Our own role

Nowadays understanding what is dangerous is getting more and more difficult. Since the times of Protagora and his idea of “man as a measure for everything”, everything is relative. Spengler relativized morality, Einstein did so with space and time, Wittgenstein with consciousness, Nietzsche with good and evil, Popper with mistakes and Gaber with left and right wing politics, up until an exaggerated relativism that ended up imploding in a sense of unawareness of our own role in the world and in time.
How would we behave in a different age? What would our role be? How would we behave at the times of Fascism or during any war that characterized our history? What side would we take during the “anni di piombo” in Italy? Who would we vote for in the 1920’s in Italy? Would we really stand up against regimes and dictators? Would we protest against the war in Vietnam? Would we be brave enough to leave everything and become partisans?
It seems easy to speculate, since we never experienced the terror of war; since we can freely travel throughout the world and ask ourselves questions.
Did the people who partook the horrors of history know what they were doing? Did they know their role within that particular historical moment and did they understand what was going on? Maybe they didn’t. Maybe what appears inhuman or absurd today was (relatively) normal to them. On one hand, we save pieces of a wall that represents an historical shame and we swear it will never happen, while on the other hand, taller walls are being built, as the lessons from history simply broke down facing the arrogance of the present day. Where do we stand in all of this?
How are we going to be seen by those who are going to come next? In a future with no more water, what will they think of our habits? In a world without death sentence, what would they think about the pictures of young American soldiers in Iraq? In a future choked by oil, what would they think of all photos of young people stuck in endless highway lines? In a future without capitals, what will they think about consumerism and speculative finance? In a future with no ideals, what would they think of our politicians? To quote Manic Street Preachers, If We Tolerate This Our Children Will Be Next.