Thursday, December 22, 2022

The Age of Amnesia

 Below is a Commentary by Jeffrey Tucker (see bio at the bottom) in The Epoch Times on 12/18/2022

This is THE MOST spot-on assessment of our times that I have read anywhere. I republish it here to have one more place where it may not be forgotten. This is my "resistance at the little game" (see below).

The Age of Amnesia

December 15, 2022 Updated: December 18, 2022


The main defense of Dr. Anthony Fauci in his legal deposition this month was pretty simple: he forgot. He said that he couldn’t recall nearly 200 times and versions of that many more. He said that he was so busy running his huge agency plus shepherding vaccines that he couldn’t possibly remember this or that email implicating him in a censorship scheme. He gets thousands of emails a day and there’s no reason to think that any, in particular, would grab his attention.

It’s all a bit implausible because we saw him on TV several times a day for the better part of three years. He was the hard-working actor out there. I do TV and interviews several times per week but I try my best to throttle them back and turn many down simply because they truly drain away energy and focus from other work. In short, they are all-consuming. The notion that he neglected issues of message in favor of serious science is an incredibly obvious strain on credulity.

So what was the point of this line of answer? Yes, he wants to save his skin. No question about that. But it occurs to me that there is another point, too. He wants to model for the nation and the world how to think about the whole of the last three years. His view is that everyone should forget about it.

You have surely noticed this happening ever since the opening following lockdowns and the rest. We are all just supposed to forget. We are supposed to move on. I’ve heard already a thousand times that we never had a lockdown. There seems to be little in the way of official memory of two years of school closures or the shutting of churches on holidays.

We are being told to forget about the medical mandates that displaced millions from their jobs. We had relatives die and we couldn’t attend their funerals, but we are supposed to forget about all that. I see claims daily that the censorship never really took place or wasn’t that bad really, so we should shut up already.

What about all the politicians who violated stay-at-home orders, went on vacations or got hairstyles, or were photographed partying without a mask even as they imposed them on everyone else? Hey, mistakes were surely made but let’s not make too big a deal of it.

Indeed, it was amazing to me how the most egregious and global attacks on human liberty in the name of public health were very quickly memory-holed by the major media, which we now know was the answer to public health agencies themselves the entire time. We all stood by in shock and wondered if we were the crazy ones.

That, after all, is the whole point of Orwell’s “memory hole,” the invention of an alternative history of the recent past that contradicts our own memories and invites us to believe that we are crazy or obsessed or otherwise thinking about things that truly don’t matter. This is why the memory hole was so important in Orwell’s book. It becomes a means by which the population is controlled in its thinking and therefore in its psychological capacity to resist the next round of impositions.

This is why cultivating a solid memory is so crucial to the preservation of the good and civilized life. The barbarians all around us are constantly inviting us to forget so that we don’t learn lessons and don’t apply the lessons we learn. Instead, we become blank slates for the ruling class to write on daily, and then we are more likely to believe them. Better to never learn lessons at all. If we must learn something, it should be along the lines that we need more control and more acquiescence in the future.

Movements that truly seek to prevent the horrors of the past must also seek to preserve memory. This is why there are Holocaust museums, for example, to help us understand experiences that were not ours but from which we can still learn. Indeed, this is the whole point of learning in general, to extract wisdom from people and events that have come before, in order that we can be better prepared to build a future.

People who invite us to forget are more than likely up to no good. It’s not just that they want to replace a real narrative with a false one. They want history to start over at any given moment so that we are more easily manipulated in the future.

Perhaps this is why basic memory skills have been so deemphasized in early childhood education for so long. It’s a true tragedy because young people do have a remarkable capacity for memorization. They might lack the ability to think abstractly or process difficult strings of logic but they do have the mental power to hear and repeat, which is why a classical education puts so much emphasis on this and probably why modern education regards memorization as a waste of time.

The urge to forget plays out in strange ways in our time. When accounts are banned on YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook, so too are the archives of those accounts blown away so that we can longer access information about the recent past. That’s intentional, otherwise, the banning would be a mere blocking of new content. No, the whole point is to wipe out what we know or think we know.

This is one of the tragedies of the Trump ban on Twitter, for example. We lost a narrative record over years of important data points, making even writing the history of our times more difficult. So when the account came back, so too did our memories and then we could scroll through and verify a version of events that is closer to reality rather than the fake history we were being told to accept from on high.

We’ve been through almost three years in which powerful elites have done their best to wipe out history. I recall the chills I got down my spine when major media organs began putting trigger warnings on links older than a few months. The clear message was: This is no longer valid or reliable because things have surely changed. This is also why Fauci kept saying that the science has changed. It was a call for us to forget all the statements that contradict his latest statements.

In this way, we have entered into an age of amnesia with a ruling class that wants everyone to forget the wisdom of the past and even the events of recent history, to forgive but mostly to forget and move on like good little pawns in their game. Just do what we are told and forget everything else.

We can all resist this little game. We can access and, more importantly, we can consult the wisdom of the ages through books and poetry and religious teachings. If civilization is to survive the onslaught, it will be because we choose to remember and act on those memories in defiance of every demand that we forget.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Jeffrey A. Tucker is the founder and president of the Brownstone Institute, and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press, as well as 10 books in five languages, most recently “Liberty or Lockdown.” He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He writes a daily column on economics for The Epoch Times and speaks widely on the topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome Commenter, if you you are unable to post your comment, please email providing these details: 1 device you use (iphone/tablet/PC/Mac), 2. OS (windows/mac/android/etc),  3 Browser (Chrome/Edge/Explorer/Safari/etc). I will research the issue and get back to you.