The follwing is an excerpt from a book I was writing in 2010. I had forgotten all about it till I ran across it today.
Right from the start I am going to turn off 84.3% of my readers by saying that History is all about His Story. What I mean by that is that all of human existence serves to unfold to us the plan that God had and has for this world and how he is fulfilling that plan in the world. That means that true history must begin with the Bible. This might seem a little strange, until one studies other histories and myths that all make references to the history that the Bible represents. Although many attempts have been made to disprove the Bible’s record, eventually all of these challenges fade away in the light of new archeological discoveries and historical records. The answers may at times seem a little far-fetched or sketchy to those who concentrate on minutia. But an open-minded and broad view takes the pieces of the mosaic that is world history and fills in the road map that is the Bible with scenery.
I have always been fascinated with the account of the Garden of Eden. Though the Bible says that mankind began in this place, long-time conjecture that the Garden was somewhere in Mesopotamia don’t seem to jibe with the modern DNA evidence that places the original human family in Northern Africa. First of all, according to the Bible, a world-wide flood destroyed all of mankind except for a Noah’s family on a boat. So, the record of life post-flood would not have originated in Eden. It would have begun in the Mountains of Ararat (presumably Turkey), but we are told that everyone migrated south from there to the lower Mesopotamian plains (the plain of Shinar).
Interestingly, if one reads the description of the Garden of Eden carefully and thinks about it logically, the four rivers that split from the head stream and flowed out of Eden are both in Africa and the Middle East. This would seem to indicate that Eden was once located somewhere in the Arabian Sea region, in the vicinity of the region of Northern Africa today from which the record of mankind seems to flow. It is not hard to theorize that the Tigris and Euphrates could have actually once flowed north, if the area where the Arabian Sea lies today was once a mountain that sank in a great seismic upheaval.
Stories of Eden’s location aside, the Bible does give us a very detailed account of the spreading of familial tribes into the different areas of the world. The unfortunate problem we have today is that many of the names of these tribes in later times cannot be reconciled with the biblical names they are given. Much of this may be attributable to the events recorded about the division of tongues in Babylon that forced the tribes to disperse. Much of what constitutes the peoples of Semitic and Hamitic origins can be readily traced to the Biblical record. But migrations of the east and north are harder to trace because of the greater divergence in language trees.
Great benefits arise from looking at the history of interaction of tribes and nations. By gaining insight into the development of nations, we can better understand how these nations think, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and how best to coexist with them. Unfortunately, the saying goes that history is written by the winners. More often than not, victory in conflict is associated with enhancement of the rights and goals of the victor nation more than the moral correctness of its motive. Acts of aggression are often painted in terms of defense or of innocent actions meeting with unprovoked retaliation. The losers are often painted as the “bad guys”. Let’s take, for examples the idea of “Manifest Destiny”, a term coined in the 1800s to give moral credence to the idea of the United States spreading West to the Pacific Ocean. If the nations sees this expansion as the natural and God-given course of events, then one rightly assumes that all settlers that moved west had a perfect right to do so without harassment from the indigenous people. If, however, you were a member of a Choctaw or Navajo tribe, and you saw your ranges being occupied and your food supplies destroyed, you might not have viewed this history in the same light.
Certainly the great framework of the conflict between Europe and Arabia must be understood in terms of the two religions that comprised the sides of the combatants. Yet even this over-simplifies things, since neither group in this struggle for power could be said to espouse these said religions in an unadulterated way. Christianity was founded by Jesus, who said that his kingdom was not of this world, and whose followers therefore were not to be in the business of armed conquest. Therefore it is impossible to find true mandate for the Crusades in the Bible’s pages. Conversely, the Islamic tenants of peace hardly jibe with the realities of their proselytizing. To give people a choice of being Muslim or being enslaved or killed is really not a true choice at all. Certainly both sides felt they were absolutely in the right, because they had a perceived mandate of heaven. Obviously, both sides could not be right, and most likely neither of them was in the right.
In China, the original thoughts of the great thinker Confucius (孔夫子） were easily distorted in all kinds of ways to help those who would conquer do so with apparent righteousness. The idea of the “Mandate of Heaven” was used by every successive dynasty that arose from the Zhou dynasty of 1200 BC through the Qin dynasty of 200 BC, from whom came the name of China for the Middle Kingdom, to the last emperor of 1911, and even the nationalist government of Chang Kai Shek that came to power thereafter. It was this mandate–along with the distorted idea of the xiào (孝– filial piety), the idea that one must always do what ones masters or elders said, not matter how wrong it seemed–that kept the great hoards of Middle Kingdom inhabitants in check for millennia. Even Mongol and Manchu invaders who ruled China at various times appealed to the same Mandate of Heaven to give them the right to rule.
When I speak of education, I do not speak of technical knowledge that one uses to land a job. Unfortunately, this is what passes for education in most of our high schools and universities today. But that is small picture stuff. I speak of education as the knowledge of the great civilizations and schools of thought that have come before, and the ability to see from history how merits of these various systems stack up in terms of prosperity and longevity. This is the prime importance of education, because those who don’t learn the lessons of history are destined to make the same mistakes. Avoiding the mistakes of history results in stasis. In other words, when things are going really well, because you are doing what works, the only direction that change can take is downward. These changes are usually made by someone who doesn’t understand the ramifications of the philosophy that he or she is espousing. So, for the most part, in a prosperous civilization, stasis is good and change is bad.
The greatest understanding that is gleaned from history is the fact that “there is nothing new under the sun.” This saying was first attributed to King Solomon ca. 960 BC, and it is just as true today as it was then. Physical circumstances change. We drive gas-powered cars and work on computers now. But the basic principles of human civilization don’t change. However, the names we give to them change. A careful study of history and a watchful eye keep the educated person from being duped by the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
In our own modern society, let’s take a look at terms and identify what their underlying principles are. What is conservatism? Also known as classical liberalism, it is the idea that citizens should be given a wide berth in their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, without unnecessary infringement of the government upon their personal dealings. Over the last century, these classic rights have been under attack from all sides, so much so that those who espouse them are now said to be those who are trying to conserve them, thus the present moniker of conservatism.
So, what are the forces from which the classic liberals, or conservatives, trying to conserve the prosperous state of civilization? These would be the forces of change (which always leads toward randomness, or chaos, as defined in the second law of thermodynamics, and also applies greatly to radical political thought.) Today, what is called “liberal” is more correctly defined by the other names of socialist, communist, and progressive (the new term for fascist). That they would call themselves progressive implies that they want progress. But, in reality, they want to move us away from the constitution, something considered outdated. However, it was the establishment of the constitutional Republic of the USA that provided for the tremendous prosperity of this nation in the past. The more we have changed by moving away from the constitutional law, the weaker and less prosperous our country has become. In fact, now that progressives have been allowed just two years of unchecked power, the entire nation is on the verge of total collapse.
Interestingly, conservatives must now talk about change. Conservatives now must talk about radical solutions in the USA. Does that mean that they will cause the destruction of our civilization? Think of it in terms of the body and infection. When a part of the body becomes infected, it becomes filled with puss. This whitish fluid may seem to be the infection, when in actuality it is the rallying of the body’s white cells to surround and destroy the infection. The goal of these brutish cells is to restore the healthy stasis of the body, to change the body back to healthy. In this case, change is really restoration instead of progressive infection and destruction that no change represents. In other words, now that the cancer of radical thought is perceived as normal, what was once normal and rational thought is perceive as radical.
If you are a student now, understand that your teachers are most likely cancerous to rational thought on which a healthy society is built. If you decide to blindly follow them to where they want to go, then the blind will be leading the blind. If you really care about your country, then you have an obligation to challenge the veracity of their ideologies. You need to have them show you how their radical shift of policy from the prosperous days of this country have served to make us better. If they cannot show you this, then it is time for you to exercise your right to rebel, just as they did in the 60’s and beyond. But be careful. They are good at semantics. Don’t look at fancy names, look at results. You are paying a huge price to be educated. To be educated means to be able to make up your own mind based upon solid evidence and historical context. Don’t let yourself and your country be cheated by counterfeit education that is nothing but propaganda and brainwashing. Not even the Russians fall for that anymore.