Elsewhere on the internet...

The League of Reason has some social media accounts! You can find us on Facebook or on Twitter for some interesting links and things.

Revisionist History

Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 3 posts ] 
Revisionist History
Author Message
AndiferousUser avatarPosts: 2727Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:00 amLocation: Laputa Gender: Time Lord

Post Revisionist History

I often see political and commercial spins on events over time, and I have started to wonder how much 'revisionist history'' is out there these days. By revisionist, I mean rewriting historical events and facts; and because it's already happened, doing this makes it a bit difficult to see the truth through the propoganda.

I can't think of any obvious and documented examples offhand. Anyway, I'm curious to know and hope to find some examples. (nudge nudge theyounghistorian ;)) And do you think we're being hoodwinked into accepting revivionist history today? Like the entertainment news, and such (my god, what will the next two generations think of us at present, with our 'historican sources'. lol).
"As there seemed no measure between what Watt could understand, and what he could not, so there seemed none between what he deemed certain, and what he deemed doubtful."
~ Samuel Beckett, Watt
Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:58 am
Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: Revisionist History

Well, maybe TheYoungHistorian will back me up on this but Revisionist History is an essential field of History. It allows us to look past the propaganda and bias of any given era (or that of the later era in which the history was recorded), and gain a more accurate understanding of what actually transpired. In some senses, everything that Historians do is revisionist; especially regarding eras like the Early Middle Ages in which we are unlikely to discover too many new sources of information - all that remains is to correctly interpret what we have. In other cases, it's vital to clearing up common misconceptions (for instance one of my favorite books: The Best War Ever.)

The subject has been given a black name on account of reactionary elements in society who do not like it when their children aren't taught exactly the same propaganda they were.



That said, there is actually quite a lot of misinformation out there. More then I could ever possibly describe in brief. I recomend a book: Lies My Teacher Told Me, at least with regards to American History.
Our prefrontal lobes are too small. Much too small. That's a problem of the birth canal, I'm very sorry to say for those that like their birth canals... tight.
-C. Hitchens.
Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:14 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: Revisionist History

Andiferous wrote:I often see political and commercial spins on events over time, and I have started to wonder how much 'revisionist history'' is out there these days. By revisionist, I mean rewriting historical events and facts; and because it's already happened, doing this makes it a bit difficult to see the truth through the propoganda.

I can't think of any obvious and documented examples offhand. Anyway, I'm curious to know and hope to find some examples. (nudge nudge theyounghistorian ;)) And do you think we're being hoodwinked into accepting revivionist history today? Like the entertainment news, and such (my god, what will the next two generations think of us at present, with our 'historican sources'. lol).


Sorry Andiferous in that i took so long to answer your query, Unfortunately the motherboard inside my old laptop completely broke down to a state where it couldn't be repaired, and seeing i was short of money, I had to endure what i consider to be a 2 month internet drought til Christmas to recieve a brand new one. The real tragedy is that I've lost all my Sources and quotations, Thus i have to start again from scratch.

But to answer your question anyway, How much revisionism is going on? The Simple but (I Know) elusive answer is "More than you (Or in Fact: I) think". I, as you can hopefully tell by now by reading my posts in other threads, Study Nazi Germany, And in this field there is currently an Ideological War that has broken out on whether the Nazis were Socialist or not. I say "ideological" because the chief protagonists for the motion seem all to be Neo-con revisionists, Goldberg and Beck etc. I would argue there is certainly A campaign to hoodwink you, into their paticular view. This kind of "illegitimate historical revisionism", along with things like Holocaust denial, Denial of Japanese war crimes etc: Is sometimes called negationism. It's a Denial of Historical Reality.

If you want an "Official" Example of a Govt rewriting History for it's own ideological purposes. Consider This Times Article.

Times Article wrote:From The Times July 30, 2007

Textbooks rewrite history to fit Putin's visionTony Halpin in Moscow As Russia flexes its foreign policy muscles against the West and President Putin enjoys record approval ratings, the Kremlin is turning its attention to schools to instil a new sense of nationalism in children.

Two new manuals for teachers have been accused of glossing over the horrors of the Soviet Union and of including propaganda to promote Mr Putin's vision of a strong state.

One, for social studies teachers, presents as fact Mr Putin's view that the Soviet collapse was "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century". It describes the United States as bent on creating a global empire and determined to isolate Russia from its neighbours.

Many of those behind the second book, a history of Russia from 1945 to 2006, have close links to the Kremlin. Its final chapter is titled Sovereign Democracy, a term coined by a key Kremlin aide, Vladislav Surkov, as an ideological justification for Mr Putin's authoritarian rule.

The chapter quotes Mr Surkov repeatedly and praises Mr Putin as the man responsible for "practically every significant deed" in Russia since 2000, when he became President.

Mr Putin's most controversial actions are shown in an approving light, including the destruction of the Yukos oil company and the imprisonment of its chairman, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The book describes this as an "unambiguous message" to business to "obey the law, pay your taxes and don't try to put yourselves above the Government", adding: "They got the message."

Mr Putin's support for Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine's rigged presidential election of 2004 is also defended. Mass protests in the Orange revolution eventually brought his pro-Western rival, Viktor Yushchenko, to power, but the manual states: "Yanukovych was the only candidate capable of truly resisting Yushchenko. So Russia's choice was clear."

The book describes Josef Stalin as "the most successful Soviet leader ever" and dismisses the prison labour camps and mass purges as a necessary part of his drive to make the country great. The manuals are intended to serve as the basis for developing new textbooks in schools next year, though Education Ministry officials insisted that they would not be compulsory.

Mr Putin gave them his seal of approval at a conference he hosted for teachers at his presidential dacha last month. He described Stalin's Great Purge of 1937, in which 1.5 million people were imprisoned and 700,000 killed, as terrible "but in other countries even worse things happened". Discounting the Soviet Union's long history of oppression, he said: "We had no other black pages, such as Nazism, for instance."

Leonid Polyakov, editor of the social studies manual, told Mr Putin that Russia was "disarmed ideologically" after the Soviet collapse, leaving other countries to judge whether it was a democracy. He said: "We are developing a national ideology that represents the vision of ourselves as a nation, as Russians, a vision of our own identity. Teachers will then be able to incorporate this national ideology, this vision, into their practical work in a normal way and use it to develop a civic and patriotic position."

Pavel Danilin, who wrote the chapter on Sovereign Democracy, told The Times that it explained the "core transformation" of Russia under Mr Putin. "We understand that the only guarantee for our democracy is our sovereignty, our strong state, our strong army, our strong economy and our strong nation," he said. "It is not an ideology. It is just common sense. And my intention was to explain that common sense to teachers."

Mr Danilin, 30, is a projects manager at the Effective Policy Foundation, a think-tank with close links to the Kremlin. He was more blunt about his intentions on his web blog in response to criticism from teachers that much of the book was simply Kremlin propaganda. "You will teach children in line with the books you are given and in the way Russia needs," he wrote, adding that schools had to "clear the filth and if it doesn't work, then clear it by force".

Alexander Filippov, who edited the history manual, is deputy head of another research institute linked to the Kremlin. He told The Times that the book was a response to the poor quality of existing textbooks and that "sovereign democracy is not proposed as the national ideology for schools".




Anachronous Rex wrote:Well, maybe TheYoungHistorian will back me up on this but Revisionist History is an essential field of History. It allows us to look past the propaganda and bias of any given era (or that of the later era in which the history was recorded), and gain a more accurate understanding of what actually transpired. In some senses, everything that Historians do is revisionist; especially regarding eras like the Early Middle Ages in which we are unlikely to discover too many new sources of information - all that remains is to correctly interpret what we have. In other cases, it's vital to clearing up common misconceptions.


This Kind of Revisionism, what Rex is alluding to and What i personaly like to call "Positive Revisionism" (Because of the way it conforms to reality, and also the word to me distinguishes it from "negationism". whether Rex calls it something else, I Dont Know) is a part of the normal scholarly processes.

Hopefully this answer your questions
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:43 am
Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 3 posts ] 
Return to Art, Culture & History

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests
cron