History is written by the victors. They define what counts as history, what is remembered and what is forgotten, what is important and what is not and, most crucially, what is usable for informing the relationship of the present with the future. As Walter Benjamin has noted, an important element in the class struggle is to reclaim history for the excluded by capturing historical memory from the rulers. What is worth remembering in the first place, are the “crude struggles” for material things: “The class struggle . . . is a fight for the crude and material things without which no refined and spiritual things could exist. Nevertheless it is not in the form of spoils which fall to the victor that the latter make their presence felt in the class struggle. They manifest themselves in this struggle, as courage, honor, cunning and fortitude. They have retroactive force and will constantly call in question every victory, past and present, of the rulers. As flowers turn toward the sun, by dint of a secret heliotropism, the past strives to turn toward the sun which is rising in the sky of history.”
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, sustainability, thinkers, ++
Giorgio Bertini does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from these papers, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
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