François-Marie Arouet's Voltaire: Is History Is A Lie?

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François-Marie Arouet, better known by his pen name, Voltaire, is best known in the modern societies as a writer who stood up against tyranny, cruelty and oppression . Being a historian, philosopher, ‘Newtonian’ and an Enlightenment thinker, Voltaire perceived the French bourgeoisie to be too small and ineffective, the aristocracy to be parasitic and corrupt, the commoners to be ignorant and superstitious, and the church (religion) to be a static force used to have stronghold against the monarchy . Keeping this in mind, it is easy to presume why he quoted ‘history is a lie commonly agreed upon’.
I believe the two key words in this quote are ‘lie’ and ‘commonly’, therefore to explore and analyze this statement, we need to see with what significance these two words were used. Hence I’d like to devise two questions out of the quote: “Is history a lie?” and “Then what is the degree of truth in history?” “Is history a lie?”
Let’s take a look at why Voltaire saw history as a lie. Having already summarized his views on the society, it is easy to extract the disgrace that he associated with the bourgeoisie. He believed that those who had the power over the general population also had the power to influence how the past was interpreted to be written as history. Something that George Orwell stated as: “Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.” Voltaire considered that the dominant ideology greatly influenced the writing of
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