Bill Lockwood-The Value of History
by Bill Lockwood
George Santayana famously remarked, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” History is an insightful teacher which helps guide us in the future. But if it is to be helpful and not harmful, we must have a realistic view of the past. For this reason, in order to turn societies on their heads, Karl Marx observed that “the first battlefield is to re-write history.” William Z. Foster, long-time head of the Communist Party in America, said “Our teachers must re-write history from the Marxian viewpoint.”
The reason that communists, progressives, and socialists wish to re-write history is perhaps best described by George Orwell. “Those who control the present, control the past; and those who control the past control the future.”
Distorting history has long been the stock-in-trade of all leftists in Western culture, from socialists, progressives, humanists, atheists, feminists, to Marxists and communists. Environmentalists paint grim pictures of Industrial America. Nativists wish to perpetuate the “indigenous” Indian culture on this continent in opposition to the Christian ideals of freedom and respect of human life enshrined in our Constitution.
Practically the only fact of history recited by schoolchildren from kindergarten to college is that America once had black slaves. The message inherent here is that the current generations should pay some kind of reparation.
This hatred of Americana is evident everywhere. History classes regularly excoriate the founding generation for allowing slavery while completely ignoring the fact that not one slave was brought to America that did not originate with Muslim pirates who enslaved over 180 million Africans and over a million Europeans. Every single slave that came to America had been purchased from Muslim slave-traders. Not only is this a fact of history, but the Koran actually depicts Allah as teaching and demanding slavery. Yet, Islam is taught in a positive light in the same public schools. How can this be?
The point is: this lop-sided instruction demonstrates that our culture is seeking to make some value-judgments of these things. Cultural leaders are almost completely leftists who are controlling the past and thereby controlling the future. Scholars call this “historical negation”—an illegitimate distortion of the historical record.
Columnist Bill Federer (World Net Daily, 9.12.17) reminds us of the methodology of communism. (1) Say negative things about a country’s founders so people emotionally detach from them. (2) Then the people are moved into a neutral position where they don’t remember where they came from. (3) Then they can be easily brainwashed into the communist future planned for them.
This sums up well what is occurring in America. Consider the ways this distortion of history influences society.
First, a political influence. The beginning point of shaping the future is to shape the politics of the day. Once historical myths such as Indian Genocide by Americans is perpetuated, politics are influenced. The Welfare State as a means of “reparation” continues—regardless of the plain facts that joblessness, alcoholism, fatherless families, depression, suicide and other societal problems are sky-high on Indian reservations. But these are directly related to the fact that those who live on reservations have been on the government dole for over 100 years. Individuals have little or no dignity remaining.
Exactly the same issue regards admissions into colleges, universities and graduate schools. Minorities, whose ancestors, it is held, have been oppressed in one fashion or another, have preference over other potential students regardless of academic qualification. We do not have an even playing-field nor are we likely to see one as long as history continues to be misrepresented and abused.
Second, an ideological influence. Michael d’Ancona, a columnist for The Guardian and one of the UK’s liberal political journalists, stated that historical “negationists” “seem to have been given the task in [a] nation’s cultural development, the full significance of which is emerging only now: To redefine [national] status in a changing world.”
He was speaking of Great Britain and the desire by many Brits to exit the European Union. In other words, history is being used as a “social resource” that helps shape “national identity” as well as the culture and its “public memory.” “Through the study of history, people are imbued with a particular cultural identity; therefore, by negatively revising history, the negationist can craft a specific, ideological identity,” correctly notes an article on Wikipedia.
There is that ideological identity which speaks to who we are as a nation. History is being manipulated to re-shape our identity as an American nation under God.
Third, a religious influence. The Bible in the Old Testament continually admonished the Hebrews to “teach their children” not only the ways of the Lord (Dt. 6:4-6); but to constantly remind them of their own past. When Joshua led the Israelites through the Jordan River safely to the western bank, he erected a monument with the specific instruction: “When your children ask in time to come, What means these stones?” they were to remind them of the event it commemorated. The entire 78th Psalm can be entitled: “Remember to Remember.” Don’t forget your history.
The psalm tells the Hebrews “do not forget.” Teach your children (v. 4); Do not forget the works of God (v. 7); the generations before us “forgot God’s doings” (v. 11); the generation of Jews that came out of Egypt ended up “not believing God” (v. 22); they “did not remember his hand when He redeemed them from the adversary” (v. 42). Because of their forgetfulness God delivered them to enemies (v. 61). The nation finally went to captivity and slavery in foreign nations.
Americans have the same forgetfulness. Our nation was established to be “A Christian Nation” precisely because of biblical and Christian principles that were engrafted into its legal fabric. For this reason and this reason alone we have enjoyed the greatest liberties that history has ever known in any society. But who reads history any more? Our forgetfulness of these fundamentals is turning us into a secular society that more closely resembles a socialistic state of Europe than the free nation of our forefathers.