I recently had a commenter on another blog tell me that the past – history – doesn’t matter. I told this commenter that everything that happens today is driven by the past, and if we forget the past, or we accept a distorted understanding of the past, then we cannot understand what happens today or why. His reply was that he didn’t care about ‘tradition,’ the only things that matter to him is what we ‘do’ today. The discussion then devolved into a debate over our inability to ever know the ‘truth’ about the past because we all have our own opinions about what truth is in relation to what the past means to us today. Upon thinking back on this exchange, I thought I would share a little history with you and show you why understanding the past is essential to controlling what happens in the present.
From the 1930’s and 40’s, FDR’s 1944 State of the Union address:
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all – regardless of station, race, or creed. Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job…
The right to a good education.
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies…
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.
The right of every family to a decent home.
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.
From the 1960’s radicals:
• Self-service industry is bad because it kills jobs
• Wonders why people have to work for a livelihood: not “appropriate”
• Low-income jobs are “wage slavery”
• Laments jobs at Walmart
• Being a “participant in their community” is a good alternative to working
• Reagan “steamrolled” the poor by eliminating the ideals of guaranteed income, right to welfare and the right to support
And from the current OWS movement:
Editor’s note: In “Occupy the Great Depression,” found only in the newest issue of The Blaze Magazine, Natasha Pascetta takes a look at the Occupy Wall Street movement and exposes that their efforts are nothing new. Young socialist activists demanding money, jobs, and education from the government have been with us for a long, long time.
The radical activists “occupying” everything and touting the benefits of socialism and communism these days aren’t new. FDR had to face a movement that embraced the efforts of the Soviet Union—and backed Hitler’s Germany.
This last story connects us back to FDR’s call for a 2nd Bill of Rights. But FDR was not the start of those demands. He was reacting to the movement within America that wanted to embrace what was happening in Germany and Russia prior to the start of WW II. This desire to incorporate the ideas of socialism formed the foundation of what became known as the American Progressive movement. But it also connects American politics to the struggle between the Fascist and Communist versions of socialism, which then brings us to this story:
ATHENS, Greece (The Blaze/AP) – Tensions are running high in Greece, but the video you’re about to see is unbelievable. In it, the spokesman for Greece’s extremist, far-right, Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party can be seen causing an uproar after he physically assaulted two left-wing deputies on live television during a Thursday morning political show. A public prosecutor ordered his immediate arrest.
[NOTE: when you are dealing with the left/right between communism/fascism, you are NOT dealing with the same idea of left/right in regards to the American liberal/conservative opposition. In the case of communism/fascism, you are talking about left/right within the general socialist movement – as both ideologies are socialist in nature. The reason so many Americans actually think that fascism/NAZI’s are ‘right-wing’ in the same sense as American conservatives is actually an illustration of what this post is all about.]
Which then brings up an old quote by a man who wrote a book to warn the world about how the control of language and history would be used to control the way the masses think for the purpose of controlling the masses – period:
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
Hopefully, if you allow yourself to think about all of this, you can see why I told the commenter on that other blog that everything happening today is driven by what happened yesterday. If you think about it a bit more, you might also understand the connection between the desire to control the past in order to control the present to the need to control our schools and media.