PHRASE: "Men make their own history, but they do not make..."

"Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from the past."

Marx discusses the present and past and their undeniable connection to each other. However, he critiques the way people sometimes use past, making the present version a "farce" (594) of the old events. Revolutionists will invoke the old heroes or battles, but, by invoking the memories of an older time, the present time tends to take a back seat. The past is glorified by people referring back to it and only bringing up certain aspects of past events. Marx does give an example of when the past can be brought up without making the current events a joke of the old, "The awakening of the dead in those revolutions therefore served the purpose of glorifying the new struggles, not of parodying the old ..." (596) with the English revolution of Locke. But he remarks that the English revolution is a rarity, and usually the past is used inappropriately, making the present become a mockery of greater events in the past.

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