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Sunday, July 15, 2012

History is freedom

Brandon Smith notes the collectivist hatred for heritage and history:
A distaste or hatred of heritage is very common at the onset of any collectivist restructuring. These restructurings usually target principles of individual liberty and self governance while masquerading as a fight against oppression or corruption. The old principles are either presented as too outdated and insufficient to deal with the new problems of a culture, or, they are presented as the actual SOURCE of the problems of that culture. In either case, the elites wielding the collectivist machine inevitably call for a purge of all bygone ideals.

In Communist China, Mao instituted the Cultural Revolution, which encouraged the mindlessly mesmerized collectivists in the Chinese populace to destroy everything which represented the past. Artwork, buildings, historical artifacts, books; even teachers and proponents of any brand of pre-communist heritage were targeted.

In Fascist Germany, the Nazis destroyed countless books and manuscripts, rewrote German history, censored and removed thousands of artworks, instituting state designated artforms that depicted the collectivist vision of the new society.

In Russia, the Communists focused intently not only on liquidating manuscripts extolling the methods of different eras, but also the people who wrote them. Under Lenin and Stalin, the goal was to annihilate the memory of the world before, even if it meant annihilating the masses along with it.

A complete reformation of educational infrastructure came next. The children of the collectivist age had to be indoctrinated as if there had never been another way of doing things.

These purges, as numerous examples have shown, are only temporary. The great conundrum for the elites has not only been the obstacle of memory, but the obstacle of the soul; that inherent quality in human beings that compels us to pursue freedom, balance, and truth, regardless of the constraints of our environment. The documents and remnants of heritage that oligarchs seek to destroy are ultimately only expressions of our inborn consciences. Deep down in each person, no matter what they have been conditioned to believe, there is a well-spring of vital ideas that conflict with the mechanizations of collectivism. Individualism finds a way to surface, and so, the central rulers must start over once again, looking for an insurmountable method of control.
I'd never associated my love of history with my intellectual affinity for human liberty. I'd merely regarded history as a useful tool for potentially avoiding past mistakes. But it is true, the totalitarian thirst for eliminating and creatively rewriting history does tend to lend some credence to the idea that the knowledge of history is important, perhaps even integral to understanding and upholding human freedom. The goal of the totalitarian is always stasis, which involves not only destroying the future and turning it into a facsimile of the present, but the past as well.

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31 Comments:

Anonymous kh123 July 15, 2012 1:29 PM  

"...stasis..."

Which is ironic, considering their buzzwords: reform, revolution, evolution, progressive, etc.

Anonymous JACIII July 15, 2012 1:39 PM  

"euphemism" is a central theme of the statist for a reason.

Blogger Jemison Thorsby July 15, 2012 1:56 PM  

"He who controls the present controls the past; he who controls the past can control the future..."

Blogger crazyivan498 July 15, 2012 2:07 PM  

I have been reading some Rothbard lately. It is remarkeable how events of the past help you understand the action of individuals and groups in the present. Knowing history helps you better deal with the idiots of the present wheather they happen to be third way pragmatist or totalitarian psychopath. This one of those posts that I thank Vox for running a great blog. I would not be reading history if it was not for the influence Vox Popoli.

Anonymous Godfrey July 15, 2012 2:28 PM  

The true desire of the totalitarian is to chain everyone to the ground so he, by merely standing, may feel tall.

Envy and pride are at the heart of it all.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation (Ben) July 15, 2012 2:31 PM  

What we learn from history is that many people don't learn from history. Despite the mass killings, the mass suffering, the mass starvation, the gulags, and all the other horrors of perpetrated by governments in the 20th century, there are still many people that think that if we only had the right people at the top it would've all worked out. There are many people I know that want masters. They want the free healthcare, the free food, clothing, shelter. It comes with string attached and the government is a brutal master.

It's interesting that today the same Marxists that were making the claim that the Soviet Union wasn't truly an experiment in Marxist socialism are the same people running the EU and are promoting global free trade. They are doing it to build a world government with themselves in charge of course. Then they can carry out a true Marxist socialist experiment which no one is going to be able to flee from.

Anonymous fnn July 15, 2012 2:32 PM  

American history for the current CM ruling elite is reduced to slavery, War to Free the Slaves, War to Save the World from Hitler, Civil Rights Era and finally the continuing struggle to liberate the planet(excluding Palestine) from the evil white man from 1965 to the end of time.

Blogger republicanmother July 15, 2012 2:34 PM  

The Reece Committee of 1953 found going through the Carnegie Endowment's founding minutes that one of their three objectives was to take control of the teaching of American history.

They say the victors write the history books.

Anonymous JP July 15, 2012 2:42 PM  

I don't know why they're talking about Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.

The leading re-writers of history to advance the cause of collectivist restructuring are the Leftists who took over American academia since the 1960s. They have rewritten America's past as an abyss of evil, racism, misogyny, and oppression in order to justify restructuring the most free and prosperous society in human history (the pre-1965 United States) in the name of "social justice." If they presented pre-1965 America in an honest manner, then what they have done to America since 1965 would appear to be what it is - an utter catastrophe - not what they dishonestly represent it to be, which is "progress" relative to an unjust, repressive past.

Anonymous bw July 15, 2012 3:20 PM  

It is looking at what it really means to be human and to experience all the different facets of life. To try and to fail or succeed. Avoiding past mistakes is but one part of it. As you like to note, human nature doesn't change, so everything revolves around that axis, technology or no.
Utopians (psychologically damaged perpetual children) have been trained to loathe themselves and humanity in general, while at the same time worshipping and enabling the worst it has to offer.
Truth seekers find life and its history delicious. It isn't really "happiness" but more about "purpose", and quite possibly in a spiritual sense, responsibility where those who have come before us are concerned.
Chesterton said something on it, but I can't bring it to mind right now.

Anonymous patrick kelly July 15, 2012 4:00 PM  

Most people don't want freedom or liberty but are quite satisfied with electing a new master. Even then they are only electing the new poster boy or figure head.

But the American decent into whatever they call communism these days is a done deal, spilled milk, water under.......... and most will cheer for their shiny new chains.

I do have a bit of hope that I'm wrong, a very small bit.

Anonymous Tom B July 15, 2012 5:03 PM  

Patrick Kelly wrote:

"But the American decent into whatever they call communism these days is a done deal, spilled milk, water under.......... and most will cheer for their shiny new chains.

I do have a bit of hope that I'm wrong, a very small bit."


Don't count on it Patrick; I had a recent exchange with my own nephew (via marriage) that was as despair-inducing an incident as I have ever had. He has come ut of the closet as both an atheist and a socialist - stating that Americans SHOULD give up some of their "freedom" (his scare quotes) in order to become truely free - let someone give them orders in order to fix the problems of society - which are, in HIS order - 1. not allowing gays to marry; 2. having too many rich people holding people back; 3. too many people wanting the freedom to do what they want when people are starving, homeless, etc.

When I began quoting Hayek, von Mises and the like, he went apeshit batty and began saying we should do away with money and go back to the barter economy, and we should throw Christians in prison for oppressing people.

All I can say is God I hope he's adopted.

Anonymous Bobbala July 15, 2012 5:08 PM  

"these purges are only temporary"
I think someone should explain this to the N. Koreans ... and the Cuban ... and well, all of Africa ... and ...

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler July 15, 2012 5:22 PM  

What that yahoo misses in his "Individualism finds a way to surface", is original sin. Men are born rebellious. It is part and parcel of original sin.

So, Brandon Smith ensconces and praises "individualism" which is actually Original Sin. Has Brandon Smith sifted "individualism" and decided which is true "individualism" and the workings of original sin in man? Has he?

"Liberty" and "freedom" were code words of the Atheists in the so-called "Enlightenment" because they wanted to get out from under the Catholic Church. The same with Protestants. Atheists and Protestants are in constant rebellion, so this "Freedom", "Liberty" crap is made into their "God".

Face it, libertarians, Liberty/Freedom is your God.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler July 15, 2012 5:27 PM  

News to Brandon Smith, the books mostly destroyed by the National Socialists----were books written by Jews and books by communists! To have a look at history, the biggest book burning in history was when Henry VIII seized Catholic monasteries and many were torched--with their libraries. The Fire Bombing of Dresden destroyed tons of books, libraries and art. Was the Fire-bombing of Dresden really necessary? NO, but it destroyed a beautiful city.

Would we not want to burn all copies of the Communist Manifesto? How about the works of Rosa Luxemborg? or Karl Kautsky? Shouldn't all communist and Jewish crap be burned? How about all those disgusting movies by the Cohen brothers? Shouldn't some things be burned and destroyed forever?

Or do you let garbage float around forever?

Anonymous FUBAR Nation (Ben) July 15, 2012 5:50 PM  

"When I began quoting Hayek, von Mises and the like, he went apeshit batty and began saying we should do away with money and go back to the barter economy, and we should throw Christians in prison for oppressing people."

He would've felt at home as a communist apparatchik in Lenin's day.

Tom, how much you want to bet he was fed this garbage in college?

Anonymous Sigh July 15, 2012 6:20 PM  

Doesn't take much provocation for Wheeler to fire up his Mighty Wurlitzer of Stupid.

Anonymous The CronoLink July 15, 2012 7:08 PM  

"So, Brandon Smith ensconces and praises "individualism" which is actually Original Sin."

What a freakin dumbass you are, Wheeler.

Anonymous Boogeyman July 15, 2012 7:27 PM  

How about all those disgusting movies by the Cohen brothers? Shouldn't some things be burned and destroyed forever?...

But..I love the Big Lebowski!

Oh, and no one's done the 'The future is certain, it's the past that keeps changing" quote, so, there you go. Also note the recent call by the Muslim Brotherhood to destroy the pyramids.

Anonymous No_Limit_Bubba™ July 15, 2012 8:35 PM  

"...fire up his Mighty Wurlitzer of Stupid."

Nice.

Anonymous kh123 July 15, 2012 8:45 PM  

"How about all those disgusting movies by the Cohen brothers?"

I suppose Clint Eastwood gets a free pass. Cormack McCarthy too for that matter.

Given, you'll be hard pressed to find Clint working in Nebuchadnezzar, Paradise Lost, and Nietzsche references into a story about Hollywood producers; or arguments about that "day-of-rest shit" coming out the mouth of a pederast Mexican bowler.

But hey, there's always Used Cars.

Anonymous Orville July 15, 2012 11:27 PM  

"Oh Brother where art thou" is one of my favorite Cohen Bros. movie.

I think the mad organist is missing some stops. Individualism, when framed as not following the herd on the broad highway to hell, is certainly not sin. Nor was Joshua's statement about "choosing who you will serve, but as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord".

Anonymous The other skeptic July 16, 2012 12:18 AM  

CA Air Resources Board goes full totalitarian

Anonymous oregon mouse July 16, 2012 1:19 AM  

"Face it, libertarians, Liberty/Freedom is your God"

hmm well then I guess that would make the State the god of the statist/socialist/communist. Believe it or not, governments are made of individuals. These individuals are usually the most flawed, least talented people by virtue of the fact that government work caters to those who value security over risk or who seek power over others for their own reasons. Government's infamous corruption and inefficiency in any country reflects this fact. Libertarians simply seek as much distance from these individuals and their capricious flaws as possible.

Anonymous Gx1080 July 16, 2012 1:38 AM  

Is always amusing how people that claim to defend Freedom masturbate to Big Goverment crushing the infidels to their secular faith.

That out, not wanting to learn from history, to dismiss the wisdom of those that came before us, is, above anything else, the biggest sign of arrogance. Pride is the most important component of authoritarianism, we are talking about people that believe that they have the right to rule over the lives of others.

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box July 16, 2012 1:55 AM  

Have never seen a more braindead slave to polytheistic, spiritualist ignorance!
Why don't you go finger your beads, worship your Earth-bitch, bunghole the Papist brats & STFU?

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box July 16, 2012 1:59 AM  

Translation: "MY form of tyranny & oppression is BETTER THAN theirs!", even though based on the same fucking Babylonian lies of Nimrod.

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box July 16, 2012 2:01 AM  

But he's an "educated" dumbass...WORST KIND.

Anonymous FrankNorman July 16, 2012 6:32 AM  

W.LindsayWheeler July 15, 2012 5:27 PM

News to Brandon Smith, the books mostly destroyed by the National Socialists----were books written by Jews and books by communists! To have a look at history, the biggest book burning in history was when Henry VIII seized Catholic monasteries and many were torched--with their libraries. The Fire Bombing of Dresden destroyed tons of books, libraries and art. Was the Fire-bombing of Dresden really necessary? NO, but it destroyed a beautiful city.

Would we not want to burn all copies of the Communist Manifesto? How about the works of Rosa Luxemborg? or Karl Kautsky? Shouldn't all communist and Jewish crap be burned?


No. Making yourself ignorant about what other people believe is not good for you. Those people are out there, and it matters what they think.
And I don't want you depriving others of the ability to defend themselves against the Communists. Knowledge is power.

How about all those disgusting movies by the Cohen brothers? Shouldn't some things be burned and destroyed forever?

Okay, I'll grant you that one. :-)

Blogger IM2L844 July 16, 2012 10:23 AM  

Or do you let garbage float around forever?

A john Stuart Mill quote comes to mind: "He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that"

Anonymous Orlock July 17, 2012 10:52 AM  

Succinctly put mr. vox. Always love how you distill down to the bare minimum necessary to convey your thoughts. You definitely cast a wide net in what you read.

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