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"Why Study History?" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2021 8:57 p.m. PST

"In 1955, the Texas legislature added a section to the Education Code requiring that students seeking a degree from a state-funded college or university must take 6 hours of American History and 6 hours of Government as part of the general education "core". The teaching of no other discipline enjoys the status of actually being embedded in state law. In America, rationale for the study of history includes the proviso that such study is "essential for good citizenship in a democracy". Every time there is any discussion of even slightly modifying the History curriculum, one hears this stated as something of an article of faith, referring to the actions of the legislature in 1955, as if those serving at that time were somehow endowed with a wisdom that others did not possess.

In actuality, that action in 1955 was a knee-jerk reaction to the Communist scare of what we now call the "McCarthy Era" in America. Apparently, it was believed that Texas students needed to be inoculated against the possible contamination of Communist ideology and that one way to accomplish this was to ensure they were indoctrinated with the American "creed"…"
Full article here
link


Amicalement
Armand

arthur181523 Jan 2021 2:49 a.m. PST

So we can make entertaining games about it, of course!

doc mcb23 Jan 2021 5:45 a.m. PST

If anyone is interested in the relationship between history and citizenship, may I recommend McClay's LAND OF HOPE? The connection is very direct and very powerful; and to patriotism as well.

Wilfred McClay, LAND OF HOPE, Encounter Books, available on Amazon

Albus Malum23 Jan 2021 10:12 a.m. PST

If people don't know their history, then they don't even know what they are loosing……. or.. have just lost!!


Guess the US has fallen just as easily as Germany fell to the Nazi's.


You can vote in a Dictatorship, but you can't vote them out. History will likely show the Republic ended on Jan 20, 2021. My Grandkids or Great Grandkids will read about it in their history book, it will probably fill 2 paragraphs in their history book followed by pages and pages of praise for the ruling dynasty.


..starts crying…..

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2021 10:48 a.m. PST

The grumpy, crusty curmudgeon in me says we study it so, when it comes time to rewrite it in order to conform to contemporary social mores, we do a more thorough job of it.

Grumble, grumble grumble…..

USAFpilot23 Jan 2021 2:21 p.m. PST

Because some things in this life are worth preserving and worth fighting for. So it is therefore important to learn from history what those things are. The US Constitution and how we got it; for one.

mildbill24 Jan 2021 5:32 a.m. PST

Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. First time is tragic second time as farce.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Jan 2021 7:46 a.m. PST

There is a lot more history about than just US constitutional history. A similar history syllabus was the only choice I had at 14 here in the UK, obviously UK constitutional not US. Boring or what ??? I chose Geography instead and just read the history I was interested in.

History as indoctrination has a long history in British schools and I don't doubt that it is the same in many other places, not just the US.

Sadly the political focus of historical studies now seems to be the norm rather than the rational interpretive approach. In some minds the 'story' is more valid than the history what they think happened (or are told to think) takes precedence over provable fact. Sad but true and getting worse by the day.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2021 12:39 p.m. PST

We no longer teach history, we teach narratives. Narratives require that you make the point first and then mold the history to fit it.

For example- 300 crazed racist zealots used their violent supremicist rhetoric to whip themselves into a frenzy to defy the noble Persian armies who wished only to bring the diverse ideals of the superior East to the barbarian West. This infamous stand at Thermopylae condemned the Greeks to capitalism and democracy and stunted European growth for centuries.

The victors no longer write the history, the persistent with an agenda simply goad the guilt ridden ancestors of the victors to do so.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Jan 2021 12:50 p.m. PST

Don't be too hard on narrative history TG. It has its place (as 'oral' history) in the remembrance of the past and some of the many stirring tales that enlivened young minds have their roots in the sagas and songs of pre-literate societies.

What IS wrong is to distort history with lies and it doesn't matter who's history gets distorted, it taints all history.

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2021 2:59 p.m. PST

Because when you don't teach history, the real history of this country, you end up with uneducated mobs tearing down statues of men much better and more noble than the mob because they don't live up to the woke standards of todays communist youth league.

USAFpilot25 Jan 2021 9:57 a.m. PST

We no longer teach history, we teach narratives. Narratives require that you make the point first and then mold the history to fit it.

For example- 300 crazed racist zealots used their violent supremicist rhetoric to whip themselves into a frenzy to defy the noble Persian armies who wished only to bring the diverse ideals of the superior East to the barbarian West. This infamous stand at Thermopylae condemned the Greeks to capitalism and democracy and stunted European growth for centuries.

The victors no longer write the history, the persistent with an agenda simply goad the guilt ridden ancestors of the victors to do so.

That would be funny if it wasn't so true. It's downright scary the way facts are manipulated to drive a predetermined agenda. We are rapidly approaching George Orwell's 1984 of censorship and newspeak. Pretty soon 2+2 will equal 3.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Jan 2021 12:58 p.m. PST

Censorship is always a dangerous option. Sometimes though, allowing liars and snake oil salesmen 'free' speech may turn out to be more dangerous.

Free speech is never free, it always has consequences. In a stable and tolerant society those consequences can be positive but we don't have much stability or tolerance at the moment so the negative consequences are what we see now.

I don't think Orwell's 'Utopia' is the correct comparator though.

USAFpilot25 Jan 2021 2:36 p.m. PST

"More dangerous"? And who gets to determine who is speaking lies and who is telling the truth? A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans do not trust the news media. When you start censoring, you are on a slippery slop to totalitarianism.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 2:09 a.m. PST

Censorship in one way or another has always happened in the world's media. Believing otherwise is self-delusion.
Look at the US media in the 1950's and you will see rampant censorship of certain political viewpoints and many social issues.
British press 'freedom' was, for many years, based on an 'understanding' that certain topics (decided mostly by government but also by others) were not suitable for public knowledge or discussion.

I don't really know how to answer your query about determining the difference between lies and truth – to me the answer is simple but, if you have to ask the question, it obviously isn't for you.

USAFpilot26 Jan 2021 7:08 a.m. PST

So you give examples of a history of censorship from the media and then say it is simple to know the truth. As a point of logic, if information is being censored then you will never be able to know the whole truth. We are at Orwell's 1984 and you are ok with that.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 8:49 a.m. PST

Actually I said that the answer to determining the difference between lies & truth was simple to me.

You cannot censor scientific facts so I'm happy to do some reading to check up what is said in that area.

In less certain areas, particularly those involving politicians or 'influencers' I tend to assume that they are all lying unless I can see some grains of fact or logical deduction within their rhetoric.

I don't need to have a definite answer on most of these topics so I can live with my own opinions. I don't read newspapers or watch more than the basic news on (mostly) the BBC. Knowing 'the whole truth' isn't really possible, there are always nuances and aspects that don't get into the public domain. Not always due to censorship but simply that nobody had the time to fit it into a 30 second news item.

Wanting simple black/white answers to questions has become an increasing feature of media coverage but, in reality, life is much more complicated. Pretending it isn't is a form of untruthfulness too.

I can't accept that either of our countries is any closer to the Orwellian society than it was 1n the 1950's but I don't have any particular political stance so don't really feel in any way restricted or repressed by government or media. They both Bleeped text me off a lot and I shout at politicians on the TV every day but I don't see anything more sinister now than what I was seeing 40 years ago.

USAFpilot26 Jan 2021 10:04 a.m. PST

Fair enough. I think scientific facts can be censored or at least politicized. When someone says something is "settled science", I think that if something was truly settled science then we wouldn't be having an argument about it. No one argues about gravity.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 10:13 a.m. PST

I am (or was) a physicist and, believe me, plenty of arguments about the exact nature of gravity are still in progress.

I take your point but most scientific argument (I'd agree, not all) has the intent of finding the truth even if it doesn't always get there. Science isn't the answer to everything but it is often more solid ground than the morass that makes up politics.

Pity more people can't have a reasonable discussion like this without getting angry or throwing insults around. Good 'talking' with you – stay safe.

Tony of TTT

USAFpilot26 Jan 2021 1:32 p.m. PST

I am (or was) a physicist and, believe me, plenty of arguments about the exact nature of gravity are still in progress.

I'm glad you brought that up. Even in within the field of science, scientists may still argue and disagree on subjects which many would classify as "settled science." I'm all for the scientific method in the search for truth. I'm weary of politicians using the phrase "settled science".
Cheers.

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