Friday, May 6, 2011

Truth Claims

Two things I read and heard, respectively:

-"This is fact."
Singular, no article. Some of us are so bold as to talk about "a fact" or "facts." Some even claim to have "the facts." The great ones declare what is and what most certainly is not... fact.

-"You're gonna be on The Wrong Side Of History!"
The gentleman who shouted this was protesting the powers that be. He didn't, you know, shout the capital letters out, but he did repeat those five words, as though reciting a liturgy or mantra.

He's probably implying a progressive view of history, whereby the superior moral standing of later generations exposes the errors of the past. Unfortunately for him History went ahead and Progressed his particular group into the current exploited/oppressed state he's decrying. One would think (I think) he'd have to doubt either one thing (his faction's rightness or favored status in History) or the other (History as Progress).

It's possible, though, that he's no idealist at all. Perhaps he fancies himself a hardened realist. He's merely stating that victors get first dibs at writing history textbooks, and he intends to win. He intends, in other words, to sit in the chair, become the power that be is? and say what's what.