Historians and the Falsification of History

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Some people wonder why an academic like me is so hard on academia. I suppose it is because academia often claims to be pure, beyond bias, able to think critically as opposed to the idiots out there among the common people. Knowing that all those claims are false makes academia a hypocritical institution. This is seen in a number of fields, but one of them is history. Below are some examples of how historians distort history.

I once read a book on the attempt of the Confederate government to arm slaves near the end of the War between the States. The author claimed that very few, if any, blacks fought for the Confederacy and that those who were in support position were generally slaves. However, there are articles from the era of the war in the New York Times and Harper’s Weekly (check the May 10, 1862 issue for an artist’s drawing of blacks helping load a cannon) by reporters who witnessed a large number of blacks in the Confederate camp, some of whom fought fiercely against Union troops. There were free blacks who fought for the Confederacy, not just slaves; estimates of the number of free black Confederate soldiers are at a low of 5000, with some estimates much higher. With slaves included, who could have easily revolted or fled to the North with so many of the men off to war, 100,000 helped in the war effort in support units. While the Confederacy did not formally include blacks by law in the army until 1865, de facto from the beginning they were served the army, perhaps not formally, but in support positions that involved combat when units encountered Union troops. The units were integrated, unlike Union units. Authors who deny that evidence of such is totally missing are either ignorant of it (and thus are guilty of bad scholarship), explain it away (which is difficult to do, given that there are multiple eyewitness accounts of black Confederate soldiers), or ignore it (which is dishonest). Most of the time it’s probably the latter, since I can’t imagine a good researcher missing the references in Harper’s. Thus ideologically driven dishonest is the only reasonable explanation for historians denying a fact of which they have clear evidence.

Another example is Reconstruction after the War between the States. Earlier historians recognized the corruption that permeated Reconstruction, but lately revisionists, mainly of a Marxist bent, have claimed that the reports of corruption and violence were due to biased Southern writers. Given that there are number of newspaper accounts from the time period of rapes and murders as well as letters from ordinary people detailing their fear of walking the street due to Carpetbagger-agitated gangs, this “historians'” conclusion seems more due to ideological bias.

In a conversation I had at an academic conference with a Marxist historian, he denied both the atrocities of Stalin and Mao. Given the overwhelming evidence for the brutal system of gulags, mass purges and executions, the starving of the people of the Ukraine, and the misuse of psychiatry in Stalin’s era, such denial is incredible. As for Mao, around 35,000,000-45,000,000 people died from the effects of his rule, directly through execution or brutality in prison or indirectly through failed agricultural policies. Did this Marxist forget about the Cultural Revolution? Again, this seems to be an integrity matter rather than sloppy scholarship.

While I am not a Classical Liberal, the claims of Classical Liberalism about what worsened the Great Depression should be taken seriously, and yet they are dismissed by most historians I have read with little or no argumentation. Usually the dismissal carries with it a tinge of sarcasm. Such a response, again, is due to ideological bias.

Many historians claimed that Alger Hiss was unjustly charged with espionage, as well as the Rosenbergs. KGB files opened after the Cold War ended have affirmed that Hiss was a Soviet spy, as well as Julius Rosenberg (his wife may well not have been involved). In fact, a number of people the much maligned Senator Joseph McCarthy accused of being Soviet spies turned out to be Soviet spies. The “anti-anti-communism” of leftist historians came into play rather than looking at evidence for or against the guilt of Hiss or Julius Rosenberg. To be fair, many historians have corrected earlier positions based on this new evidence, but the dogmatism with which historians held the earlier position is, at the least, fascinating.

Other events go unsaid by historians:

A number of prominent politicians believed succession was legal before the War between the States, including northern politicians.

Some early feminists opposed abortion on liberal grounds that forced abortion was one of the ways men would try to control and take advantage of women. Susan B. Anthony was opposed to abortion.

The Crusades began as a defensive war–vast swaths of the formerly Christian Mediterranean world had been conquered by Islam, and there were Islamic colonies throughout Europe, especially in Moorish Spain. The Crusades were an attempt to re-take the Holy Land which was lost when the Muslims defeated the Eastern Roman Empire’s troops in the seventh century.

Focusing on violent protests in the South against integration, historians often ignore the many incidents of peaceful integration and the growing grassroots movement for civil rights which may have been more successful with less bitterness resulting than the massive federal and military intervention liberals support.

Historians often play up the atrocities of Christians and downplay the atrocities of Muslims. By the way, I am sure the troops of the Eastern Roman Empire discovered that Islam is a religion of peace. My sarcasm is obvious.

Now there are some fine historians, especially among those who have studied intellectual history. Shelby Foote has written a masterful narrative history of the War between the States. Thomas Molnar, Modris Eksteins, John Lukacs, and Jacques Barzun have written some splendid intellectual history. Thomas J. DiLorenzio has written some works that bring more balance to the study of Abraham Lincoln. David McCullough is a fine historian who is fair who has a flair for style, a rare trait among academic writers. Paul Johnson is a good writer, though his own classical liberal bias gets a bit thick — he’s not a trained academic historian, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Michael Grant is a fascinating writer. I know there are many others, and when I get overly cynical, when I say “There are liars, damned liars, and historians,” I think of these individuals. May more like them come along.

 

 

American Militarism and Support of Atrocities

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No one can deny that it is heroic to be willing to lay down one’s life for others. That is what Memorial Day should be about, and often, it is. However, I see more and more evidence that it is becoming a celebration of militarism and war itself as well as a justification for atrocities in war as long as Americans commit those atrocities. One example is the zeal of people who condemn President Obama for apologizing to the Japanese for the use of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now I am not a fan of Mr. Obama overall, but in this case he did the right thing.

Japan was on the brink of surrender by July 1945. A few hardliners in the Japanese government were holding on, but many American officers, including Generals Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Lemay (!) opposed the use of the atomic bomb, believing that an American naval blockade and bombardment would convince those in the government suing for peace to capitulate by the end of 1945. The bombs themselves were obviously devastating–the Hiroshima bomb was designed as a 20 kiloton bomb; it was a partial dud, producing only 10 kilotons of explosive power, yet killing 80,000 people. The bomb at Nagasaki was not a dud, but it missed its target; it struck a surrounding city and some suburbs, yet still killed 60,000 people. If it had hit its target head-on, the death toll would have been higher. Nagasaki and the surrounding area was the most Christian area of Japan, yet have any of the supporters of the atomic bomb seen photos of the churches destroyed by the bomb?

War against the civilian population in general is condemned by just war theory. Yet that has been a common American practice since Lincoln instituted it in the War between the States. Sherman’s path of pillage, rape, and death was the prelude of his genocide, with the help of one General Sheridan, of the Native Americans of the west and southwest. In the Philippines, U. S. policy included mass shootings of men, women, and children. In World War II, American saturation bombing in one Tokyo raid in March 1945 killed 100,000 people, and such raids occurred almost daily in other Japanese cities before the atomic bombs were dropped. The American occupation of Germany after World War II was no piece of cake, with about 1 million Germans who died in the year after the war’s conclusion. While some deaths were due to starvation and deprivation that occurs after every war, the occupation itself was quite brutal. A veteran who was over there told of an incident in a bar in which a German woman was murdered by an American. The commanding officer said, “We came here to kill Germans, and we killed a German.” There were no attempts made to find the killer. While some deaths were due to starvation and deprivation that occurs after every war, the occupation itself was quite brutal (as opposed to the occupation of Japan, which MacArthur ran well).

In Vietnam, American troops engaged in torture, including wrapping wires around a man’s genitals and shocking them with electrical current. Murders of civilians were routine; Lt. Calley was not the only one who mowed down civilians. Yes, the conditions were difficult, yes, the VC and NV regulars were brutal, but modern warfare brings people, including Americans, to barbarism.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, torture was standard U. S. policy until Mr. Obama stopped its use by American troops.

“What about the enemy’s actions?” militarists ask. Yes, the enemy often could be brutal, especially the Japanese, North Koreans, Chinese (in the Korean War), and Vietnamese, and no one today would accuse ISIL of showing mercy. But that does not imply that the U. S. military is somehow justified in committing atrocities. Sometimes silly pseud0-“Patriots” claim what whatever American soldiers do is morally justified. The implication is strong that somehow American soldiers are beyond original sin, an obviously heretical belief.

There are those who argue for the “war is hell” theory, that “all is justified in love and war.” This puts warfare beyond the realm of morality and would justify doing literally anything to win. That position is pure evil. If war really is that way, then all war is wrong and all who participate in it are committing sin. I am not ready to go that far; there have been just wars in history (I would include the First Crusade as well as World War II). But for a war to be just, it must be fought according to the rules of military justice, or else both sides stoop to the same level.

Christians (especially Southern Baptists and other southern Christians) too often glorify war. That is an offence for which they should repent, for is opposed to love and contrary to God’s will.

I am glad we won World War II but regret many of the means used which were not only immoral in themselves, but militarily unnecessary. They lowered the bar for future wars.

To be fair, some soldiers regret it if they did something unjust in war. They often suffer PTSD in part because of this. Any sin can be forgiven if a person repents, and no matter how bad their actions were, they can be forgiven by God. The vast majority of soldiers did their duty bravely and did not commit atrocities in combat. Some stopped atrocities from continuing, as the brave American helicopter pilot who halted the My Lai massacre (and who, unfortunately, was mistreated and called a traitor by many Americans).

Being a warmonger and militarist is contrary to the Christian faith. Supporting anything the U.S. does in war, even if it is immoral, is contrary to the Christian faith. Those who claim Christian identity and are warmongers and supporters of atrocities need to reconsider their positions, repent, and pray for forgiveness.

Curt Shilling and Corporate Support of Perversion

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It is no surprise to me that ESPN fired Curt Shilling over his Facebook post criticizing “transgendered” people. While the photo Shilling used was a bit risque, his comments were in line with natural law and common sense. Despite those academics and leftists who believe in the “social construction of reality” and that “sex is biological, but gender is socially constructed,” reality continues to rise above the grave the Left has tried to dig for it.

Leftists claim that since there are some people born as hermaphrodites, and the doctor “chooses” their gender for them, this means that gender distinctions are wholly social in nature. However, this is not the case–it is inaccurate to look for standards of normality in the aberrant. No one does this in ordinary life. If a child is born with a heart defect, no one says, “This is normal, so we should accept the child as is and do nothing for her.” Instead, surgeons correct the problem. If a schizophrenic cannot function due to paranoid delusions, we do not say, “That’s just normal for him; we can let him be as is and protect his schizophrenic status.” Instead, we give him medication to regulate his serotonin levels. If someone says, “I was born as a man but feel like a woman,” then the best thing for that person is treatment of his delusion rather than celebrating his alleged “self-chosen gender.”

Gender is sex. That is a biological fact, and no amount of slick language by social constructionists can change that face. Transgendered people are pretending they are something they are not. They are men play-acting at being women and vice-versa. Their behavior is a perversion of human nature. The contemporary “acceptance” of such perversion as “normal” is insane and a denial of reality.

Mr. Shilling’s comments, while stated in rather colloquial language, were on the spot. They are true. ESPN cannot hide that truth by firing Mr. Shilling. ESPN and other multinational corporations have become supporters of perversion. They oppose North Carolina keeping the common-sense distinction between men’s and women’s restrooms. They bully states who pass such laws or who try to pass such laws, attempting to force them into submission–or they make policies forcing their radical social agenda on the public. An example is Target’s recent decision to allow “transgendered” men and women to use restrooms of the opposite sex.

As James Kalb has noted, Corporations desire human beings to be machines who can be molded at will into tools for the corporations to make money. They promote a libertine attitude toward perversion because people who “exclude” get in the way of a “harmonious workforce,” that is, a group of interchangeable parts.

States must resist such corporate pressure. North Carolina is doing the right thing in holding firm to the law requiring separate restrooms for the sexes. It is time for states where most people still hold to some kind of natural law view of human beings to resist the corporations. Support small business and much as possible. Stop giving mega corporations tax breaks. If companies bully over “the transgendered,” ban those companies from doing business in the state. We are submissive to corporate support of evil because we have willingly submitted ourselves as de facto slaves to powerful multinational corporations. It is time for people who have not been brainwashed by academia, the media, and Hollywood to stand against corporations who desire to force the anti-natural down people’s throats.

ESPN, like most media, is controlled by Leftists who are reshaping the United States into a twisted wasteland of moral relativism and sexual perversion. Mr. Shilling should be proud of standing for the truth, even though he lost his job. If enough people stand for the truth, perhaps corporate profits can be cut, and that is the one factor that matters to corporate executives. This was shown when Cracker Barrel reversed its decision to avoid carrying “Duck Dynasty” products after Phil Robertson’s statements against homosexual activity. Many of its customers were Christians, and they stood up in mass against the new policy–and their voices mattered. More Christians and other people of all backgrounds who oppose sanctioning perversion should stand up to corporate moguls and say, “No more!”

The Bullied and the Rescuer–Why Trump Gets so Much Support

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Suppose you are in third grade and a much bigger kid beats you up regularly, steals your lunch money, and otherwise makes your life miserable. This happens every school day and gets to the point that you dread going to school. One day another kid comes to you and says, “I’m tired of that big kid beating up on you. Next time I see him I’m going to beat him up.” You find that hard to believe; the boy has never helped you before and never seemed to care for anybody but himself. But the next time the bully attacks you, the other boy jumps in and beats the bully up. You trust the boy who helped you, and now you will do anything to help him. A year later, when he runs for homeroom president, you are his biggest supporter.

Today many people in the United States feel bullied. Some feel bullied by the bankers and investment firm CEOs that helped create the 2008 crash that left millions of people without jobs. Others are Evangelical Christians who feel beaten down and silenced by politically correct bullying by both the Left and Right. Others who may not be Evangelical Christians are still tired of so many people getting offended at anything a person says and using that offense to bully someone out of a job, often ruining the person’s career. It seems that speaking itself will become a crime one day.

Then Donald Trump walks into the room. He is crude, he is crass, and he has no regard for what he says nor how much he offends others. He is definitely not politically correct, something protesters at his rallies understand, which is one reason they hate him. For the non-elites, the common people who feel bullied, Trump comes across as a savior. “If Trump were in, he wouldn’t let any of these jerks intimidate him. He’d just tell political correctness to go to hell.” Trump comes across to many people as the rescuer, just like the rescuer of the bullied boy in the story. Thus Trump’s supporters will be loyal to him and are willing to do anything they can to help him get elected.

I voted for Ted Cruz because I am not sure Mr. Trump is stating his true convictions–he seems to be saying what people want to hear in order to get elected. However, “I’m mad as hell” with political correctness myself, and understand the appeal of Mr. Trump. If he gets the Republican nomination, I will probably vote for him in the general election. It is risky, and I would vote with trepidation, but like many people, I am sick and tired of being intimidated by elites who try to silence speech with which they disagree. If Mr. Trump can put a dent in that trend, that, at least, would be a good thing.

 

How Obergefell Really Happened – Crisis Magazine

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Without a doubt Obergefell was crammed down our throats, as were all the lower court decisions that overturned 34 state laws and constitutional changes voted upon by citizens. But, it is hard to see that Obergefell would have ever happened if the ground had not been prepared, if those five Supreme Court justices could not …

Source: How Obergefell Really Happened – Crisis Magazine

Why Attractions and Emotions Become ‘Identities’ – Crisis Magazine

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For years to come, a range of experts and armchair analysts will likely argue about the origins of same-sex attraction and “gender” confusion and to what extent either counts as a psychological disorder. But there is one aspect of the LGBTQ(etc.) phenomenon that, seems to me, is beyond dispute: basing identity on attractions and feelings …

Source: Why Attractions and Emotions Become ‘Identities’ – Crisis Magazine

I No Longer Say “Chair” – Crisis Magazine

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A boxer who strikes a painful blow knows quite well to keep pounding the delicate spot. He knows when his opponent is hurt and he strikes the same spot over and over again. If there is a tiny cut above the eye, he keeps pounding the cut so that the bloody trickle becomes a torrent. …

Source: I No Longer Say “Chair” – Crisis Magazine

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