Monday, October 10, 2016

Principles of History

Are there any? Supposedly not. As far as I know, that idea is rejected by contemporary historians as an outmoded relic of history. In other words, historians used to think history meant something. Now we know it means nothing -- that any patterns we see are superimposed, that it never repeats itself, and that it has no intrinsic direction.

Even if true, how could one know that?

But more to the point, I really don't feel like blogging this morning. Last night, before going to bed, the idea of writing about this subject popped into my head. Must have been a side effect of what I was saying the other day about my never-to-be-written book, Ground and Principle. In short, what is the ground of history? And does it reveal any abstract principles that are always present?

But this morning my mind is on strike. I think it has to do with the Dodgers playing at 1:00 on a Monday afternoon. What the heck? Since when doesn't Los Angeles get a prime-time TV slot?

Stupid Cubs. Just because their streak of futility is of cosmic dimensions, and may finally end, they get the late game. Which throws everything off for Bob. Now I have to hurry up and get my work done before then, which means I should probably get to it right now instead of wasting timelessness blogging.

No, I can't just record the game. That's fine during the regular season, but I can't bring myself to do so for a playoff game.

So here we are, at loggerheads with ourselves. Well, I'm going to force myself to blog, just to show my mind who's in charge.

I just googled "principles of history," and the first thing that comes up is R.G. Collingwood's book of the same title. I've read several of his books, including one called The Idea of History, but not that one.

As to the latter, it says in the introduction that Collingwood began working on it during the late 1930s, when the "revolt against civilization" represented by communism and fascism "had to be resisted at all costs."

That's a good point: fascists and communists certainly had their theories of history, as do Islamists. How do you defend against people who believe that history has ironclad laws assuring your destruction? "Ha ha, the joke's on you, because history means nothing and is going nowhere!"

That's pretty much what we tell the Islamists -- which only means that they are motivated to fight for their principles, whereas the left is too broadminded to have any worth defending.

One of Collingwood's historical principles was the gradual "elimination of force from the relations between people." Woo hoo! Now there's a principle worth defending. Our persistent troll doesn't understand that this is ultimately the principle we are defending in supporting Trump, since Obama and Clinton and the left in general are always about the increase of force between people. Indeed, this goes to the very Principle of America -- its reason for being -- i.e., the principle of ordered liberty.

Last night's question about supreme court appointments was instructive. Trump's was simple, as it should be: that he'll appoint judges who will support and defend the constitution. But Clinton promised to appoint judges who will ignore the constitution and crank out opinions based upon leftist ideology. Her answer was really quite remarkable.

"I want to appoint Supreme Court justices who understand the way the world really works, who have real life experience." Excuse me, but WTF is that supposed to mean? Besides, "understanding the way the world works" is precisely what a liberal cannot do and remain liberal. Liberalism is rooted in a mis- (and sometimes dis-) understanding of both human nature and of the operating principles of spaceship earth.

This actually goes to our subject, because if there are principles of history, it would mean that they transcend perspective. One, er, principle that seems to animate contemporary historians is that history is irreducibly perspectival, which is why we have all these intellectually worthless (if not harmful) disciplines of black history, or queer history, or Chicano history, and all the rest.

I mean, feminists say that math, objectivity, and the scientific method are oppressive tools of white male privilege, so you can imagine what they do to softer subjects. I say: Teach women not to rape history!

When "principles of history" popped into my noggin, the first example I thought of was Churchill, who clearly saw certain patterns and principles at work in the 1930s, but was ignored or vilified by elites who knew better. It is rather remarkable that most everything he said would equally apply to the Islamist threat -- which again goes to the idea that our struggle is against more enduring powers, principalities, and Cosmocrats of the Dark Aeon.

Example.

"If you want to stop war, you gather such an aggregation of force on the side of peace that the aggressor, whoever he may be, will not dare challenge..."

Is that just an opinion, or a principle? For the likes of Obama, it amounts to a lie, hence his reckless project of disarmament and weakening of our military.

Churchill reasoned that "to urge preparation of defense is not to assert the immanence of war. On the contrary, if war was immanent preparations for defense would be too late."

But his opponents -- which was pretty much Everyone -- "repeatedly refused to believe that Hitler was what Hitler was. They had, in short, developed the political equivalent of a mental block." They "believed they were preserving the peace when in fact they were assuring the inevitability of war." And "inevitability" implies a kind of principle at work.

Indeed, Churchill spoke of "the features which constitute the endless repetition of history," of the "long dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind."

Unteachable? Here is what the London Times wrote of a speech of Hitler's in 1936, that it was "reasonable, straightforward, and comprehensive. No one who reads it with an impartial mind can doubt" the peaceful intentions of the Fuhrer. Are these same idiots running the NY Times editorial board and the DNC? No, but the same principalities are.

Must stop. Work to do.

6 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"I want to appoint Supreme Court justices who understand the way the world really works, who have real life experience." Excuse me, but WTF is that supposed to mean?

Bring on the Wise Latinas.

10/10/2016 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Are these same idiots running the NY Times editorial board and the DNC? No, but the same principalities are.

Exactly, which is why if Hillary wins, the result will be disastrous. If Trump wins, God willing, it will be slightly less so.

10/10/2016 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I SUPPORT DISASTER OVER CATASTROPHE!

10/10/2016 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

When I say the left has no principles, I mean no principles.

Their one-two punch is 1) undermine human nature, 2) fill the vacuum with power.

10/10/2016 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"One of Collingwood's historical principles was the gradual "elimination of force from the relations between people." Woo hoo! Now there's a principle worth defending..."

And the Leftist reads that and scratches their head and 'thinks':
"'eliminates'? How ya gonna force everyone to be free, if you've eliminated that?"

And there's the difference between Progress, and Pro-Regress.

10/11/2016 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "I SUPPORT DISASTER OVER CATASTROPHE!"

Yes!

10/11/2016 09:41:00 PM  

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