Did Columbus Discover America?

Samuel Crowell

There are two types of knowledge in a society. The commonly accepted and the arcane and unproved. Everybody knows that 2+2=4. That's common knowledge. In the 1400's, everyone knew that too. But there was other knowledge, rarer, not as widely known, contradicting the popular wisdom, and not yet demonstrated.

Copernicus did not "discover" that the earth traveled around the sun. It had been suggested and hypothesized by philosophical and mathematical sages since the time of the ancient Greeks.

Columbus did not "discover" America, either. It had been rumored, hypothesized, guessed by mariners and the intellectual classes for years. Not to mention the Vikings who were in American 400 years before Columbus, and Native Americans before that.

But one can still say that Copernicus "discovered" the solar system, and that Columbus "discovered" America. There are two reasons why this is so.

First, unlike common knowledge, arcane knowledge is diffuse. One person might have known for years something which another is just finding out, but precisely because the point of fact is arcane and not common, that new researcher is discovering the fact anew, and, as far as he himself is concerned, for the very first time.

The second reason why Copernicus discovered the solar system, and Columbus discovered America, is because they not only made the discovery for themselves but they provided the kind of proof that the common knowledge of their societies could no longer ignore. (Indeed, after Copernicus, Kepler provided an even better proof for the heliocentric theory, and is rated therefore as a great astronomer in his own right.) These precedents should be kept in mind with the progress of Holocaust revisionism.

The truths that revisionism has uncovered, from Rassinier, Butz, Faurisson, through Rudolf, Mattogno, and Stäglich, and including more recent work, is not yet common knowledge. Therefore each of these researchers has had to discover the truths of revisionism on their own. And, in turn, each should be credited for their sincere individual discoveries, without troubling over questions of priority. The one who is able to make the arcane truths of revisionism facts of common knowledge is the one who will doubtless reap the lion's share of posterity. But at the same time, when that moment comes, the efforts of the forerunners will be appreciated and justified in the eyes of history.

We can understand that this might not seem fair. The groundwork for modern revisionism was decisively laid in the 1970's by Butz and Faurisson, and the work of more recent revisionists, including Rudolf, Berg, Mattogno, and others, have all been strongly influenced by them, even while they have taken their arguments and their concepts several steps further down the line. But just because they derived their inspiration from them does not mean that their own discoveries, re-discoveries, and re-phrasings should be swamped in homage to these forerunners. Kepler never would have devised his physics if not for Copernicus, but that does not mean that Copernicus devised Kepler's Laws.

All of us in the revisionist field today are indebted to ourselves, for our individual tenacity and willingness to be at odds with common knowledge, and we are indebted to each other, for it is among ourselves that we find the strength and support to continue our work. And finally, all of us will be indebted to those who come after us, who will finally succeed in breaking the hold of this most tragic delusion.

In spite of all of the efforts over the last 25 years it is hard to say when the traditional, and erroneous, interpretation of the Holocaust will be finally broken. But it is a safe bet that the interpretation that succeeds in making the break-through will have the following characteristics: it will make sense, it will account for the most data without omissions or extra assumptions, it will be persuasively and magnanimously stated, and it will be useful. This is a process of development in which all of us have a part to play, and an interest at stake. Because of our individual trials, our sufferings, and even our persecutions, it is understandable that we might, at times, regard the arcane truths of revisionism as our personal and private truths. But that, on reflection, is just what the truth of revisionism can never be -- because we desire to give it to the world.

Installed: 06/04/00, 11: 00 AM, EST


Source: The Revisionist, Codoh Series, No. 4, 2000, pp. .
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