Friday, December 14, 2007

Barzun sounds like Buchanan

Scholars wrote monographs on sovereignty, asking themselves and the public, "What Makes a Nation?" A large part of the answer to the question is: common historical memories. When the nation's history is poorly taught in schools, ignored by the young, and proudly rejected by qualified elders, awareness of tradition consists only in wanting to destroy it...

A common language, a core of historical memories with heroes and villains, compulsory public schooling and military service finally made the 19C nation-state the carrier of civilization.

Now all these elements were decaying and could not be restored.

- Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence, p. 775-6

In addition to adding to the long list of reasons to home school, such a statement suggests that it is unreasonable to expect a large portion of migrants to assimilate quickly. The Europeans are having little luck getting the Turk to melt into the rest of society; and if the Mexicans are generally less violent, their use of a different tongue, and a history which is not only different but often opposed to that held by Americans, doesn't support the notion that the present situation is a tenable one.


troutsky said...

History is written by the victors,THAT is what is poorly taught. Think Custer. Think Alamo.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

Agreed. But we don't teach Custer and Alamo anymore. We seek to eliminate tradition because parts of it are ignoble, but what tradition isn't occasionally marred by the wayward actions of fallen man?

Meanwhile, south of the border, they teach a different history, with different heroes--and villains. Discussing the correctness of a particular historical account is, at present, beside the point.

Two separate peoples with separate histories will not get along without the use of force.

Doom said...

Not so much. Immediate history is written in the hand of the victors, though only through the historical winners efforts. Long view history is written by detached pragmatic bean counters, even before there technically were such things as bean counters. The modern immediate form of history is the newspapers, and they certainly do not record in favor of the victors, nor are they in favor of such, even if they are free to write because of the victories they decry. Real history can still be found, being kept as it was, and out of the hands of the children of today who say history is a lie, while busily trying to prove it by rewriting it. It will be there long after the world socialist flu is gone, perhaps even if it ends up killing most in whatever form it takes.