Sunday, June 11, 2006

"Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia."

It used to be said that to the victor go the spoils. Tempered by the perverse postmodernist keening for the inversion of virtue, it must now be said that to the loser go the proportionately far greater rewards of victimhood. From the New Criterion:

In his book Anti-Americanism […] Revel noted that “culture becomes decadent when it takes to running down other cultures while heaping praises on itself.” We thought of that observation when we read in the London Times about Histoire/Geschichte, a new history textbook commissioned in 2003 by Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder. The book, which will be on the official curriculum in France and Germany beginning in September, was designed to give students “a common vision of post-war history.” But guess what? That “common vision” is systematically anti-American. Surprised? The Times quotes Guillaume Le Quintrec, the leader of the French team of historians, who described Histoire/Geschichte as “unashamedly pro-European ideology” underwritten by distrust and resentment of the United States. The book, which opens in 1945, presents the Cold War as a rivalry between morally equivalent states bent on pursuing an arms race in order to maintain a “balance of terror.” Both the United States and the Soviet Union, the book assures readers, sought to “impose themselves by an omnipresent propaganda” involving “gross exaggerations and simplifications.”
It's hard to see how this annihilation of memory and critical appraisal will result in a gain of intelligence and judgment. But that's not really the objective, is it? HT Minority of One.


Brent Gilliard said...

I'm surprised it took this long. France was never happy to depend on the US for defence and Germany was 1/3 communist.

I wonder what curriculum it's for? I remember reading some pretty pro-Canadian/British stuff in elementary school about the war of 1812. (Burning down the presidential mansion, Laura Secord, defending Montreal, and so on.)

MapMaster said...

Good examples, those, as well. Nothing in the way of curriculum argues well for public education, I'm afraid.

Brent Gilliard said...

True, but I can't think of a better alternative.

How does that saying go about democracy? Thank the gods of google:

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." - Churchill

MapMaster said...

A better alternative to… what? Public education or democracy?

Brent Gilliard said...

Either I suppose.