Just Call Me Miss Informed

The big joke about Americans is that we suck when it comes to Geography. Yeah, if it wasn’t for my travels, I’d be clueless. Worse still is the misinformation I received in history class.

I’m reading Marc Allen’s The Millionaire Course, which has very little to do with being a millionaire and everything to do with living an intentional life in the pursuit of our dreams. In the chapter covering the power of partnership, he shares ideas he gleaned from Riane Eisler’s book The Chalice and the Blade.
(a must read!)

Eisler believes that two major world systems influence every country and even business and personal interactions.

The Blade = domination
The Chalice = partnership

Allen’s misinformed education sounds identical to mine.

Nearly all the world history we were taught in school has been the history of the blade—the history of domination—the conquest of warrior societies, beginning with the Greeks and Romans.

World History—at least this is what I was taught—started in Sumer, “the cradle of civilization,” but quickly moved to Greece, “the birthplace of democracy,” where it all really started. Then it moved to Rome, then the rest of Europe, and finally America! It was the history of the people who dominated the world, told from their point of view. Learning this history in school consisted of memorizing a great many dates for a great many wars.

India and China were mentioned somewhere as having ancient cultures, but all we ever learned about them was that India had a caste system and strange religions, and China invented gun powder, but they only used it for fireworks, and never invented guns. Africa was “the dark continent,” shrouded in mystery. We knew little about it, except for Egypt, a great civilization four thousand years ago, now dead, and baffling.

Latin America was hardly ever mentioned in the world history I was taught. Australia was mentioned only as the place that was settled by British convicts.

The world history we were taught was the story of the conquerors. An endless procession of wars and conflict, because violence only leads to more violence and domination leads to endless conflict.

Now through the help of folks like Howard Zinn, James W. Loewen and Inga Muscio to help sort out my misinformation.

This post has 5 Comments

  1. FreeThinker on October 31, 2005 at 8:14 pm Reply

    This is why it pays to be a “Freethinker!”

  2. Jennifer on November 1, 2005 at 3:18 am Reply

    I read “Lies My Teacher Told Me” as a requirement for A.P. History myy junior year in high school. Very informative and tells the stories that you would never hear about otherwise.

  3. Daniel Gonzales on November 1, 2005 at 4:49 am Reply

    I’ve found the best way to never mix up a country again is to visit it. So after going to Switzerland I never got it confused with Sweden again.

  4. mudd on November 1, 2005 at 8:07 pm Reply

    The adage “history is written by the victors” comes to mind. Most cultures will frame their version of events in order to promote their own agendas–either as the product of the “greater good” (might makes right, or ‘God is on our side’) or as victims of “evil forces” (the oppression by the undeserving/immoral/etc.) In both cases, the goal is to manipulate the masses into some form of ‘patriotism’ or the like.

  5. DARyl on February 28, 2007 at 10:06 am Reply

    Hi. I’m a reader who stumbled upon your blog and i agree with a lot with what you posted on your blog (LBGT issues, education etc).

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