There are certain narratives that we’ve been conditioned to believe concerning the events of the past. Many of these narratives are consciously pushed upon the populace by the likes of big-business media outlets and others who stand to profit by it. Other culprits in the game are the history classes of public education. Such classes often present major historical movements in a blatantly “matter-o-fact” way. There is no real analysis of opposing historical positions but rather a clean & succinct presentation of events that tend to display the ruling elite as bastions of level-headed rationality and morality.
One such narrative is the narrative of race that’s been propagated over the last 200 years or so. Most of us have been conditioned to believe that the closed minds of the Christian religious establishment served as the main culprit of the racial woes that plagued much of the twentieth century. However upon further inspection one finds that the Darwinian science of evolution and natural selection actually served as a greater catalyst behind the racial atrocities of applied eugenics in Nazi Germany as well as other historical beliefs about racial inequality.
Of all the ideological "sleights-of-hand" the modern thought police have pulled off, perhaps the greatest of them is convincing the modern mind that it was religion & not nineteenth century "biology" that developed systematic theories of racism. Reading nuanced and in depth accounts of history (and the history of ideas) can help quell these false historical narratives. You might have guessed that such an endeavor lay behind this post; and you’d be right. Arthur Herman’s work The Idea of Decline in Western History is a perfect example of such a historical account. I’m only a quarter of the way through and many of the historical narratives I’ve carried are not only being challenged but even overturned.
Food for thought.
Disclaimer: This post is in no way an attempt to make an argument that the hands of organized religion (including Christianity) are clean in regards to the history of racial ills. Rather, its sole intention is to point the reader to a resource of scholarship that strongly challenges the scarcely perceived ills behind secular (social) science(s) as seen in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.