Author Topic: On Political Correctness  (Read 31574 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #75 on: October 14, 2018, 23:31:56 »
A thought on Political Correctness, drawn from a personal anecdote.

After I graduated from Bible College with my bachelor's degree in Religious Education, my family held something of a celebration of the fact. Beyond several members of my extended family, we had invited a number of my friends to high school. One such friend (whom I am happily no longer in contact with as a result) brought his girlfriend along. I'd met her before, so I didn't particularly mind. I wasn't entirely fond with her because something about her raised several warning flags, and it didn't take very long for me to gain an understanding of why.

My mother's father passed away in 1999 from cancer, and as he had spent his retirement as a carpenter, made many different objects - including the candy bowl sitting next to me at this moment. One such object was a piece of Christian iconography, which were three crosses joined together in a single piece. As he wasn't the most emotional person, it was difficult for him to speak with affection to anyone. But he was a man of a deep and real faith, so he had made five of these crosses, one for each of his children (the one he made for my grandmother is slightly different), as a symbol both of his love for his children, and his hope that they would have as deep a faith as his own - even if they did not hold the same beliefs.

The barbecue and event was going quite well to my eyes, so I didn't learn of this incident until some time had passed, but apparently the girlfriend took objection to the open display of this piece of art, and effectively demanded my mother remove it from her sight. My mother quite wisely refused, and they left rather rapidly shortly there after. I'm significantly understating things when I merely say that she took objection to this piece being visible. I have many friends with a variety of beliefs, including someone best described as a pagan priestess. All of them recognize a little thing called the sacredness of hospitality, of which this event was a remarkable violation.

A mutual friend later asked why I was no longer in contact with this particular couple, so I informed him of this particular matter. While he was at the same celebration, he was not aware that this had occurred. His simple response was a horrified expletive, to put mildly, because you just don't do that. Her hatred for even the slightest indication of Christian belief is still something I can't wrap my head around, because her personal past meant that she could look upon this symbol of a father's love for his children and be sufficiently offended that she demanded it be removed.

A lot of the troubles around certain hot-button disputes strike me as being ultimately the same thing in function - the projection of one's negative experiences into the assumed motivations of those one disagrees with. In all honesty, this is why I'm proud to have had someone tell me that they figured I would be offended if they suggested that I was trustworthy. Not because I'm a duplicitous individual, but because he was acknowledging that he could not accurately determine my motivations and reasons. In other words, he acknowledged that I was an inherently honest individual because I was very much like the fabled scorpion - he could not be certain that I would act in a fashion that would be beneficial to him, but he knew with certainty that I would always act in a fashion that was consistent with my own nature and character.

I extend the concept of hospitality being sacred to go beyond one's domicile, and include things like one's sense of self and intrinsic being. After all, if one does not feel at home inside one's own mind, one is in very dire circumstances indeed. I hold nothing to be more important on the personal level than the sanctity of one's own mind. How threatened must one feel when basic social interaction with someone who has a different background is determined to be inherently dangerous?

I put it this way - the problem with political correctness is neatly illustrated in the film The Hunt for Red October - isn't the Political Officer the first person murdered?

I'm not a religious guy, except when I swear, but I once dealt with an issue like this by signing up the offending party for a subscription to this magazine:

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/

Feel free to poach my idea... :)
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Offline Navy_Wannabe

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #76 on: October 15, 2018, 12:00:56 »
^ pure savagery

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #77 on: October 15, 2018, 12:11:19 »
^ pure savagery
Yes, it's one of his positive attributes.   :nod:

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #78 on: October 16, 2018, 09:27:43 »
An interesting article - I am definitely in the Exhausted Majority camp...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/we-need-the-exhausted-majority-to-speak-up/2018/10/15/160440fa-d090-11e8-83d6-291fcead2ab1_story.html?utm_term=.f944d4a97f0d

Quote
We’re staying silent out of fear
 
An activist wears tape on her mouth while protesting in San Francisco on Oct. 4. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Charles Lane
Opinion writer
October 15 at 6:51 PM

Most ordinary people found it unbearable to live under communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The reasons varied: shortages of consumer goods, incessant propaganda, restrictions on travel.

Nothing was more psychologically exhausting than the constant pressure to watch every word one said, and to pretend to believe things one did not, for fear of negative repercussions. Dissidents called this “double morality” or “double consciousness.” It drove people crazy. Actually, it drove some to suicide.

Only among trusted family and friends was it possible to speak one’s mind, yet even that was not guaranteed. Of all aspects of totalitarian life, citizens of the former Eastern Bloc say, this is the hardest to explain to those who grew up in the democratic West.

Until now, perhaps. A new study of political attitudes in the United States offers stunning evidence that most Americans censor themselves, except among people they regard as like-minded, on a bundle of sensitive topics: immigration and immigrants; race and racism; gay, lesbian and gender issues; and Islam and Muslims.

The report by More in Common, a new nonprofit dedicated to understanding and healing political polarization in the United States and Europe, is based on a nationwide survey of nearly 8,000 people conducted this past December and January.

It found that between 51 and 66 percent of Americans agree there is “pressure to think a certain way about” each of the aforementioned topics, with immigration seen as the least sensitive and Islam the most.

Meanwhile, 68 percent report that “it is acceptable for me to express what I think” about race, or Islam, only among “people who are like me.” On immigration, 73 percent feel that way; on gay, lesbian and gender issues, the figure is 70 percent.

Political freedom has never been absolute in the United States, to be sure. For much if not most of our history, ostracism or worse awaited advocates of racial equality, especially in the South. If anyone understands the oppressiveness of being forced to present a false front every day, it would be the American gay men and lesbians who grew up in the era of the closet.

Conversely, a certain measure of self-censorship is necessary to democracy; to the extent that people refrain from gratuitously broadcasting bigotry, it promotes trust and rational discourse.

For all that, the More in Common report confronts us with a disturbing reality. We are a long way from the “double morality” of Eastern Europe, but we are, apparently, living among many millions of citizens who routinely lie or dissemble about their political opinions out of fear.

And what do they fear? Not necessarily government repression, the report suggests, but ridicule and harassment from their fellow citizens, which is often magnified by social media and can sometimes lead to trouble at school or work.

Large majorities of the public — 80 percent or more — see both hate speech and political correctness as problems plaguing American politics.

Defiance of the latter fueled Donald Trump’s electoral rise. Outrage at the former fuels the anti-Trump resistance.

Under communism, members of the party had to watch their words and deeds as much or more than other citizens did.

In the United States today, right- and left-wing tribes — Progressive Activists and Devoted Conservatives, as the More in Common report designates them — enforce “core beliefs” within their own ranks. A quarter to a third of Americans feel pressure to “think a certain way” about controversial issues even among people like themselves, according to the report.

Among progressives, more men than women felt pressure to conform; among conservatives, more women than men did.

With these less-than-tolerant ideological factions dominating everything from town hall meetings to Twitter, the far larger percentage of Americans who do see nuances, and who do favor policy compromise, keep their heads down.

They now constitute what the report describes as an Exhausted Majority, consisting of about two-thirds of the electorate. And 65 percent of the Exhausted Majority agree with the statement “people I agree with politically need to be willing to listen to others and compromise.” Yet their views are not reflected in political discourse, they believe.

They’re right: According to the report, the progressive and conservative ideologues who dominate Democratic and Republican party politics are 14 points more likely than the Exhausted Majority to believe that “people I agree with politically need to stick to their beliefs and fight.”

For the time being, the president of the United States is openly sowing fear and anger for political gain in the 2018 midterm elections, and his Democratic Party opponents seem increasingly tempted to respond in kind. Hope for more decent and, indeed, freer politics lies in the possibility that members of the Exhausted Majority will wake up and raise their voices.
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #79 on: October 16, 2018, 09:54:41 »
An interesting article -
Anyone disbelieving the premise of the article, just read the comments that follow.  Déjà vu.

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #80 on: October 16, 2018, 10:17:50 »
A balanced article, right up to the second last sentence. It would have been stronger without it.
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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #81 on: October 16, 2018, 10:25:26 »
Anyone disbelieving the premise of the article, just read the comments that follow.  Déjà vu.

It's almost as though many read the article looking for something they could use to discredit it as being written by "Russian trolls", or "NPCs" rather than hoisting in the message.


Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #82 on: October 16, 2018, 15:22:08 »
It's almost as though many read the article looking for something they could use to discredit it as being written by "Russian trolls", or "NPCs" rather than hoisting in the message.

And so it follows that reading the comments is often counter-productive, as the posters tend to follow their confirmation bias, and if one is not careful, reading the comments may taint one's own perception of the actual article itself.
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Online Brad Sallows

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #83 on: October 20, 2018, 21:27:16 »
Tyler Cowen, writing for Bloomberg, has some thoughts about PC - that it is not helping "the left" the way some think it might.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #84 on: October 21, 2018, 11:12:54 »
COLONEL TIM COLLINS: How can our chubby, drug-addled and right-on Army protect us from our enemies?

Instead of imposing stricter discipline, it has put 96 soldiers on diet pills, while eight have been given liposuction. This lame official response tells you all you need to know: the British Army has been infected with the crippling disease of political correctness.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-6299067/COLONEL-TIM-COLLINS-chubby-drug-addled-right-Army-protect-enemies.html
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Offline AbdullahD

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #85 on: October 21, 2018, 14:54:44 »
COLONEL TIM COLLINS: How can our chubby, drug-addled and right-on Army protect us from our enemies?

Instead of imposing stricter discipline, it has put 96 soldiers on diet pills, while eight have been given liposuction. This lame official response tells you all you need to know: the British Army has been infected with the crippling disease of political correctness.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-6299067/COLONEL-TIM-COLLINS-chubby-drug-addled-right-Army-protect-enemies.html

That was eye opening and I am a big lad too.. but to be big and in the armed forces defending the country it just seems like a constructive way to commit suicide.

Abdullah

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #86 on: October 21, 2018, 14:57:31 »
Put all the fat soldiers on point, so they can provide cover for the fit ones in the back....

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #87 on: October 21, 2018, 22:21:17 »
That was eye opening and I am a big lad too.. but to be big and in the armed forces defending the country it just seems like a constructive way to commit suicide.

Abdullah

I dunno... back in my day there were always a few chubbies kicking around too. If for no other reason than a formal excuse to kick them out, these new, easier but universal 'FORCE' type tests are a good idea.

And there's no moral outrage like the moral outrage that is emitted from retired Colonels/ Generals, whose pensions are now being safely paid into their bank accounts monthly ;)
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Offline Xylric

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #88 on: October 21, 2018, 22:26:51 »
You, ah, could employ such individuals as mobile cover, but I'm sure there's regulations against that. :)

Offline CloudCover

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #89 on: March 08, 2019, 09:57:27 »
In Canada this PM would be lynched, brought back to life, sued, and banished forever:

Australian PM says women shouldn't rise 'on the basis of others doing worse'

Scott Morrison speaks at an International Women's Day event Friday
Thomson Reuters · Posted: Mar 08, 2019 7:13 AM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told an International Women's Day breakfast in Perth on Friday that he wants to see women rise, but not at the expense of others.

"We're not about setting Australians against each other, trying to push some down to lift others up. That's not in our values," he said.

"And that is true about gender equality, too. We want to see women rise. But we don't want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse. We want everybody to do better, and we want to see the rise of women in this country be accelerated to ensure that their overall pace is maintained."

More at link:  https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/australia-pm-international-women-s-day-1.5048210

... Move!! ...

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #90 on: May 14, 2020, 17:04:57 »
Bumping this because I stumbled across a quote that demonstrates that nothing is new under the sun.


"These dangers, viz., the confounding of license with liberty, the passion for discussing and pouring contempt upon any possible subject, the assumed right to hold whatever opinions one pleases upon any subject and to set them forth in print to the world, have so wrapped minds in darkness that there is now a greater need of the Church's teaching office than ever before, lest people become unmindful both of conscience and of duty."[2]

Pope Leo XIII November 1899 - perturbed about a press leak on draft opinions about schooling in America that landed in the middle of the discussion about the Manitoba Schools Question - a hot topic in Canada, Britain and the US.

"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

"If change isn’t allowed to be a process, it becomes an event." - Penny Mordaunt 10/10/2019

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ignoramus et ignorabimus

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #91 on: May 14, 2020, 17:46:09 »
Bumping this because I stumbled across a quote that demonstrates that nothing is new under the sun.


"These dangers, viz., the confounding of license with liberty, the passion for discussing and pouring contempt upon any possible subject, the assumed right to hold whatever opinions one pleases upon any subject and to set them forth in print to the world, have so wrapped minds in darkness that there is now a greater need of the Church's teaching office than ever before, lest people become unmindful both of conscience and of duty."[2]

Pope Leo XIII November 1899 - perturbed about a press leak on draft opinions about schooling in America that landed in the middle of the discussion about the Manitoba Schools Question - a hot topic in Canada, Britain and the US.


"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Offline Xylric

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #92 on: May 19, 2020, 17:59:32 »

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Easiest to do when one is a twin. But in all seriousness.... that's kind of part of the way our brains actually work. So many things are immediately percieved as being binary that we tend to overlook the fact that most of those.... are actually Boolean.

Whether we like it or not, a human being's brain is a networked collection of cellular switches which are constantly sending and recieving signals with information. Or in other words... we're organic computers drivng around machines of meat and awkwardness. A brain which is unable to do as Fitzgerald's quote infers is quite simply dead.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #93 on: June 08, 2020, 13:54:44 »
Thanks for the share Chris Pook:

Toppling Colston’s statue was an act of intolerance

As they tore down the statue of the 17th-century merchant and slaver Edward Colston in Bristol yesterday, protesters were behaving like a woke Taliban. Just as Taliban extremists smashed huge carvings of Buddha that offended them, and just as Isis nutters took hammers to 'idolatrous' monuments in the cities of Palmyra and Nimrud, so British protesters are now waging war on historical statues that they claim are 'hurtful' to ordinary people.

It was the glee with which they tore down Colston's statue that was most unnerving. They yanked him down and started cheering and screaming as they stomped on his head. He was then taken to the nearby harbour and thrown in the Avon river. Another rousing cheer.

It was as if evil had been defeated. As if this mere monument, this bronze entity, was a malevolent, corrupting force, and as if its disposal into the river was a liberatory moment. It really did bring to mind the wide-eyed fervour with which Isis members destroyed the first-century Lion of Al-lāt in Palmyra, again on the basis that the monument was hurtful, offensive, counter to their belief system.

Today's woke Taliban might describe things as 'problematic', while the actual Taliban and other Islamist movements prefer to call things 'haram', but it amounts to the same thing: ugly history and offensive representations must be destroyed.

The Islamist mob and the PC mob both come across as Year Zero movements, devoted to cleansing public space of hateful, reviling, scurrilous material lest anyone's soul be corrupted, or mind offended, by encountering these wicked depictions. Both are given to the policing of speech, the banning of books, and the erasure of representations of the past.

The idea that the tearing down of Colston's statue was a reckoning with the historic crime of slavery is especially ridiculous. Britain has had its reckoning with the horrors of slavery. The entire West has. I bet you could not find a single person in this country who thinks slavery was anything other than an abomination.

We learn about the evils of slavery in school. There are museums devoted to the crimes of slavery. Popular culture has frequently depicted slavery in all its horror in recent years. Everyone knows how immoral slavery was. There is something deeply patronising in the idea that we all needed to witness the performative iconoclasm of the woke Taliban in Bristol yesterday in order to understand how terrible slavery is. Believe it or not, British people are not racists biting at the bit for the return of slavery.

The question is: where will it end? Colston lavished money on Bristol. He funded alms houses, schools, hospitals. Some of these institutions are still standing. Tear them down? After all, they were built with the blood money of a slave trader.

Of course, there is already a campaign to have a statue of Cecil Rhodes removed from Oriel College, Oxford. People are eyeing up the Westminster statue of Cromwell, persecutor of the Irish and of Catholics more broadly. Some students in Manchester are agitating against plans to erect a statue to Gandhi outside Manchester Cathedral on the basis that Gandhi expressed anti-black views. And of course there's the great prize: Churchill. His statue in Westminster was defaced with the word 'racist' yesterday.

This intolerant urge to morally cleanse the public sphere is potentially endless. It is ludicrous too. Cromwell may have done bad things to the Irish but he also faced down a tyrannical king and made England a republic. Gandhi may once have expressed racist views towards African people but he also helped to liberate India, giving rise to the largest democracy on earth. Churchill held some very questionable views and oversaw a decaying empire that was frequently cruel. But he also helped to defeat the greatest criminals in human history: the Nazis.

Guess what? History is complex; people are complex. The effort to purify the past, to separate historical figures into categories of Good and Evil, is an infantile disorder. Our cities are living history. Public space is a patchwork of the historical events and ruptures that made our nations. When we walk through the streets we see monuments to the soldiers, political leaders, rebels and artists who made our society what it is, some of whom will have done bad, some of whom will have done good, and some of whom will have done a bit of both.

The PC desire to sweep these representations away is immature, intolerant, undemocratic and philistine. The woke Taliban are a menace to history and reason.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/toppling-colston-s-statue-was-an-act-of-intolerance?fbclid=IwAR2zMmrYllP-XpXLK4Hl840xknifO6fD-HL2-OzmgGXGSGOkP89Fa5mXInM



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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #94 on: June 08, 2020, 14:08:13 »
Just wait until they demand public money to put up statues of themselves.

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #95 on: June 08, 2020, 21:37:08 »
Altering the historical record to better match modern sensibilities is probably even more dangerous than altering one's own memories to better match one's current beliefs. While I greatly enjoy the wit in the statement that there are no problems that cannot be solved by the proper use of high explosives, the fatal flaw is that removing a problem is completely different from solving a problem, and in fact only leaves a large hole - either literal or metaphorical.

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #96 on: June 09, 2020, 10:48:41 »
Altering the historical record to better match modern sensibilities is probably even more dangerous than altering one's own memories to better match one's current beliefs. While I greatly enjoy the wit in the statement that there are no problems that cannot be solved by the proper use of high explosives, the fatal flaw is that removing a problem is completely different from solving a problem, and in fact only leaves a large hole - either literal or metaphorical.

One small thought for you, who do you think wrote the historical record? The answer is the victor.

The historical record was never a 'true' representation of what happened because the victor has no incentive to paint themselves in a bad light. What a 'true' representation is will never be achieved thanks to human flaws but that doesn't mean we can't get closer.

For example we now look at WWI differently than we did just after that war, when it was still shaping the world. The original account of it was big bad Germany allied with Austria-Hungary and they caused the war and all its evils. Now we look at it differently, being a combination of historical grievances, technological advancements, nationalistic sentiments, attempts to build empires, and attempts to prevent empires from being built.

Offline Xylric

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #97 on: June 10, 2020, 01:09:26 »
One small thought for you, who do you think wrote the historical record? The answer is the victor.

The historical record was never a 'true' representation of what happened because the victor has no incentive to paint themselves in a bad light. What a 'true' representation is will never be achieved thanks to human flaws but that doesn't mean we can't get closer.

For example we now look at WWI differently than we did just after that war, when it was still shaping the world. The original account of it was big bad Germany allied with Austria-Hungary and they caused the war and all its evils. Now we look at it differently, being a combination of historical grievances, technological advancements, nationalistic sentiments, attempts to build empires, and attempts to prevent empires from being built.

I despise the whole "History is written by the Victors" idea, because it is so easy to misunderstand. I'm one of the rare sorts of historians who study not only the historical record, but the history *of* the historical record. One of the most valuable artifacts ever recovered from the earliest parts of history was certainly something which would never have been written by the "Victor." In fact, it's something that we see brought into being on a daily basis in the modern era - a complaint letter.

So to answer your question, I think that the authors of the historical record are simply those who were lucky enough to have their writings survive long enough to be discovered by future generations. There were a number of Egyptian mummies who are now world-famous simply because their enemies tried to completely destroy all memory of them. Since their tombs ended up completely forgotten, they were thus left unraided, and contained everything we would ever need to know about who those particular mummies were.

In all honesty, the biggest problem I have with the idea of history being written by the victors is the simple reality that the writing of history is a continuum. It is a never ceasing endeavour. It is a deeply evidence-based science, which basically means that if the Victor's history distorts the details sufficiently, then all credibility the Victor may attempt to claim will be lost as time progresses. Hence, my original point still stands. Altering the historical record is simply not possible without mass murder.

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #98 on: June 10, 2020, 01:50:37 »
Altering the historical record to better match modern sensibilities is probably even more dangerous than altering one's own memories to better match one's current beliefs. While I greatly enjoy the wit in the statement that there are no problems that cannot be solved by the proper use of high explosives, the fatal flaw is that removing a problem is completely different from solving a problem, and in fact only leaves a large hole - either literal or metaphorical.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

― George Orwell,  1984
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: On Political Correctness
« Reply #99 on: June 10, 2020, 08:13:06 »
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

― George Orwell,  1984

And we are near that now.
Freedom Isn't Free   "Never Shall I Fail My Brothers"

“Do everything that is necessary and nothing that is not".