Saturday, March 12, 2011

History as Science

People have a tendency towards accepting things that fit what they were looking for, while rejecting anything that doesn't fit what they were looking for.  It's like our brains light up like a pinball machine when we see what we were hoping to see.  But because we're such fallible creatures (as are all creatures), that tendency must be rejected.

If anything, the moment you see an extraordinary claim that fits what you want, you must dig deeper to make sure you're not lying to yourself.  That's because your natural defenses of cynicism and disbelief are down, and you can end up believing all kinds of crazy stuff with no bearing on reality.

And so it is with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Exxon) and his theory that deficit spending will bring another Holocaust.

As he says:
We can do better than that, but we'd better hurry, because two, three, four more years of what the president proposed, 1.65 trillion in deficit spending? There's not gonna be a country. I don't care how much smarter we think we are in this country. How much more intellectual some of the liberals may be here, you can't outrun history.

There are lessons that are established and if you commit this act, then in the laws of nature and history, you're gonna get this result. You spend too much money you don't have for long enough, you're gonna lose your country. It's happened over and over. Doesn't matter how smart you are, it doesn't matter how many letters you have after your name, it doesn't matter — if you commit certain acts, you're gonna get certain results. Just as sure as it's a scientific experiment that's been proved over and over. Well it has. You spend too much, you're gonna lose the country.
His basis for this?  He read a book.  A history book.  Ahh, one of those.  Say no more, Congressman Gohmert.  We thought you were crazy, but if you have a history book to support your crazy claims, then I guess your theory is solid.

Because, yes, when they say that history repeats itself, they mean it exactly repeats itself, even when circumstances building up to events are completely different.  As long as you can find a few circumstantial parallels, it means you're heading towards the same place.  Based upon this, I've deduced that the leader who will bring about this new holocaust will be named Schmadolph Schmitler, or possibly Shodolph Shotler; depending upon whether or not they repeal Obamacare.

Seriously, Gohmert really needs to consider not only reading another history book, but getting some analysis of what it means.  But then again, if he thinks he already knows more than the intellectuals with "lots of letters after their names," it's fairly obvious that the guy will ignore anyone who doesn't already agree with him.  The man might not know much about history, but he knows what he likes.

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