Shall we defend our common history?

Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 2 weeks, 6 days ago to Culture
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An interesting conservative essay that breaks my heart because it's obvious to those of us who understand but are essentially helpless to prevent its further metastasizing.
SOURCE URL: https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/shall-defend-common-history/


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  • Posted by mccannon01 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    Thank you for putting this up, AJ. It is a heart breaker, for sure.

    I'm reminded of a newsreel from Nazi Germany recording a "book burning" where so many young people took relish in adding to the pile.

    Would it be even possible to find a way to preserve the historical record so it may be rediscovered centuries from now after this coming age of madness finally burns itself out?
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    History is constantly being rewritten, by the victors of physical or political conflict. The most grievous form of rewriting is by omission. While Confederate military leaders are reviled for their ownership of slaves, you have to hunt to discover that Union General Ulysses T Grant did not release his own slaves until after the conflict was over. While Union General William Tecumseh Sherman is praised for his swift, efficient March to the Sea campaign that destroyed Confederate morale, you have to read the journals of the Prussian observers to discover the war crimes he committed. The Prussians learned how to commit atrocities from Sherman's practice of executing ten southern civilians for every Union soldier killed by rebel partisans, an act they repeated during both world wars.

    The dictatorial acts of President Woodrow Wilson have been hidden from schoolchildren for decades, only now being "discovered" by investigative historians. It's still not easy to uncover the executive actions by FDR that make anything Trump has proposed look innocent by comparison.

    Details of the JFK assassination that were supposed to be declassified by now, are still under wraps. We have to wonder if it's less about exposing living people, and more about inherent corruption in our intelligence apparatus.

    The truth is out there, but it takes dedicated digging to find it. With today's alternate news pathways, we should make a determined effort to be sure the truth is made available to those who seek it.
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    Cut these money pit universities from the fiscal teet. Out law foreign money used as a weapon influenceing the subversion of USA. These places are fraudulent at best , ex...In the background is the conviction that we, blessed members of the most enlightened cohort ever to grace the earth with its presence, occupy a moral plane superior to all who came before us. Consequently, the defacement of murals of Christopher Columbus—and statues of later historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt—is perfectly virtuous and above criticism since human beings in the past were by definition so much less enlightened than we.

    The English department at the University of Pennsylvania contributed to the monument controversy when it cheered on students who were upset that a portrait of a dead white male named William Shakespeare was hanging in the department’s hallway. The department removed the picture and replaced it with a photograph of Audre Lorde, a black feminist writer.
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  • Posted by chad 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    History is a set of lies agreed upon ~ Napoleon Bonaparte. History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there ~ George Santayana.
    History at best is a report that was often written by the court apologists and is oft interpreted to be an account of men with almost infallible virtue. When you study what the men who signed The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution it won't take long to realize that most used very convincing arguments for freedom as long as they were the ones in charge of determining exactly what that freedom would mean. When asked after succeeding with the revolution to make all men free if any would release their slaves they scoffed at the idea. Although they may have got some things right in how to sell the idea of government to the people they now claimed the right to govern they were quickly trying to find ways to benefit from being in the position of authority.
    I have used an example of religion when discussing politics with religious people, I construe the bible stories into a current vernacular as though I am talking about current states or governments and religious people are quick to point out the immoralities and inconsistencies, when I reveal that I was talking about a particular personage in the bible they suddenly began to rationalize how it was okay then because it was what God wanted and somehow being immoral was how morality was attained.
    How this relates to history is that we need to be very careful about deifying those who had anything to do with the government and its construction, or any history. Instead of analyzing history if we are to maintain good moral standards we need to rationally identify the standards and use them in our lives, not quote (usually misquoting) someone who has been deified as justification for the acceptance of a moral standard to live by.
    As far as the current example of southern vs northern, there were good and bad on both sides and the killing of 650,000 was unnecessary to eliminate slavery (which the constitution did not allow) and was more about the power of the federal government to maintain an authority over the states that was not granted by the constitution. Lincoln even conceded in his writings that it was not about slavery as much as the Federal Governments power to ensure that the states were not sovereign. As Lysander Spooner put it; "Lincoln won the war, freed the chattel slaves and made political slaves of everyone!"
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 weeks, 2 days ago
      Re your "modernizing" Bible stories: have you ever read in Mark Twain's Letters From the Earth the idea that if the "sons of New York were to commit whoredom with the daughters of New Jersey", would it be right to execute the sheriff and the mayor and the archbishop,etc.? When it came to things like that, Mark Twain was a master of sarcasm; he really made his points.
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  • Posted by Blanco 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    As a Southerner who has always enjoyed studying Southern history and tradition, this is especially relevant to me. The ongoing effort by liberals to eradicate any reference to the Confederacy and blacken the names of anyone associated with it greatly disturb me. The Civil
    War occurred and should be studied from both the Northern and Southern viewpoint. Great leaders like Robert E. Lee can still be studied and even honored even if one disagrees with the Southern cause. I have no problem honoring great Northern leaders like Ulysees S. Grant. The removal of the Confederate statue honoring students that fought in the Civil War from the UNC campus is another example of this historical purge by the left. One sadly wonders where all the evil will end.
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  • Posted by DewBFree 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    The article is indeed dis-spiriting. However, I disgree with its basic tenet. This is why.

    The Constitution "counter-revolution" traded out small govt for large govt. It was a risk, and included (essentially) one provision to ensure that we, as individuals, had final say. The FFs gambled that individuals - not The People - would take up the defense. They did not.

    The vital power was, is, the power of the purse. As long as individuals do not understand income taxation and continue to mis-file (in nearly all circumstances, by filing a Form 1040) then individuals will continue to cede the most powerful control against the shenanigals and power accumulations the article presents.

    note bene - This isn't anything radical, like not filing, going to jail &c. I posit that the simple action of filing a CORRECT return lassos all of the nonsense.
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    Just remember what your mother told you. "You can't defend yourself against gossip and you are a fool if you try. And, I didn't raise any fools."
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    • Posted by  $  2 weeks, 5 days ago
      The issue isn't who is the fool. The issue is a matter of the masses, by sheer numbers, drowning out the voice, liberties and rights of those who know by ignoring and erasing history. Hitler said it most accurately and it is coming to fruition. This is a very serious issue.

      "When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”
      Adolf Hitler
      Speech November 1933, quoted in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    Re: Charlottesville: I understand that one of the "Anti-fa" people threw a bag of urine on somebody. There was blame to go around, true.
    But I'd just as soon see the Confederate statues come down. It's one thing to recognize that history has taken place, it's another to celebrate and glorify what has taken place. And I do not think that the Confederate cause was great or noble. It might be a good thing to donate the Confederate statues to museums (at the museums' expense) and to replace them with signs stating which statues once stood there, how long they stood there, and where they are to be found.
    As to "Huckelberry Finn", it is indeed unfortunate that people don't understand the book. It is anti-racist; Huck is not presented as a perfect person (neither does he so present himself); it shows how he comes to understand Jim as a human being.
    A lot of this :"political correctness" comes from enshrining education as a function of government (which, properly, it is not).
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    Defacement and ignorance of the past will surely cause them to repeat that same history they hate so much...Is it me or does it sound like the Spanish Inquisition all over again? (yes, it was about power and so it is today)

    I get Imprimis, but thanks for posting, I hadn't had the chance to read it.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    "In the background is the conviction that we, blessed members of the most enlightened cohort ever to grace the earth with its presence, occupy a moral plane superior to all who came before us."
    I really think we do. Standing on the shoulders of people in the past we have the ability to hold ourselves to a higher standard. George Washington helped turn what must have felt like a utopian dream of building a state based on philosophers' ideas of personal liberty into reality. Two hundred years later we are appalled he participated in slavery.

    This article is about what to do with our enlightenment. Now we're uncomfortable that an historic public area has a statue of Columbus bu not Bartolome de las casas. Do we cover it up? The author appears outraged at the very question and then says, apparently without irony, "how delicate they are, how quick to take offense!" Wow. I thought the whole theme of the piece was about the author's delicate sensibilities.

    The author dismisses the issue has virtue signaling. I say don't avoid virtue but celebrate it. I don't know if that means covering a statue or facing our past squarely. But celebrate our long struggle for liberty. He calls this self-infatuation and self-despising. It seems like he's really just against celebrating human achievement and admitting our frailties.
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    • Posted by  $  2 weeks, 5 days ago
      CG my friend, I do not know how you got what you did from what I posted. There is an inherent evil in erasing the past because it removes the relevance of who and what we are. Regardless of political or ideological leanings, and I know that we do differ, I cannot fathom how being "enlightened" means more virtuous when it actuality it means wisdom. Only the left equates virtue with wisdom and they lord it over others with varying degrees of force (much in the same way they falsely contend religious people of doing so),
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 2 weeks, 3 days ago
        I'm going to quibble with your choice of terms simply because I believe there is an important and distinct difference between education and actual wisdom. Education simply means attending an institution and being told that you learned stuff. True wisdom comes in the identification and application of correct principles - something it takes far more than simple "education" to achieve.

        I don't equate anything on the left to be either "wise" or "virtuous" because the principles of the left violate the principles of reality and promote further ignorance! The left not only does not learn from the mistakes of the past (classic example: socialism) but they refuse to admit that the principles of reality are not subject to their own whims and desires. They are enemies of truth and one can not acquire wisdom or act virtuously in any other way than the defense of and adherence to truth.
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        • Posted by  $  2 weeks, 3 days ago
          Blarman, I'm saying that,and I did below in plainer terms, that it doesn't matter how anyone else rationalizes, justifies or qualifies the term virtuous. The only people who need believe to commit the atrocities are those perpetuating the atrocities. The ones who differ, justifiably or not, are the fodder to elevate their myopic "virtue" and vision.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 weeks, 5 days ago
        "There is an inherent evil in erasing the past because it removes the relevance of who and what we are. "
        I agree it's wrong to ignore facts and history is a subset of facts. Facts about history may or may not provide relevance to who we are today, but regardless we should not ignore the facts.

        "I cannot fathom how being "enlightened" means more virtuous when it actuality it means wisdom.
        Only the left equates virtue with wisdom"
        Maybe I'm from the left (if I were into that stuff) because they seem to go together for me. I think of Enlightenment as being about reason and respecting one another's rights, and I think of that as a virtue.

        "they lord it over others with varying degrees of force "
        People certainly do this, but I don't think of that as a part of Enlightenment values.

        I think the confusion is I don't see the article as being about erasing the past.
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        • Posted by  $  2 weeks, 4 days ago
          I can't align virtuous with wisdom. I don't think all things wise stem from something virtuous. I could contend that all things wise stem from experience.

          Only the lessons of what not to do come from the dark age virtuous catholics, the virtuous communists and virtuous islamists. It is by these history erasers today that we are poised for a most bloody refresher for America in the future. Removing any reminder of our past, even honoring that memory of those we disagree with but overcame to make us better, only adds the potential to revisit those things in the future. It is cancerous and it will eventually kill.

          I keep recommended Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery. A freed slave who lived through the age offers his insights to the time and his accomplishments. A man of character anyone today, particularly black society, could learn from his words and values.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 weeks, 4 days ago
            "dark age virtuous catholics, the virtuous communists and virtuous islamists."
            We're using a different definition of virtue. I find nothing virtuous in communism or religious extremism.

            "Removing any reminder of our past, even honoring that memory of those we disagree with but overcame to make us better, "
            That what what I was saying about George Washington. He helped realize what must have seemed like a fantasy until it happened. It would be foolish not recognize his achievements because he didn't take the next steps forward.
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            • Posted by  $  2 weeks, 4 days ago
              CG, That's the thing entirely and it exemplifies the problem.. it is not what we think that matters. It was and is always what those groups believe of themselves and their causes (that they are supremely virtuous) that causes them to act with such zeal and conviction in committing atrocities.

              Washington, Jefferson, etc...all are under scrutiny and are at risk of having their statues and monuments and having the schools named in their honor renamed by contemporary brown shits acting out of a profound belief in the righteousness of their causes. It started with Confederates but the sanitizing according to "virtuous" standards set by this generation are focusing more an more on the Framers and those who erected universities. When does it end? By whose measure are things legitimized? Who sets the standard?

              It is exactly what the article is about.
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              • Posted by term2 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                I would say that none of the founding fathers were perfect in every way, and the current leftist witch hunting could bring them all down.

                When you let the tiger out of the cage, it can bite YOU too. I hope the leftists get slammed by the same witch hunting that they are involved in.
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                "Washington, Jefferson, etc...all are under scrutiny and are at risk of having their statues and monuments and having the schools named in their honor renamed"
                That would be a travesty, given their accomplishments. I love utopian sci-fi stories in which smart people risk their lives and wealth to build a society using nerdy philosophical ideas that seem like impractical idealistic theories. In some stories that isolation and liberty cause them to create technologies that create more material value, not just personal liberty, than seemed possible. It's like how the residents of KSR's Red Mars cure aging. That's the kind of story the founders of the US started.

                "By whose measure are things legitimized? Who sets the standard?"
                I suppose it's up to each generation to figure it out. It's the wrong question to ask if historical figures are good or evil. We need to look at actions. Maybe we shouldn't have statues of people in a land the values reason and law. I'm categorically against tearing them down though. We should be intelligent enough to know we can view history as "great people" or "trends and forces", and that weighing the overall merit of a historical figure is a flawed activity.
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              • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 weeks, 2 days ago
                The Confederates were different from the Founding Fathers. At least the Founding Fathers, with all their faults, fought for a just cause.
                The Confederates fought for a cause which, if won, would have caused the continuation of slavery. And everybody knows it.
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