January 20, 2015 at 10:59 am #83345
A thread for discussion of history, ancient and modern. Any era, any aspect.January 20, 2015 at 4:06 pm #108798
As socialists we have little time for the Great Man Theory of History but have there been any truly great men or women? If so, what defines greatness, and what makes some people stand out? Or is greatness simply not in our vocabulary?January 20, 2015 at 4:51 pm #108799
If history tells us anything, it is that things never remain the same, society is in constant change. What is acceptable now becomes unacceptable tomorrow. Things can and will change.January 21, 2015 at 10:44 am #108800rodshaw wrote:As socialists we have little time for the Great Man Theory of History but have there been any truly great men or women? If so, what defines greatness, and what makes some people stand out? Or is greatness simply not in our vocabulary?
Well, tomorrow is the birthday of Grigori Rasputin – great anti-war martyr.January 21, 2015 at 10:59 am #108801
I would say that what defines greatness, for me, is, above all 1) genuine all-embracing compassion for suffering (sensibility) and 2) intellectual worth that is in accord with such compassion, including contributing to social revolution that is in accoprd with well-being.As socialists we each as individuals have our heroes. Some of mine are:Carl Sagan, De Sade, Abiezer Coppe, Peter Abelard, Mark Twain, Peter Kropotkin, Elisee Reclus, John Oswald (d. 1791), Tom Paine, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Hardy, Bernard Shaw, Grigori Rasputin, Mohandas Gandhi, Hans Ruesch, Charles Darwin, Alfred R. Wallace, Lafcadio Hearn, Keith Mann, Thomas More, Heloise (re: Abelard), P.B. Shelley, William Godwin, Charles Chaplin, and many more.I know you`ll probably round upon me over some of these, but that`ll be your Marxism talking – although I`m a Marxist too (politically), but not blind to his limitations.January 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm #108802
The SPGB are Marxian so we don't idolise Marx in the same way as some Marxists.January 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm #108803
Some i fully agree with you, Some i am suspect such as Gandhi, who i would substitute with Ambedkar. Others i know too little to comment.I can add others who i respect…Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein….oh, the list could be endless and go on and onJanuary 21, 2015 at 4:21 pm #108804
Interesting – no females yet?January 22, 2015 at 11:35 am #108805
True. I`ve been remiss. Mary Wollstonecraft, Margaret Cavendish, Louise Michel, Marie-Constance Quesnet, Aphra Behn (possibly), Rosa Luxemburg, the women of the French Revolution (so many!) etc.January 22, 2015 at 2:24 pm #108806
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rasputin-Britain-Secret-Service-Torture/dp/1906447071/ref=sr_1_27?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421936463&sr=1-27&keywords=RasputinBritain`s role in the murder of the anti-war staretz.January 24, 2015 at 3:18 am #108807
sarda karaniwanMemberrodshaw wrote:As socialists we have little time for the Great Man Theory of History but have there been any truly great men or women? If so, what defines greatness, and what makes some people stand out? Or is greatness simply not in our vocabulary?
I just call it transcendentalism, an elevation of being to be above the ordinary, to be above human. A hero, martyr, and saint are all ideal beings, they are non-human, they don't exist until you put a real people in that category and mostly they are dead people. People who were put in one of those categories are no longer human, but a transcendental being.The downside of being a transcendental is that you may be offered as a sacrifice. In the muslim society where martyrdom is so integrated in the culture that everyone in the community are made to be proud of those who blows themselves up as suicide bomber.Workers will never uphold the principles of transcendetalism, because to them it simply is ridiculous, they will stick to their own principles, that is simply saying, "Hey, I'm only human!"."Greatness" is for the workers, because they know what they really are, just a human being.Of course, there are many books that will tell you about what a human being is, but don't tell it to the workers.sardaan Ordinarian
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