Who could have been paying attention the past 4 or 5 years and thought "the way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion"?
Look - this jawbreaker included... some stuff.
History is fundamentally one long litany of rich people being fuckers to poor people, of aristocrats fucking each other over every chance they get, of the little guy being crushed in the wheels turned by the big guys.
The book that won the Pulitzer is Rousseau and Revolution. It's 1092 pages, or 57 1/2 hours. And I sat through the whole book hating Rousseau and wanting the Revolution to come and cut off the heads of all these fuckers. And then it ends right as Louis 16 abdicates and you have to read The Age of Napoleon to get to The Reign of Terror and it's so much worse than you thought it could be that you just want to hug your kid.
Americans don't learn much about The Terrors. It would be instructive if we did so; what we learn is that the French, inspired by the Americans, threw off the yoke of tyranny. What we don't learn is that the yoke of tyranny threw itself right back on again, and then they threw it off again, and then they threw it back on again, and
Salem catches a lot of shit for witch trials. Two hundred accused, 20 executions. The British burned 500 witches over a hundred year period; fuckin' German tribes burned 25 thousand over the same period. The Germans? Most of that was warring tribes taking a town and burning everyone that burned their "witches" the year before last. All becomes attrition and reprisal. That was after the thirty years' war had depleted their stocks so much that the Church OK'd polygamy.
The instinct behind this is fear. It's not fear of being liberal, or fear of being conservative. It's fear that you're in charge, and those who are in charge when the rules change tend to suffer the worst.
For the past 80-90 years, rich white people have been confident that they will remain rich. They have been confident that they will face no consequences from upholding a system that rewards them from being white. That's changing. Superiority reduced to equality is a reduction nonetheless and when we all judge ourselves relative to our fellow man, raising our fellow man means diminishing ourselves.
The Terrors were about the petty bourgeoisie taking down the aristocracy, and then the aristocracy taking down the petty bourgeoisie, and then the petty bourgeoisie taking down the aristocracy forever and ever amen. There's a lot of historians in that list and they've got to smell something on the wind.
So they're writing an angry editorial to Twitter.