Ten Lessons from 2012 – Ten: History as the story of Power v. Liberty.
In researching different economic and historical theories over the course of the year I came across an explanation of history that was extremely compelling.
What if we examine all of history as a constant struggle between concentrated power and individual liberty? When we look at the revolutions of the 18th 19th century and see this trend in clear force. This observation also seems to define much of the 20th century’s major political movements.
The struggle between free individuals conducting the affairs of their own lives and those in positions of arbitrary power seems to be extremely prominent as a trend throughout history.
What does this mean in terms of dramaturgical analysis?
Well I think that there is something archetypal about the struggle of the hero to oppose arbitrary power and achieve individual liberty. Especially in the last several hundred years when the story of the American revolution seems to almost stand as one of our most prominent pieces of cultural mythology – it makes sense that this story structure, inherently archetypal, would come to particular imminence in the time we live in.
This analysis definitely has a great deal of utility in explaining the relationship between man and state, between hero and antagonist. It is one that I will continue to apply, examine, and explore into 2013.