Content originally published at Dystopia, USA.
Public statues have become society's great sorter of souls.
We can divine our nation's modern character merely by how these testaments to the trials of mankind are commissioned, built, and perceived by each of us.
It is first revelatory of the sculptor's beliefs. Done right, he will have imbued his creation by drawing from only the most important or inspirational images in his mind. This passion for his subject sustains him during the endless hours agonizing over every detail. It is not an intellectual endeavor, but rather one of thymos.
The beholder's reaction to it is likewise both visceral and revealing:
To the admirer, the statue serves as an affirmation of his heritage or the embodiment of the deepest personal virtues that are dearest to his heart.
To the blase masses - those drones and ciphers who will brush past it as if it were no more than an oversized, bronze paperweight - it signifies nothing because they themselves are nothing.
But to a segment of the propagandized haters of history on the left, the rich complexity of our past is an affront; the Church of Modern Leftism has declared the statues dedicated to the heroes of Western Man excommunicate and anathema, almost as if they were wrought by Satan himself.
Here one must give leftists their due for they have the courage of their insane convictions. They seek to destroy whatever undermines their foolish worldview.
I'm not entirely unsympathetic to such fervency.
Say, for instance, a dedicated Christian were come face to face with a public statue of Moloch where once a beautiful manger scene resided. Would he not become so incensed to the point where he might gather some friends and tear it down?
So it is for the radical leftist. But it is the targets of their political rage, not the act of destruction itself, that is the most revealing. For they take umbrage with traditional Western civilization itself.
And so the offending statues must go. Amongst the bronzed quarry in this deranged historical foxhunt:
- The removal of Christian crosses in public has long been a cause celebre of the hard left because many are revolted by our faith. Public displays of religiosity have become so verboten by the commissars of culture that Christians, in acts of either total cowardice or full-on Stockholm Syndrome, have taken to removing (unbidden, mind you) the most profound of devotional icons.
- After Charlottesville, President Trump practically double dog dared the radicals to out themselves by asking if Washington and Jefferson would be next on the agenda. The bait was consumed very quickly. The irony that the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution which grants them the right to their lunatic dissent is indeed lost on them.
But nowhere is this exemplified better than in the recent battles over Confederate monuments, Robert E. Lee most especially.
Those who want ol' Bobby removed are completely unwilling - or unable - to understand that a man is best judged by the context of time, place, and totality of character.
Just ask a Southerner. Most will tell you the reason they revere General Lee and the Stars and Bars has nothing at all to do with the political issues that caused the Civil War. Pride in ancestry, love for the homeland, and their esteem for a man who led their forefathers in an underdog's war are reasons much closer to the mark.
Lee's nobility in fighting for a lost cause was the more lovely because he thought secession foolish. Yet he wearyingly assumed the yoke of leadership because of his bond to his fellow Virginians, thus becoming the exemplar of the saying, "My country, right or wrong." One can reasonably disagree intellectually with such blind devotion to blood and soil over principle, but anyone unable to admire his self-sacrifice is only half a human being. By ignoring context and retroactively assigning false motives to a man like Lee, his denouncers show an extreme willingness to desecrate truth. They become, in a way, history's graveside ghouls.
[Those in Dixie particularly don't want to hear criticism of such a towering historical figure by the paid, carpetbagging dupes, who, unable to discern their own philosophical ends, unwittingly work towards the enslavement of mankind via the primacy of the state. Whether it is outright slavery or indentured servitude to the corporate cronies in league with government, maltreatment is maltreatment. What does it really matter whether the whip is held by Simon Legree or George Soros? Down south, such delusion gets you called an idjit.]
Unchecked by thinking adults, the left-wing won't stop with monuments. "Offensive" movies and books will be next.
If conscripted soldiers doing their job is the new threshold for historical transgressions against the sensibilities of radical leftists, then how long until every copy of "Das Boot" is destroyed because it dared to dramatize mostly apolitical German men bravely risking a horrifying death for their fellow countrymen?
Since the left cannot reconcile that people are a product of the age in which they live, when will they halt school plays of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice for its less than flattering portrayal of Shylock?
Or if the threshold is not being multicultural enough, how long until they ban the works of the homogeneous peoples of Japan or Israel?
To the heavily-propagandized, personal traits are always subordinate to the cold political viewpoints instilled in them through repetitive lies told by powerful men with self-serving agendas. The riled mob (whether extreme left or right) is most dangerous when the scapegoat du jour gets dehumanized. The masses prefer their villains long dead or constructed of plaster because they can't talk back. One can choose to fill this silent void with inadequacy and simplemindedness. Or one can choose to do so by remembering the artist's subject as once having lived as a three-dimensional person making his way through life the best he could. The same as any of us.