This historian didn't explain, but he didn't have to: I instinctively knew the unstated rest of his comment: "Because if you do, they will destroy your culture. They will destroy the myths and rites and rituals that hold it together. They'll destroy your community, and the meaning and importance that supports it."
I also thought of this saying when a friend, very much a history buff himself, told me he had read the textbook given his 16-year-old son in his Advanced Placement history class in high school. He had expected to tear the book apart, but found, to his amazement, that it was a very accurate text. He said the author had even put the word "neocon" in quotes, suggesting, quite correctly, they are neither new nor conservative.
The reason my friend thought he was going to shred the book is because he had read the textbook given to the non-AP students. It was terrible, he told me, so terrible he visited the principal to complain about it, because he wanted it removed.
He gave to me as an example the fact the book listed how many Japanese were interned in the U.S. during WWII, and how many Jews were supposedly killed in every country in Europe, but did not list how many Americans were killed in the War between the States, World War I, World War II, or Vietnam.
When my friend asked the principal what percentage of Americans died in Japanese POW camps in WWII (an easy-to-remember 50%), the principal, whose Ph.D. was in Psychology (which I consider a worthless degree) did not know. He had heard of Audie Murphy was but had never heard of Dick Bong.
The principal also told my friend he was the first parent to come into his office to complain about a textbook.
I decided years ago the way to destroy a culture is to take over education, the government, the media, and the churches, and attack the dominant culture. Bit by bit it can be destroyed. It's letting your enemies tell your story for you. And without stories about themselves, and a history, they are really no people at all.
There are two main institutions I see as enemies of the United States: Hollywood, and Washington, D.C., and the schools that support D.C.: Harvard, Princeton, Yale. D.C. is the home of the genocidal behemoth that is the federal government, and Hollywood is home to every possible imaginable perversion.
The people who live in these two places – the East and West Coasts – refer to everything in between them as Flyover Land – the main purpose of which is to produce cannon fodder for D.C.'s wars. I consider it the Real America, and see Hollywood and D.C. as trying to destroy this America and impose their "culture" on it.
Here's an example: when Michael Medved writes a book called Hollywood vs. America, he's not really talking about Hollywood vs. America, even though I'm sure he thinks he is. Medved supports the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – the American Empire. He supports D.C. against Hollywood, and tries to convince people the "real America" supports the U.S.'s current wars for oil, empire, and Israel. In his world, the Real America supports D.C. Indeed, the Real America is D.C.
The culture that D.C. wishes to impose on America is one in which everyone is "patriotic" and supports its endless wars to "improve" the world. I am reminded of the sayings of both Jesus and Aesop: all tyrants call themselves benefactors.
This culture in D.C. claims we are the Good Guys under attack by the Evil Ones who wish to Do Us In, and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.To them anyone who believes otherwise is unpatriotic and indeed a traitor. That's the "culture" that D.C. tries to impose on the U.S.
That "us vs. them" mentality reminds me of a comment by Joseph Goebbels: "All you have to do is to tell them [the public] they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
Hollywood, on the other hand, tries to impose on America a worldview which is anti-white male and pro-anyone-who-isn't-white-male. To it the worst place in the U.S. is the South, which is full gun nuts, ranting Bible thumpers, and people who pine for the good ol' days of the KKK.
Hollywood tries to impose, more unpleasant things on America, such as the movie, Brokeback Mountain. Unfortunately, whatever passes for "Walt Disney" these days allowed a convicted pedophile to direct a creepy little film, Powder, which contained scenes of half-naked, muscular, hairless teenage boys showering together.
Hollywood seems to think everyone in Flyover Land is almost exactly the same. I once saw a movie in which the banker is a small Illinois town wore a cowboy hat and a string tie, had a Texan accent, and listened to horrid country music. Such people don't exist in Illinois, a state in which I was born and spent many years.
But to Hollywood, a Texan is a Midwesterner is a Southerner. Almost all the same; there is almost no difference. Only the East and West Coasts really count. Flyover Land is peopled with....who knows exactly what?
Hollywood and D.C. have succeeded so well with their Gramscian march through the institutions and their capturing the culture that many Americans now have little understanding of the original beliefs on which this country was founded – that of small government, decentralization, freedom, and a military to protect the country, not create an empire.
How many people these days have heard of the America First Committee, which attempted to keep the U.S. out of WWII? Charles Lindbergh, anyone? Hello? 800,000 members, 135,000 in Illinois alone?
Find anyone in D.C., or Hollywood, or any grade school, middle school, high school, or college, who knows about this committee. You will find only a handful.
I wonder how many Southerners these days know about the Southern Agrarians, with their critiques of what is essentially materialist and mercantilist Yankee culture? Or that the main proponent today is the 75-year-old poet and novelist Wendell Berry, who is currently fighting the blowing up of mountain tops in Kentucky by coal companies?
Berry also said, "We'd be nothing without stories." He's right about that. It reminds me of something Ray Bradbury said: "Metaphors are the center of life." Any story that truly resonates with us has to be metaphorical, which is essentially the manipulation of images.
Everyone needs myths to live by.
I define "myths" as "the stories that give meaning and structure to life". The French theorist Jacques Rancière calls them its "dominant fiction," society’s ideological “reality,” a way that society uses images and stories to give members of a social structure, a consensus in how they identify themselves.
People need these myths, and will have them, even if they claim they don't have them and don't need them. These mythic beliefs give order, meaning, importance, and community to people's lives.
Even libertarians have them. I've know libertarians who are believers in such "myths" as Techno-Paganism, Discordianism, Objectivism, and various forms of German Neo-Paganism such as Asatru and Odinism. Some have gone so far as to worship the free market itself, including such non-free-market corporate mercantilist entities as Wal-Mart, and believe harmony (perhaps even Utopia) will flow from every America-hating illegal alien in the U.S. being united in their desire for McMansions, SUVs, and big-screen plasma TVs.
These kinds of people believe fanatical Christians, fanatical Jews, and fanatical Muslims can peaceably share the same land, completely ignoring the history of the world, and humanity’s tribal nature.
This (always non-existent) Utopia will never happen, because people with other cultures, in other countries, don't want foreigners telling their stories for them, and trying to destroy their myths, and impose other, unwanted ones on them. The U.S. government is trying that today. and before them, for some 300 years, the British.
The people who believe in the various myths I listed are trying to come up with a history, and something to believe in, because their original beliefs have been destroyed by D.C. and Hollywood – by those who have captured the culture. Who have captured education, the media, the government, religion.
Since many people don't like what this country has turned into, they are rebelling and seeking new beliefs to live by. It's a reaction to the imposition of cultures they don't like. It's a fascinating thing.
People are going to have to take back their culture, to tell them own stories, to not let others do it for them. That means taking back the schools, the media, the churches, the government. It will, unfortunately, take a generation or more – the same length of time it took to lose everything.