Autodidacticism For Fun And Profit…And As A Duty
In a brilliant essay on ignorances of several types, Stacy McCain zeros-in on a problem conservatives face that often is the cause of their losing the battles for Hearts and Minds:
As dismaying as is this vast ignorance among young liberals, many conservatives are not much better and, in some cases, much worse. Because it has become nearly impossible for any conservative to gain employment in academia — university faculty are nowadays as ideologically “diverse” as Stalin’s Politburo — there is no professional incentive for any conservative to study history in depth.
Sometimes it seems conservatives are trapped in current events, always arguing about whatever’s at the top of the Drudge Report, never bothering to trace our problems back to their historical roots which, as I say, can be found in the French Revolution.
You cannot utterly destroy an enemy unless you know their weak points [and all Tyrants must be destroyed in such a way for true Victory to be achieved].
And you cannot know the enemy’s weak points unless you possess an understanding how and what they think.
And you cannot understand how and what the enemy thinks unless you study their role in History.*
I find myself eternally frustrated watching conservatives debate among themselves and among others these days because, inevitably. you will hear and see arguments made for our Cause that are not based in the historical record. They most often based on Logic, complemented sometimes by Reason, but all it takes a Leftist who is just marginally skilled in the Art Of Debate to run rings around our seemingly dry arguments. The Left is very proficient in tugging at the heart strings or raising envy and jealousy — in other words: appealing to the emotions of those who don’t think too hard. In such a situation, we, with our Logic and Reason, don’t stand a chance. Bringing an understanding of the rich History of Human Life to an argument enlivens, gives color, to one’s arguments. Being accomplished at Logic just makes you a Vulcan.
Could This Be One Explanation?
Further: This lack of historical knowledge is why the conservatives on a show, such as The Five, are constantly baffled by the behavior of the Obama Administration. None of what the latter do are surprising to anyone who has studied the history of Leftist movements and Leftist Thinking.
The Founders hoped that their Posterity would embrace History because they understood that their success during and after the War For Independence owed a great deal to their understanding of History, especially of Tyranny and Despots.
That so many of us on the Right are just as ignorant of History as our Enemies on the Left is another, main cause of The Present Crisis.
We should know better.
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*The same is true, by the way, for making the case for Freedom and Ordered Liberty. You have to read what The Founders themselves wrote and histories of that period by reputable historians.