Friday, February 22, 2019

We Must Bring the Past Back to Life

I was down in the Peoples Republic of Fremont, Seattle -- you know where we Seattle-ites have our statue of Lenin -- and I went by Ophelia's Books, because Lady Marjorie had given me a gift card.

Truth is, I had put off going to Ophelia's for months, because Fremont, but I found that it was not a hopeless lefty tract store, but an excellent little used-books store. I got a book about Trollope's later novels, and also The Death of the Past by J.H. Plumb.

Really, it was another proof of God's existence, because I have been needing to encounter such a book for months, if not years.

The book argues that the old kind of history, that is really an ideological justification of the current ruling class, has gone away because now we have professional historians that are dedicated to telling us how it really was, as opposed to how glorious our rulers are and how they are descended directly from Moses or Achilles.

The book was written in about 1968, from a series of lectures that Plumb, a Cambridge don, had given in NewYork. It was, I propose, about the last moment that anyone could talk about the end of history as regime apologetics.

Plumb was the son of a factory worker in Leicester, England, but went to a "grammar school," a kind of school in Britain that was famous for plucking talent out of the masses and giving it an education and that was murdered by lefties in the Sixties. But Plumb was a faithful lefty all his life. In his book he celebrates how the Enlightenment substituted facts and research for the naked special pleading of history down the ages. But, he admitted, something was lost when the narrative of where we came from gets abandoned for facts, facts, facts.

To say that the past has died, I think, misses the point. The past was deliberately murdered,  and murdered by chaps like Plumb, who sneered at Macaulay for spicing up the Enlightenment faith in  "progress" with Whig history and jingoism.
In doing so he provided the bulk of the British nation with a usable past, by which they could ease their consciences in the present and look with optimism towards the future.
But the professional historian will have none of that:
Crude ideological interpretations, Marxist or nationalist, conservative or liberal, religious or agnostic, providential or progressive, cyclical or linear, are a violation of his discipline and an offence to his knowledge.
Many conservatives take a parallel view, when we talk about our "facts and logic" as opposed to liberal "emotion." We imagine that we are the reality guys, and the left is the fantasy department.

How is that strategy working out? The fact is that, since 1968, the left has seized control of the past and murdered the old narratives of Christianity and of nation. And that is why I wrote in 2016 that my "gentlemanly conservatism" was dead.

Now the left dominates the landscape with its narrative of good and evil: the good and noble activist that is engaged in a life and death struggle with the racist sexist homophobes in order to lead the helpless victims of racism and the patriarchy and hate to the Promised Land.

If professional history has a role today, under the unjust rule of the left, it is to fill in the blanks to prove just how oppressive and unjust the old religious, white, oppressive patriarchy was. Indeed everyone in the academy knows that they had better echo the ruling class narrative about activists and victims, or else.

Notice how the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax fits into this culture. The activism/victim culture is hungry for tales of hate, and young heads full of mush are only too glad to supply them.

It is noticeable to me that Plumb's history of the world ends with Marx and Darwin. There is nothing about Nietzsche, or Freud and Jung, or the quantum mechanical revolution in physics. That makes him ill-equipped to deal with the modern world in which the certainty of Newtonian mechanics is replaced by the uncertainty principle, and the facts, facts, facts, of Gradgrind are replaced by the notion of Jordan B. Peterson that you see facts through the lens of your values. Or the notion that the primary function of the brain is to filter out all the non-essential signals coming in and only notice the important stuff. You hope.

The future belongs to those that own the past, just as George Orwell said:
Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.
So we cannot let the past die;  we cannot let  the left murder our past. We must revive our narrative of the past, and it must be a narrative that takes the narrative of the left head on and demolishes it.

Of course, I realize, most of my writing is precisely about that. My reductive Three Peoples theory is a narrative about the present world as a natural and cooperative combination of creative people, responsible people, and subordinate people that directly takes on the left's narrative of conflict and oppression. My Great Reaction maxim is an attempt to marginalize the left's narrative by stating that socialism is neo-slavery, the welfare state is neo-feudalism, and identity politics is neo-tribalism.

In taking up Jung I am embracing a narrative that the experience of the past through archetypes is programmed into our unconscious, and that a narrative about the past is the most natural thing in the world. Indeed, the whole notion of the unconscious is a narrative that says that the past lives in us a lot more than we think.

In taking up Nietzsche I am advancing the narrative that the creative life is a lot more than the crude and narrow option of creating new and just political order, as the left thinks, but an incredible difficult hero's journey of stumbling around in the unconscious on the border between order and chaos hoping for inspiration.

And Plumb's The Death of the Past helps me see the desperate crudity of the left's oppression narrative: the insulting idea that America is a cesspool of racism, and sexism and hate, the America that legislated special status for non-whites, non-males, and non-heteros. Really, what planet are you living on, lefties?

The truth is that our lefty friends are living a lie. We might adapt the old nursery rhyme:
The south wind doth blow
And we shan't have snow
So what will th'activist do then, poor thing? 
This is not the worst of times; it is the best of times. But unless it is the worst of times our lefty friends have nothing to do: no-one to blame, no victims to lead, no injustice to protest.

Except the many injustices that lefties themselves have visited upon the innocent deplorables of this land. 

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