attitudes towards history

I’m getting really frustrated with Tumblr and it’s attitude toward history as a whole so I’m throwing my two cents into it. 

People who like history know fully well that the people that we’re learning about are usually really, really shitty. They were either racist, sexist, imperialistic or all of the above. 

HOWEVER, me learning little facts about historical people’s lives does not mean I condone their shitty actions. 

I fucking hate Thomas Jefferson and all he stood for. He’s a Macaroni fuck and I’d fight him on the street if I saw him. However me knowing and enjoying the fact that one time he was gifted a thousand pound wheel of cheese just to not let any, and I quote, “Federalist Cows” Have any, does not mean I condone his slavery and rape of Sally Hemmings.

When you learn about history you’re learning about everything, the good and the bad. If you limit yourself to ‘pure’ historical figures you’re going to have one fucking short list there buddy. 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the most vocal women’s rights activists of her day, was racist as hell 

Napoleon wanted to take over the world 

And I don’t even have to mention what Hitler did 

We learn about history so we don’t repeat it 

And fuck it, Learning that Thomas Jefferson had a murderous goat is fucking funny and I’ll laugh at it if I want to. Me finding a fact amusing does not mean I have sympathy for shitty people/condone shitty people. I just think it’s fucking funny. 

So fuck off and let me enjoy my history in peace 


Among the sciences, there is one little fellow named Ecology, and in time we shall pay him more attention. He teaches us that the total economy of this planet cannot be guided by and efficient rationale of exploitation alone, but that the exploiting part must itself eventually suffer if it too greatly disturbs the balance of the whole (as big beasts would starve, if they succeeded in catching all the little beast that are their prey—their very lack of efficiency in the exploitation of their ability as hunters thus acting as efficiency on a higher level, where considerations of balance count for more than considerations of one-tracked purposiveness).
So far, the laws of ecology have begun avenging themselves against restricted human concepts of profit by countering deforestation and deep plowing with floods, droughts, dust storms, and aggravated soil erosion. And in a capitalist economy, these trends will be arrested only insofar as collectivistic ingredients of control are introduced, as with the comparatively insignificant efforts that have already been organized by our state and federal governments.
—  Kenneth Burke (Attitudes Towards History)