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Why Confederate monuments are not evil

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History is the Remembered Past. These are the words John Lukacs, perhaps the finest historical thinker of the last century.

The past informs our present. Or, to be more precise, our understanding of the past informs our present.

We keep the past fresh in memory by memorializing it. We fill our capital with monuments to Presidents, we name parks after local worthies. And the South is no different from any other place. They have countless places named, and statues and monuments erected, to honor their men who fell in the Civil War.

 Now radicals are calling for the destruction of every monument which honors leaders of the Southern Confederacy. Not only radicals, but conservatives as well. Writers on The Federalist and Ben Shapiro have expressed sympathy for attempts to remove all confederate monuments.

There are now plans to tear down Confederate statues across the US, from Baltimore to Virginia. In Georgia, a gubernatorial candidate has called for the Stone Mountain relief to be destroyed. This is following the destruction of Confederate memorials in New Orleans last month.

Everyone seems to be treating these monuments as if they represent three things which are taken to be evil. Racism, Slavery, and Secession.

First let’s talk about racism. In the 19th century, virtually all white Americans were racists. Full stop. Virtually everyone we know of was a racist. Southern Democrats and Northern Republicans said vile things about blacks.. North and South held vile views of blacks. Illinois passed an amendment to their constitution barring free blacks from settling there. Leading Republicans wanted to restrict the Western lands for the settlement of white men alone. Tocqueville noted during his travels that the South was more welcoming to blacks than was the North. Nowhere in America in 1861 or prior were black Americans treated as human persons. That stain belongs to the entire Union, not the South alone.

The accusation of racism as an unspeakable moral evil, while true, is a point of politics for the Left, and not morals. If they truly cared about racsim, they would care about the fact that Korea has been quietly expelling black English teachers from their country. They would care about the racism of many Japanese against Miss Japan, because she is half-black, and not pure Japanese. They would care about the mistreatment of Asians in African nations, at the hands of African governments. That they do not says that they do not care for the morality of racism, which is evil. What they care for is the political power the term racism gives them.

Our world has lost almost all its moral vocabulary. We cannot speak anymore of vice and virtue, or of sin and righteousness, or of cowardice and courage. Old verities are now replaced by new ones. Instead of fornication as an evil, it is evil to restrict a woman’s ‘right to her own body.’ Racism, as one of the few moral certainties of a confused generation, must be extirpated everywhere that it is convenient to destroy it. One of these places is the American South

But why the American South? The South is unique in the United States, having its own culture and even civilization which no other part of the Union can match. It’s literature, statesmen, soldiers, and writers rank as among the finest, and perhaps the finest, we have ever seen. Beside the humane literature of Flannery O Connor or William Faulkner, where does the silly frippery of Emerson stand? How can the crony capitalists of the early Republican Party match up to the greatness of Jefferson or Calhoun?  The South also stands on the cultural periphery, and so is an easy target for the Left’s need to destroy things.

So much for the racism charge.

Slavery is also taken to be a great sin by the South. And is true that slavery is a great moral evil. Just as it is also true that slavery existed in the North during the Civil War. 4 slave states jointed the Union, but never did Lincoln threaten their peculiar institution, only that of the states which seceded. Further, it is also true that slavery has been universal to all societies, in all times. The first step towards abolition came in 1688, according to historian David Brion Davis. To condemn the South for slavery is to condemn every society in history.

If Confederate monuments are built to honor slavery, and therefore must be torn down, then the list of things to destroy will get rather long. The Coliseum, the Pyramids, Kharnak Temple at Luxor, countless medieval cathedrals, were built using slave labor. Should we destroy them too?

Slavery was by no means the sole cause of war. In his For Cause and Comrades, James McPherson found that, for a most soldiers North and South, slavery was not their main reason for fighting. They fought for Union and for State, slavery was often an afterthought.

The final moral charge is that of destroying the Union, but why this this an evil? The States, through their conventions, created the Union in 1789. Union was the creature of the States, with no law or amendment ever passed to forbid leaving it. Instead there were endless debates over the exact language used in the Construction, whether it allowed secession or not. These debates were ended, not through compromise, but by force.

If none of these charges make sense, then why is the Left so determined to tear down these monuments?

By taking down Confederate monuments, today’s radicals are engaged upon a war against cultural and historical memory. If these monuments are taken down, because they do not match up to today’s moral standards, then it is a path to the general cultural destruction of our heritage. Trump, in his recent confusing press conference, perceptively asked when the statues of Washington and Jefferson might also be taken down. He is right. If today it is Lee and Davis, why not tomorrow Jefferson and Washington, and the day after that why not Churchill, FDR or Eisenhower?

If there can be no respect for our past, for those who left behind a legacy to us, then what hope is there for preserving it? And if the past must be destroyed because it is seen to be immoral, then how can anything from our past be called good? For all men have done evil.

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Culture and Religion

Elizabeth Warren releases DNA proof that she’s at least 1/1024th Native American. Twitter responds appropriately.

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Elizabeth Warren releases DNA proof that shes at least 11024th Native American Twitter responds appr

There’s a strategist in Senator Elizabeth Warren’s ear who thought it was a good idea to release results of a DNA test showing a likelihood that one of her very distant descendants was Native American. The advice taken. The results were predictable.

The test shows she is at most 1/32nd Native American if she is six generations from her Native American ancestor. That’s her best-case scenario. At worst, her ancestor was as far back as ten generations which would make her 1/1024th Native American. To put that into perspective, if she were to honor her heritage by engaging in 1/1024th of a four-hour Native American Sweat, she’d be in and out of the lodge in 14 seconds.

Elizabeth Warren releases results of DNA test on Native American ancesty

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2018/10/15/warren-addresses-native-american-issue/YEUaGzsefB0gPBe2AbmSVO/story.htmlThe inherent imprecision of the six-page DNA analysis could provide fodder for Warren’s critics. If her great-great-great-grandmother was Native American, that puts her at 1/32nd American Indian. But the report includes the possibility that she’s just 1/1024th Native American if the ancestor is 10 generations back.

Undergoing the test and releasing the results reveal how seriously Warren is taking the attacks from Trump, who has been able to effectively caricature and diminish his national foes via nicknames and conspiracy theories. Trump pushed then President Barack Obama into releasing the long form of his birth certificate to prove what most knew was already true: He was born in America.

This publicity stunt was designed to let everyone know she’s serious about running for President in 2020. She wanted to be able to call out President Trump on his promise to give $1,000,000 to charity if she could prove Native American heritage. He won’t pay, of course, which will get plenty of headlines calling him a deal-breaking scoundrel, but was it really if for her to be the focus of even more jokes on social media?

Here are some of the reactions on Twitter. You decide:

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Culture and Religion

Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

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Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

National Review reporter and Fox News contributor Katherine Timpf often discusses political correctness. She talks about it so often that one might think it’s a subject she enjoys, but in reality it’s simply a problem she passionately wants to solve.

In American society, it is way too easy to offend. People do not want to hear that their perspectives are wrong. That’s apparently some form of violence. They don’t want to hear an opposing viewpoint. That’s allegedly a form of oppression. Many on the left feel entitled to express their opinions in any way they see fit and also to prevent others from sharing their opinions if there’s a difference in worldviews.

The hypocrisy of political correctness is thick.

As Timpf recently pointed out on National Review, it’s a problem that doesn’t have an easy solution, but trends are pointing to positive movement against the specter of political correctness.

Political Correctness: Study Finds 80 Percent of Americans Think It’s a Problem

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/political-correctness-problem-according-to-80-percent-of-people/I could go on for pages and pages, but you get the point: Writing about political correctness sometimes makes me feel as if everyone has gone mad, and I’m very glad to see that this doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, a strong majority of people apparently agrees with me. A strong majority believes that political correctness has gone too far, and probably would agree that we need to be careful to protect our ability to speak freely in this country.

That’s certainly encouraging, but it still doesn’t make me feel entirely better. After all, the small, PC-obsessed mob can sometimes be very powerful. Once it decides that someone or something is racist or sexist, that conclusion can carry a lot of weight. It can ruin careers and lives. It can remove perfectly good, innocuous words from acceptable speech, because even the people who might not see a problem with those words don’t want to risk being accused of racism or sexism for using them. The only answer is to keep fighting, to keep exposing and mocking such overreach when it occurs — and to take solace in the fact that so many people have awoken to its dangers.

Keep fighting the good fight, Ms. Timpf.

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Culture and Religion

Reason: Socialism fails every time

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Reason Socialism fails every time

If Socialism Actually Worked, the Left wouldn’t have to Lie about it.

John Stossel has a new video featuring Gloria Álvarez who knows the truth about Socialism. She passionately decimates all of the Left’s lies about what is truly organised evil.

Socialism has become cool in America, under the nice name “democratic socialism”.

Gloria Álvarez knows better, because she’s from Latin America and studied socialism there. She says: watch out! Socialism has a clear track record of wrecking every country that implements it.

Cuba tried socialism. Things got so bad that tens of thousands fled the island on dangerous, makeshift rafts. Others paid lots of money to be allowed to leave.

After Cuba, the next Latin American country to get totally immersed in socialism was Venezuela. For a while, things seemed to work okay thanks to the country’s oil wealth; Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, and used to be the richest country in Latin America.

Celebrities like Michael Moore and Sean Penn visited Hugo Chavez and praised his socialism.

Venezuelans were happy, too. A former mayor in Venezuela’s capital city told Álvarez: “People were clapping so hard. They were like, ‘Oh, finally there is somebody here making social justice.'”

But eventually socialism led to a mismanagement of the economy that was so bad that money started to run out. The government just printed more, so much more that it led to million-percent inflation.

But some still defend socialism, saying that what happened there “isn’t real socialism.” Bernie Sanders says: “when I talk about Socialism I am not looking at Venezuela, I’m not looking at Cuba. I’m looking at countries like Denmark, like Sweden.”

But Denmark’s prime minister says that’s a mistake: “Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy,” he clarified.

In Scandinavian countries, government regulates business less than America’s government does. Scandinavian countries don’t even have a minimum wage.

Real socialism looks more like Cuba and Venezuela.

Álvarez hopes people look at socialism’s track record before implementing it anywhere else.

If the stakes weren’t so deadly serious, the Left’s absurd contradictions on this subject would be quite amusing. The video had several celebrities trying to claim that normal government functions are somehow ‘socialism’, without explaining how this is the case. Other Leftists will claim that certain socialist regimes weren’t actually socialist, but were really ‘Right-Wing’, again without explaining how this is the case. However, those supposedly non-socialist, ‘Right-Wing’ regimes had normal government functions – road, liberties etc. So by the lights of the first contention, wouldn’t they be socialist?

But let us put this as succinctly as possible:

If Socialism Actually worked:

The Left wouldn’t have to falsely claim that normal government functions are ‘socialism’.
The Left wouldn’t have to Lie about the definition of the word.
The Left wouldn’t have to pretend that Scandinavian countries are socialist.
The Left wouldn’t have to lie, claiming that totalitarian Socialist regimes are supposedly ‘rightwing’.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need ‘revolutionary terror’.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need Tanquetas’ or ‘Ballenas’ to keep the people in line.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need secret police and torture to suppress dissent.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need barbed wire or mine fields to keep people from leaving.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need concentration camps, gulags or ‘re-education’ camps.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need firing squads or as ‘Che Guevara’ put it, the ‘pedagogy of the wall’.

The Takeaway.

If the organised evil that is socialism [Or it’s 40+ alternative labels] didn’t defy basic human nature, being a functional system, there would be no reason for the nation’s Socialist-Left to Lie about it. If it had actually accomplished something useful – aside from 100+ Million dead – it’s proponents could simply sell it without all of the falsehoods and outright lies. Those who advocate for that collectivist system – while claiming they aren’t it’s advocates – could simply be honest about what they want to impose on the rest of us.

Compare this to the entirely workable – but never claiming to be perfect – system of economic Liberty.
Those of us who are advocates for freedom have no need to pretend that systems of economic Liberty are something else. We have no need to make false claims or pretend it something that it is not. We only need to sell it on it’s great achievements, something the advocates of socialism can never do.

 

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