Feb 132010
 

Simon Heffer laments that funding cutbacks at universities may lead to the teaching of history’s being limited to Britain post-1700 and Europe post-1900.

As a medieval historian, I lament this too (in a way), particularly because, as Heffer points out, historical eras do not exist as discrete events or trends, and everything that happens is entirely dependent on everything else that has happened.

History is also subject to misinterpretation and politicisation. Witness this comment, by one Harbinger, who takes issue with Heffer’s belief that the events of World War I are rooted in the Franco-Prussian War.

I happened to have a very good education, but now I’ve began to seriously question history, especially what I know of WW1 and WW2. I also hate to say it as well, but even going back to the English civil war, I’m now beginning to believe that that itself was orchestrated by the Jewry/Zionists, in order to put Cromwell in power and remove their condition of exile, previously placed upon them in the early 13th century.

Oh rilly? Nothing to do with a series of tyrannical and micromanaging monarchs, then, who ran roughshod over the people’s liberties and declared it was what God himself wanted. No, it was the Joos.

What I also continue to question are the motives behind Britain’s entering WW1, to help France, our arch enemy throughout history, when in all reality, Jewry was also involved yet again, playing the west into destroying the Ottoman Empire in order to create the illegal state of Israel. If course, those who also know history know that WW1 resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Brits, wiping away the possibility of child bearing generations (fathers) in order to utterly destroy the British and their Empire. WW1 was thus created for two reasons – destruction of Britain and the creation of Israel, although our historical propaganda machine won’t tell us that will they?

No, they won’t tell us that, because it’s ridiculous. The ethnic and cultural tensions in Austria-Hungary had nothing to do with the Joos and everything to do with the mishmash of the Holy Roman Empire and its very strange mixture of local, central, and ecclesiastical sovereignty. As for the destruction of the British Empire, why would the Joos have wanted to do that? They were safe and valued in the British Empire, as much as Joos of the period could be said to be safe and valued. It was the British Empire that made the creation of Israel possible.

We can take the slave trade, which of course is told from the slave point of view, not the colonialists now… There is of course the Holocaust, taboo in today’s society that no one may discuss, so as not to upset the Jewish community and if one attempts to deny the “given” death toll they are immediately lambasted and pilloried by society, branded as Holocaust deniers and anti semites and hurriedly pushed out of the positions they hold within society. Some are even arrested and imprisoned for free speech. How bad has society now got, especially as we are told 6 million died, yet a plaque in Auschwitz which stood up until 1995 was removed, stating 4 million died here and replaced with 1.1million died here in WW2?

Um…

We are also never taught either not just about “THE PROTOCOLS OF THE LEARNED ELDERS OF ZION” but also if possession of it in Russia at the turn of the 20th Century would have one instantly shot on sight.

Wha…?

What was Britain has now long since departed the majority of people’s thoughts. We are now simply moving into the last phase of the plans of the NWO, created a long time ago.

And the money shot:

Bottom line Mr Heffer, you can pontificate all you wish on the fact that we are not teaching history, but I’d rather remain blissfully ignorant than brainwashed into believing nothing but rubbish, continually promoted by those who want to see the destruction of your civilisation and downfall of your people.

While it’s true we are not taught everything that ever happened in history, it’s not because of the NWO, the Joos, and the brainwashers (mostly). Our interpretation of history is of course subject to fads, cultural biases, and wider social and political movements, but by and large the evidence of history is cut-and-dried. People do study the effects of the Protocols of Zion, but they don’t treat it as a piece of gospel truth. In the same way, people study texts on alchemy from the Middle Ages – but they don’t set up alchemy labs and use them as instruction manuals for turning lead into gold or making a philosopher’s stone.

I like that this guy is advocating a healthy scepticism, which is of course vital for any student of history. I just wish he’d apply it to his own arguments as well as his opponents’.

  24 Responses to “Commentary at the Telegraph”

  1. “History is also subject to misinterpretation and politicisation”

    Strange you should mention that. I read an article towards the end of last year which praised (“cool” I think was the adjective used) a comparison of libertarianism and conservatism based in part upon two lines written by Burke. Nowhere was it suggested that what he wrote might have been what a conservative would have thought in the eighteenth century, and not necessarily today. But that was probably due to the author(ess) (am I allowed to make such a distinction or is it sexist?) having a profound understanding of Edmund Burke’s views. Oh, sorry, my mistake, she had never read him before.

    Still, it is pleasant to find someone who recognises that “historical eras do not exist as discrete events or trends” – except when it suits her to pretend so.

    • What is with you, Mr Rob? Does it profit you to issue these snide taunts?

      Unity wasn’t comparing libertarianism & conservatism with his quote from Paine and Burke – he was contrasting them, and yes, I thought it was cool because I actually learned stuff I didn’t know before. Plus Unity is an excellent writer. If you’d actually read the posts in question, you’d know I never claimed any kind of historical justification for what I was saying, said I thought Unity’s interpretation is correct, or made any comment about what conservatism is/isn’t or has/hasn’t been. My beef was with people who misunderstand libertarian philosophy. I don’t care at all what they think of conservatism.

  2. I did read the posts in question Bella – how strange that you assume I did not.

    You began your article with these words – “Unity, writing at Liberal Conspiracy, has written a pretty cool interpretation of the difference between liberals/libertarians and conservatives.”

    Perhaps it might have been better had you added something along the lines of “of course, when discussing conservatism I haven’t a rat’s arse of an idea what I am talking about, so I can’t possibly form a judgement as to the validity of a comparison, nay, even a contrast, of/between conservatism and any other political philosophy” – but you did not.

    It does not profit me at all to make these comments – but if you insist on putting your opinions into the public domain, do not be surprised if they are criticised. Free something or other I think it’s called.

    • Care to enlighten us then? What exactly was Edmund Burke on about?

    • Why should I have added any such thing? I have never discussed conservatism, to my knowledge, nor ever pretended to have a rat’s arse of an idea about it. Since you did read the posts in question, you obviously know that I have nothing to say on the matter of conservatism and do not even pretend to care about its value as a political philosophy or otherwise. It is a matter of supreme indifference to me, and if you have somehow formed the impression that I am critical of conservatism, I assure you that you are mistaken. If, however, you think it’s something I should educate myself about, feel free to suggest a place for me to start.

    • Oh by the way, ‘free something or other’ it may be, but I noticed you never took an interest until I had a spat with B&D. I’m sure you’ve got a bee in your bonnet of your own free will, but it does you no credit to be perceived as their bitch.

      • Well done, you are quite right. However, as I argue against B&D on some matters as well as agree with them on others, the perception you mention would probably be held only by those lacking it, or the ignorant. I can live with that.
        The more logical, and true, conclusion to draw is that previously I had simply not been aware of your blog’s existence…..hard to imagine, I know.

        • Ah yes. You’ve shown yourself to be such an expert in classical logic, educating the philistines round here with comments consisting almost solely of patronising archness. I’m quite happy to amend my ‘self-contradictions’ and ‘inaccuracies’ if the person pointing them out is genuinely interested in having a discussion. Since your ‘corrections’ are couched in sarcasm, I’m hardly well-disposed to learn from your infinite wisdom.

          • Are you happy to amend your self-contradictions and inaccuracies Bella? I have seen you Tweet a completely distorted representation of another post I made here, and then decline to answer further questions when this was pointed out. I believe it concerned your use of the word “sexist” – see comments:

            http://bellagerens.com/2010/01/28/the-very-definition-of-sinister/

            So no, I will leave you to continue attacking what others have said (see Harbinger supra for latest example) here, of course, rather than where they might see your criticism and be able to defend themselves.

            By the way is Hrothgar, with his knowledge of teen girlie nudie sites, your bitch, or your gimp?

          • You took exception to my use of the word sexist; I told you I thought it was valid and said I would also continue to use other words used by socialists. Your further questions was ‘And why do you say that mentioning sexism is un-libertarian? Is it?’ Since I never professed any such thing, I didn’t see any point in answering you. I also saw no need to leave yet another comment on the Telegraph article itself attacking Harbinger, as others had done so already. It is not my job to ensure that Harbinger reads my criticisms or defends himself, any more than it’s my job to ensure Gordon Brown, or Ed Balls, can do those things. Perhaps you think no one has any right to criticise unless the object of their criticism knows about it and can answer back. Or perhaps you think my sniping at defenceless targets is somehow ignoble. Whatever. It is not at all obvious to me that you’re actually interested in answers or fairness, considering your noteworthy disagreement of even my most flippant statements of opinion, so you’ll forgive me if I stop giving a shit.

          • Where did I take exception to your use of the word? Produce the evidence.

            “Your further questions was ‘And why do you say that mentioning sexism is un-libertarian? Is it?’ Since I never professed any such thing, I didn’t see any point in answering you.”

            You had tweeted:

            “Apparently mentioning sexism is un-libertarian because socialists use the word, too. We purging the language now in our quest for purity?”

            As I had never suggested that – if you disagree, again produce the evidence – a not unfair question.

            Unless you were just attempting to misrepresent me…..

            No need to answer, Bella – I think I’ve seen enough of you libertarians; rather precious and not very honest. I’m sure you will think of something to say, but I will leave you in the company of your nudie teenie site fan.

          • PS you were not being “stalked” as you tweeted, you were being argued with over opinions you freely put into the public domain. Good grief, you are a pathetic bunch.

          • It’s a joke, you dumbass.

          • “I can haz blogstalker?

            @bellagerens First rule of dealing with stalkers is to ignore them utterly and totally, without variation regardless of what they do.

            @labete Ah. Excellent advice.

            @bellagerens It’s contact and attention they want. Deny them that and they will (eventually) bugger off.

            @labete Sounds like a good plan to me! I was inclined to do that anyway – nice to find out my instincts are sound.”

            As I said, rather precious and not very honest. Bye Bella.

          • You do realise, don’t you, how that very comment demonstrates… well, never mind. Off you go.

          • Oh goodness, which one of whose? Sorry for interrupting this lovely little spat.

  3. @Hrothgar – would it be tactless to suggest that if you want to know what Edmund Burke “was on about” you should try reading what he wrote?

    @Bella – might I suggest that it is traditional that when making a value judgement (such as “cool”) on another author’s attempt to compare, or even contrast, two political philosophies, it is rather incumbent upon one to at least have a basic idea as to the two philosophies in question? Otherwise how does one know whether the comparison/contrast was “cool” or total shite? Just a thought.

    • I am quite qualified to judge the quality of a person’s rhetoric. I am also perfectly free to judge as ‘cool’ anything I please, whether that thing happens to be true/correct or not. What interests me rather more is that you have taken the time and energy to remember the bland introductory remark to one of my posts without bothering to recall the actual content of the post.

      We can argue this until kingdom come if you like, but the fact is, I don’t give a shit about conservatism, I’m not interested in arguments about its value or lack thereof, and I don’t write my blog to please you or your notions of what it is incumbent upon me to do. This is not a blog about conservatism. If you have a problem with Unity’s interpretation of Burke, I suggest you take it up with Unity, not me.

      • Absolutely, your blog, your rules, and you are perfectly free to be as self-contradictory, inaccurate or anything else as you like.

    • I actually have read Burke. I was calling you out because you haven’t offered any substantive discussion. You like telling people they’re wrong but you always fail to make any point of merit.
      Why not go lurk on a forum more suited to your keen intellect? I’m sure you’ll find some content more to your liking here: http://boards.4chan.org/b/

      • Ah, very amusing – not a site I had visited before, interesting to see that you know of it.
        Regarding your unsubstantiated opinions, if you read my first post you will see that my point is based on facts drawn from Bella’s earlier article (in which she described Unity’s article as “cool” and admitted to never herself having read any Burke) and two direct quotes from her current one. What “substantive discussion” do you feel was missing, or did that just sound important to you?

  4. I was also a student of medieval history at school. I found it absolutely fascinating and every time I saw a contemporary looking at picture-book studies of WW2 history (the alternative choice for GCSE) I was so pleased that I got to look at the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

    You are so right that too much history education treats particular events as discrete entities. I once spent ages trying to explain to someone that one could never take historical events out of their context, but being a right-on left-winger he chose not to understand my point…

    • I’m not surprised to hear that, as my general impression is that the right-on regard history as a tool for manipulating present outcomes rather than as a record of human development. I will give you an example.

      My undergraduate university was a state institution that had been founded in 1789 and endowed over the years by prominent politicians, businessmen, and landowners – many of whom had also been slave owners, as this was in the South of the US. The buildings they had paid for had been named in their honour. When I was an undergrad there, there was a movement to have many of these buildings renamed, as the right-on could not countenance continued honour being paid to men who had been owners of slaves. The state legislature refused to do any such thing, claiming the vast majority of students associated the names with the buildings, not the men who’d paid for them, and as in many cases the names were carved into the masonry, it would be a pointless waste of taxpayers’ money to have them removed or replaced by engravers.

      In the end, however, the right-on made such a fuss that a compromise was needed; and the state paid a sculptor to create a monument to the slaves in question, and to the slaves who had participated in the construction of the older buildings on campus. For a monument, it is a bizarre thing: a thick disc some two metres in diameter carried at knee-height by miniature figures of burdened slaves, all carved out of some opaque black stone. It’s situated in the middle of the huge north quad and is only visible as a meaningful monument if one is standing right next to it. Since the ‘no smoking within 100 feet of a building’ rule came in, it is now used as a convenient seat for those students wishing to have a quiet fag.

      • Might I add that people who sit around the slave table–yes, that’s how it’s popularly known–necessarily end up with their feet all over the little slave carvings. I don’t see how this passes for a monument.

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