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American Public Schools and History

My amigo and blogging colleague Lexington Green had an excellent post this week on the anniversary of the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, abetted by Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, which set off WWII in Europe. Lex laments the state of historical knowlege in public schools and asks readers for their recommendations for books on the Second world War. As of this writing, there are already 47 comments:

September 1, 1939

World War II started (in Europe) 70 years ago today.

There are two sorts of people in the USA today. A tiny minority who are very interested in military history and know a lot about World War II, and a vast majority who can barely even tell you who was in it (“was that the one with Hitler?”), when it occurred (“the Seventies?”), or what it was about, or even who won (“Japan?”). American children whom I talk to are apparently taught two things and two things only about our participation in World War II: (1) The Japanese Americans were imprisoned, and that was racist and wrong, and (2) we dropped atomic bombs on Japan, and that was racist and wrong. Some know about the Holocaust. College age youth are taught that the war was an exercise in American imperialism, meant to spread expoitative capitalism across the world, and that it is a myth that the GIs went to Europe to liberate the conquered countries or to bring democracy and freedom. Even depictions that are not entirely negative, such as Saving Private Ryan, depict the war solely as a personal tragedy and pointless death and destruction, and not about anything, and certainly not about anything good or admirable. Fed exclusively on this diet for over a generation, we now have a population that sees the war in this way.

This is precisely what Pres. Reagan warned us about:

We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom-freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs [protection]. So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important-why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.

Reagan was right. I have gone beyond being distressed about all this to being fatalistically resigned. With historical memory either non-existent or actively corrupted, those of us who care about these things will have to preserve the record as best we can.

At The Corner (updated here) they are asking people to list their favorite books on World War II. This is a good idea, and I solicit your suggestions in the comments. The Boyz readership always suggests something I have not heard of already. Please list two or three favorites, in the comments. I could spend all day doing this, but I will abide by my own rule, and limit myself to three.

Read the rest here:

You should read the rest, as well as the comments, many of which are informative and a few of which qualify as entertaining. While I am very tempted to discuss books and historiography, I will instead address the teaching of history in our public schools.

The ideological Marxoid craziness of which Lex writes does indeed exist, though it is far more common in university courses than in secondary school classrooms ( Oak Park, though, is a pretty liberal UMC burg) and more common in urban school districts on the coasts than in the Midwest or South. In particular, I have seen firsthand at national conferences, teacher-zealots from California who appear to have been kicked out of Trotskyite Collectives for excessive radicalism and who are more like the mentally unsound homeless than someone entrusted with the education of children. They are largely scary exceptions though. The main problem with the teaching of history in our public schools is that as far as subjects go, history is a tertiary concern of government officials, administrators and school boards; as a result, most of history instructors are hard working and well-meaning people who are by education, totally unqualified for the positions they hold.

This is not to say that these history teachers do not have college degrees, They do, usually they are education or English lit majors with a scattering of PE and business majors whose main career concern is becoming varsity football or basketball coach. A few were punitively reassigned to history departments out of fields they are highly qualified to teach because they are good teachers and administrators saw them as capable of filling a gap in the master schedule, credentials be damned.

Nor would I say that these teachers do not care about children or shirk their responsibilities. By and large they are professionals who are dedicated to and care about the welfare of their students. The problem is that they don’t know much history – and it is very difficult to teach something well that you yourself do not even know enough about to be aware of the parameters of your own ignorance.

In 1997, education scholar Diane Ravitch wrote:

…Of those teachers who describe themselves as social studies teachers, that is, those who teach social studies in middle school or secondary school, only 18.5% have either a major or a minor in history. That is, 81.5% of social studies teachers did not study history in college either as a major or as a minor. In case you thinkyou didn’t hear me correctly, let me say it again: 81.5% of social studies teachers did not study history in college either as a major or a minor. This figure helps to explain why history is no longer the center of the social studies, since so few social studies teachers have ever studied history

What? “Well that was twelve years ago!” you say? My friend, the vast majority of that 81 % of unqualified teachers are still teaching today. And most of that remainder are still as unqualified now as they were in 1997. Imagine the state of our buildings and bridges if 81% of the professors of engineering had majored in, say Art Criticism or Women’s Studies.

Aggravating matters, even if a prospective teacher did major in history in college, fewer of their professors were full-time history instructors than ever before, meaning that even the quality of the small minority of teachers who are history majors is going into decline! NCLB scorns history as a subject, so school districts across the nation will continue to starve it. Poorer districts will fire all the social studies teachers in coming years and parcel out the history sections to unwilling English teachers in order to save the jobs that will preserve reading scores (assuming those are making AYP in the first place). After that, the science teachers will start to get the axe.

Students know a few bare minimum things about WWII, what can be gleaned from dumbed-down, turgidly written, textbooks that are long on glossy pictures and short on engaging prose, plus what they might catch on the History Channel which is seldom short of Nazi-related documentaries. It is unsurprising that most high school students are ignorant of their own nation’s history – given the state state of the field, it would actually be surprising if they knew anything at all.

We are deliberately cultivating a level of societal ignorance that is a deadly longitudinal threat to the continuance of democratic governance and individual liberties in this country. Maybe that was always part of the plan.

68 Responses to “American Public Schools and History”

  1. Mithras Says:

    <blockquote>"Maybe that was always part of the plan."</blockquote>

    Whose plan?

  2. Adrian Says:

    I went to public school in an extremely liberal town (Lexington, MA) and then went to one of the most liberal colleges in the US (Brown).  I’ve never heard anyone at either of those schools say anything like "WW2 was American imperialism" or anything like that.  Of course in high school we learned that Japanese internment camps were racist and wrong (because they were) but we also learned about Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway (and even about the Flying Tigers).However the issue about high school coaches being dumped in social sciences because for some reason people think they’re the easiest to teach, is in my experience a real issue.I would just be thankful that history education hasn’t sunk to the level of geography education in this country – in my opinion just as important a subject, but one that wasn’t taught at all after 7th grade in my school system.My $.02.

  3. Michael Says:

    Very seldom do I agree with President Reagan, but he was right. We need to do a better job. History is a deep, nuanced subject and requires years of study and a very open mind to digest and understand. Furthermore, History is not pretty. History is made up of all the irrational decisions of men and women, all the unintended consequences, all of the things people hope and wish you will forget they did or said. History is sacrifice for the greater good, and the greed of power and priviledge. History is better than fiction. History is exciting and dynamic, it informs us of so very many things because at its most reduced level, History is about all of us.

    Making History interesting is hard. Understanding all of the perspectives of History is hard. Appreciating and learning from History is hard. And it is the hard things that we should undertake to accomplish. Instead, it is forgotten.

    History is not a sound bite.

  4. Michael Says:


    In 1990 (-ish), I was an undergrad at an Ivy… I was asked by other students if I had a green card and complimented on how well I spoke English because… (wait for it)…

    I was from New Mexico…

    Oh, and told I did not look Mexican (I am blonde with blue eyes and tan like a lobster)

  5. Eddie Says:

    Its perhaps time to face reality in the NCLB era and merge the teaching of geography and history (at a basic level they have perhaps enough in common to survive the k-12 merger). ————–We were taught in elementary school about America being attacked, in middle school about the Japanese and German hunger for resources like oil and fertile land, and in high school about the war crimes of the Germans, Japanese and Allies, with a heavy emphasis on those committed by the Axis Powers. I had one instructor (Mrs. Burley) who brought in local vets and the AFJROTC ret. Col. to discuss war at sea, in the air and on the ground, especially the island to island fighting in the Pacific. 

  6. Adrian Says:

    Hmm, my comment formatting got messed up, I put ‘returns’ in between sentences but they got deleted.

  7. tdaxp » Blog Archive » STEM and History Says:

    […] an excellent post, my friend Mark observes: Aggravating matters, even if a prospective teacher did major in history […]

  8. Lexington Green Says:

    "Of course in high school we learned that Japanese internment camps were racist and wrong (because they were)"
    The decision to intern the Japanese was made by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a man not otherwise known to be particularly racist.  The Japanese on the West coast and in Hawaii were often first generation immigrants.  Where their loyalties would lie in wartime was unknown.  The Japanese government was known to have propagandized immigrants in the USA, Canada, Hawaii, the colonies of southeast Asia, and to have infiltrated spies into those communities.  The US Navy had just been sent to the bottom of Pearl Harbor.  It was not the least bit clear, at the time, that the decision to intern the Japanese was either racist or wrong.  If you place yourself behind FDR’s desk, and look at the challenges he was facing, he made the right decision. 

  9. Lexington Green Says:

    Mark — I still want your three book picks!

  10. Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » September 1, 1939 Says:

    […] III: Zenpundit weighs in with some facts from the front, which are worth more than my hearsay impressions. Very much worth […]

  11. tdaxp Says:

    Lex is right regarding the internment of the Japanese. The best exposure to the issue I got in high school was during the AP exam, when in the "document analysis" section, it presented statements of the who created the camps opposing the idea earlier in the effort. A fascinating episode, but not racist.Mark, I blogged this post. An excerpt:Mark is right.As someone who loves history, this is very sad.As someone who is concerned with having a competitive educational system, this is fine.Economic growth does not come from knowledge of history. If it did, Britain’s liberal arts and history-based curriculum would have allowed it to maintain hegemony in Europe through the 19th and 20th century. Insteda, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are the “STEM” of economic success.

  12. UNRR Says:

    This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 9/4/2009, at <a href="http://unreligiousright.blogspot.com/">The Unreligious Right</a>

  13. Roy Lofquist Says:

    Here is my book pick:


    All 26 episodes of one of the most popular TV productions ever.

  14. Mithras Says:

    "It was not the least bit clear, at the time, that the decision to intern the Japanese was either racist or wrong.  If you place yourself behind FDR’s desk, and look at the challenges he was facing, he made the right decision. "

    Wow. Just wow.

    The decision to intern legal Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans was one of the most shameful and unjustfiable decisions made by a U.S. President in the 20th century. It was a decision supported by no evidence whatsoever of radical or subversive activity among that community. In any case, had there been any such evidence the right thing to do – the <i>American</i> thing to do, given that we are a nation of laws – would be to investigate such activity and arrest the individuals involved.  As an illustration of the hysteria behind the internment, in testifying to Congress the "great liberal" Earl Warren said:

    "I take the view that this lack [of evidence] is the most ominous sign in our whole situation. It convinces me more than perhaps any other factor that the sabotague we are to go, the Fifth Column activities we are to get, are timed just like Pearl Harbor was timed.  … I believe that we are just being lulled into a false sense of security."

    Warren’s belief that <i>no evidence</i> was evidence shows exactly how irrational the internment decision was. Warren simple assumed that "Japs" were treacherous, so "Fifth Column" activities were inevitable. From there, everything flowed. Lack of evidence became evidence. But had there been evidence of even low-level or isolated cases of subversive or hostile activity, it would have been held up as evidence of a greater, hidden conspiracy which would have justified internment. Heads I win, tails you lose.

    So why did Warren and others make that assumption, that treachery was inevitable? Because of a racist view that people of Japanese descent all shared certain personality traits, including a continuing loyalty to their country of anscentry, unlike white immigrants who adopted American values and were loyal citizens. You can see this in the fact that the number of German-Americans interned was far smaller, even though there were far more of them in America.

  15. Lexington Green Says:

    FDR has a war to win.  The prospect of an invasion of the West Coast was real.  He believed he had sufficient evidence to do what he did.  Very few people in government or the military or even in civilian life objected to it.  Anyone who was in his office would have done the same thing.  Anyone who was in his office who failed to do so would have had very serious problems.  If he had failed to do so, and there had been sabotage he and his party would have been driven from office.  And, sure, of course the whole of American society was a lot more racist in those days.  So was the Japanese government and society pointedly and proudly racist.  All the more reason to believe that the victims of racism in the USA, and the recipients of Japanese racist propaganda, would be hostile.  World War II was not a game of beanbag.  FDR supervised the construction and operation of a war machine that killed millions of people.  Japanese internment was a no-brainer. 

  16. Adrian Says:

    Lex’s reason boils down to "the Japanese internment was correct because we were scared, the law be damned."  But of course the whole reason why we were scared despite the total lack of any evidence was because of racist beliefs about Japanese people.

  17. Eddie Says:

    The context of the time then was one of immense and often violent racism. Whether FDR or anyone else at the time thought it was racist was beside the point, given that the overwhelming majority of the people of the time held very racist attitudes.

    While I agree w/ Lex’s point about FDR’s motivations, I find this question a very interesting one given the prospect our country or another in Europe may one day face with its Muslim population. If you give the demagogues an inch once one Muslim-American does a suicide bomb attack that kills American children at a school or somewhere nearly as sacred, there will be loud calls in this country for internment camps for Muslims. It may have been acceptable in FDR’s time, but it won’t be acceptable in ours. All we managed to do with the Japanese internment was harm ourselves in firewalling one of our most valuable resources in fighting the Japanese from our war effort for years.

  18. Lexington Green Says:

    FDR’s action was within the scope of his war powers.  The Korematsu case is still good law.  Look it up.  The law be praised.  FDR was not afraid.  He saw a danger and he acted decisively.  We are now free in the comfort of our ergonomic chairs to decry his actions.   Further, we will never know whether there would have been sabotage or other foul deeds.  Anyone who would have done it was locked up.  These days, the ultimate sin is even a whiff of racism. In those days, the ultimate sin would have been losing a war to the most racist enemies the world had ever seen. 

  19. Lexington Green Says:

    Some Japanese spies, part of the imaginary danger that the racist Americans were pointlessly worried about.


  20. Adrian Says:

    I’m sure we incarcerated Japanese Americans because we were afraid one of them might be the top Japanese spy on that list – the Emperor of Japan himself!  And of course one person on that list who seems to have actually done some damage wasn’t even Japanese (Harry Thomas Thompson).  That list is a joke, probably why it’s been marked for cleanup for 2 years.

  21. Lexington Green Says:

    We incarcerated the Japanese because the Japanese had a very wide-spread network of spies throughout the Pacific.  Japanese spies and saboteurs assisted the army and navy in Malaya and the Phillipines.  The threat was not imaginary. 

    Ignore the list. 

    Read this:  http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Dancing-Japanese-Espionage-1939-1945/dp/0312105444

  22. tdaxp Says:

    Adrian’s clearly off-based when he insists that there is a ‘total lack of evidence.’ Rather, there is evidence that is not persuasive to him. During the 1930s, the Japanese-Americans were second-class citizens who faced numerous de facto and de jure obstalces to their success in this country. It strikes me as rather orientalist to assume that such systematic discrimination could occur against a group with no ill effects, no alienation, etc.

  23. morgan Says:

    Strange little fact re: japanese internment: Earl warren, as mentioned above, was for the internment while J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, was opposed to the internment.

  24. Adrian Says:

    The question isn’t "was there any evidence that Japan had spies in the US?"  The question is "was there any evidence that all Japanese Americans needed to be rounded up and put in camps?"  Obviously I’m not going to convince either of you that the answer is "no".Eddie’s comment makes a couple good points.  Pretty much everyone at the time was racist – to me this makes it incredible that a decision like "imprison all Japanese immigrants and their children" would be free of racism.  And secondly, the comparison between the Japanese camps and the movie "The Siege."I never thought an offhand comment like "Japanese internment camps were wrong" would hijack Mark’s comment thread – sorry!

  25. zen Says:

    Interesting. Mithras and Lex are both lawyers. My understanding is that while the US apologized and compensated Japanese-Americans for their forced relocation, that Korematu v. The United States remains a precedent for presidential war powers. Correct?
    I have read a little, very little, in the primary sources related to Japanese internment and of course a fair piece in secondary.Off the top of my head:
    It is difficult to guage the degree of Japanese espionage in the US because Japan’s schizophenic, militarist government by assassination had competing cliques running both formal and "off the books" spy networks in which secret societies, yakuza gangs and expatriate communities were deeply involved. The main espionage effort was directed against China but also in European colonies in Asia and the US. It was a real threat but the scope is not known with certainty.
    There were vigorous calls to intern German and Italian Americans as well but FDR’s Attorney-General, Biddle, who was not an enthusiast for internment, quietly quashed that.
    The primary advocates for internment were West Coast state government officials but Earl Warren was by far the most influential and effective voice. White Californians had an anti-Japanese, anti-Asian history that ran back to the late 19th century and the Japanese-Americans/Japanese emigres were much envied for their prosperity and property ( these were not "coolie" unskilled laborers ).
    That said, Japanese aliens *should* have been interned as a matter of course. Among Japanese-Americans, I have read stats that about 5-10% were militantly pro-Axis while the vast majority of Japanese-Americans were patriotic Americans, though somewhat subject to pressure and intimidation from this aggressive minority. This small group did constitute a security threat in the same way that the small number German and Italian-American fascisti and far-Right, pro-Nazi WASP subversives ("Silvershirts" etc.) did, who were also quietly taken into custody or prosecuted. It would have been better for FDR to have carefully rounded up this pro-Axis minority rather than using draconian measures against the whole population, most whom were innocent parties.
    Japanese-Americans in Hawaii were not interned. Go figure. That Japanese-Americans were compensated for their suffering and lost property was a good thing, though it took too long to do so.
    The Imperial Japanese were not equally racist but far moreso than most Americans and quite lethal in expressing it in China and Southeast Asia where death tolls form mistreatment and calculated ethnic atrocities by Japanese soldiers were staggering. While it is reasonable to chide the US for its Relocation Camps, these were not morally equivalent to Japan’s wartime policies for POWs, internees or subject populations – to say nothing of Nazi concentration and death camps, as some like to argue ( though no one here in this discussion).

  26. Lexington Green Says:

    "Korematu v. The United States remains a precedent for presidential war powers. Correct?"  Yes. 

  27. Lexington Green Says:

    "I never thought an offhand comment like "Japanese internment camps were wrong" would hijack Mark’s comment thread – sorry!"

    Actually, this thread is a case study in what is wrong with the way American history is taught.  I am not saying Adrian is wrong when I say that.  Adrian has a case.  I think the other case is stronger.  The point is that American history is ransacked for examples of racism and other bad behavior, and simplistic, politically correct morality tales are derived from these episodes.  A good teacher (high school level) would make the case that the internment was wrong, lay it out fairly in the usual fashion.  Then, turn around and invite his students to sit behind FDR’s desk, and build the contrary case, piece by piece.  The kids would leave that class room very troubled, if they were paying attention.  They may still conclude that FDR should not have interned the Japanese, but they would see that it was not an easy or obvious, or even obviously moral choice.  World War II destroyed a lot of people, and hurt a lot of people.  Bad times lead to difficult choices that will inevitably be subject to criticism later on.  Leadership means deciding anyway, and taking your lumps.  Understanding the past means understanding the tragic nature of history. 

  28. Mithras Says:

    tdaxp says:

    "During the 1930s, the Japanese-Americans were second-class citizens who faced numerous de facto and de jure obstalces to their success in this country. It strikes me as rather orientalist to assume that such systematic discrimination could occur against a group with no ill effects, no alienation, etc."

    What a revealing argument. So, if a group is discriminated against, then it is logical to assume that they will resent it to the point that they will be radicalized into disloyalty. Thus, an official recognition of discrimination begets the justification for more discrimination. This argument was also used with regard to black G.I.s in Hawaii (as well as elsewhere) – which as zen points out, did not intern Japanese-Americans (even though the place was under martial law): The black soldiers and sailors were subject to jim-crow treatment by white Southern servicemen, and were relegated to unskilled jobs, and they resented the hell out of it. They were also very patriotic, quite good at their jobs (viz, the Harlem Hellfighters) and had no interest in helping the enemy, even though Japanese Communists tried to recruit them. They just wanted a fair shake, but military intelligence believed they must be subversives and investigated the hell out of the black units.

    So yeah, Korematsu is not overruled (but also doubtful as authority). As Justice Jackson said in dissent in the case:

    "The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need. Every repetition imbeds that principle more deeply in our law and thinking and expands it to new purposes. All who observe the work of courts are familiar with what Judge Cardozo described as ‘the tendency of a principle to expand itself to the limit of its logic.’ A military commander may overstep the bounds of constitutionality, and it is an incident. But if we review and approve, that passing incident becomes the doctrine of the Constitution. There it has a generative power of its own, and all that it creates will be in its own image. Nothing better illustrates this danger than does the Court’s opinion in this case. "

  29. Mithras Says:

    Lexington Green says:
    "The point is that American history is ransacked for examples of racism and other bad behavior, and simplistic, politically correct morality tales are derived from these episodes."

    And the examples not too hard to find! The reason these cases are important is that they were failures of our system to operate as it should. If internment was the correct decision then civil liberties are a cruel myth.  Internment deprived citizens – not just aliens! – of all due process, on American soil, with no evidence of any kind at all. These cases are important because they’re the exceptions to the rule.

    You project onto the situation the idea that the purpose of remembering and condemning lawless detention by U.S. authorities is to come up with a "simplistic, politically correct morality tale[]." I would suggest that anyone who wants to ignore the examples – of jim crowism in the military, or wholesale deprivation of civil liberties – doesn’t really value the principle he professes to uphold. The simplistic conservative morality tale is that white America can do no wrong – an ongoing theme since the mid-19th century – and that belief really does weaken our country and make our society a more brittle, less just place.

  30. tdaxp Says:

    Adrian,The question isn’t "was there any evidence that Japan had spies in the US?"  The question is "was there any evidence that all Japanese Americans needed to be rounded up and put in camps?" Evidence for the former is evidence for the latter.Now, of course, the level of evidence to convince you of the factual matter if Japan has a network of ethnic-Japanese spies is different than the level of evidence to convince you of the need for internment. So, again, you are wrong when you say there is no evidence. All you can say is that you are not convinced by the evidence.Pretty much everyone at the time was racist – to me this makes it incredible that a decision like "imprison all Japanese immigrants and their children" would be free of racism.  I don’t know what "free of racism" means. If you mean that a decision made by a racist is racist, then all you’re doing is talking in circles.Lex,Actually, this thread is a case study in what is wrong with the way American history is taughtThis is an important point. History is written by those who are in power, to be sympathetic to causes they are sympathetic to and cold to causes they are cold to. Contrast this with, say, mathematics, with is generally free of the narrative wars.

  31. Lexington Green Says:

    "The simplistic conservative morality tale is that white America can do no wrong"

    I have never heard anyone make this case.  It is a straw man. 

    I have seen the opposite told: "white America" can do no wrong.  Even referring the nonexistent entity "White America" is sadly too often part of the conversation. 

    ‘You project onto the situation the idea that the purpose of remembering and condemning lawless detention by U.S. authorities is to come up with a "simplistic, politically correct morality tale[]."’

    It was not lawless.  It was lawful.  The US Supreme Court has ruled.  We may not like what FDR did, but it was not illegal. 

    Also that is not what I said.  I said the WAY the tale is told is "a "simplistic, politically correct morality tale".  I did not even say that the conclusion is wrong.  FDR valued the Constitution and other things we value.  What too few people pay attention to is that he was fighting for their survival. 

  32. Lexington Green Says:

    I have seen the opposite told: "white America" can do no RIGHT — obviously enough.

  33. Mithras Says:

    Of course the paramount concern was winning the war. But to say that that objective required depriving a large group of people of all due process means that we really aren’t a nation of laws. That the Supreme Court blessed the internment is sad and interesting, but it doesn’t prove that civil liberties were protected. As someone said, the Court is not final because it’s infallible, it’s infallible because it’s final. FDR was wrong, the Court was wrong. The internment and the Korematsu decision were both unprincipled. You can’t say the rule of law was upheld if the

    (As an aside, FDR was interested in racial justice only to the extent that the issue helped him get elected and when racial conflict posed a threat to the war effort. Eleanor was interested in eliminating discrimination, but even she was a gradualist who was content not to rock the boat so low as things were plausibly moving in the right direction.)

    On the "narrative" issue, we just have a different perspective. There is really no use arguing about it, because we don’t share any common assumptions. You believe in the "dolchstoss" or "blame America first crowd" thing. I believe powerful government and private actors – who are and have been mostly white – are motivated to ignore racism and the fact that the "law" doesn’t always protect unpopular minority’s civil liberties.

  34. Mithras Says:

    I didn’t complete a sentence. I meant to say, "You can’t say the rule of law was upheld if the law is completely indeterminate."

  35. Lexington Green Says:

    "But to say that that objective required depriving a large group of people of all due process means that we really aren’t a nation of laws."

    Presidents have broad war powers.  That is a feature not a bug.  That is one of many reasons that the decision to go to war is so important.  They were not entitled to due process, as a matter of law. 

    We conscripted people and sent them to die.  Does that mean we are not a nation of laws?   They got no due process either.  The government picked people up and moved them around, property was commandeered, secrecy was imposed, all as part of its war powers.  

    Defeat by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan was a very distinct possibility in the winter of 1941-42.  Everything you value would have gone down into a new dark age, including the rule of law.

    The interned Japanese suffered.  300,000 dead Americans and their families suffered.  The many who were maimed and their families suffered.  The millions whose lives were uprooted and disrupted suffered.  It was a war for survival, conducted in a remarkably law abiding manner, as such things go.   The internement was motivated by perceived military necessity, which we can question now, and not by racism. 

    FDR was right.  The court was right. 

    "You believe in the "dolchstoss" or "blame America first crowd" thing."

    I have no idea you are talking about.  Perhaps I believe in these things under different labels.

    I don’t really care about what you or I believe in.  What I disagree with is your presentation of the facts and the conclusions you draw from them.  The facts are largely knowable.  The conclusions drawn from them can be done in a public forum like this and anyone reading can agree or disagree.   I don’t need to put you in a category. 

  36. Blaine Says:

    A couple of things here….

    First off, the Korematsu case was vacated in the early 80’s via "coram nobis" because the Government had knowingly withheld information on the case that could’ve had a major effect on the Supreme Court ruling, obviously that doesn’t overturn legal precedent… but it certainly calls into question the overall foundation of the case. Nor does the fact that the case has been law for some time mean that it was necessarily the correct ruling. That’s a very dangerous assumption to make.

    Secondly, I would think by now the argument of "military necessity" was put to waist long ago. FDR was being fed atrocious BS by the likes DeWitt (the architect of the internment idea) and Bendetsen (who were keeping some none too flattering information out of their reports for the sake of furthering their arguments… hence why once the National Archives released the original "Final Report" several convictions were overturned… including Korematsu, Yasui, etc.) who weren’t even privy to the "magic" intercepts that the "military necessity" argument rests on. Furthermore, DeWitt’s anouncement that the "racial strains" of Japanese Americans remained essentially "undiluited" despite their American citizenship (some of them second, third or even fourth generation) shows his exact mindstate… namely that his justification rested little on an actual need to contain any threat (Of which there was no real evidence, which oddly enough, was used by Bendetsen as justification for internment!) and more on his racist and xenophobic view of Japanese Americans as an enemy monolith. Has no one hear read about the Munson report? Care to debunk that? Care to show that the "magic" cables intercepted actually exposed any major threat lurking within the Japanese American community here? Because all the literature I’ve read at this point shows the exact opposite, the Japanese Americans were no more a threat than the Germans, Italians, etc. and they were singled out for exclusion because of blatant racism being driven nativist and white nationalist groups on the West Coast that had long railed against the Japanese as a supposed threat to the culture of America.

    In regards to the article, meh. History is nuanced, to propose that we view history from the rose colored glasses Reagan was advocating would be just as ridiculous as doing the opposite and assuming America can do nothing right. On top of that, Lexington must have had a WAY different education cirriculum than I remember throughout my school years. In my college years, the absolute necessity of fighting WW2 to "save Europe from Fascism" was almost always highlighted by nearly every history professor I had (and was implied by all of them in one way or another), so I have no clue where this idea that teachers are telling their students WW2 was nothing more than some "imperialistic foray" by America is coming from (and indeed, Lexington provides no actual evidence that this is how WW2 IS being taught, quite telling). Yes, in college, as in junior high and high school, Japanese internment was specifically highlighted as a morally repugnant action that was unnecessary…. but I don’t see where that’s an issue, because well… it was repugnant and the "military necessity" argument rested on a foundation of sand. However, your contention that kids are taught that dropping atomic bombs on Japan was wrong is even further off the mark. I was never once privy to the argument that it was "wrong" during all my initial public schooling years… it wasn’t until I was doing research during a 300 level history class in college that the argument even appeared in any real manner, and it was in very short form and given very little credibility for obvious reasons which I will not go over at the moment.

    So, with that said, I’m not really sure what the point of the article is. Should we simply assail America as some faultless country who has always stood by it’s founding ideals? Is highlighting wrong doing by our leaders and by the people of this country somehow nefarious? Should such things NOT be taught because they might demoralize children or something?

  37. Eddie Says:


    "white America" can do no RIGHT". That is something I hear all too often in school now in my Anthro classes. Its a disgusting attitude, but the reaction to it is often as wrong-headed as the criticism in its anger. We should acknowledge our faults and learn from them (as I pray we do one day if a homegrown Somali or Pakistani group terrorizes an American metro area), but most importantly praise our successes and second chances we take full advantage of.

    The Japanese-Americans who came out of the camps and fought in the war for us fought like mad men, and those who stayed behind to work as intel analysts, translators, and in other positions worked their tails off. Their numbers are far greater than any potential Axis saboteurs we are aware of operating here or elsewhere in that time. They were suspected of treason in a time of war and fear, but they ignored our mistreatment and disgraceful treatment and proved in battle and struggle their devotion to the ideals our Founders infused in this country. We should teach that, not just that the camps were bad or that the camps were right.

    An earlier commenter mentioned we deprived an entire race of Americans (except those in Hawaii, who would presumably have been the most dangerous to US war efforts) their rights to due process. Whatever alleged evidence FDR had, he made the wrong choice from an American standpoint (i.e. our devotion to our Constitution and the goals of the Founders). He established a dangerous precedent that was upheld by a Supreme Court that has had its fair share of wrong-headed decisions over the years from both a sensible point and a Constitutional point. You think I should give an all-due respect to a Court of badly fallible individuals (as devoted to racist ideology and beliefs as their countrymen in 1942) that crowned a President 9 years ago, gave women the right to murder their babies a few decades before that, and a hundred odd years ago said "separate but equal" was Constitutional? Please.

  38. Dave Schuler Says:

    I won’t add to this discussion other than to observe that, if there’s this much discussion of the facts surrounding details of events 70 years ago, thinking that we have authoritative information about events that happened 2,500 years ago is presumptuous in the extreme.

  39. zen Says:

    Hi Dave,
    Two ends of the information spectrum – the vast excess of documents of contemporary history ( allegedly, Reagan initialled, signed or had his official signature stamped on to 1 million documents in 8 years – what could it be now for a president? 5 million?) and the paucity of antiquity.

  40. Seerov Says:

    The main purpose of social studies education is to socialize American youth into accepting (even celebrating) their own displacement. The internment polices of the WWII era included 20,000 Europeans as well, but this is never mentioned.  The reason its not mentioned is becuase it contradicts the white as oppressor narrative (WAON). 
    The WAON is the major "frame" used to tell the story of America.  The WAON works along with a new set of myths and heroes, intended to replace the old set of myths.  The old myths featured rugged individuals settling the frontier, or people taking part in great feats of enterprise.  The new myths feature "oppressed" non-whites overcoming the white supremacist Western Order.  All references to the past must feature the "oppressed" with guilt replacing pride as the major emotional underpinning of ones own identity.
    It should never be mentioned that world history is full of examples of large scale acts of oppression, occupation, slavery, and violence against European peoples by non-European peoples. Europe put up with all sorts of invasions in its history by Moors, Tatars, Turks, Mongols and Persians.  In fact, the largest displacement of people in history was by the Mongol empire.  Its also never mentioned that "civilizations" like the Aztecs took part in full scale genocide of their neighboring tribes with one incident featuring the cutting off of heads of 85,000 people over 3 days.   This perspective must remained hidden as it would greatly interfere with the idea that Susan Sontag invented that whites are the "cancer of history." 
    American education is 100% intended to create guilt-stricken-tolerant-citizens of the world who celebrate their own displacement.
    The reason for this isn’t an accident. I’ll explain this latter. 

  41. Mithras Says:

    "The reason for this isn’t an accident. I’ll explain this latter."

    I, for one, wait with bated breath.

  42. Lexington Green Says:

    "The WAON is the major "frame" used to tell the story of America."
    Good acronym.  Never heard it before.
    That is my observation as well, based on what my children and their peers are being taught.  Those observations, in addition to what I read and hear from others makes me believe this is commonplace. 
    The history of the USA is a mixed bag.  It is being taught as a struggle of minorities against a white male oppressor pretty much exclusively.  Omitting key facts is a form of lying.  The children of America are being taught at best partial truths about American history, which means they are being lied to. 
    I am interested to see Seerov’s explanation for this state of affairs.  I have my own theories. 

  43. Mithras Says:

    I have a theory, too.

  44. zen Says:

    Re: evolution of historiographical trends, big picture and schools.
    It is important to recall that most teachers are elementary school teachers who are Ed majors (i.e. Gen ed majors with no upper-level content courses outside of Education). The only history courses they take are a US HIST 200 level and maybe a World history/West civ 100-200 level. That’s it. These are likely to be taught by grad students or part-timers angling for a tenure track opening.
    In the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s, university history departments were centrist-liberal and taught primarily political and diplomatic history, with some economic (on the Left) and military history ( on the right). These historians ignored the masses, minorities and radical thought and concentrated on the activities of what is called "great men history".There were a few radical thinkers like Charles and Mary Beard, William Appleman Williams but they were outliers.
    By the mid-60’s we see a strong shift toward Marxism ( classic, not goofy pomo versions) and departments went over to labor and social history with a class struggle analysis theme. Late 70’s and the 1980’s see the Marxists retreating or cohabitating uneasily with new, younger, Race-and-Gender focused scholars influenced by deconstructionism, postmodernism and studies department fads. Howard Zinn’s famous People’s History is a toned down, popularized synthesis of the labor-social-race-gender history paradigm that was prevailing back then. Departmental hiring, grading became even more politicized in the era of "Political Correctness" and in the 90’s, after overreach and pushback from excesses on campus, things have calmed down a little. Departments are starting to hire people who do not view everything through the prism of race/gender. Back when was in grad school for history, you literally could not get published even in economic and diplomatic  history journals, unless your article shoehorned race or gender questions into the narrative. One friend of mine had a long piece on H.H. Harriman’s stock manipulations of the Manchurian Eastern Railroad Co. circa 1900, he added irrelevant paras on Manchu female status and was duly published by an academic press, albeit a small one.
    Most teachers get the Howard Zinn version of US history, except third hand, less interesting than Zinn would teach it and in a brief snapshot in a gen ed course, of which they really do not recall very much. So you get incoherent elementary school curriculums that focus on honoring Native American customs, holidays without context and scattered readings from textbook once or twice a month when everyone is tired of doing spelling words.

  45. Lexington Green Says:

    Mithras responds with an antiquated, defamatory psychoanalysis of people who disagree with him.
    Mark responds with a factual assessment of the current situation that is consistent with my observations.
    Who should I pay attention to? 

  46. Larry Dunbar Says:

    "The children of America are being taught at best partial truths about American history, which means they are being lied to."

    I don’t know if the children of America are being taught anything. I am sure there are teachers that truly inspire and students that excel, but on the average, I think the kids in America know the score of what is going on. You either jump on the corporate/military bandwagon if you are able, become the new Bill Gates if you’re lucky, or just live your life the best you can under times that are a changing if you are normal. It also seems to matter less what color you are or the content of your character. It matters more who your parents are or who you are hooked up with, in other words, brand name.

    For starters, maybe we should try to keep the kids in school for a whole week at a time. I don’t know what it is like where you guys are at, but because of budget cuts, the kids in my neighborhood are going about 3-4 times a week. Ok, so you say money is not the problem with schools today. It sure seems to be at least one problem.

  47. Joseph Fouche Says:

    The failure to teach history properly is representative of a nation that’s lived so high on the hog for so long that it’s lost a national mission to focus its efforts. Prior to WW2 we had the implicit national goal of passing Great Britain as numero uno to discipline education. To a lesser degree, during the Cold War we had the Soviet nemesis to focus our educational efforts though this was countered by a Soviet inspired counter-cultural offensive that provided a stiff headwind. After the passing of the great enemy, the system was left without its lodestar and all that was left was the previous educational trends running on inertia. These are the same conditions that have produced the grand strategic ennui that Zen has discussed here previously. It may be that a renewal of crisis (apparently it has to be a crisis bigger and more sustained than the GFC has been so far) will provide the discipline for the educational system (and the grand strategic formation system) that normal American governmental and social processes can’t.

  48. Lexington Green Says:

    JF — Good insight.  The early Cold War — Coup in Czechoslovakia, Berlin Airlift, China falling to communism, Soviets getting the bomb, spectacular revelations of Soviet espionage in the USA, then Korea — all within about two years — was a huge wake up call.  Then, the Soviets getting the H-Bomb.  And  Sputnik.  National unity was achieved at least until 1968-69, when the "Sixties" people remember really started.
    Something similiar might have come out of 9/11 except Cheney/Bush deflected it into a pointless, ill-conceived and unsuccessful war in Iraq that managed to do more harm to national solidarity than anything Osama could have dreamed of doing. 
    The problem now is that if the government announced that there was any analogous threat on the horizon, no one would believe it, even if it was true. 

  49. A.E. Says:

    Part of the reason why history regresses into "narratives" of sort is simply because most students from K-12 lack  appreciation of complexity. The answer for this is quite simple: time brings experience, which also tends to bring out shades of gray and earnest reflection. Teachers also do not know how to teach complex subjects without resorting to narratives because doing so is immensely hard. We also think in terms of narratives in general, especially particularly pat ones. Unfortunately the problem is that by the late twenties basic beliefs formed up until then tend to stick for the rest of life.

    The largest problem, though, is simply that history textbooks become proxy battlegrounds in the culture war, with various interest groups and parents’s associations battling over what innocent little Johnny reads. The end result is so hopelessly muddled that it fades away in the mind very quickly.

    Lastly, history and all other "soft" subjects are increasingly being cut in the mad drive by many states to mimic the Japanese model of learning by rote. If it cannot be taught to the test, it will not fit.

  50. A.E. Says:

    There is also another big problem–learning is inherently a forced activity. It is difficult to imagine a student undertaking a mammoth K-12 regimen under his or her own power. So it is always only a functional means to an end for most rather than an object of passion or study. That is part of why narratives predominate–it is the only way for many teachers to cut through the fog of indifference.

  51. Eddie Says:

    Seerov, LG, and others who are hinting or saying the majority of history taught now is essentially of or close to the WAON… 
    Could we perform an audit of history textbooks (granted there are a variety given the culture war elements mentioned by AE) from the last 10 years to get a few general narratives of them or appreciation of the slant of facts they present?

    JF’s point is well-taken. LG’s observation that …
    "Something similiar might have come out of 9/11 except Cheney/Bush deflected it into a pointless, ill-conceived and unsuccessful war in Iraq that managed to do more harm to national solidarity than anything Osama could have dreamed of doing."
    is the tragedy of our time.

  52. A.E. Says:

    There already are a multitude studies and books published on the issue. The problem really isn’t some kind of overriding culture war narrative influencing students. Given that the political fracas is all around them they already have enough exposure to whatever justifies their own views. The structural problems of muddled material, lack of prioritization of "soft" subjects like history, and faculty without the requisite training all combine to create a massive ignorance that is dangerous to a democratic state. It is impossible for the teaching of history to be objective and teachers should not be swayed by various pressure groups crowing about the "bias" of material. Rather, the goal should be giving students the cognitive tools to make their own decisions about the accuracy of sources and the detection of master narratives. The problem is that it is difficult to give someone the ability to think for themselves if they do not already possess it or desire it.

  53. Seerov Says:

    I left off my lecture by pointing out how social studies education helps create "guilt stricken uber-tolerant citizens of the world."  Public education has always included State socialization, what I’m going to explain is why the American Establishment has chosen to create this "New Man." 
    Before I do its important that you understand the process.  It begins with the WAON.  This frame presents all aspects of Western life as evil, illegitimate, incompetent, dishonest, and ugly.  It explains its accomplishments as the result of theft or oppression, and its ideas as dangerous or reactionary.  The WAONs main function is to break down and demoralize. 
    The WAON is accompanied by the superiority of diversity concept.  If the West is the source of all the bad in the world, non-Western diversity is the source of all good in the world.  A majority white community is portrayed as lacking spirit, shallow,  and/or "too white," while non-whites communities are "vibrant" and "rich in culture."  Western culture, art, and folkways are empty, materialistic, and reactionary, while non-Western cultures are soulful, human oriented, and tolerant.  The superiority of diversity concept is how the demoralized white Westerner is built back up.  This one-two punch method of socialization has been used by cults and military organizations for years.  It important to remember this when you’re discussing a controversial issue with someone who starts calling you  a "Nazi" just for pointing out some political incorrect facts or data.  These people think like a cult!  They act/think this way becuase they’ve been programmed to do so.  They’ve been conditioned to associate BAD with WHITE AND WESTERN and GOOD with NON-WHITE and NON WESTERN. 
    The results of this programming is powerful.  Upper middle class couples scramble to adopt exotic babies while white suburban school children take on the persona’s and speech patterns of gangster rappers.  So called "anti-racists" (people most heavily programmed) disrupt speakers at universities with acts of violence and/or vandalism while people have their whole livelihoods ruined for saying the wrong words in public.  Even among the least programmed, people feel they have to qualify what they say with the words "I’m not a racist but" before explaining why they disagree with affirmative action or open borders.  Its no accident that just 100 years ago Western Man felt it his destiny to rule the world while today he feels it his duty to have the world rule him.  
    I think I’m going to stop here.  I’ll be back later to explain the "why" but I think it may be better for the readers to contemplate what I just wrote?  I ask the reader to really think about the programming process.  Ask yourselves when you go into a public place (like a school, or hospital) why they have posters on the walls that say "Diversity is strength" with little white and black children holding hands?  I’ll back latter with the "why" and perhaps more important:  the "who?" 

  54. Mithras Says:

    Just to try to inject some actual data into this conspiracy-theory fest, here (pdf) are the actual academic standards for Pennsylvania schools, by way of example. The U.S. history standards begin on page 12. If you can point out the evidence of this supposed white-guilt agenda, I’d be less inclined to laugh appreciative.

  55. zen Says:

    Hi Mithras,
    Thank you, that was interesting for me to look at in a professional sense. The standards for your state were not bad as these things go, I could see in places some odd Left vs Right balancing producing weird priorities ( ex- reformers since 1450 e.g., Nelson Mandela, Louis-Joseph Papineau, Mohandas Gandhi, Alexander Fleming.  I can easily see Gandhi making this list but, hey, wasn’t Martin Luther *slightly* important? )  but I have seen far more skewed standards, like the 1990 National History Standards that the US Senate repudiated 98-0 and even the NEA had trouble with ( incidentally, Texas is going for a similar bias in the other political direction right now).
    What matters though is if the standards are actually implemented which only occurs if there is some kind of accountability. Many states do not test social studies/history and the natural outcome is that it is taught poorly or skipped entirely at the younger grades. NAEP is the "gold standard" of educational testing  and the national results for history on a state by state basis are horrible. The NAEP website puts a positive spin on relative improvement in scores but when only 17 % of 8th graders are deemed "proficient" in history, and 98 % + are ignorant of major events in American/World political history (i.e.  the Cold War) but are  comparatively well versed in social history of the 60’s related to women and ethnic minorities, there’s a strong and verifiable topical slant in the actual teaching and materials going on at the classroom level. This will only change when states test for their history standards they way they do for math and reading ( and I am not a huge advocate of testing and I am a critic of NCLB. I can say however, NCLB has forced schools to get more serious about math education with students who are not "naturally good" at the subject).
    I don’t think this effect is a political "conspiracy" – it’s a default result of having  instructors who know very little about history themselves. I’d rather have a liberal teacher with a MA in history providing some complexity and primary source analysis in a classroom than a right-wing guy with a PE degree who is known around the school as "Coach".

  56. Lexington Green Says:

    "There’s a strong and verifiable topical slant in the actual teaching and materials going on at the classroom level."
    That is my unscientific, but robust and uncontradicted observation as well.\
    "…a default result of having  instructors who know very little about history themselves …"
    But what they do know, they got from PC teachers and PC ideas that have been in the air and in the water supply, so to speak, all of their professional lives.

  57. phil Says:

    So we refer to some wars as just  "Korea," "WW2," "the Cold War", but when it comes to Iraq it’s the "pointless, ill-conceived and unsuccessful war in Iraq." Clearly the triumph of emotion over reason. But that’s normal, we all have issues that rub us the wrong way. Some people look at the internment of the Japanese Americans and have the same kind of emotional response. But you are detached and can look at it without emotion and examine the issue from multiple perspectives and give FDR the benefit of the doubt. But with Iraq-not so much. If I were to suggest that maybe you should approach that issue with the same detachment and give that commander-in-chief the same benefit of the doubt you would probably reject it because that is your third rail, just like the Japanese American internment is theirs. There are times when an emotional response is the right response; and other times when detachment is necessary. Our approach to education needs to prepare America’s children for that kind of decision-making. Too many people think that WW2 was the archetype for how every war should be, but WW2 was an anomaly, every other American war was very divisive. We as citizens need to figure out how to deal with policy decisions that we may not agree with. Just because you disagree with a policy doesn’t make it illegitimate. So how do we deal with the moral complexity of our past?  

  58. Lexington Green Says:

    "Clearly the triumph of emotion over reason."
    The facts about how the Iraq war was conceived, sold and executed are now known.  I supported the war initially because I mistakenly believed that the Bush administration knew what it was talking about and knew what it was doing.   I believed Kenneth Pollack’s book about Iraq getting nuclear weapons.   I believed Mr. Bush when he said we had to do it.   I was mistaken.  As we now know, the rationale behind the war was a truly deluded belief that Iraq could be easily and cheaply turned into a "democracy".  Paul Wolfowitz, after the fact, admitted that the WMD argument was put forward to give the administration "legal cover".  He knew it was crap.  Cheney, Wolfowitz and others had the ear of a not very intelligent and easily manipulated and irresponsible George Bush, and many of us made the mistake of believing their crap.  The war should never have happened.  Then, once they got their war, the execution of it was so screamingly incompetent that it is pretty clearly the worst failure in the history of the USA in terms of handling a postwar occupation.   Paul Bremer was given a medal.  He should have been hanged drawn and quartered in front of  Walter Reed Hospital, with soldiers whose missing limbs, eyes, faces and otherwise ruined bodies could be the witnesses.  The USA lost thousands of people killed and wounded not only for zero benefit to the USA, but we are actually worse off as a result.  Nothing emotional about it.  I see no other conclusion that comports with the facts.   If you still think the Iraq war was anything but an abject disaster and a ruinous mistake for the USA you need to get some stronger dope.

  59. Seerov Says:

    I will now finish my lecture on the "who" and "why." Its no secret that a transnational power-elite controls the American power structure.  This elite runs and/or owns the financial, media, entertainment, academic, and political systems of the US.  This elite is networked with other transnational elites on every continent and together make up a global elite.  These elite relate to each other more than their own nations of origin and see their interests as taking priority over the interests of their fellow citizens.
    The scale in which they view the world is difficult for some to understand.  Instead of seeing different Nation States and peoples, they view the world in terms of resources and assets.  They see it as in their interests to maximize and combine these resources and assets by creating a singular system with them at the top.  The biggest obstacle they have in creating this world are the diverse peoples who happen to have a local perspective and local sets of interests. 
    To overcome these local interests various strategies are utilized.  These strategies can range from all out war to what we see in Americas schools.   Different locations and different population groups have different resources to exploit along with different challenges/threats to overcome.   Venezuela and Russia have elites less willing to conform to the will of the global elite while owning large amounts of energy resources.  These nations are dangerous becuase they can create blocks of dissent to the global elite and can use oil and gas as a weapon to do so.  The strategy used to combat these threats are subversive movements and media pressure. 
    The population of the US posses a different set of threats/challenges and resources. The US is a huge market and for the last 60 years has been the global center of innovation.  At the same time, the US has a wealthy, well educated, and well armed middle class with a strong sense of nationhood.  This is an extremely dangerous situation to the global elite that requires a different set of strategies than Russia or Venezuela. 
    Social studies education is part of a larger strategy to decrease the threat of the American middle class.  The obvious way this is done was covered in my second lecture (above) which covered the process of breaking down and building people up as "citizens of the world who just looove diversity."  It also helps break down communities and tribal structures.  The former USSR use to break up potential problem populations by forcing other ethnic groups to mix among them. The American middle class has diversity forced upon them for basically the same reason.  Social studies education socializes Americans to "celebrate" their communities being ruined.  The phenomenon of "white flight" acts to break up communities when these places become unbearable due to forced diversity.   Strong communities with a strong sense of identity are very dangerous to the global elite.  Its better to bring in millions of poor Mexicans and over-tax the middle class to take care of their social needs.  If America can’t educate enough science and math students due to poor education, the fix is to bring in Asians to do the work.  This not only mixes up more communities, but takes high paying jobs and status from the traditional middle class.  The same strategy is being used on Europe’s middle class with Muslims taking the place of Mexicans. 
    Its important to understand that the global elite is not purely concerned with money. Money is how they get others on-board, but money is second to control (once you have enough money power becomes more sought after).  People made money off the "white flight" example I mentioned above but it wasn’t the main purpose.  It must also be understood that the global elite are not ideological but do use ideology when needed.  Russia was bad when it was an atheist communist State and are now bad again as a nationalist State.  Sometimes Americans are encouraged to display nationalist feelings (when they need the middle class for war) but other times these same patriotic Americans are "domestic terrorists" when they dissent against open borders. 
    My purpose was to explain why social studies education is what it is.  To conclude, social studies education is a tool to create a more manageable America middle class.  This middle class must have no roots to a nation, ethnic group, or cultural history and instead must learn a new "diversity loving culture" with new heroes to emulate.  Its part of a broader strategy in neutralizing the threat that the American middle class may pose.  This is not a conspiracy or a plot by the Jews or "illuminati."  This situation is the result of a network of people who are attempting to better themselves and their families place in the world.  People have been pursuing power since the beginning of time and today is no different.  I am not by any means suggesting people challenge the hegemony of the elite.  I just wanted to explain the situation to the people reading this blog.  The global elite got to where they are today by working hard and being gifted thinkers or by being related to people who worked hard or who were gifted thinkers in the past.  So as far as I’m concerned they deserve to create the system of systems they desire.  All I ask is for the opportunity to create my own middle class-to-upper middle class existence and I promise I won’t complain.    



  60. Lexington Green Says:

    Exam question.
    Seerov has identified a 5GW operation:
    1. True
    2. False
    3. It-doesn’t-matter-if-you-call-it-5GW
    Answer and discuss.  One hour.  One blue book.

  61. phil Says:

    Actually, Lex, my point had nothing to do with your opinion of the Iraq war (which I don’t really care about) but rather how we interpret historical events, I was just using your comment as a starting point. The point was that we often approach history with emotional responses and more dispassionate analyses and that both are legitimate and that the way we teach history should account for both because it better prepares people to deal with the ambiguities often found in history and in contemporary decisionmaking.   And thanks for demonstrating the rationality of your position by declaring that anyone who arrives at a position different from yours is smoking dope. I’m convinced.   But your comment does demonstrate the need for an honest discussion about the fact that conservatives proved to be terrible at governing. As I read your comment I thought: given all that why would anyone ever trust conservatives to govern anything? It’d be like hiring the management team from GM to run your business. But that’s a topic for another post.  

  62. toto Says:

    L.G.: IMHO, Seerov has just shown us an illustration of a recurrent theme, namely the middle-class conspirationist who ascribes any perceived ills of society (generally magnified, distorted and caricature beyond recognition) to the scheming of some evil, manipulating caste. "How can people possibly disagree with me? Clearly they must be brainwashed by teh conspiratorz!" Any academic finding that the subject finds objectionable (e.g. that the first modern humans were dark-skinned, as mentioned in a previous thread) is automatically marked not only as inherently falsed, but also as further proof of "the conspiracy".
    More generally, the far-left looniness in the humanities started in the 60s as a reaction to a perceived lack of questioning about the historical record of American actions. That’s the "US is good, period" narrative that Reagan espouses in the above passage. If the US’ sole purpose in Europe was to defend freedom  and democracy, how do you explain something like Gladio?.
    The US, just like any other country in the world, has both ideals and interests, and defends both in varying proportions.

  63. tdaxp Says:

     If the US’ sole purpose in Europe was to defend freedom  and democracy, how do you explain something like Gladio?.That communism is an ideology hostile to both freedom and democracy?

  64. Lexington Green Says:

    "we often approach history with emotional responses and more dispassionate analyses and that both are legitimate and that the way we teach history should account for both because it better prepares people to deal with the ambiguities often found in history and in contemporary decisionmaking"
    Thanks for making it clear you  don’t care about my opinions about he Iraq War,
    Here are some things I don’t care about your views and thinking.
    "given all that why would anyone ever trust conservatives to govern anything?"
    First: Bush wasn’t a conservative, much like Obama, he was a bait-and-switch candidate.  Second:  the real lesson, why should we trust any president with anything important?  That opens up the question of why Obama should be "trusted" with any of his trillion-dollar-scale programs.  It is the system, not the man, or even the ideology, that is the problem. 

  65. phil Says:

    "my point had nothing to do with your opinion of the Iraq war (which I don’t really care about)"   That’s not because I don’t value your views (I am a regular reader of Chicago Boys and enjoy your posts even when I disagree with them) but rather because your views about the Iraq war had nothing to do with the point I was making. You could have called Iraq "the great glorious crusade" and I could have made the same point. I was not disagreeing with your view, nor was I criticizing it nor judging it right or wrong nor good or bad. I was simply using the way you articulated your views as an example. I could have created a hypothetical example but instead chose one from the comment thread itself to keep my comment relevant to the discussion. Next time maybe I’ll use a hypothetical.   …   "Bush wasn’t a conservative, much like Obama, he was a bait-and-switch candidate."   I’ve been reading that kind of thing all over the blogosphere since last November, but I just don’t buy it.  There has to be more accountability than the "It wasn’t the true conservatives it was those evil neo-cons and RINOs and squishes, and Bush, hell, he wasn’t even a real conservative-we were duped!" (I’m not attributing those views to you, just the kind of thing I’ve seen a lot of) Conservatives can’t govern as badly as you said they did and then avoid self-examination by blaming scapegoats.    "It is the system, not the man, or even the ideology, that is the problem."   I’d say it’s the system, the man, and the ideology. The system and ideology (left and right) are outdated relics of the industrial age and will at some point go the way of the steel industry and GM, and the men are driven as they always have been by greed for power.  

  66. Seerov Says:

    "Seerov has just shown us an illustration of a recurrent theme, namely the middle-class conspirationist who ascribes any perceived ills of society (generally magnified, distorted and caricature beyond recognition) to the scheming of some evil, manipulating caste."  (toto)
    Instead of distorting and characterizing my lecture beyond recognition, why not point out an aspect of it you feel is wrong and then try to make a logical argument for why I’m incorrect? 

  67. Lexington Green Says:

    Phil sorry for the unnecessary edge in my response, and I appreciate your kind words.
    Conservatism and Republicanism do not completely overlap.  Bush, like the rest of his family, is a big government Republican.  So, I did not simply say Bush is not a conservative because he was a failure.  He really did not think or act like one, using Ronald Reagan as an ideal type.   Reagan would not have started the Iraq war for the reasons that we now know really motivated Bush, or his advisers and Vice President, who the evidence shows actually made the decisions for him and told him what to do and say.

  68. Nursery Decoration&nbsp; Says:

    i like those ergonomic chairs that uses leather covers:’:

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