The Real Meaning of History - Social Philosophy

The real meaning of the story

From the standpoint of the last two positions in the question of the meaning of history, it is capable of having a subjective, external or internal value that depends on the person himself.

The ego is a realistic understanding of the meaning of history, increasingly penetrating its path both in the science of history and in the philosophy of history that is part of social philosophy.

These two positions are in good agreement with the idea that history is a flow continuously flowing between two fairly stable poles, or shores. It is necessary to take into account only the fact that both the external and internal value of history must be different for two different, perhaps diametrically opposed types of society - closed and open.

According to the third possible answer to the question of the meaning of history, history has an instrumental subjective goal and is a means of achieving those ideals that the person himself develops. These ideals can be either collectivistic (the construction of some perfect society in all respects, capable of cloudless existence of a millennium), or individualistic (a gradual and gradual improvement of the existing society, guaranteeing ever greater freedom and welfare to its individuals), or intermediate between open collectivism and clearly expressed individualism .

History is the result of people's activities aimed at certain goals and values ​​formulated by themselves. As a means of achieving the latter, history has a clearly expressed subjective, human-dependent meaning. Another question is that, in pursuit of their seemingly clear and well-thought-out goals, people often come to completely unexpected and undesirable results.

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In particular, K. Jaspers so systematizes those subjective external values, or goals, which are most often put forward by people as the main reference points of their activities:

• civilization and humanization of man;

• Freedom and consciousness of freedom; while everything that has happened so far is understood as attempts to realize freedom;

• the greatness of man, the creativity of the spirit, the introduction of culture into social life, the creation of a genius;

• the discovery of being in man, the comprehension of being in its depths, in other words, the opening of a deity.

Jaspers believes that such goals can be achieved in every era, and indeed - within certain limits - are achieved; constantly lost and lost, they are recovered. Each generation carries them out in its own way.

The idea of ​​the universality of these goals needs to be substantially refined. All these goals can be ideals only individualistic, but not collectivist society. The humanization of man, the rule of law, individual freedom and, in particular, political freedom, the greatness of man and his creativity, and, finally, the opening of the divine in man - all these are goals completely alien to the collectivist society. They were not nominated by medieval moderate collectivism (with the exception of the "opening of the deity"), especially not their advanced extreme, totalitarian collectivism.

In particular, the ideals of communism are completely different: it is not the abstract humanization of man, but the creation, possibly with the use of violence, of a new man capable of being a cog in the car of a communist society; Not a law-based state, but a state that forces society to move toward communist goals; not individual freedom, but the liberation of man and, first of all, his release from exploitation, generated by private property; the greatness of man, but determined only by his active participation in the creation of a new, perfect society; creativity of the spirit, but limited by the framework of building such a society, etc. Especially communism does not set the task of discovering the divine in man. As for National Socialism, for him there does not exist at all "just a man", devoid of national and racial characteristics. National Socialism puts forward one ideals for elected representatives, intended to dominate the race and completely different tasks, poses to people of other races whose destiny is to be slaves and serve the masters. In the National Socialist doctrine in general there are no such concepts as "humanization of man", "legal state", "individual freedom" and the like.

The purpose of history is not a finale to which history will come with time regardless of circumstances and even from the aspirations and activities of people. The purpose of history is the ideal developed by the people themselves, the realization of which they must persistently seek and which can remain an empty dream if they do not make the maximum effort to implement it.

If history has only a subjective meaning, the old, collectivist idea in its core, that the supreme court is the court of history, must be rejected. This idea contradicts the conviction that the highest judge of his life and his history is the man himself. It is he who, with his activities aimed at the realization of certain ideals, makes a concrete fragment of history justified or unjustified.

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The idea of ​​a self-creating humanity, whose future is determined by itself and not by the divine will or the immutable laws of history, lies at the basis of the idea of ​​history as a means of realizing the ideals worked out by man himself. Humanity, like God in heretical mysticism, must perform a paradoxical action: relying on its own limited (unlike divine) forces, it must rise above itself.

According to the fourth position in the question of the meaning of history, history is positively valuable in itself, as the current course of events, bringing satisfaction to those who have the luck to be immersed in it. This meaning can be called autarky (from Greek autarkeia - self-sufficiency) and pass in words: "history for the sake of history" . This is close to the idea "art for art's sake": art has not only instrumental value, but is also valuable in itself, regardless of social and any other further consequences.

History is self-explanatory in the same sense in which individual life, cognition, truth, love and other "practical" are meaningful; actions.

The life of a person in its current justifies itself, but this does not exclude, of course, the fact that it has an instrumental value. Cognition and truth are also largely justified in themselves. They love to love, and nothing can justify love, except for herself. What it seeks is its true content, the form in which partners find themselves and mutually represent as a formed unity that serves exclusively to itself. Love is meaningful not because it is correlated with something different from itself. It pretends to be appreciated and recognized as justified by virtue of its own existence.

The autarkic meaning of history has its classical expression in ancient Greek thought. From the point of view of the latter, history moves in a circle, returning to its starting point, it has no goal at its end or beyond. The course of history includes the emergence, flowering and decline of each individual historical being. The future is accidental, and it can not give value and meaning to the present. In moments of triumph, one should think about possible blows to fate. Expressing this attitude, the Roman Scipio spoke about the destruction of Carthage: the same fate that Rome was preparing for his enemy, Rome himself will one day comprehend, just as she once suffered at Troy. Similarly expressed Tacitus: "The more I consider the events of the old and new times, the more I see in all matters and accomplishments the blindness and insecurity of all human affairs." It is characteristic that the Greeks and Romans did not have a special word for what is now designated by the noun history in the singular: they knew only stories in the plural.

The autarkic sense of history is in good agreement with its subjective instrumental meaning: history itself has value, and therefore meaning in its most direct flow; but it has, moreover, meaning as a means of realizing certain human ideals. The autarkic meaning does not agree, however, with the basic tendencies of collectivist thinking. It sees everything happening only through the prism of the global goal facing a collectivist society. To such thinking, the attribution of value to historical existence, taken in itself, and not as a necessary step on the way to the main goal, is foreign.

Summing up the discussion of understanding the meaning of history, we can say that if history is attributed to an objective meaning independent of human activity, axiology degenerates into arguments about how a person can contribute to the realization of that global goal, which, in general, objectively does not depend on its activity. In other words, axiology turns into an internally contradictory occupation, in some ways similar to the organization of a social movement that insists solely that stones fall to the ground when they are released from their hands.

Collective, and in particular socialist, society ascribes history to objective meaning. It interprets it as an unambiguously predetermined movement towards a goal, the realization of which does not objectively depend on the efforts of a person. It is not surprising that in axiologic philosophy axiology is not an independent division.

Axiology acquires space for its existence only if human history is given a subjective, human-dependent meaning.

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