Why do people romanticize the past?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by LGX, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. LGX

    LGX Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Louis (MO, US)
    Honestly? Some Republicans want us to go back to the '50-'60s where everyone "worked hard" and what not. I guess this came from thinking about Lady Antebellum and how Antebellum is Pre-Civil War. Not that I'm singleing anyone out or anything, I just thought this was really weird.

    Honestly, I don't ever think there was really a "perfect" time in history. I mean, for some groups, yes. If you were a WASP in the '50s, then yes. Japan in the early 20th century, then yes. But then again those perfect times are only reserved for the upper class. Anyone agree, disagree?
     
  2. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    386
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    I agree. I would always be sceptical about anyone who harks back to a Golden Age. Learn from History, but the present/future is where it's at.
     
  3. Snozzle

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,436
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    33
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Pacific
    Verified:
    Photo
    I romanticise 1990, when opera got surtitles. It's been downhill since then.
     
  4. Jason

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Messages:
    9,935
    Likes Received:
    643
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    London (GB)
    It is an acknowledged and studied phenomenon. It can be the mythologising of history, or the establishment of a created tradition.

    Much of the time it is positive. The English idea of Robin Hood (who presumably never existed) presents ideals of fair play that are constructive. Arthur/Merlin (now a peak-time TV series in the UK) similarly presents a myth around characters with commendable values. The impact of the myths that most people in Britain think they know more about Robin Hood and Merlin than (say) the first four king Georges who led the UK for over a century.

    It can of course be divisive. In the UK the Maggie Myth is divisive - Margaret Thatcher is either the hero who saved Britain or the villain who destroyed Britain, and there's not much in the middle.

    And it can be desperately negative. A lot of negative mythologising is around victim nationalism, and it usually has some truth plus much exaggeration. Many emerging nations of Eastern Europe blame everything that is wrong with their nation on the USSR (and therefore fail to accept any level of personal responsibility). Within the UK there is a trend in Celtic nationalism that blames England for everything that is wrong in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Within the UK the very worst problem is around the mythologised history of both communities, where each community has an awareness of the hurts both real and imagined that their community has suffered. Solutions only come from forgetting the real hurts and not making up imagined ones.

    If the Republicans are actively seeking to create a tradition or myth of a golden age they are pushing at an open door. They have a great chance of success. People will take a created tradition on board and act as if it were real. Sounds like a vote winner to me.
     
  5. vince

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Messages:
    14,785
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    540
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Asia
    Back in the Good Old Days, they were known as "These Hard Times".
     
  6. midlifebear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,908
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nevada, Buenos Aires, and Barçelona
    Well, for one thing, back in the romantic past I had a full head of hair and had an appreciative following of intelligent, good-looking, educated men. Need I say more?
     
  7. D_Davy_Downspout

    D_Davy_Downspout Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Romanticizing the past uses nostalgia to create a fantasy of a land that never existed. It exploits the short memories and poor history education of the public, and utilizes the idea that if you repeat a lie enough, people start to accept it as fact.
     
  8. DevonTexas

    DevonTexas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    853
    Albums:
    5
    Likes Received:
    863
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dallas (TX, US)
    I romanticize to 1999 when internet stocks where sky high and we were all singing that prince song on Dec 30th.
     
  9. Joll

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    14,522
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    723
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wales (GB)
    It's often easier to do so, since it's less threatening than now, as it's over and done with. Ppl often seem to edit out the bad bits, too.

    I agree with Drifter tho - good to learn from history, but not to live in the past.
     
  10. scotchirish

    scotchirish Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I think of it more as driving down a branching road system trying to go in a specific direction. Every so often you may take a road that looks like it's going where you want to go but then it veers off so you go back to a point you felt was still on the right path and try another path.
     
  11. haulthat

    haulthat Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Messages:
    293
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Making references to the past draws makes your statement hard to argue with. Someone would have to dig into the history books to try to argue that your point is invalid, and theirs is spot on... in the end its usually impractical and pointless to try. Also it points to something that people can appreciate simply and quickly. To discuss what should be done today, for instance the economy, there is so much to dig into its hard to keep someones attention much less convince them your ideas are good. Politics throughout history and today have often been about who can gain and keep peoples attention. Not who is right, or has the best ideas.
     
  12. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,516
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Boston, MA / New York, NY
    One does not have to go back to the past in order to relive the moments we cherish the most. As we move forward, we bring those memories with us so they can be experienced once more.
     
  13. HUNGHUGE11X7

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,080
    Albums:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1,371
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Earth/USA/GA! DEEP IN YOUR THROAT,See vid TO SEE H
    Verified:
    Photo
    I know I will catch a lot of shit for this but I really don't give a fuck!
    The GOP wants to take us back to the 50's b/c WHITE PEOPLE WERE DOMINANT THEN !!! Nothing infuriates them MORE than the fact that we have a 1/2 blk POTUS, I live in a 75% Communist (GOP) District and 90% of my family are Rep so I know quite well how the vast majority of them (NOT ALL OF THE GOP) think. OBAMA is a more centrist POTUS than their big time idol REAGAN, yet he is constantly being maligned with leftist beliefs and policies which is complete BULLSHIT!
    I myself am a Die-Hard, Tree-hugging Environmentally aware LIBERAL SOCIALIST and damn proud of it. If you look at history ANY GREAT SOCIAL CHANGE came about because of LIBERALS, the GOP have given us nothing but Hate, War and MASSIVE DEBT !!!
    I WISH OBAMA was a Liberal but I either know he IS and knows that shit won't play with the centrist voting electorate or Horrors of all horrors he IS a DINO!
    I still have great hope with his administration but I have very little respect for him anymore since hearing that he threatened SPAIN if they tried to arrest the war criminals better known as BUSH & CHENEY. When I heard that my heart sank a million miles and I felt betrayed by all the campaigning I had done!
    The poverty rate went up exponentially under BUSH inc. and the division between the rich and the others has become insane and shows disgusting GREED on the part of America!
    If OBAMA accepts the BUSH tax cuts for the top 2% ( DON'T DARE REPLY WITH THE GOP BULLSHIT THAT THIS WOULD HARM SMALL BUSINESSES---THAT IS A COMPLETE FUKIN LIE, ONLY 3% OF ALL SMALL BUSINESSES WOULD BE AFFECTED BY THE MUCH REQUIRED TAX INCREASE)
    The reasons we are IN the debt we are now is three fold:
    1. The BUSH tax cuts which made the line between rich and poor greater than at any other time (GREED)
    2. The American corporations in bed with the GOP who became greedy fucks and fired hard working Americans and shipped their jobs overseas where they pay a pittance for labor while making RECORD FUKIN PROFIT ! (GREED)
    3. Two wars (1 completely illegal and unnecessary ) where we used CHINA as a credit card ! (GREED, b/c American corporations have profited and CONTINUE to do so by the spilled blood of American lives!)

    You are correct, there has never been a perfect time for anyone 'cept the upper class......which were practically unharmed by the recession (You cannot blame the Madoff and other scams on the recession, that was nothing but good old-fashioned American GREED !

    I am just thankful the states had enough fukin sense to keep the Senate Democratic and we have a quasi Democratic POTUS or else the nut jobs coming into the 112th Congress could have done some major damage !

    HH


     
    #13 HUNGHUGE11X7, Dec 6, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  14. B_Marius567

    B_Marius567 New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,952
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    I had a good time back then
     
  15. ravenx

    ravenx Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    usa
    I think a lot of it has to do with intolerance.

    In the 50s straight white Christian men were a greater percentage of the populace. That seems to be the same demographic singing the praises of the 50s. They can't stand the fact that we are a more diverse culture now.
     
  16. B_talltpaguy

    B_talltpaguy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,394
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    For the same reason people become "conservative"... Because for one reason or another, they can't cope with the pace at which society evolves.
     
  17. helgaleena

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    5,663
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wisconsin USA
    Oh yeah, bubonic plague and malaria and malnutrition and peonage. The ones who want 'the old days' back think for some reason they are going to be among the rich and privileged minority who wrote the history books.
     
  18. Bbucko

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,413
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunny SoFla
    It's natural to try and coax "good guys" and "bad guys" out of a narrative, even if by doing so one distorts the truth. History devoid of narrative and this structure (good/bad dichotomy) doesn't fly well with a public spoon-fed on happy endings and absolutes of virtue and evil.

    It also doesn't help that history is usually written by older people nostalgic for a time when things seemed less complicated, when they enjoyed the promise of greater opportunity and a far more vigorous and robust health. My grandmothers were endlessly mythologizing their personal histories with obvious and self-evident blind spots to the greater injustices all around them: in fact, they felt entirely justified when confronted with their (occasionally appalling) prejudices.
     
  19. Smooth88

    Smooth88 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,735
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Essex County, New Jersey
    I'm 22 and when I look back 30 years these surely wont be the good ole days in most ways.
     
  20. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    0
Draft saved Draft deleted