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September 4, 2016 / Congau

On Lies (ii)

National history is a lie. The formal facts may very well be correct, but the purpose is not to inform, but to create an impression of national greatness.

Any country may be given a glorious history, for even the most miserable people must have produced its heroes and there have certainly been moments that look impressive from a distance.

It’s not necessary to lie. One dwells upon certain dazzling moments and passes lightly through those long and sad periods. Perhaps once upon a time in a distant past the ancestors fought a victorious battle. The event is elaborately recorded in the books. School children are allowed to indulge in honor through many pages and their pride rises. Afterward the following centuries may be brushed away by a few short lines and an impression is made on the mind: Our nation is great!
It’s not a lie, but it’s a lie.

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