April 6, 2013
“Let me just say, watching cable news because you want to become better informed is like going to the Olive Garden because you want to live in Italy.” -Andy Borowitz, comedian and writer for The New Yorker
Welcome to the Beyond the National Myth blog. Finally, the first edition of Beyond the National Myth: waking up in the land of the free has been published as an ebook. At last I am able to exhale and peak out from under my research and writing rock. Wow, what a long, strange trip it’s been.
Though an intense 15 months of putting the book together after two decades of study, it has been an incredible opportunity of insight into how what happened way back in the 1700’s shaped the America we have today.
Not only did I immerse myself into specific historical events before and after the American Revolution, but I was able to see how the dots connected to tell a completely different story about America’s inception than the one I had been taught in school. What was even more eye-popping, in the big-picture sense of things, was realizing the role human nature has played from the beginning (especially the lust for power) in how events play out. It seems that since time immemorial the human species has had a strong propensity to want to dominate and control others, and I don’t mean in a good way.
Anyhow, that’s where the national myth comes in. What is it? After writing the book, I had no idea when I searched “national myth,” that Wikipedia had an entry. Here’s some of what it says:
“A national myth is an inspiring narrative or anecdote about a nation’s past. Such myths often serve as an important national symbol and affirm a set of national values.
“A national myth may be a legend or fictionalized narrative, which has been elevated to serious mythological, symbolical and esteemed level so as to be true to the nation (Renan 1882). The national folklore of many nations includes a founding myth, which may involve a struggle against colonialism or a war of independence.
“However, national myths exist in every society. In liberal regimes they can serve the purpose of inspiring civic virtue and self-sacrifice (see Miller 1995), or of shoring up the power of dominant groups and legitimizing their rule.”
Really, I could not have said it better. National myths are like blinders on a horse that deliberately limit the horse’s range of vision to straight ahead. In like manner, national myths are blinders on everyday Americans that deliberately limit their knowledge of American history to a popular version paid for by an elite who benefit by its repetition. Virtually all the historical data I found is public domain and therefore available to anyone looking to break through the seemingly impenetrable firewall of the sanitized version. Sadly, not many take the time to do so.
Because of my effort, I found the “man” behind the curtain. As a result, and due to in-depth research of expert scholars to whom I am grateful, I have been able to present and debunk several popular myths that most Americans consider rock-solid historical fact. A couple of these “facts” are woppers of potentially huge personal and societal implication. All is certainly not as it appears; that’s for darn sure. So-called conspiracy theory has nothing on the revelations I found in archaic, old history books of the 18th and 19th century before political correctness whitewashed American history to mythological proportions.
By stepping through the details of certain pivotal events surrounding the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union and the Constitution of the United States, you might find out more than you wanted to know. However…the debunking of these myths may be exactly what is needed to help turn American minds of complacency to action in a world gone mad. We’ll see. Stay tuned.
Think outside the box. Live outside the cage.