Industrial societies — based on legacy myths of boundless growth born of their colonial past — are destroying the essential support systems for many complex life-forms and most civilizations on Earth. The ignorance and arrogance of their myths of expansion and conquest are now inscribed in the fundamental belief systems of their leaders and embedded in their narratives of national self-understanding.
Alternative narratives that challenge the fanciful “white-settler” narratives that now dominate the outlook of American political leaders have been branded as “propaganda.”
and an effort is being launched from the White House through a Presidential Executive Order to promote the teaching of a “patriotic history” to counter-act the pervasive understanding of American history across the world.
The task will not be easy. Much of the world understands that America was founded on the principle of genocide of the indigenous populations, built through hundreds of years of slave labor and sustained in more recent decades through imperialist warfare waged across the globe for the control of raw materials and markets. President Trump apparently intends to to promote a more “patriotic education” as he seeks to counter this “warped” understanding of the American story.
Those seeing to link to news about President Trump’s new Executive Order on YouTube are sometimes greeted with intervening advertisement for what is being called a “Patriot Protector Facial Cover” [made in America] for either men or women.
It is not clear whether or not this ad is in jest or for real. Nor is it clear from what the mask is designed to “protect” its wearer — or, alternatively, how it might serve to protect anyone in the proximity of the wearer.
Other topics of related interest include:
On the more fundamental problems of American cultural self-understanding see:
Some images of the past that live in memory can help us understand the present, but we need to learn how they were constructed.
This is video was created on 8 August 2020 for and broadcast on CCTV Channel 9 at 4:30pm on Sunday, 9 August 2020 to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Nagasaki atomic bomb dropped by the American armed forces.
The program is part of an ongoing series — “EcoViews & News” (EV&N # 355) — past editions of which can be accessed by clicking here.
In the face of the global crises of climate change and permanent pandemic the human community needs now to forge new narratives of World History.
“We had fed the heart on fantasies;
The heart’s grown brutal from the fare.”
W. B. Yeats, Meditations in Time of Civil War
A pioneering scholar, admired professor and global educator who led the way in establishing the field of “comparative colonial studies” recently died. It is appropriate to reflect on his enduring legacy. This brief presentation is a compilation of thoughts and previous programs on aspects of World History that deserve attention — ever more poignantly as the entire human community now faces a “shelter-in-place” imperative imposed by a virus one billionth the size of an individual human being. Never has the world community been in greater need of a new understanding of World History — a vision of which was championed with great kindness and generosity of heart by Prosser Gifford. See: “One chosen itinerary…”
Prosser Gifford, 1929 ~ 2020
See related –
Founders of the Yale 5-Yr B.A. Program + Class of Yale ’68
- In grateful memory of Prosser Gifford ~Beloved Father, Kind Friend, Teacher, Quiet Leader, & Gentle Giant of World History
- Yale Loses a Prominent African Historian and Compassionate “Gentle Giant”
- Kingman Brewster, Jr.
- Remembering Kenneth Keniston, founder of the MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society | MIT News
- Sidney Mintz – (November 16, 1922 – December 27, 2015)
The world is simultaneously witnessing record corporate expansion and system-wide ecological collapse because corporations have systematically externalized the environmental costs of their products, production processes and addictive carbon consumption.
Presentation as part of the forthcoming Firing Line Debate:
Prudent divestment and new investments can change the impact institutions have in the economy and the larger ecosystem, but the goal of continuous growth on a finite planet is ultimately not sustainable and calls into question the viability of “ethical investment policy” in the endowments of many institutions.
Presentation as part of forthcoming Firing Line Debate:
The production of chocolate from cocoa is a modern 21st century multinational industry that is based on the non-voluntary, “slave labor” of children in cocoa producing countries. This represents an enduring legacy of patterns from the precolonial internal slave trade in West Africa and subsequent decades of colonial rule.
In the early twentieth century, local populations in the Ivory Coast — today’s largest producer of cocoa in the world — experienced the brutal imposition of an export-oriented “cash-cropping” economy. This cocoa production system was founded principally upon the output of African small-holder cocoa farmers and a work-force of share-cropping populations originally from the north that had come under their control as a result of generations of precolonial trading relations.
[from the Online Course:] CLIMATE CHANGE & TRANSITION STUDIES:
Boston Harbor and surrounding area from the air
The related larger context:
The PBS series “Sinking Cities: Peril & Promise – The Challenge of Climate Change (A Four-Part Series on the Threat of Climate Change)” finished its final week of broadcast on PBS on Wednesday, 21 November 2018. Two days later, on Friday, 23 November the United States government released its most dire warning in Volume 2 of the Forth National Climate Assessment report. See:
See related 29 October 2019 report:
as well as:
Sea-level is rising around the globe. Governments are slow to act or, worse yet, seek to promote the expanded use of coal and continued extraction of other fossil fuels. Corporations want no action that restricts their chance to profit from the expanded use of fossil fuels. In response, citizens and scientists are responding to government obstruction and corporate-sponsored misinformation campaigns by creating digital dispatches in a series of “Climate & Sea-Level Updates” to communicate experiences and best practices around the world.