History: Helping Understand Today

I have a guest post up at According to Hoyt this today. When I sat down to write it, I did so with one purpose in mind — to explain why I’d chosen State and Revolution by Vladimir Lenin as the next book to review for the blog. I’ll admit, part of it was because I couldn’t take starting another long book review on yet another book about the 2016 presidential election. Clinton’s What Happened about did me in. That meant I needed something I could tie to current events and yet wouldn’t drive me to even more drink.

I chose State and Revolution because there are too few people who have read, much less understand, the underlying documents for the forms of government they so strongly promote. I guarantee you, most of those promoting socialism have never really studied it. They have turned a blind eye to how their so-called utopian state actually exists in real life.

I’ll admit, I was one of those who didn’t fully understand the reality of life under the Soviet Regime until I spent time behind the Iron Curtain. My post on ATH discusses some of that.

Another reason I leaned in the direction of looking at something that could be viewed as an important historical document is because of what’s been happening in our country the last few years. We see history being rewritten — or relegated to being viewed only behind proverbial closed doors — because it doesn’t meet modern day sensibilities. Dallas has removed monuments and renamed schools that had been named for men who played key roles in making Dallas the city it is today.

Why? Why are their names being essentially erased from the roles? Because, before they came to Dallas, they served in the Confederate Army. Some owned slaves. That, in today’s atmosphere, is enough to erase all the good they might have done later. Slavery is abhorrent. But it was legal at the time these men lived. After the Civil War, they became leading citizens of Dallas. Yet, good deeds are being hidden from our children because of something these men did, something legal at the time, that we now condemn.

This isn’t unique to Dallas. We are seeing it all around the country.

This rewriting of history — or hiding of it — isn’t wise. It devalues contributions made by men and women, at least some of whom changed their opinions on slavery after the Civil War. It also leads us down the path of repeating history because we don’t remember it. History isn’t meant to be comfortable or even easy. It is meant to be something for us to learn from and how can we do it when we forget?

Related to that is another question: how can we learn from history if we don’t study it?

Okay, I’m climbing down from my soapbox now.

Until later!

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1 Comment

  1. Posted January 11, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    You are a brave woman.

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