Monday, June 30, 2014

History? Their-story.

I have almost no interest in history as it relates to what governments and their militaries did. That's a club I have never belonged to, so their "history" isn't mine.

That's why history in school was so dreadfully boring to me.

The history I am more interested in is what normal people did while simply living. Yes, some of what they did was in reaction to governments, but that's polluted history. Not the real stuff.

I enjoy dabbling in the ways they lived. I have hundreds of thousands of years of human history to experience. Why just focus on the worst bits and the worst thugs and pretend that's the "important part"?

And why limit myself to this current time when choosing what to wear and what to do? Pick and choose the best history has to offer.

The past is deep. Jump in.



  1. Thanks Kent. I'm guessing that you took the anarchist pill a good while before I did (and your mind likely works a lot faster than mine does too).

    I still keep getting huge red pill revelations as yet another area of life becomes clear as the statist fog and filth clears away from it.

    History is one of those areas that I've been getting that more and more.

    I hated school history, it always seemed to be the bitchiest nastiest teachers, and i'm terrible with names and numbers - I'm a born failure at school history.

    I love reading history interpretted by people like Murray Rothbard, Ralph Raico and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

    After them, the lamestream stuff is so clearly the work of the court propagandists - "before me was chaos - I bring you order, peace, learning..." No they were all violent thieves and destroyers, the noble who may have endowed a new college in one of the big universities, likely extorted so much additional rent from his tennants, that tens of thousands of children either starved and succumbed to disease - or were so tired and hungry at the end of their day's labours that they had neither time nor energy to learn.

    Back in my teens, I went on a week long trip around the area where the religious Society of Friends (Quakers) first arose in the Lune Valley in Lancashire in the 1640s amongst farmers and artisan weavers.

    It is interesting that George Fox found an area of poor but literate people. They all had bibles and could read them. Arguably they were probably more literate than most contemporary school leavers. The area was apparently neglected by the mainstream church. Interestingly, a lot of the houses from that time are still standing.

    The village where I grew up, had been owned by the church from 1066 to the late 1960s. Cromwell's contemporary "Survey of the Commonwealth" recorded it as a collection of heather thatched, wattle and daub hovels. The houses in the village are jerry built and date from around the 1790s at the earliest.

    Elsewhere in Britain, private estates were building big farm houses and steadings from the 1600s or earlier in the hope of attracting good tennants, The few owner occupiers and artisans (like the ones George Fox found in the Lune valley) also built substantial dwellings, the old bishop was only interested in his port, his brandy and his wenches, and screwing as much rent out of his tennants as he could, and bugger the future.

    The village and it's crappy houses are a microcosm of central planning and what Hoppe describes as "public slavery" - just as no one waxes and polishes a hire car, so the Bishop wasn't interested in the long term future - it wasn't his estate to pass on to his heirs, but he could plunder it for a few years, and bugger the long term consequences.

    1. Somewhere in these posts you can find the story of how I progressed from thinking I was "conservative" because that's what I had been told dislike/distrust of government indicated, to figuring out I was libertarian, to finally tossing out those final contradictions that kept me from being anarchist. It's been quite a ride.

      The most miserable teacher I ever had was a history teacher. The man couldn't smile- I think it was physically impossible. And his name was one letter off of Star Wars' first villain: Vaden.

      It amazes and fascinates me to hear about places which have been towns since before 1066- this town came into existence in around 1906 (if I'm not mistaken), and other places I have lived were wilderness until the late 1870s or so. My time in Pennsylvania gave me a little longer history behind the places I lived and visited, but even that pales by comparison to Britain.

      I love imagining the mammoths and the people who hunted them who trod where my house stands now, but there is no trace of them. The Blackwater Draw Clovis site is close, though. And I know the natives were living here not that long ago. Still, to imagine a town that has been occupied for a thousand years or more... wow.

      And I love reading Jean Auel's books and imagining what life was really like for the people back then. As I say, history is awesome, but the history of the rulers and their militaries leaves me cold.

  2. This is your most interesting posting yet, at least to me. I've never thought of history in that manner. I suppose most judge history from the viewpoint of which people and events had the most effect on others around them, and obviously that involves either war, force, or disease (occasionally famine, as well). Anarchists, by their nature, have no desire to influence, except by persuasion occasionally. Are there any books you can reccomend which covers the daily lives of ordinary people the way you described? I would like to read such books now, especially if they have something surprising in them.

    1. First hand accounts of a person's life seem to be the best histories I have read- something like "Journal of a Trapper" by Osborne Russell. While less personal, books of "experimental archaeology" and "living history" also give you an idea of the things people did daily to survive. Learning old skills, to me, feels like re-learning skills I had forgotten (which makes me wonder if there is something to genetic memory).

      I would suggest deciding on a time period you'd like to know more about, then see if you can find personal journals written during that time by "ordinary" people with no political power or connections, then find out what you can about the skills that person would have had to have to live during that era, in the place where they lived, and for their "station in life"- and either just read about the skills or try to learn a few of them. For example- does the journal talk about making soap or getting treatment for a particular disease? Find out how the person of that era made soap (what ingredients and tools and methods they used) and what medicine consisted of back then- and would they have mixed up a concoction themselves, or gone to an "expert"? When you find a thread that gets your interest, follow to see where it leads.