Culture Wars: Cultural Marxism vs. Judeo-Christian Culture

Culture Wars: Cultural Marxism vs. Judeo-Christian Culture

How Cultural Marxism stole our culture

keyHaving grown up during the 1950s, I have seen how our beloved country has tragically changed during my lifetime, but I did not know how it started or that it was part of Marxism all along. In the following excerpts, William Lind tells us who stole our culture, and what we can do about it. This is a very meaty piece, but it is well-worth studying in depth. In fact, understanding of this history is vital to the survival of our Judeo-Christian culture. ~C.A. Davidson

Culture Wars

History Lessons

Who Stole Our Culture?

How America’s Judeo-Christian values were replaced by Marxist ones—and almost no one noticed

By William Lind, June 2012 Whistleblower Magazine, pp.43-46

(Excerpts)

“Sometime during the last half-century, someone stole our culture. In the 1950s, America was a great place. It was safe. It was decent. Children got good educations in the public schools. Even blue-collar fathers brought home middle-class incomes, so moms could stay home with the kids. Television shows reflected sound, traditional values.

Where did it all go? How did that America become the sleazy, decadent place we live in today—so different that those who grew up prior to the ‘60s feel like it’s a foreign country: Did it just ‘happen’?”

(Summary)

hammerandsickleIt didn’t just “happen”.  It was deliberately planned that way. Lind takes us back to World War I and the history of how “political correctness” started. During that war, when the Communist revolution erupted in 1917, the goal was to spread the revolution throughout Europe, and to destroy Western civilization through an uprising of the workers (proletariat). The only trouble is, it didn’t work. The workers didn’t support it.

Unwilling to admit that there could be anything wrong with Marxism, two Marxists—Georg Lukacs in Hungary and Antonio Gramsci from Italy—decided that Communism could not prevail in the West, until both Western culture and the Christian religion could be destroyed. They did not diverge from this which had been their goal from the beginning, but they did change their strategy.

A New Strategy

(Excerpts indicated by quotation marks)

“Gramsci famously laid out a strategy for destroying Christianity and Western culture, one that has proven all too successful. Instead of calling for a Communist revolution up front, as in Russia, he said Marxists in the West should take political power last, after a “long march through the institutions”—the schools, the media, even the churches, every institution that could influence the culture.”

Gramsci was jailed by Mussolini, so his influence was limited until the 1960s when he was rediscovered. Georg Lukacs, on the other hand, gained some administrative power in Hungary as early as 1918, where he instituted what he called “cultural terrorism.”

war-on-christianity“One of its main components was introducing sex education into Hungarian schools. Lukacs realized that if he could destroy the country’s traditional sexual morals, he would have taken a giant step toward destroying its traditional culture and Christian faith.”

The Hungarian workers were outraged, so Lukacs went to Germany, where he teamed up with a Marxist named Felix Weil, who had inherited millions. With the help of psychologists and a number of Jewish intellectuals who promoted feminism and matriarchy, Weil used his wealth to start the Institute for Marxism.

The Use of “Front” Organizations

(Satan goeth abroad, deceiving the nations ~D&C 52:14)

wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-150x150“The Cultural Marxists realized they could be far more effective if they concealed their real nature and objectives.” They changed the name to the more neutral-sounding “Institute for Social Research.” (For the sake of simplicity, hereafter referred to as the Frankfurt School.)

NOTE: This deceitful naming technique, called “front organizations”, has been used for decades by Communists for infiltration purposes, and is still used by socialists, communists, and most other ideological persuasions who want to destroy America.

The Frankfurt School was well on its way to developing political correctness, until Hitler came along, who hated both Marxism and Jews. In 1934, the Frankfurt School re-located in New York City with help from Columbia University. Its focus shifted from destroying Western culture in Germany to doing so, with far too much success, in the United States.

Smear Tactics

schoolindoctrination2In the 1950s, cultural Marxism was greatly advanced by Herbert Marcuse and Theodor Adorno.

“Critical Theory: To serve its purpose of “negating” Western culture, the Frankfurt School developed a powerful tool it called “Critical Theory.” What was the theory? The theory was to criticize. By subjecting every traditional institution, starting with family, to endless, unremitting criticism (the Frankfurt School was careful never to define what it was for, only what it was against), it hoped to bring them down. Critical Theory is the basis for the “studies” departments that now inhabit American colleges and universities. Not surprisingly, those departments are the home turf of academic political correctness.

“Studies in prejudice: The Frankfurt School sought to define traditional attitudes on every issue as ‘prejudice’ in a series of academic studies that culminated in Adorno’s immensely influential book, ‘The Authoritarian Personality,’ published in 1950. They invented a bogus ‘F-scale’ that purported to tie traditional beliefs on sexual morals, relations between men and women and questions touching on the family to support for fascism.

Today, the favorite term the politically correct use for anyone who disagrees with them is ‘fascist.’

“Domination: The Frankfurt School again departed from orthodox Marxism, which argued that all of history was determined by who owned the means of production. Instead, they said history was determined by which groups, defined as men, women, races, religions, etc., had power or ‘dominance’ over other groups. Certain groups, especially white males, were labeled ‘oppressors,’ while other groups were defined as ‘victims.’ Victims were automatically good, oppressors bad, just by what group they came from, regardless of individual behavior.

Really Sick Smear Tactics

“Though Marxists, the members of the Frankfurt School also drew from Nietzsche.[1] They incorporated into their cultural Marxism what Nietzsche called the ‘transvaluation of all values.’ What that means, in plain English, is that all the old sins become virtues, and all the old virtues become sins.”

isaiah-good-called-evilIsaiah warned us about this very thing when he said:

Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! ~Isaiah 5:20

“Homosexuality is a fine and good thing, but anyone who thinks men and women should have different social roles is an evil ‘fascist.’ That is what political correctness now teaches children in public schools across America.

“Media and entertainment: Today, when Hollywood’s cultural Marxists want to ‘normalize’ something like homosexuality (thus ‘liberating’ us from ‘repression’), they put on television show after television show where the only normal-seeming white male is a homosexual. That is how psychological conditioning works; people absorb the lessons the cultural Marxists want them to learn without even knowing they are being taught.”

PC-dark-ageIn the 1930s, there was a question of who would replace the working class as the cause of the Marxist revolution. “In the 1950s, Marcuse answered the question, saying it would be a coalition of students, blacks, feminist women and homosexuals—the core of the student rebellion of the 1960s, and the sacred ‘victims groups’ of political correctness today.

“Marcuse further took one of political correctness’s favorite words, ‘tolerance,’ and gave it a new meaning. He defined ‘liberating tolerance’ as tolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the left, and intolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the right.

“When you hear the cultural Marxists today call for ‘tolerance,’ they mean Marcuse’s ‘liberating tolerance’ (just as when they call for ‘diversity,’ they mean uniformity of belief in their ideology).

poisonPoisonous Ideology

“As was true from the [Frankfurt School’s] beginning, Marcuse and the few other people ‘in the know’ did not advertise that political correctness and multi-culturalism were a form of Marxism.

But the effect was devastating: a whole generation of Americans, especially the university-educated elite, absorbed cultural Marxism as their own, accepting a poisonous ideology that sought to destroy America’s traditional culture and Christian faith. That generation, which runs every elite institution in America, now wages a ceaseless war on all traditional beliefs and institutions. They have largely won that war. Most of America’s traditional culture lies in ruins.

What Can We Do?

“Now you know who stole our culture. The question is, what are we, as Christians and as cultural conservatives, going to do about it?

“We can choose between two strategies. The first is to try to retake the existing institutions—the public schools, the universities, the media, the entertainment industry and most of the mainline churches—from the cultural Marxists. They expect us to try to do that, they are ready for it, and we would find ourselves with but small voice and few resources compared to theirs, making a frontal assault against prepared defensive positions. Any soldier can tell you what that almost always leads to: defeat.”

characteredA Promising Strategy: Homeschooling

“We can separate ourselves and our families from the institutions the cultural Marxists control and build new institutions for ourselves, institutions that reflect and will help us recover our traditional Western culture.”

Many grass-roots conservatives “are already part of a movement to secede from the corrupt, dominant culture and create parallel institutions:

the homeschooling movement.”

“Gramsci called for Marxists to undertake a ‘long march through the institutions.’

Our counter-strategy would be a long march to create our own institutions.

It will not happen quickly, or easily. It will be the work of generation—as was theirs. They were patient, because they knew the ‘inevitable forces of history’ were on their side.

Can we not be equally patient, and persevering, knowing that the Maker of history is on our side?”

Historian William S. Lind is director of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation and former director of the center for Cultural Conservatism of the Free Congress Foundation in Washington, D.C.


[1] Someone else they admired for his defiance of traditional morals was the Marquis de Sade. (Have you ever heard of someone being “sadistic”? That’s where sadism comes from.)

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History Facts and History Lessons: Saint Thomas Aquinas vs. Open Borders

History Facts and History Lessons:

Saint Thomas Aquinas vs. Open Borders

Why Saint Thomas Aquinas Opposed Open Borders

 

by Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.

keyEvery nation has the right to distinguish, by country of origin, who can migrate to it and apply appropriate immigration policies, according to the great medieval scholar and saint Thomas Aquinas.

thomas-aquinasIn a surprisingly contemporary passage of his Summa Theologica, Aquinas noted that the Jewish people of Old Testament times did not admit visitors from all nations equally, since those peoples closer to them were more quickly integrated into the population than those who were not as close.

Some antagonistic peoples were not admitted at all into Israel due to their hostility toward the Jewish people.

The Law “prescribed in respect of certain nations that had close relations with the Jews,” the scholar noted, such as the Egyptians and the Idumeans, “that they should be admitted to the fellowship of the people after the third generation.”

Citizens of other nations “with whom their relations had been hostile,” such as the Ammonites and Moabites, “were never to be admitted to citizenship.”

“The Amalekites, who were yet more hostile to them, and had no fellowship of kindred with them, were to be held as foes in perpetuity,” Aquinas observed.

For the scholar, it seemed sensible to treat nations differently, depending on the affinity of their cultures with that of Israel as well as their historic relations with the Jewish people.

History Lessons for Today

In his remarkably nuanced commentary, Aquinas also distinguished among three types of immigrants in the Israel of the Old Testament.

First were “the foreigners who passed through their land as travelers,” much like modern day visitors with a travel visa.

Second were those who “came to dwell in their land as newcomers,” seemingly corresponding to resident aliens, perhaps with a green card, living in the land but not with the full benefits of citizenship.

A third case involved those foreigners who wished “to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship.” Even here, dealing with those who wished to integrate fully into the life and worship of Israel required a certain order, Aquinas observed. “For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations.”

Total Integration necessary for Citizenship

illegal-immigration-difference“The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst,” Aquinas logically reasoned, “many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.”

In other words, Aquinas taught that total integration of immigrants into the life, language, customs and culture (including worship, in this case) was necessary for full citizenship.

It requires time for someone to learn which issues affect the nation and to make them their own, Aquinas argued. Those who know the history of their nation and have lived in it, working for the common good, are best suited to participate in decision-making about its future.

It would be dangerous and unjust to place the future of a nation in the hands of recent arrivals who do not fully understand the needs and concerns of their adoptive home.

When facing contemporary problems, modern policy makers can often benefit from the wisdom of the great saints and scholars who have dealt with versions of the same issues in ages past.

Aquinas’ reflections reveal that similar problems have existed for centuries—indeed, millennia—and that distinguishing prudently between nations and cultures doesn’t automatically imply prejudice or unfair discrimination.

Sometimes, it’s just the right thing to do.

Why Saint Thomas Aquinas Opposed Open Borders

Obama Stranded Cubans—Everyone Silent

Flashback: Obama Stranded Legal Cuban Travelers in Airports in Last Week

Daniel J. Flynn

Remember earlier this month when Lily Tomlin compared America to Nazi Germany, Senator Chuck Schumer cried, and mobs chanted “No hate, no fear/Everyone is welcome here” at airports because the president blocked Cuban refugees from entering the country?

No, you don’t recall that happening? Well, me neither.

The federal government’s crackdown on immigrants, at least ones from a single country, certainly happened. But the protests didn’t. That fact that President Obama rather than President Trump issued the order surely muted the response. So, too, in a no-enemies-to-the-left manner, did the fact that the order helped a Communist prison-state tighten its grip on the inmates.

The TRUTH is:

“More than 1,000 Cuban migrants who endured months long treks across as many as 10 countries to reach the United States are marooned in Mexico, halted by the Obama administration’s decision this month to end special immigration privileges for Cubans who make it to the American border,” Frances Robles reported last week of Obama’s executive order in the New York Times.

Related Links:

Poll: Public Overwhelmingly Supports Trump Push to Limit Migration

…Ahmed: ‘Many of Us’ Muslims Welcome Extreme Vetting

Seven Inconvenient Facts About Trump’s Refugee Actions

Populist Leaders Praise Trump’s Refugee Ban as Model for Europe

 

History Lessons: Faith of our Fathers

History Lessons: Faith of our Fathers

keyIn the United States, on the seventh day of every week, the trading and working life of the nation seems suspended; all noises cease; a deep tranquility, say rather the solemn calm of meditation, succeeds the turmoil of the week, and the soul resumes possession and contemplation of itself. ~Alexis de Tocqueville

Tim Wildmon

alexisdetocquevillelgeMy favorite subject in school was history. I remember well my high school and college classes on Western Civilization and American History. I made good grades in those courses. My downfall was advanced math and hard science. Those subjects made my head hurt. But I got through them somehow and earned my college degree in 1986. Some people graduated Magna Cum Laude. I graduated Thank the Laude.

Speaking of history, recently I’ve been reading again in Democracy In America by Alexis de Tocqueville and published in 1840. Democracy in America is a two-volume set based on Tocqueville’s travels through the United States in 1831. The Frenchman was a political thinker, historian, and journalist. He was curious about this New World to which many Europeans were immigrating, and he set out to observe and experience American life.

I encourage everyone to read this work. It’s a very compelling account of life in America in that snapshot of time. There is much to learn about history from this outsider’s view because of his comparisons of America to Europe.

The popularity of Democracy In America was in large part because it was so comprehensive, and it was considered objective and fair by most historians and readers. There was no political or philosophical ax to grind. Tocqueville wrote about the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Although I have not finished both volumes in their entirety, I was struck by this particularly poignant passage, which opens chapter 15 in volume two:

In the United States, on the seventh day of every week, the trading and working life of the nation seems suspended; all noises cease; a deep tranquility, say rather the solemn calm of meditation, succeeds the turmoil of the week, and the soul resumes possession and contemplation of itself. Upon this day the marts of traffic are deserted; every member of the community, accompanied by his children, goes to church, where he listens to strange language which would seem unsuited to his ear. He is told of the countless evils caused by pride and covetousness; he is reminded of the necessity of checking his desires, of the finer pleasures which belong to virtue alone, and of the true happiness which attends it. On his return home, he does not turn to the ledgers of his calling, but he opens the book of Holy Scripture; there he meets with sublime or affecting descriptions of the greatness and goodness of the Creator, of the infinite magnificence of the handiwork of God, of the lofty destinies of man, of his duties, and of his immortal privileges. …

I have endeavored to point out in another part of this work the causes to which the maintenance of the political institutions of the Americans is attributable; and religion appeared to be one of the most prominent amongst them. I am now treating of the Americans in an individual capacity, and I again observe that religion is not less useful to each citizen than to the whole State. The Americans show, by their practice, that they feel the high necessity of imparting morality to democratic communities by means of religion. What they think of themselves in this respect is a truth of which every democratic nation ought to be thoroughly persuaded.

Wow! Think about Tocqueville’s observation and compare it to the mission of the modern day secularists who demand that we remove all vestiges of honor and acknowledgement of the God of our fathers. To Tocqueville, the emphasis on the Christian religion in America permeated the whole society, advanced individual and corporate morality, and provided the glue that held the country together.

American Family Association believes in these same values that made our country great in the first place. They may be considered old fashioned, but they served our country well for a long, long time. And we don’t apologize for wanting to see our country return to the faith of our fathers.

May the Lord God bring revival and restoration to our land!

History Lessons: A Treasure of Adventure and Heroes

Dinner Topics for Monday

A Treasury of Epic Stories: Making History Exciting and Relevant

History-Clues

Join Epic Heroes Quest

treasurechestDINNER TOPIC: How do you make history exciting and relevant? We have before us the splendid adventure of exploring with our families the vast treasure trove of fascinating forgotten epic stories in our rich American heritage. The heroes and villains, as well as events put into motion by the choices of these individuals, are as thrilling as any popular fantasy of today.

 

 How do you make history exciting and relevant?

Recently a teacher called in to a radio talk show and informed us that history was being removed from school curricula. It seems that history is being sacrificed for political agenda. I thought, how sad. Now our kids are going to be more detached than ever from their heritage. But then, years ago, when I was in school (and I am a grandmother), the history books were boring anyway. Moreover, they were loaded with falsehoods. It is past time that we parents and grandparents reclaim our rightful role as conveyers of our heritage and values to our children, and not just the young ones. Young adults have also been deprived of facts about the epic heroes in our heritage. Most of the great epic heroes were taught privately or at home, anyway. And some very great brains were kicked out of school.

Voices from the Past Teach Us Today

Epic Hero resize medSo we have before us the splendid adventure of exploring with our families the vast treasure trove of fascinating forgotten epic stories in our rich American heritage. The heroes and villains, as well as the events put into motion by the choices of these individuals, are as thrilling as any popular fantasy of today. In fact, when you learn how much these voices from the past can influence your future, all the pulp fiction will be languishing in the dustbin.

Where to begin? First of all, we’ll start collecting banned books. That’s already starting to sound exciting. What kinds of books are banned by the State Religions (atheism and Islam)?

1) The Bible and any other forms of Judeo-Christian scripture.

2)  Accurate biographies of the Founding Fathers, because those men were (ahem) religious.

3) Any classic literature that teaches the values we cherish

These and many others did not make it past the cutting room floor of moral relativism in government schools. Let’s create an ongoing book list of the fascinating forgotten epic stories.

Epic Heroes in Training

New! More about Epic Heroes in Training

So, Parents, as mentors of the rising generation, how do you make history relevant? As exciting as these stories are, if we don’t learn how to apply them to our day, then we can’t be the epic heroes we need to be, and rescue our sacred and endangered heritage. We’ve got to think!

Here is our strategy. TRUTH will be our headlight,

nighttrainso we can see to lead the train of rising generations down the right tracks into a future of peace and liberty. In the vast treasury of epic stories that comprise history, select and examine meaningful events or “moments” in ancient, early American, and modern times.   You will see patterns emerge.

Yes, history does repeat itself, because human choices, good and bad, have consequences.  Find the heroes (who promote liberty), and the villains (who destroy freedom). Compare the consequences of choices by individuals from each era, then do an analysis based on the causes and effects of the events given. Don’t underestimate the imagination and intelligence of young adults to connect the dots. They love a challenge and a puzzle. This is great practice in problem-solving, and builds effective leaders. Hang on, here we go!

knightonhorseJoin Epic Heroes Quest

Copyright 2011 © by C.A. Davidson

Political Correctness has Hijacked Civic Education

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Political Correctness has Hijacked Civic Education

History Lessons

History, American Democracy, and the AP [Advanced Placement] Test Controversy

Reserve your spot in the Fall 2015 online course on Winston Churchill

Register now

 

Wilfred M. McClay
University of Oklahoma

keyHistory has been a principal victim of the age of fracture. But it can also be a powerful antidote to it. ~ Wilfred M. McClay

This is what happens when a nation rejects God. (Use of the term “Hijacked” is mine.)~C.D.

 

liberal-GlitteringJewel-ignoranceHistorical study and history education in the United States today are in a bad way, and the causes are linked. In both cases, we have lost our way by forgetting that the study of the past makes the most sense when it is connected to a larger, public purpose, and is thereby woven into the warp and woof of our common life. The chief purpose of a high school education in American history is not the development of critical thinking and analytic skills, although the acquisition of such skills is vitally important; nor is it the mastery of facts, although a solid grasp of the factual basis of American history is surely essential; nor is it the acquisition of a genuine historical consciousness, although that certainly would be nice to have too, particularly under the present circumstances, in which historical memory seems to run at about 15 minutes, especially with the young.

Civic Education

Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800No, the chief purpose of a high school education in American history is as a rite of civic membership, an act of inculcation and formation, a way in which the young are introduced to the fullness of their political and cultural inheritance as Americans, enabling them to become literate and conversant in its many features, and to appropriate fully all that it has to offer them, both its privileges and its burdens. To make its stories theirs, and thereby let them come into possession of the common treasure of its cultural life. In that sense, the study of history is different from any other academic subject. It is not merely a body of knowledge. It also ushers the individual person into membership in a common world, and situates them in space and time.

This is especially true in a democracy. The American Founders, and perhaps most notably Thomas Jefferson, well understood that no popular government could flourish for long without an educated citizenry—one that understood the special virtues of republican self-government, and the civic and moral duty of citizens to uphold and guard it. As the historian Donald Kagan has put it,

“Democracy requires a patriotic education.”

It does so for two reasons:

voter placing ballot1) First, because its success depends upon the active participation of its citizens in their own governance; and

2) Second, because without such an education, there would be no way to persuade free individuals of the need to make sacrifices for the sake of the greater good. We now seem to think we can dispense with such an education, and in fact are likely to disparage it reflexively, labeling it a form of propaganda or jingoism. But Kagan begs to differ with that assessment. “The encouragement of patriotism,” he laments, “is no longer a part of our public educational system, and the cost of that omission has made itself felt” in a way that “would have alarmed and dismayed the founders of our country.”

science-fraud-money-not-truthWhy has this happened? Some part of the responsibility lies within the field of history itself. A century ago, professional historians still imagined that their discipline could be a science, able to explain the doings of nations and peoples with the dispassionate precision of a natural science. (Today’s “scientists” are all about opinion and propaganda; they don’t even exercise empirical methods, which are the foundation of true science. ~C.D.)

But that confidence is long gone. Like so many of the disciplines making up the humanities, history has for some time now been experiencing a slow dissolution, a decline that now may be approaching a critical juncture. Students of academic life express this decline quantitatively, citing shrinking enrollments in history courses, the disappearance of required history courses in university curricula, and the loss of full-time faculty positions in history-related areas.

But it goes much deeper than that. One senses a loss of self-confidence, a fear that the study of the past may no longer be something valuable or important, a suspicion that history lacks the capacity to be a coherent and truth-seeking enterprise. Instead, it is likely to be seen as a relativistic funhouse, in which all narratives are arbitrary and all interpretations are equally valid. Or perhaps history is useless because the road we have traveled to date offers us only a parade of negative examples of oppression, error, and obsolescence—an endless tableau of Confederate flags, so to speak—proof positive that the past has no heroes worthy of our admiration, and no lessons applicable to our unprecedented age.

shooting-historyThis loss of faith in the central importance of history pervades all of American society. Gone are the days when widely shared understandings of the past provided a sense of civilizational unity and forward propulsion. Instead, argues historian Daniel T. Rodgers, we live in a querulous “age of fracture,” in which all narratives are contested, in which the various disciplines no longer take a broad view of the human condition, rarely speak to one another, and have abandoned the search for common ground in favor of focusing on the concerns and perspectives of ever more minute subdisciplines, ever smaller groups, ever more finely tuned and exclusive categories of experience. This is not just a feature of academic life, but seems to be an emerging feature of American life more broadly. The broad and embracing commonalities of old are no more, undermined and fragmented into a thousand subcultural pieces.

* * *

capitol-strike-lightningLoss of History Profoundly Affects our Society

This condition has profound implications for the academy and for our society. The loss of history, not only as a body of knowledge but as a distinctive way of thinking about the world, will have—is already having—dire effects on the quality of our civic life. It would be ironic if the great advances in professional historical writing over the past century or so—advances that have, through the exploitation of fresh data and new techniques of analysis, opened to us a more expansive but also more minute understanding of countless formerly hidden aspects of the past—were to come at the expense of a more general audience for history, and for its valuable effects upon our public life. It would be ironic, but it appears to be true.

Old-Fashioned Survey Course replaced by Pedagogues

pseudo-intellectual2As historian Thomas Bender laments in a recent article, gloomily entitled “How Historians Lost Their Public,” the growth of knowledge in ever more numerous and tightly focused subspecialties of history has resulted in the displacement of the old-fashioned survey course in colleges and universities, with its expansive scale, synthesizing panache, and virtuoso pedagogues.

Bender is loath to give up any of the advances made by the profession’s ever more intensive form of historical cultivation, but he concedes that something has gone wrong: historians have lost the ability to speak to, and to command the attention of, a larger audience, even a well-educated one, that is seeking more general meanings in the study of the past.

They have indeed lost their public. They have had to cede much of their field to journalists, who know how to write much more accessibly and are willing to explore themes—journalist Tom Brokaw’s celebration of “the greatest generation,” for example—that strike a chord with the public, but which professional historians have been trained to disdain as ethnocentric, triumphalist, or uncritically celebratory. [Because “professional historians” are no longer patriotic. ~C.D.)

Professional historians complain that such material lacks nuance, rigor, and is prone to re-package the past in terms that readers will find pleasing to their preconceptions. They may be right. But such works are at least being read by a public that is still hungry for history. The loss of a public for history may be due to the loss of a history for the public.

Instead, it seems that professional historiography is produced mainly for the consumption of other professional historians. Indeed, the very proposition that professional historiography should concern itself in fundamental ways with civic needs is one that most of the profession would find suspect, and a great many would find downright unacceptable—a transgression against free and untrammeled scholarly inquiry. Such resistance is understandable, since conscientious historians need to be constantly wary of the threat to their scholarly integrity posed by intrusive officials and unfriendly political agendas.

libertyThere can be no doubt that the professionalization of the field has brought a remarkable degree of protection for disciplinary rigor and intellectual freedom in the framing and pursuit of historical questions. But must abandonment of a sense of civic responsibility come in tandem with the professionalization of the field? This presents a problem, not only for the public, but for the study of history itself, if it can no longer generate a plausible organizing principle from its own resources.

* * *

No Respect for our Heritage

Consider in this regard our startling incapacity to design and construct public monuments and memorials. Such edifices are the classic places where history and public life intersect, and they are by their very nature meant to be rallying points for the public consciousness, for affirmation of the body politic, past, present, and future, in the act of recollection and commemoration, and recommitment to the future.

There is a profundity, approaching the sacramental, in the atmosphere created by such places, as they draw together generations of the living, the dead, and those yet unborn in a bond of mutuality and solidarity.

LincolnThe great structures and statuary that populate the National Mall in Washington, D.C.—such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument—or the solemnity of Arlington National Cemetery, do this superbly well. There is a sense, too, that cemeteries honoring fallen soldiers of the Confederacy somehow deserve our general respect, even if the cause for which they fell does not.

But these structures were a product of an earlier time, when the national consensus was stronger. Today, as illustrated by the endless deadlock over the design and erection of a memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington, a drama that has become a fiasco, we seem to find the construction of monuments almost impossibly difficult.

And in a different but not unrelated way, the sudden passion to cleanse the American landscape of any and all allusions to the Confederacy or slaveholding—a paroxysm more reminiscent of Robespierre than of Lincoln—also suggests the emergence of a public that is losing meaningful contact with its own history.

Ego vs. History

eisenhower-memorialWhy has this happened? In the case of the Eisenhower memorial, it happened because the work of designing the memorial was turned over to a fashionable celebrity architect who proved incapable of subordinating his monumental ego to the task of memorializing a great American hero.

But more generally, it has happened because the whole proposition of revering and memorializing past events and persons has been called into question by our prevailing intellectual ethos, which cares little for the authority of the past and frowns on anything that smacks of hero worship or piety toward our forebears.

The past is always required to plead its case before the bar of the present, where it generally loses. That ethos is epitomized in the burgeoning academic study of “memory,” a term that refers in this context to something vaguely suspect.

“Memory” designates the sense of history that we all share, which is why monuments and other instruments of national commemoration are especially important in serving as expressions and embodiments of it. But the systematic problematizing of memory—the insistence on subjecting it to endless rounds of interrogation and suspicion, aiming precisely at the destabilization of public meanings—is likely to produce impassable obstacles to the effective public commemoration of the past. Historians have always engaged in the correcting of popular misrenderings of the past, and that is a very important and useful aspect of their job.

But “memory studies” tends to carry the debunking ethos much further, consistently approaching collective memory as nothing more than a willful construction of would-be reality rather than any kind of accurate reflection of it. Scholars in the field examine memory with a jaundiced and highly political eye, viewing nearly all claims for tradition or for a worthy past as flimsy artifice designed to serve the interests of dominant classes and individuals, and otherwise tending to reflect the class, gender, and power relations in which those individuals are embedded.

Rewriting History to suit an Agenda against National Patriotism

 

Political Correctness has Hijacked Civic Education, American History Lessons

Memory, argues historian John Gillis, has “no existence beyond our politics, our social relations, and our histories.” “We have no alternative,” he adds, “but to construct new memories as well as new identities better suited to the complexities of a post-national era.”

The audacity of this agenda could not be clearer.

ruling-elite-flagIt is nothing less than a drive to expel the nation-state, and completely reconstitute public consciousness around a radically different idea of the purpose of history. It substitutes a whole new set of loyalties, narratives, heroes, and notable events—perhaps directed to some post-national entity, or to a mere abstraction—for the ones inhering in civic life as it now exists.

It would mean a complete rupture with the past, and with all admired things that formerly associated themselves with the idea of the nation, including the sacrifices of former generations. Ernest Renan argued that a nation was “a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future,” as part of a “clearly expressed desire to continue a common life.” That solidarity, that quest to continue a common life—all would surely be placed in jeopardy by the agenda Gillis proposes.

* * *

Advanced Placement Test

It is at precisely this point that the recent controversy over the new Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History framework comes into play. Not that the College Board—the private New York-based organization that administers the advanced placement exam to American high school students—openly espouses such a radical agenda. Instead, the College Board argues that its 2014 revision of the AP exam has sought to make the exam more perfectly reflect the contents of a typical collegiate introductory survey course in American history. On the surface this would seem to make sense, since the avowed purpose of AP is to provide a shortcut to college-level credit. But it is also a huge problem, since, as Thomas Bender himself has observed, the introductory survey course, once the glorious entryway to a college history department, is now its neglected and unwanted stepchild.

The Advanced Placement exam has become a fixture in American education since it was introduced in the years immediately after the Second World War, and many colleges and universities in the U.S. (and more than 20 other countries) grant credits or advanced placement based on students’ AP test scores.

For many American students, the AP test has in effect taken the place of the required U.S. history survey course in colleges and universities. This makes its structure and makeup a matter of even greater importance from the standpoint of civic education, since many of these students will never take another American history course.

The pervasive use of the test has had many sources, but surely its widespread adoption is testimony to the general trust that has so far been reposed in the test. The test has retained this trust by striking a sensible balance between and among different approaches to the American past. In addition, rather than issuing detailed guidelines, the College Board until very recently has made do with a brief five-page document outlining the test’s general framework for the use of teachers, and leaving to them the distribution of their teaching emphases. This was a reasonable, respectful, and workable arrangement.

Central Control

In this light, the 134-page framework in the 2014 iteration of the test represents a radical change and a repudiation of that earlier approach.

truth-meter-falseIt represents a lurch in the direction of more centralized control, as well as an expression of a distinct agenda—an agenda that downplays comprehensive content knowledge in favor of interpretive finesse, and that seeks to deemphasize American citizenship and American world leadership in favor of a more global and transnational perspective.

Liberal Anti-American Agenda

The new framework is organized around such opaque and abstract concepts as “identity,” “peopling,” and “human geography.” It gives only the most cursory attention to traditional subjects, such as the sources, meaning, and development of America’s fundamental political institutions, notably the Constitution, and the narrative accounting of political events, such as elections, wars, and diplomacy.

Various critics have noted the political and ideological biases inherent in the 2014 framework, as well as structural innovations that will result in imbalance in the test and bias in the course.

multi-culturalism-messChange from American Exceptionalism to Multiculturalism and Political Correctness

Frankly, the language of the framework is sufficiently murky that such charges might be overstated. But the same cannot be said about the changes in the treatment of American national identity.

The 2010 framework treated national identity, including “views of the American national character and ideas about American exceptionalism,” as a central theme.

The 2014 framework grants far more extensive attention to “how various identities, cultures, and values have been preserved or changed in different contexts of U.S. history, with special attention given to the formation of gender, class, racial, and ethnic identities.”

The change is very clear: the new framework represents a shift from national identity to sub-cultural identities.

Indeed, the new framework is so populated with examples of American history as the conflict between social groups, and so inattentive to the sources of national unity and cohesion, that it is hard to see how students will gain any coherent idea of what those sources might be.

Embraces Fracture, Undermines Unity

This does them, and all Americans, an immense disservice. Instead of combating fracture, it embraces it.

world-upside-downIf this framework is permitted to take hold, the new version of the test will effectively marginalize traditional ways of teaching about the American past, and force American high schools to teach U.S. history from a perspective that self-consciously seeks to decenter American history. Is this the right way to prepare young people for American citizenship?

How can we call forth the acts of sacrifice that our democracy needs, not only on the battlefield but also in our daily lives—the acts of dedication to the common good that are at the heart of civilized life—without training up citizens who know about and appreciate that democracy, care about the common good, and feel themselves a part of their nation’s community of memory?

How can we expect our citizens to grapple intelligently with enduring national debates—such as over the role of the U.S. Constitution, or about the reasons for the separation of powers and limited government—if they know nothing of the long trail of those particular debates, and are instead taught to translate them into the one-size-fits-all language of the global and transnational?

* * *

Global Citizenship a Hollow Phrase

We often speak these days of global citizenship, and see it as a form of advanced consciousness to which our students should be made to aspire. But global citizenship is, at best, a fanciful phrase, abstract and remote, unspecific in its requirements.

Actual citizenship is different, since it entails membership in the life of a particular place. It means having a home address.

Education does young people no favors when it fails to equip them for that kind of membership. Nor does it do the rest of us any favors. We will not be able to uphold our democracy unless we know our great stories, our national narratives, and the admirable deeds of our great men and women.

AFA-ignorance-dunceGrade of “F” for new Advanced Placement Test

The new AP U.S. History framework fails on that count, because it does not see the civic role of education as a central one.

As in other areas, we need an approach to the past that conduces most fully to a healthy foundation for our common, civic existence—one that stoutly resists the culture of fracture rather than acceding to it. This is not a call for an uncritical, triumphalist account of the past. Such an account would not be an advance, since it would fail to give us the tools of intelligent and morally serious self-criticism.

But neither does an approach that, in the name of post-national anti-triumphalism, reduces American history to the aggregate sum of a multitude of past injustices and oppressions, without bringing those offenses into their proper context—without showing them as elements in the great story of a longer American effort to live up to lofty and demanding ideals. Both of these caricatures fail to do what we have a right to expect our history to do. Nor, alas, will professional historians be much help, since their work proceeds from a different set of premises.

Historians will find their public again when the public can find its historians—historians who keep in mind that the writing of our history is to be for that public. Not for in the sense of fulfilling its expectations, flattering its prejudices, and disguising its faults. Not for in the sense of underwriting a particular political agenda. But for in the sense of being addressed to them, as one people with a common past and a common future, affirmative of what is noblest and best in them, and directed towards their fulfillment.

History has been a principal victim of the age of fracture. But it can also be a powerful antidote to it.

 

Wilfred M. McClay is the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Professor in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma. He has also taught at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Tulane University, Georgetown University, and Pepperdine University, and he served for eleven years as a member of the National Council on the Humanities. His books include The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America, The Student’s Guide to U.S. History, and Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past. He received his Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University.

 

 

Reprinted by permission of Hillsdale College (Sub headings inserted by C.A. Davidson)

 

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History Lessons, Lord of the Rings, and Politics of Nations

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History Lessons, Lord of the Rings, and Politics of Nations History Lessons Critical Thinking A nation’s quality of government reflects the character of its citizens.   In The Lord of the Rings, every character is tested by the Ring’s compelling … Continue reading

Government Corruption in Ruling Class: Follow the Money

Government Corruption in Ruling Class: Follow the Money

History Lessons

ru.ing-class3-codevillaAttitude of Ruling Class

Rush Limbaugh

RUSH:  Well, this attitude of the elites — the inside-the-Beltway establishment, ruling class, or whatever name you want to use for ’em — precedes Trump.  Now, in my 27 years of doing this… I was thinking about this the other day. Has this changed and I’m just late to the party in seeing it…?  Let me rephrase.  Has this always been the way it is, or am I just late to the party in seeing this, or is this something new?  Is this divide…?

 

 

President_Reagan_1981Well, the reason I ask it this way is I know full well that back during the eighties the establishment of the Republican Party despised Reagan, before he was elected and even afterwards.  They were embarrassed of him. I mean, they quietly supported him.  You know, human nature is that everybody wants to bask in the glowing light of victory. So Reagan had his suck-ups.

And he had his groupies that were — some of them — members of the establishment and so forth.  But they couldn’t wait to get to his second term and take over.  So it’s not new in that sense.  But what aspects of it are worse than they’ve been since I have been paying attention in that focused way?  And I think it is different and worse.

RUSH: Look, here’s the bottom line.  In the 27 years that I’ve been doing this program, I have never seen the Republican Party — the establishment itself, I mean, the RNC — more hostile to its base.  And that’s saying something.  It was hostile to its base in 2010.  It’s been hostile to its base a lot.  It was hostile to the base back in the eighties with Ronald Reagan.

ruling-elite-flagI mean, Boehner, John Kasich, Dick Armey. All these names that you knew, look at what became of them.  As they were there, they moderated. They became less and less conservative as time went on, because they lived inside the Beltway, worked inside the Beltway, and no matter what else you want to say, the establishments and primarily the liberal establishment run that town. 

But the hostility that exists today I think is more open than I’ve ever seen it, and I have never — until recently — believed that the Republican Party would actually favor losing and define it as winning as I think they do today.  I think the Republican Party would be happy to lose, even a couple of elections, if they could you didn’t find what is now known as the conservative base.  Now, explaining why?

You know, that’s such a violation of common sense. Why in the world would a party want to wash its hands of the people who secure it victory?  Well, I’m sorry, this is above my pay grade.  I can give you some reasons, but none of them make any sense to me, until you start talking about attitudes. “Who’s elite and who’s not, who embarrasses us and who does not, who do we want in our club and who do we not want in the club?” and why don’t we want them in the club and this kind of thing.

Follow the Money

science-fraud-money-not-truthMoney has always been a determining factor in politics.  Money has always been the mother’s milk of politics.  I’m asking myself, “The pursuit of money, personal money —  personal enrichment — seems to be the primary objective of people.”  The pattern is, you run for office, you get elected.  You serve.  But who do you serve?  You end up serving so that you’re either taken care of while in office or you have a very, very cushy job with a lot of big salary and perks and benefits when you leave.

Peer Review Science Exposed as Fraud

It is totally determined by money. Scientific result can be purchased. And once scientific result, be it in the social sciences, be it in climate …

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/08/28/peer_review_science_exposed_as_fraud

 

Disconnect of the Ruling Class

ruling-elite-obamaThere’s a Peggy Noonan column today.  I wasn’t gonna mention this for a host of reasons, but I’m gonna go ahead and mention it here because it helps to answer the question.  Peggy Noonan, for lack of a better way of mentioning it, is part of this ruling class in Washington.  That is her world, and it always has been.  When I first met Peggy Noonan, she said, “Oh, you’re the guy that has all the truck drivers in his audience, right?”

I’d never heard that one before.  Truck drivers?  By the way, “truck drivers in your audience” was a put-down.  So Peggy left Washington recently.  She’s been out there talking to you, people like you, and she has been shocked at what she found.  And she’s now a believer.  She thinks what’s happening outside Washington’s real.  The way she describes it today is, “America is in play,” meaning all of this support for Trump.

But more than that, all of this opposition to the fixtures of Washington is real.  It’s not fringe.  It’s not tiny.  It’s not made up of kooks.  It is more and more mainstream, and she has been stunned!  She writes that she’s stunned to learn that there are Hispanics that feel this way and that there are African-Americans who feel this way, and that there are blacks and Latinos and Asians and you name it. 

ruling-eliteIn other words: Inside the Beltway they think all of this anti-Washington stuff is a bunch of conservative fringe kooks.  Peggy went out there — she’s been talking to people, she’s traveled the country — and she’s found out that every demographic under the sun is represented by these people who are unhappy with the leadership that they’re getting in all of Washington. Not just Republicans, not just Democrats, but the whole shebang. 

She writes as though she’s made a discovery, that her eyes are open to this now, and she thinks it’s real.  That means that a lot of other people inside-the-Beltway probably think so, too.  So guy’s question was about Jeb. “Hey, you know, I’m a conservative, too!” The Jeb campaign is not gonna react to any of this.  They’re simply relying on the fact that all of this is what has to play out in order for Jeb to get the nomination based on he’s gonna have all the money.  That’s their thinking; that’s their strategy.

Oh, Peggy was also shocked to learn that this opposition to Washington isn’t based on issues.  It’s based on attitude.  It’s not based on specifics.  You know, the inside-the-Beltway crowd says, “Come on, Trump! Tell us your specifics!”  Peggy was shocked to learn they don’t matter.  It’s gone beyond specifics.  It’s gone beyond policy.  It’s much greater than that. It’s much more important than that. It’s much more important than just attitudinal.

Americans Fear Losing the Country

ImmigrationInvasionOfAmericaThere is a genuine fear that we are losing the country, and the people inside the Beltway? The furthest thing from their mind is that we’re losing the country.  They think that’s the silliest thing they’ve ever heard.  “What do you mean, ‘losing the country’?  We’ve had the national debt for as long as we’ve had a nation and it hasn’t hurt anything. Don’t sweat it! What deficits?  Doesn’t matter!  We’ve got it under control.  Don’t worry about it.”

They do not understand, and if you look at the life circumstances, the economy inside the Beltway, what’s the unemployment rate, 3% there?  What’s the average salary there?  I guarantee you it’s much higher than it is outside the Beltway.  The exact opposite of what the founders intended has happened.  A great divide has been created now, and the people leading and running the country really don’t have much in common with the people voting for them. 

Trump-Make-America-Great-MAPThere’s a story that Peggy Noonan tells in her column, and the point of the story is that she learns that a bunch of Latinos actually like Trump, and she can’t believe it.  She’s shocked and stunned, as are some of the Latinos that she’s talking to.  They don’t believe it.

History Lessons: Planned Parenthood and Aztec Human Sacrifice

History Lessons: Planned Parenthood and Aztec Human Sacrifice

Planned Parenthood and Aztec Human Sacrifice

keyAPB: Are there enough millstones big enough for these people? ~C.D.

It is long past time to immediately and completely defund Planned Parenthood, and then investigate it, prosecute it, and put it out of our nation’s misery. ~Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer

For human cruelty, barbarity, savagery and utter inhumanity, the Aztecs had nothing on the modern priests of paganism who engage in human sacrifice 327,000 times a year in Planned Parenthood clinics, each one a virtual pagan temple.

If there ever was a contemporary organization birthed in the nether regions of hell itself, Planned Parenthood is it.

cortezHernan Cortez was the Spanish conquistador who conquered Mexico and claimed it for Spain in 1521. He defeated Montezuma and the Aztecs at present-day Mexico City with the help of virtually every other native tribe and nation in the region, all of whom wanted out from under Aztec tyranny.

aztecWhy were the native tribes so eager to join forces with the Spanish? Because the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice, and those tribes were the sacrificial victims.

As Cortez’s men made their way from the coast – after burning their ships – to Mexico City, they came across buildings filled from floor to ceiling with 100,000 skulls, each one a victim of Aztec cruelty. They found other structures, prisons actually, filled to bursting with victims of Aztec conquest, waiting their turn.

abortion-pp-moneyIt is long past time to immediately and completely defund Planned Parenthood, and then investigate it, prosecute it, and put it out of our nation’s misery.

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/perspectives/bryan-fischer/2015/08/20/planned-parenthood-and-the-aztecs

 

A pro-life organization is calling for a murder investigation of Planned Parenthood following the latest video from the Center for Medical Progress. And it’s not alone.

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/pro-life/2015/08/20/planned-parenthoodor-murder-inc