History at the Horizon

From Karl Polanyi
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Text in Hungarian to translate into English

[221] Every road leads to Rome if we go back through it! P. K.


The enemies of today's history teaching, such as Gyula Pikler and the whole sociological line, claim that history teaching does not teach truths, but is content to grab certain passwords (Stichworts) in the crowd, because it is easy to use them and to better relate to them and the leadership. On the other hand, the apostles of history teaching, such as Emil a Woinovich, Wirklicher Geheimer Rat, General der Infanterie ("Osterreichische Rundschau" in the article "Weckung und Pflege historischen Sinns", Julius 1, 1913), claim that "in the crowd, only certain passwords ("Stichworte") are captured because it is relatively easy to use them, and it is better to find a link to them and it is the job of leading circles". As a matter of fact, the contradiction is not so great, or even very slight. The only difference between the two points of view is that while the General lord only writes with such openness in the papers of the "Österreichische Rundschau", Gyula Pikler asserts and defends the same truths in the forum of science. But even after such a certified justification, one might be in doubt as to Pikler's true statement that the 19th century was a century of history and reaction, while the 20th century was a century of reaction. 20th century will be a century of sociology and progress, then the latest high school reform curriculum of Prime Minister Béla Jankovich must finally convince skeptics. Janusfej is a Hungarian ministry of public education whose past face looks closely at everything and forgets nothing, but its future face sees nothing because it closes both eyes carefully … The new curriculum is also close to science and completely blind sociology, while he has a really telepathic sense of history. A child does not need to learn in school that the history of human association and development is subject to universal laws that apply to all times and places and thus create a sea of ​​social phenomena, past and present, in the face of changing conditions. You must not hear sociological truths, lest you laugh at the social reaction that chills your head on a social perpetumstable (Pikler).

Believe that the world has happened in the past and will not happen in the future, that God created the heavens and the earth in seven days, not that we are re-creating it today, that everything is related to the old and the new in itself it is worthless that the great social transformations are the result of a strange combination of strange and seemingly never-repeated circumstances, that without Cleopatra and Napoleons there is no history, and that these are not cakes at the hour of social development; Slowly, as natural science has gained ground in people's conception of the world, sociology is slowly replacing history. So Mr Jankovich is well on his way when he does not want to see modern science and modern social science at the same time, and instead focuses his attention on history. Historical science in its present-day narrative form, though imbued with the pulpitic wisdom that sees behind every event, who sees it in the foreground, instead of seeing what is behind it, populating the past with "ghosts," "Fighting with each other [223]," hurrying to each other "and finally" dying out "of people like the devil from Gypsy, this whole Central African Negro science, is really only to intimidate Catholic bachelor societies to put Hungary and the mummies in the darkness of our birth just as they scare us out of nowhere after death. But Klio does not sit in the drafting department of the Ministry of Religion, and only the story he has written can be included in the curriculum, but history is not written there. And about Kronos, »whom orphan mythology says is identical with Chronos, Time, it is recorded that he devoured his own children. Admittedly, we're pleased to see that Father Time has long hurt the eldest fetus of his tooth - teaching history.

Text Informations

Original Publication: “Történelemtanitás a láthatáron”, Szabadgondolat, 3.7, July 1913, p. 222-223
KPA: 01/16 (2 p., copy of the original)