What is truth?

Question: Why should we study history?

Answer: To know.


Question: To know what?

Answer: To know the truth.


 Question: Why?

Answer: To survive, for  “…we live in the midst of a monstrous kind of intellectual stagnation, typical of a decaying civilization, and of the end of an age.  Certain institutionalized ideas, no matter how absurd, live on.  Their essence may be dead but they are far from passé.  There are enormous institutions, in enormous buildings, employing hundreds of thousands of people, with other millions as their indirect beneficiaries, incarnating and representing basic ideas in which hardly any of their employees and none of their beneficiaries really believe.  (Two recent examples of such institutions: the compulsory Education programs in the United States, the compulsory Marxism-Leninism courses in the Soviet Union.)  No matter: they go on and on….  And this is the problem and the phenomenon―not the false content of certain ideas but their adoption and institutionalization through a professional bureaucracy….”[i] 


Question: Why does the study of history help us find the truth?

Answer: Because its purpose is the reduction of untruths….” [ii]


Dr. John Lukacs, Historian

Dr. John Lukacs, Historian

Question: Isn’t that what a college education is for?

Answer: No. Today the bulk of so-called  education is driven by ideology, which leads to untruth. [iii] If you are serious about understanding reality; the truth, then study history; read books, old books as well as new; the classics, and do so voraciously.

[i] Remembered Past; On History, Historians, and Historical Knowledge, by John Lukacs, Chapter II, Page 182, edited by Mark G. Malvasi and Jeffrey O. Nelson, ISI Books, Wilmington, Delaware, © 2005 ISI Books.

[ii] Remembered Past; On History, Historians, and Historical Knowledge, by John Lukacs, Chapter I, Page 134, edited by Mark G. Malvasi and Jeffrey O. Nelson, ISI Books, Wilmington, Delaware, © 2005 ISI Books.

[iii] “…disheartening was the reaction of many historians to the New Left revisionists of the 1960s, when the scholarship of those books was wanting.  As Maddox [Robert] wrote, “Reviewers who had been known to pounce with scarcely disguised glee on some poor wretch who incorrectly transcribed a middle initial or date of birth have shown a most extraordinary reluctance to expose even the most obvious New Left fictions,” including false statements of fact to which tens of thousands of students were subsequently exposed in American colleges and universities.” ― Remembered Past; On History, Historians, and Historical Knowledge, by John Lukacs, Chapter I, Page 150, edited by Mark G. Malvasi and Jeffrey O. Nelson, ISI Books, Wilmington, Delaware, © 2005 ISI Books.

 

About Michael

Retired military officer; retired Air Force civil servant; retired executive, DS Information Systems Corporation; writer; researcher; reader and avid yachtsman.
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