Monday, 2 November 2020

Cancel Priya Satia!

The British have a great sense of their own history. But that history is local and genealogical. It is partly driven by popular historical novels and TV series and partly by archaeology- which has long been an amateur passion and which has become the basis of successful TV series- for example those fronted by, Blackadder star, Tony Robinson.

An oddity of post-War British historiography was the extent to which the new 'State trained' History majors immersed themselves in Medieval History. This percolated down to the 'Monty Python' generation- school boys who could discourse learnedly on the relative merits of trebuchets and ballistas. It was only after the age of 14, by which time most kids had dropped History, that political and socio-economic and diplomatic history gained salience. 

On the other hand, there has also always existed in this country a well written but highly partisan type of historiography aimed at the intelligent layman which, however, is wholly unrelated to any sort of alethic research. For this reason, it is dismissed as mere bloody mindedness.

The New Yorker has an article of the latter sort.

 How did the British get to be so blinkered about their own history? In “Time’s Monster: How History Makes History” (Harvard), a probing new book, the Stanford professor Priya Satia

An American of Indian origin whose view of British history is not merely blinkered, but based on blind hatred

argues that British views of empire remain “hostage to myth” partly because historians made them so.

The British don't give a toss for historians. Dons of that description are expected to be absurdly partian, to have colorful personal lives, and to hold crazy political views. Priya thinks Bennett's 'History boys' were proto-Bojos! She clearly knows nothing about this country. I went to the sort of Grammar School depicted in that play- but a few years earlier. Had I stayed on for the 'seventh term' and gone onto Oxford, I'd have been indoctrinated in Marxist nonsense. BoJo and Rees-Mogg were Etonians. Churchill wasn't. BoJo thinks he is striking a populist note by championing a dim Harrovian who didn't go to Uni and knew little Latin and less Greek. Rees-Mogg did study History but his carefully cultivated mental density kept him from harm. Say what you like, Catholicism has its uses.

In 1817, the utilitarian philosopher James Mill provided a template when he published his three-volume “History of British India,” which became a textbook for colonial administrators.

Nonsense! Colonial administrators actually lived in the Colonies. Their 'textbooks' were to be found in their own files. They didn't read Mill or Macaulay or Maine save to laugh at them. 

Germany had no colonies. But it had State salaried pedagogues- not 'philosophers'- who wrote nonsense about a world of which they were wholly ignorant. Some British Historians, or popular writers of that description, being a deeply provincial, declasse, and low IQ breed, may have been influenced by such 'theories of history'. But historians have and had no influence. Pedagogues and polemicists seldom do. In Britain's case, its Colonies' administration was initiated and put on a solid foundation by mainly people without a University education. These were not bookish men.  To succeed they needed to understand commerce and the elements of military science.  

Civilization evolves in stages, the logic ran; Britain had reached a higher stage than its colonies; therefore Britain had a moral duty to lift them up.

Nonsense! Administrators had a fiduciary responsibility to turn a profit, or at least cover costs, on Britain's colonial possessions. One or two scribblers in London might supply Ministers with guff about 'moral duty' while other Grub Street hacks supplied the Opposition with guff about 'moral delinquency'. 

Mill soon got a job drafting dispatches in the East India Company’s London headquarters. (Mill’s eldest son, John Stuart, who at the age of eleven had helped correct the book’s page proofs, joined him at India House as a junior clerk in 1823 and stayed until the East India Company was dismantled, in 1858.)

Thus, it was bleeding obvious that the Mills and Macaulay (who did, by reason of pecuniary embarrassment,  briefly serve in India- which is how come he had the leisure to compose his great 'lays of Ancient Rome' which, sadly, isn't pornographic at all)  and so forth were paid for mere puffery on behalf of a Commercial Enterprise.  

Satia, whose earlier books described British surveillance of the interwar Middle East

Surveillance? Them guys ruled, or had paramountcy, over a good chunk of it! 

and the eighteenth-century origins of a British military-industrial complex,

which itself had seventeenth century origins which in turn had sixteenth century origins and so forth. The Royal Dockyards at Portsmouth date back to Henry VII at the end of the fifteenth century. 

is well attuned to the echoes of historical scripts. Mill’s basic premise that imperialism brings progress reverberated in a series of moral claims.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dwarkanath Tagore set up newspapers in India at exactly this time with the aim of backing up such claims. Roy came to England to lobby for unrestricted European settlement in India. Roy wasn't just interested in economic and moral progress (an example of the latter would be the abolition of suttee), he also wanted Whitey to protect Hindus from the rapacious Muslim.

There was nothing novel about this. Most Colonies had a comprador class from before they became Colonies. Progress did occur because Oceanic Commerce stimulated Socio-economic change. Missionaries contributed to 'moral' progress. 

The parliamentary act abolishing the transatlantic slave trade, in 1807, was held up as proof of the British Empire’s commitment to freedom, effacing its shameful past as the largest slave trader in the eighteenth-century world.

No it wasn't. Nobody greatly cared. The fact is everybody, around this time, was restricting importation of slaves. Why? If blacks outnumber whites then, as was happening in Haiti, they would get the upper hand. There was also the 'distributional question'. A rich guy importing a lot of slaves gains a high marginal product while getting a free-ride on existing infrastructure- including an enforcement system against runaway slaves. 

Some stupid historians advised the British Government a couple of decades ago that it would be a good idea to commemorate the 1807 act by issuing a coin or something of that sort. Other stupid historians have worked themselves up about this. Bristol was foolish enough to listen to some cretinous historians and institute a 'Black History Month' in the belief that it would drum up tourism. After all, the Carnival has been good for Notting Hill- right? Then came the COVID lockdown and BLM mobs decapitating statues all over the place.  

Colonial independence, in the twentieth century, was depicted as the culmination of a selfless mission to spread democracy, something “given” or “granted” to colonies, rather than something long denied by force.

Who was it doing this 'depicting'? Name and shame the fuckers. Where was this 'depicting' going on? How come I didn't notice? I've been here in London reading virtually everything that comes out on Imperial History for the last 40 years. 

The reason the Brits don't say 'we spread democracy' is because, apart from India, democracy hadn't spread. But India was also an example of the Congress Party begging the Viceroy to stay on. If it had democracy it was for the same reason that it couldn't have the Brits. The game of autocracy was not worth the candle of assassination. The place was too poor and its poor too proletarian- i.e. productive only in child bearing- for either Capitalism or Communism to take root- save in a Casteist manner.

The Second World War became the British Empire’s triumphant last stand as the bulwark of global liberty in the face of fascism, eliding Britain’s violent suppression of anticolonial resistance.

Fuck is this cunt talking about? What 'anti-colonial resistance' did Britain 'violently suppress'? The Mau Mau? The thing was a joke. Idi Amin, it is true, owed his elevation to the jolly time he had dealing with that problem.

The truth is 'anti-colonial resistance' was the sort of thing the Natives wanted no part of.  

Britain has never wanted to be a 'bulwark of global liberty'. Why? It knows that preserving British liberty is costly and depends on playing nice with all sorts. That's why Churchill got cuddly with Stalin. But, this didn't mean he'd ban Orwell's Trotskyite shite. 

“In the end, the British sacrificed her Empire to stop the Germans, Japanese and Italians from keeping theirs,” Niall Ferguson wrote in 2002. “Did not that sacrifice alone expunge all the Empire’s other sins?”

Niall Ferguson is a Scottish-American on the make. He has done well for himself. But fuck has he to do with England?  

“Time’s Monster” joins a dense body of scholarship

by scholars who are very dense indeed 

analyzing liberal justifications for empire.

which never mattered a tinker's fart. Either the thing paid for itself, or it was kicked to the curb. 

By the early twentieth century, critics were growing skeptical of British claims about progress. Consider Edward John Thompson, who travelled to Bengal in 1910 as a Methodist missionary and befriended the anticolonial poets Rabindranath Tagore and Muhammad Iqbal.

Fuck Thompson. Nobody gave a shit about a lower middle class Cockney with an 'external' degree. He did not 'befriend' his social superiors. He ingratiated himself with them. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal gladly accepted a Knighthood because he wasn't against the Brits at all. His beef was with Hindus and Sikhs. Tagore renounced his Knighthood but he had already warned his people that they'd get ethnically cleansed from East Bengal if the Brits left.  

The Great War, in which Thompson served as an Army chaplain in Mesopotamia, soured him on the much touted promises of British civilization.

What about the Turkish habit of sodomizing starving British prisoners of war who were also suffering from dysentry? Did that sour him on the much touted promises of Islamic civilization?  

He started writing history to expose the unsavory truths that propagandists had left out. In “The Other Side of the Medal” (1925), a revisionist history of the Indian rebellion of 1857, Thompson described British atrocities passed over in earlier accounts. It was time, he said, to “face the things that happened, and change our way of writing about them.

Nobody gave a toss about that cretin.  He was remembered by Bongs- like Spivak- mainly as a shithead who'd had the temerity to damn with faint praise some particularly tedious shite by the always tedious shithead Tagore. 

In an incisive recent study of anticolonial dissent, “Insurgent Empire” (Verso), Priyamvada Gopal,

a cunt so declasse she picked a fight with College Porters- i.e. actual working class people!  JNU must be so proud.

a professor of English at Cambridge, places Thompson in a long line of critics of imperialism.

Whom nobody bothered with. You can place me in a long line of critics of stupid academics but that line is so broad it includes everybody in every era. 

She and Satia agree that public outcries against injustice—such as the brutal suppression of the 1865 uprising at Morant Bay, Jamaica, and the 1919 Amritsar Massacre, in which soldiers under British command fired into a crowd of nonviolent Indian protesters—often amounted to a scapegoating of individuals and the laundering of the nation’s conscience.

WTF? Where was the 'scapegoating of individuals'? Governor Eyre, an Ozzie, and Brigadier Dyer, who was India born, did well out of their respective roles. The fact is, in Punjab, elected Premiers would keep whimpering for 'the smack of firm Government'- i.e. another Dyer to strike fear into the hearts of the rabble. 

Still, Eyre was on the right side of History- which was moving to 'Scientific Racism' and the doing away of 'Colonial Legislatures'- whereas Dyer was on the wrong side of History. Still, a short while after Jallianwallah Bagh, he had a chance to show valour against the Afghans leading mainly Indian troops. Dyer was important because he showed that the British Indian Army would not do 'Nation Building' and would never bend the knee to 'the frocks'. This was helpful for India because Gandhi, nutter that he was, demanded that the Army be put under his control! This sufficed to unite the minorities against the INC and prevent Gandhi gaining the powers of an Il Duce or Fuhrer. Thus that toothless old hypocrite had to stick to the straight and narrow path of being a nuisance merely, as opposed to a fucking National catastrophe. 

Yet, through a process of what Gopal calls “reverse tutelage,”

as opposed to having a fucking JNU retard as your tutor though your Daddy and Mummy are paying big bucks to send you to Oxbridge 

colonial subjects consistently pressed their British interlocutors to adopt more radical stances against empire.

by getting down on all fours and barking like a dog. 

One might see Thompson as a sort of real-life Fielding,

no we mightn't. Fielding was an Oxbridge graduate paid on a much higher scale as part of the 'Covenanted' Indian Education Service. Thompson was poor.  

the British teacher at the center of E. M. Forster’s “A Passage to India,” who learns from the Indian doctor Aziz that, in Gopal’s words, they “would have to be allies in the project of driving the English out of India before they could be friends.”

This is silly. Forster had been Ross Masud's tutor. He understood that, once Gandhi surrendered unilaterally, Aziz & Co would be at loggerheads with Godbole and his ilk. 

“Insurgent Empire” demonstrates how often critics have hacked at the pedestals of imperial pieties, and how consistently voices outside Britain have inspired them.

Imperialists, like Kipling, Meredith Townsend, Candler & so forth, had dynamited any lingering Imperial pieties. But 'voices outside Britain'- like Bhownagree & Gandhi- kept the Brits in business. Then, quite unexpectedly, it turned out troops from the Empire could alter the balance of power on the Continent. At the same time, the Colonies realized that with the Royal Navy's power waning, they too were vulnerable. Ultimately, 'critics hacking at pedestals' discovered that they had been barking up the wrong tree. Racism was on its way out anyway. But collective security and stable exchange rates required cooperation not confrontation. In the end, the New Commonwealth gave Westminster what it wanted more cheaply than ever before. 

Nine decades ago, the Scottsboro case prompted anticolonial activists to confront racism;

That was in the US which had stopped being a colony a hundred and fifty years before that date. Indians were more concerned with Hindu Muslim riots. The Burmese were more concerned about killing Hindus and Muslims and so on and so forth. 

five years before Colston tumbled down, Rhodes Must Fall, a student movement at the University of Cape Town, inspired an affiliated campaign at Oxford to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes and “decolonize” the curriculum.

Which curriculums? STEM subjects ones? No? Then who gives a flying fuck? On the other hand, it is true that Jeremy Corbyn's election manifesto pandered to this type of stupidity. Then the Red Wall collapsed. Now Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party for anti-semitism.  

What happened to this critical strand in the history of the British Empire?

It was ignored because it was the province of impotent cretins. 

Satia finds an unexpected answer in Thompson’s son, Edward Palmer Thompson.

A former Communist and CND type nutter whose political influence peaked before I was born and who had no role whatsoever in subsequent Labor governments.  

As a boy, he saw the stream of writers and activists who passed through the family’s home, outside Oxford—Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, T. E. Lawrence—as a source of exotic stamps for his collection. When he was a young man, returning from service in the Second World War to complete a degree in history, he rebelled against his father’s Byronic ideals and engagement with Indian affairs. He joined the Communist Party, took a teaching job in Leeds, resigned from the Communist Party, co-founded The New Left Review, and wrote about the lives of working-class radicals—to rescue them, he said, from “the enormous condescension of posterity.”

Sadly for Thompson, the British working class refused to let tossers like him condescend to them. Their idols were pop-stars and football players, even celebrity hairdressers, whose glitzy life-style made the horse faced aristocracy green with envy.  

E. P. Thompson’s “The Making of the English Working Class” (1963) is one of the most influential works of modern history.

No it isn't. It was obsolete before it came out. By the mid Seventies, when I was doing my History A level, the thing was a joke. Why? Because actual Labour Governments, concerned to rationalize industry and get rid of craft unions, where 'Dad's lads' entrenched religious discrimination- and 'feather-bedding' and 'pay differentials' and wild-cat strikes and 'work to rule'- realized that the working class needed to be de-historicized just as much as ex-Colonies needed to be de-tribalized. Ergodicity, to use Samuelson's term, had to replace hysteresis otherwise Britain would descend to the level of Uganda. 

Its method, “history from below,” has had an incalculable international impact,

We can easily calculate its international impact. It is zero. Thatcher and Reagan won. Mitterand did a U turn. Labour, as a factor of production, was dehistoricized and rendered increasingly gender and race blind. 

The fact is 'history from below' is backward shite studied by retarded people.  

not least in recuperating the histories of colonized people.

Yes, yes. Subaltern Studies really helped poor Indian tribals- NOT! 

Yet, in Satia’s view, Thompson himself personified an insular turn taken by historians of his generation, who, as Britain’s global power waned, focussed intently on the local. Histories that ignored British imperialism, she suggests, contributed to historical illiteracy as much as histories that defended it did.

 Cancel E.P Thompson! The fucker was sooooo Racist. 

Insularity, though, hardly describes postwar Britain’s other preĆ«minent historian, Eric Hobsbawm.

AJP Taylor was the only celebrity historian when I was a kid. Then it was Simon Schama. Now it is Lucy Worsley. Working class people don't want to be bored shitless by stories about their ancestor's abjectness. 

A secular Jew born in Alexandria and raised in Vienna and Berlin, Hobsbawm, a lifelong Communist, wrote panoramic histories that unfurled the international ramifications of British industrialization.

Which were the same as the international ramifications of American, Japanese, and now Chinese industrialization. 

And empire was an ever-present frame for the cultural theorist Stuart Hall, another co-founder of The New Left Review, who came to England from Jamaica as a Rhodes Scholar, and argued that “the very notion of Great Britain’s ‘greatness’ is bound up with empire.”

Like American greatness was bound up with not having an Empire coz the thing is a waste of time.

In the nineteen-nineties, practitioners of a “new imperial history” (including Hall’s wife, Catherine, a distinguished feminist historian) picked up this thread and stitched the stories of the British Empire and the British Isles together again.

And nobody noticed or if they did they said rude things.To call someone a 'distinguished feminist historian' is a step above calling her an 'Eminent cat lady'- but only a step.

Historians, whether mythmaking or record-righting, draw on sources that are themselves shaped by historical pressures—

and therefore misleading 

and these, too, played a role in distorting the picture of the imperial past. For while Thompson and his contemporaries were performing their acts of archival recovery, the imperial officers of the British government were doing their best to leave little for posterity to find.

Only secret files were shredded though some were shipped back. This was a good thing. Everybody who was anybody had a file full of false, but also true, reports from informers regarding sexual and financial and all sorts of other crimes. 

On a showery Friday in August, 1947, citizens of the new nation of India crammed into the ceremonial avenues of New Delhi to celebrate their first day of independence. “Jai Hind! Jai Hind! ” they cheered as the new tricolor was run up the flagpole, and a rainbow broke over the clearing sky. But for days beforehand, it was said, a haze of smoke had blanketed the city: the British were burning government documents en masse, lest anything that might compromise His Majesty’s government get into the wrong hands.

'It was said' says it all. The fact is Sardar Patel had already been Home Minister for a year.  

At the empire’s late-Victorian apogee, Rudyard Kipling had enjoined his compatriots to contemplate the ruins of fallen powers with humility: “Judge of the Nations, spare us yet, / Lest we forget—lest we forget!” In the event, an apter motto for Britain’s imperial retreat was “Best we forget.” In one colony after another, as the former Guardian journalist Ian Cobain details in his 2016 book, “The History Thieves,” the British went down in a blaze of documents. A reporter in Cairo during the Suez Crisis recalled standing on the lawn of the British Embassy “ankle deep in the ashes of burning files.” Twelve days before Malaya’s independence, in 1957, British soldiers in Kuala Lumpur loaded trucks with boxes of records to be driven down to Singapore and, a colonial official reported, “destroyed in the Navy’s splendid incinerator.” In 1961, recognizing that “it would perhaps be a little unfortunate to celebrate Independence Day with smoke,” the Colonial Office advised the governor of Trinidad and Tobago to get an early start, and told him that he could also pack files into weighted crates and drop them into the sea. In British Guiana, in 1965, two women hovered over a forty-four-gallon drum on the Government House grounds carrying out what their boss described as “the hot and wearing work” of cremating files. What colonial officials didn’t destroy, they hid. In Nairobi, nine days before Kenya became independent, four packing crates of sensitive papers were hustled into a plane and flown to London Gatwick, where a government official supervised their transfer into storage. These, along with thousands of other colonial files, ended up stashed behind the razor wire of Hanslope Park, in Buckinghamshire, an intelligence facility dedicated to communications security—that is, to keeping secrets.

How very sinister! Secrets should not be kept. I hope responsible historians will make a practice of publishing their Bank passwords and security codes.

“Erasing history” is a charge invariably lobbed at those who want to remove the statues of contentious figures. But taking down a statue isn’t erasing history; it’s revising cultural priorities. Those who pulled down the Colston statue were, in a way, making history—by insisting that public space reflect the values of postcolonial Britain, just as citizens of former colonies have renamed, removed, and reframed imperial symbols. (In the nineteen-fifties, a British diplomat in India discouraged the idea of sending dismantled monuments to England, wondering “what use a series of somewhat weather-beaten and not uniformly first-class statues could be put to in the United Kingdom. I thought we had too many already!”)

The problem here is that Britain is still 86 % White. Corbyn lost for many reasons but one reason was his wokeness. If we say British Greatness derived from Racist rapacity then BAME immigrants voted with their feet in favor of Racist Rapacity. Their descendants are welcome to move somewhere with a nicer History. 

Burning documents: now, that’s erasing history.

No. It is burning documents. It is costly to preserve them. Furthermore, Historians are bound to be mislead by them. The kindest thing would be to give them PhDs for watching the History Channel while playing with their own poo.

By eliminating written evidence of their actions from the archival record, British officials

obeyed orders. They didn't give a toss about future historians because past historians had been useless tossers and it was a safe bet that trend would continue. 

sought to manipulate the kinds of histories that future generations would be able to produce.

But stupid lies work even better than paranoid misreadings of archival material.  

E. P. Thompson, who struggled for years with the “secret state” to get details about his brother’s death during a covert wartime operation, would not have been surprised by the extent of government duplicity. “Reasons of state are eternally at war with historical knowledge,” he said.

Whereas historians are eternally at war with Reason 

The secret stash at Hanslope Park was revealed only in 2011, during a lawsuit brought against the British government by victims of torture in colonial Kenya. (The case was based in part on oral testimony gathered by my Harvard colleague Caroline Elkins.) What came pouring out from the so-called “migrated archives” were records of systematic, wide-ranging, stomach-churning abuse. These accounts flew in the face of the popular British myth that—as a Home Office guide for the U.K. citizenship test currently assures us—“there was, for the most part, an orderly transition from Empire to Commonwealth, with countries being granted their independence.”

This was certainly true of Kenya which is why Europeans and Asians are still quite thick on the ground there. On the other hand, with hindsight, making Idi Amin a serjeant probably wasn't a very good idea. Stomach churning activities have taken off greatly since then. More than secrets, it is what States are initially built upon. 

“The problem with weighing pros and cons is that it presumes there is a point at which the story is over, the accounts are closed, and we can actually tot up the balance,” Satia writes. But the reckoning continues. In 2018, it emerged that dozens of immigrants of the “Windrush generation” (named for a ship, the Empire Windrush, which brought Caribbean migrants to the U.K. in 1948), who had legally settled in Britain between 1948 and 1973, had recently been deported by the Home Office because they couldn’t prove their status. Their landing cards—often the only record of their legal arrival—had been destroyed in a procedural culling of the archives in 2010.

There was no 'procedural culling'. Rather, it was a legal requirement under under the Data Protection Act of 1998. 

In 2002, the privately funded British Empire and Commonwealth Museum,

It got money from the National Lottery 

which aimed to present the imperial age from multiple perspectives, opened in Bristol after more than a decade of planning. In a slant rhyme to the end of empire, it closed its doors six years later and went into liquidation amid sordid reports about the unauthorized sale of loaned objects. The chairman of the museum’s board of trustees said, “I think the time has not yet arrived for the proper story of Empire and Commonwealth to be told.”

Because Historians are shit. 

Satia joins Gopal, Hirsch, and a growing number of historians

Gopal teaches English 

—many of them scholars of color—in trying to change that storyline. A fuller history of empire and its legacies requires, in part, what Gopal calls “a sustained unlearning.”

and telling stupid paranoid lies 

This approach is gaining momentum, at least symbolically. Two days after Colston fell, a crane in London’s Docklands hoisted the effigy of another slave trader off its plinth, as Mayor Sadiq Khan launched a review of all public landmarks. The University of Liverpool announced the renaming of a dormitory commemorating Prime Minister William Gladstone, who was the son of a slaveowner and, in his maiden speech in Parliament, in 1833, had argued in favor of compensating slaveowners for emancipated slaves.

The backlash is gaining greater momentum. At one time voters were prepared to do something about tuition fees. Then, it turned out, the major beef students had was with statues of Dead White Men and Halls of Residence named after great Prime Ministers.  

The governing body of Oriel College, Oxford, voted to remove the controversial statue of Rhodes that, four years earlier, it had affirmed keeping in place, while Imperial College London, endowed by Rhodes’s South African mining cronies, removed its motto, Scientia imperii decus et tutamen: “Scientific knowledge, the crowning glory and safeguard of the empire.”

Ok, that last was funny. 

What shall be learned instead? Satia, taking inspiration from the work of Urdu poets, calls on historians to step away from narratives of moral progress and seek fresh ways to connect the present and the past.

Sir Sayyid Ahmad, Ghalib's good buddy, said that teaching the Liberal Arts in Urdu, rather than English, rots the brain.  

A good example of what that might look like in practice is University College London’s Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership. The center (which Catherine Hall chairs) has compiled a database of every slaveowner in the British colonies at the time of emancipation, in 1833, and has wrinkled the sanctimonious tale of British abolitionism. Its researchers have shown that government payouts to slaveowners following emancipation seeded fortunes inherited by generations of prominent bankers, writers, engineers, and politicians—sustaining slaveowners’ privilege right down to the present. Last year, the University of Glasgow, scrutinizing its own imperial gains, announced a twenty-million-pound project to explore the history of slavery and its consequences, in partnership with the University of the West Indies, whose vice-chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles, has been at the forefront of the Caribbean reparations movement. A myth countered, a history deepened, and a gesture of recompense. There may never be an end to reckoning, but such beginnings might help historians imagine broader forms of recovery and repair. That, too, could be a kind of progress. 

The kind of progress which causes 'Red Wall' voters to plump for BoJo. Historians are stupid- unless they aren't in which case they are either belles lettrists or econometricians- and stupid pedagogues have 'never imagined broader forms of recovery and repair'. They have merely made fools of themselves. Canceling stuff is by no means a bad thing. We do it all the time. Cancel Grievance Studies by all means. The thing is a nuisance.

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