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December 14, 2016 / Congau

Heroic Villains

Our world today has grown out of the past. Layer upon layer of historical incidents have formed the world exactly as we know it. To get the result, whether it is good or bad, every occurrence was necessary. Wars had to be lost as well as won and the villains were as essential as the heroes.

But still we should not lose sight of the moral dimensions of history. The cruel king and the murderous general should not be excused just because they emerged as winners and laid the foundation for the world that followed.

Alexander the Great was called great, but there is no justification for his brutal campaign through a vast territory. Napoleon was victorious and therefore widely admired, but what business did he have expanding his empire and killing off huge numbers of people in his way?

It is particularly difficult to condemn those national heroes whose conquests are a part of a country that exists today. The past is seen in the light of the present and people think their land was destined to arise so that everything that happened must have been good. But no. There isn’t a country on earth that is not the product of crime and villainy and whatever we think of our nation today, we should have the honesty to denounce its sins of the past.

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