Monday, June 23, 2008

Repositioning the Nonhistory of History

Dear George,

One of the major challenges a strong leader faces is leading the public down paths that threaten its self interest. Self interest is simply a convoluted dream born of weak egos. There is only one interest, and that is the interest that benefits the Homeland. It is towards this end that the public must be directed. But what should be a stroll towards destiny often becomes a tug of war as voices of dissent abrade the surface of the path that leads the Homeland to its greater glory.

There are various strategies to deal with dissent. Unfortunately, these address the problem after it appears. What you need is a strategy that will remove the root cause of dissent. Once you dig beneath the surface, you discover that the root cause of dissent is history.

Think about it. Dissent is grounded in a memory corrupted by history. Those with a strong sense of history are more likely to view progress as decay and decline than those who are ignorant of it. With history, one gains a sense of continuity and of place, and with this sense comes a hostility to all that threatens it.

Some scholars have addressed this problem by announcing an end to history. This is an error. It would be far more productive to declare that history doesn’t even exist. Those who think the War of 1812 was fought in the twentieth century would have no problem believing this.

We need a history that isn’t history. This new nonhistory would resemble the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales with each tale a self-contained entity with no connection to the tale before it or the tale after it. Just as you have discredited biological evolution, so must you discredit the idea of historical evolution. In this new-age nonhistory, the Civil War and the civil rights movement would be treated as separate and discrete events. In short, we need to reduce history to a series of Super Bowl commercials rather than a coherent narrative.

Decades of rabid consumerism has narrowed the public’s vision to the eternal “now,” so the battle is nearly won. All we need do is cull our schools and libraries of volumes that preach an evolution vision of history.

Do this in the name of tradition in which we return to the days of a golden past when the barbarian tribes of Europe lived in a pastoral bliss, free of a linear sense of time. Instead of an historical narrative, they had a cycle of free-standing sagas.

Without history, what is, is. There is no past to measure it against. Whatever is has always been, since there is nothing from which it could have evolved. Since there is no past, there is no future to strive for.

Best of all, with neither history nor memory, there is no catalyst for dissent.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ken Dunstan, Essex, UK, says,
Alas, Belacqua is right. Somehow the Postmodern era has come to us and we already live in an eternal present where all that matters is what suits the individual. And we got here without needing help from George!

Case Wagenvoord said...

I quite agree. George is simply a product of the madness, not its creator.

thepoetryman said...

Those who think the War of 1812 was fought in the twentieth century would have no problem believing this.

Oh my...

By Joe, methinks you've got something here! Let us all burn our memories. Forget anything untoward ever happened because it didn't. How could it? There is no history. I like it, Belacqua! I have just incinerated my high school yearbook, all photos of my past and any historical references and all of my books on any subject that was written before 2008.

I must say I feel better. Liberated, so to speak.

David myers said...

Doesn't Fox News give us all the history thats fit to print. Or is that watch? In any case who would remember what was said, American Idol is on next and thats what counts

Case Wagenvoord said...

TPM,
While you're at it, why not torch your local library.

David,
Give them more credit than that. They don't show history, they make it up.

Neil Benson said...

Surely you don't expect George Bush to read your letter because he never comprehend it. He is the epitome of anti-intellectualism and America, a poster child for shallow thinking and simplistic solutions.

I think David up above has an excellent point. Why bother with history when you have Fox news to distort anything and everything possible. They raise angry paranoia to a new art.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Neil,
We must never forget that angry paranoia generates one hell of a revenue stream.

thepoetryman said...

Hell! I'm angry and often paranoid and haven't one plug nickel to show for it! should I acquire an agent?

Case Wagenvoord said...

That's because you have it all wrong. First you get the money, then you become paranoid and angry. If you're poor, the threat is real. if you're rich, its imaginary.