The Right Side of History - Who is on it?

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who is on the right side of history

  • Merkel, Macron, Obama, Zuckerberg, et al

    Votes: 10 10.8%
  • Drumpf, Putin, Orban, et al

    Votes: 19 20.4%
  • the Chinese will pick up the pieces after the West self-immolates

    Votes: 64 68.8%

  • Total voters
    93

DumbDosh

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Maybe one day people will look back at the way we teach the American Civil Rights Movement and World War 2 and say "oh maybe it's not the best thing to cast these large percentages of people as irredeemably evil."

The people who say right side of history grew up looking at pictures of racists in their history books and thinking "wow, what idiots, and now they're immortalized as hateful and wrong forever."

So then their politics doesn't solely become "this is what I think is right and should happen" it's partially "I really don't want to end up as an idiot in a history book".

Honestly the third wave lesson that california teacher gave should be a nationwide curriculum, maybe then when people start yelling about the right side of history they can then think back to that and how easy it is to slip into a line of thinking, and how easily the mind can get stuck in one political mindset.

Really though the people who shout good and evil when it comes to politics are thinking like children. There is no evil because our enemies are human beings likes us, they're just misguided, or insane, MLK knew that, and that is why he was so effective at making history.
 

Replicant Sasquatch

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Really though the people who shout good and evil when it comes to politics are thinking like children. There is no evil because our enemies are human beings likes us, they're just misguided, or insane, MLK knew that, and that is why he was so effective at making history.

I don't like this line of thinking. Yes, human morality is complex. But Nazi Germany or Mao's China were gravely immoral regimes with disastrous consequences for humanity. And they should be remembered that way. These weren't instances of people being "misguided" or acting "insane". Suggesting that was the case is factually wrong and is ultimately a disservice to history. And its borderline apologism. Sometimes you get instances where a lot of people do bad things when they should know better. Regardless if they're "the enemy".
 

Gym Leader Elesa

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Yes, actually.
 

DumbDosh

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I don't like this line of thinking. Yes, human morality is complex. But Nazi Germany or Mao's China were gravely immoral regimes with disastrous consequences for humanity. And they should be remembered that way. These weren't instances of people being "misguided" or acting "insane". Suggesting that was the case is factually wrong and is ultimately a disservice to history. And its borderline apologism. Sometimes you get instances where a lot of people do bad things when they should know better. Regardless if they're "the enemy".

I'm not saying they shouldn't be remembered as immoral regimes and that the horror and cruelty of them should be forgotten. I'm saying when you just go "all of Nazi Germany is evil" or "this is evil" and leave it at that, you're misrepresenting the reality of the situation and simplifying it to a dumb level, leading to people going "well I don't wanna be on the bad side" and not actually thinking fully through political issues for themselves.

One of my favorite historical books is Man's Search for Meaning where the author talks about his experiences in the holocaust and how even in the most horrifying times of his life he took notice of how there were guards that he saw as decent people and prisoners that he saw as indecent people. That's not to say that those prison guards weren't aware of the situation they were in, but I think there's more to that situation then "they were evil".
 

Replicant Sasquatch

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I'm not saying they shouldn't be remembered as immoral regimes and that the horror and cruelty of them should be forgotten. I'm saying when you just go "all of Nazi Germany is evil" or "this is evil" and leave it at that, you're misrepresenting the reality of the situation and simplifying it to a dumb level, leading to people going "well I don't wanna be on the bad side" and not actually thinking fully through political issues for themselves.

One of my favorite historical books is Man's Search for Meaning where the author talks about his experiences in the holocaust and how even in the most horrifying times of his life he took notice of how there were guards that he saw as decent people and prisoners that he saw as indecent people. That's not to say that those prison guards weren't aware of the situation they were in, but I think there's more to that situation then "they were evil".

You can wax on about the thoughts and feelings of individual Nazis and even non-Party Germans all you like but it doesn't change the fact they were overwhelmingly complacent with what was going on. Any German who claims they didn't know about the Holocaust was either living in the middle of nowhere or was a liar. You don't have to condemn them all as evil but there was a level of apathy overtaking most of that nation which from my perspective is rather inexcusable. I'm not gonna fault Hans the pig farmer for not leading the revolution against Hitler but many of the groups on the "wrong" side of history were there because they chose to be immoral. No amount of humanizing individual Nazis will change the fact Hitler came to power with applause and no one had any real interest in changing that until the war was over. You can say this about any number of awful regimes, but considering how dramatic the displays of nationalism were and how prevalent the actual white supremacy was in day-to-day life it's particularly the case for Nazi Germany.

Obviously not all conquerors are evil and not all victims are heroes. But there are many instances--such as the Third Reich--where a people have failed at keeping their nation moral. As patriotic as I am, America isn't excuse from this either. The simple fact is we had institutionalized systems throughout the country denying people their Constitutional rights because of their skin color. That's unacceptable, and anyone who was actually defending that should've known better.
 

DumbDosh

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You can wax on about the thoughts and feelings of individual Nazis and even non-Party Germans all you like but it doesn't change the fact they were overwhelmingly complacent with what was going on. Any German who claims they didn't know about the Holocaust was either living in the middle of nowhere or was a liar. You don't have to condemn them all as evil but there was a level of apathy overtaking most of that nation which from my perspective is rather inexcusable. I'm not gonna fault Hans the pig farmer for not leading the revolution against Hitler but many of the groups on the "wrong" side of history were there because they chose to be immoral. No amount of humanizing individual Nazis will change the fact Hitler came to power with applause and no one had any real interest in changing that until the war was over. You can say this about any number of awful regimes, but considering how dramatic the displays of nationalism were and how prevalent the actual white supremacy was in day-to-day life it's particularly the case for Nazi Germany.

Obviously not all conquerors are evil and not all victims are heroes. But there are many instances--such as the Third Reich--where a people have failed at keeping their nation moral. As patriotic as I am, America isn't excuse from this either. The simple fact is we had institutionalized systems throughout the country denying people their Constitutional rights because of their skin color. That's unacceptable, and anyone who was actually defending that should've known better.

I wouldn't say germany as a nation allowing Hitler to come to power was inexcusable, especially with the state Germany was in post World War 1, and I wouldn't say no one had any interest changing it, I would say at a certain point in a regime, a majority of people can know what is happening is wrong and is messed up, but simply think they do not have the power to resist or stop or change it. It's not apathy that's keeping dictatorships like North Korea in power still, it's fear, no one's going "well I would oppose this, but I just don't care", they're going "I'm just gonna keep my head down so they won't kill my family". I wouldn't say The Bystander Effect is apathy either, it's rationalization of "someone else will do this, so I don't have to stick my neck out" and fear of getting involved.

It isn't like Nazi Germany is an anomaly and the only dictatorship or genocide that ever happened. In a situation like post World War 1 Germany, people listened to Hitler as an authority figure who lifted people's feelings of nationalism. It's not like every German had a flashforward of what was going to happen.

I don't see Nazi Germany as inexcusably and irredeemably evil the same way I don't see the high schoolers who completely bought into The Third Wave experiment or the people who went all the way with The Milgram Experiment as evil.
 

Dr. Boe Jangles Esq.

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There isn't a right side of history.
Literally all history is framed by the culture teaching it. To Americans, we came to this nation and built an empire. To the native populations that were here at that time, we came to this nation and promptly committed genocide.
Right or wrong side of history isn't a thing, it's subjective and prone to change. Some historical ideas or decisions are held as correct by some cultures at certain times, others at other times.
Whether or not you end up on the "right side of history" essentially boils down to a simple question:
In 200 years, what will the guy holding the biggest stick think of you?

That's really all there is to it.
What's more important than worrying about how hypothetical future people will remember you is trying your very best to not be a fucking asshole whIle you're still here.
Truth be told, that's something both sides of the aisle could stand to work on.
 

ZeroStar

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These people are no different then religious fundamentalists, they've just replaced God with history.

I know I am right because I am on the right side of history and if you think otherwise then you are Hitler/a Nazi/racist/bigot.

I know I am right because I have God/Allah on my side and if you think otherwise then you are a heathen/infidel.

Good luck getting through to a zealot. Once people have it in their heads that their actions are just there is very little that can bring them to a state of reason.
 

Un Platano

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There's no right side of history when a war or disaster isn't involved. Consider any election where you can't name both candidates- probably most of them. In 1844, the election was close between James K Polk and Henry Clay. Polk won that one because history itself hates Henry Clay, but do we consider him any better for it? And you can't simply argue that it was an insignificant year. The most contentious campaign issue then was the annexation of Texas, a hugely important event in 19th century history. But politics aren't static, and just because there's something no one can agree on today doesn't guarantee that people will know about the issue or care about it when it's history long since passed.
For that reason I doubt Trump and Obama will go down in history as being "wrong" or "right". The world will not become a neoliberal tumblrtopia in the future, nor will it become a hypernationalistic reactionary paradise. Those are both unrealistic predictions, and the most likely result is that people will care as much about Obama and Trump as they do Polk and Clay. Even if future people do agree with one more, they wouldn't have enough of a personal investment in today's politics to label the other side wrong.
 

Mysterious Capitalist

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At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter if you or your ideology were right or wrong. We remember people names or political ideologies throughout history for the worth of their actions. We remember Julius Caesar for his military brilliance and academic mind in an age of general savagery, but I bet that he would be equally remembered as a genocidal tyrant if, say, the Gauls somehow managed to defeat him and preserve their culture over Rome's.

There's no "right side of history", only remembered people and forgotten people.
 

Lipitor

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You know whose probably on the right side of history... all you loser trump supporters losing at life on its easiest difficulty setting, who need to blame everyone else for your failures.
 

CatParty

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What then of my knowledge of the minds of others? On Locke's view there can be only one answer: since what I know directly is the existence and contents of my own mind, it follows that my knowledge of the minds of others, if I am to be said to possess such knowledge at all, has to be indirect and analogical, an inference from my own case. This is the so-called "argument from analogy" for other minds, which empiricist philosophers in particular who accept the Cartesian account of consciousness generally assume as a mechanism for avoiding solipsism.

Observing that the bodies of other human beings behave as my body does in similar circumstances, I can infer that the mental life and series of mental events that accompany my bodily behavior are also present in the case of others. Thus, for example, when I see a problem that I am trying unsuccessfully to solve, I feel myself becoming frustrated and observe myself acting in a particular way. In the case of another, I observe only the first and last terms of this three-term sequence and, on this basis, I infer that the "hidden" middle term, the feeling of frustration, has also occurred.

There are, however, fundamental difficulties with the argument from analogy. First, if one accepts the Cartesian account of consciousness, one must, in all consistency, accept its implications. One of these implications, as we have seen above, is that there is no logically necessary connection between the concepts of "mind" and "body;" my mind may be lodged in my body now, but this is a matter of sheer contingency. Mind need not become located in body. Its nature will not be affected in any way by the death of this body and there is no reason in principle why it should not have been located in a body radically different from a human one. By exactly the same token, any correlation that exists between bodily behavior and mental states must also be entirely contingent; there can be no conceptual connections between the contents of a mind at a given time and the nature and/or behavior of the body in which it is located at that time.

This raises the question as to how my supposed analogical inferences to other minds are to take place at all. How can I apply psychological concepts to others, if I know only that they apply to me? To take a concrete example again, if I learn what "pain" means by reference to my own case, then I will understand "pain" to mean "my pain" and the supposition that pain can be ascribed to anything other than myself will be unintelligible to me.

If the relationship between having a human body and a certain kind of mental life is as contingent as the Cartesian account of mind implies, it should be equally easy - or equally difficult - for me to conceive of a table as being in pain as it is for me to conceive of another person as being in pain. The point, of course, is that this is not so. The supposition that a table might experience pain is a totally meaningless one, whereas the ascription of pain to other human beings and animals that, in their physical characteristics and/or behavioral capabilities, resemble human beings is something which even very young children find unproblematic.

How is this to be accounted for? It will not do, in this context, to simply respond that a table does not have the same complex set of physical characteristics as a human body or that it is not capable of the same patterns of behavior as a human body. Because the Cartesian position implies that there is no logical connection between the mental and the physical, between the possession of a body of a particular kind and the capability for consciousness. Physical differentiation can and must be acknowledged, but it can play no role in any explanation of what it is to have a mental life.

I am surrounded by other bodies, some of which are similar to mine, and some of which are different. On Cartesian principles such similarities and such differences are irrelevant. The question as to whether it is legitimate for me to ascribe psychological predicates to entities other than myself, which the argument from analogy is designed to address, cannot hinge on the kind of body that I am confronted at a given time.

Assuming the validity of the Cartesian position, we have to infer that it makes as much or a little sense, on these premises, to attribute any psychological predicate to another human being as it does to attribute it to a table or a rock.

On these premises, it makes no sense to attribute consciousness to another human being at all. Thus on strict Cartesian principles, the argument from analogy will not do the work that is required of it to bridge the gulf between my conscious states and putative conscious states that are not mine. Ultimately, it must be confessed that on these principles I know only my own mental states and the supposition that there are mental states other than my own ceases to be intelligible to me. It is thus that solipsism comes to seem inescapable.

If the above argument is valid, it demonstrates that the acceptance of the Cartesian account of consciousness and the view that my understanding of psychological concepts derives, as do the concepts themselves, from my own case leads inexorably to solipsism. However, it may fairly be said that the argument accomplishes more than just this. It can, and should, be understood as areductio ad absurdum refutation of these Cartesian principles. Viewed from this perspective, the argument may be paraphrased as follows:

If there is no logical connection between the physical and the mental, if the physical forms no part of the criteria that govern my ascription of psychological predicates, then I would be able to conceive of an inanimate object such as a table as having a soul and being conscious. But I cannot attach any intelligibility to the notion of an inanimate object being conscious. It follows therefore that there is a logical connection between the physical and the mental: the physical does form part of the criteria that govern my ascription of psychological words.