It is often said that we never seem to ‘learn from history.’ Perhaps in today’s context it can be further argued that it is impossible to learn from history given that history is being re-written to reflect a past that just wasn’t so.
This false depiction of history has been described as part of the so-called ‘cancel culture’ movement, a movement that has adopted all of the evils of the collectivist regimes defeated in World War II. Indeed, the history of the Western nations since the defeat of Hitler and the Nazi regime in 1945 reflects a philosophical shift towards the very collectivism that was fought against.
In the Western world today, our governments are openly adopting Marxist ideology under the guise of ‘equity,’ ‘racism,’ ‘white supremacy,’ ‘climate change,’ and even of fighting a viral pandemic. What all these seemingly unrelated issues have in common is that they are manufactured crisis designed to expand the power of the state at the expense of individual freedom.
How did we get here? That’s the question our guest Salim Mansur addresses as he describes Marx’s binary notion of the oppressor and the oppressed, a false notion that continues to be accepted as grounds for the destruction of individual freedom.
The parable of the grasshopper and the squirrel illustrates this lesson from history, suggests Salim.
In Marxist terms, the squirrel that gathers nuts and berries to prepare for the winter season has created savings and investment that result in capital. As a ‘capitalist,’ the squirrel is therefore the ‘oppressor.’ The grasshopper, who has made no such effort and therefore has no capital upon which to draw his sustenance when labor alone will not suffice is seen by Marxism as the ‘oppressed.’
Having thus created a false dichotomy, Marxism would see the inequity of wealth between the squirrel and the grasshopper as an ‘injustice’ requiring the redistribution of capital from those who earned it to those who did not. But if there’s one thing that history has demonstrated decisively, it is that all forms of wealth redistribution eventually demand a redistribution of rights, which in turn results in inequality under some form of totalitarianism – the ultimate oppression of the many by the few.
By misrepresenting history in a way to portray ‘past injustices’ that were not so, and by justifying the destruction of freedom in the name of ‘equity,’ our modern-day intellectuals, politicians and governments are once again leading us down the path towards tyranny.
To learn anything from history that can help us prevent repeating its worst outcomes today first requires an epistemological demonstration that the history we ‘know’ is the history that is Just Right.
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