Every time I moved, I schlepped boxes upon boxes of heavy books, not to mention the bookcases. Only one time that I moved did I have “professional” movers, and all the rest of the times were with the help of family and friends. I’ve moved at least 10 times in the past 40 years. I won’t go into the details of moving the piano, twice, upstairs. At some point, since I could not carry the boxes myself anymore, I started letting go of my books. I had a vast library of technical books (networks and systems), but the technology had changed, so they were no longer very useful – those were fairly easy to let go. I was never much into novels or sci-fi or fantasy, but into philosophy, religion, music, and science. It was very hard to let go of those books. I gave cherished classics to my various children who seemed to appreciate them. One of the last times that moved, the only book I moved with was my large study Bible. I told myself that I could read digital books on my laptop rather than move hundreds of pounds of “real” books around.
Earlier this year, I “quit” Amazon – in solidarity with JWR – and in keeping with the mantra of “starve the Amazon beast”. Since then, I’ve slowly selected some classics that I’ve been able to find through used book stores and started to rebuild my physical book library. I found in 5 paperback volumes the complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer, a Christian philosopher and theologian, for around $50. Some of Schaeffer’s topics/books include: How Should We Then Live?, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, A Christian Manifesto, The Great Evangelical Disaster, etc. I recall reading his works in the 1970s when I was just a teenager. In my opinion he was one of the most inspired philosophers of the century. In that, he draws on history, literature, art, science, and culture to posit a reasoned approach to Christianity.
Schaeffer and his wife founded L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where people could go to seek answers to life’s most challenging questions. The atmosphere was like a “co-op” where everyone shared in the activities of keeping L’Abri running while learning, enjoying discipleship and mentoring. Yes, a “student” could be out picking vegetables for meals, or repairing something in need, washing dishes, or just spending time in prayer, while having the privilege of spending time learning the Bible. I actually have a few family members who spent time at L’Abri a long time ago, and I own a piece of early art painted by a Schaeffer family member. In our culture, so devoid of real meaning, so filled with drama and emotionalism, it’s good to fill one’s mind with… what shall I call it? Reading his books and pondering is like sitting down to a complete steak dinner versus McDonald’s McPlant sandwich on the go.
There are some other books I’ve slowly picked up, some having to do with survival topics such as JWR’s The Ultimate Prepper’s Survival Guide, Survival Retreats and Relocation, and his novels. I have a few books on being a “dissident”, such as Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher. I cherish the several paperback volumes of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s works, The Gulag Archipelago. I have a few books on medicinal herbs, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, a handful of other practical books, along with lots of handwritten recipes. My plan is to replace my digital library with “real books”. I have chosen books regarding topics that I think will be erased from our collective history by the Socialists and Marxists in our midst. This brings me to the point of this article: the erasure of our history and culture. If all the information we access is “online”, in digital format, the ease with which the words are modified is simply the function of quick keystrokes.
THE ERASURE OF HISTORY
As an example, I did a quick Internet search regarding the enslavement of Irish children that occurred long ago. I was stunned at the number of articles written, recently in fact, and blasted all over the Internet, about how the enslavement of Irish children was a myth and not to be compared to the enslavement of black people. Hmmmm… I’m sure this was because of “Juneteenth”, the holiday that was just formally added to the United States calendar of holidays. I’m not here to discuss Juneteenth. I’m here to say that Irish children were enslaved under the guise of becoming “bonded servants” or “indentured servants” where they would serve an “owner” or “master” or “mistress” for some period of years (generally, seven), in exchange for passage to the New World (America). Unfortunately, those children often never earned their freedom and were, in fact, kept as slaves. I’m not going to go into the history of that now, but it’s the same thing happening now at America’s southern border. Children are sent to America by their parents or families (“unaccompanied minors”) via the cartels/coyotes, in hopes that they will have a better life or make it to family members already in America. The families pay huge sums of money for the transport of their children. The children who do make it here, most abused along the way, often end up being trafficked in the United States.
Again, I’m not comparing this to the historical black person slave trade across the globe, which is a stain upon all humanity and all countries and peoples who have enslaved other human beings. That is not my point. My point is that *history* is being rewritten in the digital world in order to support various agendas by various groups. I’m not here to debate or refute that the slavery of black people was horrific and sinful, because it was! And America was one of the first countries on planet earth that made slave trade illegal, often not mentioned in any discussions. Slavery and servitude is still common practice in some countries.
We’ve seen the rewriting of history in public education quite clearly. We’ve seen the demonization of our Founding Fathers, historic war figures and flags, our founding documents, and we’ve seen the advent of Common Core and most recently Critical Race Theory. If you don’t believe me, do an experiment: go find a pre-1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s history book and then compare it with a recent year history book. The Progressive/Socialist/Marxist/Communists (it’s truthfully all the same) will tell you that our history was, in fact, steeped in inherent racism and white supremacy, and therefore we cannot accurately describe our own history. That’s bull pucky. History is, by definition, the study of the past as recorded in written documents and diaries of the time. Did you also notice that the Dictionary and Encyclopedias went online too! So easy to edit! And I’m sure this is all by design.
“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” – George Orwell, 1984
THE ERASURE OF CULTURAL HERITAGE
The toppling of statues and digging up the graves (reference Memphis, Tennessee, and the digging up of the remains of a Confederate army cavalry general) of people who have now been labeled “violent racists” is a bridge too far, to me. I don’t disagree with the idea of not appreciating the people in our past. I think the Ku Klux Klan members were misguided and did evil and horrible things, but digging up their graves? No, that’s sick and wrong. Leave the dead alone, please. The souls of the dead are in the hands of God and they will be judged by Him fairly.
I’m not here to debate the North against the South of our Civil War. I’m here to point out that, in fact, the looting and destruction of people’s cultural heritage is more commonplace than one would think. It’s actually in the Bible – where there are numerous accounts of the Conquerors looting and destroying. The Nazis did it; ISIS did it; and now, the Marxists are all for it. In my mind, it’s not a complex topic, but to others it is very complex. People abandon their own culture and history during various periods of time, and other people, for whatever reasons be it ideological, political, due to disregard, neglect, or for some financial gain, destroy other people’s culture. This is a fact of human history. I’m not supportive for destruction because I think we have so much to learn from the past.
People are free, in America, to decide in their own minds what parts of our past to keep and what to discard. People are free to choose what they will teach their children. What we don’t need in America is those bent on destruction of America’s cultural heritage. And we don’t need public education rewriting history and teaching our children another version of it. I’m so annoyed over the whole thing, I advocate removing children from public education altogether in order to prevent what I see as “indoctrination”.
Tommorrow, in Part 2, I will further discuss why we need “real books” now, and for the future,