Claiming history for current inventions

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JR Johnson
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Joined: 31-08-12
Aug 31 2012 12:02
Claiming history for current inventions

Ain't it sad when....
….they romanticise history and claim a provenance that is false and embarrassing. What am I on about?

Well the IWGB, and its almost single handed resurrection by Chris Ford and the miraculous coming to life of T. L. Smith, currently assistant general secretary, who held the position of general secretary of the IWGB about 100 years ago.
Now I have to admit being a member of the IWW, but we try not make too much of the history and the IWW did stagger through the whole of the 20th century just about staying alive.
But what puzzles me is the need to root a new organisation in history and claim to have inherited that history. As if the workers, the union has yet to recruit, will care. Maybe its to do with wanting to feel endorsed by history or somehow inherit the authority of those gone by. The names we admire in history found the struggles they engaged in as hard or harder then those we face now, but its not clear that they were better at conducting struggle or wiser in their choices of organisation or methods then us. So if they were not especially superior, why claim continuity, invent connection and otherwise make mischief with history. A history we should be aware of but cautious about its meaning.

Help with understanding the need for a made up provenance would be welcome.