"Those who cannot remember the past…
March 20, 2007 Leave a comment
… are condemned to to quote Santayana.”
Anthony Gregory: The modern right has fully embraced humanitarian war, in ways more than even the Wilsonian left ever did. But maybe it’s just to defend Bush.
Anthony Gregory: Rightwingers are amazing in their ignorance. Whenever I meet a young Republican (or an older one!) it’s astonishing how little they know of their heritage.
bkmarcus: This didn’t use to be the case — or at least, there was greater polarization. Knee-jerk rightwingers were probably always as ignorant as the stereotypes, but now the rightwing intellectuals barely know their history. One thing that becomes clearer and clearer to me over time — and something that seems so obvious when stated that I can’t believe how hard a point this is to make — is that government schools will never really teach history. Never. They can’t. The system just won’t allow it. I had an unbelievably biased history [private] schooling, but maybe it was better than the government-school alternative. Maybe strongly leftist history is better than bland statist establishment history.
Anthony Gregory: It is.
Strongly leftist history + an appreciation of markets = a pretty good sense of history.
Establishment statist history + an appreciation of markets = conservative establishment statist history.
A leftwinger who learns economics becomes either a libertarian or a neocon. It depends how they learn economics. If from Austrian economists, they have a chance at salvation. If from making lots of money in the semi-private sector, they have a larger chance at becoming cynical, abandoning their radicalism, and embracing the American system, including its "capitalist" wars.
See also one of Anthony Gregory‘s first articles:
"First, to the extent that government successfully provides little Jimmy with academic skills, he grows up thinking that only the government can teach such skills. Second, insofar as the government fails to endow little Jimmy with scholastic and intellectual prowess, he grows up that much more docile, uncritical, malleable. Either way, the government comes out ahead."