07 June 2011

On Politics & History


I've noted this before, but some folks still don't seem to get it;
soooo . . . 

This blog is about what interests me in the realm of history, culture, and faith - as I make clear at the bottom of the blog page, as well as in my header. No secrets, no "hidden" agenda. Yes, the primary focus is history and, more specifically, history related to the WBTS. But, unlike other history related blogs, I don't pretend that I don't have a particular perspective or worldview. I make my perspective and worldview abundantly clear. I want readers to know. Evidently, there are some who think that's a mistake. That's fine, but I prefer honesty and openness to feigning complete objectivity and neutrality.

Moreover, there are historians and bloggers who seem to believe that history and politics are unrelated. Absurd. History is, in great part, the story of political struggles and how we interpret and analyze those struggles and, more importantly, what we might learn from those struggles. To believe that those individuals who are most passionate about the topic of history, are not also passionate about politics and political struggles, defies logic and common sense. Frankly, it strains one's credibility.

Evidence abounds that those historians and bloggers who proclaim the loudest that they have no particular objective in approaching history (or criticize others for that same offense) are typically the ones whose agenda is most obvious. I touched on that point in this earlier post.

Now, to be clear, there are some bloggers and some historians that really try to remain as apolitical as possible, but if you'll go deeper into their postings and follow the comment strings, their perspective will manifest itself. Do I have a problem with that? No. My problem is with those who arrogantly and hypocritically claim to be "above it all" and accuse others of what they themselves are guilty. I'm preparing a couple of posts which will make this even clearer. I've promised these posts for quite some time, but they always seem to get put on the back burner. Stay tuned.

8 comments:

msimons said...

Well Said Richard. I always enjoy and am challenged by your blog.

Thomas said...

Couldn't agree with you more. Life is politics and so is history. Even down to the very humdrum existence of your daily experience...with your co-workers, neighbors, family & etc...it is politics and history. It can't be separated. Even in explaining the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese you must examine political motives. Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is a classic shining example, still studied today in the business, political, and military world. I would just like to add one more to the equation which intertwines the other two; economics. Economics is the force that combines history and politics. It is much better to see the big historical picture as a whole than to piecemeal and parcel it in small doses and feign detachment. It just doesn't work.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Thomas. I don't know that I'd go so far as to say "life is politics." Actually, I despise the fact that the left has politicized everything - from dodge ball to light bulbs.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Mike.

Thomas said...

Quite true Richard...everything, including the amount of water in your toilet tank. And it's our job "politically" to fight this rank obnoxious trend. To the Left, it's about control and removing risk, therefore removing liberty. Nine times out of ten, it generates the opposite effect. Take for example the ballot measure that San Franciscans will vote on in November..."No circumcision". In a move to reduce the "risk" of "traumatizing" baby boys after birth, some complete idiots would like to make this a ban in hospitals there. Funny it should be San Francisco, since circumcision has been proven to reduce the "risk" of HIV AIDS by 50%. Not only that, it smacks of religious bigotry. (Especially if you've seen the comic book the proponents are distributing. For people who love to bandy about the word "Nazi", they should take a peek at this hateful propaganda.)So, there you have a "feel good" agenda that will only increase a deadly disease AND stomp on religious liberty.

I understand your sentiments but the reality is that it has come down to exactly that...politics. In a free society it is our right and duty to oppose such measures deemed harmful and expose them for what they are and are not.

John Stoudt said...

Mr. Williams:

I noticed the link to Eugene Genovese's _The Southern Front_. Why do you object to it?

John Stoudt

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I don't object to it. It's an excellent piece of work. I highly recommend it.

John Stoudt said...

Mr. Williams:

Sorry about that; my mistake -- I thought that you were describing Genovese's book as "absurd" (highlighted with the link to it).