Only the future is certain. The past is always changing.
The Congo was the poster child for the dreadful evils of colonialism. We were supposed to look at how cruelly the Belgians treat the poor natives, look at how many natives colonialism has murdered to maintain its savage rule. In 1961, it got independence. The whites fled rape and murder. Two or three weeks after independence, the Congo became a savage hell hole, and has remained that way ever since, Zimbabwe in fast forward. The whites fled the Congo faster than they have fled Zimbabwe, so the descent into savagery was faster. Yet now, the outcome of decolonization has been forgotten, and the Congo is back to being the poster child of the evils of colonialism, and we repeat the same disaster over and over again: Haiti foreshadowed the Congo, the Congo foreshadowed Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Until the Soviets collapsed, 99% of Academia enthusiastically agreed that the Soviet Union’s command economy was growing much faster than the US’s old fashioned semi market economy, and the remaining 1% agreed that it was growing at least as fast – or at least that is what they said when anyone was listening. Since the general consensus outside of Academia was that the Soviet Union was a festering economic basket case whose central plan existed only on paper, collapsing into disorderly pillage in actual practice, one wonders what happened to any academic inclined to say that the Soviet Union was a festering economic basket case, whose plans and statistics were utterly disconnected from the chaotic and destructive reality.
Before 1972, every historian of science agreed that Darwin’s big idea was natural selection, and those of them that addressed the issue of Lamarck and common descent agreed that Lamarck proposed common descent.
Natural selection, however tends to lead to disturbing thoughts and disturbing words, for example “Once the superiority of races with a prevailing aversion to incest had been established by their survival …” Superior races! Oh the horror, the horror. Natural selection suggests endangered species have it coming to them, that women are not naturally equal to men, that genocide is, if regrettable, nonetheless natural and in the long run frequently inevitable, and lots of similarly horrifying stuff like that, and I have left out the really shocking stuff to avoid offending the readers too much. So it was progressively de-emphasized to students in the textbooks. But if you de-emphasize natural selection, this leaves a mysterious gap. What was Darwin famous for?
So in 1972, history was corrected, Winston Smith style. Darwin got common descent to fill the gap left by the de-emphasis of natural selection, just as Winston Smith invented comrade Ogilvy to replace the vaporized unperson Comrade Withers, and common descent was taken away from Lamarck. The textbook “Biology today” page 638
… in the Origin of Species. The central claim of that book can be fairly simply stated. According to the Darwinian theory, any natural group of similar species-all the mammal species, for instance-owe their common mammalian characteristics to a common descent from a single ancestral mammalian species.
And as for Lamarck, he got the shaft. Page 641
Lamarck’s theory is not a hypothesis of common descent, which ascribes the common characteristics of a particular species to their common descent from a single species. … He claims that … although all mammals are descended from reptiles, they are not descended from the same reptiles
Somehow, after 1972, no one in Academia was able to mention that before 1972 everyone thought that Lamarckism is the doctrine “that all plants and animals are descended from a common primitive form of life.” (Century Cyclopedia)
Just as one wonders what happened to academics before 1980 who were inclined to doubt the great success of central planning, one wonders what happens to academics after 1972 who remember that before 1972, the history of science was different.
We have always been at war with Eastasia
Someone in Academia received an order like that given to Comrade Winston Smith, and all of Academia fell into line, and remains in line to this day, a thousand megaphones attached to one microphone.
The reporting of Big Brother’s Order for the Day in The Times of December 3rd 1983 is extremely unsatisfactory and makes references to non-existent persons. Rewrite it in full and submit your draft to higher authority before filing.
… Withers, however, was already an unperson. He did not exist: he had never existed. …
… To-day he should commemorate Comrade Ogilvy. It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence.