Let us imagine a future dictated by reactionary forces writing the history books. The past would be different with vital parts missing that was once usually taught in schools. These specific parts that are elided focus on marginalized people and labor organizing for their fair share. Those accounts are replaced with heroes who are avatars of rugged individualism who flourish in Ayn Rand novels. George Orwell’s quote will ring true: who controls the past will control the future, who controls the present controls the past.
True causes of events will be obscured and distorted beyond recognition. Shay’s rebellion was about nutcases instead of people who were angry about taxes that benefit the rich. The civil war was about state’s rights and other myriad causes that have nothing to do with slavery. Unions are evil anarchist and terrorist instead of an organization that brings democracy in the work place. Book burnings of socialist authors such as Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis, Norman Thomas, and Herbert George Wells will be conducted. America The Beautiful and This Land Is My Land will be declared obscene because those songs were written by subversives. The Pledge of Allegiance will be replaced with bible hymns.
In this grim future the film Birth of a Nation will be seen as a prophetic documentary. Gilded Age captains of industry are the best Americans that were ever produced. Bible questions will start to appear on standardized test thus blurring the line between church and state. Sea levels will rise and flood the Gulf Coast and people will think it is an act of god. The collective intelligent quotient of the American people will dip below 65.
This future can be avoided if the truth is told constantly and reinforced thought teaching the younger generations. It is important to wage a culture war about what stories about the past that are told. Stories about the past can serve as an inspirational guide towards the road to the future. Different parts of the country have different histories as exemplified by what southerners call the war of northern aggression. One positive thing about this phenomena is that this war is not bloody yet.