A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Thursday, August 15, 2013

In Response to Howard Zinn



Here's a link to a critique of Howard Zinn which appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal:

My dad wrote the following:


David Bobb's article on the growing impact of Howard Zinn should challenge all supporters of the Just Third Way. Zinn's book has sold over 2.2 million copies, 20,000 teachers are now teaching his vision of Economic Justice and several influential universities have embraced his version of Social Justice, and big name entertainers are peddling Zinn's critique of America. Any thoughts? Should our supporters be writing David Bobb at the Hillsdale College Kirby Center in Washington, D.C.?

Here's my response:

Zinn is, evidently, profiting handsomely from his one-sided and incomplete historical analysis. So too is Hollywood from the victimization model of history.

I recently listened to an audio version of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, a Pulitzer Prize winning book, written largely in response to a question raised by an aboriginal political leader, who asked the author to help him understand why his people were so powerless in relation to the West. Written from an evolutionary perspective, in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond broadly explores, analyzes, and outlines a series of technological advantages, as well as secondary consequences, which made it possible for elites like Zinn to have the leisure time needed to foment Anti-American sentiment through Hollywood image-making mass production, while all the poor defenseless victims from less developed nations like the aboriginal political leader were struggling with subsistence issues. Perhaps Zinn wants to reset evolution and send the vast majority of Americans back to the stone ages, where we can all live together as happy, far skinnier hunters and gatherers, and munch on berries.

As my dad pointed out to me, unfortunately, millions of people seem to be blindly accepting Zinn's analysis, which reminds me of how hard I started laughing when I realized how the masses, including my 15 year old son Joseph, blindly accepted the myth of Megalodon, possibly because the fiction was portrayed as fact on the Discovery Channel during Shark Week. I tend to agree with dad's assessment that students are leaving schools without the critical thinking skills needed to sort out fact from fiction, including people as brilliant as Matt Damon, my favorite actor.

Despite Zinn's impressive book sales, there are many statistics out there which indicate that few people ever get past the Introduction of the books that they are buying. If smart people like Matt Damon actually took the time to read Zinn's incomplete and flawed analysis, then were presented with a superior analysis and clear picture of what a just society might look like through a design science revolution, I have little doubt that all of the misguided people being led astray by Zinn would be fully capable of seeing the errors in their thinking, and as a result might make better choices, resulting in far better outcomes for everybody, far less guilt, and move everyone a little closer to a more just society.