My lucky regulars know that I am a bit of a nut on the history thing…..that I seem to always find some sort of historical perspective for many of my posts.
I believe that we all need to know our history and then maybe we could stop making the same goddamn mistakes over and over…..we should know it all…the good, the bad and the ugly……
America needs to lift that veil of ignorance and step into a brighter future…..
The nation’s observed birthday – July 4th – always brings forth what passes for modern day “patriotism”: prominent displays of the flag everywhere, celebration of the military, picnics, backyard barbecues, and of course fireworks. There is even an occasional tribute to the nation’s “founders,” those men who supposedly signed the Declaration of Independence on that date, and the genius of Thomas Jefferson who purportedly masterminded and wrote the document. Yet Americans, although a great people, are usually vacant on their history, and many really admit it, because history seems a like a dusty little hobby that is irrelevant to the “here and now,” which self-help gurus on TV tell us we need to focus on. However, comparatively, people in other countries usually pay more attention to their own history and those of at least their region of the world.
Because many people in the United States don’t value history very much, they tend to allow politicians to be selective in their remembering of historical events – usually to manipulate public nationalism (which now passes for patriotism) for their own dubious policy goals. For example, if Americans had focused more on the fact that historically, the Vietnamese had been fighting fiercely over the centuries to throw out foreign invaders – such as the Japanese, the Chinese, and recently the French – perhaps they would have demanded that their politicians think twice, even three times, about invading that country. And if Americans had known that the historically fractious Iraq, an artificial country that had been created by the greedy colonial powers after World War I to exploit the country’s oil reserves, they might have wisely rejected George W. Bush’s attempt at military social work in one of the most unlikely places in the Middle East for democracy to flourish.
The complete lack of knowledge of history makes for a country that cannot make a good decision no matter how hard they try. Sadly this fuzziness is by design…..it is a propaganda tool…….the news and any media outlet that pretends to give history when they give only one side of an issue…..
The perfect tool for education especially in history is the “Boob tube”…..but instead of a teaching moment we get programming on modern day “dumpster divers” or gear heads or worse….stupid reality garbage…..so yeah Americans are fuzzy on history……. most have NO other choice.