Within pretty broad limits[1], I’m an advocate of historical ‘presentism’, that is, assessing past events and actions in the same way as those in the present, and considering history in relation to our present concerns. In particular, that implies viewing enslavers, racists and warmongers in the same light, whether they are active today or died hundreds of years ago.

A common objection to this position runs along the lines:

Suppose that at some point in the future, the vast majority of people are vegans. They will judge you in the same way as you judge past enslavers, racists and warmongers. In anticipation of this, you should suspend judgement on people in the past.

I don’t buy this.
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