pretty good thing to remember these days. Beware of people claiming to know the right side of history before it happens, and watch out if they conflate the incipient "right side of history" with "moral victory"; that's how wars start.
 

Foxxo

He needs a rest.
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There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” side to history. When people talk about the “right side of history”, they usually mean the victor (of whatever conflict). By using right and wrong, it takes away from the bad the supposed “right” side has. For instance, when discussing the Civil War, most will talk about the slavery of the South, but they won’t know (or bring up) the indentured servitude, harsh factory conditions, and intense anti Irish and German feelings of the Northerners (because the Germans and Irish worked for cheaper than the Northerners already there). Once you learn more about both (or multiple sides) to the story, you’ll realize that everyone has issues and that using “right side of history” is a very over simplified, and often inaccurate way of looking at history in general.
The indentured servitude & Irish slavery were more of a Southerner thing though.
 

HumanHive

Human Behavior is Exceptional Behavior
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History is an artificial narrative that articulates events to create a sense of causation in its later readers where otherwise there would be little to no understanding of how wars started or how they were resolved. This is not to cynically say "lol history is written by the winners", but rather that has been history's principle objective since its inception. The 'Father of History', Herodotus, wrote down his 'History' because he was an autist regarding the Greco-Persian Wars, perhaps for good reason because he was a greek living in Persian controlled Anatolia. At the time, there seemed to be much pride over the fact that Greece defeated the Persians, but the layman was utterly ignorant about almost all facts of the war; chiefly why such a dominant empire was defeated by a bunch of ragtag city states. Explanations like 'lol phalanx beats light cavalry backed up by light infantry' and 'lol use the terrain' were pretty much unknown, and even more unknown was why the Greeks and Persians were fighting in the first place. So Herodotus dedicated his entire life to one autistic purpose: find everything there was to know about the conflict and present his findings. Later Greek and Roman readers of this work found the autism within to be not just a good read, but actually a practical way to record events for later study and political use. Thus the Romans developed a proud tradition of writing histories, and this was carried over to everyone influenced by the Romans as well.

I say all this because it's become completely perverted - much like science, a discipline that should be concerned only with proving theories wrong, not funding studies to prove pre-existing beliefs right and burying any studies that disagree - by the modern university system. It is considered to dry and boring, too modernist if you will, to simply think of history as cause and effect; and instead it has become a battle of consensuses. Who were the bad guys in WW1 and WW2? Who was the bad guy in the Vietnam War? Who was the bad guy in the Civil War? And on and on and on. Herodotus didn't portray Persia as the mustache twirling bad guy. In fact he found evidence that Persia was only responding to Greek rebellions in Anatolia, which were supported by the Greek homeland. What was Persia supposed to do other than invade? Sit back and take it? While yeah there was some nationalistic pride on Herodotus's part and you are supposed to root for the noble Greeks at Marathon and Thermopylae; Persia had every reason to invade. And Greece had every reason to fight back. Wow, what a concept. Two sides that both think they're right, and maybe both sides kinda are. Can't have that today, though. Can't talk about the communist rebellions that paved the way for the Nazis. Can't talk about how the USSR came to be by brutally murdering not just the Czar, but the democratically elected government that was supposed to rule Russia afterwards. No, no, no. There's a wrong side of history (your side) and a right side of history (my side). Anyone who disagrees is a nazi or something; i.e. the wrong side of the consensus.
 
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Gravityqueen4life

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who cares what people will think of you a 100 years from now? they lived in the moment and did what they thought was right/had to do. let the next generation point fingers all they want just, "be yourself bro".
 

Smug Chuckler

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The only one in the right side of history is DSP, when this all ends he will be smugly laughing with a crown on his head while sitting on a pile of skulls.
 

Queen Elizabeth II

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I think if anything the recent events, from ISIL destroying monuments to the BLM crowd today prove there isn't.

The past can be erased at a handwave if it doesn't suit the current narrative. We've always known that it's the victors who write most of history, but it's not them who decide on what history is either.

We now know that there is only the present, and that's controlled by whoever has the most power at that given time.
 

AnimeGirlConnoisseur

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The entire concept of right and wrong sides of history is a grift. It's based on the idea that history is like a story and the good guys win in the long run. Take the OG Star Wars trilogy as an example. Alderaan is destroyed, Obi-wan dies, many rebels die on Hoth and Endor, but by the end of the trilogy the Second Death Star is destroyed, Vader is redeemed, and the Emperor is killed. This all happens (and has to happen), because the Rebels are good and the Empire is bad. Real life doesn't work this way. The Axis didn't lose WW2, because they were evil, they lost due to a shortage of food, oil, manpower, and industry as well as strategic and logistical failures on the Eastern Front. If they had more men and more oil then we would be having this conversation in German. Furthermore, the evils of the holocaust doesn't negate all of the bad things the allies did during the war (British engineered famine in Bangladesh, Japanese internment in the US, British colonialism, French colonialism, the allied occupation of Iceland, segregation and Jim Crow in America, French mistreatment of African soldiers, the Biscari Massacre, Soviet mistreatment of German PoWs, Red Army sexual assaults in Berlin, The British blaming the failures of Operation Market Garden on the Polish, Operation Catapult, The Anglo-Soviet occupation of Iran, American mistreatment towards Native Americans, and probably some other stuff) or vice versa. I believe that when we frame WW2 as a struggle against good and evil we are applying our own morality, ideological beliefs, and identities/national allegiances to the event and there isn't anything inherently wrong with that. People who push the right side of history grift say that the Nazis are bad, because the author of history (God, essentially) said so and they lost because the bad guys lose and the good guys win, when in actuality they're bad because we say so and they lost because of the reasons I talked about earlier.

The losers of history didn't lose, because God said they were bad. They lost, because of realities of the times they lived. There are many groups of people that ended up as losers of history without committing some sort of massive sin like slavery or the holocaust (Aztecs, Incas, Carthaginians, Icini, Gauls, Ainu, Native Americans, Irish, Polish, Aboriginals, and many others).

Conclusion: The right side of history is a grift pushed by rich white American libtards who have never felt the weight of a boot on their neck.
 

Unassuming Local Guy

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who cares what people will think of you a 100 years from now?
That's the issue: a lot of people. I don't know how bad it is outside the west, but western society has a major fetish for lionizing people. Our history is mostly taught in the context of specific people, dumbing it down to celebrity worship or pinata bashing. As a result, everyone's primary concern is being heralded as a hero by the media for as long as possible.

Look at the BLM "movement". It's concerned almost entirely with names. Anyone they can turn into a saint or a demon, they do. You think any of those morons know the actual statistics? No. They know the names George Floyd and Ahmaud Whatever The Fuck are the Good Guys and Derek (Erik?) Chauvin is the Bad Guy, and anyone who looks or acts like them is on their side.

You think anyone knows any relevant laws or societal attitudes during the civil rights movement? No, they know MLK and Malcolm X. World War 2? FDR, Hitler, and Stalin. Maybe Churchill if they're European.

To the people, whoever the current president is embodies the entirety of the government; congress and the supreme court might as well not exist unless they adopt a professional wrestling persona and act like assholes in front of the camera.

Their entire world is celebrities and influencers, and their only goal is to become one of them.

This whole idea of constructing a society based entirely on individual fame is toxic as all hell and was in some way responsible for the fall of many, if not most, great civilizations. It's not new by any means, but until recently 99% of people accepted that it would never happen to them because having your name in The Books was rare. Now that number is maybe 25% at most. Everyone's the leader of their own cult.