I get very annoyed by the sorts of attitudes towards the past that are all too common these days. The arrogant assumption that the people of the past (whether it be the 1950s, the 1930, the Victorian age or whatever) were bigoted and stupid compared to our own gloriously enlightened era. I get particularly irritated by condescending statements like, “Those were simpler times.” No they weren’t. Life has never been simple, and if human beings had been more naïve and more stupid than the people of today they would never have survived.
These attitudes always include the assumption that the beliefs and values of people in the past were less valid and less enlightened than the beliefs and values of today. They weren’t. They were simply different.
Those people of earlier eras may have believed in ideas like the sanctity of marriage, ideas that are treated with derision today, but they had perfectly good reasons for believing in such things. And when you survey the wreckage of western civilisation in the 21st century it becomes very difficult to argue that our contemporary values are obviously superior.
These attitudes toward the past of course imply an almost complete ignorance of history. If you don’t know any history then you’ll accept this sort of temporal stereotyping without question.
And that’s exactly what it is. The people who espouse such contemptuous attitudes towards people who lived in earlier periods of history are the sorts of people who would become filled with righteous indignation at any hint of racial or sexual stereotyping and yet they are quite happy to stereotype the people of the 1950s or the 19th century. This kind of what might be called temporal stereotyping is naturally very congenial to the agenda of Cultural Marxism.
One gets used to liberal hypocrisy but it never ceases to irritate.