Made of History, Making Ourselves

Most folks don’t register self-consciously that they have “a view of history.” 

But truth is, they do. For progressives the present is the beginning of the future. For conservatives the present is the end of the past. For the one there is a horizon of hope and concern about forgetting past lessons; for the other there is fear of the unknown, anger for what will never be again, and a desperate clinging to what has gone. It’s not difficult to explain this difference; it’s difficult to persuade people that they are made by their views.

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