But in history, as in travelling, men usually see only what they already had in their own minds; and few learn much from history, who do not bring much with them to its study.
– John Stuart Mill
The book’s Epilogue compares Collins, and his fate, with that of a notorious contemporary. Following are some excerpts:
“Yes, Michael Collins and Adolf Hitler: just about exact contemporaries. Let’s consider these two, side by side. Let’s examine their ideas, their plans and vision, as set forth in their writings…
“No one could plead ignorance as to what Hitler intended to do. He never made any secret of it. The war and the concentration camps and the mass genocide were all there in black and white, for the world to read at their leisure, in his bestseller “Mein Kampf“. And he did exactly what he said he would do…
“The one assassinated in his prime; arguably with the collusion of the British regime…The other patronized, coddled and enabled by London, to the devastation of Britain’s neighbours and allies on the Continent … Until the viper they’d nursed in their breast turned on themselves…
“The loss of life and property in the Nazi bombardment of London was one of the worst military catastrophes in English history; dwarfing by comparison all the casualties and damage attributable to Irish insurgency in a hundred years.
“So much for conventional wisdom of the powers that be. What was really dangerous, and what was good, for British interests?
“A secure, united, egalitarian Ireland next door? Or friendly fascists on the Continent?”
*** *** ***
Anyone feel a disturbing sense of déjà vu here?
Does history indeed repeat itself?
“The Assassination of Michael Collins:
What Happened At Béal na mBláth?”
by S M Sigerson
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