The Story of Civilizations

 

Like much of America, I hate-watched the end of Game of Thrones. Ultimately, the ending was unsatisfying, but there have been worse disappointments in the world of television. I come not to bury or to praise Game of Thrones, but to instead highlight a good statement from about the middle of an episode (albeit, not advice the show actually followed):

“What unites a people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.”

This is a common view. I have a textbook for American Government called America: Stories of a Nation. Its format is to teach American Government and culture by embedding the ideas in stories of different people in the US. Jonah Goldberg liked to talk about how the French government began school days with a recitation of “Our ancestors the Gauls…” even in Africa. Jews and Christians (and to a lesser extent, I gather, Muslims) ground their beliefs in a narrative. There’s a reason they are called the Religions of the Book. I could also invoke GK Chesterton’s democracy of the dead, or the description of civilization as a gift from the past preserved in the present for the future.

We understand ourselves and our place in the world via stories. We read older stories and see in ourselves the potential to be, ourselves, in the story. We hope to measure up. We aspire to have something worthy to add to the story. Tolkien dipped into this idea in having the Lord of the Rings start under Bilbo Baggins, be continued by Frodo Baggins, and concluded by Samwise Gamgee.

What makes a civilization is the shared story. The deepest parts of the civilization are so thoroughly shared and embedded in the culture, we don’t even recognize them as stories until the origins of the cliches are pointed out. Our ancestors, the Gauls, who are not actual biological ancestors. But their story is our story. A Triumphal Arch for the Romans reflecting a practice (passing under the yoke) that -by the time of their construction in the Imperial Period -Rome hadn’t practiced in a century. But the meaning is understood.

I’ve said for some time that the decline, the decadence, of a civilization can be seen in the breakdown first of the monuments it makes, then the history it writes, and finally the stories it tells. This is why.

The shared stories of the society, the shared culture, can only be appreciated if everyone is in on it. It’s a kind of jargon. There may be people excluded from the story -but at least in theory, everyone who has been initiated can enjoy the story. American monuments are very particular for most of our history. Obelisks and temples that reference Rome or Greece. A statue of a man holding a musket. These are symbols that tie to the cultural story. No one in American is an actual ancient Roman -but when we look at the Obelisks on Bunker Hill or the Washington Monument, we know the meaning behind them. The Minuteman is another symbol we understand.

But as the culture decays and is not passed on, the symbols no longer carry the meaning they used to. To design monuments for the entire civilization, we must then take a step further back in abstraction. This is how we get meditation gardens for 9/11 memorials. We can’t put civilizational symbols there (I continue to believe that a Minuteman standing on a block of granite inscribed “Let’s Roll” and the names of the passengers was the best United 93 memorial we could have made) because not everyone knows those symbols, or sees themselves in the symbols. The Eisenhower monument is an abstract catastrophe, but it has to be abstract, because the actual symbols of the military, of Kansas, and of Ike himself don’t translate anymore. (The monument should be a statue of Ike in civilian clothing mimicking Washington resigning his commission, by the way.)

With the cultural touchstones that make the monuments gone, it also becomes harder to tell the story of the society itself. The monuments exist to say “this happened here.” But the monuments no longer speak, so the histories have to include the details -or the histories have to become so vague the narrative thread of the nation is lost. This is how you get the oddities of American universities who don’t know what the Louisiana Purchase was, but do know slavery was the worst thing America ever did -and don’t have the slightest idea that the two are related. History becomes not a narrative into which successive generations try to place themselves, but a thing done by others. Others we have no need to understand because what is their connection to us?

And since the first stories we learn are the histories -over time, the inability to tell a coherent national story bleeds over into our ability to tell any story. The stories we tell are either retreads of previous stories -taken up a level of abstraction when they aren’t simply near-exact retellings -or curiosities borrowed from another culture. The culture has decayed so much that there is no longer a language that stories can be told in. We can’t even speak to previous generations, anymore, because we don’t speak their language, not even as a second language. Barely in translation.

If culture is a conversation between the generations, we must have something shared to serve as the medium of communication. When the medium dissolves, the conversation becomes impossible. And shortly after, the culture itself must cease.

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There are 33 comments.

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  1. Hank Rhody-Badenphipps Esq Contributor

    Lemme borrow the dunce cap for a moment; I’m going to ask the stupid question:

    Sabrdance: . American monuments are very particular for most of our history. Obelisks and temples that reference Rome or Greece. A statue of a man holding a musket. These are symbols that tie to the cultural story. No one in American is an actual ancient Roman -but when we look at the Obelisks on Bunker Hill or the Washington Monument, we know the meaning behind them.

    What’s the meaning behind an obelisk? I mean, I know what Bunker Hill signifies, and who Washington was, but why obelisks in particular?

    • #1
    • May 20, 2019, at 3:03 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Seawriter Member

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power (View Comment):

    What’s the meaning behind an obelisk? I mean, I know what Bunker Hill signifies, and who Washington was, but why obelisks in particular?

    Well, Washington was the father of his country. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes it is not.

    • #2
    • May 20, 2019, at 3:55 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. EJHill Podcaster

    I say nothing unites us like a good cup of coffee. (Left on the set.)

    • #3
    • May 20, 2019, at 3:58 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  4. Aaron Miller Member

    Sabrdance: This is how you get the oddities of American universities who don’t know what the Louisiana Purchase was, but do know slavery was the worst thing America ever did -and don’t have the slightest idea that the two are related.

    More hands were needed to work all that new land? French slaves were part of the exchange? Whatever the connection, I never heard it. 

    What you really seem to be saying is, “Winter is coming.”

    • #4
    • May 20, 2019, at 4:22 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Randy Webster Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Sabrdance: This is how you get the oddities of American universities who don’t know what the Louisiana Purchase was, but do know slavery was the worst thing America ever did -and don’t have the slightest idea that the two are related.

    More hands were needed to work all that new land? French slaves were part of the exchange? Whatever the connection, I never heard it.

    What you really seem to be saying is, “Winter is coming.”

    I think that Sabrdance’s point is that the Louisiana Purchase led to the Missouri Compromise.

    • #5
    • May 20, 2019, at 4:45 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. TheRightNurse Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    What you really seem to be saying is, “Winter is coming.”

    Also, we have a generation of sweet Summer children.

     

    • #6
    • May 20, 2019, at 4:51 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Excellent post. My only noteworthy disagreement is the idea that our culture simply decayed and was not passed on. I think that there is something more malicious at work. I think that our history and traditions were intentionally, consciously attacked and misrepresented.

    • #7
    • May 20, 2019, at 5:20 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  8. Stina Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Excellent post. My only noteworthy disagreement is the idea that our culture simply decayed and was not passed on. I think that there is something more malicious at work. I think that our history and traditions were intentionally, consciously attacked and misrepresented.

    Done away with and whisked away behind locked chains by superior maesters academians who think we have moved past children’s stories…

    • #8
    • May 20, 2019, at 5:28 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Kevin Schulte Member

    Your post is spot on. I believe this is why entertainment (movies) are having to go comic book or do retreads. One other thing. We as a culture once accepted the precepts of the Bible as laudable, thus a connection to God. Now that we are a secular nation and disconnected from God, thus disconnected from the source of creativity. Creativity in entertainment is abysmal. 

    Winter, indeed.

    • #9
    • May 20, 2019, at 5:30 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance Post author

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power (View Comment):

    Lemme borrow the dunce cap for a moment; I’m going to ask the stupid question:

    Sabrdance: . American monuments are very particular for most of our history. Obelisks and temples that reference Rome or Greece. A statue of a man holding a musket. These are symbols that tie to the cultural story. No one in American is an actual ancient Roman -but when we look at the Obelisks on Bunker Hill or the Washington Monument, we know the meaning behind them.

    What’s the meaning behind an obelisk? I mean, I know what Bunker Hill signifies, and who Washington was, but why obelisks in particular?

    Rome carried off obolisks after its conquest of Egypt. The form then became a monument to victory. We recognize obolisks as victory monuments for that reason.

     

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Sabrdance

    More hands were needed to work all that new land? French slaves were part of the exchange? Whatever the connection, I never heard it.

    What you really seem to be saying is, “Winter is coming.”

    I think that Sabrdance’s point is that the Louisiana Purchase led to the Missouri Compromise.

    Yes. Slavery was dying in the South after the slave trade was outlawed, until the availability of new plantations allowed the old South to start selling slaves to states west of the Mississippi.

    That is minorly obscure. My point was more to emphasise that my students have heard all about slavery as an abstract evil. They know nothing concrete: like the Louisiana Purchase, Missouri Compromise, or Compromise of 1850.

    • #10
    • May 20, 2019, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  11. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    I agree. I found GOT to be utter crap. I was appalled that so many conservatives were so into something that I see as, at best, a dark reflection of post modernism, and at worst, acid eating at our souls. 

    • #11
    • May 20, 2019, at 6:22 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. OldPhil Coolidge

    Sabrdance (View Comment):
    like the Louisiana Purchase, Missouri Compromise, or Compromise of 1850.

    Slightly OT, but just 30 minutes ago I finished H.W. Brands’ latest: Heirs of the Founders: the Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster. It covers a period of history about which I always felt inadequately educated.

    • #12
    • May 20, 2019, at 6:23 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. Hank Rhody-Badenphipps Esq Contributor

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Sabrdance (View Comment):
    like the Louisiana Purchase, Missouri Compromise, or Compromise of 1850.

    Slightly OT, but just 30 minutes ago I finished H.W. Brands’ latest: Heirs of the Founders: the Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster. It covers a period of history about which I always felt inadequately educated.

    I got a James Buchanan dollar coin back from the vending machine. I’m holding onto it, because it points out a gap in knowledge. You want to hear about Millard Filmore? I have a thing or two to say. Martin Van Buren? I can discourse at length. James K. Polk? Hold me back!

    But I’ve got nothing to say about James Buchanan.

    • #13
    • May 20, 2019, at 6:25 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Kay of MT Member

    Sabrdance: Jews and Christians (and to a lesser extent, I gather, Muslims) ground their beliefs in a narrative. There’s a reason they are called the Religions of the Book.

    Wrong. The Hebrews were the people of the Book, not the religion of the Book from at least 2500 B.C.E. and the Torah was closed about 444 B.C.E., and nothing was to be added. We didn’t ground our belief in the Book, we recorded our history in the Book. Along with the prophets and writings. Then in the first century the Christians arose, and latched onto the Book and incorporated it into their Christian writings by 325 C.E. The muslims used the Book of the people, and parts of the books of the Christians to try to convert them to islam in 632 C.E. When it didn’t work, the muslims started converting by the sword, and abridged all the first part of the Koran, the first 86 chapters, started about 610 or so C.E. The only good parts of the koran now is from chapter 87 to the end. Their belief is to kill all Jews and most Christians or make slaves of them. That was never, ever taught by the people of the Book.

    If you are going to tell a story of history, please don’t slant it to your own perceptions.

    • #14
    • May 20, 2019, at 6:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Seawriter Member

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power (View Comment):

    I got a James Buchanan dollar coin back from the vending machine. I’m holding onto it, because it points out a gap in knowledge. You want to hear about Millard Filmore? I have a thing or two to say. Martin Van Buren? I can discourse at length. James K. Polk? Hold me back!

    But I’ve got nothing to say about James Buchanan.

    That is probably the best thing you can say about him. Nothing. He let the US slide into Civil War. The only positive thing I can say about the man is that he is the only President who served in the US military without becoming an officer. (He was a corporal in a militia cavalry regiment in the War of 1812.)

    • #15
    • May 20, 2019, at 6:46 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. EJHill Podcaster

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power: But I’ve got nothing to say about James Buchanan.

    What? How could you not have something interesting to say about America’s first gay president?

    It’s said his love was former VP William Rufus King, who like Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor and they shared an apartment in Washington when Buchanan was a Senator. Andrew Jackson derisively called them “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.”

    When King was appointed the American ambassador to Paris, Buchanan was bereft and wrote to a friend that he was “now solitary and alone, having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.”

    • #16
    • May 20, 2019, at 8:22 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  17. Hank Rhody-Badenphipps Esq Contributor

    EJHill (View Comment):
    What? How could you not have something interesting to say about America’s first gay president?

    Hah! You’ve made your blunder; assuming I have anything interesting to say at all!

    • #17
    • May 20, 2019, at 8:26 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. EJHill Podcaster

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power: Hah! You’ve made your blunder; assuming I have anything interesting to say at all!

    If we were playing a game of one upsmanship I would probably say that I acknowledge the blunder because I’ve read your posts for years. But that would be uncouth. And so I won’t say it.

    • #18
    • May 20, 2019, at 8:41 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  19. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    What you really seem to be saying is, “Winter is coming.”

    Also, we have a generation of sweet Summer children.

     

    Except for any vestige of sweetness. 

    • #19
    • May 21, 2019, at 1:29 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Your post is spot on. I believe this is why entertainment (movies) are having to go comic book or do retreads. One other thing. We as a culture once accepted the precepts of the Bible as laudable, thus a connection to God. Now that we are a secular nation and disconnected from God, thus disconnected from the source of creativity. Creativity in entertainment is abysmal.

    Winter, indeed.

    So disconnected that religious references are almost pointless in literature. 

    • #20
    • May 21, 2019, at 1:30 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power: But I’ve got nothing to say about James Buchanan.

    What? How could you not have something interesting to say about America’s first gay president?

    It’s said his love was former VP William Rufus King, who like Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor and they shared an apartment in Washington when Buchanan was a Senator. Andrew Jackson derisively called them “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.”

    When King was appointed the American ambassador to Paris, Buchanan was bereft and wrote to a friend that he was “now solitary and alone, having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.”

    Wait, you are not being serious, EJ?

    • #21
    • May 21, 2019, at 4:35 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Seawriter Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power: But I’ve got nothing to say about James Buchanan.

    What? How could you not have something interesting to say about America’s first gay president?

    It’s said his love was former VP William Rufus King, who like Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor and they shared an apartment in Washington when Buchanan was a Senator. Andrew Jackson derisively called them “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.”

    When King was appointed the American ambassador to Paris, Buchanan was bereft and wrote to a friend that he was “now solitary and alone, having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.”

    Wait, you are not being serious, EJ?

    I had forgotten about it, but yes, EJ is being serious.

    • #22
    • May 21, 2019, at 5:53 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance Post author

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power: But I’ve got nothing to say about James Buchanan.

    What? How could you not have something interesting to say about America’s first gay president?

    It’s said his love was former VP William Rufus King, who like Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor and they shared an apartment in Washington when Buchanan was a Senator. Andrew Jackson derisively called them “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.”

    When King was appointed the American ambassador to Paris, Buchanan was bereft and wrote to a friend that he was “now solitary and alone, having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.”

    Wait, you are not being serious, EJ?

    I had forgotten about it, but yes, EJ is being serious.

    I vaguely recall reading some of this in collage -though the difficulty with interpreting Buchanan and King as homosexuals is that men were generally much closer back then. Sharing a boarding house or having very close friendships wasn’t particularly unusual. Buchanan and King were closer than normal -but Jackson’s invective isn’t dispositive, because Jackson was insulting to everyone he didn’t like, and he hated King and Buchanan.

    • #23
    • May 21, 2019, at 7:07 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  24. EJHill Podcaster

    Bryan G. Stephens: Wait, you are not being serious, EJ?

    Very. It’s all speculative, of course. What didn’t help historians is that both Buchanan and King left explicit instructions to their respective nieces that all of their personal papers were to be turned into a giant bonfire upon their deaths. Any real evidence of the nature of their relationship went with it.

    • #24
    • May 21, 2019, at 7:11 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Western Chauvinist Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power: But I’ve got nothing to say about James Buchanan.

    What? How could you not have something interesting to say about America’s first gay president?

    It’s said his love was former VP William Rufus King, who like Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor and they shared an apartment in Washington when Buchanan was a Senator. Andrew Jackson derisively called them “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.”

    When King was appointed the American ambassador to Paris, Buchanan was bereft and wrote to a friend that he was “now solitary and alone, having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.”

    Wait, you are not being serious, EJ?

    Mayor Pete will be so disappointed by this news…

    • #25
    • May 21, 2019, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. Suspira Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Your post is spot on. I believe this is why entertainment (movies) are having to go comic book or do retreads. One other thing. We as a culture once accepted the precepts of the Bible as laudable, thus a connection to God. Now that we are a secular nation and disconnected from God, thus disconnected from the source of creativity. Creativity in entertainment is abysmal.

    Winter, indeed.

    So disconnected that religious references are almost pointless in literature.

    I am writing a novel (genre fiction, not “literature,” BTW) in which a character frequently speaks in quotes from the KJV. I felt obliged to have another character comment on her proclivity for quoting scriptural texts so readers will know what’s going on.

    • #26
    • May 21, 2019, at 7:46 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  27. Kay of MT Member

    Suspira (View Comment):
    I am writing a novel (genre fiction, not “literature,” BTW) in which a character frequently speaks in quotes from the KJV. I felt obliged to have another character comment on her proclivity for quoting scriptural texts so readers will know what’s going on.

    Good endeavor.

    • #27
    • May 21, 2019, at 8:36 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. SkipSul Moderator

    I’ve been mulling this over. I think we’re just not able to tell a national story any more, and it’s not simply because the Left have eviscerated our history (though that is a big part). I think culturally we’re just too awfully fragmented. Before radio and TV began to homogenize regional differences, we were rather fragmented too. Now, of course, it’s more of political / cultural fragmentation instead – we’re strangers not because of geography, but because we do not interact much even when local.

    But I’m also reminded of the time in our history when educators tried mightily to create an agreed-upon national story, and I would say the attempt to do so left some scars. Our system of public schools came out of that era, when we thought we could create good little Americans by modeling schools on factories, and by making our governments hostile to Catholic (or Jewish) schools in the process. As awful as Howard Zinn’s influence has been on the recent teaching of US history, history texts in prior generations often had their own egregious biases too. This rather points to a problem the story we believe about ourselves keeps changing with every generation, as influences from prior generations are deliberately cast off so the current generation can tell “the truth” as they see it, in opposition to the glosses and omissions of the prior one.

    In other words, we don’t have a national narrative we can agree on because every time there is an ideological shift in our education, the old narrative is abandoned.

    • #28
    • May 21, 2019, at 12:17 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  29. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Drunk on Power: But I’ve got nothing to say about James Buchanan.

    What? How could you not have something interesting to say about America’s first gay president?

    It’s said his love was former VP William Rufus King, who like Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor and they shared an apartment in Washington when Buchanan was a Senator. Andrew Jackson derisively called them “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.”

    When King was appointed the American ambassador to Paris, Buchanan was bereft and wrote to a friend that he was “now solitary and alone, having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.”

    Wait, you are not being serious, EJ?

    I had forgotten about it, but yes, EJ is being serious.

    I vaguely recall reading some of this in collage -though the difficulty with interpreting Buchanan and King as homosexuals is that men were generally much closer back then. Sharing a boarding house or having very close friendships wasn’t particularly unusual. Buchanan and King were closer than normal -but Jackson’s invective isn’t dispositive, because Jackson was insulting to everyone he didn’t like, and he hated King and Buchanan.

    The nineteenth century needed Buchanan to not be gay; the twenty-first needs him gay. Who knows what he’ll be in another hundred years. 

    • #29
    • May 21, 2019, at 1:56 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  30. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    I’ve been mulling this over. I think we’re just not able to tell a national story any more, and it’s not simply because the Left have eviscerated our history (though that is a big part). I think culturally we’re just too awfully fragmented. Before radio and TV began to homogenize regional differences, we were rather fragmented too. Now, of course, it’s more of political / cultural fragmentation instead – we’re strangers not because of geography, but because we do not interact much even when local.

    But I’m also reminded of the time in our history when educators tried mightily to create an agreed-upon national story, and I would say the attempt to do so left some scars. Our system of public schools came out of that era, when we thought we could create good little Americans by modeling schools on factories, and by making our governments hostile to Catholic (or Jewish) schools in the process. As awful as Howard Zinn’s influence has been on the recent teaching of US history, history texts in prior generations often had their own egregious biases too. This rather points to a problem the story we believe about ourselves keeps changing with every generation, as influences from prior generations are deliberately cast off so the current generation can tell “the truth” as they see it, in opposition to the glosses and omissions of the prior one.

    In other words, we don’t have a national narrative we can agree on because every time there is an ideological shift in our education, the old narrative is abandoned.

    Not so much abandoned as smothered with a pillow and dumped in a canal. 

    • #30
    • May 21, 2019, at 1:58 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
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