U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Slightly Off Topic: Government Intrusion Into Historiography

I just saw this. I love the universal applicability of the committee title: Commission to Counteract Attempts at Falsifying History to Damage the Interests of ____fill-in-the-blank____. In this case it’s reminiscent of Soviet Russia, or Animal Farm, or any run-of-the-mill Communist endeavor.

Tongue-in-cheek, I ask what would a Commission to Counteract Attempts at Falsifying History to Damage the Interests of the United States do? What would be the fictional order of the Commission’s tasks and/or topics?

1. New Deal History
2. Slavery
3. Christianity and the Founders
4. Reagan: the man vs. his policies
5. 1960s
6. Andrew Jackson “the hero”
7. Clinton: the man vs. his policies
8. Welfare history
9. The Confederacy
10. Universal health care vs. the AMA

In sum, every object of the Culture Wars could involve an investigation by this Commission. Um, right.

So, my message to this new Russian Commission? If your task list is anything like ours would be, good luck! This might require all of your excess oil funds.

In this case, the First Amendment is actually cost efficient. I’m no big fan of the phrase “market of ideas,” but one has to trust—to some degree—that the truth will out. And I’ve never known a successful government intrusion into the historiography debate (excepting perhaps the EU and Holocaust denial). – TL

One Thought on this Post

  1. I suppose that an effort to falsify history might look something like this:


    Very convincing stuff to 95% of the people that might stumble across it. No doubt some this will end up woven into poorly researched papers by high school kids and undergrads.

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