History, politics and power
DOI link for History, politics and power
History, politics and power book
The close links between history, politics and power, have been recognised for centuries. Even the earliest historians of antiquity realised the political implications of their subject, for, in Nietzsche's words, 'Know ledge of the past has at ali times been desired only in the Service of the future and the present'.2 'To gain or maintain political power', then, was one of the very first answers to the question of why we should bother with history; and in our own time history's inevitable entanglement with politics and power has again been made abundantly clear, and exemplified on numerous occasions. So, as the early seventeenth-century historian Daniel Heinsius noted in the quotation above, even if the subject were to cease to exist as an 'academic' study, history would continue to perform a very practical political function, and would be utilised in the corridors of power accordingly.