Sunday, May 10, 2020

‘The 1619 Project’ Tells a False Story About Capitalism

Nikole Hannah-Jones
Remarkably,  the New York Times magazine’s Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of “The 1619 Project,” was awarded a Pulitzer Prize won in the category of Commentary.

The World Socialist Web Site theorizes on what might have occurred behind the scenes:
The “Commentary” prize is a major comedown for the New York Times, which staked to this racialist “reframing” of American history immense editorial resources, untold millions of dollars, and its credibility as the self-proclaimed “newspaper of record.” The Pulitzer Prize committee took no specific notice of the 1619 Project itself. Given the cost of the 1619 Project, winning the prize for Commentary is akin to a Hollywood multi-million-dollar blockbuster winning the Oscar for nothing more than best makeup.
The Pulitzer went only to Hannah-Jones, and not to the Times or the 1619 Project, which was released on August 13, 2019, amidst an unprecedented publicity blitz, to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slaves in colonial Virginia. The initial glossy magazine was over 100 pages long and included ten essays, a photo essay, and poems and fiction by 16 more writers. It has been followed by podcasts, a lecture tour, school lesson plans, and even a commercial run during the Academy Awards. The 1619 Project was a massive institutional enterprise. But what the New York Times wound up with was nothing more than an individual award for Commentary. This is certainly the most expensive consolation prize in the history of the Pulitzers.
In a departure for the Commentary Award, Hannah-Jones won only for her single essay titled, “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.” One cannot help but suspect that the Times brought considerable pressure to bear to eke out this minimal recognition of the 1619 Project’s existence...
The Pulitzer board cited Hannah-Jones for her “sweeping, deeply reported and personal essay” (emphasis added). The word choice is revealing and damning. The Board did not evaluate her essay, which defined the content of the 1619 Project, as rising to the level of a history. 
But even this "best makeup" award will be used to promote the big lie about slavery and capitalism.

 Allen C. Guelzo, a senior research scholar at Princeton University, writes in The Wall Street Journal:
The awarding of a Pulitzer Prize for commentary to the New York Times magazine’s Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of “The 1619 Project” will serve as an additional selling point as the Times and the Pulitzer Center (unaffiliated with the prize) seek to market their 1619 Project Curriculum. It’s hard not to see the prize as an attempt to deflect the criticisms the paper has taken from historians across the country...

The clinching refutation of the slavery-is-capitalism theory comes from the mouths of the slave owners themselves. They would have been aghast at the idea they were presiding over Yankee capitalism. Capitalism, complained slavery’s paladin, John C. Calhoun, “operated as one among the efficient causes of that great inequality of property which prevails in most European countries. No system can be more efficient to rear up a moneyed aristocracy. Its tendency is, to make the poor poorer, and the rich richer.”

The 1619 Project imagines Southern slaveholders were practicing “capitalism” simply because they made money. But slavery had been around since antiquity—long before anything resembling capitalism existed. And what the South saw in its plantations wasn’t capitalism but the opposite. Writing in 1854, the pro-slavery propagandist George Fitzhugh described slavery as “a beautiful example of communism, where each one receives not according to his labor, but according to his wants.”...

The 1619 Project can wave its Pulitzer as credibility insurance, but credibility isn’t the same as truth. Pulitzers have been handed out before—to the Times’s Walter Duranty and the Washington Post’s Janet Cooke—only to collapse under the weight of falsehood.

1 comment:

  1. The slavery of everyone is caused by the central bank. Having a central bank is part of the communist manifesto.

    So how long has the whole world been communist now?