"History in general, and the history of revolutions in particular, is always richer in content, more varied, more many-sided, more lively and ingenious than even the best parties, the most conscious vanguards of the most advanced classes can imagine."
But what does the illustrious Monsieur le Roi, V.I. Lenin, revered as he is, mean to say when he states that history is, for all intents (and possibly purposes) beyond our ken?
Can he mean that history-in-itself is more beautifully garbed than our pedestrian, peasant-like, fashion-debilitated minds can possibly envision?
Certainly he does.
And I agree.
But, I must disagree.
His conception of history as 'beyond our reach' makes it seem as if history isn't precisely that which we create! That which we produce! Aren't we, as story tellers/narrators/small time comic distributors; aren't we always and only creating and endlessly rich fabric of stories? One that we cannot help but 'reach' because we are entangled within it?
What say YOU!
We must not look at history as a chronological thing. It is not events, comings-into or goings-out of being that we are concerned with, because these are just the blinkings of the eye. We want to see through the eye itself.
We want to look out through the eye
History is a history of outlooks, of mindsets, and surely, we cannot encapsulate all outlooks, or absorb them all into our knowledge. This is what Lenin means.
Gestalt, flip tape over
Ah! But I never said that history is essentially chronological! Of course not, that would go against our anti-linear approach. To posit some object beyond these 'blinking of an eye' as you so damagingly call them, is to posit something beyond experience, something that by definition we 'cannot reach'. But what does it mean to be unable to reach something that you yourself, dear Lenin, create? Is it tautological nonsense? Or a nonsensical tautology? Those, cher Vladimir, are the only options.
How could history be something beyond experience? How can anything be beyond experience, and beyond imagination? To 'imagine' (as our ideological comrade Messr Lenin does) that history is beyond 'imagination' is precisely to imagine nothing whatsoever! The very language that Lenin writes in forces him to admit the very antithesis of his 'argument'. Though one might be hard pressed to press him into admitting that he has an argument of any kind here. No! I say, decidedly. No! Lenin must, in all possible worlds, and in all cases, in actuality, factuality and fictionality! Lenin MUST (with necessity) be partially, probably, maybe, a little wrong. Does he have it wrong? It might seem that way...to someone. But not me, of course Lenin is right! And here is exactly why:
((Its your turn, 2.0))
Why must we ignore the timber in our own eye to criticize the splinter in the other's eye?
This is fundamental. Is it?
Insofar as you can't spell "history" without using "I", yes. But the "I" is just a part, just a fragment that contributes to the grand thing...which is, as our comrade says, "many-sided"!
Here we go again.
The grand thing! You know where I'll go with this! There can't be a grand thing other than in the minute creations of ONE individual. We can't "add our experiences up" to make some nice great big history. Our experiences our ephemeral, they don't contribute to a grand scheme, any grand schematic schema is spoken in the timbre of a PARTICULAR voice. If history is unreachable, it is because it fell into the hole in someone's pocket that goes straight to the lining of their thick winter jacket, into a no-narrator's land. It is certainly not because history is some lofty, lofted loft lofting away somewhere loftily. No! It is most decidely not that...but...I could be wrong
why must you fire everything back at me?
You know that the grand thing refers outwards, to the inside of another outside. It scathes and burns without giving itself away in the least.
History isn't nice, but it is big. Bigger than you. There are more histories than there are words. If you are wrong, then I am wrong - or we are both right. Can that be quantified? Or even qualified? Perhaps it is all inside, as you say, and not part of a world at all.
Upsilon and Omega! How can we live like this? If we can't even decide on a side to argue from, how can we ever come to consensus about it? Perhaps we need to agree that there will be one side to rule them all, perhaps we should adhere to strict doctrinal guidelines. They will eliminate our somewhat fragmented "discourses" for lack of a novel, neologistic term. But isn't that the very mistake that Lenin and his ilk made, and boy how they made it! If we want big, lets look at Stalin. But no one wants to look at Stalin here, least of all me, or even you. What we maybe need to do is renounce all theoretical preoccupations with the nature and writing of history and focus on the problems that history presents us. But, you will say, with me, isn't such a renunciation merely another move in the game of 'hiding your motives'? Well...Certainly it is! I will say.
Hiding your motives is a poisonous, maybe medicinal, move that cannot be avoided. All moves are surreptitious ones, especially when 'looking' at history (the vision metaphor is obviously misleading, my pointing it out is less obviously so).