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History Vision

March 30, 2016

I’m going to state an opinion that will be very unpopular. There’s a part of me that wants ISIS (or whatever it’s calling itself today) to succeed and create a new state. I understand that there’s all kinds of bad happening in that part of the world and ISIS is responsible for some of it. I understand that if ISIS gets it’s way, lots of innocent people will suffer. The part of me that’s a caring, compassionate human being wants ISIS to be stopped. But the part of me that wants to see something huge and dramatic happen in the world is kind of curious to see what could happen.

I don’t want there to be war, but there’s a part of me that is interested in seeing the map of the world change. You know those animated GIFs on Wikipedia showing the changes in a nation’s reach over several stages? I love those. And in my lifetime, there really hasn’t been a heck of a lot of that. The USSR split up and the Sudan was bisected. Oh and Germany unified.

There’s an amount of time that has to pass before a violent, conquering nation becomes a successful empire to be somewhat admired instead of despised. Alexander’s empire was huge and all happened really quickly. I don’t think the peoples that were conquered were happy to have been conquered. But that was 2500 years ago. Most people have given up the grudge of having been defeated. And today, Alexander makes for a really interesting story (regardless of that less-than-stellar movie). Same goes for Genghis Khan. (Unlike Alexander, that movie Mongol was okay.) Looking back, those leaders were responsible for all kinds of horror that history has painted some flowers and rainbows over. Alexander spread Hellenistic art and literature and thought and discourse. Genghis Khan cleaned up the world’s most treacherous trade routes and founded a nation and led to the founding of a Chinese dynasty and some other stuff. But to get there, they had to do all kinds of nasty shit. Eventually it all stops being horrible current events and becomes history.

I kind of want to see some big history happen. I don’t want to see people die. I don’t want people to die. But there’s that little part of me that likes a good story and that part of me knows that reality is greater than fiction.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2016 3:06 pm

    It’s certainly true that taking the long view of history provides a very different perspective. I have a hard time believing that ISIS as an organization has any cultural gifts that the wider world (or even the middle east) could potentially benefit from, but I’ll grant that we’ll never know for sure unless they do actually create their own state/empire. (I’d rather not find out. Current events are interesting and complex enough as they are, for this lady.)

  2. March 31, 2016 3:39 pm

    It was kind of fascinating to me that you wrote this about the same time I caught an article about exactly this thing. Islam has already had a long history, and has been consistent throughout that whole time. If you want to know what will happen, you only have to look at what has happened.

    If you want to check out the article, you can find it here:

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