2015 July 23 Thursday
Progressives Have Made The Past Into The West's Original Sin

Frank Furedi notices something important.

Once upon a time, the historical past was an object of veneration and glorification. A nationís past was often represented as a heroic age, and public figures used to invoke the Good Old Days. But today, the past, national or otherwise, has come to serve a very different purpose. It is invariably presented as a story shaped by malevolence, oppression, exploitation and abuse. It forms a past that demands condemnation, a past of which we are meant to be ashamed. Such sentiments are not confined to a small number of sensation-seeking historians. Popular culture is now dominated by a sense of the past as the Bad Old Days.

How better to replace traditions, values, laws, and institutions than to demonize them as part of an evil past.

The heroic view of the past was much more inspiring for me as a kid. Edison, Ford, Lewis & Clark, George Washington, and a great many others made me think of myself as part of a great civilization and gave me something to live up to. That's not what progressives teach today.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 July 23 08:13 PM 

Jersey said at July 24, 2015 4:33 AM:

"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."

Progressives are the worst.

aandrews said at July 24, 2015 10:20 AM:

Paul Gottfried has written one of the best explanations of the reforging of American culture and history by the Left that I've come across recently. I highly recommend it.

The Intellectual Roots Of The American Leftís Emerging Totalitarianism

aandrews said at July 24, 2015 10:43 AM:

An arresting quote from the article...

"Itís important to remember Critical Theory isnít a weapon of revolution. Itís a weapon of repression. And it was quickly and thoroughly Americanized. Itís ridiculous to treat it as an exotic import: it took root in American society and culture almost immediately after it was introduced."

Rev. Right said at July 24, 2015 9:46 PM:

A civilization that allows its children to be taught a history that paints it as evil is one soon to be extinct. For the past 30 years, the history of the United States taught in American schools has covered slavery, the dispossession and 'genocide' of natives, the evils of capitalism, and the glories of the Civil Rights movement. And that's it. A typical 25 year old today couldn't name three founding fathers or three amendments to the Constitution, place in time the country's founding or the Civil War within 50 years, or say which side we were on in World War 1. And its not just history courses. Literature studies consists almost exclusively of the Civil Rights lexicon. There is no pride in America's achievements, only shame for her crimes. I actively monitored what my children were being told in school, and countered it with lessons given at home; this does not seem to have been the case with most parents. How this country let this happen is beyond understanding, but the past generation has been lost, and the next is on its way.

ErisGuy said at July 26, 2015 3:36 AM:

We are at the beginning of a moral transformation as thorough as Christianizing the Roman Empire. The old traditions, laws, custom, words will be erased, forgotten, redefined, transformed. The Old Believers will be destroyed.

Despite the defeats of twins Nazism and Communism, this is the heroic age of Socialism and will be celebrated as such soon.

Seth W. said at July 29, 2015 2:43 PM:

"How this country let this happen is beyond understanding, but the past generation has been lost, and the next is on its way."

Good question with lots of answers and aspects, but young Americans have grown mentally lazy and sloppy due to all the gradual junk their parents accepted without questioning, indignation or putting up an ideological fight.

We are now living in the "junk" era. Junk food, junk school education, junk journalism, junk media, junk college courses, junk intelligentia, junk politics, junk entertainment.

We're headed for Idiocracy and we've been headed that way for a long time.

Anyway, here's a thought: https://parisis.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/noam-chomsky.pdf

It's very short and won't take you more than 5 minutes to read.

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