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Misconceptions of History and how the Elite dictate perception
11-26-2019, 11:05 PM (This post was last modified: 11-27-2019 07:52 PM by Glimmer.)
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Misconceptions of History and how the Elite dictate perception
History does not give a definitive picture of 'what it actually was like'. It is a constant interpretation of facts and sources. Machiavelli already knew that the struggle for interpretation is a political struggle.

The historian and author Jacques Pauwels (Ghent, 1946), who works mainly in Canada, adds in the wake of Marx that it is mainly the powerful who can push through their version of history.

In his book Big Business with Nazi Germany (2009), Pauwels illustrated this aptly with an example of the sixtieth anniversary of the troops' landing in Normandy. On this occasion, General Motors' commercials were constantly shown on American television, in which the car company praised itself as an arms supplier to the Allied troops. The fact that the company had also supplied Nazi Germany with all kinds of war-related goods was of course not mentioned in the spotlights. According to Pauwels, the only purpose of this landing was to prevent the Soviet Union from running off with most of the cake, and not, as the myth of the good war would have it, to restore the ideals of freedom, justice and democracy in Europe.

It is this teaching of history that is so steeped in class interests that Pauwels opposes it in The great myths of modern history.According to Pauwels, the financial and economic elite are always on the lookout for war, for economic reasons.
In his recently published book, Pauwels states that the financial and economic elite, in the course of history, are constantly striving for war for economic motives, but also in order to suppress revolution and hence social change in this way.

Between thirty years of Mauerfall (9 November) and Armistice Day (11 November), Vrij Nederland talked to the Belgian-Canadian historian about some widespread historical misconceptions and the driving forces of history.

You claim in your book that the First World War was a war against democracy, while American President Woodrow Wilson said the stakes were 'to make the world safe for democracy'. Wilson declared war on Germany in April 1917 because Wall Street wanted it. And Wall Street wanted it because it looked like the British and their French and other allies would lose the war without American help and would never be able to pay back the towering sums they had borrowed from the American banks, which would have been a catastrophe for Wall Street. But they couldn't tell the American public, so Wilson came up with the idea that it was a war for democracy. So in reality it was a war for the profits, the profits of Wall Street. Moreover, it was also a war against democracy. In the United States, there was still a lot of extreme poverty - now, by the way - and the people were restless and even rebellious. The state of war provided a perfect excuse for cracking down on such nuisances. Wilson has eagerly used the war to enforce repressive and undemocratic laws, laws that were never completely abolished after the war.

"Power was offered to Hitler by the German elite on a silver platter"

You also put an end to the boutade 'Hitler was also democratically elected', which is invariably used as a warning for the policy participation of all kinds of radical parties. Hitler never received a majority of the votes in the general election. His party, the NSDAP, was the largest party in Germany after the elections of the summer of 1932, but it did not have a parliamentary majority. And during the new elections in November of the same year, the NSDAP lost many votes and thus seats in the Reichstag. The communists did make electoral progress. This gave rise to fears among bankers, industrialists, noble landowners, generals and other members of the elite that a kind of popular front government could come to power. In order to prevent this, rich and powerful people were plotting behind the scenes. Result? President Hindenburg let Hitler - against all parliamentary logic - lead a coalition government with the intention that his conservative partners would keep control. It is in that highly undemocratic way that Hitler became Chancellor.

The Nazis spoke of a Machtergreifiung, as if Hitler had come to power on his own. But in reality, power was offered to him by the German elite on a silver platter, and one can rather speak of a 'power delay'.

Napoleon and Hitler are usually presented as exceptional individuals who have personally changed the course of history. In your reading of history, they are more likely to emerge as pawns.
Conventional historiography is still faithful to the nineteenth-century view that great personalities - malevolent like Hitler and heroes like Churchill - determine the course of history. In reality, economic and social factors are decisive. Take Napoleon. Napoleon Bonaparte represented the French great bourgeoisie that wanted to slow down the radicalisation of the Revolution and democratisation, a development of which Robespierre was the incarnation and the figurehead. The dictator Napoleon could still make the people dance to the tune of the economic elite. In this way the German elite in 1933 let Hitler come to power to defend its interests, which he did diligently to the bitter end. With his armament program, with his war, as I show in my book.

Ask for the blue pill. The rabbit hole isn't that nice
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Misconceptions of History and how the Elite dictate perception - Glimmer - 11-26-2019 11:05 PM

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