Talk:Historical revisionism

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This History related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


I just found this gem here.

"In the final analysis, revisionism is an essential part of history -- it provides a means to constantly improve our understanding by carefully making sure what we know of our "story" is made more accurate."

I have somewhere a list of words or phrases that mean in my opinion and in the final analysis is included. Is this indeed the final word on the subject? If so, we are all in trouble. At least , that's my opinion. Einar aka Carptrash 19:24, 15 August 2008 (EDT)

Your opinion has been noted. RW isn't really neutral or unbiased... we present the truth unedited (ok, snarkily edited) which means opinion hearsay and other evidence inadmissible on Wikipedia is allowed here on RW. I know, it seems preposterous that we would allow the very content that we have issues against... however, the point of RW is that we can all think rationally... most of the content here doesn't require serious discussion or anything... like scientology. *shudders* Some topics don't require serious debate... and pseudosciences are one of them... there are a hojillion reviews out there attacking pseudosciences with proper tools... why reinvent the wheel? We'll just poke fun at them. :) --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 14:28, 16 August 2008 (EDT)
"however, the point of RW is that we can all think rationally...". Oh! That is news for me! Editor at CPLiar at RP! 17:08, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

the above comment notwithstanding, I removed this from the first (2nd? sentence)

" in order to test their validity". Revisionism often happens when square history needs to be pounded into a round hole and has nothing to do with testing any validity. The Communists did it big time and the right wing in America (and likely other places) do it too, to validate their ddogma rather than to "improve our understanding" of anything. Carptrash 16:45, 1 September 2008 (EDT)
You're speaking about the "Revisionism as a pejorative" thing now, right? I always get confused when people talk about revisionism. For me, it's a pretty neutral concept that happens all the time. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:54, 1 September 2008 (EDT)
I don't think that made the article better. Reexamining comes before rewriting (heck, the rewriting might not occur if the story "passes" the exam), and the point is to improve accuracy, validity, etc. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:12, 1 September 2008 (EDT)
In my opinion, the word 'opinion' means monkey, and the word goat means 'actually'. And Stalin's USSR closely resembled Franco's fascism. -Judas Reward 16:26, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

While I understand what you're saying[edit]

While I understand what you're saying and for the most part it's right... there are some forms of valid historical revisionism... like to correct past biases, etc. While biases should be taught in the context of the age (Namely, Paul the Apostle wasn't a misogynist, he was just a regular male in that day in age) the context of the age should be presented with a critical modern eye. We can easily look back and condemn the oppression of women, without holding specific individuals who just happened to be living in the time accountable, unless their own actions were just simply so obviously egregious that we would feel that there is simply just no justification for their actions. Example, slavery was ok in the USA once. We can look back and say "slavery was a bad immoral thing of that time", we can also look back and say "some slave owners were actually well intentioned, and did their best to treat their slaves in the best way possible. Other slave owners were specifically bad, committing acts against the blacks that were reprehensible and offend the human conscience. That the times they were living in said it was ok, is no justification for their acts." This is like, ok, Nazis... some Nazis and a lot of Nazis in power were directly at fault for killing Jews, retards, convicts, disabled, communists, gays, etc. But the Nurnberg Courts ruled that the actions by subordinates in concentration camps were offensive to the human conscience and should not have been done EVEN THOUGH they were just following orders. However, there are other Nazis, like Schindler, who did a lot of good for Jews, and basically worked to subvert the system that defined them as inferior by using their inferior status in order to obtain them for "labor". Then, once he had them/owned them, treated them very well, and ensured that each was as well treated as he could treat them. Revising history to say that "slavery was wrong at the time it was going on" is not bad revisionism... in fact, it's revising history in the context of modern civil rights. Also, to revise history in order to point out how the Native Americans were treated, etc, is also a "good" use of "revisionism". We throw away the whole "pilgrims were helped by the indians and actually lived through the winter, didn't they get along great? Oh, except the savages that we killed" stereotypes that were/are part of our modern vision of history, and revise them to "Yeah, we showed up, some of the Native Americans helped out, others were upset that we were invading our land, and when they responded in force, we responded back in force. Looking at it with a critical modern eye, one sees that the colonists had such a superior advantage over the native americans, that their application of force was unreasonable, unwarranted, and unconscionable." --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 21:21, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

No, I can't really agree with that. Firstly, I don't think the aim of history should be to measure past societies after our own moral yardstick. I'm sure that's very useful for confirming ourselves in our own moral superiority (see e.g. Simone de Beauvoir's concept of The Other), but it doesn't do much in terms of actually understanding the past and appreciating its enormous complexity - which in my opinion is what the aim of history should be.
Secondly, I think we need to be very careful with promoting one set of values in a society (e.g. "slavery is good") as the dominant moral discourse (sorry, don't know what else to call it) of the age, and presenting those who do not fit in as exceptions to that discourse. It's better to see the situation as one of competing discourses in the social battlefield of ideas, some of which are dominant in one period or another, but never uncontested and eventually replaced. The struggle of supporters of slavery vs. emancipationists in 19th century US is just one example. I think this better reflects the complexities of any society. I mean, it's no like even our own society has any one, singular set of moral values.
And thirdly, " sees that the colonists had such a superior advantage over the native americans..." - how do we see that? I rather doubt that such a superiority existed before the beginning of the 19th century at the earliest, when the US started moving westwards in earnest and supporting the move with significant military forces. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 11:08, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
*nods in agreement* Yes, you're right. Sorry, what I meant to say about looking back into the past from a moral point of view is to understand that we will be judged the same way. How we treat animals, etc. will be viewed very differently in the future, and hopefully with as much distain for the cruel treatment of them for meat that it deserves. Namely, to point out that we are not any morally superior over our past, and even if we were, we will be morally superior in the future, so we're always on a treadmill never being able to reach the top. Of instance, the standards used today by homosexual rights proponents to grade companies will eventually be useless, because even the worst offenders of that time will be better than what we have today. I think it's important to show a moral progression in our actions. That we are and never will be perfect, and look, here's the entire line of history to show that's what we should expect.
Definitely, sorry to present "slavery is good" as the prevalent discourse of the time. I meant to say "slavery is tolerable". But even then there were contemporaneous opponents. Still, prevailing legal authority was behind the slave owners... so I guess better "slavery is at the very least legal". I mean, even an anti-abortionist must claim about these times that "abortion is at the very least legal", no matter what their qualms are about it. Both opponents of those legalities sought/seek to change the law. As they should be working.
We had such a total superior advantage over the natives... they had boats, they had technology, and they had diseases that the natives weren't prepared for. There existed no point after Columbus landed in the west indies that an uprising of any native population would be able to secure protection from the incoming colonists. After all, I expand this to all of America, I'm not a nationalist, look at the Incas and the Aztecs... they were all wiped out by Europeans, and colonists seeking to exploit them. How? Boats, horses, weaponry, superior battle tactics, etc. It's the same as the United States against Iraq... come on, did they EVER have a chance? No. If they ever started showing a bit of a chance against us, we STILL HAD MORE to press upon them. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 17:56, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
I'll just stay with the Native American question here, since it seems we agree more or less on the others. Haven't we had pretty much this discussion already, though? I definitely remember... no, that was with WaitingForGodot. Anyway, while it's difficult to avoid, I think it's important to try not to allow our knowledge of what happened to the natives in the 19th century and onwards to influence our view of event in earlier centuries.
Admittedly, this is pretty far outside of my usual field, but the way it looks to me, the Europeans did not have any significant advantage over the natives on the large scale before the early 19th century. Certainly the Europeans had superior technology and horses, but many of the Indian groups acquired these soon enough as well. Further, the Indians knew the geography and the terrain better, as well as the "inter-tribal" political landscape, which shouldn't be overlooked either. As a matter of fact, I think that it's often more fruitful to analyze the situation in political terms, and to view the various Indian groups as competent political actors in their own rights.
For instance, to stay with the conquests of the Aztecs and the Incas, technology certainly played a role in those events, but I don't think the conquistadors could have done what they did if they hadn't had support from the discontent Aztec vassals, or if the Inca Empire hadn't been divided by a succession war. On the other hand, several North American tribes managed to do perfectly well or even profit even from the American expansion, such as the Iowa, as I mentioned in the other discussion. So clearly, the Native Americans were capable of some fairly shrewd political maneuvering. Viewing them as just victims doesn't do them full justice, I think. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:24, 3 September 2008 (EDT)

(unindent) Good points, and definitely agreed. The Indians certainly weren't just victims. I'm just trying to say that when we had the advantage, we could have handled it better. I mean, I grew up in the Southwest, where the Native Americans were essentially oppressed by the catholic church attempting to "tame the savage", and then the spanish catholics were all essentially oppressed when the United States came in. (My grandmother was beaten for speaking Spanish in school, as a result she never taught it on to any of her children.) So, you know, I think it is a good point to remember that everything is a political agent in these fields, and that the indians did some pretty low-down or as you described it "shrewd" actions as well, and they weren't just victims. I mean, hell, the Aztec were probably WORSE conquerors than the conquistadors. I just think that there were much better ways that we could have leveraged our advantages later in the game than what we did. Of course, the same applies as I mentioned for Iraq. We totally overpowered them militarially, and everyone knew this going in. It was our responsibility as the superior to avoid a tyrannical massacre upon another that was unable to mount a reasonable defense. It the reason why we insist that defendants in a criminal case have a right to a lawyer, so that the tyranny has a little less chance of repression. Power is awesome, and I don't think it's wrong to have it... it just has to be welded with a greater responsibility. (omg, now I sound like Spiderman's uncle... "WIth great power, comes great responsibility". *shrug* It's a very insightful message.) I think the best view on that history, and nearly all history would be an approach of "how could we have done things better?" --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 20:27, 3 September 2008 (EDT)

Stalinism and fascism[edit]

Okay, I'll bite. So, tell us, how does Stalin's USSR closely resemble Franco's fascism?

My conclusive evidence: Dr. Zhivago, by David Lean, was mostly filmed in Spain. The movie is set in Stalin's USSR (and some years back) and filmed in Franco's Spain. Most of the Siberian snow scenes where filmed in Spain too with many square kilometers/miles of fake snow. Only a couple scenes were filmed in Northern Finland. Isn't this enough evidence? Editor at CPLiar at RP! 17:12, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
Oh, to add a "serious" tidbit. During the filming they had problems: Franco's police or soldiers heard the singing of the Socialist anthem, l'Internationale, and they had much explanation to do... Editor at CPLiar at RP! 17:14, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
Actually, another interesting tidbit, the scenes when he goes to the house and it's all covered in ice? That was all bees' wax... no kidding! --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 21:06, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
"Fascism and other totalitarian regimes" obviously that means Fascism, plus. Germany, Italy, and Franco's fascism both align in the "totalitarian" block, and the Soviet USSR fit nicely under "other totalitarian regimes". Either way, all totalitarian regimes tend to correct history in order to justify their own opinions... take the neo-con right here in America, "there are no studies about children raised by gay parents", "homosexual activity is unnatural" and the most lovely one "marriage being defined as one man and one woman is the single most common definition of marriage in the entirety of history!". Except all of this is bogus... Would one consider "scientific" creationism as historical revisionism? I mean, it sure smells a lot like it... start with an ideal you want to project, and work backwards to justify your belief, make shit up if you need to. *shrug* --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 21:05, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

On a slightly note but still (just) on topic, I've been bemused for some time now when reading Aschlafly's American and World History Lectures. As an adult who likes to think he knows a bit about History, I can see that Aschlafly clearly has his own agenda which is patently reflected in the material he has written. What I can't get my head around is a) how he manages to convince American parents that the stuff he is producing is historically accurate when the briefest of Googles will cast doubt on so much of it and when there are so many errors pointed out on the talk pages of his work and b) how those children he educates(?) can ever pass any sort of history exam in the real world.

Are the exams set by him and, if so, who validates the results? If they are not set by him but by some recognised authority, what does it say about their marking procedures if children taught with the sort of nonsense he spouts can "pass" a history exam.

It seems to me that there is something amiss when someone like this can be put in charge of the education of young children and get away passing this sort of stuff off as any sort of objective fact.Mick McT 11:07, 3 September 2008 (EDT)

This is why home schooling is illegal in Germany, and some other 1st world countries. However, because there are enough parents to petition a local government to deny that evolution is accepted scientific fact, there are enough to petition the governments of each state to allow them to home school, and teach with this bias. They like to talk about the bias and indoctrination upon children by the school system as liberal... well, if you put your "normal" at crazy right-wing, then yeah, it's going to come off as liberal. "OMG Mommy, today they told us that Indians weren't Christians!" "Oh, that's just left-wing nonsense son, what are they teaching you in that school anyways? Someone should write a law!" --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 17:45, 3 September 2008 (EDT)

It seems to me that there should be a homeschooling (I now see that there is. hmmm should be interesting) article where this could be discussed. I suspect that homeschooling is illegal in Germany because 1. the government will not give up this chunk of authoritarianism that they still have a hold of and 2. they are worried that the closet Nazi's will pass this on to their kids. Guess what? (blatant opinion coming up - don't read on if you can't take it) They should be allowed to do so. But perhaps I'll get a homeschooling page going and see what surfaces. Carptrash 10:50, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

Spoken like someone who didn't learn anything from the Nazi's rule of Germany. Seriously, there's a very good reason why Germany buckles down on fundamentalists, and it's the exact reason that Rationalwiki is against it. I'd rather have a government that's lighthearted enough to have inside jokes, as well as forcefully moderate enough that it limits and controls extremist points of view, both liberal and conservative. Both are equally destructive. Also, Germany isn't refusing to give up a part of its "authoritarianism"... each Land is free to establish its own education guidelines that must be taught in schools... same as here in the USA. The only difference is that when they say things MUST BE TAUGHT, they mean it, and you can't get around it by raising some backwards confused child in homeschooling. Honestly, that's child abuse in my book. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 05:33, 5 September 2008 (EDT)

A short, biased list of historical revisionists[edit]

It doesn't do our credibility any good that our list of "historical revisionists" doesn't include any historians at all, only right-wing pundits & Conservapedia-editors. Can we replace this with a list of revisionists who actually write primarily within the field of history (e.g. David Irving, etc.) or just scrap that section altogether? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:07, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Good point, although I think we are more likely to find "groups" than historians to list? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:30, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I added a few professional historians to the list. Ann Coulter cannot be considered a revisionist historian - she's just an ignoramus with no academic respect. Its stupid highlighting these fringe wacko's - there are more than enough professional historians who are 'revisionist' without having to throw these people in. MarcusCicero 14:46, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

A poor article[edit]

This article is like many others on RW: Riddled with inaccuracy and very pathetic jokes. Can you take yourself seriously when you try to write over an article with a joke about George Lucas? (IE, Secret Squirrels last edit)MarcusCicero 17:33, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

P.S- In other words, you don't seem to understand revisionism and lump it along with the far left and right. Thats just pathetic, intellectually dishonest, stupid, and adolescent. Grow the fuck up. MarcusCicero 17:35, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

If you don't like it re-write it. Silver Sloth 17:38, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
(EC)Here's a thought: instead of whining like a petulant, red-haired step-child, how about rolling up your sleeves and showing us what a good article looks like then. Any idiot can criticise - it takes talent to improve something, however. --PsyGremlinWhut? 17:42, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
There's a reason almost all his edits are on talk pages, y'know. --Kels 17:59, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Its difficult to improve on such knock down witticisms like: 'George Lucas. Han shot first!'. Seriously, cop on and get over yourselves and grow the fuck up. MarcusCicero 09:27, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
No, Marcus darling what you need to do is grasp that our articles are written with a SPOV. We don't purport to be a high-brow serious site, but will employ sarcasm, wit and even *gasp* irony if needed. What you need is to get off your high horse and lighten the fuck up. --PsyGremlinWhut? 10:15, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

The problem is you employ sarcasm, wit and irony with such disastrous childishness. Its so cringe worthy. And then your 'mission statement' and tmtoulouses attitude claim something alltogether more grand. Either work out what you are doing or announce that you are just a couple of adolescents looking for something to do on the internet. Because at the moment you just come off as smug and deluded twats. MarcusCicero 11:51, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

ok - two things: First, put up, or shut up - either use your skills to show us 'adolescents' how it should be done, or be quiet. Second, if we are "smug and deluded twats" (and who says that is a bad thing anyway?) then what does that make you - who likes to spend rather a lot of time debating with said smug and deluded twats? A masochist? As has been pointed out, this is an open wiki (unlike your other home) - you are free to improve the article as you see fit. (Whilst I'm on the subject of childish - your opening barrage above should never be two sentences. Oh, and "it's" for "it is", never its. Even adolescents should know that. How old are you again? Our humour may suck, at least we can write the language properly. --PsyGremlinWhut? 12:13, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Go fuck yourself you little grammar nazi. MarcusCicero 12:43, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

You need a comma to separate those two clauses. - π 12:47, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Cleaned up[edit]

I severely cleaned up the list of historical revisionists, took out the inaccuracies, the geeky 'fact' tags, and the self indulgent nonsense (Such as including the ahistorical Ann Coulter as a revisionist) MarcusCicero 19:59, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Exactly one minute later ListenerX reverted. Now thats what I call editing without any clothes on. MarcusCicero 20:02, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

All right. Why did you pull the Reds in addition to Coulter? Their historical revisionism is quite well documented. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:03, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I'll restore the reds. That was an honest mistake. MarcusCicero 20:09, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Could that fucking imbecile go off and read a fucking book before daring to play the undo game? Face it, you lot don't have a fucking clue what you are playing at. Playing at being intellectuals on a website is probably a lot more gratifying than wanking off over midget porn (Which I assume 90% of you do on the side) MarcusCicero (talk) 20:51, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
What's your level of education, MC? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 20:54, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
That is irrelevant. Regardless of your opinions of Ann Coulter, she is no historian and hence is not a revisionist. She is not a totalitarian regime, hence does not commission revisionist history. Stop being a fucking dimwit. MarcusCicero (talk) 21:02, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
You have a pretty narrow view of things, don't you. Someone inclined to misstate history for personal or political gain is a revisionist. Your criteria are irrelevant. Why do you have such a sore boner for this subject? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 21:06, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Not really arguing the removal of Coulter, per se, but is all revisionism done by totalitarian regimes through official channels? It seems to me that agents like Coulter and others doing essentially the same thing through unofficial channels on behalf of the Conservative movement (for instance) would still be considered revisionism. --Kels (talk) 21:11, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Historical revisionism does not have to be through State channels at all. Anytime someone tries to make a reinterpretation of evidence for historical events, that is revisionism; for example, Conservapedia attacks documented Egyptian history with the aim of making it fit the Young Earth Creationist model. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Again without arguing for the lovely Ann, David Irving is first name that comes to mind when I hear the phrase "historical revisionism". He is most certainly not a "totalitarian regime" - so I'm not sure where MC is coming from on this one.--BobNot Jim 21:56, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Concern troll is concerned. - π 23:43, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
The first name I think of is Harry Elmer Barnes, who isn't on the list yet but should be. Historical revisionism is a legitimate discipline that has had the misfortune of being conflated with Holocaust denial in recent years. Barnes complicates this distinction because he was an early example of both. As for George Lucas...maybe his revisionism of his own films belongs on the insidious examples of political correctness list instead of here, but it belongs somewhere. Secret Squirrel (talk) 00:38, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Dunno if I'd say that about Lucas, but his opinion of some of his own work definitely belongs under delusion. --Kels (talk) 00:47, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
That's true too :) But as I've said before, he made three good films, one of which is American Graffiti, and one of which is the original 1977 Star Wars which is called Star Wars (not "Episode IV: A New Hope") and in which Han shot first. (The third good one was The Empire Strikes Back, the original 1980 version of course). The problem is he thinks he's so important now that he no longer really matters. What has he done since 1980: Ewoks, Howard the Duck, Jar Jar Binks, Han not shooting first? Secret Squirrel (talk) 00:57, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Not to make this end up being SW-centric, but why does everyone hate Return of the Jedi so much? Is it the Ewoks? --PitchBlackMind (talk) 01:37, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
The Star Wars bullshit is evidence of your collective delusion. If you put George Lucas into an article about historical revisionism you might as well write on the front page that WE ARE MORONS!.
To be an historical revisionist one must either be an historian or must write history. Or be commissioned by the state to right 'official' history. Coulter meets none of those criteria. Irving does (He's actually a very well known historian and had a great reputation up until the last 10 years or so, before he started saying loopey things about the holocaust) MarcusCicero (talk) 17:30, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Taking a look at Wikipedia, they have two pages on the subject. The first, Historical revisionism, more or less matches some of what MC is saying. It's done by historians to reflect improved knowledge of history and is a Good Thing. The other, Historical revisionism (negationism) seems to cover what the rest of us are talking about, revising history by personal or political gain, and includes Holocaust denialism and so forth, and would seem to include the work of Ann Coulter as part of a movement trying to revise history to their gain quite nicely. In short, we seem to be talking about two related by not necessarily identical concepts here. Although MC seems to be the only one really getting upset about it.
Oh, and the Lucas thing seems to be a joke. You know what a joke is, right? --Kels (talk) 18:05, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Jokes are not allowed. This is serious thread. --PitchBlackMind (talk) 18:07, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Coulter doesn't rewrite history, she doesn't understand... She is not a revisionist, she is a moron. Lump her into a moron article but not a historical revisionism article.

Sorry I don't laugh at terrible Star Wars jokes. MarcusCicero (talk) 19:09, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

"Sorry I don't laugh." Fixed that for you.
Personally, I don't think there's a lot of evidence that what Coulter does isn't thought out on her part, especially the stuff in her books. I've always gotten the impression she's playing a deliberate role, and I'm not so quick to discount her based on that. Perhaps your thinking is a little too simplistic here? --Kels (talk) 19:47, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Ann Coulter - pyscho bitch pundit? Yeah. Hilarious. Funny. Great. NOT an historical revisionist. AJP Taylor is an historical revisionist. Eric Hobsbawm is an historical revisionist. Natalie Zemon Davies is (Sort of) an historical revisionist. Ann Coulter wouldn't be allowed in the same room as these people. The only simplicity in this debate is your quotation of Wikipedia. MarcusCicero (talk) 19:57, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, it's nice to know you're unfailingly rigid in one sense, at least. --Kels (talk) 21:06, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Seriously, how can you wake up every morning and be so wrong... And worse again, how can you wake up every morning, know you are wrong, yet insist on believing self proclaimatory lies? MarcusCicero (talk) 21:43, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Why does a mouse when it spins? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:48, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I think a better question is, how can someone spend so much time bitching about others being wrong, yet do so little to back up themselves being right, and yet still claim not to be a troll? Although Weaseloid's question was pretty insightful, too. --Kels (talk) 22:05, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Kels, you have not explained how you are right other than a pathetic wikipedia quotation. A fine internet scholar you are. Ann Coulter is not a revisionist. Get that into your thick skull. MarcusCicero (talk) 11:38, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Marcus - please could you try and use debating tools other than playground abuse. I realise that, in your eyes, anyone who disagrees with you is a worthless <insert pejorative term here> but all your posts do is stop people listening to anything that you might have to say. Silver Sloth (talk) 11:53, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Are you still here having a tantrum? What do you actually hope to achieve? You have now solidified Ann Coulter's place on this list by pissing everyone off, well done. - π 12:41, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
To be honest, I wasn't even disagreeing with MC, it just seemed like the two sides in this whole Coulter thing seemed to have valid points which WP backed up, and could he explain a little better. But his response does really call that whole "I am not a troll" thing into doubt, doesn't it? --Kels (talk) 14:19, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't particularly care if Ann Coulter remains. its just indicative of your failures that you are prepared to leave it there just because some internet loudmouth called you out for being wrong. Very conservapedia-esque (You really a mirror of that site) MarcusCicero (talk) 15:20, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

But not a troll at all, nope! --Kels (talk) 15:24, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

What a fucking imbecile you are. If someone behaved as intransigently and ignorantly over on conservapedia as you are behaving here you would have a HUGE WIGO update, sprouting out all about it as inelegantly as possible. Such damn hypocrytical fools you are. MarcusCicero (talk) 15:06, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

So, uh, where in this conversation to you actually back up a single thing you say? I had a question regarding different forms of revisionism and provided a link showing why I thought there was some confusion, and to back up your case you've provided...well, what exactly? I don't see any links, or references, or really much of anything but MC stamping his little foot and saying "I'M RIGHT I'M RIGHT I'M RIGHT YOU'RE ALL DOODY-HEADS" and eventually making a laughable comparison to CP. Seriously man, I thought you were supposed to have teeth with barbs, not bare gums with gingivitis. Oh, and totally not a troll. --Kels (talk) 15:54, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Dragging this back to the issue at hand, if we are to include Ann Coulter in the list, can there be a better qualifier than "psycho bitch pundit". It may be an accurate description, but doesn't explain how or why we are classing her as a historical revisionist. An example of how she has reinterpreted history would be more useful. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:48, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Removed. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

"In the final analysis, revisionism is an essential part of history..."[edit]

And yet the page is categorised as "denialism"--surely denialism isn't an essential part of the study of history? TheoryOfPractice (talk) 17:56, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

No, but it makes sense when you remember that this article will be listed at the category, and parts of it relate to denialism, right? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:11, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Categories indicate significant themes within an article - not all historical revisionism is denialism, but some undoubtedly is, & the topic is discussed in this article, so it would be a mistake to remove this category. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:15, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Reviving a dead dog[edit]

I know I should just relax, but I added Harvey, Taylor, Elton and Jenkins to this article. Does Jeeves never see these kind of contributions or does he simply ignore them? MarcusCicero 14:47, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I thought you said you were leaving. RaoulDuke 14:51, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I was going to leave after the failure of the reform society, but the turnaround by the community has compelled me to stay (Some hope left after all) Either way, I'm a holiday RWian at home for the weekend with a cold. I'm heading back to Dublin in a few hours and you'll see very little of me for the next few months. MarcusCicero 14:54, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Awesome. Question: should legitimate historians like AJPT really be on a list with CP and David Irving? If our definition of Historical Revisionism is broad enough to include all of them, we prolly need to finesse things a bit....RaoulDuke 14:56, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Your definition of historical revisionism doesn't fit with the academic definition. Revisionism isn't bad by itself by any means, it often stimulates fresh discussion and new angles from which to study things. That was my major problem with this article - it plastered anything from the extreme left or right as revisionism, ignoring the fact that it can actually be useful and perpetrated by sane people. AJP Taylor is the most obvious example of this, as would Eric Hobsbawm (Who I didn't mention) Both fine historians, both socialists, both extremely erudite and reasonable. Elton on the right is similar. MarcusCicero 15:00, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you. Why not fix it, then? RaoulDuke 15:01, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Because last time round I was reverted and given some silly Wikipedia definition. Hard to work with that. Which is why I whine on talk pages. MarcusCicero 15:03, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Well then I guess that's it, then. Run along, now. RaoulDuke 15:10, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Should legitimate historians like AJPT really be on a list with CP and David Irving? If we're keeping just one list of all kind of revisionists, then yes, but it might be more appropriate to have a separate list of pioneering revisionist historians like AJPT & Hobsbawm, & one of partisan denialists like Irving et al. Notice how Wikipedia has separate articles on these two kinds of revisionism (wp:Historical revisionism & wp:Historical revisionism (negationism)). We've already got two main sections in this article on the two definitions, so two lists is probably the way to go. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:30, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

In a way every historian who takes a new approach to an established topic is a revisionist. What we should remember is that this is RationalWiki, and we should be attacking those who revise history for political ends. So we should leave Taylor out (just with a passing mention of "nice" revisionists?) and pop our claws for Irving and his ilk. Totnesmartin 15:44, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The thing about Irving was that he was once a well respected, sane historian. Its very hard to make a moral judgement about revisionism because particularly flawed revisionists will argue they are working with the facts (Irving is particularly bad at this - he's not a holocaust denier persé but he disputes whether it was 6 million Jews killed (And to be honest, there is no way of having an exact figure considering the scale of the genocide, but 6 million is roughly correct) AJPT had a lot of criticism at the time from both liberal and conservative critics - he argues that all European statesmen were essentially equally flawed, including Hitler. Is that reasonable? I don't agree with that, and its hard to make a moral judgement either way. We shouldn't be attacking anyone, merely examining the reasonbleness of their arguments. All revisionists are revisionists, I don't agree with this wikipedia notion that they can be seperated (Except of course, on inaccurate revisionism (Propaganda, only roughly based on empirical evidence) and honest revisionism (Based on examining motives, examining new evidence, disagreeing with consensus view etc.) MarcusCicero 15:52, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Legitimate vs. dubious lists: Some would consider Kristol, Bennett, or Zinn dubious, depending on ones political POV. Secret Squirrel 17:00, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

People might debate their findings or methodology, but they're not trying to engage in Holocaust denial or soem other unacceptable discourse. RaoulDuke 17:03, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Define 'unacceptable discourse'. There is a thing called crazy discourse, but don't be a fascist. Authoritarians have used this line of 'unacceptable discourse' to force scholars to stop all manner of innocuous investigations. MarcusCicero 09:16, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Unacceptable in the confines of academia--Holocaust denial, for instance. Try saying THAT didn't happen in a seminar and see what "unacceptable" means. Or saying that black people are inherently less intelligent than white people--unacceptable. And do you have to be a confrontational a-hole all the time? No need to call me a fascist. It doesn't help. RaoulDuke 12:05, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
You're talking about racism with no basis in fact. If there is some evidence then it should be discussed. No avenue of intellectual discussion should be off limits just because its inconvenient or offensive. I know some RWians would rather believe that the world is full of bad and good people, and that the bad people can be put into convenient boxes and forgotten about, but there is virtue and talent (Somewhere) in every person and in ever argument (So long as it uses empirical evidence and reason) That is why what you say is authoritarian, I'm not convinced you thought it through. I'll drop this now seeing as we've somehow resorted to pedantry, but this is just the scraping of the irrational small mindedness of this place that I'm talking about. MarcusCicero 12:28, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
"No avenue of intellectual discussion should be off limits just because its inconvenient or offensive." Perhaps. But I'm not talking about "shoulds" I'm talking about is-s. And there are things that are unacceptable to say in the confines of a university history department, like it or not, and that fact is relevant, I believe, to this article. RaoulDuke 12:43, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand what you mean. If an honest academic wrote a book questioning the holocaust with sufficient evidence to make a case then he would not be ignored or shouted down. If his 'evidence' in turn turned out to be bollox then it would be seen for what it is - racist pandering. Or psuedohistory. You have to get it out of your head that questioning the holocaust in itself is not necessarily bad, its the evidence people use that is bad. The people themselves are often bad too, but that is largely irrelevant.
I really don't know where you are going with this. Holocaust deniers are not revisionists, they are deluded pseudo historians (At best) and propagandists (At worst). Where are you going with this? MarcusCicero 12:48, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to the fact that this article is problematic because it lumps Howard Zinn and AJPT with David Irving and the Stalinist trick of removing people from photographs and does a shitty job of talking about the fact that "revisionist" is a term that has very different meanings in different contexts. RaoulDuke 12:53, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

RW should be able to understand the difference between revisionism and propaganda/rewriting history. I'm not convinced that it does. MarcusCicero 08:18, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Are you going to do anything productive to fix it or just whine? Besides, I thought you were leaving. RaoulDuke 12:09, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Its amazing how similar you sound to Conservapedia when you're unable to defend yourselves intellectually. Your attitude stinks TOP. MarcusCicero 13:27, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Did you not read my post where I essentially said I AGREE WITH YOU THAT THIS ARTICLE HAS SOME PROBLEMS?!?!?1 What the hell is your problem Marcus? You say: This article has some problems. I say, I agree. You say: RW should know better. I say: Shit or get off the pot, and why not fix the article we both AGREE is in need of fixing. You tell me my attitude stinks. Fuck You, MarcusCicero. Fuck you. RaoulDuke 13:31, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Chill out, you're the authoritarian one here, not me. We both agree but where I differ is that I am unwilling to tolerate falseness and will not work on any article which perpetuates it. You are still insisting on ignoring the difference between revisionism and propaganda, I'm merely trying to figure out why. Don't be so reactionary and defensive. MarcusCicero 13:40, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
"I am unwilling to tolerate falseness and will not work on any article which perpetuates it." But you will sit in the bleachers and heckle. How fucking noble of you. How's your brother doing? RaoulDuke 13:43, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Who's the troll now? MarcusCicero 12:53, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
What is your problem TOP? Seriously, I'm only trying to figure out why you insist on ignoring the differences. As far as I'm concerned I'm talking about revisionism, but you keep dragging this crap up. If you can't won't talk about these things then don't - otherwise grow the fuck up and talk like an intelligible adult. When you behave like this you really do resemble CP admins, who don't engage on the issue but just shout and blare out nonsensically. MarcusCicero 12:56, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I've made it clear I am in pretty much complete agreement with you on the issue of the article. If it means so much to you, fix it. I don't really care as much as you seem to. Fix it. Edit the article. Contribute in a meaningful and substantial way. Fix the article so that it no longer has the problems we both agree that it has. Edit the article Marcus. Fix the problems it has. And tell your brother I said hi. RaoulDuke 13:10, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Your attitude is remarkable TOP, it really is. I've apologised many times over my 'brother' prank, I feel bad about it and don't know who many more times I'm going to have to apologise until you lot get over it. If I even attempt to fix this article you and I both know that Jeeves will be along and will revert it, label it as 'trolling' and start another round of lynch mobbing. MarcusCicero 08:47, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Russian guy[edit]

There's a russian conspiracy theorist who holds that all world history has been secretly rewritten and faked to cover up Russia's leading role in world history (not just being first into space, but everything). I wish I could remember his name. Totnesmartin 15:46, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

In his case you have examine where he gets his facts from. Quite a few conspiracy nuts use flawed deduction ie, taking one bit of evidence and then elaborating on the rest. Loose Change is a case in point when talking about deeply flawed logical deduction. (As is the whole Holy Grail thing) MarcusCicero 15:54, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Totnes--look at our phine article on Alternate historical chronologyRaoulDuke 15:56, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Marcus, about Loose Change I could not agree more. Rad McCool 08:52, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Differentiating between historical revisionism and negationism[edit]

Even Wikipedia calls historical revisionism "the legitimate re-examination of history." I propose that since so many links to this particular article are referring to the non-legitimate negationism (such as holocaust denial, etc.) the entire "revisionism as a pejorative" section be moved to an article on negationism. And then I can go back and change what links need to be changed. Either way, this article needs a lot of work. Blue Talk 05:26, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

I was blasted by an historian for saying this, but historical revisionism would not be a problem if historians would stick to chronicling facts rather than plucking interpretations out of the air. Since most periods of history have only the original "examination" available for the historic record and important facts may never be known, such revisionism is often pure speculation. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:34, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
There's a very good reason you were blasted by a historian for saying that. Take a look at the Rhodes school of Civil War historiography, which held that slavery was the war's single cause; or the Dunning school of Reconstruction historiography. These views were some of the first to arise after their respective events took place, and both have been challenged by revisionists (one with more success than the other). Wouldn't you like those perspectives to be challenged? One, with the addition of new evidence, has been essentially disproven (Rhodes). The other used a racially-motivated narrative and refused to utilize the experiences of blacks during Reconstruction, and has also been discredited (Dunning). There are always new interpretations of evidence, discoveries of new evidence, and cultural shifts that require reconsidering the traditional perspective. Blue Talk 05:46, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
How were the Rhodes- and Dunning-school historians not making interpretations there? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:58, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
They were, but then they were challenged by different interpretations... Blue Talk 06:03, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
If nobody had made interpretations in the first place, but merely chronicled facts, there would not have been a problem. However, if there are to be interpretations, I think that one should apply scientific standards and restrict the formulation of new interpretations to cases where new evidence falsifies the old ones — no ideological reinterpretation. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:26, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
You're missing the point of the entire study of history. History is not science. Historians are not archaeologists or journalists - they don't dig up the facts or simply chronicle them - historians give explanations and interpretations. I've a feeling you've never read more than a single book or essay by a modern-era historian, otherwise you would know that interpretations and historiography are integral parts of a historian's work, and that there are conflicting interpretations of the causes of events because historians differ ideologically, and each ideology cites different facts (not versions of the facts). For example, there are several modern interpretations of the causes of the Civil War - from Marxist historians, social historians, progressive historians, etc. There is no "right" answer to the question of why the war occurred. Blue Talk 06:44, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
(EC) Pretty much what Blue said. If historians were to stay away from interpreting their evidence and stuck to chronicling facts, the discipline would be boring as hell and mostly irrelevant. We don't only want know what happened, but why it happened, too. Regarding the latter, there's a further difference between the immediate trigger and more long-term underlying causes of an event. Ideology has very little to do with it, the problem is that when a historian attempts to connect events to these long-term trends, evidence in the form of testimonials, documents etc. is going to be insufficient for constructing an iron-clad argument through process tracing, opening the way for disputes. And when evidence is scarce, each new piece that turns up will have a great effect on the historians' understanding of the problem, which in turn tends to lead to revisions. On another note, historians don't claim to be scientists, are usually very aware of the limitations of their approach, and very cautious about making sweeping claims about the causes of events. Röstigraben (talk) 06:53, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
You cannot have history without analysis of causes or without an over-arching interpretation or even a theme. 'Facts' by themselves are not set in stone, I'm rather skeptical about whether historical facts are 'facts' at all. Once you spend more than 200 hours in an archive you begin to see that pretty much everything has about a million layers of complexity and depth; requiring real discipline and some madness to even get close to establishing a true 'historical fact'. MarcusCicero (talk) 10:29, 31 August 2010 (UTC) Also, I fully agree that history is not a science, nor can it ever be. History is an art, with some scientific principles, and the best history books are opinionated, insightful and not a bit controversial. I'd rather read Hobsbawms Marxist interpretation of the Age of Revolution (1793-1848) than some boring school textbook that simply arranges 'what happened' in chronological fashion, one after the other, after the other. MarcusCicero (talk) 10:32, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
There is no "right" answer to the question of why the war occurred. I beg to differ; there most certainly is, it is just that historians will never find out what it is, because they do not have access to enough data. Or, from a more idealistic standpoint, one could say that the question of why the Civil War occurred is as meaningless as the question of what the meaning of life is.
The data required to conclusively determine the exact causes, both underlying and immediate, would be something like being able to fully understand every single aspect of the society and would probably involve some hefty mind-reading. We don't understand many aspects of our society today - economics, for example, is a hotly contentious field, and we obviously cannot read minds. Because the exact cause is unknowabable, there must be analyses and interpretations of available data. However, the data are not scientific data. The fact is that the data historians use is not quantitative, and two historians can look at the same set of data and draw utterly different conclusions. Blue Talk 03:58, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
...requiring real discipline and some madness to even get close to establishing a true 'historical fact'. Science is like that as well. The difference, apparently, is that scientists actually manage to establish some facts now and again, whereas some are "skeptical" that historians do "at all."
I do read history, as it happens, though mostly local historians who do much more fact-chronicling than interpretation, probably because the other historians are too busy with their Grand Theories of Everything to give a flying flap about what happened in Minneapolis a hundred years ago, unless it is important to one of the aforementioned theories (e.g., the 1934 Teamster strike seems to get a bit of press). Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:19, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I repeat, historians do not pretend to be scientists. History writing is an art. Not a science. 'Fact chronicling' is what they did in the middle ages. They still managed to be biased. Your perspective on this is puddle deep, sorry. MarcusCicero (talk) 08:48, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I shall reserve judgment on most of this until I have had a chance to look in A People's History of the United States. But I understand that at least some people characterize history as a social science rather than an art. Also, from what I have seen of medieval histories, I think the bias has only been made worse by the new methods (even though standards for factual accuracy have been largely tightened). Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:28, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Do you understand there is only a mild distinction between a social science and art? And that history straddles the difference, depending on opinion. I just wish you spent some time in an archive to see how annoyingly elementary your opinion is. MarcusCicero (talk) 09:48, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I understand no such thing, but I should like to hear you explain yourself. My working time is mostly spent in a lab, trying to make sense of things, so I have at least some idea of what the historian goes through, though as Blue points out, we cannot read minds, and I undoubtedly have much better data. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:21, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
History isn't some science experiment that is carried out under controlled conditions. You can't repeat the experiment under different conditions to better understand the effect and its cause. Its results are not recorded by disinterested observers, but by people who are part of the experiment itself. Bondurant (talk) 07:54, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Precisely. The 'facts' are derived from sources, written by fallible men, often downright deceitful. There is simply is no scope to be completely objective when writing about such things. I'm skeptical about whether 'historical facts' AKA 'scientific facts' exist at all. Economics is a social science, and it's wrong all the time. MarcusCicero (talk) 10:54, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Using this lack of data as an excuse to pluck theories out of the air sounds unpleasantly like a creationist citing the gaps in science. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 01:52, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh shut up. MarcusCicero (talk) 09:01, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Who on earth said there was a lack of data?Bondurant (talk) 11:33, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
You did ("You can't repeat the experiment," etc.). So did Blue. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:45, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
This is really tiresome. History is an art in the sense that its resources are limited by profoundly biased source material. This is why historians need to be so widely read, they need to have an intimate understanding of the written material of the period they are dealing with. Contrast this with a scientist who is able to say with almost total certainty that the conditions in which he works are guaranteed and bias neutral. History is a social science in that it attempts to understand past society using some scientific methods to do so. No offence Listener, but you are essentially arguing that an entire discipline is defunct without having appeared to have read any of the material we're talking about or without appearing to have any understanding of what it is that a historian actually does. MarcusCicero (talk) 23:05, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I must admit an ignorance of the practices of the academic discipline of history. But as to reading the material, can you suggest any good books or essays from revisionist historians? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:18, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I probably take a broad interpretation of revisionist historians. The best that come to mind are; A.J.P. Taylor, Origins of the Second World War, Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes, Roy Foster, Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Norman Davies, Heart of Europe, Simon Schama, Citizens, a Chronicle of the French Revolution and Niall Ferguson, Empire. Ferguson's book is probably one the better exemplars of revisionism as it is practised by professional historians. Not to be confused with propaganda. MarcusCicero (talk) 23:30, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

xkcd That is all. Bondurant (talk) 18:08, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Back on topic[edit]

Any thoughts on my original suggestion? Blue Talk 19:54, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. This article isn't about revisionism at all. Revisionism is a legitimate school of historical thought, there is no reason to associate it with the far left or far right. There is a difference between propaganda and revisionism. MarcusCicero (talk) 19:59, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Most people, I think, who aren't aware, see the words "historical revisionism" and have a sort of quasi-semantical knee-jerk reaction. They assume it means changing the chronicled facts of history, as opposed to what it actually is; re-examining and challenging historiographical interpretations. Sure, there are fringe revisionists that give the school a bad reputation, but the vast majority of the revisionist school is perfectly legitimate (Zinn comes to mind as the archetype of modern "dyed-in-the-wool" revisionist). Blue Talk 20:05, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I ask for objections once more... Blue Talk 02:41, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
The above debate notwithstanding, I submit that most revisionists are flimflammers whose primary purpose is to push an ideological agenda (even if by so doing they are trying to rectify previous pushing of an ideological agenda), and the only reason one cannot give them the academic thrashing they deserve is that they utilize bullshit (in the sense defined by Harry Frankfurt) instead of lies as their deceptive modus operandi. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:59, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure what to say. The revisionist school has a long and distinguished history, to the point where it, along with the "consensus" or traditionalist school have dominated historiography in the last several decades. Have you even read any revisionist literature? Zinn? Foner? Bits of Hofstadter? They're quite popular. What can I say? You're wrong. You hold wrong assumptions about this topic. Blue Talk 03:22, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I must admit I am not very widely read in that area; I was rather put off to the whole thing when I read a book that drooled all over Cortes and other conquistadors for carrying out the inevitable Agenda of God by smashing the Mesoamerican temples. I stuck to the apolitical stuff after that. I think I will get the vomit-bag handy and try to read A People's History of the United States, which I hear is a shining example of the genre. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:39, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
A People's History. is quite good. It's very, shall we say, unabridged, and I made it easier by reading each chapter as an essay (you can skip around). Blue Talk 03:46, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I have now started in with reading Zinn's, uh, book; I have posted my thoughts on it here. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:49, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
A professional historian I respect very much once tried to school me carefully on this. I suspect we just have the wrong title - it should be "revisionist history", since HR is just what historians do in their job. RH are the nutjobs, the denialists, etc. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:14, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Look, there is a difference between propaganda and revisionism. I'd wager Listener hasn't read any revisionist history. A.J.P. Taylor is probably the best example in Britain, Roy Foster in Ireland. Honestly, history would be incredibly boring without them. MarcusCicero (talk) 08:46, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
No, Human, "historical revisionism" and "revisionist history" are essentially interchangeable terms. The latter does get abused by the media more than the former, but they refer to the same thing. However, it is wrong to lump the Holocaust deniers and USSR historians in with other revisionists (even fringe revisionists, but "legitimate" nonetheless). I suggest that there be a separate article for negationism, in order to make the distinction - between historians that utilize facts and those (like the Soviets) that actively changed recorded facts - crystal clear. Blue Talk 18:53, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
No they aren't. Also, your new sig makes my eyes blur. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:47, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
They're not equal or synonymous terms, but changing the title of the article would do absolutely nothing. And yes, I've changed it back, it was very annoying. Blue Talk 09:05, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

I've extensively revised this article and created the article negationism. I've also adjusted the links. Blue Talk 03:18, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Human's revert: are you seriously implying that one typo is grounds for reversion of the entire change? Blue Talk 08:42, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Sometimes, Human, you have to provide a rationale for your actions. You're not above that. Blue Talk 16:59, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh my my. MarcusCicero (talk) 08:45, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

You know, not all of us think Marxism is legitimate[edit]

Just because you're not a foam-at-the-mouth right-winger, doesn't make you a Communist. That is, ironically, what right-wingers accuse everyone of being. Rabbitxhampster (talk) 21:22, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Not sure what your point is. Recognising Marxist history/historiography as a legitimate school of study doesn't make anyone a communist. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:34, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
It is one thing to say that Marxist historians have their heads where the sun don't shine and would benefit from having something marginally functional between their ears, and quite another to claim that the whole field of Marxist history is illegitimate. The class-struggle lens is good at least for labor history. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:17, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Marxist historiography exists because a number of historians write from a distinctly Marxist perspective. Liberal and conservative historiography exists because a number of historians write from a particular point of view. Ad infinitum. MarcusCicero (talk) 00:26, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

I just cut out and moved this here[edit]

This starts off by stating that these folks were "liberal/leftists" and ends up stating that they "hated liberals." This is not very rational. Carptrash (talk) 14:40, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

I think the first part is supposed to be a myth & the second part a refutation of it, but it's not very clear where the one ends & the other begins. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:02, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Well if the myth that "The Dixiecrats were liberals/leftists," exists I sure missed it. Carptrash (talk) 16:40, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
It's not that hard to find examples by googling liberal dixiecrats, for example [1] or [2] and strongly implied here and here's Ann Coulter with a very similar story (which of course veers off into red-baiting half a page later). ScepticWombat (talk) 05:28, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
I haven't read Ann Coluter's book, but I don't see those other sources suggesting that Dixiecrats were liberals or leftists. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:14, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
It's a bit less blatant than that. Essentially, it's a guilt by association strategy, suggesting that "liberals" (read: Democrats) are responsible for Dixiecrats and to fudge the switcheroo that attracted these racists to the GOP, following the Southern strategy, and to live on the laurels of Lincoln. The idea is that the GOP is the "real" civil rights party, unlike those dastardly Dixiecrats and Democrats who are "really" all the same. It also ignores that some (former) Dixiecrats actually changed their views on segregation. Basically, it's using a situation prior to the realignment which saw the racists leave the Democrats to flock to the GOP and use that to paper over the current state of affairs. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:44, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

I wandered over to the links posted above. The first one, I find, begins with "The left is quite annoyed that myself and others.” “Myself and others?” Why would I even care what someone with such terrible grammar would have to say? He then goes on to support his stance with " A Patriot’s History of the United States.” The author of that was a regular commentator on Fox News and one reviewer of the book wrote, ""the authors make claims that are not even remotely endorsed by the footnoted sources”. This is a familiar complaint from those, such as myself (see, the word can be used properly), who attempt to co-edit with these folks on wikipedia. Enough for me. At another of the sources I discovered, "Blacks have been brainwashed by the myth of the Southern Strategy.” Brainwashed? Good god!” Blacks got to live through the "Southern Strategy.” The Black understanding of this strategy did not come from Northern liberals but from a day-to-day, hour-to-hour living with it.Carptrash (talk) 18:18, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Hey, I wasn't saying it was a particularly brilliant case, just that you can actually find some versions of this (bizarre) version of history.
Now, between Google's increasing penchant for "personalising" searches and the fact that whacko sites may simply be ranked very low in their hits, I can't be exactly sure of this, but it did seem to me as if liberal debunkings of "The Dixiecrats were liberals/leftists"-story far outnumbered those peddling the myth itself. However, this is simply based on scrolling through the first 4 or 5 pages of hits and not any kind of rigorous study.
If my impression is correct, it suggests a couple of things to me. First, it illustrates how crucial the "civil rights identity" is to "liberal" self-understanding so that any, even an obscure, challenge to it leads to a flood of responses. Secondly, these responses also works as attacks on "conservatives" or "right wingers" in general, though in the few cases I looked at, the sources of the "liberal Dixiecrat"-myth were conspicuously absent: who were actually promoting this myth? Not to mention that this comes perilously close to a similar conflation to Dixiecrats=Democrats but now between obscure wingnuts trying to rewrite history and the GOP in general (not that the party really needs any more nutballs...). Thirdly, it is possible to find some versions that at least broadly match the core of the myth as presented here: The conflation of Dixiecrats and "civil rights Democrats", the attempt at removing the GOP from the equation, and the general obscuration of the realignment of U.S. politics between the late '60s and mid-'70s. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:04, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
I still haven't seen a single source stating that "the Dixiecrats were liberals", let alone "leftists", or anything comparable to this, so it seems like a pointless think to refute. I'm aware that Republicans often point out that southern Democrats supported segregation & use this to smear the modern day Democrat Party, as covered in our Dixiecrat fallacy article, but pretending that this is framing Dixiecrats as "liberals/leftists" is a complete strawman. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:20, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, then why not insert the Dixiecrat fallacy on the list instead? It is a form of historical revisionism because it's extremely selective in its presentation of history. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:24, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Might want to protect this page[edit]

I'll try to keep an eye on it, but when I looked, some wingnut changed my edit to revise history to say that the Civil War wasn't about slavery and was about states' rights. --ShorinBJ (talk) 23:07, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

So far, we only have a single edit by a drive-by BoN, so it's probably not necessary, yet. ScepticWombat (talk) 05:04, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
It was about states rights. The right in those states to own other human beings as property. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 18:52, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
If you think so. I was also concerned because it's just the sort of page that would be a target right now, with people getting defensive of the whole Lost Cause thing. --ShorinBJ (talk) 14:17, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

You draw some pretty fine lines[edit]

where Historical revisionism and pseudohistory are concerned. It seems to me that pseudo history is the process by which Historical revisionism sometimes takes place. I notice that we (if I may use that pronoun regarding Rationalwiki) include Holocaust denial in both categories and no one seems to be demanding that it be one or the other. We state that Historical revisionism "is a practice in historiography in which a historian reinterprets traditional views of causes and effects, decisions, and evidence." That is what the Afrocentric revision of history does. I am inclined to undo your edit here but usually prefer to discuss it before doing it. The give-you-a-fair-trial-before-hanging-you process. Carptrash (talk) 19:18, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

I consider Holocaust denial to be pseudohistory, and I suspect it appears in both categories, because Holocaust denialists like to style themselves as historical or Holocaust revisionists (because it sounds a lot nicer than Holocaust denialists). However, that doesn't mean that what they're doing isn't pseudohistory (as their arguments have all been thoroughly debunked, yet they just bang on regardless).
Similarly, the "Cleopatra (VII) was black"-claim is pseudohistory, because it's so easily debunked. In fact, someone would have to be pretty ignorant of Cleopatra and her historical context and lineage to even make the claim in the first place. It's certainly not just being ridiculed because of some institutional racism as the paragraph I deleted seemed to imply.
If you want to include "Cleopatra was black", then list it among "unsavoury types" (though I can't quite see it fitting into any of the existing subcategories, so perhaps you need to create a new one?), because the claim basically tosses history out the window in favour of a "more ideologically convenient" conclusion. In this sense, "Cleopatra was black" is effectively tantamount to denialism, because it denies well-documented and -established bits of the historical record. I suppose that the level of historical illiteracy necessary to subscribe to "Cleopatra was black" might actually merit it a place alongside Caribou Barbie's version of Paul Revere or her even loonier sister wingnut's take on John Quincy Adams - especially if someone tried to systematically wandalise WP pages associated with Cleopatra. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:47, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
In the wikipedia article "Historical revisionism (negationism)” we find, "Historical revisionism involves either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about a historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record. “ I guess it is the latter that I am putting this example of afro-centric history into. Hollywood, (another place whose historical revisionism should be included, though perhaps I will do that in pseudohistory instead,) is, according to some, based on the concept of the ‘’willing (willful?) suspension of disbelief.” So is the "Cleopatra was black” idea, it is just amazing to me how many folks are willing to do just that. Carptrash (talk) 21:35, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Okay, cool enough, I simply misunderstood the point you were making. As long as it's under the "not legitimate" rubric, I have no problem in putting it here.
Perhaps we need a third group for Hollywood as it isn't necessarily about either trying to highlight a hitherto neglected area or interpretation of history ("legitimate historical revisionism") or (usually) about deliberately misrepresenting history (the "unsavoury" variety), but simply stems from not caring about historical details or accuracy if they clash with the story the film wishes to tell; nor does Hollywood normally even pretend to give anything like a correct view of history (hence TV Tropes' entry on "Hollywood History").
Unfortunately, some Hollywood films become far more influential in the public's perception of history than actual works of history, e.g. Oliver Stone's JFK with its überconspiratorial polemics and outright fabrication such as the (in)famous "magic bullet" (which wasn't magic at all, but easily explainable once actual ballisticians are consulted and factors such the special seating arrangement of JFK's car etc. are included). Thus, JFK is far closer to "unsavoury" historical revisionism than the usual Hollywood carelessness and you could take Birth of a Nation as an example from the other end of the political spectrum. ScepticWombat (talk) 21:59, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
I recently watched the movie ‘’’Troy.’’’ If we pretend for a moment that what Homer came up with was “history” then the version presented in the movie was painful. Actually even if we do not accept it as history it was still painful, but . . ….. Anyway one major transgression was having, the Greek “villain” Agamemnon get killed, thus depriving Aeschylus of one of his major claims to fame.
Then there is the recent trend in “alternate history” in which the Germans invade and conquer Britain in WWII or Hitler and all the major Nazi leaders getting blown up or the South winning the US Civil War, etc. Since no one is expected to take them seriously as history we don’t need to deal with them here. but they did come to mind and I seem to be in a fairly unccensored mindset now.
Also. I don’t care so much about what of my edits remain in the article as I do about having this discussion. The journey IS the destination.Carptrash (talk) 22:22, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Bosnian War[edit]

I got a revert on my removal of the debate about genocide in Bosnia from the "Moonbat" section. I based my edit on this History News Network article by David Gibbs. Gibbs originally published his research for this at an university affiliated journal.

"The heated rhetoric associated with the Srebrenica issue has helped to debase public discussion and civility. At the recent UN Security Council debates, for example, British diplomat Peter Wilson stated that 'Genocide occurred at Srebrenica. This is a legal fact.' Ambassador Power too has stated that the Srebrenica 'genocide is a proven fact,' as if no reasonable person could disagree."
"These statements are both dogmatic and inaccurate. While the facts of what happened at Srebrenica are generally accepted, the interpretation of these facts as constituting genocide has been challenged by such leading academics as William Schabas (who served as President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars) and Ian Buruma. With regard to the 2003 court decision that established the idea of a Srebrenica genocide, extended critiques have been published in the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal and the Slavic Review."

Is it more rational to listen to the government, or to listen to the scholars? I guess you know where I stand on this.-RPG5 (talk) 19:59, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

How about listening to the man in charge of the massacre? A man who was not only convicted of genocide but outright told his superiors that their orders constituted genocide. Comrade GC (talk) 20:13, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Comrade GC, you're kind of proving the point of the article aren't you? --RPG5 (talk) 20:39, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
And your dodging my point, General Mladić the man convicted of genocide stated to the leading Serbian officials: "People are not little stones, or keys in someone's pocket, that can be moved from one place to another just like that.... Therefore, we cannot precisely arrange for only Serbs to stay in one part of the country while removing others painlessly. I do not know how Mr. Krajišnik and Mr. Karadžić will explain that to the world. That is genocide." The Srebrenica massacre also helped coin the term "Ethnic cleansing" which itself is synonymous with genocide. While I will agree with your source in the opinion that using Srebenica as an excuse for even more US interventionalist policies is reprehensible I would also like to point out that it checks all the boxes for genocide, whether you like or not. Comrade GC (talk) 21:02, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
PS: I'd like to also point out that scale does not determine whether an act is genocide but intent. Comrade GC (talk) 21:05, 14 January 2018 (UTC).
Genocide is a subsection of ethnic cleansing, but they're not "synonymous." If that were the case, then the Kosovo Albanians would be guilty of genocide on a vast level (even before you bring their organ harvesting into the situation), and I assume you don't agree with that.-RPG5 (talk) 00:36, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
If you're asking me if I believe that the KLA committed genocide then the answer is yes. Comrade GC (talk) 01:52, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
PS: Please place the (:) in front of your comments, it helps keep the talkpage from becoming muddled. Comrade GC (talk) 01:52, 15 January 2018 (UTC)


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