“No, Carly Fiorina, a degree in medieval history doesn’t qualify you to fight Isis” | David M Perry | Comment is free | The Guardian

Last week Carly Fiorina stated that her “degree in medieval history and philosophy has come in handy, because what Isis wants to do is drive us back to the Middle Ages, literally.” Knowing the relevant history is helpful in understanding the current events in the Middle East, but it’s not enough, especially if your understanding comes from a single period of time and which you studied at the undergraduate level forty years ago! And as David M. Perry points out, “While the Middle Ages do in fact shape contemporary events all the time, Fiorina unfortunately almost always gets the lessons of history wrong.”

And what is more troubling in Fiorina’s statement is that she’s using “medieval” in a particular way that it not constructive in dealing with the present situation. As Perry explains, “When we use the word “medieval” to characterize something we don’t like, be it Isis, the Ferguson Police department or Russia’s driver’s license regulations, we are trying to impose chronological distance between ourselves and things we find unpleasant. Thinking of distasteful or evil aspects of the modern world as belonging to the past makes it harder, not easier, to understand their causes and fight them.”

Read the entire article here: No, Carly Fiorina, a degree in medieval history doesn’t qualify you to fight Isis | David M Perry | Comment is free | The Guardian

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