Saturday, March 17, 2012

Philosophy of Code Geass: Does public opinion change based on who's in power or who wins the war? Does victory triumph over morality?


            Some say that history is biased. Based on who wrote the material, who was their audience, when it was written, and why it was written, a source can be riddled with biased remarks made by the author. Bias can also be affected by the political climate and how the country is feeling about a certain topic. History and what the public thinks changes based on the group that is in power.
Clovis la Britannia
            In Code Geass, when Clovis orders the massacre of all the people in the Shinjuku Ghetto for the sole purpose of recovering his treasonous science project, it is quickly covered up. Clovis is viceroy of Area 11 and controls what information is released to the public (episode 1 & 2).          
            Winston Churchill stated, “Historyis written by the victors”. This means that history is dictated by the winner of a battle because they control the history books. They decide what happens after the war through their actions. If they used anarchic methods, such as torture, to achieve their goals, they would cover it up. They will also deem what is the best punishment for the conquered. They will decide to either be merciful, treat the captured with humanity, and allow them to prove their worth or punish them with manual labor, loss of freedom, and even executions. The defeated suddenly become evil monsters, while the victors are heroic saviors.
            Let’s say for example that England had won the revolutionary war. Since they have won the war, their opinion is the only one that matters. In their eyes George Washington is a traitorous upstart that lead the rebellion against his own king while Benedict Arnold would be hailed as a hero who risked his life by gaining spying of the patriots and leaking information on battle strategies to the British troops. Of course, the patriots won the war and gained its independence from England so in reality Washington is the father of our nation and Benedict Arnold is a traitor.
            If history is written by the winners of a battle, than we can say that how the world perceives certain issues is dictated by the ideals of the winners. What would have happened if the confederacy had won the war instead of the union? Would slavery still exist in America? Imagine if World War II had been won by the Nazis; would we have inherited their hatred of Jews and started our own persecution? Would the existence of concentration camps have remained hidden? According to History.com, people did not know the existence of the concentration camps until a year after they were created. It wasn't until the near ending of the war that America publicized it. Luckily, we did win the war and the killings stopped. Because we won the war, children were taught that Hitler was a madman and the true atrocious conditions that the Jewish people and the adversaries of the Nazis were treated to.

3 comments:

  1. The differing opinions on history between time periods and even countries is actually quite entertaining. If you've ever heard the story of how America became independent from England, you'd know how incredibly different the story is from their perspective than the one we were taught in elementary school. History is written with a sense of bias, and that bias comes not only from what the people in power want to believe, but from the evidence that we actually have. History is not set in stone, and as famous 17th-century Russian writer Leo Tolstoy would likely tell you, the causes of historical events are so innumerable and so lost to the passage of time that the event that actually happened may indeed be completely different to the event that we believe happened.

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  2. I agree that in most cases it is the victor who writes history, but with the world becoming more connected through social media websites and the internet, this isn't always the case. For example, in all the African revolutions, those who were being oppressed uploaded videos to the internet and were able to organize their revolutions through social media websites. Even though most revolutions were successful, the world knew about what was happening before the revolutions were over.
    (http://www.tednguyenusa.com/social-media-ignites-revolutions-in-middle-east-and-north-africa/)

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  3. Your argument is very interesting and you brought up alot of points. I agree that history is written through biased eyes.
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_relationship_of_unwritten_history_to_the_written_history

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