Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: “A Profound Failure of Historical Imagination “

 

But it is a species of moral arrogance, not to mention a profound failure of historical imagination, to pass a breathtakingly severe judgment on your forebears, whether near or distant, especially having made no attempt whatsoever to historicize them. And only that same arrogance can then fail to imagine that your descendants, even more bereft of historical awareness than you are, won’t do the same to you, or that there will be no standard left to judge you by—the standard having already been set, today, by you.

Jason Peters, “Flaunting a Presumptuous Innocence” , Law & Liberty

I just read this article and fell in love with the writing. I don’t actually like to write political opinions or posts but this quote just screamed to be shared. I highly recommend the article, though. I’ll probably quote from it again, as it has so many gems in it.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 19 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    They’ve no idea abortion will one day look just as bad as slavery.

    • #1
    • July 13, 2020, at 4:18 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  2. RightAngles Member

    I’d say some people should be thinking a little less of how proud they are(n’t) if their forebears and a little more about whether their forebears would be proud of them.

    • #2
    • July 13, 2020, at 5:22 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    History has a way of coming back to bite those who don’t understand it. It is always simple. Human nature does not change. Individual humans can change, but the nature of the species does not. If our forebears had faults, we have the same faults.


    This is the Quote of the Day. If you run across something well-written and captivating, why not share it? Choose a day, and sign up today.

    • #3
    • July 13, 2020, at 5:45 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Judge Mental Member

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    They’ve no idea abortion will one day look just as bad as slavery.

    Beat me to the comment.

    • #4
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:27 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Old Bathos Moderator

    The most herdlike, fearfully conformist, unoriginal, non-independent, ignorant generation ever presumes to condemn historical figures for being products of their age while missing the spectacular novelty of the founding fathers and the courage it took to achieve what they did.

    • #5
    • July 14, 2020, at 8:12 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. brad2971 Inactive

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    They’ve no idea abortion will one day look just as bad as slavery.

    One little problem with this notion: Upwards of 39% of all abortions, even at the reduced rate of 875K abortions per year, involve a medicinal regimen (mifepristone and misoprostol). That’s too much hiding in plain sight to cause the sort of moral reflection evident in your comment.

    • #6
    • July 14, 2020, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • Like
  7. Hoyacon Member

    Jason Peters; website is here.

    He appears to be an advocate of something called distributivism, which goes all the way back to Chesterton. I didn’t really get it.

    • #7
    • July 14, 2020, at 8:53 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. ShaunaHunt Coolidge
    ShaunaHunt

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Jason Peters; website is here.

    He appears to be an advocate of something called distributivism, which goes all the way back to Chesterton. I didn’t really get it.

    Ahh. . . well, I still love the article it came from. 

    • #8
    • July 14, 2020, at 9:05 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. Hoyacon Member

    ShaunaHunt (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Jason Peters; website is here.

    He appears to be an advocate of something called distributivism, which goes all the way back to Chesterton. I didn’t really get it.

    Ahh. . . well, I still love the article it came from.

    I didn’t mean that as a negative. Chesterton was an amazing guy. I actually intend to get the Kindle version of a book Peters edited on “going local.” I would not have found it if not for your post.

    • #9
    • July 14, 2020, at 9:08 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. Full Size Tabby Member

    I have often pointed this out to people who are busily condemning some opinion held by people of the past, but most of such people are so secure in their certainty that their thoughts are the highest possible peak of moral thinking that they can’t imagine a possibility that people of the future could disagree with the opinion of the moment.

    • #10
    • July 14, 2020, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Hoyacon Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I have often pointed this out to people who are busily condemning some opinion held by people of the past, but most of such people are so secure in their certainty that their thoughts are the highest possible peak of moral thinking that they can’t imagine a possibility that people of the future could disagree with the opinion of the moment.

    Very often this is the result of a lack of historical knowledge. Am I going out on a limb by saying that much of historical cancel culture is perpetrated and then endorsed by poorly educated people? The study of history is very much about past context for deeds and thoughts.

    • #11
    • July 14, 2020, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Old Bathos Moderator

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I have often pointed this out to people who are busily condemning some opinion held by people of the past, but most of such people are so secure in their certainty that their thoughts are the highest possible peak of moral thinking that they can’t imagine a possibility that people of the future could disagree with the opinion of the moment.

    Like I tell the woke in the family, if you have never taken a principled stand against the social media mob and always stay within the herd at all times what makes you think that you would have been part of a courageous abolitionist minority in Mississippi 1840.

    • #12
    • July 14, 2020, at 11:43 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Full Size Tabby Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I have often pointed this out to people who are busily condemning some opinion held by people of the past, but most of such people are so secure in their certainty that their thoughts are the highest possible peak of moral thinking that they can’t imagine a possibility that people of the future could disagree with the opinion of the moment.

    Very often this is the result of a lack of historical knowledge. Am I going out on a limb by saying that much of historical cancel culture is perpetrated and then endorsed by poorly educated people? The study of history is very much about past context for deeds and thoughts.

    Well, many of my arguments have been with people who are generally considered quite well educated. Most of them born in the 1940s and 1950s, so we can’t blame it on decline in the modern education establishment. But, their level of education (formal and informal – these have often been at a mainline Christian church) seems to make them even more secure in their moral certainty – “I have studied this so much I couldn’t possibly be wrong.” 

    • #13
    • July 14, 2020, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Hoyacon Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I have often pointed this out to people who are busily condemning some opinion held by people of the past, but most of such people are so secure in their certainty that their thoughts are the highest possible peak of moral thinking that they can’t imagine a possibility that people of the future could disagree with the opinion of the moment.

    Very often this is the result of a lack of historical knowledge. Am I going out on a limb by saying that much of historical cancel culture is perpetrated and then endorsed by poorly educated people? The study of history is very much about past context for deeds and thoughts.

    Well, many of my arguments have been with people who are generally considered quite well educated. Most of them born in the 1940s and 1950s, so we can’t blame it on decline in the modern education establishment. But, their level of education (formal and informal – these have often been at a mainline Christian church) seems to make them even more secure in their moral certainty – “I have studied this so much I couldn’t possibly be wrong.”

    Well, I would be fine with someone who actually had studied historical persons or eras, but has a different perspective. However, I think it’s quite easy to be “well-educated” and simply have had no interest in, or aptitude for, history at any level of depth.

    • #14
    • July 14, 2020, at 12:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. RightAngles Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I have often pointed this out to people who are busily condemning some opinion held by people of the past, but most of such people are so secure in their certainty that their thoughts are the highest possible peak of moral thinking that they can’t imagine a possibility that people of the future could disagree with the opinion of the moment.

    Very often this is the result of a lack of historical knowledge. Am I going out on a limb by saying that much of historical cancel culture is perpetrated and then endorsed by poorly educated people? The study of history is very much about past context for deeds and thoughts.

    Well, many of my arguments have been with people who are generally considered quite well educated. Most of them born in the 1940s and 1950s, so we can’t blame it on decline in the modern education establishment. But, their level of education (formal and informal – these have often been at a mainline Christian church) seems to make them even more secure in their moral certainty – “I have studied this so much I couldn’t possibly be wrong.”

    I’ve noticed this too. In the case of those who were out of school by 1970, those are the Woodstock kids, hippies, and even some former SDS members who think if themselves as rebels. Their choice in opinions is just to take the opposite of whatever whatever normal people think. They think this makes them “edgy” and daring. They have no core beliefs, and if tomorrow, Republicans came out in favor of welfare and abortion, these people would oppose it. They have no idea how stupid they look with their gray ponytails.

    • #15
    • July 14, 2020, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. ShaunaHunt Coolidge
    ShaunaHunt

    I just have to say that my favorite “hippies” own the antique store down the street. They are not the least bit woke and managed to keep their store open the whole time! Antique stores are a great place to go for quiet and the scenery. They used to be the best floral in the county, but it got to be too much for them. 😭

    • #16
    • July 14, 2020, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Allie Hahn Coolidge

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    They’ve no idea abortion will one day look just as bad as slavery.

    Abortion came to my mind, as well. 

    • #17
    • July 31, 2020, at 7:36 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Full Size Tabby Member

    Allie Hahn (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    They’ve no idea abortion will one day look just as bad as slavery.

    Abortion came to my mind, as well.

    Abortion is a useful topic to use because the arguments for and against slavery are almost identical to the arguments for and against abortion. You can take some of the arguments about slavery written in the late 18th and early-to-mid 19th centuries and replace the words “slavery” and “slave” with “abortion” and “fetus” and you’d think it was a modern argument about abortion.

    • #18
    • August 1, 2020, at 7:55 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. RightAngles Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    They’ve no idea abortion will one day look just as bad as slavery.

    Abortion came to my mind, as well.

    Abortion is a useful topic to use because the arguments for and against slavery are almost identical to the arguments for and against abortion. You can take some of the arguments about slavery written in the late 18th and early-to-mid 19th centuries and replace the words “slavery” and “slave” with “abortion” and “fetus” and you’d think it was a modern argument about abortion.

    You guys I hate to tell ya but they will never see abortion in a negative light. It will never happen. I say this as a former liberal. I know the mindset and these people very well. I also know that there are pro-life Conservative parents who would let their daughter get one if she were accepted to Harvard in the fall and got pregnant over the summer. They just wouldn’t tell anyone. I know a very Republican couple whose son got a girl pregnant at age 15, and they got together with the girl’s parents and got it done. It will always be with us. When I tried to say something along these lines the first week I joined here, a member yelled at me. He then looked up my profile and saw that I was new, and accused me of being a troll. I know the topic is fraught with convictions on both sides. I’m just being realistic, as horrible a fact as it is to face.

    -edit typo-

    • #19
    • August 1, 2020, at 12:33 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.