“The Meaning of History”


  • Carlyle’s first name was Thomas.
  • The “Great Man” theory of history has fallen out of favor in the last century or so. Maybe because of the ever-increasing ability for the ‘average’ person to make his/her voice heard.
  • Great leaps in making communication available to more people tend to go hand-in-hand with revolutions. That can be good or bad.
  • Military history is necessarily mostly filled with the names of kings and generals–commanders, in other words. I’m not complaining about this; it makes sense that it would be this way. What I am saying is that, until relatively recently in historical terms, that was about all we had to go on.



  1. One thing to think about is that the internet depends on electricity and other infrastructure. If that’s downgraded or destroyed, it’s back to scribbling on paper, or wax tablets, or stone.

    1. That’s true; in a really major catastrophe it all goes down. I suppose (hope?) that somewhere the data is probably backed up so it could maybe be retrieved in the post-post-apocalypse… if there is one.

  2. Having taught history for many years I never mentioned the meaning of history. History has a purpose. Banks want your credit history because it tells them your credit future. The problem with military and political history is the one who is well informed is like Cassandra in ancient Troy, You can warn, but no one listens. Since Reagan was elected I’ve watched a slow moving train wreck as every foundation of democracy and our economy has been torn down. I keep waiting for the Thermidorian Reaction. That’s when Robespierre was beheaded and the terror was ended. Cromwell died in England and the monarch was restored. I’m not sure if this past election was that moment, but it is the first time since November of 1980 that the slumbering voters made their voice heard.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?