A book dedicated “To the hero of the Second World War”
The 20th Century Historical Outlook
The Relativity of History
Just as the Western Culture has the most intensely historic soul, so does it develop men with the greatest historical sense. It is a Culture which has always been conscious of its own history.
The fact that the Culture was continually changing meant that History was continually changing. History is the continuous reinterpretation of the Past. Truth in the religio-philosophical-mathematical sense, meaning timelessly, eternally valid, dissociated from the conditions of Life, does not pertain to History. History that is true is History that is effective in the minds of significant men.
The determining thing in our outlook on History is the Spirit of our Age. Ours is an external, factual, skeptical, historical, Age. It is not moved by great religious or critical feelings. Ours is the first age in Western history in which an absolute submission to facts has triumphed over all other spiritual attitudes. Previous ages in Western history formed their History to fit their souls; we do the same, but our view has no precedent ethical or critical equipment in it. On the contrary—our ethical imperative is derived from our historical outlook and not vice versa.