Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Fact or Fiction of History

 The New York Times will be publishing a book entitled the 1619 Project and the Racialist Falsification of History spearheaded by Nicole Hanna-Jones, a journalist of the same. The book is the result of her initiative, and is based on essays published on the World Socialist website. Globally, it reinterprets American history to be inextricably entwined with slavery.

History has often been rewritten and reinterpreted, but too often by a person, a dictator, or a group, to support their own self-interest, and idea of what they want to believe; and want others to believe. Often, it is politically based, as in the case of the Chinese communists rewriting history to make the current leader more important.

History, as we live it, is interpreted from the point of view of the person observing or living it. While I believe that there are deeper truths, it is difficult to prove that there is a deepest truth. Change your perspective, and the truth changes. I believe this, all of it.

If we accept the belief that the United States is founded on slavery, and its roots are defined by it, what does that mean? Historically speaking, as far as I know, there is no great, successful, society that didn’t have slavery, not to mention war. 

Slavery is fundamentally cheap labor. I think that some people being paid are fundamentally slaves. The history of slaughter houses in the mid west, miners in the East, and immigrants working for low wages and being forced to buy from a company store is, to my way of thinking, a form of slavery. Many religions brainwash their followers into becoming slaves to their beliefs, binding their lives with rules that often make the believers little more than slaves.That includes both the privileged members, and the underprivileged members, who believe that their God has consigned them to their fate. Their God being an interpretation of God that filters down from the Heavens to some privileged human being whom God speaks to.

But, what are the facts? What is real? If we accept the belief that slavery of Afro Americans is the foundation of the United States, where does the Civil War come in? How should that be interpreted? Do we go back to the African chieftains who traded their fellow tribesmen and women to Arab traders who sold them to European and American whites? Who is to blame for slavery? 

Does the interpretation erase all other history from the books? Do we rewrite history to ‘prove’ that slavery is at the basis of a democratic society? How do we explain the battle to free Afro Americans that has been fought by people who are not Afro American? How do we deal with the history of American Indians in our vision of the slave state that is the United States? Or, oriental culture. How do we explain the changing of laws to eliminate segregation? How do we explain how the underpinnings of our beliefs, that underlies a free, democratic, society, allows for the new slave interpretation of our history to exist? If we were Fascists, we would simply crush any attempt to redefine our country. Is that just an accident? Or, is it a manifestation, not of slavery, but of a nation’s belief that ‘all men are created equal’? And nowadays, our desire to interpret ‘all men’ to include women, and all races.

Honestly, how women are treated is the clearest measure of a society, not race. And, I think we should all think a little more about what we believe before we open our mouths. Because, when we do say what we believe, we are often confronted with the reality that Americans believe that freedom is my right to defend my ignorance to the death.

I do not mean to ignore the problem. I think its important for Afro Americans to claim their place in the world. I believe that racism is a problem in any society I am at all familiar with. It is a terrible problem. I wish that there was a race on Earth that didn’t have racism. And, I understand, though I don’t pretend to know what racism feels like to those upon whom it is practiced. I understand the pain, the anger, the desire for revenge that can exist in someone. But, I haven’t experienced what Afro Americans have, and do, experience. I think it’s wonderful that they are manifesting. I hope it reaches all Afro Americans, because there are a lot of them who seem indifferent or unable of taking responsibility for their lives. 

I understand the desire to live in a world and be judged simply on the basis of who one is, without the caveats of race, color, sex. But, that’s a world that doesn’t exist. And, that I doubt will ever exist. We may be born with equal opportunity, at best. But equal doesn’t exist. It never will. We are not all the same. Nature is not equal. And, while we must all strive to live with what we are born with, many people are incapable, or ruled by their fear of life.

Rewriting history isn’t going to solve the problem.

I am listening. I am thinking. I’d like to hear more clear thinking, be it from the right, the left, or some other, more rational place. 

And, what do these people want the majority of us slavers to believe, and do? Is the hope of the reinterpretation of history an effort to change the world? Often, the idea of a better world, an ideal world that doesn’t exist hides the anger, and desire to destroy the world we have, for one that doesn’t exist.  

I’d rather try to discover the truth. It is a lot better than rewriting history to prove and support anger, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness. Freedom is hard. Most people don't really want to be free. Others confuse freedom with license. Socialsim promises to take care of you, in exchange for you giving up some of your freedom. I've never seen it work. Communism wants to destroy the world for a better one in which we are all equal. It was, and is, a fantasy, a means of destroying what is. Period. It doesn't work. It maintains itself by brutality, often through brainwashing. And, if that doesn't work, fear and brutality. Fascism of the Right or the Left.

I don't want any of it. In exchange, I have my freedom. But, life is hard. Still, if one believes in being free, one knows that freedom only exists as long as each individual accepts responsibility for his or her, or its, life. And one knows that life is hard. On the other hand, if one lives, and works, and loves, life isn’t hard. Its just life.

Friday, November 12, 2021

A confusion of beliefs isn't always a bad thing

Aside from the Pandemic, our country has been suffering from a massive divergence of opinion about what our problems are. On one side, people and politicians defend a confirmed lie; that the last election was stolen from a man who is a proven liar and mythomane. They justify their beliefs by saying that whatever is said against him are lies provoked by political interests, whom they believe want to take over the country. As though the man they defend didn’t try to overthrow an election to take over the power of the presidency. It’s kind of crazy.

On the other side, we are being forced to believe in systemic racism, prejudice, and lets not forget all the accusations of sexual harassment. If you disagree with any of these ideas, you are immediately labeled as a racist.

These are both extreme views, equally dangerous to me. The first resorted to physical intimidation, while the other, while partially supported by riots based on acts that may, or may not, be racially based, resorts to a form of correct thinking, which is better known as brainwashing. It was a tactic widely used by the Communist regime in the former Soviet Union. Dissenters were declared to be insane. In China, they were sent to the country to be “reeducated.”

Luckily, we live in a free country. And, our freedom is not an illusion. It is very real. But, at the moment, it’s leaving us really confused. What to believe?

I don’t believe either. And, what I find to understand is why too many of us are unaware of our history? And, the history of the world?

For the election, and the effort to, once again, impose laws that restrict voting rights. Its directed, in particular, to limit the rights of racial and socially poorer citizens. Yes, whether you like it or not, citizens. Remember the Civil War? Do you remember that the southern states, who fought for slavery, lost the war! And yet, it seems to me that we’re still fighting it. As though people won’t accept the will of the majority, which is the basis of law in a free society. Without law, and mutual respect, we have anarchy. Or, fascism.

For the new woke, correct thinking, we have to take a look at the roots of slavery. Can anyone show me a civilization, regardless of race or color, that didn’t have slavery as a basis for economic growth? American Indians had it. African tribes had it, and they are still at war. There is no culture, regardless of color or beliefs, that didn’t have slavery. Arabs were slave traders. Some chiefs sold their own people into slavery. 

After the Civil War here, as the southern states insidiously reinstalled racism in place of slavery, the north was worn out from the constant pressure to uphold the law. And, not until the mid twentieth century did we see a movement to overturn the unconstitutional laws imposed in southern states. Even the Army was segregated in WWII. Of course it’s awful and a disgrace. Of course, our consistent betrayal of treaties we made with various AmerIndian tribes is a disgrace. Always has been, always will be. And, as Americans throughout our history have said, we will be judged based on our treatment of American Indians. To our credit, as far as I know, we are the only society to address and correct some of our errors. And, that is to our credit. 

Some cultures, some people, still see women as a form of slave. I actually believe that if we looked at any culture’s treatment of women, and made women truly equal under the law, we would change the world.

To help us clear up the confusion, I strongly recommend looking at history. It helps to give us perspective on some of the serious problems confronting us today. It helps us get our beliefs into those that are false illusions, and those that the facts help us to see that they are real, clear perceptions of what we are living through.


Saturday, November 6, 2021

 To Be Or Not To Be

Believe it or not, this is not a blog about Hamlet, or the Theater, or the Creative Process. It is about the problem I’m facing about my role as an American citizen. For many years, I didn’t vote, because I thought that if I voted it was giving politicians my tacit agreement to keep doing what they were, and are, doing. But, this is a free country, one of the few I know, and voting is a basic privilege in a free society, as we’re seeing nowadays as some Republicans try to impose Trump’s false assertions about a fixed election, and make it harder for people to vote, because they want people to believe that the election was stolen. God forbid that people actually voted to get Trump out of office before he caused any more damage.

So, naturally, I voted for Biden. And what do I see? Not the moderate man I thought I voted for, but a man too weak to stand up to the Progressive sector of the Democratic Party. Progressive, or could we say Socialist? Or, dare we think Communist? Well, Communism wants to destroy the society that exists, in the name of creating a better world, in which all people are equal. The problem is, that better world fantasy is just that. Equality doesn’t exist. We aren’t born equal. It doesn’t exist. The best we can do is to try to give everyone the opportunity, the freedom to try to do what they want to do. But, Communism, or Fascism, two sides of the same coin, willingly destroy what we have, with the promise of something better. Granted, our world is flawed. But, these dictators, be they from the left or the right, try to impose their will on us, as though if we give up our freedom, we’ll live in a more perfect world. How can you have a more perfect world when you have human beings, and so many of them are not the healthiest people in the world? The world is a magnificent place. If only there weren’t any human beings in it.

My first awareness of voting was when I was twenty, and too young to vote. I forced my parents’ who normally didn’t vote, herding them to the polls to vote for JFK. After that, I voted for a variety of Presidential candidates, from George McGovern to Ronald Reagen. It depended on whom I thought would be the best choice for the moment. I consider myself an Independent, and what I appreciate the most about being American is the amount of freedom we have. I doubt that most Americans realize just how much freedom we have, and seem so willing to long to be led, to have the difficulty of being free made easier. 

Honestly, I’m angry too. But, not enough to be a terrorist or belong to some para military organization that thinks that all their personal difficulties are the fault of the Federal government. 

I think that the Republican members of Congress have behaved like a bunch of adolescents for quite a few years. And right now, the Progressive left is willing to prevent any form of moving forward to defend their political ideals. It really seems as though politicians, and Congress, are living in their own country, far away from us, and our needs. 

Where is the willingness, and the ability, to respect one another, have a dialogue, and find a way to move forward. Or, at least, get out of the way and let the country take care of itself. Surely, we need law, we need respect. How about honoring the ten commandments! They are still the basis of law. Without law, we have chaos. I, for one, don’t want to live in that world. Just look at Africa, or Haiti, or China for that matter. These places are incapable of freedom. Not to mention Russia, which had a Czar in the early twentieth century, as China had an Emperor. Both systems quickly became dictatorships. How can they become free democracies? 

The big problem is that the only way to be free is if each individual takes responsibility for their life. 

How can we establish simple respect, the ability to listen, without which we cannot confront the problems we have as a society? Unfortunately, we’re not going to get it from the people we elect to represent us, and who are supposed to do that for us. It makes you wonder what has to happen for us to change that, and be able to move forward.