Every researched essay, every critique…just words built on someone else’s words, and those words built on another’s…and on and on. Words built on assumptions and lies. It’s all about time and place.
I could write a book on farming in Russia, during the early 1800’s. The fact that I know absolutely NOTHING about farming, or the 1800s in Russia, wouldn’t stop me from writing the story. I could do research on the subject, but that would mean selecting a particular farmer, in a certain place in Russia, under certain conditions, or just writing about the subject in aa more general way. For the most part, my book would be built on guess work, or a conglomeration of random “facts,” jumbled together to make people believe that they were actually reading a “factual,” book about farming in Russia, during the 1800s. I could add footnotes, to make it more believable. If my book was believable enough, it might be picked up by schools, or used by others, when they were researching farming in Russia, during the 1800s. The things I wrote would then be passed onto others as facts, and those “facts,” would become part of history, even though I didn’t know anything about farming in Russia in the 1800s. The book could be used forever and eventually come to be considered the definitive go-to book, on that subject and period in Russia history. That’s how history is written.
It is impossible to know what happened in the past. History is a lie, written by the winners and those who COULD, AND WERE ALLOWED TO, WRITE IT. In the case of America, everything that was written, until recently, was written by land owning, rich, white, males. We know that, but choose to ignore it, because they are still in charge.
We build our “facts,” on the words of other historians, on letters, diaries, and bits of physical information. We then take the lies, the things we embellish and make up, and teach them as facts and truths, when they are rarely anything of the kind.
History is one big lie. It has to be. There’s no way anyone could actually write history. All a person could do was write his personal opinion. That opinion would be based on class, gender, world view, experience, age, and time and place. The fact that only white males mattered and were published, immediately turns history into a joke. We have no clue as to what truly happened in the past, and just like Viet Nam, a war that took place in our lifetime, the truth is whatever we want to believe it is. Presidents lied and manipulated the masses, just as they do so today. Where do you think the term “cover-up,” came from. Cover up the TRUTH and feed the public lies. Nothing is TRUE. Everything is what we think it is, no facts needed, or available.
Ten people seeing the same accident, all have different versions of what took place. So how can anyone believe we know anything about what took place in the past? We look things up in books, things written by prejudiced white males, and are asked to believe that we are learning about what truly took place. We TEACH history, when we don’t actually know anything about it. How crazy is that?
We’re making history up right now, even as I type this. History’s truths depend on which side you’re on and the who is doing the writing. Women didn’t have a voice, until recently, nor did any minorities. How can history have any basis in reality, when most people were left out of it?
History is made up by those in power. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is the fact that today, more people have voices. More people can write books that challenge the lies and prove that what we were told was not true.
Basically, research consists of reading someone else’s lies, adding to them, and passing them on as facts. People lie all the time. Bosses lie to workers, teachers lie to students, parent, lovers and friends lie to each other, and the government and religious leaders, lie to everyone. Like our guide in Italy said, “We don’t know if this robe really belonged to so and so, we don’t know if any of this stuff is true but we want it to be, so we say that it is. And that is how history is written. We know what we say is a lie but we continue to copy the words/lies of others, and pass them on, as if they meant something, as if they had any basis in reality.
I read women’s herstory. I taught Women’s Studies at a university for awhile. Women dying in childbirth, starving, having one child after another, being raped, used as slave labor, until many were happy to die. Laws that didn’t allow them to inherit from their fathers, go to school, buy property, or even get their name in the newspaper. Women imprisoned and force fed, chained to their cell, because they wanted the right to vote. That’s my herstory and you know what, there are no bloody battles, no wars, no killing, no children sent to die, so that women could have more power and money. None of that exists in women’s herstory. None at all. Funny, isn’t it? How different women’s herstroy is from the male mainstream death-loving, killing history that we were taught about in school. The egomaniacal, greedy history, filled with battlefields and medals? Think about it. THAT’S the history we are expected to believe. A history where women and minorities do not exist. Well, until now, that is. The research is meaningless, it’s non inclusive and one sided. It’s a lie, dressed up in a uniform, worn by white guys, who love power over others. It doesn’t count, because it’s not real. It’s not real because no one is on the stage but the white guys who lied and nothing has hanged. The person in charge today will write that huge crowds came to see him,, that he had more crowds than any other president but he will fail to mention that the people who did show up were protesters who wanted him out of office. And that will be his history. Today someone else will be able to write about his mental incompetence and insanity. Before, that wasn’t possible, people did KNOW what was going on, so they couldn’t see that they were being lied to, they didn’t know what was being written.
To be fair, America should erase white men from every history book, and just teach about about women and minorities for the next two hundred and fifty years. No mention of white men in any of the books, or media. White males thought it was okay to erase all of us, I think erasing them, is only fair. Let’s just stop talking about them. Let’s make them invisible, silent. Let’s show that history can be written any way we want to write it, because it’s not real anyway and we need to stop believing that it ever was. Until the voices of everyone could be heard, history did not represent ANYONE but white men. That’s not history, that’s vanity plates and false advertising.