Education and the Problem of Historical Denials

There’s a deep reason that guarantees the insipid feel of most historical courses and textbooks used in schools at all levels. The problem is that the underlying savagery of history is never really faced but is always fudged over. The books and courses in schools of all levels tend to be “tangential” to any reality.

One of the underlying “motors” of all history is the land question in its two aspects:

1. The National Land Question

Which groups and buccaneers grabbed which land?

Thus North America (USA & Canada) was “taken” by European settlers and various kinds of “ethnic cleansing” took place. (See, say, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee).

Parallel processes took place everywhere including China, Russia, etc.

The truth of these historo-crimes at the root of all history is then avoided “forever.”

This makes all discussions of who got what and why, where and when escapist at best.

2. The Private Land Question

Countries like those in Central America were characterized by the fact that when the European empires such as Spain were removed from “ownership,” handfuls of elite families took al the best farmland and parlayed that into political power. Those the top coffee growers have dominated Central America for centuries and the landless and indigenous are in a permanent emergency. Questioning this distribution leads to mass murders such as under Guatemala’s Ríos Montt (died 2018) in the 1980s.

These two “land questions”—the national and the private—are at the core of all world history and this means that failure to put these truths on the table of educational analysis, leads to “let’s pretend” “denial detours.”

There is a fundamental historical dishonesty that governs the educational process and since “the truth will make you free,” it follows that “the untruth will make you unfree” (i.e., “captive mind” syndrome everywhere).