View Poll Results: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

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Thread: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

  1. #61
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    It is interesting when some people apply today’s social standards/values to people in the past. IMO to judge someone you must look at what the social standards were for that time. So I voted that it was ok to have a Columbus Day. He was an important historical person in regards to the US.
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Exactly right. I would go further and say that our "historical mythology" is IMPORTANT to us, that it serves an actual purpose: it helps identify us as a people, as a culture and a nation.

    Strip away all the myths, and you're stripping away a lot of the glue that binds us together. Reveal, and teach the children, all the faults and failings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Chris Columbus, Ben Franklin, etc., etc... and you deflate a lot of the positive mythos surrounding their nation and their history and culture. The ramifications of doing this are not to be underestimated. A people who feel no pride in their nation or their culture are a people without an anchor, easily blown away by the tides of history.

    Yes, I realize I'm arguing in favor of puttying over some of the facts about historical figures for the sake of nationalism. It's the same reason why I say that throwing all traditions overboard simply because they're old is another way of making a society come unglued and disunified. People are held together by a certain quantity of shared values and shared mythos. If you don't believe me, ask a Marine Corps DI why they teach Marines about Chesty Puller, the halls of Montezuma and the Shores of Tripoli.

    Without some degree of shared values and shared mythos, my vested interest in caring what happens to some guy in NYC or LA becomes much more abstract and much less important to me.
    For myself, I've still somehow retained a level of national pride, despite my ever-increasing knowledge of how many negative aspects all (and I specifically use that term) famous people, leaders, etc., have.

    My method is sort of "despite all that crap, look where we are NOW", or in other words, we have risen above and beyond some of our ancestors shortcomings.

    That kind of thinking keeps me positive and hopeful as to the potential of the US (and, possibly, the world in general).

    What disappoints and upsets me (If I think about it) is all the past accomplishments and experience that seemingly get tossed aside simply because they are…past.

    In my mind, we can never truly move forward unless we fully learn from our past – and pass that knowledge on to our future.

    So on the one hand, I can see how papering over the cracks (or, in a few cases, gaping holes) in US history (and world history, for that matter) may be more encouraging and positive, perhaps even increasing the national pride/psyche, it also means that people can’t draw on the lessons of history as easily to avoid the same mistakes.

    Which, really, is the whole point of history, IMO.
    Education.

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  3. #63
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    Actually, a lot of people would probably agree with the above statements; if not openly, then secretly. They'd prefer not to know the truth about either of these things.

    A lot of people are cowards, to whom maintaining the status quo is far more important than knowing the truth.
    Uncomfortable truths are seldom welcome in comfortable lives.
    How far would you be willing to take that?


    Would a woman really want to know EVERY thought her husband has about everything? I can guarantee that some of those thoughts will be rather ugly. Likewise husband-wife.

    Would someone really want to know that their husband fantasizes about the teenage girl across the street, even though he has no intention of ever acting on that fantasy? How many husbands would want to know that their wife fantasizes about one of his best buddies?

    How many women would want to know that their husband has fantasized about strangling them blue? I can just about guarantee you that daydream has crossed his mind at least once, if you've been married more than a few years. Probably while wifey was nagging hubby to the edge of his endurance for the nth time.

    Choosing to focus on the positive is something we do, consciously and unconsciously, in order to maintain relationships and not kill people. It isn't so different from what I'm talking about, which is namely not going out of your way to deconstruct the entire American mythos to the point that nobody feels proud to be an American.

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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    "Although history may often seem to be-like the natural sciences-an international study, transcending racial and political frontiers, its interpretation remains more profoundly national, more stubbornly local, than many of us realize or perhaps trouble to keep in mind. We may imagine there here in England we are free from the prejudices and enthusiasms of other nations. Sometimes we think that our history is the impartial narrative, and we hardly believe that we are performing an act of interpretation at all. But however much we refine and elaborate, it is not clear that we reach-more than the English view of Louis XIV. And our best biography of Napoleon is only the supreme expression of what is really the English version of the man's career. We teach and write the kind of history which is appropriate to our organization, congenial to the intellectual climate of our part of the world. We can scarcely help it if this kind of history is at the same time the one most adapted to the preservation of the existing regime."

    Pages later: " It is typical of the English, that, retaining what was a good in the past, but reconstructing it-reconstruing the past itself if necessary-they have clung to the monarchy, and have maintained it down to the present, while changing its import and robbing it of the power to do harm. It is typical of them that from their 17th-century revolution itself and from the very experiment of an interregnum, they learned that there was still a subtle utility in kingship and they determined to reconstitute their traditions again, lest they should throw away the good with the bad. In all this there is something more profound than a mere sentimental unwillingness to part with a piece of ancient pageantry-a mere disinclination to sacrifice the ornament of a royal court. Here we have a token of that alliance of Englishmen with their history which has prevented the uprooting of things that have been organic to the development of the country; which has enriched our institutions with echoes and overtones; and which has proved-against the presumption and recklessness of blind revolutionary overthrows-the happier form of co-operation with Providence."
    -Herbert Butterfield The Englishman and His History, 1944.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 10-11-10 at 09:14 PM.
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Patriot View Post
    Most of our holidays that honor people, those people were racists, greedy, and murderers. Look at Lincoln and his war that caused over 600k dead that were civilians and soldiers alike. He hated non-whites and he was a lawyer for the railroads. His family got rich off of the transcontinental railroad.
    Apparently, a modern day Confederate States of America appeals to you, "patriot", complete with "slavery" of a sorts.. It WAS NOT Lincoln's war.

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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
    Apparently, a modern day Confederate States of America appeals to you, "patriot", complete with "slavery" of a sorts.. It WAS NOT Lincoln's war.
    Moderator's Warning:
    Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday? You are putting words in Patriot's mouth and then using that strawman to insult him, attributing to him things that he has not advocated. Do not do this again.

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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?


    It is interesting when some people apply today’s social standards/values to people in the past. IMO to judge someone you must look at what the social standards were for that time. So I voted that it was ok to have a Columbus Day. He was an important historical person in regards to the US.
    So was Francisco Pizarro and the other conquistadors.
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

  8. #68
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by bowerbird View Post
    Yep! Lets celebrate Captain Cook day instead

    After all Cook discovered both Australia AND New Zealand whereas Columbus did not even really discover America.
    Australia got all the worst Nazis after WWII, you should have a holiday.
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat View Post
    That's really my point. And it just isn't limited to industrialized nations, either. Every nation that exists has blood on its hands; every person living owes their entire existence to the blood on their ancestors' hands. That goes beyond our merest existence, as well. Every advantage, every luxury, that we enjoy came about because somebody else suffered and died for it. That's what society is, that's how it works, and that's what happens, time and time again, throughout all of human history.

    You hate Christopher Colombus, you might as well hate everyone. Every dollar that's ever passed through someone else's pockets has been blood money.
    I have always appreciated your realism Korimyr, but surely even you can appreciate that your views on the "nature" of human civilizations have been formed through an Amero-centric lens. All of the things you describe are the natures of your nation. Not all nations are warlike and there are those which live in relative peace. Your view presumes that the human consciousness does not evolve with time; that the way you see nationhood in modern day America is the way that all nations and cultures see it, past and present. We can draw conclusions about some basic human natures, sure, but that glosses over many efforts throughout the ages to change our ways. The fact that we often fall back on primitive impulses is clear, but only honing on that is precluding the fact that there are many people who want it to be better, and who want the world to be a better place. Every human evolution is slow and takes time, but the desire to change starts with a single idea, and the idea spreads.

    The way the world is now, with its interconnectedness and complex interdependence -- it has NEVER been this way before in all of our known world history. The mentality of conquer or be conquered doesn't fully apply anymore. I know it does to many Americans, and that brings me back to my original point: the fact that you are American shapes your view on this. Your nation is warlike, it thrives on conflicts, and it creates many of them; the many "natures" you state are, in many ways, American apologism for state behaviour.

    Christopher Columbus day may be a misguided tradition, but it's a carry-over from the era when most of the nations in power truly did think the way you are describing. It's not a eutopia now by any means but I don't see any point in maintaining a lie under the guise that it's the glue that holds nations together. It isn't. Nations remain in tact because people work out of mutual interest, and in case you haven't noticed, your nation has at least two potentially fatal problems right now, one of which is epidemic, non-sustainable selfishness.
    Last edited by Orion; 10-11-10 at 09:20 PM.

  10. #70
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    "Although history may often seem to be-like the natural sciences-an international study, transcending racial and political frontiers, its interpretation remains more profoundly national, more stubbornly local, than many of us realize or perhaps trouble to keep in mind. We may imagine there here in England we are free from the prejudices and enthusiasms of other nations. Sometimes we think that our history is the impartial narrative, and we hardly believe that we are performing an act of interpretation at all. But however much we refine and elaborate, it is not clear that we reach-more than the English view of Louis XIV. And our best biography of Napoleon is only the supreme expression of what is really the English version of the man's career. We teach and write the kind of history which is appropriate to our organization, congenial to the intellectual climate of our part of the world. We can scarcely help it if this kind of history is at the same time the one most adapted to the preservation of the existing regime."-Herbert Butterfield The Englishman and His History, 1944.
    I think what we have here is a number of people who cannot see any point to celebrating a single isolated event and setting aside other topics that are not actually being celebrated.

    To me it's like saying we have to stop celebrating the 4th of July because because fire hoses and dogs were later used against protesters in Birmingham, or because there were lynchings.

    It's small minded goody two shoes attitude to me and diminishes the meaning of the initial focus on an event which is of no less Historical significance because of what followed.
    Last edited by Councilman; 10-11-10 at 09:24 PM.

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