Friday, March 17, 2006

Catechism anyone?

Remember a week or so ago, Katie had a cow about the state of Americans’ historical knowledge? And how Spotty said Kersten wasn’t really interested in a critical examination of history, but rather a conservative catechism? Spot just ran across an article from historian Howard Zinn in the April issue of the Progressive, where he says the following:
If we don’t know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives. I am not speaking of the history we learned in school, a history subservient to our political leaders, from the much-admired Founding Fathers to the Presidents of recent years. I mean a history which is honest about the past. If we don’t know that history, then any President can stand up to the battery of microphones, declare that we must go to war, and we will have no basis for challenging him. He will say that the nation is in danger, that democracy and liberty are at stake, and that we must therefore send ships and planes to destroy our new enemy, and we will have no reason to disbelieve him. [italics are Spot's]

Damn, Spot just loves it when people a lot smarter than Spot agree with him! The whole article is worth a read, and it reinforces Spot’s belief that humankind’s biggest problems are not technological, but rather political.

Howard Zinn, by the way, wrote A People’s History of the United States.

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