Open Thread

Over on Twitter @ZubyMusic asks, “What is the most damaging popular myth?”. Getting a lot of responses, some of them jokes of course. But it did get me thinking.

And I think that the most damaging popular myth is the history (so-called) of the last 100 years. That is, what we’ve been told is the history.

I’ve yammered on quite a bit over the past couple years about aspects of our received beliefs which don’t hold up to scrutiny and I’m coming to the conclusion that just as we have Narrative-Drivers for our politics (ie, story lines created – often in advance – to drive opinion in certain directions desired by those in charge) so we’ve had History-Drivers: that is, gatekeepers in the production of history who make certain that the historical Narrative only rolls into accepted grooves.

Just as in the MSM and the larger popular media the ability to be seen and heard largely depends on your ability to do as you’re told, so too is it likely to be this way in all disciplines. Do we really want to think that there is some institutional aspect of our society which isn’t controlled? That the people who have crafted Narrative after Narrative for our immediate political debates would let slip something as crucial as how history records things? That in a world of overwhelmingly conformist thought, they’d let independent thinkers have a place all to their own?

I’m just reminded of a story I heard some years back – it involved a moderately famous man but I can’t remember exactly who at the moment, but no worry as that isn’t fully relevant here. The key thing is that this man’s father was a British colonial official at the tail end of the Empire and upon a time this man pointed out to his son a ragged ship heading north from coastal east Africa and said, “that ship is filled with slaves, and I’m under orders to do nothing about it”. The British were leaving, as were all the colonial powers and with them went any impetus to stop the slave trade…and what had been firmly suppressed was now rising to the surface as the anti-slavers quite the scene. And then, 40 years later, we were all told that the British Empire was nothing but racist colonial oppression. Of course, a true history of Africa since the end of colonial rule would rather harp upon the breakdown of services, the rise of oppression and ethnic murder, the return of slavery…but, we can’t have that, can we? Doesn’t fit the Narrative. Oh, sure, when some particularly hideous thing happens, the world takes notice (like, say, the Rwandan genocide) but it is never placed in context. If any context is given at all, the problem is ascribed to “the legacy of colonialism”, as if the people today had no agency. And then we move on, not noticing until the next outrage occurs. Meanwhile, South Africa is slipping back into Third World status as the millennium promised with the end of Apartheid breaks down under the weight of bribery, incompetence and a raft of anti-white laws and rhetoric.

Just a little bit of the actual history of Africa and none of this would have had to happen. But just as in everything else, all we got was the Narrative history…and it is sustained in spite of any contravening facts.

Pudding Brain’s Secretary of Education said the quiet part out loud – asserting that teacher’s know better than parents what is best for kids. It is absurd and evil, but they really do think that way. They believe, that is, that someone with credentials is inherently superior. No surprise there: they all rise based on their credentials and so they hold credentials as supreme. None of these people – either in government or corporation – has ever had to produce. To actually make something happen or come into existence by their own efforts. Its all just reviewing plans and picking among them based upon the Current Thing and where the strongest pressure is coming from. And they are never tossed out, never jailed, never wind up in poverty. What we’re going to have to do is change laws to require first of all real world experience before you can take a government position and, secondly, entrance exams…really tough exams. Like, say, if you are seeking employment at the Department of Transportation, one of the questions should be along the lines of, “what is the per mile cost of moving a ton of goods from Long Beach to Denver?” and “if fleet average MPG is increased by 10 percent, what will be the average annual cost to an American consumer?”. Guarantee it will weed out these credentialed morons and allow room in there for people who actually know how things work.

See that little flap of metal up the pole there that everyone is smiling about? That was a shade installation to make travel by bus more equitable in Los Angeles. No, seriously; that little bit of metal is supposed to provide shade. I guess when its high noon and if you can stand right under it. It cost $10,000.00 to install. The Progs are seriously proud of this.

How about some fun stuff, now?