Friday, June 5, 2015
Our country is doomed.
I just finished grading essays about one of Benjamin Franklin's letters where he practices his famous wit. Franklin's letter is neither difficult to read, nor particularly challenging to understand. The class is full of freshmen at the university taking an introductory US history course.
Not one student in the entire class recognized the humor in Franklin's writing. Not one.
Most couldn't tell me what the basic idea of Franklin's letter was.
Nearly all of them roundly condemned Benjamin Franklin for being insensitive. One student called Franklin's writing "crap." Some students were deeply offended by Franklin's letter.
All of these students have grown up in a world where postmodernist dogma has affected our interpretations of history. Postmodernism was a reaction against the idea that there can be absolutes, and introduced the concept of relativism. (Click for more information.) What this created for today's historians is a philosophy of history that basically says one interpretation of history is as good as another.
This presents a double standard which has imposed all sorts of conflicting interpretations on original documents, many of which have nothing to do with the writer's intent. In the present day, much of history is now filtered through the lens of oppression dogma - meaning most interpretation of history sees events and people as mere oppressors, rather than as events and people. The problem with this trend in history is that it tells students what to think, rather than teaching them how to think.
If students can no longer interpret a simple letter from the past, we as a republic based on a government of the people, by the people, and for the people will fail.
That will be the legacy of the postmodernist, leftist, liberal dogmas that today plague our system of education.