What should a person reasonably know – concluding part

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Tiberius Gracchus asks, quite reasonably:

Firstly I’m not sure what your [James Higham’s] theory has to do with ideologies of empire in Britain during the 16th and 17th Centuries.

The answer to this is quite complicated but I’ll go into this below.  Tiberius also says:

Secondly, as for the theory itself. I disagree with it. I see no trace of it in my own research. Nor do I see any trace of it in the Enlightenment.

Not entirely unlike Mandy Rice-Davies who said, “Well he would, wouldn’t he?” I have to say, “Well you wouldn’t have seen any trace of these in your own research, would you, dear friend?”  You have been subject to the same three-card trick I was at university and subsequently.

We all rise in our professions and are counted increasingly wise and knowledgeable in those professions – Tiberius strikes me as a thorough, quick and knowledgeable scholar of a certain gravitas which reveals itself in his readership, which contains intellectuals.  He is also a friend of mine.

However, like Philby and Burgess before him, he was on a hiding to nothing in his academically formative years, as we all were.  A little snippet in a reply is an indicator here.  Tiberius had answered me and then added, for good measure, in response to my using the the name Moses Mordecai Marx Levy [KM’s birth name]:

And lastly Karl Marx’s name was Karl Heinrich Marx – that was how he desired to be called and that is how he is known on this blog.

There is considerable stick in that remark and it’s a fair point actually.  I hold out my wrist to be slapped for daring to employ Karl’s real name  – he is a figure of veneration in academic circles for his fine work, a view that, say, a Churchill, Ayn Rand, Rothbard, Hayek, Burke, de Maistre, Kirk, von Mises et al would hotly dispute.

The three-card trick

When a young man is accepted into an institution of higher learning in this country and in fact, all round the world, he is given, in this subject, many suggested names on a reading list.  It’s quite cleverly done and circumvents any criticism that the list is biased – the professor[s] who compiled the list can claim that all major views are represented and that is so.

The problem is in the professor, the lecturers and the tutors themselves, in that they were appointed by the faculty in the first place by people of a certain bent and these were appointed by those before them and so on.  When I became a tutor, I was asked by a fellow tutor, only in conversation, mind, whether I was a humanist.  Tiberius may or may not be so, I have no idea about his politics or the full spectrum of his views but he is more than sympathetic to Karl and is defending him against my slur, all of which is revealing.

Though many works were on the reading list in my faculty and though the library, naturally, contained “alternative theories”, they were certainly not taken as central in the course and instead, Shaw, Webb, the classical philosophers, Hegel, Kant and so on were the reading stressed.  Though, to be fair, the course work questions were often open-ended, the slant was towards these philosophies because they were what had been bandied about in tutorials and as I was an ignorant student still at that stage, one tended to be led and then to read a bit more widely [encouraged with suggested references] but it all tended to certain points of view.

Not one Christian point of view was represented on any of those reading lists – not one.  Not Dostoyevsky [existentialist], van den Driesche, Augustine of Hippo, Robinson, Zimmer and so on were ever treated in any depth but as a counterpoint to the main thrust.  This in a seat of learning where the prevailing and guiding principles of the society in which the university found itself was Christian and the Monarch was the Defender of the Faith.

The way to a high mark was to echo the professors, displaying wider reading and if some of that reading treated the alternates, then it was to illustrate the errors in the approach.  I tested this out a few times but never in the exams themselves.

That this is an outrageous state of affairs is so but the broader community neither knows nor cares about what is seen as some scholastic in-fighting.  And the students themselves – precisely at that questioning age where the status quo is to be challenged, along with orthodoxy – which views would be vilified and which lionized, in your opinion?  You know the old adage – socialism is the province of the young and conservatism for those who’ve grown out of socialism.

This was repeated in the 60s and 70s with the next wave of suffragetism – feminism and we needn’t go into how the school texts have been expurgated and the reading lists altered in the last two decades, replaced by “more sound” authors.  Shakespeare himself was a misogynist apparently.  I knew a few bloggers from Harvard and they used to rail against all this, especially about the appropriately named Faust, an out and out feminazi who took over that learned institution and the stories of her slanted approach are legion.

So, as I’ve commented a few times, it’s not Tiberius’ fault that he has never read the history I have because he never saw the necessity to depart from the mainstream, except in the direction of further and further reading about the threads he concerns himself with, which are bias-neutral in themselves, no question there, simply in the nature of enquiry but at the same time, they are not the threads which I pursued or in the case of Marx, which I pursued from an equal and opposite bias.

Snippets

1789 – Violence erupts in France.

1796 – Freemasonry becomes a major issue in the Presidential election in the United States. John Adams wins the election by opposing Masonry.

1816 – Congress grants a 20-year charter to the Bank of the United States.

1821 – Hegel formulates his dialect.

1828 – MAR’s “Allow me to issue and control the money of a nation …” speech.

1829 – British Illuminist Frances “Fanny” Wright gave a series of lectures in the United States, mentioning and trying to set up a movement that would be called “Communism.”

1848 – Moses Mordecai Marx Levy, wrote “The Communist Manifesto.”

The rest was history – the labour movement, suffragettes and destabilization across Europe.

Within this context, the imperialist [i.e. the lucrative] push for empire was being undertaken.  I mentioned the Venetians in this post.  The dispute there was over my treatment of Aristotle, not over the Venetians themselves.

Alternative history

History is written by the victor.

That is why the gnostics were ignored and the apocrypha was an academic exercise for so many hundreds of years, the State, which relied on a twisting of selected passages from the Bible to keep the people subservient had no interest in alternative, questioning philosophies to be widely read and when they were thrust on people in the rise of labour in the 1880s and thereabouts, they were attacked and attempts were made to suppress them.

This does not mean then that the Marxist history is not history.  It might be misguided and Marx himself guilty of slides and logical jumps which support the theory he is pushing, he may have been seized on and misconstrued by later political movements such as the Bolsheviks but his history was history just as much as proper philosophers [I’m more than happy to admit my bias] such as Hayek and Friedman.

Don’t even let me get started on Natural Selection in evolution and how this fraud has been perpetrated on academia and thus onto the broader community.

Thus you won’t read in any mainstream reading list of the Knights of Christ in Africa and the West Indies or of what Grand Master Henry the Navigator or Vasco da Gama were really up to.  You won’t read of why Robert the Bruce had no interest in persecuting the Order or what the Hyksos ruler, Apophis was up to and how Simeon and Levi were enmeshed in subsequent events.  You won’t read of  Jubelo, Jubela, and Jubelum.

You won’t read the alternative history of Cornelius Agrippa, the German magician, who wrote about the Templars; Paracelsus, the alchemist and founder of chemistry and modern medicine; Dr. John Dee, the Elizabethan astrologer and cabalist or Giordana Bruno, the Hermetic philosopher who was burnt at the stake during the Inquisition.

You mightn’t have read of why Yizhtak Rabin was killed or why, following Dunblane and Hungerford stringent new gun legislation passed through parliament.  You mightn’t have read what the former head of the WHO, Brock Chisholm, also 1959 Humanist of the Year, wrote in the February 1946 issue of psychiatry:

“It is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, their loyalty to the family tradition, national patriotism and religious dogmas … We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday and day school teachers, our politicians and our priests.

The reinterpretation and eradication of the concept of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of old people, these are the belate objectives … for charting the changes in human behaviour.”

There is the Labour manifesto in one.

Enter Spock in the 1950s and the reds in the halls of learning.  Notice the citing of key concepts into bundles to be taken as a whole or not at all [the favourite technique of the Chinese Communists].

“Intelligent and rational” refer, in that quote, to ditching family and nation and adherents to those two concepts are believers of old wives’ tales.

This is honesty?  This is open and honest discussion?  Why does it take minor bloggers, in the context of the sphere, to bring these things up for discussion?

12 comments for “What should a person reasonably know – concluding part

  1. January 21, 2010 at 09:45

    I am a big fan of Hayek and Friedman too – Selma Hayek and Kinky Friedman that is…

  2. January 21, 2010 at 09:50

    You asked, “Why does it take minor bloggers, in the context of the sphere, to bring these things up for discussion?”

    Like maybe for the same reason, that little boy asked, “Err.. Why is the Emperor wearing no clothes?”.

  3. January 21, 2010 at 09:51

    ps. I wuite like Fried chicken. ^_^

  4. January 21, 2010 at 10:03

    I opted for further education in Physics and Mathematics but took it upon myself to study Hegel, Kant, Marx etc in my own time so that I may debate with the philosophers in my leisure. I was however grievously disappointed by their shallow reasoning and found the philosopher’s arguments immature and unworthy. So I joined a blues band instead.

  5. January 21, 2010 at 10:17

    A worthy reaction – which blues were you playing, may I ask? Was there any particular master whose technique you held to be worthy of emulation?

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    January 21, 2010 at 15:23

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  7. January 21, 2010 at 19:52

    James- you don’t know what I studied at university- just to correct you I didn’t study Marx and did study Adam Smith, I never studied Keynes but did use Hayek’s works in essays. I was forced to do a bible test in my first week as an undergraduate- where we had a day of exams on the bible, on individual texts and then writing essays on how the bible had been interpreted. You don’t know what I did and did not do so how you can presume to say what I have and have not done I don’t know.

    I thought your comment about Marx was faintly anti-semitic rather than being anything to do with Marx’s philosophy- quite how that would be affected by what name he had I’m not sure. Marx was called by his family and friends Karl Heinrich Marx, sorry about that but its true.

    Lastly the reason why I disagree with your theories is that I have actually read the primary sources in my period. As I point out in my reply to you I have actually read every single letter written by Oliver Cromwell- most in manuscript and I have read the entire minutes of every meeting of the New Model Army between 1647 and 1654, not to mention hundreds of pamphlets and thousands of other letters- not one mentions the illuminati or this theory you have. I don’t know what research you have been doing but it does not seem to cover the seventeenth century at all.

    All I pointed out to you was that it might be worth reading some introductions to the enlightenment before you assume you know everything there is to know about it: you have written before that it was atheistic- but there were religious writers like Paley, you have written that it was anticapitalist- Smith was a leading enlightenment figure. I’m sorry but I don’t accept your historical arguments and you are going to have to show me documents- not quotes dragged off the web, but original documents from the period to prove that you are right and you have to prove, patiently, that every single moment that you have want to include in that theory should be included in that theory. Its not enough to quote Washington (and not include where the comment is sourced from) to prove the Jacobins were illuminati, you have to define Jacobin and illuminati rigorously (ie named individuals) and then prove contact between them and then prove that these illuminati are related to your later illuminati.

    I don’t like attacking a blogfriend- and I do not mean to make more comments or posts on this issue- I should remind you that my post on which you commented was actually about the early theories of empire in British history, linked to the question of how Englishmen saw Britain from Edwardian times onwards.

    Incidentally the fact that you accuse me of Marxist history is rather amusing, if you look at my PHD I spend quite a long time in the introduction attacking many of the leading Marxist historians and my supervisor was and is a practising Roman Catholic!

  8. January 21, 2010 at 19:56

    I should clarify that I’m not accusing you of being anti-semitic- just that I’m not sure why you would want to stress that Marx’s name was whatever you put it down as rather than ‘Karl Marx’- if I failed to grasp your point I apologise.

  9. January 21, 2010 at 20:23

    “All I pointed out to you was that it might be worth reading some introductions to the enlightenment before you assume”

    Tiberius, argument ad hominem is not becoming. Why do you assume I have not read those sources? The very reason I wrote what I did was because I had. When I don’t know a topic, I don’t write about it. Why do you assume that my sources are not primary? The actual words they spoke.

    Attacking me does not negate the argument in the least.

    “James- you don’t know what I studied at university.”

    A point I made at the start so that we wouldn’t descend to a “my historicity is sounder than thine” basis. This is why my sources are primary in the main.

  10. January 21, 2010 at 20:54

    History was also, traditionally,written by men. All the feminists were trying to do was to ensure that the lives and thoughts of women were known about, to complete the picture. I am a contemporary of yours, James and when I went to university we read authors both ancient and modern, from both sides of the political spectrum, then made up our own minds. I in fact read most of my beloved de Beauvoir later. As for faculty staff “being of a certain bent” , well, universities are founts of new ideas as well as of knowledge and one of the jobs of academics is to teach students to question everything. And people who question the status quo do not usually hail from the right.

  11. January 21, 2010 at 22:10

    No particular master, I simply learned to stop taking myself so seriously and just enjoy the blues.

  12. January 22, 2010 at 08:10

    “And people who question the status quo do not usually hail from the right.”

    The left has been around long enough to develop its own orthodoxy.

Comments are closed.