American History, PC and pre-PC
0 comment Tuesday, July 15, 2014 |
Over at the Iron Ink blog, Bret has a series of entries under the heading
Bret's Thumbnail Summer Course on American History
The discussion is based on Thomas Woods' "Politically Incorrect Guide To American History." Although that book has been on my informal list of books I hope to read, so far I haven't gotten around to reading it. I have quite a stack of books here that I have not read, so it may be a while before I get to Woods' book, but it would seem to be worth reading, as is the Iron Ink series of posts.
In introducing the series, Bret describes the conflict between the politically correct version of American history which is prevailing today, and the older version.
Recorded American History is viciously fought over by those who would use history as part of an effort to bend and shape the American psyche so that it conforms to a particular theological / ideological mold. If it is true that it is the victors who write history it is even more true that it is historians who control the self-understanding of a people or a nation.
The book that we are reading this summer is dedicated to over-throwing current popular historical myths that many contemporary American historians are seeking to advance as set and established truths in our culture. This is where the "Battle Royal" begins. As I said some historians are seeking to teach one set of "truths" and the historian who wrote the book we are reading is battling against their reading of American history in favor of an older and more tested reading. Both set of historians are dealing with the same set of recorded facts and events but the battle heats up as each school of historians handle and compile the facts in such a different way that one quickly begins to realize that the differences between the historians is not one of facts and events but rather the difference is one of worldviews.
This book challenges the current myth supported by many contemporary American historians that the Puritans were racist or that they stole Indian lands. This book challenges the current myth supported by many contemporary American historians that the American revolution was of a same piece with the French Revolution. This book challenges the current myth supported by many contemporary American historians that the American Constitution is a living document by focusing on the Constitutions original intent. This book challenges the current myth supported by many contemporary American historians that the American War Between The States was primarily about slavery.
These and many other current interpretations of American history that are intended to fill Americans with self hatred so that the nation�s character and direction can be more easily changed are challenged in this book.''
This is something that's important, of course, for younger people who have been exposed to the PC version of history, but which needs to be emphasized for many of the older generations as well. Those of us who are baby-boomers and older remember America as it was before the PC reign, and most of us were taught the politically incorrect truths as they were recognized in the pre-PC era. Shockingly, though, I encounter people who are old enough to remember the old America, but yet seem to have been indoctrinated by the PC version that is promoted by the media today. It seems that many of the older generations seem to have forgotten what they once knew. I am dumbfounded to see that; I don't know how it can happen.
So I think all ages could benefit by a re-visiting of American History, seen without the distorting lenses of political correctness.
In the Iron Ink entry called 3 Insights Into the Colonial Character, Bret uses the term 'classical Americans.'
Classical Americans have ever been leery of governmental expansion. Classical Americans have understood that when governments expand their reach the result is that the reach of the free individual is constricted. Classical Americans have understood that government, by its very nature, always desires to expand and so are ever vigilant against such expansion.''
That term 'Classical Americans' caught my fancy, and I wondered if he intended it as I use the term 'old Americans' or sometimes 'vanishing Americans', or perhaps like Stephen Hopewell's 'Heritage American.' A commenter asks him about the phrase, and Bret responds
''The term "Classical American" is mine as far as I know.''
It's a good term, if I understand it properly.
I hope the series continues; it's interesting reading so far.

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