Tuesday, November 5, 2013

American Revolution Revisionism

Fascinating point from an essay on Lew Rockwell,

This is true always and everywhere throughout history – those choosing to live in relative anarchy – a state of little if any centralized monopoly control – inherently have little reason to document their own story. Such records are developed for the benefit of control and to create the desired historical narrative.
A correspondent writes in,
"[R]ecord-keeping serves two general purposes, maybe more: creating a resource to construct favorable mythology for purposes of political control, and creating a resource to construct administrative data for purposes of managing productive enterprises with increasing complexity.

An interesting counter-point to the quote above is the phenomenon of blogging. Why do people blog every stupid detail of their lives or personal interests? To create a desired historical narrative? For who? It could be an exercise in pure ego in this sense. Or maybe they just think it's entertaining to keep track of themselves.

Also, on the historical revisionism of the American Revolution-- I love it. Removing the wool from my own eyes on this subject has been a true delight over the last few years and I intend to continue it. One book I read recently was 'Plain, Honest Men', about the Constitutional Convention. It is great because it doesn't even intend to do this (it's theme is 'these guys weren't perfect, but boy, they did a helluva job despite it!') but it shows quite clearly how the people who were interested and powerful enough to attend the convention were all power hungry schemers in one way or another and far from being monolithic, selfless and unified, they were diverse, selfish (in the worst sense of the word) and completely scattered, engaged in the kind of stereotypical politicking and artificial do-see-do grab-a-partner-spin-them-round coalition building for compromise-pandering that the best (worst) of the CONgress engages in even today."

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