Loss of History

Proposal to Conduct a Webcast:  Loss of Country

Countries can be “lost” by invasion and by changes in the beliefs of members of society.
Due to the influence of “Progressive” educators beginning at the end of the 19th century college education in the United States effectively changed the manners and mores of American higher education and those changes seeped into the lives of the American people.

The principal cause of loss of our country today is our failure to educate college students in their responsibilities as citizens of a self-governing democracy. This self-inflicted wound began many years ago but accelerated during the 1960s and early ’70s when required core curricula were removed from colleges and universities.

We propose a panel of three presentations:

Dr. Angelo Codevilla: Immigration Before 1965. Since 1965, Americans have been living with an immigration system very different from any in U.S. history. To appreciate how different, it is useful to look at what it replaced. Since 1965 was a long time ago, and most who lived under prior immigration law are dead, there is very little direct knowledge of the previous system among us. I, who emigrated to America on August 8, 1955 into New York  harbor past the Statue of Liberty as a thirteen year old, and cursed as I am with a good memory, am one of the few remaining who experienced the kind of immigration that helped to make America great. I propose to give recollections of the process I underwent to qualify for entry, of the trip, of the country I found,  and of the adjustments I had to make. I propose also to share my adult reflections on the differences between immigration then, and now.

Dr. Richard Bishirjian: The Artful Recluse. This presentation will discuss a recent study by the Asia Society of painting, poetry and politics of 17th Century China. Titled “The Artful Recluse,” the work examines a time of crisis and change during the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties and how Chinese artists and intellectuals dealt with the loss of their country to the Mongols.

Dr. Jack Tierney: To Lose a Country: France 1940. The title of this presentation is taken from the third volume of Alistair Horne’s trilogy on French-German relations (wars) between 1870 and 1940. France lost two and won the middle (1918) but in the last (1940) France, in effect, lost itself, i.e. its “country.”

What does the loss of “country” imply and does it occur every time a war is lost?

Many countries absorb losses quite well. Britain lost the American colonies in 1781 but went on to build a greater naval and colonial empire. The U.S. lost Vietnam in 1975; a few years later it was the world’s “sole remaining superpower.” Then why did France lose itself in 1940 and not earlier? Horne’s actual title for the third book is To Lose a Battle: France 1940. Substitute “country” for war and that is what he really means. And that is what really happened.

Total defeat, in this case, meant the end of France in the global strategic balance; replacing historic grandeur with a more modest and restrained worldview; the priority of domestic versus global ambitions; the threat of immigration as potentially fatal, acceptance of status rather than leadership, the realities of occupation over the last parade down the Champs de Elysees.

About the Presenters: Dr. Jack Tierney served for many years as the Walter Kohler Professor of International Relations at the Institute of World Politics. During the Administration of President Ronald Reagan he served as Special Assistant and Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1981-1993). Dr. Tierney’s Congressional service includes serving as Executive Director of the Congressional Caucus on National Defense and the National Security Research Group, U.S. House of Representatives.

Dr. Angelo M. Codevilla is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Boston University. He received his Ph.D. in Security Studies, U.S. Foreign Policy, and Political Theory from Claremont Graduate School.

He is the author of The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It; Informing Statecraft; War: Ends and Means (with Paul Seabury); The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Family, and Civility; Modern France; Advice for War Presidents; Arms Control Delusion (with Malcolm Wallop); Between the Alps and a Hard Place: Switzerland in World War II and the Rewriting of History.

Dr. Richard Bishirjian was Founding President and Professor of Government at Yorktown University from 2000 to 2016. He earned a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame under the direction of Gerhart Niemeyer. While a graduate student at Notre Dame he studied under Eric Voegelin. After completing graduate work at Notre Dame, he did advanced study with Michael Oakeshott at the London School of Economics. Dr. Bishirjian is the author of A Public Philosophy Reader; The Development of Political Theory; The Conservative Rebellion and The Coming Death and Future Resurrection of American Higher Education.

This event will be Webcast from Sacramento, California.