By Enrique Tessieri
Just like the light from distant suns allow us to see events that took place billions of years before present, history plays the same role but in humbler terms. Many of the problems we face today are the result of the injustices and crimes that took place a long time ago.
There is an interesting story on guardian.co.uk about the questionable legacy of the British Empire.
The daily writes: “Then tragically, and almost overnight, many of the formerly oppressed became themselves, in the colonies, the imperial oppressors. White settlers, in the Americas, in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Rhodesia and Kenya, simply took over land that was not theirs, often slaughtering, and even purposefully exterminating, the local indigenous population as if they were vermin.”
It’s interesting how able we are as humans at covering up the treachery we commit constantly on our most cherished values.
Myths help us to brush under the rug our barbarism. Myths are mortal as well and need to be constantly defended and strengthened with new myths and nationalism. Sometimes nationalism isn’t enough and an extreme steroid like xenophobia must be used to bolster it.
All types of wars and conflicts rely on the collusion of myths. If we couldn’t use myths to hide our dark side, how could we live with ourselves after taking part in an atrocity like war? Myths help to set in motion future wars and conflicts that will eventually be covered up by new myths.
How much do Finland’s myths of past wars and conflicts help to justify racism, prejudice of newcomers and suspicion of those 1.2 million Finns that emigrated mostly to North America and Sweden between 1860 and 1999?
If one of the aims of racism is to exclude other groups from controlling resources (work and economic well-being), myths ensure that minorities’ access to them will be hindered.
The real cuplrit behind power and wars are myths.