My second comment on The Times view on Vladimir Putin’s comments about the Holocaust: History Lesson, January 24 2020.
I remember a Bolshevik quote about history. It goes more or less like this: “We will ride the history’s horse to its death”. This is a rough translation of a quote which I remember in Polish. This phrase might have been used by Mayakovsky, the leading poet of early Soviet Russia.
About hundred years after the Bolshevik revolution the West still refuses to deal with the Bolshevik approach to history. History is not something that happens by itself and is written and told with limited manipulation only. Not at all. History is planned, organised and executed. Given sufficient resources, material, human and organisational, history can be planned and scripted just like a theatre play. Contents of entire archives can be planned. You can design tomorrow’s museums even before anything they will commemorate happens. After all, what is history? History is just a bunch of stories told over and over again. These stories cannot be allowed to be told by some random people with unpredictable consequences. You write these stories by organising, among other things, fake mass protests.
Having a good history is a strategic asset. This asset can be acquired piece by piece through organised action with a long-term planning. History can be conquered, controlled and managed in a way similar to conquering territory. In this case, the area of the war theatre is the territory of the human mind, its imagination and memory. By using the right tools you can train entire nations or religious groups to follow your historical narrative. And you can liquidate those, whose thinking cannot be controlled.(*)
The anniversary of the liquidation of the Auschwitz concentration camp is an unmissable opportunity for staging provocations.
Organising a controversy is a good way to program human minds. Few would remember an anniversary where everyone agreed and everyone was polite and predictably boring. Controversy makes it memorable. There are professional cadres whose job is to design a scheme of provocation and supervise its dynamics, injecting changes as required by the current situation.
The casual observer is supposed to get emotionally involved and choose voluntarily one of the sides of controversy. Just like in a film, one can select an actor, whose words and character feel closer to one’s heart. This choice is, however, a superficial one because it is not about character A or character B. It is about the narrative and its anchoring points.
(*) I am a physicist. In 2015, my wife and I were both expelled from our jobs at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra, and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, respectively.