All of history is made up stories. It is constantly revised by whoever is recounting it.
You're more cynical than I am in this one. I would have said that history is a bunch of cherry-picked events to support a narrative.
Vic, I can't tell you how relieved I am to learn from you that the histories I read about Hitler, Stalin and Mao, among others, are all made up. Maybe none of those guys really existed at all.
They probably did. But we can't know that for sure. We should live as if they did, just in casem
Yeah, but it's not easy.
Historical figures have a way of disappearing, especially in the Soviet Union, which probably existed too.
With a high probability. It's really OK that we will never know for sure. You can keep making assumptions as you live your life. It's really all any of us can do.
"Really all any of us can do."? "REALLY"?
Are you absolutely certain of that?
The most recent examples are the destruction of historic statues. Here's an article from Walter Williams -
George Orwell said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
In the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, censorship, rewriting of history, and eliminating undesirable people became part of Soviets’ effort to ensure that the correct ideological and political spin was put on their history.
Deviation from official propaganda was punished by confinement in labor camps and execution.
Today there are efforts to rewrite history in the U.S., albeit the punishment is not so draconian as that in the Soviet Union.
Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu had a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee monument removed last month. Former Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton wanted the statue of Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, as well as the graves of Forrest and his wife, removed from the city park.
In Richmond, Virginia, there have been calls for the removal of the Monument Avenue statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gens. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Stuart.
It’s not only Confederate statues that have come under attack. Just by having the name of a Confederate, such as J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, Virginia, brings up calls for a name change.
These history rewriters have enjoyed nearly total success in getting the Confederate flag removed from state capitol grounds and other public places.
Slavery is an undeniable fact of our history. The costly war fought to end it is also a part of the nation’s history. Neither will go away through cultural cleansing.
Removing statues of Confederates and renaming buildings are just a small part of the true agenda of America’s leftists.
Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and there’s a monument that bears his name—the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. George Washington also owned slaves, and there’s a monument to him, as well—the Washington Monument in Washington.
Will the people who call for removal of statues in New Orleans and Richmond also call for the removal of the Washington, D.C., monuments honoring slaveholders Jefferson and Washington?
Will the people demanding a change in the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School also demand that the name of the nation’s capital be changed?
These leftists might demand that the name of my place of work—George Mason University—be changed. Even though Mason was the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which became a part of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights, he owned slaves.
Not too far from my university is James Madison University. Will its name be changed? Even though Madison is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution,” he did own slaves.
Rewriting American history is going to be challenging. Just imagine the task of purifying the nation’s currency.
Slave owner Washington’s picture graces the $1 bill. Slave owner Jefferson’s picture is on the $2 bill. Slave-owning Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s picture is on our $50 bill. Benjamin Franklin’s picture is on the $100 bill.
The challenges of rewriting American history are endless, going beyond relatively trivial challenges such as finding new pictures for our currency. At least half of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave owners.
Also consider that roughly half of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were slave owners. Do those facts invalidate the U.S. Constitution, and would the history rewriters want us to convene a new convention to purge and purify our Constitution?
The job of tyrants and busybodies is never done. When they accomplish one goal, they move their agenda to something else.
If we Americans give them an inch, they’ll take a yard. So I say, don’t give them an inch in the first place.
The hate-America types use every tool at their disposal to achieve their agenda of discrediting and demeaning our history. Our history of slavery is simply a convenient tool to further their cause.
I haven't seen any liberals "rewrite" history. They're just using the same facts and approaching it with a different set of morals. Usually morals that include ideas such as: Muslims aren't horrible people, the Confederate States of America and Slavery were both bad, Christopher Columbus was not a good person, Black people are human beings, etc.
The statues are just a monument made to glorify something/someone. Bringing down a statue or putting it in a museum changes nothing of what we know of History. Now if people were destroying the books, actually altering things that happened, making up new "facts" - now that's rewriting history.
History is being revised as it happens, and is often updated, re-evaluated, tweaked and tortured ever after...just as it always has been.
I'm not sure if this is exactly on point, but I remember hearing at a young age, "history is written by the victors". So true. I can't even imagine what would be written in our history text books if the Third Reich won WWII..
Absolutely, it is spot-on relevant, Phil. There's more to it, though. The victor creates a new paradigm...whether it is only localized, as with two minor countries or a civil war in the third world, or it is of worldwide import...there is a new model for those affected.
Also, while it is harder today, primarily due to the internet, entire populations were/are fed government propaganda that may differ greatly from what the larger world "knows". I use quotes there because it happens to us in the west, too. We have just had the majority version of history taught to us. That doesn't mean everything we are taught is true or that we are given the whole story. It isn't and we aren't.
I have no horse in that race (that ended 150 years ago ).
The Confederates were not traitors in my book. Their states agreed to become part of the Union and probably assumed they could leave it whenever they wanted. You can look at the Confederates as fighting for State's rights.
I also don't blame others for thinking they were fighting to keep slavery, and therefore were racists who are on the wrong side of history.
Better question is : Why? It is what it is!
The Founders believed that all men are created equal and that they have certain inalienable rights. All are also obliged to obey the natural law, under which we have not only rights but duties. We are obliged "to respect those rights in others which we value in ourselves" (Jefferson). The main rights were thought to be life and liberty, including the liberty to organize one's own church, to associate at work or at home with whomever one pleases, and to use one's talents to acquire and keep property. For the Founders, then, there is a natural moral order -- rules discovered by human reason that promote human well-being, rules that can and should guide human life and politics.
The Progressives rejected these claims as naive and unhistorical. In their view, human beings are not born free. John Dewey, the most thoughtful of the Progressives, wrote that freedom is not "something that individuals have as a ready-made possession." It is "something to be achieved." In this view, freedom is not a gift of God or nature. It is a product of human making, a gift of the state. Man is a product of his own history, through which he collectively creates himself. He is a social construct. Since human beings are not naturally free, there can be no natural rights or natural law. Therefore, Dewey also writes, "Natural rights and natural liberties exist only in the kingdom of mythological social zoology."
Since the Progressives held that nature gives man little or nothing and that everything of value to human life is made by man, they concluded that there are no permanent standards of right. Dewey spoke of "historical relativity." However, in one sense, the Progressives did believe that human beings are oriented toward freedom, not by nature (which, as the merely primitive, contains nothing human), but by the historical process, which has the character of progressing toward increasing freedom. So the "relativity" in question means that in all times, people have views of right and wrong that are tied to their particular times, but in our time, the views of the most enlightened are true because they are in conformity with where history is going.
I appreciate your thoughtful comments Bud.
I'm not sure whether others consider me to be a progressive, but I believe in everything started in your first paragraph above. No government should have the authority to deny any individual his/her natural rights (except criminals).
When I think of rewriting history, the first thing that came to mind was the way common core taught the 2nd amendment.
Wow! The issue of our second amendment rights hinges upon the interpretation of the original text in the Constitution.
I'm no expert in education, but I would think we should teach our children the original text, and then explain the various interpretations.
If you are successful in indoctrinating a generation into believing what you want them to believe, it's easier to abandon the truth for the agenda.
....the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
So, you can purchase or barter but not necessarily keep (have, maintain possession?)
I think I like the word 'keep'.
Ahh! The Constitution meant if you are a citizen.
Regarding the Constitution - There has been decades and decades and zillions of books and studies and opinions about 'what did the founders mean?'
People have differing opinions.
Rewriting it back from the whitewashed version cons made in the 50s
Progressives believe that government is the answer to every problem. They see the Constitution which is designed to limit the power of government as a huge impediment.
So, you have repeatedly heard them complain that the existing constitutional system is outdated and must be made into a dynamic, evolving instrument of social change, aided by scientific knowledge and the development of administrative bureaucracy.
Good question, I wish those righties would tell us how to do that, since they've been doing it for many years. Just having a moron as president says a lot about the right.....geez.
Lincoln was a racist, don'tcha know by now?
This letter probably speaks more to the overall societal norms of the day than any sort of innate racism of the President, but here is an excerpt from a letter sent by President Lincoln to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, regarding an editorial..
As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing" as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.
I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.
Yes, this letter is often quoted, and in it Lincoln makes the obvious point that if the Union were not saved, nothing could be done about slavery. He was also well aware that forcing abolition on the South by bloodshed was not a majority opinion in the North. As it turns out, his timing of the Emancipation Proclamation was a political master stroke and his conduct of the war, given the field commanders he had, could hardly have been better. He is justifiably considered our greatest president by most historians, and these latter-day idiots who try to apply present social norms to him are just that - idiots.
One statue of a confederate at a time