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The Even Cooler Stuff From [History] Thread

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Posts

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Y
    So, in something a bit more lighthearted, I found out over the holidays about one of the more unique Civil War museums out there - Civil War Tails.

    The museum is built around several dioramas of major battles of the war, rendered in a way to show the detail of the battle, based on research. There's just one small bit of whimsy - all of the soldiers are rendered as, well, cats.

    Thank gods for that punchline, I thought we were getting into Sonic Historicalfic territory

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • JepheryJephery Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    I was looking around for some stuff about great man theory (criticism mostly) and stumbled onto this article about it, in regards to US history:

    https://www.americanheritage.com/content/where-have-all-great-men-gone (February/March 1984)

    Its about the idealistic meritocracy of the revolutionary elite that produced the founding fathers, and how it broke down by the election of Andrew Jackson.

    The closing paragraph hit way too close to home:
    Perhaps their warning is relevant for our own time. Our longing for great men and women to lead us out of the wilderness is, in classical republican terms, a sign of lassitude, of the corruption that encourages demagogues and leads to tyranny. Informed by history, we should understand that the circumstances that led to the sparkling era when personal greatness and high public office coincided were unique, and exceptional. To expect greatness in public office, to anticipate a new meritocracy that can solve our problems, is a fantasy. The public interest and the safety of free government are better served by an alert, informed citizenry seeking to promote the common good. Whether that, too, is fantasy, only time will tell.

    Jephery on
    }
    "Orkses never lose a battle. If we win we win, if we die we die fightin so it don't count. If we runs for it we don't die neither, cos we can come back for annuver go, see!".
    Elvenshaevalhalla130
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    if some sailors ate my brother to survive i wouldn't be mad about it, as long as the lots were drawn fairly. he would have died anyway, there's no point being squeamish about it

    SolarForarLoisLanefurlionSkeith
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    if some sailors ate my brother to survive i wouldn't be mad about it, as long as the lots were drawn fairly. he would have died anyway, there's no point being squeamish about it

    My brothers are twins and both massive so it makes even more sense; plenty of eating on those bones plus there's a spare one

    HonkkimefurliontynicAl_watSkeithMoridin889honovere
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    The founding fathers weren't great people

    Sure, a successful rebellion against Britain is no small feat, but they weren't great men, and most of them were actually terrible

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
    RichyLoisLane[Expletive deleted]Mvrck
  • grumblethorngrumblethorn Registered User regular
    I completed my history degree between 2001 and 2005, and my department was just starting to adopt some alternative forms of historical analysis among them questioning the great man version of history. Frankly its pretty great and something akin to what Mike Duncan does with his revolutions podcast.

    However its exceedingly tiresome to hear the endless Post Modern belly aching about how distinctly evil and abhorrent the Founding Fathers were and western history from 1400 on. All of history is filled with a mix of the good, bad, exceptional,
    and moronic.

    ElvenshaeBlackDragon480FencingsaxDuke 2.0TynnanEvermournKanavalhalla130SmrtnikMoridin889FatWagon
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Yeah they weren’t distinctly evil, they were perfectly banal and ordinary in it

    [Expletive deleted]GvzbgulN1tSt4lker
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    I mean by some standards you pretty much can apply a degree of evil to every polictical figure or leader worldwide before 1950 or so, and most probably since then. I don’t know that that is necessarily fair out of context though.

  • BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    Yeah they weren’t distinctly evil, they were perfectly banal and ordinary in it

    There were plenty of flaws in all the founding fathers to critique without going full Godwin.

    They were men of their times and held views and participated in institutions very much in line with their epoch. Too often modern people look back wistfully at history and the actions of historical figures from a reference frame that their ultimate goal was to become us, and so we try to find any skeletal outline of 21st century moral, legal, or political sensibilities to hang our hat on and elevate them out of the mud.

    Avoiding anachronistic projection is one of the primary conceits to not falling into or creating an historical narrative that is far more subjective than objective.

    First they came for the Muslims and we said...NOT TODAY MOTHERFUCKERS!
    grumblethornshrykeEvermournSmaug6Kanavalhalla130SmrtnikMoridin889
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    That’s the point I was trying to make but subconsciously slipped in the Godwin- their evil as we view it today was the ordinary of their day, and is just as much “history” as all the other history we look back at and often incorrectly say “thank god we’re not that stupid anymore”

    BUT

    This is both precisely why their intentions mean little much more than fuck all today and why they continue to be worshipped by white men who hate paying taxes, like to buy guns and hate policies aimed at our opportunity gaps

    So we neither need to go out of our way to praise or “consult” them, nor point out how awful they were

  • JepheryJephery Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    The people in the Age of Exploration did recognize that they were doing some really horrible things. There were great debates in Europe about the treatment of the Natives.

    It wasn't like we suddenly realized what our forebears did was wrong, our forebears knew there were clear contradictions between their religious and philosophical ideals and their treatment of non-Europeans. We simply settled a debate that had been going on for centuries.

    Jephery on
    }
    "Orkses never lose a battle. If we win we win, if we die we die fightin so it don't count. If we runs for it we don't die neither, cos we can come back for annuver go, see!".
    CouscousGvzbgulKayne Red RobekimeIncenjucarDuke 2.0chrishallett83FencingsaxshryketynicMvrckSkeithboogedybooN1tSt4lkervalhalla130Kwoaru
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Yes, but popular culture has enshrined many of these awful people as Heroes of Humanity, and that's bad

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
    [Expletive deleted]
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    If Davy Crockett could realize something like the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was terrible, I am not sure what excuse the learned men of that time period had.

    JepheryKayne Red Robekimenever die[Expletive deleted]LoisLaneMagell
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    Yes, but popular culture has enshrined many of these awful people as Heroes of Humanity, and that's bad

    This is true, but goes well beyond the founding fathers, look at how history and popular culture treat people like Alexander the Great or King David of Israel or Nobugana/Toyotomi/Tokugawa or again pretty much any “great” ruler of any era or any world area prior to 1950.

    Take any random leader from Civilization games and they more likely than not have a list of atrocities to their name.

    Jealous Deva on
    JepheryRchanenBlackDragon480grumblethorn
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Yes, but popular culture has enshrined many of these awful people as Heroes of Humanity, and that's bad

    This is true, but goes well beyond the founding fathers, look at how history and popular culture treat people like Alexander the Great or King David of Israel or Nobugana/Toyotomi/Tokugawa or again pretty much any “great” ruler of any era or any world area prior to 1950.

    Take any random leader from Civilization games and they more likely than not have a list of atrocities to their name.

    At some point you got to ask yourself if focusing on the bad our ancestors did is way for us to let ourselves of the hook for the shit we do?

    Like Gandhi was in many ways a bad person, but he was also a leader that is truly worthy of admiration.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    TicaldfjamIncenjucarJepheryElvenshaeFencingsaxKanavalhalla130
  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    I'm more of a fan of great man history asa lot of my history education focused on social conditions and the status quo that enables history to happen. Which is good and useful but it left a lot of the interesting stuff off the table. Great man history works because it tells stories that are memorable and interesting.

    It doesn't have mean that they are great and good. But I feel like my own education neglected the human element of history and put too much emphasis on the general state of things that enabled those individuals to do the things they did. Kind of like reading a book thats 90% world building and 10% plot.

    The choices individuals made and their personal reasons for doing so. This stuff is interesting and memorable and it's why I can spend hours watching YouTube history vids as they often tell the story of interesting individuals. And those stories will usually show the cultural and political environment too.

    To jump straight to Godwin...

    It often comes up in time travel discussion that simply removing Hitler wouldn't achieve much as the social conditions at the time were ripe for that kind of thing and removing Hitler would just mean we'd get a similar person and not much would change. But Hitler was removed for a time, the Nazi party floundered during the time he was banned from giving speeches. Without his individual charisma they were unable to attract new members. Yes, the social conditions at the time enabled him, but he was also an important and perhaps indispensable part of what happened.

    The problem I have with some of the other views on history is that they make history seem inevitable. If you kill Hitler then there's a new "Hitler" because the individual isn't important, only the social conditions that enabled them. But history is full of near misses and tipping points.

    Gvzbgul on
    JepheryCelestialBadgerElvenshaeRchanenFencingsaxBlackDragon480grumblethorn
  • JepheryJephery Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    Yeah I agree that rejecting great men outright leads to a removal of agency. Socio-economics matter of course, but I think what comes out of the socio-economic tipping points depends on leaders.

    Jephery on
    }
    "Orkses never lose a battle. If we win we win, if we die we die fightin so it don't count. If we runs for it we don't die neither, cos we can come back for annuver go, see!".
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Has anyone proposed a Shit Man theory?

    chrishallett83Rchanen
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    Gvzbgul wrote: »
    I'm more of a fan of great man history asa lot of my history education focused on social conditions and the status quo that enables history to happen. Which is good and useful but it left a lot of the interesting stuff off the table. Great man history works because it tells stories that are memorable and interesting.

    It doesn't have mean that they are great and good. But I feel like my own education neglected the human element of history and put too much emphasis on the general state of things that enabled those individuals to do the things they did. Kind of like reading a book thats 90% world building and 10% plot.

    The choices individuals made and their personal reasons for doing so. This stuff is interesting and memorable and it's why I can spend hours watching YouTube history vids as they often tell the story of interesting individuals. And those stories will usually show the cultural and political environment too.

    To jump straight to Godwin...

    It often comes up in time travel discussion that simply removing Hitler wouldn't achieve much as the social conditions at the time were ripe for that kind of thing and removing Hitler would just mean we'd get a similar person and not much would change. But Hitler was removed for a time, the Nazi party floundered during the time he was banned from giving speeches. Without his individual charisma they were unable to attract new members. Yes, the social conditions at the time enabled him, but he was also an important and perhaps indispensable part of what happened.

    The problem I have with some of the other views on history is that they make history seem inevitable. If you kill Hitler then there's a new "Hitler" because the individual isn't important, only the social conditions that enabled them. But history is full of near misses and tipping points.

    I think it has to be a mixture of both. I think social movements and trends are critical but I also feel like if Philip of Macedon’s son gets pneumonia at 5 or Hitler dies in wwi or Genghis Khan dies in a botched cavalry charge the way Gustavus Adolphus did you don’t get history looking any way like it turned out, because some individuals and events are just way too critical.

    Jealous Deva on
    JepheryGvzbgulRhesus PositiveCouscousKayne Red RobeElvenshaefurlionRchanenFencingsaxBlackDragon480Smaug6Skeith
  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Registered User regular
    It's kind of crazy how small the world seemed in the past. It seems like every famous person personally knew every other famous person. Eg Most of the rulers of the WW1 were the same family.

    You still get that a bit nowadays, "oh, that famous singer is the brother of that famous politician?" But I'd argue that its less of a thing now. If only because the world pop has exploded.

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    I go with the loose kindling theory of history: Socio-economic/Environmental conditions can set the stage for major events, and people can either clear the detritus away to avoid a crisis or throw in a match.

  • HonkHonk Honk is this poster. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Gvzbgul wrote: »
    It's kind of crazy how small the world seemed in the past. It seems like every famous person personally knew every other famous person. Eg Most of the rulers of the WW1 were the same family.

    You still get that a bit nowadays, "oh, that famous singer is the brother of that famous politician?" But I'd argue that its less of a thing now. If only because the world pop has exploded.

    I find that to be more logical when you consider the circumstances. A famous singer being the brother of a famous politician may be because of reasons so obscure we can say it’s a coincidence.

    While every ruler being a Habsburg is not a coincidence.

    PSN: Honkalot
    GvzbgulFencingsaxMoridin889
  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Registered User regular
    edited January 20
    I put it down to nepotism and the principle of "money comes to money" or "success leads to success". Plus, back in the day, when literacy was uncommon, that drastically reduced the number of people who were able to be in a position of power. So while the population was relatively large, the power and the ability to use it was still held in the hands of a few. Who of course would meet and greet with the other people in their league.

    In the modern day I think it is just a thing that helps you get a foot in the door. And that's often the biggest difference between success and failure, being lucky enough to catch that first big break. Two musicians might be of equal skill but if one's got the name recognition of being the sibling of a famous person, they're probably going to get an edge up on the other.

    Gvzbgul on
    Incenjucar
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Oh man this thread is almost history

    GvzbgulBlackDragon480chrishallett83LoisLaneKana
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited January 20
    Honk wrote: »
    Gvzbgul wrote: »
    It's kind of crazy how small the world seemed in the past. It seems like every famous person personally knew every other famous person. Eg Most of the rulers of the WW1 were the same family.

    You still get that a bit nowadays, "oh, that famous singer is the brother of that famous politician?" But I'd argue that its less of a thing now. If only because the world pop has exploded.

    I find that to be more logical when you consider the circumstances. A famous singer being the brother of a famous politician may be because of reasons so obscure we can say it’s a coincidence.

    While every ruler being a Habsburg is not a coincidence.

    Right, every royal family being related is not a cooncidence, it is thousands of years of interbreeding between the aristocracy and direct action by families to stay in power.

    Now the fact that they all also happen to be direct descendents of Muhammad, that’s probably a coincidence.

    Jealous Deva on
    HonkDouglasDangerIncenjucar
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    I think I'll stop "Well, actually, most of the founding fathers were slave owners and the US was built on slavery and genocide and Abraham Lincoln participated in the genocide of Native Americans and..." some time after their faces are removed from Mount Rushmore? Or maybe when the US has a serious conversation and seriously addresses racism?

    The great men myths must be torn down

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
    TicaldfjamMetzger Meisterchrishallett83LoisLanemrondeauRichy
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    “Kuribayashi/Rommel were honorable generals”

    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Great Man isn't really about whether they were good or not.

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Great Man isn't really about whether they were good or not.

    Yeah, I know, but that doesn't mean our country needs to worship them

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
  • BogartBogart Because I hate you Registered User, Moderator mod
    Someone make a new thread with a great OP which will coincidentally end what seems to be a tedious argument.

    ElvenshaeshrykeKanalonelyahavaV1mRchanenKayne Red RobeTynnantynicSkeithMoridin889KwoaruFatWagon
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