Annoyances Discovered While Studying History

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I didn’t start studying history until my late thirties, when I wanted to write realistic fictional accounts of historical figures. Ever since I began reading actual history books, I’ve been consistently shocked by how artificial and foolish my worldview was for most of my life. I see a lot of oddballs trying to control how we think about certain events and people. I don’t think this is always done with malicious intent; sometimes it’s just a lack of self-awareness on the part of armchair historians. Here’s three things that consistently pop up when I’m researching history.

ONE The theory that I call “Nothing Happened”.

This bizarre yet ubiquitous method of historical analysis basically takes any event in history, drains it of all emotional content and sense of struggle, reduces its cultural relevance, and re-presents it to the viewer in a seemingly hyper-rational manner that is, nonetheless, completely inaccurate. I’ve seen this many times but I didn’t become fully conscious that it was being done until I saw a video in which someone was explaining that siege warfare didn’t involve people climbing walls and fighting each other on the ramparts and shooting arrows and throwing each other off the wall, but instead, it was mostly just people sitting around. The basic idea is that we’re idiots for thinking that Hollywood’s depiction of siege warfare is realistic, because, according to these hyper-rational types, soldiers besieging a town would simply go to a city and sit around, and then the people inside would shut the gate and sit around, and everyone would wait to see who starved to death.

 

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Only the most bloodless type of bugman could imagine that this was really the case – as if history is nothing but an account of soulless shells moved around on a chess board. Even though siege battles didn’t involve constant, nonstop fighting, Hollywood’s depiction of siege warfare as people fighting on the walls and throwing artillery and arrows at each other is more or less accurate, and should not be considered inaccurate just because they don’t show the time soldiers spend sitting around, sleeping, eating, travelling without incident, feeding their animals, having lengthy discussions about logistical considerations, etc.

Anyone who has read an account by a modern soldier knows that soldiers spend a lot of time sitting and waiting for something to happen. However, imagine explaining to a modern soldier with PTSD that there’s no need to have a nervous breakdown over sudden loud sounds, because really, when you think about it, most of the time they were just sitting in their tent! “Why would you experience any kind of shock due to sustained gunfire when the majority of your day was spent sleeping, using the bathroom, and talking to people!?!” This is, of course, retarded beyond belief, and yet the herd of low T armchair generals who promote this idea that “Nothing Happened” is seemingly without end.

TWO Cynical views on self-promotion conducted by world leaders.

I’ve read quite a bit about Voivod Stefan the Great and Emperor Constantine I, two incredible leaders with a powerful mythos of greatness surrounding them. Both of these men beat the odds when the odds were stacked against them, and they did it multiple times. Oddly enough, there are a lot of historians who take a very cynical attitude about the mythos surrounding these men. Did one of them commission a painting? “He was a shameless self-promoter!” Did one of them put his face on a coin? “Well, he must have been trying to convince people that he was something special.” Unlike many historians who are apparently trapped in Plato’s cave and have never interacted with real people, I have, and let me tell you, most people can barely even get out of bed, much less feed themselves and use the bathroom without running into serious difficulty. I’m exaggerating, but it’s a fact that the lives of most people are hopeless tragedies filled with foolish goals that can never be realized, whether due to incompetence, lack of motivation, lack of organization, or whatever the case may be.

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With all that in mind, when you consider that Stefan the Great and Emperor Constantine were remarkable enough to get people to follow them, and then rule their realms and win battles and take care of a considerable number of people under their care, ALL of which was done while surrounded by enemies who wanted them dead, anyone with any sense has to admit that you don’t become great by commissioning paintings and landmarks, but rather, paintings and landmarks are commissioned and held in high esteem because one is great.

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THREE History reduced to memorization of years so that children can understand history (which actually cuts them off from history).

This is a problem in which history is reduced to its most easily digestible tidbits of data so that children can consume it, but in the process of making it accessible to children, you actually destroy the value of your history and thus cut your children off from history. Remember, history isn’t just a series of disconnected events; history is the story of your people, and a child’s education is supposed to prepare them to continue that story. Without a grand narrative that they can take part in, a child can hope to become nothing more than a consumer.

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For example, lots of kids learn about Washington crossing the Delaware River during the American Revolution. They learn that it happened on Christmas of 1776, and they look at a picture of some guys rowing a boat while Washington poses like an Avenger about to take off into the air. Of course, none of that means anything, plus it’s boring. The year in which it happened is the main thing the child will be tested on, but the year in which it happened is probably the least important thing about this event.

Sticking with the example of the American Revolution, it needs to be taught the same way a dramatic story would present it. In fact, it IS a story, we just happen to be living it. Kings and their divine right to rule were being challenged by members of secret societies who had been speculating on alternative means of rulership for quite some time. I know normies are indoctrinated to think that secret societies A) do not exist and B) okay they do exist but they have no impact on the real world, but this just isn’t true. Actually this is kind of what makes the Assassin’s Creed video game series so interesting, despite being riddle with bluepills and inaccuracies, in that it focuses on secret societies steadily making inroads into various aspects of society before finally exploding into well-planned bouts of violence. Imagine the gall, the bravery, even the blasphemy it took for the founding fathers to pore over their arcane texts of philosophy and bizarre symbolism and then take up arms against their rightful rulers. Class discussion could then dwell on whether or not they did the right thing. Was democracy worth it? Was a citizen’s right to bear arms and the right to open your borders to a flood of third world labor worth the price of defying your king? There are no easy answers on this one!

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Also, the general level of eccentricity among the characters of the Founding Fathers is one thousand times more interesting than any anime or J-RPG lineup, and yet children grow up thinking that Cloud and Barrett are more interesting than Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. And why shouldn’t they? Kids are destined to become peasants consuming a diet of made-up characters because zero effort is put into showing just what interesting oddballs our Founders were. Actually, now that I think about it, one or two video games about the Founders would be enough to change this situation. How many young men know a surprising amount about the medieval era thanks to Crusader Kings II? You’d be surprised! One solid, big budget RPG about the Founders, and maybe one decent strategy game about the Revolutionary War, would be enough to give modern people a decent foundation for understanding where they come from. In fact, the current trend of destroying statues and erasing history would instantly grind to a halt if people realized they were undermining the very history they learned about while gaming. Can you imagine any modern bugmen defacing a statue of Luigi or Sonic the Hedgehog? Of course not – those are practically religious idols to modern, enlightened consumers!

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