A Walking Paradox
Each day, reading the papers, I come to a type of history.
Newspapers teach me by what they say and by what they don’t.
History is a walking paradox. Contradiction moves its legs. Perhaps for this, its silence says more than its words and often its words reveal, by lying, the truth.
Soon, my book will be published called Mirrors. It is something like a universal history, and forgive me the impudence. “I can resist everything except temptation,” said Oscar Wilde, and I confess I that I have succumbed to the temptation of relating some episodes of the human adventure in the world, from the viewpoint of those of who have not left behind their photographs.
To say it anyway, it deals with not very well-known facts.
Here I sum up a few, a few small facts, no more.
When evicted from Paradise, Adam and Eve moved to Africa, not to
Some time later, when their children had already set out in the world, writing was invented. In
Algebra also was invented in
Names usually do not coincide with what is named. In the
The three innovations that made possible the European Renaissance, compass, gunpowder and printing, had been invented by the Chinese, who had also invented almost everything that
The Hindus had known before everybody that the Earth was round the Mayas had created the most exact calendar of all times.
In 1493, the
Just as the Pope had ordered, the barbaric nations were reduced. Very reduced.
John Locke, the philosopher of liberty, was a shareholder of the Royal Africa Company, which bought and sold slaves.
Meanwhile born in the Eighteenth Century, the first of the Bourbons, Philip V, inaugurated his crown by signing a contract with his cousin, the King of France, for the Company of Guinea to sell blacks in
Names of some of the slave ships: Voltaire, Rousseau, Jesus, Hope, Equality, Friendship.
Two of the founding fathers of the
The Birth of a Nation, the first Hollywood super-production, was premiered in 1915, at the White House. President Woodrow Wilson gave it a standing ovation. He was the author of the texts in the film, a racist hymn in praise of the Klu Klux Klan.
In the year 1783, the King of Spain decreed that manual labour was not dishonourable, the so-called “vile occupations”, which till then implied loss of nobility.
In the name of liberty, equality and fraternity, the French Revolution proclaimed in 1793 the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Then, the militant revolutionary Olympe de Gouges proposed the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Woman Citizen. Guillotine cut short her head.
Fifty years later, another revolutionary government, during the First Paris Commune, proclaimed universal suffrage. At the same time, it denied the right of vote to woman by unanimity short of one: 899 votes against, one in favour.
The Christian empress, Theodora, never said to be a revolutionary, not even by way of style. But five hundred years ago, the
Abridged and translated from Spanish by Supriyo Chatterjee.
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