I propose a series, in no particular order, of articles on history to clarify some common myths, misunderstandings, and lies.
The ignorance of the modern world in the Information Age is beyond astonishing, almost beyond explanation. One would suppose that in an era when all the written works of the ancient, medieval and early modern world were available online free of charge and at the touch of a button, that abysmal ignorance would not be possible.
It is like starving while seated at the feast, with the savory goose, the sausages and sweets, the pudding and pies, wine and port overflowing, and yet fainting from famine.
But it is possible, of course, if the feaster has been told all the food is poison, and believes that sawdust and ashes from the fire are the only things good to eat. Once his stomach is filled with this deadly stuff, there is no room for nutriment.
And, of course the willing victim of this self-deception does not think he is starving, for his belly is full to bursting. Indeed, he haughtily stares down at the impossible, insane people eating the pastry and pork he regards as poison, and wonders why they go to such bizarre, elaborate lengths to prepare such stuffs. He regards the greengrocer and butcher and fry-cook, the vintner and sous-chef, as assassins bound in a great conspiracy.
He need only shovel dust and dirt and offal from the litter box into his mouth. The fact that all these conspirators go to such lengths is at first incomprehensible, and so he is forced to conclude that they have some powerful, secret motive, no doubt to exercise mind-control over their victims, forcing them to eat venom! And when he hears of the charms and delights of fresh bread and fine wine, ham and veal, to say nothing of honey and caramel — well! At that point he is convinced that the victims are deceiving themselves, eating poisons they know to be poisonous out of a weakness of mind or an unwillingness to eat healthy dirt.
At that point, it dawns on our starving man that he is a superior being, alone able to eat the hard food of true freedom, and that the gluttons guzzling poison are worthy of pity or contempt, until such time as he can, by hook or crook, force the poison from them – for their own good, of course – and assume absolute power.
Now, of all topics, history is the most controversial in the modern age, because the main moral and spiritual warfare is over a single, central and historical issue. On one hand there are those who say that the rise of European Christian civilization with its equality, liberty, jury system, private property and public worship, and the intellectual and artistic products of the West, is on the whole admirable and worthy of passing on to our descendants. These are the civilized.
On the other are those who see the West as in her worst and darkest years when Christendom was at its height, and seek to erase and expunge Western ideals of liberty and property, worship and humanity, and replace them with the unspecified utopian glories of Cloudcuckooland. These are the barbarians.
Because the central conflict of modernity is a question of historical fact, and because the facts just so happen to favor one side in the conflict entirely and unambiguously, it behooves the other side, that barbarians should invent a false history of their own, a history of dust, which they hurriedly stuff into the mouths of students to fill their bellies and lead them to believe that only those who recite the false history are educated, and that all others are fools and bumpkins, eaters of poison.
So here, with history, even those by no means ignorant of the matter accept the basic assumptions, the outline of history, as it were, that is not only a tissue of lies and misunderstandings, but they regard themselves as better educated than the common ruck.
Most of these columns will no doubt deal with the Middle Ages, as that is the period most deeply subject to the most lies.
These were the fading years of the Empire, when the practices and habits of Rome were codified and spreading through the common people of the north and the far west of Europe, and Saxons and Germans. Many Protestants who have been taught to gloss over the entire Imperial period of the Christian Empire do not even know such a period exists, and cannot even name the General Councils during which all the great early doctrinal disputes of the Church were settled, such matters as sotoriology, Christology, and trinitarianism.
By watching movies or reading trashy historical novels, their idea of the Roman Empire is a sword and sandal epic with gladiatorial games and orgies, which fell due to their excesses, or were conquered by hardy barbarians like Conan. Then came and era of darkness and superstition during which the Catholics ran Inquisitions and burned Witches. The Crusades popped up out of no where, and the evil Catholics mugged the innocent Arab shepherds sitting peacefully in Jerusalem, the ancient Muslim city which has always been Muslim. Then the Spanish Muslims invented everything, except for what the pagans invented, because Christians hate science.
Then, thanks to Luther and Calvin, individual liberty was born, and modern progress in the arts and sciences led to the Enlightenment, to thinkers like Machiavelli and Voltaire, who threw away the learning of the obscurantist chuchmen, then to Nietzsche and Marx and the moderns writers, and now to the postmoderns, where science has finally proved once and for all that free will does not exist.
At this point the Protestants part company with the Leftists, who go on to state that the modern progress was a matter of white, straight men robbing Indians in India and the Americas, enslaving the Negroes of Africa, and exploiting women, until such time as the noble and doomed experiment of Stalinist Russia arose like a beacon of hope – communism being a fine idea if only it were ever truly able to be tried – and then there were more wars, all the fault of the White Christians, and with the current Democratic Party there is at last some hope of peace and justice triumphing over Christendom, if only the Constitution, that dead scrap of paper, was not standing in the way.