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It used to be the opinion of historians that the mass of men do not enter into history as a good event.
A massacre, rebellion, an earthquake: The mass of men did not surface in our collective memory in association with anything positive.
What was good to a historian? The few and endearing who overcame the masses to reorient, reach out and pull the rest of society forward.
Now it is common to write histories of “the people,” the way they lived, felt, and resisted the tides of power. All histories are now histories of “peoples”, in the most collective and averaging sense.
What can be concluded from this development?
Very little. History is now a common practice for commoners. The great men of history are easy and cheap targets, now the common historian scratches at dirt and clay for something to publish.
“In the future, there will be one science: The science of history,” or so says Marx. How could that science, of all sciences, persist under such circumstances? That the mass of men participate so actively in history that they know themselves as history. The great person does not go unacknowledged and unrecognized, but is immediately remembered in its full context.
A better challenge for the truly great men: become a posthumous in such a time.