The wrong side of history

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Deebank
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Deebank » 15 Aug 2019, 12:30

Jimbo wrote:I must say how modern politically the opening post seemed ... until the drawn and quartered part. But then instead of getting ripped apart they get sent to Australia - and then coming back! Now that seems like modern justice. Jeffery Epstein may be chilling in Byron Bay right now.


I suppose that demonstrated how things were changing - you have the Conservatives calling for a barbaric medieval execution - this was the last time it was ever used as a criminal sentence - and a more progressive PM (the Whig - Liberal - Lord Melbourne appropriately enough) overturning the sentence... but still transporting them for life which was no picnic... And the seditionaries coming home as heroes a few years later.
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Robert » 15 Aug 2019, 12:32

Deebank wrote:
Robert wrote:I don't think being on the wrong side of history even exists if you pursue some grand idea. The means you'd use to achieve your goals is something very different. You can be very wrong in choosing those means that but I'd call that the wrong side of decency.


on the wrong side of history

(idiomatic, usually politics, derogatory) Having policies or practices that are perceived as not progressive or enlightened; behaving in a manner that reflects out-of-date or disapproved opinions. quotations ▼



Yes I understand that's meant by it, but I don't agree. Give it 150 years and the whole concept of enlightenment is viewed as backward.

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Geezee » 15 Aug 2019, 12:33

Of course Tories are almost always on the wrong end of history, in almost every country, because they will always disproportionately represent, reinforce, and uphold the ruling classes at the expense of the majority. Of course, it does not on the flipside mean that the leftists are on the right side of history either.
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Robert » 15 Aug 2019, 12:33

Geezee wrote:
Toby wrote:You are applying modern contexts to 240 years ago. Britain was positively enlightened in comparison to virtually every other country in the world. We had a Parliamentary democracy, a Monarch who could be overruled by the Commons and were in the process of abolishing the Slave Trade. Name me a country in 1790 that could match our achievements.


Well, most of Scandinavia, Iceland and Switzerland certainly have earlier (and stronger) democratic institutions and didn't participate in slave trade (or imperial tyranny) to begin with. But I guess they don't count.



What was it called again the Vikings did?

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Deebank » 15 Aug 2019, 12:37

Robert wrote:
Deebank wrote:
Robert wrote:I don't think being on the wrong side of history even exists if you pursue some grand idea. The means you'd use to achieve your goals is something very different. You can be very wrong in choosing those means that but I'd call that the wrong side of decency.


on the wrong side of history

(idiomatic, usually politics, derogatory) Having policies or practices that are perceived as not progressive or enlightened; behaving in a manner that reflects out-of-date or disapproved opinions. quotations ▼



Yes I understand that's meant by it, but I don't agree. Give it 150 years and the whole concept of enlightenment is viewed as backward.


Well, I suppose the whole idiom demands hindsight but can't we all agree that those attempting to thwart democracy - and it is pretty much unarguable that this is what was happening isn;t it? - are on the wrong side of history?

I'm sure there are plenty of examples that are more nuanced, some perhaps even involving Conservatives.
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Deebank » 15 Aug 2019, 12:43

Geezee wrote:Of course Tories are almost always on the wrong end of history, in almost every country, because they will always disproportionately represent, reinforce, and uphold the ruling classes at the expense of the majority. Of course, it does not on the flipside mean that the leftists are on the right side of history either.


Correct on both points I think.
But I would add that (and this ties in with the whole bogus "The far left and the far right are the same" bullshit that you hear increasingly these days) the left was born out of a philosophy that extols social justice and equality, if it doesn't then it's not really 'The Left'.
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Robert » 15 Aug 2019, 12:59

Deebank wrote:
Robert wrote:
Deebank wrote:



Yes I understand that's meant by it, but I don't agree. Give it 150 years and the whole concept of enlightenment is viewed as backward.


Well, I suppose the whole idiom demands hindsight but can't we all agree that those attempting to thwart democracy - and it is pretty much unarguable that this is what was happening isn;t it? - are on the wrong side of history?

I'm sure there are plenty of examples that are more nuanced, some perhaps even involving Conservatives.



I maintain that's being on the wrong side of decency. Look, it's hard to say what's wrong or right. It reminds me of a story I read about a huge Chinese think-tank where literally hundreds of Chinese scientists in all sort of disciplines were sitting in offices all day, thinking about the past and trying to formulate thoughts about the future. One of the historians in the think tank was asked what he thought of the French revolution and how it had an impact on today. The most reasonable answer the guy could come up with was 'It's too early to tell'

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Toby » 15 Aug 2019, 14:34

Fukuyama's declaration of "the end of history" back in 1993 after the collapse of the Soviet Union is arguably the summit of the "progressive" view of history. That liberal democracy would evolve inevitably.

A view that was proven to be utterly incorrect after just 10 years.

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Fonz » 15 Aug 2019, 14:48

Deebank wrote:
Toby wrote:Of course they have. Pitt stood up to Napoleon. Churchill stood up to Hitler.


Churchill was the head of a government of national unity at the time. You could make the case that a number of socialists were nearly as important (Bevan for one) at the time.

And would the vast majority of Britons have been any worse off under Napoleonic rule I wonder? Just another different form of dictatorship as far as most would be concerned surely?


Would the vast majority of Britons have been worse off under Hitler?
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby The Prof » 15 Aug 2019, 15:02

Fonz wrote:Would the vast majority of Britons have been worse off under Hitler?


No worse than Thatch, eh readers?

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Deebank » 15 Aug 2019, 15:45

Fonz wrote:
Deebank wrote:
Toby wrote:Of course they have. Pitt stood up to Napoleon. Churchill stood up to Hitler.


Churchill was the head of a government of national unity at the time. You could make the case that a number of socialists were nearly as important (Bevan for one) at the time.

And would the vast majority of Britons have been any worse off under Napoleonic rule I wonder? Just another different form of dictatorship as far as most would be concerned surely?


Would the vast majority of Britons have been worse off under Hitler?


Yes.
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Minnie the Minx » 15 Aug 2019, 16:17

Deebank wrote:
Fonz wrote:
Deebank wrote:
Churchill was the head of a government of national unity at the time. You could make the case that a number of socialists were nearly as important (Bevan for one) at the time.

And would the vast majority of Britons have been any worse off under Napoleonic rule I wonder? Just another different form of dictatorship as far as most would be concerned surely?


Would the vast majority of Britons have been worse off under Hitler?


Yes.


I take it that you, Sir, have never waited for a Manchester train at Chorley between the hours of 6 and 9am :x
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Deebank » 15 Aug 2019, 17:16

Minnie the Minx wrote:
Deebank wrote:
Fonz wrote:
Would the vast majority of Britons have been worse off under Hitler?


Yes.


I take it that you, Sir, have never waited for a Manchester train at Chorley between the hours of 6 and 9am :x


Wait, wasn't it Mussolini that got the trains running on time?
I reckon they always ran on time in Germany Third Reich or no Third Reich.
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Sneelock » 15 Aug 2019, 17:26

anybody know if Xi Ping & Vlad keep the trains running on time? Donald sure the fuck don't.
can you prove it didn't happen?

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Toby » 16 Aug 2019, 07:41

Peterloo and its significance has often been questioned. If you read E P Thompson, as virtually all lefties have, then it is a crucial moment. But other historians have different perspectives, and criticise him for putting together a selective band of differing groups together under one emboldened movement when the evidence is apparently not so clear. His is a persuasive history, not least because he was a Communist himself, although thankfully he saw the error of his ways and rejected Marxism towards the end of his life. Tony Judt in particular excoriated him and his work, seeing it as fatally flawed.

I think if the Tories had been on the wrong side of history so consistently then they would cease to exist as a political phenomenon, perhaps in the same way that the Liberals were vanquished after WW1 and have never really recovered. But the fact remains that they are the most successful political party of all time.

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Positive Passion » 16 Aug 2019, 08:34

Largely by definition, conservatives broadly resist change. When the change becomes the norm, you could say the resistance represents them being on the wrong side of history. But if the change doesn't become the norm (being most of the time) presumably the resistance are on the right side of history?

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Toby » 16 Aug 2019, 08:58

If the movement for change means the destruction of those who hold power, then perhaps yes. But if those who hold power reform, then who is on the right side?

In Russia the Revolutionaries overthrew the Tsarist autocracy with the help of the Germans. But within 10 years Stalin was the Tsar in all but name. In 1991 the Communist regime collapsed and now we have a new Tsar in Putin. Who is on the "right" side of history there?

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Powehi » 16 Aug 2019, 09:29

Robert wrote:
It reminds me of a story I read about a huge Chinese think-tank where literally hundreds of Chinese scientists in all sort of disciplines were sitting in offices all day, thinking about the past and trying to formulate thoughts about the future. One of the historians in the think tank was asked what he thought of the French revolution and how it had an impact on today. The most reasonable answer the guy could come up with was 'It's too early to tell'



The "too early to tell" quote actually came from former Chinese premier, Zhou en Lai, and describes his thoughts on the demos in the Paris of May, 1968 rather than the French Revolution of 1789.

Be interesting to hear what Zhou's ghost might have to say about what's now happening on the streets of Hong Kong. Think all of us here know who's on the right side of history there, and it ain't the side whose philosophy is going to prevail.

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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Jeemo » 16 Aug 2019, 11:11

Toby wrote:But the fact remains that they are the most successful political party of all time.


What's your definition of successful?

In this country, or worldwide?

Elections won?
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Re: The wrong side of history

Postby Toby » 16 Aug 2019, 11:20

How long they've been in existence and elections won. That's the objective definition. How successful their policies have been is open to debate, but the fact that they have been consistently elected time and time again says something, even if it is anathema to the people on this board. Only the Republicans and Democrats can match the length of time they've been in existence and have consistently been competitive in elections.