Thursday, August 17, 2017

Effacing the past

Predictably, SJWs lobby to tear down offensive monuments. A few observations:

I'm not an absolutist about this. I don't think it's intrinsically wrong to tear down some monuments. But in general I'm opposed to it:

i) If and when we're going to tear down monuments, that should enjoy broad-based public support. That shouldn't be decided by an unrepresentative faction of malcontents.

ii) As a rule, we shouldn't efface history. Rather, we should learn from history. 

I oppose the erection of Confederate monuments. But once it's there, has been there for decades, that becomes integrated into the history of a place, and it's a good thing to see visible layers of the past.

iii) SJWs are insatiable. They don't stop when you capitulate to their incessant demands. To the contrary, that emboldens them to demand more. 

Where does it end? If some people find churches and synagogues offensive, should they be torn down? If a private homeowner has a crèche on his front yard during the Christmas season, should that be removed because some atheists are offended? Should yarmulkas be banned if Muslims are offended? Should bikinis be outlawed if Muslims are offended? 

iv) It reflects the obsession with empty symbolism. Tearing down Confederate monuments doesn't do anything to improve the lives of Black Americans. That's a cheap substitute and decoy that deflects attention away from real problems and real solutions.

v) So often it's whites who presume to speak on behalf of minorities. That's very paternalistic. 


  1. I agree. This is sensible and wise.

    Actually, I'm not sure what SJWs and their ilk wish to accomplish by knocking down Confederate statues. It won't somehow make white supremacists more likely to reconsider their racism. If anything, it will have the opposite effect. If anything, it will anger white supremacists.

    It won't tip fence sitters (if any even exist) to the anti-racism side. If anything, it will make more stark the divide between white supremacists and liberal iconoclasts. It will push sides further apart.

    Speaking in terms of public relations, it's an imprudent move, and shows how tone deaf SJWs are.

    I have no idea what's crossing their minds, if anything. Indeed perhaps they're not even bothering to think at all before they get all riled up and act out.

  2. Suppose, for the sake of argument, it's true Confederate statues are a reminder of our nation's dark past of slavery. However, rather than knocking down the statues in an attempt to wipe our past, would it not be better to reappropriate these statues in a "lest we forget" manner in a similar way World War II Holocaust concentration camps exist as tourist sites in Europe?

  3. Ironic how the SJWs use the same tactics the Nazis did.

  4. For me, it isn't the taking down of monuments. It's the complete lack of self-awareness. They can't imagine something like mostly everyone is pro-life 150 years from now. Imagine how those people would view them getting worked up about Confederacy statues.

    1. Both sides exaggerate the importance of symbolism. Not a hill to die on one way or the other.

  5. ~ It is interesting to note some contrasts between the US and India. For one, if you go around India, you will see standing, a good number of statues of British persons from centuries past and some of these indeed were controversial characters. Yet, you do not see people screaming for the take down of these statues and yes, a lot of people are quite aware of the history behind these figureheads comprising the statues.

    So why don't we have people screaming for their take down? Are snowflakes impossible in the hot Indian weather? (Sorry. Couldn't help it.) Anyway. I don't know entirely why - however I think it has to do with Indians

    (1) being a bit more historically aware then many Americans, (they understand that good and bad came with the Brits - not just bad)
    (2) having various reality checks on a daily basis, which come from a sustained exposure to abject poverty
    (3) a less manipulative media along with manipulative academia
    and finally simply,
    (4) just something in our collective temperament that not very readily lend itself to battles.

    I mean consider that its only here in the US - that you will find people filing million dollar lawsuits against McDonalds due to the coffee being too hot. Its only here that people have taken offense and action to try to get rid of "In God we trust" from pennies, nickels and dimes and so on.

    At least currently, there is something in the Indian personality and temperament that does not lend itself to these sorts of things. On the flip side here in the litigious US, it seems that every winds up with an exchange of fisticuffs. It has been this way for a long time and it seems to be getting worse.

    ~ Raj