29 April 2015

The Cement That Holds Us Together: Historical Consciousness

That cement is cracking. From The Imaginative Conservative:
A culture without memory will necessarily be barbarous . . . In our day, even the academic study of history has begun to yield to such barbarism. For an increasing number of younger historians, the whole point of studying the past is to “prove” that all our inherited institutions, beliefs, conventions, and normative values are arbitrary—mere “social constructions” in the service of ignoble power—and are therefore utterly without legitimacy or authority. In this view, it is absurd to imagine that the study of the past could have any purpose beyond serving the immediate needs of the present . . .
Another twist on Gordon S. Wood's "condemning the past for not being more like the present." Worth the read.

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