And so on to Putin, who apparently - I haven't read it - answered "why did you invade Ukraine" with a half hour history essay. The usual silly people have done the usual silly things - fact checking it - which is to miss the point: that simply thinking this way is wrong. It is the sort of thinking that leads to The Troubles; or the wars in the Balkans - take your pick as to exactly which ones - or the Palestinians deciding it would be an excellent idea to kill as many Israelis as they could. This is no great original insight; others have said much the same.
History is bunk
Or so said Ford. Or somewhat more exactly, "History is more or less bunk. It is tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s dam is the history we make today. That’s the trouble with the world. We’re living in books and history and tradition. We want to get away from that and take care of today. We’ve done too much looking back. What we want to do and do it quick is to make just history right now". One wouldn't want to push that interpretation too hard; some of my best friends are historians; there is nothing wrong with knowing history. But there is a lot wrong with obsessing over it; gathering round the fire and beating stones together and beating antique grievances into your children's heads.