Example: A boy falls from a tree and breaks his leg. That's a fact; it can't be altered. It really happened. But the way the boy may perceive it is that he was pushed if in the tree with a friend. Or that the friend didn't do enough to save him from the fall. Perhaps the friend of the boy may have felt the boy was being careless, causing the fall. Perhaps the boy's mother felt both boys were being reckless by climbing the tree in the first place. The boy's father, on the other hand, may feel the boy's injury is a source of pride--part of a masculine rite of passage. Four people--all of whom apply separate contexts to the facts--but the FACT still remains that the boy's leg is broken.
Facts cannot be changed by one's perspective. But history is often rewritten anyway. Why? Because people allow their own prejudices to overwhelm them. Because...well, people are weak. It's much easier to change the facts of an event to suit one's own ideals than to face the reality of the event itself. I believe another popular term for this is: JUSTIFICATION. Or "bull shit," depending on your perspective.
This lack of honesty made its way into social attitudes in the mid-20th century shortly after WWII. WWII was based on Modernist perspective: There is absolutely only one truth. And we can only get to that singularity through empirical means.
I don't think I need to explain how Hitler abused this particular social theory...but just in case, "THE Final Solution" ring any bells? And it scared the world. It scared the scholars who put Modernism on the proverbial social map. In essence, those people were partially responsible for the largest genocide in human history. Hence, the birth of POST-Modernism.
Equally convenient is how POST-Modernism allows for a blurring between reality and perspective. Why do you suppose that is? It's written right into the theory itself. You see, Hitler didn't just come to power on his own. No, no. The Vatican helped put him there (the Reichskonkordat is a FACT; it was the final concordat of four that Archbishop Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII, signed with countries like Bavaria, Austria and Germany as early as 1925 through 1933). European politicians helped put Hitler in power; Hitler initially received full support from countries like England, who would stamp giant "J's" in the passports of Jews fleeing Germany into countries that were part of British territory. Even America cheered on the Nazi-nightmare at first. Heck, we even showed up to the Olympics!
It wasn't as though Hitler and his crazy-cult murdered everyone in a few months--or even a few years--before the World knew what was happening. For TWELVE years, Hitler murdered Jews; when he began to run dry there, he started in on the others--Gypsies, people of African heritage, people who were homosexual, the infirmed, the disabled, the elderly...TWELVE years of systematic extinction of other human beings while the World watched. What changed? Hitler began to set his sights on the very people who helped him--excuse me, "appeased" him--early on.
THAT is why POST-Modernism exists. It created gray areas--it had to. The World may not have pushed the Jews into the ovens, but their silence was just as participatory...if not more so. And remarkably, there are still fools in 2011 who buy in to the spin...because that's what the theory of everything--POST-Modernism--really is. All-inclusive, like Sandals, but without the tan.
Today, this social-sickness has made its way into everyday life everywhere. My favorite example was a frequent topic my former philosophy professor loved to debate: Life-boat Ethics. Why help other people, when we need to help ourselves?!?! Because, if you ignore a blatant problem--like cancer--the cancer won't just grow, it will spread. That's how Pearl Harbor happened....
But it doesn't matter. Because the weak will always choose to remember events at their own convenience, regardless of FACT.
I was 21 when I married; my mother remembers me being 25. Regardless of her perception, the FACT is that I was 21. Simply take my birth year and subtract it from the year I got married and you get 21. My birth year is a fact, listed on my birth certificate; the year I got married is a fact, listed on my marriage license. Yet somehow, there is a persistent belief that I was four years older. It's simple mathematics, backed up by several pieces of government documentation--there's really no refuting it. But the FACTS don't matter.
My point here is that even something as simple and imminently provable as one's age can be perverted by another's perception. And I find that frightening.