History is Propaganda with footnotes.-Je’
I’ve been watching the History of Western Civilization. Often such documentaries make me cuss mentally because they are so full of propaganda, but this series is not too bad. The speaker has a dry sense of humor and he said burning people at the stake for ideas is evil, but then again tolerance of ideas is often just a mask for indifference, which is also a mistake. The professor said, and I agree, that ideas propel history.
Which brings us to you and I: where did we get our ideas? I just assumed my ideas were right; every right-thinking person shares my ideas, don’t they? Now I laugh at my old assumption.
//giphy.com/embed/reJOGQ43nNeGk (Laughing at my assumptions)
This morning the professor said something that struck me funny, partly, like all funny things, because it’s so truthy. He’s talking about Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton and how their opposite views of human nature played out during the American Revolution:
“Jefferson thought man needed only to be freed from his chains to move on to perfectability.”
“Hamilton thought even the strongest and highest bars could not keep man from making a damn fool of himself and making his neighbor miserable as well.” “Jefferson feared the corruption that comes from power, Hamilton feared the corruption that comes with human nature.”
Who do you think you had it right? Jefferson? Hamilton? Both?
Policies are made every day with one or the other of these views of humanity-policies that affect us in our everyday lives. Ideas propel history-and they aren’t always good ideas. But try to have a great day anyway. 🙂