I’m going to dump a lot of text this week. I’m not sorry at all about that.

I *am* a bit concerned that this week’s writing is further from my comfort zone. Next week I’ll scoot back into familiar territory (for me, anyway).

I started IDing (eye deeing, c’mon folks) my section headings so that I can keep my long posts but refer to sections when I’m linking to myself.

More tomorrow and Thursday. It was all the same writing session, and I don’t want a backlog.



This post is the compilation of three different thoughts I collected from old notes.

I. Attribution – A simple post I read from years ago about ideology and causation, just to keep in mind.

II. Schools of Thought – For purposes of contrast/context, a sample of different easily-identified historical attitudes. The last four are the most interesting to me.

III. Political Disclosure – Some statements that I operate from, and a few off-hand opinions in case you wanna fight.


I. Attribution

This is a post from two years ago that I bookmarked (courtesy, ultimately, of the Daily Dish).

Read the full post here. It’s short and sweet.

As a history teacher, I’ve always found it interesting to discuss with high schoolers the complicated idea of ‘causation’ (that is, what caused, what contributed to, past events). What’s striking about conversations involving this topic is the extent to which students are willing (often through no fault of their own) to attribute events to ideologies – as if Nazism itself were responsible for the Holocaust.

Regarding Nazism (and Fascism, too), I stress that, without Nazis, Nazism (as an ideology) would have been unable to do, well, to do anything. This, I think, is key: that students confront the idea that systems of belief are not, in and of themselves, capable of destruction. Ideology becomes dangerous – in a historical sense – when individuals activate their core tenets. […]


II. Schools of Thought

I pulled the following from very old (written! With a pencil!) notes of mine. I think some of it was transcribed from somewhere and would love to credit it, but I can’t find it.

I think that this list is useful for contrast more than anything else.

Neither of those are particularly interesting. At least the following set attempted to seek explanations/justifications for historical events:

Of course, all of these historical views have elements that are plausible. My favorite viewpoints, though, tend to be skeptical of anthrocentric history for non-mystical reasons:

(Note: Turner might deserve to be in this section. I haven’t decided.)


III. Political Disclosure

I’m under no illusion that anyone really cares about my politics, but I wanted this thrown out there. These are points of contention that I think have been relevant to the kinds of stories I’ve presented on this blog. As I mentioned above, I have a preference for colder, less humanistic histories. As much as I enjoy biographies, I read them as effectively fictions (although you can still learn a lot from fictions.)

What people are generally like

Relationship to states

Policy in general

Picking fights about contemporary congressional politics

Tomorrow I talk about some kinds of Peaces. Thursday I drop some early (basic, non-insightful) notes on Pragmatism to pick up from later..