November 4

Ep. 0039: Intro to Revisionism

Here’s a guerrilla episode done from my rolling mobile studio (ie, car) on my way to go spend a day corrupting young minds at the institution where I work.  As a result, this is a bit more stream-of-consciousness than my more planned-out historical narrative episodes, but I hope you’ll find this thought-provoking.

I make no claim as this being the definitive word on this oft-misunderstood subject, but rather an introductory sketch with some thoughts and observations.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • What ‘revisionism’ actually means in the field of history
  • The truth that not all revisionist history is valid, but that the existence of bad revisionist history is a small price to pay for the vital role played by good revisionist history
  • Why war is the most important place for revisionist history, due to the degree of propaganda pumped out during wartime, and the common tendency for the first generation or two of historians writing about a particular war to base a lot of their historical narrative on the propaganda narrative
  • How the US political and academic establishment did not attempt to squelch revisionism following World War I, but learned their lesson from the degree to which revisionism flourished in the ‘20s and ‘30s, and were much more vigilant for the first few decades after WWII
  • Some of the ways the Establishment resists revisionism, which are generally subtle, but effective

(image ‘Stand Out From the Crowd’ courtesy Renjith Krishnan at freedigitalphotos.net)

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October 6

Ep. 0034: The Iron Law of Oligarchy

Why do organizations, even ostensibly democratic ones, often seem to be less-than-democratic in practice?  The Iron Law of Oligarchy is the answer!

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • A little bit about German sociologist Robert Michels, who first described this law
  • The Iron Law of Oligarchy as described by Michels in his early-20th century book Political Parties
  • The Iron Law of Oligarchy in other contexts
  • Some noteworthy exceptions to the Iron Law that various scholars have found, including the International Typographical Union, the New Left student movement of the 1960s, ancient Athens, and Wikipedia

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy from Amazon via these links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)

August 11

Ep. 0020: Esoteric vs. Exoteric

Having made it through World War I in the past four episodes, today we take a break from historical narrative-type podcasts to do something a little different.

From time to time, I want to talk about theories, concepts, and so on that have helped me to understand the world (past, present, and probably future) more clearly, and that I hope you’ll find interesting and useful too.

These will mostly be concepts from somewhere in the so-called ‘social sciences,’ which are (in addition to history) fields such as psychology, sociology, economics, political science, etc.  I’ll probably also cover the occasional philosophy topic, as well.

Today I’m going to be talking about ‘Esoteric vs. Exoteric,’ two words that, despite being separated by a single word, are actually antonyms.

[BTW, forgot to mention it in the show, but one thing I try to do with the Dangerous History Podcast is to share esoteric history — the true version known only to a select view — with anyone who wants to learn it.  That’s part of what makes it “Dangerous.”]

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • What esoteric and exoteric mean in the context of human society and institutions
  • Specific examples of them in practice, including organized religion, labor unions, political parties & movements (including the Tea Party and the Progressives), governments, and wars
  • Why these concepts matter and can help you see the world more clearly

Prof CJ’s Picks ( buy via these links to help support the show)

(Image “Triangular View” courtesy of ‘dan’ on freedigitalphotos.net)