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Ignorance of History, the Making of Fools

January 15, 2018

Are those who do not study history doomed to make fools of themselves? Or, is it yet another case of how ignorance of the past shows up in the continually clueless rhetoric of the DNC's present.

There was a recent tweet from the co-chair of the DNC, Keith Elison, that fully demonstrated the famous quote from writer and philosopher, George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”, could be the motto of today’s Liberal/Leftist movement.

There is also a lesser known quote from Santayana that the Dems would do well to remember in what promises to be a full court press of rabid radicalism in pursuit of wresting control back from the Republicans in November: "Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.”

Given the rhetoric from their spokespeople and the media - sorry, I forgot, they are one in the same - we can expect that the DNC’s response this year to America’s rejection of their socialist agenda will center around trying harder to cram it down our throats. They continue to believe that rather than try to sell their failed policies to a skeptical public, all they need to do is to yell louder, chant more, destroy more property, and call more names.

Lest that assessment sound extreme I would point to the activities of their Deputy Chairman, the aforementioned, Keith Elison, who tweeted out a picture of himself holding 'the little red book' of the Antifa movement: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, along with his text: “At and I just found the book that strike [sic] fear in the heart of "

As a historian by training and avocation, I find this incendiary grand-standing merely confirms a fear that I and many other believers irrational discussion have observed with growing concern over the past several decades. Namely, that the deliberate exclusion and in many cases downright perversion of history and historical context, has finally taken it’s toll to the point that a great majority of the world's population are no longer equipped to be able to weigh present actions of events, societies, and outcomes in a logical relation to what has gone before.

Does the DNC spokesman realize the irony of basing his parties political posturing on coattails of a group that has paradoxically titled itself, “anti-fascist?”

I think not.

Why? Because had he or they done even a modicum of basic research into what those terms meant, they would realize that their group's philosophy, politics, and tactics are not merely out of sync with real anti-fascists movements of the past, they are in direct opposition to them!

In other words, the group calling itself “Antifa”, has adopted the playbook of the fascist's movements of
1920s and 1930s, in Italy under Mussolini, Spain under Franco, and Germany under Hitler.

They all believed that violence, destruction of private property, and intimidation were the best way to achieve their aims. So does Antifa.

They believed that the media needed to be controlled and that freedom of speech, expression, and even thought
must be controlled and limited. So does Antifa.

They believed that the masses were too ignorant to think for themselves and therefore must be intimidated rather than led and inspired. So does Antifa.

They believed that their party must not only control all forms of media but the entertainment industry as well. So does Antifa.

They believed that their brand of political correctness must be mandatory and any deviation must be punished. So does Antifa.

They believed that all education from primary to advanced must be controlled by their party. So does Antifa.

They believed that society and the culture itself must be rigidly and brutally controlled by their movement and any dissent must be ruthlessly crushed. So does Antifa.

All we have to do to confirm this is to turn on the news any evening and watch their “protests.” There is nothing peaceful, thoughtful, or reasoned about them. They have simply taken a leaf from the most famous fascist of all, Adolph Hitler, who wrote in 'Mien Kamph' that, "mass demonstrations will always be successful unless opposed by equal terror.”

Does that philosophy sound chillingly familiar?

Is it reminiscent of the actions and rhetoric of Antifa and their fellow travelers in Hollywood and the “Resist” movements?

A simple examination of basic history will make a mockery of the very name of this movement - so proudly touted by the leadership of the DNC - and it would be tempting to dismiss this as an aberration of a fringe group of ill-informed, anti-social, unhappy, and unpleasant people. Unfortunately, that’s just how the Nazi’s got started.

I believe that the DNC’s efforts to align itself to the Antifa and other radical groups will not bear fruit for them and that the vast majority of Americans will in their wisdom, continue to reject their policies of divide and suppress under the guise of state control.

My chief concern is a larger and more troubling one.

The fact that our education system could turn out even in small numbers, people who were not only ignorant of history but whose pretzel logic could twist it around on its axis until black was white and up was down, is the most disturbing trend of all.

That is why I feel that until conservatives, moderates, and all those who believe in truth and freedom can begin to make some inroads of regaining some sanity in the education system, we will continue to be faced with the hydra-headed specter of those whom Santayana warned us about a century ago - who because they: "cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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Copyright ©2018

Ric Wasley is a writer and lecturer, as well as the author of the popular McCarthy Mystery Series. Ric has had a 40 year professional career history in advertising, publishing and marketing in Boston, New York and San Francisco. He has degrees in history and psychology and has been trained in debating, public speaking and stage acting. A large part of his 40 year career was spent in numerous professional and business settings as a presenter and featured speaker at seminars and professional meetings. Ric has been a visiting professor at Worcester Polytech Institute. He also teaches a popular course on marketing for authors at prominent venues such as the venerable “Cape Cod Writers Conference.”

Wasley has been involved in both print and broadcast media as well as writing for business and commercial markets for over 30 years and continues to consult for a major media company. In addition to his novels and short stories, he has been published in several literary magazines. Wasley currently divides his time between Boston and his home on Cape Cod where he continues to write, lecture and create worlds where the unexpected thrives.