Author Topic: History, how to deal with it?  (Read 526 times)

Dave

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History, how to deal with it?
« on: August 31, 2017, 12:36:05 AM »
Since Charlotteville has brought it to the headlines, even if it was only an excuse for a racist rally there, the matter of the removal of statues and the changing if street names has risen to the notice of the media.

Talking about name changing in Florida one anti-change commentator said that you cannot erase or even change history. This is, of course, true, however should certain aspects of history be - in any way - celebrated? I still believe that the only value of history is to learn from it in order to improve the future.

Unfortunately humanity seems genetically programmed to make the same fundamental mistakes over and over. Though, just possibly, in slightly more enlightened countries and times, legal and educational nudges may (providing humanity does not kill itself first) change things over a few tens of generations.

"De-celebrating" the likes of Lee and using their pro-slavery thoughts and actions as negative examples could be part if this.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 03:52:34 AM by Gloucester »
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Tom62

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 03:47:57 AM »
Since Chsrlotteville has brought it to the headlines, even if it was only an excuse for a racist rally there, the matter of the removal of statues and the changing if street names has risen to the notice of the media.

Talking about name changing in Florida one anti-change commentator said that you cannot erase or even change history. This is, of course, true, however should certain aspects of history be - in any way - celebrated? I still believe that the only value of history is to learn from it in order to improve the future.

Unfortunately humanity seems genetically programmed to make the same fundamental mistakes over and over. Though, just possibly, in slightly more enlightened countries and times, legal and educational nudges may (providing humanity does not kill itself first) change things over a few tens of generations.

"De-celebrating" the likes of Lee and using their pro-slavery thoughts and actions as negative examples could be part if this.

Question is what will be next. Will be ban every word, book, movie, statue, image or whatever that a small minority of people doesn't like? For example: I recently read in the news that "Gone with the Wind" wasn't shown somewhere in the USA, because it is now considered to be a racist movie. Is it the goal to edit or remove history, like Stalin did during his lifetime? Who is going to decide what is right or wrong? The government? SJWs? Liberals? Conservatives? This is a very slippery slope.
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Dave

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 04:13:21 AM »
I fully agree that it is a slippery slope, and could well be the thin end of the wedge for some more radical factions to  acquire more influence. But should we then re-erect the statues of the Nazi and Soviet periods?

It is possible, I think, to make history real, but not valid to "celebrate" the less savoury characters. A true representation of slavery, even a fictional one, is valid, a "cleaned up" one is not. But how many films have been made where the slaves live in crude dwellings, are half starved, whipped, raped, buggered etc.? No doubt there were benevolent slave owners, but is slavery valid, in any way, in the 21st century? And if slavery itself is not valid then neither are any commemorations of those who actively promoted it.

I agree that going back far enough with this theme could mean that statues of Washington and his monument could be on the demolition list, which would probably not go well with even the most liberal of Americans! Though some SJWs might vote for it.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 07:43:59 AM by Gloucester »
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Davin

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 07:40:38 AM »
Since Chsrlotteville has brought it to the headlines, even if it was only an excuse for a racist rally there, the matter of the removal of statues and the changing if street names has risen to the notice of the media.

Talking about name changing in Florida one anti-change commentator said that you cannot erase or even change history. This is, of course, true, however should certain aspects of history be - in any way - celebrated? I still believe that the only value of history is to learn from it in order to improve the future.

Unfortunately humanity seems genetically programmed to make the same fundamental mistakes over and over. Though, just possibly, in slightly more enlightened countries and times, legal and educational nudges may (providing humanity does not kill itself first) change things over a few tens of generations.

"De-celebrating" the likes of Lee and using their pro-slavery thoughts and actions as negative examples could be part if this.

Question is what will be next. Will be ban every word, book, movie, statue, image or whatever that a small minority of people doesn't like?
That sounds like a pretty big leap. Slippery slopes  tend to more slope form than pretending like there is a cliff. Like with everything else, if there is a good reason to keep something, then keep, and if there is a good reason to remove it, then remove it and we can avoid the slippery slope. These monuments are on public property. On federal land. These are monuments of people willing to kill their fellow American brethren to maintain slavery, and they were erected (several of them around the 50's and 60's), in public places in a country that they sought to destroy.

Speaking of slippery slopes. If we keep those statues, do we we also put up statues of Hitler? Do we put up statues of Yamamoto Isoroku on Pearl Harbor? How about a statue of Timothy McVeigh? Or statues at the twin towers site of all the terrorists involved with that attack? Maybe slope is slipping a different way than you expect?

Quote from: Tom62
For example: I recently read in the news that "Gone with the Wind" wasn't shown somewhere in the USA, because it is now considered to be a racist movie.
Should people be forced to show movies that they don't like or that they disagree with?

Quote from: Tom62
Is it the goal to edit or remove history, like Stalin did during his lifetime? Who is going to decide what is right or wrong? The government? SJWs? Liberals? Conservatives? This is a very slippery slope.
So far, the history is still there. though for a long time history has been withheld in school even in history classes. But other than Conservatives trying to mislead children about the History of the US, Republican politicians lying about what happened, and everyone around the Orange 45, there hasn't been an attack on history.

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2017, 08:20:28 AM »
But people love to surf that slippery slope, then sing the blues when they wipe out.

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2017, 09:25:10 AM »
I agree with Davin's take on it. It's okay to be open minded, but to cut shit out that's dumb. Like walking off a cliff, or drinking kool aide in a robe.
But, uh...well there it is.
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Dave

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 09:31:48 AM »
OFF TOPIC

Quote
. . . drinking kool aide in a robe.

This is the third time this month I have come across a reference to "kool aide". I get the idea it is a cold drink.

But why is it so notorious? Is it super fuzzy or something? Or like a "Slush Puppy"?
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No one

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2017, 09:35:48 AM »
Jim Jones, Gloucester.

Dave

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 09:49:55 AM »
Jim Jones, Gloucester.

The name rang a small bell but I had to look it up. So, euphemism for committing suicide?
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No one

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 10:14:59 AM »
Or at least blindly following to whatever end.

Dave

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 10:19:36 AM »
Or at least blindly following to whatever end.
Ah, yes! That puts one of the mentions into context now.

Thanks.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 05:49:32 PM »
I don't think I agree with "removing" or silencing historical events because it offends some group of people. The whole point of history besides better understanding the present is it's somewhat like a sociological laboratory, social experiments unfolding with the passage of time.

Just as our pasts are full of things we regret or wish we could have done differently, they are part of who we are IMO. The same can be said for societies and even nations. It doesn't necessarily define an entity but ignoring certain aspects of the past can be dangerous because that way we don't learn from them.

If people are already predisposed to make the same mistakes over and over again, how much worse would that be without darker times in our memories?  ::) 
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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 06:15:00 PM »
I don't think I agree with "removing" or silencing historical events because it offends some group of people. The whole point of history besides better understanding the present is it's somewhat like a sociological laboratory, social experiments unfolding with the passage of time.

Just as our pasts are full of things we regret or wish we could have done differently, they are part of who we are IMO. The same can be said for societies and even nations. It doesn't necessarily define an entity but ignoring certain aspects of the past can be dangerous because that way we don't learn from them.

If people are already predisposed to make the same mistakes over and over again, how much worse would that be without darker times in our memories?  ::)

That's fair, but usually statues are made of people to show how "great" they were. Lee was not a good guy according to history. He fought and killed to keep slavery legal. He's a piece of shit. Iraqis tore down statues of Saddam...
But, uh...well there it is.
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Dave

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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2017, 12:29:29 AM »
I don't think I agree with "removing" or silencing historical events because it offends some group of people. The whole point of history besides better understanding the present is it's somewhat like a sociological laboratory, social experiments unfolding with the passage of time.

Just as our pasts are full of things we regret or wish we could have done differently, they are part of who we are IMO. The same can be said for societies and even nations. It doesn't necessarily define an entity but ignoring certain aspects of the past can be dangerous because that way we don't learn from them.

If people are already predisposed to make the same mistakes over and over again, how much worse would that be without darker times in our memories?  ::)

Silver, this touches my idea that history is "sterile" as a study on its own, yes it may achieve understanding. But "understanding"s greatest asset is the ability to modify the future in a positive direction.

If a past event had a negative effect on humanity as a whole then it dies not deserve any kind of celebrstion, only to be used as an example of what not to repeat. Don't bury it, use it.

It is right to remember the "Holocaust" and respect those who lost their lives in it. But it's history has also been misused in some ways to excuse what could be described as criminal action on behalf of the victim peoples. And it did not stop the likes of the "Killing Fields" of Cambodia or the massacres in Rwanda.

"History repeats itself" is a clichè that has validity - except that it should read, "Human nature leads us to make the same mistakes over and again." Human nature, in terms of populations, can only really be modified by using truth, facts and example to educate. Oh, plus constancy and lots of time!
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Re: History, how to deal with it?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2017, 04:37:22 AM »
I feel like a good solution would be to leave the statues standing, and add a bronze marker plate with a couple, few paragraphs, giving a more balanced, accurate view of the man. The good and the bad. Not in a celebratory way, but a cautionary way. There are fantastic writers out there who could be sensitive about how they write it. I wonder if that would be satisfactory to people? It would still be a monument to our history, but make it more honest.
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