ABOUT BENEFITS AND HARMS OF REWRITING HISTORY. ONE OF THE TOPICS OF CONTEMPORARY HISTORICAL DISCOURSES: PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15407/fd2021.02.142

Keywords:

historical experience, historical policy, memorial law, historical discourse, narrative, collective memory

Abstract

When we talk about historical revisionism, negative connotations as a rule are prevailing. Prohibition of revision of certain historical interpretation and assessment is one of the tasks of historical policy which is carried out by adopting so-called «memorial laws». Taking care of the formation of the desired representations of the past (narratives) is directly related to the interests of institutionalized power in its own stabilization and strengthening. Power is a function of the community, whose identity is formed historically. Consolidation of collective identity through the support and repro- duction of common representations of the past is one of the tools to strengthen power.

At the same time, the very nature of human experience acquisition which is permanent mediation of the horizon of the past and the present, presuppose a reinterpretation of this past. Major shifts in the experience of generations, which occur as a result of certain social changes, lead to a new look at the past of the community. In this sense, rethinking and rewriting history becomes necessary to clarify, update, rationalize the collective identity, which is problematized by new experience.

Historical policy can both respond to this need for identity transformation through re- thinking representations of one’s own past and come into conflict with it. In the latter case, the narratives transferring by institutional power begin to conflict with the communicative memory of the generation experiencing a shift. One of the tools of self-preservation of power in this situ- ation is blocking of living historical experience, which can take various forms. The culmination of such a blockade is «hermetization» of historical time that take place in totalitarian state. The living historicity of experience, which requires a constant rethinking of one’s own historically inherited identity, is replaced by an artificial, time-frozen identity, which, precisely because of this nature, becomes fragile and doomed to destruction.

On the other hand, the rewriting of history initiated by the authorities within the framework of historical policy may face resistance to the representations of the past rooted in the commu- nicative and cultural memory. The resistance of historical narratives indicates that the collective memory and the identity founded in it are not only a power construct, but also a spontaneous layering of sediments of historical experience.

In today’s world of global communications and unified everyday practices, historical narra- tives are beginning to play an increasing role, as they remain the only seat of identity. At the same time, this process reinforces the conflict potential of communities, which can be observed in many examples of the revival of historically motivated political ambitions. In this situation, a critical clarification of various interpretations of the past becomes a means of rationalizing the historically inherited identity of communities as a necessary condition for intercultural dialogue.

Author Biography

Roman Zimovets

Candidate of Sciences in Philosophy, Research Fellow at the Department of Philosophy of Culture, Ethics and Aesthetics, H.S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 4, Triohsviatytelska St., Kyiv, 01001

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Published

2021-06-12

How to Cite

Zimovets, R. (2021). ABOUT BENEFITS AND HARMS OF REWRITING HISTORY. ONE OF THE TOPICS OF CONTEMPORARY HISTORICAL DISCOURSES: PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS . Filosofska Dumka, (2), 142—164. https://doi.org/10.15407/fd2021.02.142

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