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Northern Paladin
Sunday, April 20th, 2008, 12:54 PM
The prescience of genius is an argument in favor of fate, and an argument against free will; if events can be foreseen long before they occur, they must have been caused neither by individuals nor by circumstances, but by history and fate. It appears that Hitler was the cause of the Holocaust, and that the Depression was the cause of Hitler’s rise to power. But if the Holocaust was foreseen a century before it occurred, then it can’t be ascribed to particular individuals, or to particular circumstances. While Hitler was the proximate cause of the Holocaust, and while the Depression was the proximate cause of Hitler’s rise to power, the root causes of these events lie far deeper than any particular individuals or particular circumstances.

Throughout his life, Hitler acted like one who was the agent of fate. When he wrote Mein Kampf in the 1920’s, Hitler sketched the history of the 1930’s and 1940’s. He anticipated a great war, and he anticipated that Germany might be destroyed by the war. Hitler felt that his life and his actions were the result not of accident or of choice, but of fate. With fate supporting him, he felt that he possessed great power, that he was invincible, hence he had complete confidence in himself. His confidence enabled him to speak with passion, energy, and conviction, and it enabled him to captivate a nation.

Hitler relied on his unconscious to reveal what was fated to occur; he relied on hunches and intuitions. “I go the way Providence dictates,” said Hitler, “with the assurance of a sleepwalker.”7 Hitler’s dependence on fate and on his unconscious was so complete that he lost touch with reality, and wasn’t wholly sane.

Napoleon, whose career resembled Hitler’s in many ways, felt, like Hitler, that he was the agent of fate, that he could foresee the future, and that he didn’t control events but rather was controlled by them. “I always had an inner sense,” said Napoleon, “of what awaited me.... Nothing ever happened to me which I did not foresee.”8 Napoleon thought that any attempt to assassinate him, before his fate had run its course, was certain to fail — and in fact, many such attempts did fail.

Do individuals control history, or do history and fate control individuals? That is to say are certain things destined to happen?

DanseMacabre
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008, 04:33 AM
I have always thought that important events in history and in our lives individually were destined to happen. I have no fancy philosophical argument to prove this is true. I base this on things in my own life. People I've met that have changed my life whom I never would have met if certain events had not taken place. I can see this pattern in World History also. So yes I believe fate and history control individuals.

Northern Paladin
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008, 04:47 AM
I posted something really good but than the window closed and now I'm too sleepy to retype it. But it basically went like I believe somepeople can see into the future and therefore can influence the present more than others. And that history guides people and can be guided by people but whatever happens is Fated to Happen and can not be controlled by people in the sense that there is no certanity in Life.

http://www.ljhammond.com/cwgt/05.htm

Genius and Prophecy Genius can see into the future. The Roman writer Seneca foresaw the discovery of the Americas. In the thirteenth century, Roger Bacon foresaw the automobile and the airplane. Leonardo foresaw many mechanical inventions, including the steam engine, the airplane, the parachute, the submarine, the tank, and the machine gun. Rousseau, in 1762, foresaw the French Revolution and the demise of the European monarchies. Jefferson, in 1820, foresaw the American Civil War. Tocqueville, in 1835, foresaw that the United States and Russia would one day be the world’s most powerful nations.4 Heine foresaw Nazi militarism and genocide; Heine predicted that the forces found in German philosophy would someday “erupt and fill the world with terror and amazement,” and that, “a play will be performed which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll.”5 Kafka predicted that men “will try to grind the synagogue to dust by destroying the Jews themselves.” Burckhardt foresaw the misfortunes of Germany; when the Kaiser was crowned at Versailles in 1871, Burckhardt said, “that is the doom of Germany.”6 Nietzsche foresaw the psychology of the unconscious, the world wars and the rise of Russia.

7. Hitler and Fate Do individuals control history, or do history and fate control individuals? The prescience of genius is an argument in favor of fate, and an argument against free will; if events can be foreseen long before they occur, they must have been caused neither by individuals nor by circumstances, but by history and fate. It appears that Hitler was the cause of the Holocaust, and that the Depression was the cause of Hitler’s rise to power. But if the Holocaust was foreseen a century before it occurred, then it can’t be ascribed to particular individuals, or to particular circumstances. While Hitler was the proximate cause of the Holocaust, and while the Depression was the proximate cause of Hitler’s rise to power, the root causes of these events lie far deeper than any particular individuals or particular circumstances.

Throughout his life, Hitler acted like one who was the agent of fate. When he wrote Mein Kampf in the 1920’s, Hitler sketched the history of the 1930’s and 1940’s. He anticipated a great war, and he anticipated that Germany might be destroyed by the war. Hitler felt that his life and his actions were the result not of accident or of choice, but of fate. With fate supporting him, he felt that he possessed great power, that he was invincible, hence he had complete confidence in himself. His confidence enabled him to speak with passion, energy, and conviction, and it enabled him to captivate a nation.

Hitler relied on his unconscious to reveal what was fated to occur; he relied on hunches and intuitions. “I go the way Providence dictates,” said Hitler, “with the assurance of a sleepwalker.”7 Hitler’s dependence on fate and on his unconscious was so complete that he lost touch with reality, and wasn’t wholly sane.

Talan
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008, 05:13 AM
Dear DriftWood,

1. Economic anthropology is more informatively useful than any non-comparative understanding of the "the proximate cause of Hitler’s rise to power".

2. Economic anthropology is built upon a single maxim, that institutions existed before processes.

3. Social fatalism has never been institutionalised.

4. Social fatalism in itself can not be held responsible for any system of life or action.

5. Hitler was not an agent of fate.

6. Hitler was human.

7. Hitler was not a perfect actor.

8. Your argument is invalid.

Northern Paladin
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008, 05:17 AM
Dear DriftWood,

1. Economic anthropology is built upon a single maxim, that institutions existed before processes.

2. Social fatalism has never been institutionalised.

3. Social fatalism in itself can not be held responsible for any system of life or action.

4. Economic anthropology is more informatively useful than any non-comparative understanding of the "the proximate cause of Hitler’s rise to power".

5. Hitler was not an agent of fate.

6. Hitler was human.

7. Hitler was not a perfect actor.

8. Your argument is invalid.

Ok w/e? I don't understand a word of what your saying.;):p
Hitler is just an example. If Hitler wasn't an agent of fate than what was he?

Talan
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008, 05:37 AM
Dear DriftWood,

...agenticism

SwordOfTheVistula
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008, 05:45 AM
Probably a mix of both. Intelligent people are capable of viewing history and the present, and predicting trends that will go into the future, and anticipating potential results of their actions.

Lichtblick
Thursday, May 22nd, 2008, 08:29 AM
As an agnostic I watch daily life as an atheist.
History is the sum of all those single days gone by. Hence there's no divine essence (in the metaphysical sense) or sth. like that within it.

Result: There are no universal values, no higher plan, no teleology.

Nonetheless there are certain procedures (though nothing so precisely as Nietzsche's Eternal Return, maybe a bit spenglerian), which came and will come again and again just because of the constancy of the framework on the one hand and the of all human life on the other hand. So great men (not judgmental yet) may see and combine to a certain extent.

MockTurtle
Thursday, May 29th, 2008, 09:27 PM
It appears that Hitler was the cause of the Holocaust, and that the Depression was the cause of Hitler’s rise to power.

Was it really though? I'm not sure if you're stating this just for the sake of intellectual exercise, but if it's actually true that the Depression "caused" Hitler's rise to power, than why didn't other movements succeed elsewhere? The Depression was global in scope, but the Nazis were the only explicitly racialist/nationalist political party that managed to succeed during the early 1930's. In fact, on the whole, racialist thinking started to become less pronounced during this period (i.e. 1930's) throughout the Western world, especially in the US. Why the discrepancy between Germany and the rest of the West?


Do individuals control history, or do history and fate control individuals? That is to say are certain things destined to happen?

I think it's something in-between. History doesn't stop or even wait for anyone, it follows a pattern of its own based on human nature at the level of millions (i.e. group behavior as opposed to individual behavior). But, I also think that it's possible for highly intelligent individuals who are uniquely "in touch" with the underlying nature of humankind to be able to influence this pattern to some degree. This is what sets apart those individuals who really managed to impact the historical process from those who just managed to scratch it. Look at Hitler, as just one example: he had almost no formal "qualifications" at all, and yet this didn't prevent him from convincing others around him (many of whom did have formal qualifications) that he was worthy of his position. He was guided more by "instinct" than anything else.

So, I don't think that history/fate "controlled" him so much as he just clearly possessed an unusual ability to "read" human nature and act accordingly. Most people lack this quality, and so perhaps he just interpreted this as being on a "higher level" (i.e. the level of fate).

Gorm the Old
Monday, June 2nd, 2008, 02:37 AM
History and fate control the destinies of weak individuals. Strong individuals influence, at least temporarily, the course of history.

paraplethon
Friday, August 6th, 2010, 02:59 AM
Couldn't you say also though that ALL history is revision - it is loaded with either the historians agenda or the agenda of those the historian uses as sources?

Rev. Jupiter
Monday, August 16th, 2010, 09:30 AM
History is the record of time. Time is an abstract concept describing the observation of changing in material states of existence. This observation requires individuals. Accordingly, I would say that individuals drive history, since there would be no history without individuals.

paraplethon
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010, 10:48 PM
I would say that individuals drive history, since there would be no history without individuals.

Well, yes.

The history that is driven however is loaded with the agenda or the preconceptions of the historian - people see what they want to see.

Basically, history is much more often than not subjective.

Ediruc
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010, 10:57 PM
"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write." --Winston Churchill.

Of course, we all know that Churchill was a warmongering, anti-German, vile scumbag :thumbup

paraplethon
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010, 11:09 PM
^^^That's a very accurate quote from him nonetheless!

If an historian (or Churchill for that matter) defended his position claiming an objective view, that belief in objectivity he carries is naught but ego. If he further claims to be free of ego - that is ego unbridled, uncomparable and perhaps the most dangerous kind.

Joe McCarthy
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010, 11:10 PM
Men, specifically great men, make history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Man_theory

The Great Man Theory is associated most often with 19th-century commentator and historian Thomas Carlyle, who commented that "The history of the world is but the biography of great men," reflecting his belief that heroes shape history through both their personal attributes and divine inspiration.[4] In his book On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History, Carlyle set out how he saw history as having turned on the decisions of "heroes", giving detailed analysis of the influence of several such men (including Muhammad, Shakespeare, Luther, Rousseau, and Napoleon). Carlyle also felt that the study of great men was "profitable" to one's own heroic side; that by examining the lives led by such heroes, one could not help but uncover something about one's true nature.[5]

This theory is usually contrasted with a theory that talks about events occurring in the fullness of time, or when an overwhelming wave of smaller events cause certain developments to occur. The Great Man approach to history was most fashionable with professional historians in the 19th century; a popular work of this school is the Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1911) which contains lengthy and detailed biographies about the great men of history, but very few general or social histories. For example, all information on the post-Roman "Migrations Period" of European History is compiled under the biography of Attila the Hun. This heroic view of history was also strongly endorsed by some philosophical figures such as Hegel, Nietzsche, and Spengler, but it fell out of favor after World War II.

In Untimely Meditations, Nietzsche writes that: "...the goal of humanity lies in its highest specimens"

Roemertreu
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010, 12:50 PM
I've had some success with predicting the future. I can recall at one point doing a tarot reading for a guy in a chat room and being confused by an "international travel" card. I asked the guy about that, and he told me that he was going to be shipped off to Iraq. Up until that point, I hadn't even known he was in the millitary. I've had other experiences in a similar way.

I personally think we have "appointments with destiny" in other worlds, you will experience what is supposed to happen to you, but what you do afterwards influences the future possibilities of the universe itself (we being a part of the universe). We make Wyrd, and Wyrd makes us.

And future prediction is possible, to an extent.

Ulfhedinn
Sunday, August 19th, 2012, 05:16 PM
History and fate control the destinies of weak individuals. Strong individuals influence, at least temporarily, the course of history.

Fate determines history but not neccessarily the specifics of how it plays out. Thus the strong control the destinies of the weak by controling the specifics of the course that history takes. :|

ablutive
Sunday, August 19th, 2012, 08:27 PM
History in the sense of "what actually happened" and individuals are the same, it's like asking "does the mass of the ball or the mass of the earth cause the ball to accelerate".