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Questions about the subject of History in general.

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posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 09:53 PM
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(Somebody needs to get the boss to start a 'Socialist Forum' .....
)

Does History 'repeat'? or just 'rhyme'?

Does the 'winner' write the history books?

Is there such a thing as revisionist history? Where is that line or any regarding 'history' the trust in the tomes or the consensus of the 'facts'?

Is revisionist history actually different aspects stressed than the originals or outright and deliberate alterations. Where's the line? Who decides?

I would really like a comfort zone, so to speak, where to place the valuable source History gives us and when not to overly trust either.

All of this in general, an overview, how much worth or skepticism to assign it as a subject/tool.

Help would be appreciated...




posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 10:07 PM
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I feel you can make your own decisions.. Because in the end you can trust whatever you want. The difference is between truth and validity. But that is philosophy. At the same time if you read from a French textbook about world was two it will read different than a German textbook on the same subject. If we remember the same events differently, are both wrong? More importantly what difference does it make to you personally? That is the value of history.



posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 10:11 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

As far as "revisionist" history, the trend is normally more of a "corrective" history. For example, the details and accounts of Christopher Columbus has always been around but that didn't stop a Jingoist curriculum to form a myth of heroic exploration around the man. Now we know better and people sometimes think that's "revisionist" history when, in truth, nothing was added; we just stopped lying about it.



posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 10:24 PM
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originally posted by: Sillyosaurus
I feel you can make your own decisions.. Because in the end you can trust whatever you want. The difference is between truth and validity. But that is philosophy. At the same time if you read from a French textbook about world was two it will read different than a German textbook on the same subject. If we remember the same events differently, are both wrong? More importantly what difference does it make to you personally? That is the value of history.


A nice summation.

For myself, the resentment of memorizing dates with events morphed into a romantic experience learning about extraordinary individuals and events of WWII.

That faded with age.

Now, history, for me, seems restricted to correcting/countering those using overstressed/false/misinterpreted 'history' to further individual and political agenda.

A general redefining seems to be occurring...little to hang one's hat on left....



posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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originally posted by: Abysha
a reply to: nwtrucker

As far as "revisionist" history, the trend is normally more of a "corrective" history. For example, the details and accounts of Christopher Columbus has always been around but that didn't stop a Jingoist curriculum to form a myth of heroic exploration around the man. Now we know better and people sometimes think that's "revisionist" history when, in truth, nothing was added; we just stopped lying about it.


Good point.



posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 10:27 PM
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Well, usually the revisionist term is used to refer to a version that is mostly opposed to the official record.
Still, historians usually hate to be tagged as revisionists, cause what they do is history, plain history. When you label a book as revisionist history, then you are making a difference between history, the scientific discipline, and what that scholar wrote.
Revisionism, is a term that is coined by the "winners", cause you see what they write is History, everything else falls under the revisionism sphere, and as such, must be looked into with a grain of salt.

The only way to get a good idea with what you are dealing with, is throughly examining the works and the authors as well. If you get to know what the historian's background is, then you will have an idea what his interests and general conceptions are, having a better perspective of his mental structure. On the other hand, the only real answer lies in the sources, if you want to get to the bottom of it go to the sources, historians say Hitler killed 6 mill. jews, don't believe what they say, the more skeptic the better, go ahead and check the sources to be certain of it.



posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 10:35 PM
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originally posted by: payta
Well, usually the revisionist term is used to refer to a version that is mostly opposed to the official record.
Still, historians usually hate to be tagged as revisionists, cause what they do is history, plain history. When you label a book as revisionist history, then you are making a difference between history, the scientific discipline, and what that scholar wrote.
Revisionism, is a term that is coined by the "winners", cause you see what they write is History, everything else falls under the revisionism sphere, and as such, must be looked into with a grain of salt.

The only way to get a good idea with what you are dealing with, is throughly examining the works and the authors as well. If you get to know what the historian's background is, then you will have an idea what his interests and general conceptions are, having a better perspective of his mental structure. On the other hand, the only real answer lies in the sources, if you want to get to the bottom of it go to the sources, historians say Hitler killed 6 mill. jews, don't believe what they say, the more skeptic the better, go ahead and check the sources to be certain of it.


Ok. Following your advice...

Argentina...German slant? Losers? ....6 million Jews? Marginalization?......ache....



posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 11:07 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

You know. With the end of books it will be easier to paint whatever history one desires. I mean I love trees but electronic word is so sketchy with sources...




posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 11:11 PM
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The past, and the truth of it, is a great void illumined by some few candles - a letter written by a King or President, a diary written in a safe house, a census report, a ship's log, a poem, a song lyric intended as a secret map to freedom, a story passed down, the voice of scriptures and the carving of statues, the building of monuments, notes taken by the scribes and scrawlers of history.

These small bits of star amidst the unknown create the story of our collective past.

We tend to idealize our history (especially for patriotic reasons), and the people involved in it, like grown-ups often do of their own childhood - and we like stories that make us look good. To see what happened, when, to whom and by whom and to glean the why of it all with clear eyes; that is the work of the historian who goes spelunking into cavernous libraries and dusting through archeological digs hoping to catch yet another light that will confirm, expand or even alter our vision of the past.

Okay, enough poeticalish musings. You raise good questions. An answer then, is to take the time to analyze source documents and surrounding supporting materials rather than rely only on the interpretations of a given historian, to read more than one slant about what happened, to dig, and hope to see the light.

Historians are the forensic specialists of the past, they can also be the judge and jury, so its best always to analyze the facts.

peace,
AB



posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 11:32 PM
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originally posted by: payta
Well, usually the revisionist term is used to refer to a version that is mostly opposed to the official record.
Still, historians usually hate to be tagged as revisionists, cause what they do is history, plain history. When you label a book as revisionist history, then you are making a difference between history, the scientific discipline, and what that scholar wrote.
Revisionism, is a term that is coined by the "winners", cause you see what they write is History, everything else falls under the revisionism sphere, and as such, must be looked into with a grain of salt.

The only way to get a good idea with what you are dealing with, is throughly examining the works and the authors as well. If you get to know what the historian's background is, then you will have an idea what his interests and general conceptions are, having a better perspective of his mental structure. On the other hand, the only real answer lies in the sources, if you want to get to the bottom of it go to the sources, historians say Hitler killed 6 mill. jews, don't believe what they say, the more skeptic the better, go ahead and check the sources to be certain of it.


An afterthought.

Assuming an objective interest in the actual numbers of the Holocaust. I.B.M. was contracted to maintain a complete record of all internees. Perhaps they would save much research.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 11:35 PM
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originally posted by: AboveBoard
The past, and the truth of it, is a great void illumined by some few candles - a letter written by a King or President, a diary written in a safe house, a census report, a ship's log, a poem, a song lyric intended as a secret map to freedom, a story passed down, the voice of scriptures and the carving of statues, the building of monuments, notes taken by the scribes and scrawlers of history.

These small bits of star amidst the unknown create the story of our collective past.

We tend to idealize our history (especially for patriotic reasons), and the people involved in it, like grown-ups often do of their own childhood - and we like stories that make us look good. To see what happened, when, to whom and by whom and to glean the why of it all with clear eyes; that is the work of the historian who goes spelunking into cavernous libraries and dusting through archeological digs hoping to catch yet another light that will confirm, expand or even alter our vision of the past.

Okay, enough poeticalish musings. You raise good questions. An answer then, is to take the time to analyze source documents and surrounding supporting materials rather than rely only on the interpretations of a given historian, to read more than one slant about what happened, to dig, and hope to see the light.

Historians are the forensic specialists of the past, they can also be the judge and jury, so its best always to analyze the facts.

peace,
AB



No argument from me.

What about the rest of we dilettantes? What do we do??



posted on Dec, 17 2015 @ 11:51 PM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker

originally posted by: payta
Well, usually the revisionist term is used to refer to a version that is mostly opposed to the official record.
Still, historians usually hate to be tagged as revisionists, cause what they do is history, plain history. When you label a book as revisionist history, then you are making a difference between history, the scientific discipline, and what that scholar wrote.
Revisionism, is a term that is coined by the "winners", cause you see what they write is History, everything else falls under the revisionism sphere, and as such, must be looked into with a grain of salt.

The only way to get a good idea with what you are dealing with, is throughly examining the works and the authors as well. If you get to know what the historian's background is, then you will have an idea what his interests and general conceptions are, having a better perspective of his mental structure. On the other hand, the only real answer lies in the sources, if you want to get to the bottom of it go to the sources, historians say Hitler killed 6 mill. jews, don't believe what they say, the more skeptic the better, go ahead and check the sources to be certain of it.


Ok. Following your advice...

Argentina...German slant? Losers? ....6 million Jews? Marginalization?......ache....


This is one of my fave topics. Epistemology of the social sciences. There is no way we can know the truth, cause we can't examine reality from an objective standpoint, our views are subjective, and we can't escape from it. There is no lab where we can study a historic process. We must then think as this discipline, as one that can never deal directly with its object of study, the past is forever gone out of reach, and we can rebuild it through indirect sources, a written document, an object, an oral account. This is not the past, only bits and pieces of it, there always is something missing, and we fill those spaces through our own subjectivity, with our own notions and ideas, we shed light with a XXI century mentality.



posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 06:01 AM
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a reply to: payta

Exactly. Well said. And this is what I was attempting to convey as well, though not as succinctly.

To England, the "American uprising" was a far away eye-rolling annoyance to a mighty Empire, and our version is one of heroic emancipation from an unjust rule. They were bummed when we won our independence, but they had other problems, namely France who declared war on them in 1778 after siding with the US. (Okay - England had multiple views on our defection from the Crown, and so did we future Americans. See? Reducing history to simple terms is challenging.
)

Some Americans have "God-Light" streaming over the Founding Fathers, rendering them into monumental figures (literally) for their inarguably massive contribution to the creation of our system of government, and some Americans approach them as very human men, looking at the way they lived their lives, their human flaws, their good and bad judgments and what they argued with each other about - it is simply a different approach.

Bias is everything in history, for good or ill.

- AB
edit on 18-12-2015 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)

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edit on 18-12-2015 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 06:16 AM
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a reply to: payta

Very good points . Trying to get into the writers world view is a task in of its self .History that is told in story form carries a large bias but there are many points that can be confirmed that can give a good sense of the writers attention to details .Sometimes the errors made tell a story as well ...



posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 07:04 AM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

There are two types of history. REAL history and the history the government wants you to know (any government really).

REAL history is written by the people who lived it. It is generally studied extensively by historians and sociologists. It is exciting, full of conflict and is a great tool to study to get a feel for the things that brought us to the present. It examines both sides of the issues of the past, not just the winners. It examines the losers, why they felt the way they did, and why they lost. Real history is obtained through primary source (letters, books, memos, accounting sheets, etc) and secondary sources and examines all levels of the social hierarchy instead of just the people at the top and the most famous.

The other form of history is the history taught to you in grade school. it just talks about the winners. It is a preset story of blandness that everyone knows what happens at the end (the winners win). It is white-washed to paint the government in the most positive light possible. This isn't a partisan thing either, both the left and the right are responsible for not only white washing history, but white washing historic figures (Washington most CERTAINLY told a lie in his lifetime).
edit on 18-12-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 07:05 AM
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originally posted by: Abysha
a reply to: nwtrucker

As far as "revisionist" history, the trend is normally more of a "corrective" history. For example, the details and accounts of Christopher Columbus has always been around but that didn't stop a Jingoist curriculum to form a myth of heroic exploration around the man. Now we know better and people sometimes think that's "revisionist" history when, in truth, nothing was added; we just stopped lying about it.


I think that Columbus day is by FAR the most awful holiday in this country. It's a holiday that basically says, "Hey let's honor a slave trader and pillager by pretending he was the man who discovered the Americas."
edit on 18-12-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 08:14 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: Abysha
a reply to: nwtrucker

As far as "revisionist" history, the trend is normally more of a "corrective" history. For example, the details and accounts of Christopher Columbus has always been around but that didn't stop a Jingoist curriculum to form a myth of heroic exploration around the man. Now we know better and people sometimes think that's "revisionist" history when, in truth, nothing was added; we just stopped lying about it.


I think that Columbus day is by FAR the most awful holiday in this country. It's a holiday that basically says, "Hey let's honor a slave trader and pillager by pretending he was the man who discovered the Americas."


I, on the other hand, am completely grateful he was and did.

So rather than the continued expansion of that knowledge, we are reduced to subjective labels from the comfort of our relatively save and secure present existences.


edit on 18-12-2015 by nwtrucker because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 08:37 AM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker

originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: Abysha
a reply to: nwtrucker

As far as "revisionist" history, the trend is normally more of a "corrective" history. For example, the details and accounts of Christopher Columbus has always been around but that didn't stop a Jingoist curriculum to form a myth of heroic exploration around the man. Now we know better and people sometimes think that's "revisionist" history when, in truth, nothing was added; we just stopped lying about it.


I think that Columbus day is by FAR the most awful holiday in this country. It's a holiday that basically says, "Hey let's honor a slave trader and pillager by pretending he was the man who discovered the Americas."


I, on the other hand, am completely grateful he was and did.

So rather than the continued expansion of that knowledge, we are reduced to subjective labels from the comfort of our relatively save and secure present existences.



Why are you grateful that he was a slave trader? I think he should be considered one of history's villains and CERTAINLY shouldn't have a holiday named after him. There really are zero significant reasons to even respect him. He wasn't the first person to arrive in the Americas. Heck, he wasn't even the first European to arrive in the Americas. Then his arrival kicked off the economic conquest of the Americas that oversaw massive death due to sickness and illness, not to mention my prior mention of him being a slaver.

What exactly is there to be grateful about Christopher Columbus about? There certainly isn't anything wrong with studying him or anything, but idolizing him is white washing history and that is the other form of history I was referring to.
edit on 18-12-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 08:41 AM
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Excellent thread topic, NW.

I like Abysha's idea of "corrected" history. As a young child in school, I dutifully and enjoyably colored my Columbus Day worksheet, showing the great explorer setting foot on the shore of the United States, thereby discovering the New World, the United States of America. Columbus had founded America. Yay! Then after a couple years, the worksheets went away and we stopped getting the day off. The holiday just faded away, much to the consternation of some Italian-Americans, if I remember correctly from watching the evening news.

Some years later, I discovered that I wasn't the only "American", when I happened to meet another student, who was from South America. I also learned that my Columbus Day was her Dia de la Raza. I always had excellent grades in History classes in elem and high school (I could remember dates somewhat, but, boy, could I do a project--research and present--and respond to essay questions on tests!
) But my best years of learning history came later, in college and after, when I would be presented with formally or search out informally history I never knew existed. (The same could be said with literature.)

To me history is like a grand mountain. The mountain is there in all its glory, but approaching it from a different side/angle gives a different viewpoint. And there could be incorrect facts about the mountain, and certainly myths and legends are told about it, but walking around the mountain to take it all in makes it all the more a grand sight.



posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 08:56 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: nwtrucker

originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: Abysha
a reply to: nwtrucker

As far as "revisionist" history, the trend is normally more of a "corrective" history. For example, the details and accounts of Christopher Columbus has always been around but that didn't stop a Jingoist curriculum to form a myth of heroic exploration around the man. Now we know better and people sometimes think that's "revisionist" history when, in truth, nothing was added; we just stopped lying about it.


I think that Columbus day is by FAR the most awful holiday in this country. It's a holiday that basically says, "Hey let's honor a slave trader and pillager by pretending he was the man who discovered the Americas."


I, on the other hand, am completely grateful he was and did.

So rather than the continued expansion of that knowledge, we are reduced to subjective labels from the comfort of our relatively save and secure present existences.



Why are you grateful that he was a slave trader? I think he should be considered one of history's villains and CERTAINLY shouldn't have a holiday named after him. There really are zero significant reasons to even respect him. He wasn't the first person to arrive in the Americas. Heck, he wasn't even the first European to arrive in the Americas. Then his arrival kicked off the economic conquest of the Americas that oversaw massive death due to sickness and illness, not to mention my prior mention of him being a slaver.

What exactly is there to be grateful about Christopher Columbus about? There certainly isn't anything wrong with studying him or anything, but idolizing him is white washing history and that is the other form of history I was referring to.


Please, you insult with that question.

Without diving into the inevitable 'alternate' history explanation which then is dismissed as mere speculation, suffice to say my 'white' Russian grandfather and his family who tired of tying pillows around themselves and hiding in attics from both the eastern front of WWI AND the Russian revolution wouldn't have had a destination.

No, I don't credit him any more than perhaps a catalyst status. My kudos go to the Hudson's Bay Company and their drive for more profits for the development and repression of North American natives. That resulted in my grandfather's homesteading and a life-style I will always be grateful for and have ensured my daughter and grandchildren feel similarly.

Sorry, my belief is it's always preferable to be on the winning side than the alternative. A character flaw, I suppose.



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