Scientifically Correct versus Politically Correct (1)

As I have already stated, my objective in this book project was scientific correctness, not political correctness (actually, this must be the fundamental objective of every author of every non-fiction history book).

This statement, obviously, requires some clarification and explanation. The former requires providing proper definition of both terms – i.e. what is meant by “scientific correctness” (SC) and “political correctness” (PC). And, of course, what are the key differences between the two.

The second requires proof (beyond the reasonable doubt, of course) that all history books must, indeed, be scientifically, not politically correct. And that every genuine historian should care only about scientific correctness – and should not care a rat’s ass (pardon my French) about political correctness of his or her books, articles, blog post or any other non-fiction content (fiction is a bit different story).

The fundamental difference between scientific and political correctness (which pretty much defines these two terms) is the difference in their core objectives. The fundamental objective of scientific correctness as a methodology (both SC and PC are actually methodologies or even paradigms) is to “mine” or obtain genuine knowledge from raw data and information; then structure this knowledge in the optimal way and disseminate (communicate) this knowledge to individuals and social groups for whom this knowledge is functionally valuable.

In other words, scientific correctness in historical is all and only about determining who did what when how and why (in other words, which were the objectives of the decisions and actions in question). What were the intended and actual results of these decisions and actions4 whether actual results were different from the intended ones4 and if they were then why they were different.

Scientific correctness is concerned only about the accurate description of the past – and does not care a damn thing (pardon my French again) about the consequences of uncovering and making public the Truth about certain individuals (i.e. Hitler or Stalin), systems (i.e. Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union) and their decisions and/or actions.

Tell the Truth – and damn the consequences” and “Whatever can be destroyed by the Truth, should be” – these are the two fundamental principles of scientific correctness. If the Truth about history destroys even the whole state (let alone a political party, organization, etc.) – so be it. If something could be destroyed by the Truth, then this object (whatever it might be) did not deserve to exist in the first place.

The fundamental objective of scientific correctness, obviously, defines its key methods. Of which there are three – scientific correctness is based on the cornerstones of indisputable facts, rock-solid logic and good old common sense.

This fundamental objective also requires the genuine historian to never, ever pronounce moral/ethical judgement. For a very simple reason – it is scientific correctness, and science is about facts, not morals (anybody seen an immoral volcano? Ever?).

There is no morality or ethics in physics, chemistry, biology, etc. and, likewise, there is no morality or ethics in genuine history.  A genuine historian can pass only a functional judgement (whether the decision or action was the best one under the circumstances at the time) and, of course, a legal judgement (whether a decision or action in question constituted a crime).

But never a moral one. In genuine history, “right” and “wrong” is not about “good” and “evil” (these are the concepts from theology and secular ethics, not history) but only about whether the decision made or action taken was the best one under the circumstances (which makes it right) or not (which makes it wrong).

 

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