Aleida Assmann, a researcher of literature and culture at the Goethe-Institut
, has written extensively about collective memory, and the fusion between memory and history, power and myth. In her 2008 paper, “Transformations between History and Memory,”
she writes that, “Historians can play contrary roles: they can either support the play of political power or challenge it; they can act as architects or critics of national memory constructions,” (1). Assmann says that under authoritarian regimes a false history is constructed and manufactured to serve the interests of the regime, which is then presented to the public as real history.
In a democracy, politicians in key positions of power have to be gifted actors because they have to perform their appointed roles in front of the public in order to keep the public out of the loop and make sure that real history is never leaked. It is a tough job to tell fake stories to the public and pretend that it is the truth, and some politicians like George Bush are not as gifted rhetorically as others. Also, a little cold-bloodedness helps a great deal for a person who takes on the job of selling monstrous lies to the people.
After the fall of a totalitarian regime there is also a fall of history, that is, the regime’s history. Once that happens, the people experience the rebirth of truth and discover the real history of their lives and their world that was denied to them by their political leaders. Assmann writes:
A new awareness of the interactions between history and memory was triggered by the profound political changes of the 1980s and 1990s, when new memories emerged and old ones were seen in a different light. After 1989, with the thawing of frozen memories and the opening of archives, both memory and history took on a new force that carried them into the center of the public arena. Historians were baffled by the enormous impact of living memories that they had hitherto considered to be a negligible entity. A historical caesura always introduces the chance to narrate the past in a different way. Such a moment of retrospection can become a moment of revelation; then it suddenly becomes obvious that what had been presented and passed as objective history turns out to have been a biased construction of political memory. The experience of a fundamental change of values exposed the contingence of earlier accounts of the past. In such situations both history and memory become self-reflexive; a sense is developed of their constructedness by discovering that memory has a history and that history is itself a form of memory. (2).
The totalitarian regime in America is in a unique position because unlike the Soviet or Nazi regime, America is a global superpower, which means its version of history automatically becomes global history. Never before has such a state existed in any period of human civilization. We are truly living in crazy and exciting times. The only state that has challenged the official story of 9/11 is the regime in Iran, and preparations have been made to make war on that nation, so it is not wise for states to speak the truth about Washington’s designs. Those who don’t go along with the new global political paradigm will not survive. But, of course, nothing in history is guaranteed.
According to Assmann, the media under totalitarian regimes plays a big role in crafting and maintaining an official version of history which serves the regime. It has been well documented that the CIA has a great influence in the U.S. corporate media, and continually spreads disinformation and lies through the media about crimes that are committed both inside the U.S. and abroad. Assmann:
Authoritarian institutions such as the church and totalitarian states aim at a monopoly over truth and the past. Whereas in premodern culture, there were neither media nor institutions of writing independent of power and authority that could back up independent accounts of the past, the institution of censorship served the function to destroy rival media and carriers of counterhistories that threatened the stability of a uniform view and an authoritarian view of history. Totalitarianism can therefore be described as an attempt to restore the premodern state monopoly over history under modern circumstances and with modern means. (3).
Assmann’s writing deserves to be better known because her understanding can help people to come to terms with the present course of history and confidently challenge the hegemonic lies of the empire in Washington. It should be a good thing to speak the truth about 9/11, especially if such talk leads to the collapse of the bankster-owned regime in Washington because it is engaged in monumental acts of evil and deception. Such regimes must collapse for human civilization to move forward and for people to live freely and safely.
Other writers like Karl Jaspers and Hannah Arendt have also broadened our understanding about totalitarian regimes. The American people, as well as the people of other Western countries, can learn a lot from the experience of the German people after the Second World War as well as the people who lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union.
There is no reason to be afraid of the truth. The worse it can do is trigger a rethinking of the past. Why is that so difficult? What is holding people back? Is it the feeling of guilt or shame? Nobody who bought the official propaganda about 9/11 and the war on terror should feel guilty about what has happened since then or be ashamed of their conduct, especially the soldiers who are fighting and dying in the wars in the Middle East. Soldiers are the victims of the corrupt war machine in Washington. The guilty are the war criminals in power who constructed a false narrative that justified the killing of hundreds of thousands of people, who knowingly lied about 9/11 and who continue to knowingly send men and women to their undeserved and untimely deaths.
The tyrants in Washington can tiptoe around the truth for now, but sooner or later they will fall over their twisted words and collapse under the growing weight of facts because, as Benjamin Franklin said, “A lie stands on one leg, truth on two.”