Presentism is the empty, false assumption that all former people thought as some present people feel.
It’s fundamental to the worldview of liberal human secularists who worship the trinity of race, class, and gender(s). It’s necessary for their hierarchy of evil that demonizes political and cultural enemies. It demeans everything Conservatives say because Conservative speech is permanently tainted by some hatred, intolerance, historical crime or politically incorrect no-no.
Consequently, dialogue with liberals devolves to listening to their diatribes. Cartoons are more complex and accurate than a presentism view of any history. Amoebas have greater cognition and exercise more discernment than someone mouthing a presentism rant.
That’s why it’s a painful chore to deal with Republicans and conservatives astute enough to understand other issues who buy these magic beans. The reasons some Republicans and conservatives choose to be useful fools of the liberal human secularists out of good intentions. But don’t discount the damage they do to the conservative message to the non-ideological voters.
The definition of “presentism” in Wikipedia lays out its flaws:
Presentism is a mode of historical analysis in which present-day ideas and perspectives are anachronistically introduced into depictions or interpretations of the past. Some modern historians seek to avoid presentism in their work because they believe it creates a distorted understanding of their subject matter.
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first citation for presentism in its historiographic sense from 1916, and the word may have been in use in this meaning as early as the 1870s. Historian David Hackett Fischer identifies presentism as a logical fallacy also known as the “fallacy of nunc pro tunc“. He has written that the “classic example” of presentism was the so-called “Whig history“, in which certain eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British historians wrote history in a way that used the past to validate their own political beliefs. This interpretation was presentist because it did not depict the past in objective historical context, but instead viewed history only through the lens of contemporary Whig beliefs. In this kind of approach, which emphasizes the relevance of history to the present, things which do not seem relevant receive little attention, resulting in a misleading portrayal of the past. “Whig history” or “whiggishness” are often used as synonyms for presentism, particularly when the historical depiction in question is teleological or triumphalist.
Presentism and Sociological Analysis
Presentism has a shorter history in sociological analysis, where it has been used to describe technological determinists who interpret a change in behavior as starting with the introduction of a new technology. For example, scholars such as Frances Cairncross proclaimed that the Internet had led to “the death of distance” without realizing that most community ties and many business ties had been transcontinental and even intercontinental for many years.
Presentism and Moral Judgements
Presentism is also related to the problematic question of history and moral judgments. Among historians, the orthodox view may be that reading modern notions of morality into the past is to commit the error of presentism. To avoid this, some historians restrict themselves to describing what happened, and attempt to refrain from using language that passes judgment. For example, when writing history about slavery in an era when the practice was widely accepted, some believe that using language that condemns slavery as “wrong” or “evil” would be presentist, and should be avoided.
There are many critics of this application of presentism. Some argue that to avoid moral judgments is to practice moral relativism, a controversial idea. Some religious historians argue that morality is timeless, having been established by God, and therefore it is not anachronistic to apply timeless standards to the past. (In this view, while mores may change, morality does not.) Others argue that historians, like all humans, cannot truly be objective, and so moral judgments will always be a part of their work. David Hackett Fischer, for his part, writes that historians cannot avoid making moral judgments, and indeed they ought to make them, but that they should be aware of their biases, and write history in such a way that their biases do not create a distorted depiction of the past.
Why do Virginians engage in such foolishness? It’s the real diversity of human beings. Different people choose to believe different things. But the words and actions that follow thoughts have consequences.
Consider the reasons why Virginians engage in presentism for many things “Southern” and all things “Confederate.”
Ignorance. Many new Virginians, formerly called DamnYankees (one word) – now known as DumbYankees (one word) — don’t know any better. They know the comic book history from their Northern school days. They don’t read history. They don’t have an oral history of these former times. They listen to the PC public discourse on history – which is polished presentism – and take this common knowledge as manifest truth. But, Northern ignorance doesn’t define Southern history and heritage. Some new immigrants from other foreign-to-Southern cultures – outside the U.S. – have this same shortcoming in education.
Political Correctness. Many Virginians, move-ins with White Guilt, self-hating Southerners, and self-righteous religious moral monopods, suffer from actually believing in presentism as their politically correct truth. They engage in the mysterious selective reading of history, baptize their conclusions with raw emotion, and call it “settled truth” – like Liberals do for Global Warming. They feel that all right-minded Americans in 1861 hated racism, segregation and slavery, as people do in 2009. They feel that all Americans always knew all things racial, as part of the Liberal Holy Trinity, trump all other issues, regardless of merit, like Constitutional rights or anything actually written in the Declaration of Independence and 1787 Constitution.
Consequently, anyone who opposes their historical revisionist fairy tales, is – by definition – a racist who is tainted with original Liberal sin against one of their triune gods. An individual so tainted, like Lee and Jackson, can never be honored for anything because they are associated in perpetuity with damned evil. Likewise, anything that happened from 1607 to the future – forever – in the South that smells un-PC is tainted with something sinister – witness George Allen’s Macaca Moment.
Liberal Suppression. Professional race pimps, persons who make their living based on the color of their skin, need presentism to keep their jobs. Without the specter of slavery, segregation, and racism against blacks and other minorities, who will outnumber whites by 2042, they won’t have work. It’s getting harder every year to find something to be outraged about, which is why a handful of racial incidents were perpetrated by persons of color in secret – until they were caught.
But, the real reason to use presentism is to suppress the truth and the people who stand up for it. The liberal secular humanists know their Judeo-Christian conservative enemy in our third Civil War – the Great U.S. Culture War (1962-present) — have home states where conservatives are the majority. The conservative critical mass is in the South and the West – and Indiana in the Midwestt. The core constituency of conservatives are observant Jews and the Christian allies of evangelical Protestants, Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. The truth of the one, only, true, and living God of the Christians and Jews must be suppressed to become a cultural icon, limited to interior decorations, for liberals to win this civil war.
Defeating, discouraging and getting the Southerners to disavow the truth of their history is essential. The way to lower the Cross of Jesus requires the destruction of the Cross of St. Andrew – and all things associated with a culture that will fight against all odds, no matter what – for principles known as rights.
Consequently, liberals need Republicans, and especially some conservatives, to serve as their fifth column in the Culture War. If you can get Virginians to give up Lee-Jackson Day and make it Virginia Heritage Day, then it’ll be easier to give up CHRISTmas Day as an official holiday and make it the more inclusive, PC tolerant of intolerance, and modern Winter Holiday on December 25th.
Presentism isn’t a plague in itself. It’s a symptom, an open running sore, of liberal human secularists. But it’s an omen, like cancer, of where liberals and their lackeys will take the Commonwealth of Virginia.