What is history good for? Should it serve truth, or should it promote ideology? Some may argue that everything is ideology – but that is simply lazy thinking, which is typical of postmodernism. How can notions of socio-political action determine all of reality?
Everything cannot be ideology because there is such a thing as truth which remains unsullied by ideology. What does this mean?
The twin pillars of truth are morality and beauty, neither of which are the consequence of ideology. In other words, truth cannot be ideology because it has nothing to do with human action and does not derive from it (humans can only absorb truth and beauty, like lungs need air).
Truth, thus, is not a derivation – but a manifestation of eternity, which is truth.
This may sound nonsensical, but it really isn’t. Here’s how…
Truth is Logos – the eternal structure of reality, both physical and spiritual. This structure permeates all of life, guiding it to its true and final purpose, or end.
The process of getting to the final end is physical reality. The arrival into the final end, the true purpose, is spiritual reality. Existence cannot be otherwise. It has nothing to do with degraded notions, such as, “ideology.”
The great heresy of modern-day thinking is to ignore, or deride, spiritual reality by claiming that it simply does not exist, or is akin to childish fairy stories.
But whether one acknowledges truth or not makes no difference whatsoever, since truth has nothing to do with ideology…the sun continues to shine, and dark energy behaves as it must.
This means that the concern of history, therefore, is not only human actions and their consequences, in order to explain man to men – but also the interaction of humanity with truth – to explain man to eternity.
In other words, when history considers human actions and their consequences, it is engaged in both physical and spiritual reality. This is why Herodotus is correct when he explains history as cyclical, for the truth, or eternal pattern of history, is occurrence and therefore recurrence.
This means that human handiwork may also be construed into patterns, which are truths, in that these patterns are linked to the moral, or eternal, life of mankind. In other words, in considering human actions and their consequences, history either shows the workings of morality, or its absence.
Such is the use of history.
But there is also another, myopic method of analyzing human actions, which holds truth to be nothing more than political expedience. This method sees the past as a vast storehouse of examples to be trundled out whenever needed to justify ideology.
In other words, there is no intrinsic truth in history – it is just a vast array of information which may be manipulated for rhetorical advantage.
Such is the abuse of history.
Given that the preferred default position in the West is historical amnesia, the abuse of history is now so prevalent that it passes for orthodoxy – and those that might point out this abuse are quickly labeled as, “revisionists.”
Thus, all history is viewed through the lens of Presentism.
Very briefly, Presentism holds that how and what we think today is right – and permanent. After us, people will, forever into eternity, think as we do. We have reached all rightness and there can be no deviation from it. Change in thinking is now impossible, because we have now achieved whatever the human mind is capable of.
Therefore, the past, because it could not think as we do, is forever wrong and must be continually judged by our superior standards so that it might be condemned. (This is one of Michel Foucault’s vilest contributions to modern thought).
In other words, history can only belong in the dustbin – because its sole purpose is to show how very wrong everything was, and how very right we now are.
A refinement of Presentism is Intersectionality (the hallmark of feminism), which seeks to uncover systems of oppression which linger in the present, like some foul odor, and which need to be eliminated by the rightness of the present.
Thus, the past has not given us anything good – only the evils of oppression.
The purpose, then, of education becomes the training of young minds to ferret out “ingrained” systems of oppression, lay them bare in the open air of social condemnation, where they may be destroyed by legal and political decrees. This is the true purpose of human life. All hail, The New Man!
This is why western education has degraded into mental abuse of children – and it remains a point of constant astonishment that parents agree to send their children to undergo such abuse (which can pass under the euphemism of “indoctrination”).
In such a world, it is the highest heresy to ask two questions – “Why?” and “What next?” Condemnation of these questions passes for “morality,” which can then justify censorship, for the best and highest form of Presentist thought is that which conforms and then affirms how and what we think today – by condemning the past.
And what is the telos of Presentism, its endgame? To make humanity as machine-like as possible. In other words, transhumanism.
This is why the sexes must be confused, and then young children taught this confusion as biological fact. This is why sexuality has been unhinged from procreation and transformed into a mechanism to achieve self-gratification.
Indeed, normal procreation is the direst sin in Presentism, which is why abortion is widely and wildly defended as an intrinsic good, and euthanasia is simply declared a human right.
Transhumanism is the true purpose of Presentism. And thus far it is succeeding very well, for it has western society in its thrall – because the acceptance of slavery is far easier than to die resisting it.
Perhaps this explains why western society continues to dive so eagerly into the dark waters of Lethe.
“An educational course in which no reference is made to religion is an absurdity” (Simone Weil).
In the same way, history without morality degrades into propaganda, and becomes an absurdity, leaving men fit only for “treasons, stratagems and spoils.”
In this way, we abuse ourselves and each other, for we practice cruelty as the highest good.