KER Politics – Thu 14 Mar, 2019

A great editorial submitted by Tim Howe

Waging war against the dead

BY VICTOR DAVIS HANSON Tribune News Service

Picture

The 21st century is in danger of becoming an era of statue smashing and historical erasure. Not since the iconoclasts of the Byzantine Empire or the epidemic of statue destruction during the French Revolution has the world seen anything like the current war on the past.

In 2001, the primeval Taliban blew up two ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan on grounds that their very existence was sacrilegious to Islam.

In 2015, ISIS militants entered a museum in Mosul, Iraq, and destroyed ancient, pre-Islamic statues and idols. artifacts predated the prophet Muhammad.

The West prides itself in the idea that liberal societies would never descend into such nihilism. Think again.

In the last two years there has been a rash of statue toppling throughout the American South, aimed at wiping out memorialization of Confederate heroes. The pretense is that the Civil War can only be regarded as tragic in terms of the present oppression of the descendants of Southern slaves — 154 years after the extinction of the Confederate states.

There is also a renewed crusade to erase the memory of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. Los Angeles removed a Columbus statue in November based on the premise that his 1492 discovery of the Americas began a disastrous genocide in the Western Hemisphere.

Last month, the Northern California town of Arcata did away with a statue of former president William McKinley because he supposedly pushed policies detrimental to Native Americans.

There have been some unfortunate lessons from such vendettas against the images and names of the past.

One, such attacks usually revealed a lack of confidence. The general insecurity of the present could supposedly be remedied by destroying mute statutes or the legacies of the dead, who could offer no rebuttal.

The subtext of most current name changing and icon toppling is that particular victimized groups blame their current plight on the past. They assume that by destroying long-dead supposed enemies, they will be liberated — or at least feel better in the present.

Yet knocking down images of Columbus will not change the fact that millions of indigenous people in Central America and Mexico are currently abandoning their ancestral homelands and emigrating northward to quite different landscapes that reflect European and American traditions and political, economic and cultural values.

Two, opportunism, not logic, always seems to determine the targets of destruction.

This remains true today. If mass slaughter in the past offered a reason to obliterate remembrance of the guilty, then certainly sports teams should drop brand names such as “Aztecs.” Likewise, communities should topple statues honoring various Aztec gods, including the one in my own hometown: Selma, Calif.

After all, the Aztec Empire annually butchered thousands of innocent women and children captives on the altars of their hungry gods. The Aztecs were certainly far crueler conquerors, imperialists and colonialists than was former President McKinley. Yet apparently the Aztecs, as indigenous peoples, earn a pass on the systematic mass murder of their enslaved indigenous subjects.

Stanford University has changed the name of two buildings and a mall that had been named for Father Junipero Serra, the heroic 18th century Spanish founder of the California missions. Serra was reputed to be unkind to the indigenous people whom he sought to convert to Christianity.

Stanford students and faculty could have found a much easier target in their war against the dead: the eponymous founder of their university, Leland Stanford himself. Stanford was a 19th century railroad robber baron who brutally imported and exploited Asian labor and was explicit in his low regard for non-white peoples.

Yet it is one thing to virtue-signal by renaming a building and quite another for progressive students to rebrand their university – and thereby lose the prestigious Stanford trademark that is seen as their gateway to career advancement.

Third, in the past there usually has been a cowardly element to historical erasure. Destruction was often done at night by roving vandals, or was sanctioned by extremist groups who bullied objectors.

So too in the present. Many Confederate statues were torn down or defaced at night. City councils voted to change names or remove icons after being bullied by small pressure groups and media hysteria. They rarely referred the issue to referenda.

Four, ignorance both accompanies and explains the arrogance of historical erasure, past and present.

Recently, vandals in North Carolina set fire to a statue of General Lee. But they got the wrong Lee. Their target was not a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, but a statue of World War II Maj. Gen. William C. Lee, who campaigned for the creation of a U.S. Army airborne division and helped plan the invasion of Normandy.

The past is not a melodrama but more often a tragedy. Destroying history will not make you feel good about the present. Studying and learning from it might.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and the author, most recently, of “The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern” You can reach him by emailing author@victorhanson.com


Comments:
  1. On March 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm,
    OOTB Jerry says:
    • On March 14, 2019 at 2:17 pm,
      Ebolan says:

      Dang, you think he’s going to go quietly into the night when the Soviet Poverty Law Center has half a billion stashed away, about a quarter of that off-shore??? How much of that loot will he be able to take???

      • On March 14, 2019 at 2:29 pm,
        OOTB Jerry says:

        Cat is out of the bag……..this guy is going to claw his way to the fortune…. lol

        • On March 14, 2019 at 4:04 pm,
          Ebolan says:

          I love to see the left tear itself apart!

          THERE IS NO FINER SPECTATOR SPORT!!!

          NOW YOU BOYS, GRAB SOME POPCORN, PULL UP A SEAT AND ENJOY THE SHOW!!!

        • On March 14, 2019 at 4:46 pm,
          Ebolan says:

          Hey, Jerry, where did Whit go???

          We got to get him back…got to keep our Whits about us. 🙂

          • On March 14, 2019 at 4:53 pm,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            Whit….is taking it easy…….saving his energy for the BIG OWL weekend show…….
            Big Owl, is out with the big Spam Hammer, maybe he got Whit……lol

          • On March 14, 2019 at 4:54 pm,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            Whit……is taking it easy……saving his energy for the BIG OWL WEEKEND SHOW>…

        • On March 14, 2019 at 5:05 pm,
          Ebolan says:

          I bet Dees runs off to the Caymans…to the off shore stash…I bet it’s already in his name.

    • On March 14, 2019 at 3:32 pm,
      CFS says:

      Dees was just another slick lawyer, who enriched himself, by milking the system using hate, real AND imagined, as a tool.

  2. On March 14, 2019 at 2:13 pm,
    OOTB Jerry says:

    Silicon Valley’s favorite arbiter of hate, the Southern Poverty Law Center, has fired co-founder Morris Dees and scrubbed his biography from their website, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

  3. On March 14, 2019 at 3:53 pm,
    Matthew says:

    Way off topic but funny:
    Black Rapper DESTROYS LEFTIST Insanity
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxlewl_kH_Q

  4. On March 14, 2019 at 4:43 pm,
    Ebolan says:

    You boys have got to see this?

    Butto O’Dork says he was born to be Emperor!!!

    Have you ever known a more pompous A hole?

    I think a few of us here would be to differ….what do you boys think???

    I think he was born to clean toilets.

    Beto O’Rourke: “I’m Just Born to Do This”
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/03/beto-orourke-cover-story?verso=true

    • On March 14, 2019 at 4:49 pm,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Ditto on the toilet bowl cleaner……….this stuff is just to funny ……

      • On March 14, 2019 at 4:52 pm,
        Ebolan says:

        And he should clean them with his tongue…

        • On March 14, 2019 at 4:55 pm,
          OOTB Jerry says:

          NOw, Ebo……be nice….

          • On March 14, 2019 at 5:29 pm,
            Ebolan says:

            Not easy when you have all these little punk kid snot nosed brats like Butto who think they are entitle to be Emperor so they can micromange our lives and pick our pockets!

          • On March 14, 2019 at 5:35 pm,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            Five years and they are vested for life……retirement with $140 k….

  5. On March 14, 2019 at 4:50 pm,
    Ebolan says:

    Well boys, so much for Brexit…the tyrants will find a way to put it off…forever.

    I this is music to Harlan’s ears…and the rest of the Atlantic Council and all the Globalists.

    https://apnews.com/31ab53e3dd8a44b7ad1f2d15a2ab55d3

    • On March 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      BREXIT IS one more big CON GAME……after two years….string along……string along…

    • On March 14, 2019 at 5:01 pm,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Give Big Owl some credit…..he did say he did not agree with Harlan…..the war monger.

      • On March 14, 2019 at 5:08 pm,
        Ebolan says:

        What’s the OWL position on Brexit???

        • On March 14, 2019 at 5:24 pm,
          OOTB Jerry says:

          I should have put a 🙂 behind my comment…..
          Whoo Whoo Knows what Owl is thinking…….

          • On March 14, 2019 at 5:30 pm,
            Ebolan says:

            I think he is for Brexit…of course that could change at any moment…the moment he starts talking to old Harlan or his ilk…

          • On March 14, 2019 at 5:33 pm,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            ALL the BANKster should be rounded up…….and forced to peel potatoes for life, like in boot camp…..without the automatic potato peeler
            They like to finance war….what better place to be than on the front line, with a potato peeler….lol

  6. On March 14, 2019 at 5:05 pm,
    Nigel says:

    I do like the comparison that what certain new-age ‘liberals’ think is rational action is the same logic as to what ISIS thinks is rational action i.e. that destruction of the past will somehow validate them in the present. The worst thing is that in both cases this does not come from an in-depth knowledge of the past but from a superficial knowledge of a cartoon-like caricature. As usual Heinrich Heine’s famous line, “Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen”: “Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people,” comes to mind

  7. On March 14, 2019 at 6:29 pm,
    larry says:

    Yes, this Hanson fella…I think his views are very accurate…Sad for my offspring…They will be hunted like dogs as in south africa, eventually…it is over…it is demographidcs…..get a strong wall

  8. On March 14, 2019 at 6:54 pm,
    CFS says:

    Crazy Cortez aiding and abetting criminal behavior.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXlz6ZM9qpw

  9. On March 14, 2019 at 8:09 pm,
    larry says:

    It is eventually mob rule..Laraza has always wanted north America back and it is accomplished with breeding as they brag about as well as legal and illegal immigration..The Muslim invasion is a totally different front against western civillization…Muslim Brotherhood s organized determined and patient…one of islams four invasion mesthods is migration and their 5% rule of domination….Globalists . deocrates use idiot liberal agendas to facilitate the apocolypse….the world will decend into a dark ages as with the previous islamist caliphate…eventually the crusades sent the world wide caliphate into retreat…this is the second caliphate launched by shaw of iran in 1980 with oil monies

  10. On March 14, 2019 at 9:54 pm,
    CFS says:
    • On March 15, 2019 at 8:27 am,
      Ebolan says:

      Did you listen to the part about Butto O’Dork?

  11. On March 15, 2019 at 2:43 am,
    Excelsior says:

    RUSSIA PASSES ‘FAKE NEWS’ BILLS, WILL FINE WEBSITES THAT INSULT AUTHORITIES

    Brendan Cole – 3/13/19

    The first bill penalizes websites that “insult” authorities, state symbols and society. Offenders could be placed in jail for up to 15 days, Radio Free Europe reported.

    The second bill forbids “false information of public interest, shared under the guise of fake news.”

    “It will enable the prosecutor-general and his deputies to decide what constitutes fake news and for the state-run media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, to block any website not complying.”

    https://www.newsweek.com/russian-fake-news-bills-approved-government-will-fine-websites-insult-1361388

    • On March 15, 2019 at 4:51 am,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Might be worth 15 days in jail……just to say Putin is an idiot…..lol

      • On March 15, 2019 at 8:57 am,
        b says:

        I followed the Russian internet story on southfront, rt and russian insider.

        Russia developing its own internet is to defend itself from the west, right now, the west can shut down Russian internet at will.
        Russia intends to build its own internet so the west can not simply shut it down.

        Its along the same lines as replacing s.w.f.t. with their own system.

        Interesting how stories appear about how evil they are to do that.
        There does seem to be some Russians that are concerned about accessing the www.

        Those people would simply need to cross the boarder to N.Korea and access it there, they have access. lol

        • On March 15, 2019 at 9:49 am,
          Ebolan says:

          You ever watch Crosstalk?

          • On March 15, 2019 at 10:07 am,
            b says:

            Yes, cross talk is a good program.

            All evil Russian propaganda Im sure.
            Then again, anything that is not pro bankers and mic is Russian propaganda. lol

          • On March 15, 2019 at 11:47 am,
            Ebolan says:

            Crosstalk
            Brexit On Life Support

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5K-GzYG57Q

  12. On March 15, 2019 at 7:41 am,
    CFS says:

    You can call Putin many things, but stupid is not one of them.

    No person can rise to head of a country (and KGB) by being stupid.

    Brutal, devious, deceitful, maybe, but not stupid.

  13. On March 15, 2019 at 7:46 am,
    CFS says:

    Be thankful that the Founding Fathers were intelligent enough to put freedom of thought and speech as of the highest importance.

    Hopefully our courts will always support this freedom.

  14. On March 15, 2019 at 8:52 am,
    Ebolan says:

    Here’s something from Bobby M you should read…

    http://www.321gold.com/editorials/moriarty/moriarty031519.html

  15. On March 15, 2019 at 8:55 am,
    Ebolan says:

    You boys see this???

    Good Moriarty interview…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKqY-tL-J78

  16. On March 15, 2019 at 9:03 am,
    b says:

    Yup, there was some info but as far as interviews go it was lousy.

    The interviewer needs practice.
    Jay Taylor has a Bob interview right now that he suggests 3 resources bets that could pay off.

    • On March 15, 2019 at 9:47 am,
      Ebolan says:

      Sorry, Mr. Big Al Korelin gave Jay Taylor the spam hammer 🙁

      • On March 15, 2019 at 10:03 am,
        b says:

        J Taylor is a bad guy now?

        To b honust I wondered about him from when he said that investing in the mic was ok if ya spent the profits in some kinda good way.
        Maybe buying the bandages and pain killers the victims of the investment would need might count. i dunno.

    • On March 15, 2019 at 9:48 am,
      Ebolan says:

      So you will need to post that in your blog…

  17. On March 15, 2019 at 9:04 am,
    b says:

    Mar 15 Robert Moriarty Discusses Favorite Junior Gold Miners With Jay Taylor YouTube

  18. On March 15, 2019 at 9:05 am,
    b says:

    https://youtu.be/HdifLCmN-u8

    .Robert Moriarty Discusses Favorite Junior Gold Miners