October 19, 2020

Gen Z Conservative

The thoughts of a young conservative on political issues relevant to all ages

A Lack of Historical Knowledge

A Lack of Historical Knowledge

Introduction:

This week I just have three articles for my interesting articles post, the best of which is about a lack of historical knowledge in the West. Although there are many. Many interesting articles out there, I decided that it would be better to describe and analyze a few in depth than a couple more, but only topically.

Additionally, I have written quite a bit about socialism recently, the other big news issue of the past weeks, so adding in more articles on the subject seemed unnecessary. So, without further ado, the articles for this week are about how there is, disturbingly, a lack of historical knowledge and pride in that history in western nations, how Americans build things, and why the wealth of the middle class isn’t stagnating. Enjoy!

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A Lack of Historical Knowledge in the West:

In this wonderful “To Put it Bluntly” article, the author beautifully describes a crisis in the modern western world. What is that problem? Terrorism? Socialism? No, although those are both problems that in some ways relate to this problem, it is far more insidious and destructive. The issue presented is a lack of historical knowledge among our leaders and citizens.




People in the west used to learn their history and take pride in it. Schoolchildren in America would learn about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Robert E Lee with pride. They wouldn’t want to erase history, they’d want to learn from it. Doing so would ensure that the left will fail.

Similarly, British schoolchildren learned about the greatness of the British Empire, the world-shattering importance of Magna Carta, and the various triumphs of England. Because they learned about those great men and national triumphs as children, adults were imbued with pride in their respective nations. In other words, they learned about why the West is demonstrably better than “the rest.”

Now that is all lost. The Democratic Party has changed, and with it so has our education and respect for history, which is the direct reason why there is a lack of historical knowledge.

The leftists have perverted history to show how evils like socialism and radical Islam should be celebrated while simultaneously teaching that George Washington and Robert E Lee were evil. Or the British now learn that their Empire was evil. The list of examples of the problems caused by a lack of historical knowledge could go on and on.

People know nothing! They don’t know about WWII (and certainly don’t know what Field Marshal von Manstein is describing in Lost Victories). They don’t know about Magna Carta. Hell, according to this article, they don’t even know about the Revolutionary War, much less who John Marshall was or what he did to shape our understanding of a now lost Constitution. That is horribly sad and has destroyed our national psyche.

Because there is a lack of historical knowledge among the citizenry, we are now struggling with the issue of lacking patriots. Anyone with an appreciation for national history or great leaders in the West is branded a nationalist, or worse, a right-wing extremist! As a result, we lack troops. We lack national cohesion. Groups like Antifa terrorize patriots for daring to say that America is great.

The leftward lurch of our educational system has not only destroyed free speech on college campuses, it has also led to a lack of historical knowledge and a lack of patriotism. That won’t end well.

Read the article about a lack of historical knowledge here: https://toputitbluntly.com/2019/07/23/history-and-its-discontents/#more-1030




Americans Build Things:

This past week, American Consequences published a wonderfully positive article on American ingenuity and the tendency of Americans to build things not because they have to but because they can.

The anecdotal example Mr. Tom Bodett gives is of a man building a giant version of a potato cannon and shooting it through either a car or town. Why? Because he wanted to surmount the engineering challenge of building one. It’s fun. It’s American. Americans build things.

Edison struggled through many challenges to invent the lightbulb (and sundry other inventions). The industrialists of the Gilded Age built previously unthinkable railroads and manufactories, as I describe in my review of the best book about the Gilded Age, The Republic for which it Stands. The NASA Apollo program sent a man to the moon. Some of the best pieces of military technology in the world, such as the F-35, come from America. What connects all those things? Americans build things well and change lives in doing so.

Be an American; go out and build things. If you want to build a smaller version of the watermelon cannon, a potato cannon, I would highly recommend it. They are lots of fun. For instructions about how to build one, check out the great book Backyard Ballistics. It gives you a bunch of fun plans for building potato cannons, tennis ball catapults, and a wide array of other items that anyone can build and have a blast with.

Read about how Americans build things here: https://americanconsequences.com/made-in-america/




The Middle Class Isn’t Stagnating:

Despite many articles and statements to the contrary, the wealth of the middle class isn’t stagnating. In fact, the middle class is quite better off than it used to be. Or at least that’s the thesis of this well-researched and very interesting article written by Mr. Donald Boudreaux for the American Institute for Economic Research.

By Mr. Boudreaux’s line of reasoning, the middle class is better off in part because it now costs far fewer man hours to buy many products than it used to. Or in other words, the amount of money earned in an hour by the average middle class worker can now buy much more than it used to. Especially when looking at household consumer goods like toasters, microwaves, and TVs.

Yes, inflation is a problem. But, because of efficiency improvements, goods are now relatively far cheaper than they used to be. That means that even if the average wages for the typical worker haven’t risen much in inflation adjusted dollars, what they can buy with those wages has. I found that to be a novel way of looking at the topic and quite encouraging.

This article reminds me of the CEI post by Richard Morrison about the middle class that I referenced in my “The Democratic Party is a Mess” collection of interesting articles. I highly recommend that you read both to gain a better understanding of the subject.

Read about why the wealth of the middle class isn’t stagnating here: https://www.aier.org/article/myth-american-middle-class-stagnation

By: Gen Z Conservative


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