Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Return of the Repressed Unoppressed

I just read a review of two new books, the former attempting to rehabilitate Stalin, the latter to resuscitate Kruschev. In the past decade, several Spanish historians have lambasted liberal historiography for unfairly maligning fascist Spain, that the Spanish Republic was unjust too, and that the Loyalists tortured Francoists, so there. In Chile, much of the populace danced in the streets when Gen. Augusto Pinochet died in December (thirty-three years and three months too late), but other Chileans, including academics, enthused about how, despite the torture, killings, and abductions, he introduced an Americanized neo-liberalism which brought the Chilean economy into modernity. Historical revisionism is once again encroaching on truth and morals, supplanting fact for facile, dishonest interpretation. Now there are advocates for the tyrannical and the powerful among the intelligentsia, individuals wishing to supplant visions of fascist brutality with fascist bonhomie. Walter Benjamin, a victim of the Fascist Terror, noted how history was written by the victors and it seems, once again, that historians are not writing history but playing games in which they see themselves as victors, aide-de-camps to dead dictators. May their fates be unkind. --curley