Why Do Americans Have Such A Poor Knowledge Of History?

Discussion in 'History' started by RedStar, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

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    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2010/06/americans-vs-basic-historical-knowledge/19596/

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-11-19-civics_N.htm

    And this is the basic stuff. This hardly scratches the surface. This doesn't even begin to cover world history, or the lesser heard about military engagements of the United States. I could literally ask some guy on the street about the American regime in the Philippines in the first half of the 20th century, or who Emilio Aguinaldo was, or who Queen Liliuokalani was, and they wouldn't have a clue.

    What's going on in the classrooms? Is it some "America is good, rock on! Everyone else bad!" sort of thing? I guess I'm not surprised since all nations no doubt skew their history, and the United States moreso because of the recent Cold War, but Good Lord!

    That's why I recommend Howard Zinn's "A Peoples' History of the United States" be required reading.
     
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  3. baftan ******* Valued Senior Member

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    East coast Americans or West coast Americans? Americans who reside in cities or Americans who reside in rural areas? Which Americans?
     
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  5. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    I just wonder how many people in other countries understand what their past history was? As time goes by so does the need to remember everything that has happened to anyones country because they can do some basic research in libraries or now with the internet. The ability to function in todays society doesn't mean that we need to know everything about our past but only those things which we need to understand in order to be able to survive within our communities and the world as a whole. I know many things about many countries but have never been asked once about any of those things when I visited those countries, are the people there not interested in discussing history as well? Or are they uneducated to their history and can't talk about things they don't know?

    While understanding history is a very good and important thing, living in todays world and working in todays world doesn't need to keep a large amount of data stored in your memory about the history of where you are born but rather the ability to understand how to get along within your environment and the people you deal with daily.
     
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  7. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, but history seems to specifically omit all the worst atrocities that the US has participated in and paint a black-and-white picture.
     
  8. baftan ******* Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know any national history which tells its own people how their ancestors slaughtered such and such other people. Do you know any bravely honest nation like that? Russians, Chinese, Turks, Europeans, Arabs, any?
     
  9. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Simple cultural failure. 24-hour entertainment channels, personal portable internet devices and a culture geared to the pursuit of the popular and trivial.
     
  10. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Nah, the failure is that of the schools.
     
  11. arauca Banned Banned

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    I am not American, but one thing disturbs me you pointing about atrocity, What did the Soviets do wen they entered into Ukraine , Hungary ( remember Nagge ) ,Czechoslovakia, including Poland the good help to Gomulka,. About Aguinaldo , he was a figther against Spain , wen Spain lost the Spanish American war Philippine become an American territory, Aguinaldo continued fighting for independence, was he suppressed yes. I ask you for how long the Ukraine was a Russian territory ? China don't want to relinquish their territory , example Tibet. You know every big bully to not want to relinquish their holdings , Look into the recent history of Serbia
     
  12. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

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    I'm the first person to criticize the USSR but I don't subscribe to the black-and-white "everything the Soviets did was bad, everything America did was good" belief. And like I said in other threads, the Ukraine famine was not deliberately caused. It was not intended or orchestrated. Also, the Tibetans fighting Chinese influence are hardly better: they support an archaic feudal system that has been in place for centuries.

    Eastern Europe has degenerated and life is worse under capitalism.
     
  13. arauca Banned Banned

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    I am not sure I will agree with you , I look in housing In Rumania , since Chauchescu's time there are many new single doweling build, on the market you find whatever you want . Grant you many of the heavy industry have disappeared , jobs are gone , people have moved to other nations to work, but they send money back home. Poland at the present does not have to envy noting from the west, thanks to the free mobility of the people, During the communist empire it was like Cuba a drab. Those people who are used to live from the government hand down , they are worse off they are the parasite that bled Russia that in the 1970 or so . Russia asked the west to lay down the gas pipelines into the west , because by itself it did nit have the means. Friend there are many of such story. Capitalism vs. Your kind of communism , don't look at America , Look to Japan , Germany, France. I rather be at the rich mans door then live in the poor man's shack
     
  14. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

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    Don't get me wrong, French capitalism is better than American capitalism for the average worker. But that hardly means anything: you're still a worker. You're still a serf even if your overlords are required to pay a higher tax. The entire point of socialism is eliminating that relationship between worker and owner.

    Eastern Europe has suffered because of capitalism, not improved.
     
  15. arauca Banned Banned

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    We are human and our nature are different , there is a worker and there is the parasite , there is going to be an owner private, or the state is the owner , and state ownership create parasite, I believe this is why production quality and quantity failed in Russia , were over 50% of what the land produce never reached the market due to negligence
     
  16. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    But how? Did they get lazy, or stupid? Did they just decide to teach utter shit? I'm not sure what happened. My kids' homework doesn't seem radically different from what I learned. Or does it? What's fucked?
     
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    It isn't just history. Regular surveys show that a significant proportion of Americans are scientifically illiterate, too. For example (from memory), about 30-40% believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth, and some of those believe that this takes one day.
     
  18. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    damn straight. fucking commies killed one of the greatest war heroes poland had in world war 2 witold pilecki because he fought the communist take over just as hard as the nazi.
     
  19. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    than why is it that the two countries with the largest capitalist black markets do the best. poland and hungary. eastern europe suffer because russia were a bunch of greedy thugs who looted the countries they took over.
     
  20. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

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    Soviets beat the Czar any day of the week.

    I think it's a failure of the education system itself as well as a culture of ignorance and apathy towards education. Have you seen the documentary "Waiting For Superman"?
    Not to mention the creationists and how many have a horrible understanding of evolution.

    Right. Just ignore the Nazis and the collaborators in Poland.
    Nah. And besides, I am focusing on Russia. I'm not a fan of much of what the Soviets did, but at least when they were around, you had a job, you had food, and neo-nazis and skinheads and nationalists were put down.
     
  21. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    George Carlin did a bit on education in America.

    [video=youtube;4jQT7_rVxAE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jQT7_rVxAE[/video]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2012
  22. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not ignore the nazis. though its funny because they were blamed by the people you support for one the soviets worst crimes. and collaborators were a nonfactor in poland. that fact you'd mention them shows ignorance.

    nationalists you mean people who didn't want to communist? and they killed teachers, religious leaders, and anyone who got in there way. when it came to methods there is no difference between nazi germany and communist russia. the soviets were russian you can't just gloss over their crimes because you don't like them.
     
  23. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

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    No. I don't believe that the Soviet Union enforcing socialism on backwards reactionary countries was right, for exactly the reasons you stated. I said I'm focusing on the implementation of socialism in Russia and some of the satellites.
    Just like various Western powers have done and continue to do. Please point out a government that is innocent of brutality.

    Please don't insult workers the world over by comparing Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union. Nazi ideology is, in principle, genocidal and exploitative. Communist ideology is about world peace, equality, and freedom.
     

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