The older we get the more of our lives become History. Perhaps that is why it slowly eventually becomes interesting to many people; we can remember so much more of it. The future slides into the present. The present slides into the past. Our lives are the history of the future.
The average American has no Historical perspective. To most people History began the day they were born and it will end when they do. Without a historical perspective we live constantly in an ever progressing NOW and now can always be shaped and molded by whoever has the loudest megaphone at the moment. This puts the lives of the low information citizen in the hands of the establishment and their media mouthpieces.
So many students say, “History is boring, just names and dates” yet if History is boring than so is life, because History is the story of life. It is nothing more or less than the accumulated stories of the lives of people just like us who have lived at different times in what might as well have been different worlds.
These different worlds are the scaffold upon which our own world exists and if we ignore the framework that holds us up we imagine that we are afloat on a sea of forgetfulness beginning each epoch with no guidance from the collected wisdom of those who have gone before. And if we choose ignorance as our starting point can we wonder what will be our end?
What passes for education today doesn’t help much, and in many ways it just muddies the water. The History we are taught in secondary school is often sugar coated or slanted through the eyes and opinions of someone who has been run through the progressive stamping plant that is contemporary teacher training. Either we get an uncritical, “America right or wrong!” or “America’s always wrong!” depending on the slant of the education bureaucracy in the area.
After decades of teaching History to America’s best and brightest I have sadly come to the conclusion that as time goes by people not only know less and less about History but also what they do know isn’t so. It is only when we start to look at alternative views that we find there has always been a great debate as to what happened, how it happened, why it happened, and what it all means. To most of the snowflake generation and even to those older who have swilled the progressive kool-aide it is a micro aggression to try to expose them to anything that contradicts or even conflicts with the mantra of Al Gore’s man-made global warming cult or the anti-colonial views of the Obama zombies. Yet it is these alternative views that make History expansive, exciting, interesting, and informative. Without them it isn’t education it is indoctrination.
Every society and culture has always taught what might be called a glorified History that explains why they exist and should exist as a distinct group. When a country stops teaching this to their young in a few generations it is hard for the people to justify in their own minds why they are who they are and why they should continue to be a distinct people. This leads inevitably to a crisis that usually portends the end. Things are being left out of our History books, purged you might say. What isn’t remembered will be forgotten. That which is not written, is not preserved, passed down or remembered is the dust in the dustbin of History.
History is the best opportunity we have to learn from the mistakes of others. If we ignore these or we never learn of them we face the inevitable reality of repeating these mistakes over and over.
A case in point:
The socialist economics of the USSR and the inefficiencies it caused brought about the implosion of the Soviet empire. After that fall America rushed headlong into socialism itself. After almost 50 years of resisting communism, spending trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives lost or destroyed how did Americans fall for the siren song of, “From each according to his ability to each according to his need”? How did the Cold Warriors morph into interchangeable drones, cogs in a socialist utopian pyramid scheme? They didn’t realize the snake oil the Progressives were selling was the same thing all the other socialists have been selling since the 19th century. They couldn’t see that the hell holes of Cuba and Venezuela are the inevitable result of collectivism carried to its predictable dead end. They had no historical perspective.
Having followed the hope and change of the pied piper Barack Obama, America is teetering on the edge of the abyss. If enough of our fellow citizens bolstered by the best imported voters available and all the dead people in Chicago give Hillary and the Clinton crime family another shot at plundering this country we may well topple over following Rome and Britain into that aforementioned dust bin of History.
It may just be a matter of time until we join the Soviets on the trash heap of History. I remember that we woke up one morning and the USSR was arguably the strongest nation on earth and unarguably the largest, and by the time we went to bed it had disappeared. Since then we have worked hard to limit competition and extend benefits while our self-satisfaction has risen everything else is in decline. Maybe what we need is some Glasnost and Perestroika?
We can’t know what we don’t know but we can know that we don’t know. I first discovered History when I was nine years old, and I realized I didn’t know what had happened in the world before I had arrived. I set off on a journey that has now lasted fifty-eight years. I read and study History on a daily basis. I look for perspectives that may not match my own. I try to extend my understanding by looking at the world from many different viewpoints, and often I find that what I thought yesterday isn’t what I think today. Not that History has changed, but my understanding of it has. And with this evolving understanding comes new ways to move through this puzzle factory we call life.
I heartily recommend anyone who wants to make it through the maze and find the cheese study History so you will learn, someone always moves the cheese.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2016 Contact Dr. Owens [email protected] Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens