09 November 2013

Historical "Memory" Is All The Rage These Days

Yet few who claim to be experts in it, truly understand it. And their rage is the cause of the rage or, maybe it's the other way around. This really struck me when I heard the following statement while listening to the radio one morning last week. Think about the following statement:
". . . awareness of the present and future aren't the most important predictors of a satisfying, meaningful life. Instead, extensive studies show that our most important orientation toward time is a positive appreciation of the past. The more we savor memories of relationships and let go of grudges ... the more we connect to our roots and let go of our forebears' failings ... the more we treasure their legacy and let go of the myth that we are self-made: the stronger our sense of a positive past, the better grounded and centered we will be. In fact, the more crazy and stressful our circumstances, the more the past helps us navigate our way. ~ Dr. Christine Chakoian
This is so blatantly obvious and simple that I think many tend to overlook and forget it. While it is simple and obvious, it is still quite profound. Doesn't this explain a lot of what professional and academic historians are writing these days? Doesn't this explain why so many vocal "activist historians" are anything but "centered"? There seems to be a rather conformist, consistent, canned and constant "beating up" of our past in America by many professional historians. National Review editor, Andrew McCarty hit the nail on the head when addressing this obsession academia has with its holding a grudge against America's past:
What most frustrates Americans is that we are a happy, optimistic, can-do people ceaselessly harangued by media solons, delusional academics, post-sovereign Eurocrats, and the Democrats who love them. While we free and feed the world, they can’t tell us enough that we’re racist, imperialist, torturing louts. We know it’s a libel, an endless stream of slander. But we also know it’s an absurd libel. We’re tired of hearing it, but taking it too seriously would give it power it doesn’t deserve. ~ Andrew McCarthy (Emphasis mine.)
Progressive historians hold grudges. Just peruse some of the more popular "memory" blogs and writers who focus on American history. The vast majority of their writings, posts, comments are about America's faults and national sins: in their world racism, sexism, imperialism, etc. They are absolutely obsessed with it. Bitter and angry, every post is little more than a platform and another opportunity to launch into negative comments and complaints about America's evil founding and history and to attack traditionalists who revere and respect our history, as imperfect as it is.

And historians' obsession with "holding a grudge" against America's past is unhealthy - both figuratively and literally. I think they might need some anger-management sessions.


Marilyn Manson said...

Out with the old way. In with the new way. We keep winning elections and we are taking over. No more capitalists. No more republic. You didn't give the power back to the people so we took it back. Sincerely, - the 99%

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Yes, "Marilyn", we know. You are "the ones we've all been waiting for."

"No more capitalists. No more republic."

Perfect. Thank you.

ropelight said...

Memory historians have abandoned the pretense of attempting to accurately record the past and are consciously engaged in manufacturing fables which conform to and validate contemporary Leftist political agendas.

I don't think it's too harsh to say they falsify the past to shape acquiescence to their current preferences and future ambitions. They are, by and large, political propagandists, nothing else.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Correct. The National Association of Scholars recently summed up a study regarding the teaching of history in the United States by saying this:

". . . the root of the problem is that colleges and universities have drifted from their main mission. They and particular programs within them, increasingly think of themselves as responsible for reforming American society and curing it of prejudice and bigotry. When universities and university programs consider it necessary to atone for, and help erase, oppressions of the past; one way in which they do so is by depicting history as primarily a struggle of the downtrodden against rooted injustice. This pedagogical conception may be well-intended, but it is also a limited and partisan one, and history teaching should not allow itself to become imprisoned within a narrow interpretation. A depoliticized history would provide a comprehensive interpretation of American history that does not shortchange students by denying them exposure to intellectual, political, religious, diplomatic, military, and economic historical themes."

". . . Historians and professors of United States history should return to their primary task: handing down the American story, as a whole, to future generations."

What continues to fascinate me is the fact so many of them are delusional in thinking this isn't the case or that more and more people are aware of it.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"Aren't aware of it"