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History and Culture

Our time is stigmatized by a decline in education and culture.

This is not exclusively the result of the State abandoning its responsibilities, it is also an unfortunate reflection of our present system.

Each field and domain requires so much information that there remains practically no time for any other science or subject. In two words, specialization has killed general culture, the foundation of knowledge.

Today, students are practically reduced to knowing a single subject, but they remain ignorant of those subjects that surround it. This is an aberration, as one cannot truly comprehend a subject if they don’t know what is next to it, what its relationship is to other disciplines.

In education today, certain materials so necessary to our understanding, essential to comprehension and intelligence,a are entirely suppressed.

Most discouraging however, is that education is no longer admired, culture is no longer studied. Today you learn to become a specialist, and you do so to make money and live a comfortable life. Education is no longer about enhancing yourself for the sake of knowledge and developing one’s mind. Ignorance is a great cause of our contemporary aberrations. The lack of knowledge and the lack of taste lead to a lack of direction.

What arises then is the personal initiative. Those that feel their education has failed them decide to take responsibility for themselves, and in doing so they find and create their own culture. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, the individual has access to troves of information on just about any discipline or subject one might be interested it.

I know a number of young men and women who come from modest means who are monuments of culture and knowledge. Their personal curiosity has driven them towards History, Art, Science, and Religion. They travel and have a deep knowledge of contemporary society and are in many cases just as informed as the so called experts. It is deeply satisfying to see the contrast between their tender age and their vast understanding of our world. Their desire to learn has triumphed over any limitations or challenges they may have faced, and it is entirely a result of their own efforts.

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History is my discipline, so I have observed it with interest.

When I studied, we learned history as a whole. Today history is cut up, compartmentalized. We learn disparate fragments, but not the whole. We learn chapters, but never finish the book. It is a massacre of History; children don’t understand anything and so they are no longer interested.

Now History, far from being a dead science, is alive, and it changes every day. History does not stop yesterday, it continues into the present and informs the future. History is necessary to know your country, your culture, and most fundamentally yourself. Without History we are all in darkness.

Of course, the present is not merely a faithful reproduction of the past, but the past does create the environment and the context of our present, it provides all the elements.

I have found that it is only by penetrating the mysteries of the past that I become fully aware of myself in the present.

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This massacre of History has many consequences, the most notable being the role it has played in cutting people off from their roots. Country, Tradition, and Custom, these words no longer have any meaning, people don’t recognize any symbols or signs of their nation. We live in a time of contrasts. Across Europe we see the reemergence of particularisms we believed long buried, such as in Flanders, Scotland, and Catalonia. At the same time, we are told that these particularisms, from which our roots are derived, are no longer valid and should no longer be accepted or taken seriously.

That is the dominant trend and influence in the West, to deny one’s roots. Perhaps it is a consequence of the European Union, which is itself without any roots. Some hold tightly too their roots, others deny them entirely, and in both cases these actions are exaggerated.

There is a danger in cutting people off from their roots and their heritage, we are removing the foundation of unity and solidarity.

 

 


by Prince Michael of Greece

6 comments on “History and Culture


  1. Sandra

    Dear Prince Michael
    I love to read about the Royals of Europe and all your recollections on History. When we were children the only gifts we ever received were books and we loved them, but times have changed with the introduction of computers now children spend their time either on social media {as I do] or playing games, I love my books and never have enough time to read.
    I am going to write a book on my life to leave my sons. My siblings and I have had such an interesting but ordinary life, one of my sisters has been researching our family Ancestry [over the past 20 years]which is amazing,You and all the Royals of Europe are on our tree with so many other incredible people.The connection is through {1] man on one line If we could just find the name of his daughter We are also connected through [2] other Great Aunts of my mother or Sisters of my Gr Gr Grandfather.My Grandfather changed his destiny by coming to Australia in the 1800’s but if he hadn’t we would not be here.This is all only of interest to my[5 siblings] and I but will write to you at the address given.It may be of interest to you It may not
    Regards Sandra



  2. Colleen Christine

    Well said! I noticed when my children were at school that history as a field of study had lost it’s importance. They were taught bits and pieces, and had no understanding of the long term results of the isolated events they studied. I had to teach them myself the things I thought important. We are about to learn in the world today, the truth of the saying that those that forget their history are bound to repeat it.


  3. Alexandra of Greece

    Cou cou Papa,
    C’est passionant cet article, peu etre tu l’as écrit après les gaffes a dinner de Tigran et moi. Nous méritons ceci en tous cas.
    Juste pour que tu saches il y a 1 fautes de frappes et une faute d’orthographe dans cet article.
    SVP email moi pour me dire si tu as reçu cet email ci.
    Bisous,
    A



  4. Laurent

    I’m afraid the loss of depth of History is an open gate to pupulism and all the darkness that goes with it.
    To think that twenty years ago we hoped the internet would provide knowledge to everyone… Alas, it seems to have led to instant gratification of the mind, meaning rumours and conspiracy theories, simplification, loss of fact-checking rule the main roads.

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