Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 16, 2017

Smashing Statues, Seeding Strife

In the aftermath of competing protests in Charlottesville a wave of dismantling of Confederate statues is on the rise. Overnight Baltimore took down four Confederate statues. One of these honored Confederate soldiers and sailors, another one Confederate women. Elsewhere statues were toppled or defiled.

The Charlottesville conflict itself was about the intent to dismantle a statue of General Robert E. Lee, a commander of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The activist part of the political right protested against the take down, the activist part of the political left protested against those protests. According to a number of witnesses quoted in the LA Times sub-groups on both sides came prepared for and readily engaged in violence.

In 2003 a U.S. military tank pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein on Firdos Square in Baghdad. Narrowly shot TV picture made it look as if a group of Iraqis were doing this. But they were mere actors within a U.S. propaganda show. Pulling down the statue demonstrated a lack of respect towards those who had fought under, worked for or somewhat supported Saddam Hussein. It helped to incite the resistance against the U.S. occupation.

The right-wing nutters who, under U.S. direction, forcefully toppled the legitimate government of Ukraine pulled down hundreds of the remaining Lenin statues in the country. Veterans who fought under the Soviets in the second world war took this as a sign of disrespect. Others saw this as an attack on their fond memories of better times and protected them. The forceful erasement of history further split the country:

“It’s not like if you go east they want Lenin but if you go west they want to destroy him,” Mr. Gobert said. “These differences don’t only go through geography, they go through generations, through social criteria and economic criteria, through the urban and the rural.”

Statues standing in cities and places are much more than veneration of one person or group. They are symbols, landmarks and fragments of personal memories:

“One guy said he didn’t really care about Lenin, but the statue was at the center of the village and it was the place he kissed his wife for the first time,” Mr. Gobert said. “When the statue went down it was part of his personal history that went away.”

(People had better sex under socialism. Does not Lenin deserves statues if only for helping that along?)

Robert Lee was a brutal man who fought for racism and slavery. But there are few historic figures without fail. Did not George Washington "own" slaves? Did not Lyndon B. Johnson lie about the Gulf of Tonkin incident and launched an unjust huge war against non-white people under false pretense? At least some people will think of that when they see their statues. Should those also be taken down?

As time passes the meaning of a monument changes. While it may have been erected with a certain ideology or concept in mind, the view on it will change over time:

[The Charlottesville statue] was unveiled by Lee’s great-granddaughter at a ceremony in May 1924. As was the custom on these occasions it was accompanied by a parade and speeches. In the dedication address, Lee was celebrated as a hero, who embodied “the moral greatness of the Old South”, and as a proponent of reconciliation between the two sections. The war itself was remembered as a conflict between “interpretations of our Constitution” and between “ideals of democracy.”

The white racists who came to "protect" the statue in Charlottesville will hardly have done so in the name of reconciliation. Nor will those who had come to violently oppose them. Lee was a racist. Those who came to "defend" the statue were mostly "white supremacy" racists. I am all for protesting against them.

But the issue here is bigger. We must not forget that statues have multiple meanings and messages. Lee was also the man who wrote:

What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.

That Lee was a racist does not mean that his statue should be taken down. The park in Charlottesville, in which the statue stands, was recently renamed from Lee Park into Emancipation Park. It makes sense to keep the statue there to reflect on the contrast between it and the new park name. 

Old monuments and statues must not (only) be seen as glorifications within their time. They are reminders of history. With a bit of education they can become valuable occasions of reflection.

George Orwell wrote in his book 1984: “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” People do not want to be destroyed. They will fight against attempts to do so. Taking down monuments or statues without a very wide consent will split a society. A large part of the U.S. people voted for Trump. One gets the impression that the current wave of statue take downs is seen as well deserved "punishment" for those who voted wrongly - i.e. not for Hillary Clinton. While many Trump voters will dislike statues of Robert Lee, they will understand that dislike the campaign to take them down even more. 

That may be the intend of some people behind the current quarrel. The radicalization on opposing sides may have a purpose. The Trump camp can use it to cover up its plans to further disenfranchise they people. The fake Clintonian "resistance" needs these cultural disputes to cover for its lack of political resistance to Trump's plans.

Anyone who wants to stoke the fires with this issue should be careful what they wish for.

Posted by b on August 16, 2017 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

Comments
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"That Lee was a racist does not mean that his statue should be taken down."

How about the fact that he was a traitor?

"George Orwell wrote in his book 1984: 'The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.'"

The only reason statues of traitors like Lee exist is because the South likes to engage in 'Lost Cause' revisionism; to pretend these were noble people fighting for something other than the right to own human beings as pets.

Posted by: Merasmus | Aug 16, 2017 12:42:12 PM | 1

isn't taking down statues what isis does?

erasing history seems part of the goal.. i feel the usa has never really addressed racism.. the issue hasn't gone away and remains a deep wound that has yet to heal.. events like this probably don't help.

Posted by: james | Aug 16, 2017 12:42:57 PM | 2

The statues of Lee and his ilk should come down because they are TRAITORS who deserve no honor. Washington and Jefferson may have owned slaves but they were PATRIOTS. Its really that simple.

Posted by: DMC | Aug 16, 2017 12:45:04 PM | 3

I don't want to get derailed into the rights or wrongs of toppling statues. I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to start this trend right at this particular tinder box moment.

That said, the USA has never ever truly confronted either: 1) the systemic genocide of the Native Americans earlier in our history; and b) what slavery really meant and was. NO reconciliation has ever really been done about either of these barbarous acts. Rather, at best/most, we're handed platitudes and lip service that purports that we've "moved on" from said barbarity - well I guess WHITES (I'm one) have. But Native Americans - witness what happened to them at Standing Rock recently - and minorities, especially African Americans, are pretty much not permitted to move on. Witness the unending police murders of AA men across the country, where, routinely, most of the cops get off scott-free.

To quote b:

The Trump camp can use it to cover up its plans to further disenfranchise they people. The fake Clintonian "resistance" needs these cultural disputes to cover for its lack of political resistance to Trump's plans.

While I dislike to descend into the liturgy of Both Siderism, it's completely true that both Rs and Ds enjoy and use pitting the rubes in the 99% against one another because it means that the rapine, plunder & pillaging by the Oligarchs and their pet poodles in Congress & the White House can continue apace with alacrity. And: That's Exactly What's Happening.

The Oligarchs could give a flying fig about Heather Heyer's murder, nor could they give a stuff about US citizens cracking each other's skulls in a bit of the old ultra-violence. Gives an opening for increasing the Police State and cracking down on our freedumbs and liberties, etc.

I heard or read somewhere that Nancy Pelosi & Chuck Schumer are absolutely committed to not impeaching Donald Trump because it means all the Ds have to do is Sweet Eff All and just "represent" themselves as the Anti-Trump, while, yes, enjoying the "benefits" of the programs/policies/legislation enacted by the Trump Admin. I have no link and certainly cannot prove this assertion, but it sure seems likely. Just frickin' great.

Posted by: RUKidding | Aug 16, 2017 1:03:54 PM | 4

Lee was not a racist; I'd say you are addressing your own overblown egos. The U.S. Civil War was long in coming. During the 1830's during Andrew Jackson's presidency, and John Calhoun's vice-presidency, at an annual state dinner, the custom of toasts was used to present political views. Jackson toasted the Union of the states, saying "The Union, it must be preserved." Calhoun's toast was next, "The Union, next to our liberty, most dear."

Calhoun was a proponent of the Doctrine of Nullification, wherein if a national law inflicted harm on any state, the state could nullify the law, until such time as a negotiation of a satisfactory outcome could come about. The absolute Unionists were outraged by such an idea.

Posted by: kgw | Aug 16, 2017 1:09:10 PM | 5

My memory tells me that the invention of the cotton gin made cotton a good crop, but that you needed the slaves. Slaves represented the major money invested in this operation. Free the slaves and make slave holders poor. Rich people didn't like that idea. I think maybe the cotton was made into cloth in the factories up north. Just saying.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 16, 2017 1:27:39 PM | 6

How would 'addressing the problem' actually work? Should all native Americans and people of colour go to Washington to be presented with $1 million each by grovelling white men?

Posted by: dh | Aug 16, 2017 1:27:57 PM | 7

Did not George Washington "own" slaves?
But, the memorials to GW, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et al, does not honor them for owning slaves. Memorials of Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, et al, is because they took up arms against a legitimate government simply to support of a vile system.

Posted by: joeymac | Aug 16, 2017 1:34:24 PM | 8

@6
The manufacturing states put export duties on the agricultural states, and tariffs on British imported cloth. The English mills were undercutting the U.S. mills prices for a number of reasons, not the least of which was they were more experienced in the industry.

Posted by: kgw | Aug 16, 2017 1:37:23 PM | 9

The civil war in the US was not really started because of slavery. Robert E. Lee did not join the south and fight the north in order to preserve slavery, in his mind it was state's rights. Lincoln did not start the civil war to free the slaves. See https://ixquick-proxy.com/do/show_picture.pl?l=english&rais=1&oiu=https%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fen%2Fc%2Fc9%2FThe_Real_Lincoln_cover_art.jpg&sp=b359dec0befbd12fc479633d5b6c6de4

Posted by: therevolutionwas | Aug 16, 2017 1:46:02 PM | 10

The difference between a statue of Lee vs. a statue of Washington, Jefferson, LBJ, etc., is that Washington, Jefferson, and LBJ did some good things to earn our respect even though they did a lot of bad things, too. The Confederacy did no good things. It would be like erecting a statue to honor Hitler's SS.

If there were statues honoring the SS, would anyone be surprised if Jews objected? Why then does anyone fail to understand why blacks object to Confederate symbols?

I would, however, support statues that depict a Confederate surrendering. Perhaps the statue of Lee on a horse could be replaced with a statue of Lee surrendering to Grant?

I am not a fan of the "counter-protests." Martin Luther King never "counter-protested" a KKK rally. A counter-protest is a good way to start a fight, but a poor way to win hearts and minds. It bothers me when the 99% fight among themselves. Our real enemy is the 1%.

Posted by: Dan Lynch | Aug 16, 2017 1:49:57 PM | 11


George Washington "the father of our country" was a slave owner, a rapist and a murderer. What do we expect from his descendants?
should we remove his face of the dollar bill and destroy his statues?

The civil war was due to economic reasons, free labor is good business.
Now cheap Mexican-labor ( the new type of slavery) is good business to the other side.
when will the new civil war in the US start?


Posted by: fi | Aug 16, 2017 1:56:38 PM | 12

@b
Many years ago, within the leadership of my student organization, I initiated to rename the University I was attending, which was named after a communist ideological former state acting figure, with very bloody hands, co-responsible for the death of tenths of thousands and thousands of people. Today I still think, that educational and cultural institutions (and many more) should be named either neutral, or by persons with cultural background and with impeccable moral history, no many to be found. On the other side, I opposed the removal of the very statue of the same person at a nearby public plaza - and there it stands today - as a rather painful reminder of the past bloody history of my country, that went through a conflict, that today seems so bizarre. Wherever I go, I look into black abyss, knowing, that the very culture I belong to (the so called Christian Liberal Free Western World) has inflicted so many horrors and crimes against other nations and ethnic groups, its even difficult to count. Karlheinz Deschner wrote 10 books, titled "The Criminal History of Christianity (Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums - on YT you can find videos him reading from it). Yes, this is the very civilization, we Westerners originate from. It was deadly for centuries - and its about time to change this. And keeping the memory of our so bloody history, will help us to find the right and hopefully more peaceful solutions in the future. Don`t tear down monuments or change street names, but give them the so often shameful meaning, they had in history.

Posted by: maningi | Aug 16, 2017 2:00:24 PM | 13

Then southern states have no business being part of United States of America since their history and customs are not honored. That is good overall I think. Best for the world. Southern states are very unlikely to attack any other sovereign state thousands of miles away, but all united as unitary state, we can see how persistent in their aggression on the rest of the world they are. 222 years out of its 239 years US has been aggressor:
https://www.infowars.com/america-has-been-at-war-93-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/
Time to break US lust for attacking, invading and raiding other countries.

Posted by: Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 14

what little of this history i know - which is to say very little - kgw reflects what i have read.. the problem is way deeper.. if you want to address racism, you are going to have to pull down most of the statues in the usa today of historical figures..

Posted by: james | Aug 16, 2017 2:05:07 PM | 15

if - that is why way you think it will matter, lol.. forgot to add that.. otherwise, forget pulling down statues and see if you can address the real issue - like @4 rukidding and some others here are addressing..

Posted by: james | Aug 16, 2017 2:06:35 PM | 16

A little false equivalency anyone? I'm sure Adolph Hitler had some reasonable remarks at some point in his life, so, I guess we should tolerate a few statues of him also? States rights as the cause for the U$A's civil war? baloney, it was about the murder and enslavement of millions of humans.

Posted by: ben | Aug 16, 2017 2:10:18 PM | 17

Bob Dylan's "Only a Pawn in Their Game" still spells out unsurpassed the divide and rule strategy, to my mind. Powers that be are rubbing their hands with satisfaction at this point, one would think.

I like your observation, b, that statues don't necessarily represent what they did when they were erected. It's an important point. It meant something at the time, but now it's a part of today's heritage, and has often taken on some of your own meaning. To destroy your own heritage is a self-limiting thing, and Orwell's point is well taken. Perhaps people without history have nowhere in the present to stand.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 16, 2017 2:12:25 PM | 18

Have to add, slavery wasn't the cause for the war. It was centralization, rights of the states. Yankees wanted strong central government with wide array of power, Southerners didn't. Yankees were supported by London banking families and their banking allies or agents in the US, Southerners were on their own. I personally think Southerners were much better soldiers, more honorable and courageous, but we lacked industrial capacity and financial funds. I could be biased having Southern blood, but my opinion anyway.

Posted by: Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 2:12:50 PM | 19

therevolutionwas@10 - Have to agree. The events leading up to the US Civil War and the war itself were for reasons far more numerous and complex then slavery. Emancipation was a fortunate and desirable outcome and slavery was an issue, but saying the entire war was about ending slavery is the same as saying WW II was mostly about stopping Nazis from killing jews. Dumbing down history serves nobody.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 16, 2017 2:13:51 PM | 20

Still wondering how specifically the 'real issue' can be addressed. I don’t think any amount of money will compensate plains Indians….actually some are quite well off due to casinos. But the days of buffalo hunting are gone and white people will not be going back where they came from. As for blacks in urban ghettos you could build them nice houses in the suburbs but I doubt if that will fix the drugs/gangs problem.

Posted by: dh | Aug 16, 2017 2:14:02 PM | 21

"That Lee was a racist does not mean that his statue should be taken down."

If the sole criteria for taking down any statues was that a man was a 'racist', meaning that he hated people of color/hated black people, can we assume then that all those who owned slaves were also racist?

Then all the statues in the whole country of Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Monroe and perhaps all the Founding Daddies who owned slaves, should be removed. I am playing devil's advocate here.

Fashions come and go.... and so the vices of yesterday are virtues today; and the virtues of yesterday are vices today.


Bernard is correct at the end: "The fake Clintonian "resistance" needs these cultural disputes to cover for its lack of political resistance to Trump's plans." The Demos have nothing, so they tend to fall back on their identity politics.


FYI
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States_who_owned_slaves

....In total, twelve presidents owned slaves at some point in their lives, eight of whom owned slaves while serving as president. George Washington was the first president to own slaves, including while he was president. Zachary Taylor was the last president to own slaves during his presidency, and Ulysses S. Grant was the last president to have owned a slave at some point in his life.


Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 16, 2017 2:15:36 PM | 22

Pitting people against people by inciting and validating fringe groups is a tried and true social manipulation ploy.....and it seems to be working as intended.

Focus is on this conflict gets folks riled up and myopic about who the real enemies of society really are.....and then that riled up energy is transferred to bigger conflicts like war between nations.....with gobs of "our side is more righteous" propaganda

Humanity has been played like this for centuries now and our extinction would probably be a kinder future for the Cosmos since we don't seem to be evolving beyond power/control based governance.

And yes, as Dan Lynch wrote just above: "It bothers me when the 99% fight among themselves. Our real enemy is the 1%"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 16, 2017 2:17:06 PM | 23

The U$A was conceived in genocide. I think we should throw out much of our history

Posted by: ben | Aug 16, 2017 2:20:12 PM | 24

Robert E. Lee a racist? No, he was a man of his time. B, you blew it with this one. You have confused what you don't know with what you think you know.

Now, if Lee was a racist, what about this guy?

From Lincoln's Speech, Sept. 18, 1858.

"While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races -- that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making VOTERS or jurors of negroes, NOR OF QUALIFYING THEM HOLD OFFICE, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any of her man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

Posted by: woogs | Aug 16, 2017 2:27:34 PM | 25

@ 25: Leading an army to perpetuate a system that enslaves and murders millions, is just a bit different than being a racist. More false equivalency?

Posted by: ben | Aug 16, 2017 2:36:31 PM | 26

All states who joined the confederation cited the "need" and "right" to uphold slavery in their individual declarations. To say that the civil war was not about this point is strongly misleading. Like all wars there were several named and unnamed reasons. Slavery was the most cited point.

The argument of rather unlimited "state rights" is simply the demand of a minority to argue for the right to ignore majority decisions. With universal state rights a union can never be a union. There is no point to it. What is needed (and was done) is to segregate certain fields wherein the union decides from other policy fields that fall solely within the rights of member states. The conflict over which fields should belong where hardly ever ends.

Posted by: b | Aug 16, 2017 2:38:38 PM | 27

P. S.--If it were up to me, I'd tear down monuments to most of the U$A's presidents for perpetuating and abetting the rise of an empire who has enslaved and murdered millions around the globe, simply for profits for the few. Economic slavery has replaced the iron shackles, but the murder is still murder...

Posted by: ben | Aug 16, 2017 2:45:29 PM | 28

Northern Lights @19 is right.

The Northern manufacturers were exploiting the South and wanted to continue doing so. They didn't much care that the raw materials came from slave labor.

Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to encourage slave rebellion (meaning fewer white Southern men available for military service) and to punish the South.

Yet, while slavery ended when the North won, we all know how that turned out. For nearly 100 years (and some might say, even today), many black people were still virtual slaves due to discrimination and poor education.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 16, 2017 2:48:00 PM | 29

B@27: you're missing a couple of very basic points.

First, not all states that seceded issued declarations. Virginia, for example, of which the 'racist' Robert E. Leehailed, only seceded after Lincoln made his move on fort sumter. In fact, Virginia had voted against secession just prior but, as with 3 other southern states, seceded when Lincoln called for them to supply troops for his war.

Speaking of declarations of causes, have a look at the cherokee declaration. Yes, united indian tribes fought for the confederacy.

Finally, the causes for secession are not the causes for war. Secession is what the southerners did. War is what Lincoln did. One should not have automatically led to the other.

Posted by: woogs | Aug 16, 2017 2:53:03 PM | 30

Well, just reading the comments here it is obvious that there are several versions of history taught at different times in the last century. If not, then all of us would "know" the real reason for the CW - there would be no need for discussion. What is also obvious is that this delving back into a muddied history, the defacing of formerly meaningful objects, the thrusting of certain "rights" into the face of anyone even questioning them - all of it is working. It is working extremely well in distracting us from things like the numerous economic bubbles, the deep state scratching at war or chaos everywhere, politicians who are at best prevaricating prostitutes and at worst thieves enriching themselves at our expense as we struggle to maintain in the face of their idiocy.

It simply doesn't MATTER what started the Civil War - it ought to be enough to look at the death toll on BOTH sides and know we don't need to go there again.

Who stands to gain from this? Because it surely isn't the historically ignorant antifa bunch, who are against everything that includes a moral boundary. It isn't the alt-right, who get nothing but egg on their face and decimation of position by virtue of many being "white". CUI BONO?

The single answer is threefold: media, the government and the military - who continue to refuse to address any of our problems - and feed us a diet of revolting pablum and double-speak.

Honestly, congress passed a law legalizing propaganda - did anyone notice? Did anyone factor in that they allowed themselves freedom to lie to anyone and everyone? It wasn't done for show - it was done to deny future accountability.

Don't let this site get bogged down in history that is being constantly rewritten on Wikipedia. Don't buy into the left/right division process. Don't let your self identify with either group, as they are being led by provocateurs.

The lies we know of regarding Iraq, Syria, Libya - aren't they enough to force people to disbelieve our media completely? The HUGE lies in our media about what is going on in Venezuela should be quite enough (bastante suficiente) to make most people simply disbelieve. But they cannot because they are only allowed to see and hear what our government approves - and for our government, lying is quite legal now.

Let the emotions go - they are pushed via media to force you to think in white or black, right or left, old vs young - any way that is divisive. Getting beaten for a statue would likely make the guy who posed for it laugh his butt off most likely...

Posted by: Oilman2 | Aug 16, 2017 3:09:32 PM | 31

Speaking of Lincoln's quotes, here is a good one to dispel the myth about slavery being the cause of war.
Pres. Abraham Lincoln: "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

I the civil war was for the most part connected with the federal reserve central bank charter right which unionist Yankees frightful about possible restraints of bankers rights were keen to give London banking families unrestricted rights to do whatever they please in the US. Other reasons exclusively included expanding federal government powers. Adding personal income tax would be unimaginable prior to CW. Creation of all those fed gov agencies too. It was all made possible by London bankers' servants Yankees.

Posted by: Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 3:14:42 PM | 32

Posted by: therevolutionwas | Aug 16, 2017 1:46:02 PM | 10

The civil war in the US was not really started because of slavery. Robert E. Lee did not join the south and fight the north in order to preserve slavery, in his mind it was state's rights. Lincoln did not start the civil war to free the slaves.

You're right. The Emancipation Act was an afterthought really because Europe had turned against the idea of slavery before the Civil War broke out, in fact was repelled by it, and Lincoln knew that it would hurt commerce.

Posted by: MRW | Aug 16, 2017 3:18:49 PM | 33

@29
Jack the South was right. The South was always right.

Posted by: Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 3:19:39 PM | 34

The southern states felt they had a right to secede, using the tenth amendment as the legal basis. It states simply " The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.".

Furthermore, the union of states was referred to many times by the founders as a compact. Under the theory of compacts, when one party doesn't honor said compact, it is rendered null.

Slavery, regardless of how we may feel today, was a legal and federally protected institution. With the rise of the republican party, a campaign of agitation towards the south and slavery had begun. It is this agitation towards a legal institution that rankled southerners.

The south saw this coming well before the election of Lincoln. William seward, the favorite to win the election, gave a speech in l858 called "the irrepressible conflict". The south well knew of this and saw the writing on the wall if a republican was elected president.

When reading the declarations of causes, this background should be kept in mind if one wants to understand the southern position. Or, one can just count how many times the word 'slavery' appears like a word cloud.

Probably the best articulated statement on the southern position was south Carolina's "address to the slaveholding states".


Posted by: woogs | Aug 16, 2017 3:21:37 PM | 35

I'm afraid if you go back in time, no US president can be saved from a well-deserved statue toppling. Including Abraham Lincoln, the hypocrite who DID NOT, and I repeat, DID NOT abolish slavery. The U.S "elite" has always been rotten through and through, so good luck with those statues.
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/06/the-clintons-had-slaves

Posted by: Lea | Aug 16, 2017 3:29:49 PM | 36

Northern Lights@32:

You used Lincoln's inaugural address to show that the war was not over slavery. It's plain enough coming from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

Lincoln, in that same inaugural address, stated what the war would be fought over ...... and it was revenue.

Here's the quote:

The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.

Posted by: woogs | Aug 16, 2017 3:33:55 PM | 37

As a rare book dealer and history buff with thirty-odd years of experience reading and studying original civil war era periodicals and documents, a fact stands out for me about these now-controversial statues. None is from the civil war period. Many, like the Lee statue in this article, date to the 1920’s, which was the era of the second Ku Klux Klan. The infamous movie “Birth of a Nation” inspired the nationwide revival of that faded terrorist group. The year that statue was dedicated a hundred thousand Klansmen paraded in full regalia in the streets of Washington.

The children and grandchildren of the men who had taken up arms against the United States had by then completed a very flattering myth about 1861 - 1865. Consider too that romanticized lost cause mythology was integral to the regional spirit long before the rebellion. The Scots Irish who settled the American south carried with them the long memory their forebears’ defeats at the Boyne and Culloden, at the hands of the English – the very ancestors of the hated Yankees living to the north of their new homeland.

Note also that many more CSA statues and memorials were built in the 1960s, as symbols of defiance of the civil rights movement of that era. The War for the Union was fought at its heart because the elite of the old south refused to accept the result of a fair and free democratic election, but for those who came after, white supremacy became the comforting myth that rationalized their ancestors’ incredibly foolish treason.

Posted by: historicus | Aug 16, 2017 3:35:02 PM | 38

"Robert Lee was a brutal man who fought for racism and slavery."

Would this have been written in his time? Would it be written today in other countries (Africa included) where slavery (aka human trafficking) is big business today?

I'm disappointed that Moon of Alabama, usually so astute in its presentations, would print this article.

Posted by: I.W. | Aug 16, 2017 3:35:32 PM | 39

A whole lot of false equivalence goin' on.

That the many statutes of America's founding fathers should be re-evaluated is actually a great idea. Many of these people were simply oligarchs who wanted to be the top of the pyramid instead of the British. Many owned slaves and perpetuated slavery. Others, like Andrew Jackson were legitimate psychopaths. Pretty much all of them cheered the genocide of Native Americans. So maybe we *should* have different heros.

Using the logic b spells out above, one could argue that statues of Nazis should be allowed too, after all they did come up with the Autobahn (modern highways), jet engines, and viable rockets, all technology used all over the world. Some patriotic, well meaning Germans fought in the Wehrmacht, don't they deserve statues, too? What about the Banderists and Forest Brothers? The Imperial Japanese? Don't those well-meaning fascists deserve to celebrate their heritage?

But simply saying that idea out loud is enough to realize what a crock that notion is. Nazis and fascists don't deserve statues, neither do confederates. Neither do most Americans, for that matter.

Trying to make some moral equivalence between NeoNazis and the leftists who oppose them is about as silly as it gets. I don't support violence against these idiots, and they have the same rights as anyone else in expressing their opinion. But to paint legit NeoNazis and the leftists opposing them (admittedly in a very juvenile manner) in the same brush ("Both sides came prepared for violence") is utter hogwash. We don't give Nazis a pass in Ukraine, don't give them a pass in Palestine, and we sure as hell don't give them a pass in the US. It doesn't matter what hypocritical liberal snowflake is on the other side of the barricade, the Nazi is still a f*****g Nazi.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Aug 16, 2017 3:37:30 PM | 40

"Robert Lee was a brutal man who fought for racism and slavery."

b, you have just displayed your ignorance of the character of Robert E. Lee, why he fought, and what he fought for. To give you the short n sweet of it, General Lee was a Christian gentleman respected by those in the North as well as the South. He fought the Federal leviathan as it had chosen to make war on what he considered to be his home and country--the State of Virginia. The issue at hand was not racism and slavery but Federal tyranny. Lincoln himself said he had no quarrel with slavery and as long as the South paid the Federal leviathan its taxes, the South was free to go. Make a visit to Paul Craig Roberts site for his latest essay which explains the world of the 1860s American scene much more eloquently than I can ...

Posted by: Joe | Aug 16, 2017 3:39:00 PM | 41

b is completely wrong in thread. The USA has been a highly racist power system historically where killing non-Whites has been a major historical policy. Lee is not merely a racist, he epitomizes this policy and is a symbol of it. Attacking racist symbols is essential to destroying racism.

Posted by: folktruther | Aug 16, 2017 3:41:47 PM | 42

Historicus@38: that 'fair and free democratic election' was replete with Lincoln supporters printing counterfeit tickets to the convention in order to shut out seward supporters.

The gambit worked and the rest, as they say, is history.

Posted by: woogs | Aug 16, 2017 3:45:05 PM | 43

I suggest reading this article for some perspective:

http://takimag.com/article/carved_upon_the_landscape_steve_sailer#axzz4pwMfiSP8

Posted by: Ian | Aug 16, 2017 3:45:37 PM | 44

Wow! What to write? Craig Murray wrote a very intriguing piece related to Charlottesville while putting the event somewhat into the context of the Scottish Independence Movement; it and the many comments are well worth the time to read and reflect upon, https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/08/americans-irish-uzbeks-ukrainians-pakistanis-balls-scots/

james @2--You are 1000000000% correct. And given the current state-of-affairs, will continue to fester for another century if not more thanks to historical ignorance and elite Machiavellian maneuvering.

Southern Extremist self-proclaimed Fire Eaters were the ones that started the war as they took the bait Lincoln cunningly offered them. If they'd been kept away from the coastal artillery at Charlestown, the lanyard they pulled may have remained still and war avoided for the moment. The advent of the US Civil War can be blamed totally on the Constitution and those who wrote it, although they had no clue as to the fuse they lit.

Chattel Slavery was introduced in the Western Hemisphere because the enslaved First Peoples died off and the sugar plantations needed laborers. Rice, tobacco, indigo, "Naval Stores," and other related cash crops were the next. Cotton only became part of the mix when the cotton gin made greatly lessened the expense of its processing. But, cotton wore out the thin Southern soils, so it cotton plantations slowly marched West thus making Mexican lands attractive for conquest. But slaves were used for so much more--particularly the draining of swamps and construction of port works. The capital base for modern capitalism was made possible by slavery--a sentence you will NOT read in any history textbook. There are a great many books written on the subject; I suggest starting with Marcus Rediker's The Slave Ship: A Human History, followed by Eric Williams's classic Capitalism and Slavery, Edward Baptist's The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, and John Clarke's Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism.

There are even more books published about the war itself. But as many have pointed out, it's learning about the reasons for the war that's most important. Vice President Henry Wilson was the first to write a very detailed 3 volume history of those reasons, Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America beginning in 1872, and they are rare books indeed; fortunately, they've been digitized and can be found here, https://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Wilson%2C+Henry%2C+1812-1875%22 Perhaps the most complete is Allan Nevins 8 volume Ordeal of the Union, although for me it begins too late in 1847, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordeal_of_the_Union Finally, no study of the period's complete without examining the unraveling and utter dysfunction of the political process that occurred between 1856 and 1860 that allowed Lincoln to win the presidency, Roy Nichols's The Disruption of American Democracy illustrates that best.

The US Civil War can't be boiled down to having just one cause; it's causes were multiple, although slavery--being an economic and social system--resides at its core. As an historian, I can't really justify the removal of statues and other items of historical relevance, although displaying the Confederate Flag on public buildings I see as wrong; better to display the Spirit of '76 flag if stars and stripes are to be displayed. (I wonder what will become of the UK's Union Jack if Scotland votes to leave the UK.) Personal display of the Stars and Bars for me amounts to a political statement which people within the Outlaw US Empire still have the right to express despite the animus it directs at myself and other non-Anglo ethnicities. (I'm Germanic Visigoth with Spanish surname--people are surprised at my color when they hear my name.)

The current deep dysfunction in the Outlaw US Empire's domestic politics mirrors that of the latter 1850s somewhat but the reasons are entirely different yet solvable--IF--the populous can gain a high degree of solidarity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 16, 2017 3:51:18 PM | 45

There's also the school of thought that holds that Honest Abe freed the slaves in order that northern industrialists could acquire replacements for workers lost in the war.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 16, 2017 4:01:10 PM | 46

"racism" i.e., when a white person notices demographic patterns lol.

Posted by: Pareto | Aug 16, 2017 4:05:35 PM | 47

@37
Aye Woogs. All about expanding fed gov powers, most of which was focused on permanent central banking charter. Many forget that central banking charter had been in place before CW in the US and that great statesman Andrew Jackson repelled it. The first central banking charter caused terrible economic suffering, which is why it was repelled. People had more sense then. Not so much now.

"Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal I will rout you out!"
~Andrew Jackson

Posted by: Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 4:06:37 PM | 48

It saddens me that so many buy into the South fought for slavery. That story line was used in the same manner that Weapons of Mass Destruction was used to war with Iraq. The difference is the internet was able to get the truth out. Doesn't do much good to argue as most believe the Confederate slavery propaganda. The US is done as a nation. A thousand different groups that hate each other preaching no hate. Yes it will limp along for a while but it's done for.

Posted by: ken | Aug 16, 2017 4:11:20 PM | 49

@46 karlof1

many thanks for the history, and the books. I read Murray's essay and consider it a good take....


".... As an historian, I can't really justify the removal of statues and other items of historical relevance, although displaying the Confederate Flag on public buildings I see as wrong..."

I have to agree.


& there is at least one sane (african american) person in LA, as per below article

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-hollywood-forever-monument-20170815-story.html

"....Los Angeles resident Monique Edwards says historical monuments, like the Confederate statue removed from Hollywood Forever Cemetery, need to be preserved and used as teachable moments...."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 16, 2017 4:23:39 PM | 50

@Northern Lights (19)

Yankees wanted strong central government with wide array of power, Southerners didn't. Yankees were supported by London banking families and their banking allies or agents in the US, Southerners were on their own.

I recall that it was the slavers that wanted the central government to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act even in states that outlawed slavery; it was the slavers that insisted that slavery be legal in the new territories, regardless of the wishes of the settlers.

Also, the London industrial and banking interest strongly supported the breakaway slavers because:
(1) It was the slave produced cotton that fueled the textile industry in England.
(2) Imported British ¨prestige¨ items found a ready market with the nouveau riche planters grown fat on stolen labor.
(3) A Balkanized NA would be more subject to pressure from the ¨Mother Country.¨
(4) Lincoln refused to borrow from the bankers and printed ¨greenbacks¨ to finance the war; this infuriated the bankers.

Neo-Confederate revisionism creates mythical history, in a large part, by attempting to deify vile human beings.

Posted by: joeymac | Aug 16, 2017 4:24:42 PM | 51

Me too Ken. Used to say to those I would like to offer them fairy dust to buy. Half of them didn't catch the meaning.

Posted by: Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 4:26:38 PM | 52

7
How about memorials for red indians and slaves.

Like this one.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 16, 2017 4:30:53 PM | 53

51
I would say a country that cannot agree on its history has a huge problem.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 16, 2017 4:34:53 PM | 54

Ben@26: Lincoln stated that he would only use force to collect imposts and duties.

The first battle of the war (actually more a skirmish) was the battle of Phillipi in western Virginia in early June, l86l.

To the best of my knowledge, there were no customs houses in western Virginia as it was not a port of entry. This was simply an invasion by the union army at Lincoln's command that revealed his true colors. The war was Lincoln's war, plain and simple.

Posted by: woogs | Aug 16, 2017 4:35:22 PM | 55

@51
Joey, I would like yo offer you fairy dust to buy. Interested? Luckily we should part our ways soon. Should have happened ages ago if you ask me. Your history is not our own. You were aggressors fighting for foreign entity. Time for us to part I think. have your own history and say whatever you want there. We will have ours.

Posted by: Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 4:36:10 PM | 56

In my view, b is comparing a modern sensibility on race relations with that of a mid 19th century confederate leader and so with this bad thesis it is quite easy to dismiss this post entirely. Was the north that much more enlightened on the treatent of blacks? I think not. Was the emancipation proclamation largely a political gesture to incite ire and violence not only among southerners but also slaves living in these states towards their owners? Meanwhile, the effect of such a proclamation was exempt on states where said effect would not "pinch" the south. The north, if anything, was even more racist using blacks as a means towards the end to consolidate power even more centrally.

It honestly reads like most neutral apologetic drivel out of the "other" msm which is on the ropes right now from an all-out wholly political assault. If you truly wanted to educate people on their history you would stand up for fair and honest discourse. Make no mistake, this is all about obscuration and historical-revisionism. Globalists gotta eat.

"Slavery as an institution, is a moral &political evil in any Country... I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race... The blacks are immeasurably better off." Robert E. Lee

Sounds like a man with opinions, but without the burning fire to see that evil enshrined in a state-policy towards blacks. Basically, one condemns him for sharing a popular view of the day. CALL THE THOUGHT POLICE!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 16, 2017 4:40:58 PM | 57

From a British point of view, Washington and Jefferson were traitors as well.
As for Lee, he was racist, but doesn't seem to have been more racist than the average Yankee. No more racist than Sherman or Lincoln, and less racist than many of the Confederate top guys, for instance.

Then, there's the nutjob idea that forcefully taking down other statues in the South will make these guys "win". At least, the Lee statue had a more or less legal and democratic process going on, which is the only way to go if you don't want to look like a Taliban.
Really, did these idiots not understand that bringing down Confederate statues without due process will massively piss off most of the locals? Do they really want the local hardliners to come armed and ready to use their guns, one of these days? Is this the plan all along, to spark another civil war for asshat reasons?

(Like B, toppling Saddam and communist statues was the very first thing I thought of. As if these poor fools had just been freed from a terrible dictatorship, instead of nothing having changed or been won at all in the last months)

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 16, 2017 4:43:56 PM | 58

ben says:

I think we should throw out much of our history

Paul Craig Roberts thinks so too

Posted by: john | Aug 16, 2017 4:51:09 PM | 59

I agree with Woogs (25). How stoopid are we ? History has been re-written and manipulated going back a long way. Most of the readers here know that our "masters" , and their versions of history are not accurate. Yet here we are arguing and such ... " he was good...NO He was bad...." acting as if we know truth from fiction. Back then, as now, it was all planned. Divide and conquer. Slavery was the "excuse" for war. The Power Elite" were based in Europe at that time and saw America as a real threat to their global rule. It was becoming too strong and so needed to be divided. Thus the people of those times were played....just as we are today. Manipulated into war. Of course America despite the Civil War , continued to grow and prosper so the elite devised another plan. Plan "B" has worked better than they could have ever imagined. They have infected the "soul" of America and the infection is spreading rapidly.Everyone , please re-read oilman2 comments (31)

Posted by: Mithera | Aug 16, 2017 4:54:03 PM | 60

Thanks B, precisely my thinking. It has a smell of vendetta. And I believe this sort of old testament thinking is very common in the u.s. of A. What's currently happening will further alienate both sides and lead to even more urgent need to externalize an internal problem via more wars.

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 16, 2017 5:16:11 PM | 61

If We Erase Our History, Who Are We?
Pat Buchanan • August 15, 2017

Posted by: virgile | Aug 16, 2017 5:18:00 PM | 62

There is a reason for this craze to get rid of confederate statues.

Dylann Roof who photographed himself at confederate landmarks before he shot nine black people in a church.

It is futile to discuss what the confederacy was then, when white supremacy groups consider them their home today.

These monuments were not built after or during the civil war. And the reason for building them was racism.

In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated that there were over 1,500 "symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces" in the United States. The majority of them are located, as one might expect, in the 11 states that seceded from the union, but as Vice aptly points out, some can be found in Union states (New York, for example has three, Pennsylvania, four) and at least 22 of them are located in states that didn't even exist during the Civil War.

How can that be possible? Because largely, Confederate monuments were built during two key periods of American history: the beginnings of Jim Crow in the 1920s and the civil rights movement in the early 1950s and 1960s.

To be sure, some sprung up in the years following the Confederacy's defeat (the concept of a Confederate memorial day dates back to back to 1866 and was still officially observed by the governments of Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, as of the publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center's report), and some continue to be built—USA Today notes that 35 Confederate monuments have been erected in North Carolina since 2000.

But when these statues—be they historical place markers, or myth-building icons of Lee or Stonewall Jackson—were built seems to suggest these monuments have very little to do with paying tribute to the Civil War dead and everything to do with erecting monuments to black disenfranchisement, segregation, and 20th-century racial tension.

I don't know if b. realizes how many German monuments got destroyed because people did not wish to recall this particular part of history, the bomb raids of the allies helped, of course, but there are cemeteries of Marx, Engels and Lenin statues, and only revisionists recall what was destroyed after WWII.

Young people need some space to breath. They don't need monuments of war heros.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 16, 2017 5:19:47 PM | 63

b wrote "Statues standing in cities and places are much more than veneration of one person or group. They are symbols, landmarks and fragments of personal memories..."

Symbols indeed, traits in cultural landscapes. This piece may add another dimension to the importance of cultural landscape in the context of this conversation:
"To this day, the question remains: why would the Southerners remember and celebrate a losing team, and how come the non-Southerners care about it so passionately? A convenient answer revolves around the issue of slavery; i.e., a commemoration of the era of slavery for the former, and, for the latter, the feeling that the landscape reminders of that era should be entirely erased."
and
"In the past two decades, the American(s)’ intervention has brought down the statues of Hussein, Gaddafi, Davis, and Lee respectively. Internationally, the work seems to be completed. Domestically, the next stage will be removing the names of highways, libraries, parks, and schools of the men who have not done an illegal act. Eventually, all such traits in the cultural landscape of Virginia may steadily disappear, because they are symbols of Confederacy."
http://www.zokpavlovic.com/conflict/the-war-between-the-states-of-mind-in-virginia-and-elsewhere/

Posted by: 47 | Aug 16, 2017 5:20:32 PM | 64

What about the statues of the American "heroes" who massacred the Indians?

Posted by: virgile | Aug 16, 2017 5:20:37 PM | 65

It warms my heart that you are not a racist. But who really gives a fuck? And what makes you think not favoring your own kind like every other racial and ethnic group does makes you a better than those of your own racial group?? Something is wrong with you.

Posted by: Robert Browning | Aug 16, 2017 5:24:32 PM | 66

Statues are kim jong un like silly and useless anyway. Put up a nice obelisk or rotunda instead.

Posted by: Bill | Aug 16, 2017 5:33:25 PM | 67

@Clueless Joe (58)

From a British point of view, Washington and Jefferson were traitors as well.
Kindly correct me if i´m wrong, but, to my knowledge, there are no monuments to Washington or Jefferson on Trafalgar Square.
did these idiots not understand that bringing down Confederate statues without due process will massively piss off most of the locals?
It is my understanding that ¨due process¨ was underway because of pressure from the locals when the neo-Nazis sought to short circuit this process.

Posted by: joeymac | Aug 16, 2017 5:33:44 PM | 68

@Northern Lights

Your history is not our own.

You are certainly entitled to your attitudes, hatreds, memories, affinities and such. You are not entitled to your own history. History is what happened. Quit lying about it!

Posted by: joeymac | Aug 16, 2017 5:47:36 PM | 69

Lee is the past. Obama is the present. The 'Nobel Peace Prize' winner ran more concurrent wars than any other president. He inaugurated the state execution of US citizens by drone based on secret evidence presented in secret courts. He was in charge when ISIS was created by the US Maw machine. What about removing his Nobel Peace Prize?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 16, 2017 5:59:02 PM | 70

A long time ago Christians destroyed the old god's statues because they were pagan and didn't comply with their religion (or is it ideology?). Muslims followed and did the same on what was left. They even do that now when ISIS blows up ancient monuments.

What is next? Burning books? Lets burn the library of Alexandria once again...

Posted by: Erlindur | Aug 16, 2017 5:59:30 PM | 71

Just posting to say that I'm done with this place - will probably read but am not posting here anymore. Have fun

Posted by: aaaa | Aug 16, 2017 6:02:53 PM | 72

Joeymac 69:
I didn't mean the Charlottesville mess was done without due process. I refer to the cases that have happened these last few days - a trend that won't stop overnight.
Extremists from both sides aren't making friends on the other ones, and obviously are only making matters worse.

Somebody 63:
"It is futile to discuss what the confederacy was then, when white supremacy groups consider them their home today."
That's the whole fucking problem. By this logic, nobody should listen to Wagner or read Nietzsche anymore. Screw that. Assholes and criminals from now should be judged according to current values, laws and opinions, based on their very own crimes. People, groups, states, religions from the past should be judged according to their very own actions as well, and not based on what some idiot would fantasize they were 1.500 years later.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 16, 2017 6:11:39 PM | 73

Looks like the Lee apologetics and claims that the war was about state's rights (go read the CSA constitution, it tramples the rights of its own member states to *not* be slave holding) or tariffs are alive and well in these comments. That's what these statues represent: the utter perversion of the historical record. And as pointed out @38, none of these statues are from anywhere near the Civil War or Reconstruction era.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/the-myth-of-the-kindly-general-lee/529038/

https://www.civilwar.org/learn/primary-sources/declaration-causes-seceding-states

http://www.americancivilwarforum.com/five-myths-about-secession-169444.html?PageSpeed=noscript

https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/the-great-civil-war-lie/?mcubz=3

Posted by: Merasmus | Aug 16, 2017 6:38:35 PM | 74

I think anyone and everyone who instigates a successful campaign to destroy a memorial which glorifies war should be awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace & Sanity and be memorialised in bronze, nearby, as a permanent reminder that war WAS a racket, until Reason prevailed.
No offense intended.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 16, 2017 6:43:32 PM | 75

Arch-propagandist Rove said "[Those] in what we call the reality-based community, [who] believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality [e.g Russia hacked the election]. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities [e.g. Neo-Nazi White Supremacism], which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

There is a coup underway to get rid of Trump [who's 'unpardonable crime' seems to be that he isn't going along with the War Party]. The War Party will try anything, anything, if there is a hope that it will work to get rid of him. When Trump launched the cruise missiles against Syria, there was a moment's silence, totally spooky given all the bs that was flying ... Would he start a war with Russia? Would Trump go all the way with that, as Clinton probably would have done? When the attack fizzled out, the chorus resumed their attacks as though nothing had happened.

Their tactical attacks change as they are revealed to be fakes. The current attack, probably using War Party provacateurs operating on both sides, is the next tactical phase - out with 'Russian Hacking the Election', in with 'Trump White Supremacist Nazi'. If there is the standard CIA regime change plan behind this (as outlined by John Perkins and seen in Ukraine, Libya, Syria)] and the relatively passive actions don't work, they will ultimately resort to hard violence. At that stage, they resort to using snipers to kill people on both sides.

The anti-fas' are supposedly liberal, anti-gun, but there already have been stories of them training with weapons, even working with the Kurds in Syria so the ground is laid for their use of weapons. There are those on the Trump side who would relish the excuse for gun violence irrespective on consequence so the whole thing could spiral out of control very rapidly and very dangerously.

Disclosure - I do not support Trump [or any US politico for that matter]. The whole US political system is totally corrupt and morally bankrupt. Those that rise [or more accurately those that are allowed to rise] to the top reflect that corruption and bankruptcy. This could get very very messy.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 16, 2017 6:49:20 PM | 76

There's nothing wrong with being racist. Racism is simply preference for one's extended family. 'b' calls the admittedly rather goony lot at C'ville 'white supremacists'. But do they want to enslave blacks or rule over non-whites? No. In fact most of the alt-right lament the slave trade and all its ills, including mixing two groups who, as Lincoln pointed out, had no future together. What the left wants to do is reduce Confederate American heritage and culture down to the slavery issue, despite the fact only a few Southerners owned slaves.

Now, within ethnic European countries, should whites be supreme? You're goddamn right they should. Just as the Japanese should practice 'yellow supremacy', and so on and so forth. Most of you lot here, being liberals, will be in favour of no fault divorce. You understand there can be irreconcilable differences which in way suggest either person is objectively bad. The same applies to disparate ethnicities. If white Slovaks and Czechs can't get one, why would white and non-white groups?

You lefties need to have a serious moral dialogue over your rejection of ethno-nationalism! Time to get on the right side of history! Have you noticed the alt-right, despite being comprised of 'hateful bigots', is favourably disposed toward Iran, Syria, and Russia? That's because we consistently apply principles which can protect our racially, culturally, religiously, and ethnically diverse planet, and mitigate conflict. But the woke woke left (not a typo) meanwhile has to 'resist' imperialism by constantly vilifying America. ITS NOT THAT I'M IN FAVOUR OF ASSAD OR PUTIN, ITS JUST THAT AMERICA IS SO NAUGHTY! OH, HOW BASE ARE OUR MOTIVES. OH, WHAT A POX WE ARE. Weak tea. You have no theoretical arguments against liberal interventionism or neoconservativism.

Newsflash folks. Hillary Clinton doesn't fundamentally differ from you in principle. She merely differs on what methods should be employed to achieve Kojeve's universal homogeneous state. Most of you just want to replace global capitalism with global socialism. Seen how occupy wall street turned out? Didn't make a dent. See how your precious POCs voted for the neoliberal war monger? Diversity increases the power of capital. The only force which can beat globalization is primordial tribalism.

I suggest you all start off your transition to nationalism by reading up on 'Social Democracy for the 21st Century'. http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.co.nz/

Posted by: Lemur | Aug 16, 2017 6:50:58 PM | 77

All in all, b, a pretty brave post -- especially in these dark times. Only a few minor points to add:

Robert Lee was a brutal man who fought for racism and slavery.

Lee wasn't known for being brutal. You're probably confusing him with Nathan Bedford Forrest, who had a notorious mean streak: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Bedford_Forrest

Lee actually thought the Civil War an awful tragedy. He was asked to choose between his state and his country. That's not much different from being asked to choose between your family and your clan.

Lee was a racist.

That might be true, depending on one's definition of a racist. But then, why should Abraham Lincoln get a pass? It's well known that he did not start the Civil War to end slavery -- that idea only occurred to him halfway through the conflict. But there's also the fact that, while he was never a great fan of slavery, he apparently did not believe in the natural equality of the races, and he even once professed to have no intention of granting blacks equality under the law:
"While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races -- that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making VOTERS or jurors of negroes, NOR OF QUALIFYING THEM HOLD OFFICE, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any of her man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

It turns out that history's a complicated thing! To bad it wasn't all written by Hollywood with a bunch of cartoon villains and heroes ...
One gets the impression that the current wave of statue take downs is seen as well deserved "punishment" for those who voted wrongly - i.e. not for Hillary Clinton. While many Trump voters will dislike statues of Robert Lee, they will understand that dislike the campaign to take them down even more.

You nailed it, b. The way things are headed, I now wonder if I will someday be arrested for owning Lynard Skynard albums (the covers of which usually had Confederate battle flags) or for having watched Dukes of Hazard shows as a child. It's starting to get that crazy.

Anyway, thanks for running a sane blog in a mad world!

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Aug 16, 2017 6:57:50 PM | 78

Good interview with a Black, female pastor in Charlottsville who was in church when the march began Friday night. They caught a lot that wasn't on network news.

http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/trump-is-lying-about-charlottesville-says-witness-1025515075632

Posted by: jdmckay | Aug 16, 2017 6:58:20 PM | 79

"Don't let this site get bogged down in history that is being constantly rewritten on Wikipedia. Don't buy into the left/right division process. Don't let your self identify with either group, as they are being led by provocateurs.

The lies we know of regarding Iraq, Syria, Libya - aren't they enough to force people to disbelieve our media completely? The HUGE lies in our media about what is going on in Venezuela should be quite enough (bastante suficiente) to make most people simply disbelieve. But they cannot because they are only allowed to see and hear what our government approves - and for our government, lying is quite legal now.

Let the emotions go - they are pushed via media to force you to think in white or black, right or left, old vs young - any way that is divisive. Getting beaten for a statue would likely make the guy who posed for it laugh his butt off most likely..."

Posted by: Oilman2 | Aug 16, 2017 3:09:32 PM | 31

Well said. Hope to see your thoughts in the future.

And as always, Karlof1 you have some insights I rarely get ever else (especially not in a comment section)

______________________________

"The US Civil War can't be boiled down to having just one cause; it's causes were multiple, although slavery--being an economic and social system--resides at its core. As an historian, I can't really justify the removal of statues and other items of historical relevance, although displaying the Confederate Flag on public buildings I see as wrong; better to display the Spirit of '76 flag if stars and stripes are to be displayed. (I wonder what will become of the UK's Union Jack if Scotland votes to leave the UK.) Personal display of the Stars and Bars for me amounts to a political statement which people within the Outlaw US Empire still have the right to express despite the animus it directs at myself and other non-Anglo ethnicities. (I'm Germanic Visigoth with Spanish surname--people are surprised at my color when they hear my name.)

The current deep dysfunction in the Outlaw US Empire's domestic politics mirrors that of the latter 1850s somewhat but the reasons are entirely different yet solvable--IF--the populous can gain a high degree of solidarity."

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 16, 2017 3:51:18 PM | 45

____________________________

Also, somebody @63, very poignant to mention. While I could care less whether about some statues stand or fall (it helps living outside the empire), to deny that they are (generally) symbols of racism, or were built with that in mind, is a little off base in my eyes. Going to repost this quote because I think it had quite a bit of value in this discussion.

"In 2016 the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated that there were over 1,500 "symbols of thE Confederacy in public spaces" in the United States. The majority of them are located, as one might expect, in the 11 states that seceded from the union, but as Vice aptly points out, some can be found in Union states (New York, for example has three, Pennsylvania, four) and at least 22 of them are located in states that didn't even exist during the Civil War.

How can that be possible? Because largely, Confederate monuments were built during two key periods of American history: the beginnings of Jim Crow in the 1920s and the civil rights movement in the early 1950s and 1960s.

To be sure, some sprung up in the years following the Confederacy's defeat (the concept of a Confederate memorial day dates back to back to 1866 and was still officially observed by the governments of Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, as of the publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center's report), and some continue to be built—USA Today notes that 35 Confederate monuments have been erected in North Carolina since 2000.

But when these statues—be they historical place markers, or myth-building icons of Lee or Stonewall Jackson—were built seems to suggest these monuments have very little to do with paying tribute to the Civil War dead and everything to do with erecting monuments to black disenfranchisement, segregation, and 20th-century racial tension."

Posted by: George Smiley | Aug 16, 2017 6:58:29 PM | 80

@77

Racism means zero understanding or tolerance of other people/cultures, an attitude that ones own culture or skin colour or group is far superior to those 'others'.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 16, 2017 6:59:17 PM | 81

@77 lemur

Hear, hear. Generally, a resurgence of American nationalism WILL take the form of populist socialism because it will mark a turning away from the global police state which America is leading currently and will replace it with nationalistic spending on socialist programs with an emphasis on decreased military spending. This will continue ideally until a balance of low taxation and government regulation form a true economy which begins at a local level from the ground up.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 16, 2017 7:01:45 PM | 82

the city council, elected by the people, voted to remove the monument.

Where are America's memorials to pain of slavery, black resistance?

In 1861, the vice-president of the Confederacy, Alexander H. Stephens, offered this foundational explanation of the Confederate cause: "Its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."

how much public space in the US should be dedicated to monuments honoring these people in the coming century? and for the children and grandchildren of slaves walking by them every day? what about their heritage? and the public monuments to the indigenous people of this land who we genocided? oh right, as a country we have still not even officially recognized that genocide. monuments should not be solely a reflection of the past, but of the future, of who we want to be. who we choose to recognize in our public spaces says a lot about us.

Posted by: annie | Aug 16, 2017 7:05:36 PM | 83

It’s pretty fair too say several of the “alt-right” leaders who planned this event agent are provocateurs or Sheep Dipped assets running honeypot “white nationalist” operations.

You can see from the make-up of the phony “Nazis” in the groups and their continued use of various propaganda that serves only to tie people and movements OPPOSED by the Deep State to “Nazis” and racist ideology, you can see how on the ground level, this event has psyop planners’ fingerprints all over it.


It’s also fair too say the complicit media’s near universal take on the event signals a uniform, ready-made reaction more than likely dictated to them from a single source.

Trump is attacked. The ACLU is attacked. Peace activists opposed to the CIA’s regime change operation in Syria are attacked. Tucker Carlson is attacked. Everyone attacked that the CIA and various other aspects of the Deep State want attacked as if the MSM were all sent the same talking points memo.

And keep in mind, this all comes right after the news was starting to pick up on the story that the Deep State’s bullshit narrative about a “Russian hack” was falling apart.

Also keep in mind it comes at a time when 600,000 Syrians returned home after the CIA’s terrorist regime change operation fell apart.

(from Scott Creighton's blog)

Posted by: anon | Aug 16, 2017 7:06:12 PM | 84

Is there a left in America?
I think is really fun to watch those burgers call an US citizen a lefties.

From outside US you ALL looks like ULYRA right wing.
This is ridiculous!

Posted by: Zico the musketeer | Aug 16, 2017 7:11:22 PM | 85

The statues were erected when the KKK was at its peak, to keep the blacks in their place. They started getting torn down after the 2015 massacre of black churchgoers by a Nazi. For once, don't blame Clinton.

Posted by: Sigil | Aug 16, 2017 7:21:33 PM | 86

as the country becomes less and less white
more and more symbols of white supremacy
have to go..

Posted by: Vas | Aug 16, 2017 7:28:08 PM | 87

Karlof1@45

My only argument with your post is "Chattel Slavery was introduced in the Western Hemisphere"
Chattel = movable property as opposed to your house. In that day and long before women and children were chattel.

Thinking about what might have been might help. If the south had won would we have had a strong enough central government to create and give corporate charters and vast rights of way to railroads which then cross our nation. Would states have created their own individual banking systems negating the need for the all controlling Federal reserve? Would states have their own military units willing to join other states to repel an attack instead of the MIC which treats the rest of the world like expendable slaves?

Before our constitution there was the Articles of Confederation. Article 1,2+3.....
Article I. The Stile of this Confederacy shall be "The United States of America."

Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

Article III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.

This first set of laws in the new world was later undone in a secret convention with Madison, input from Jefferson and others found on our money and other honorariums. 1868 gave us the 14th amendment to the constitution that freed all who are born within this nation and were given equal rights. (Not saying that this worked for all slaves. Within a few years this was used to create corporate persons with access to the bill of rights.

I am thinking there were many reasons that people who lived in those times had to fight for what they did. We today are not in a position to judge why individuals fought. Certainly many poor white southerners who owned no slaves at all fought and died. Was it to keep slaves they did not own enslaved or did they fight and die for issues around protection of local or state rights, freedoms and way of life?

Histories are written and paid for by the winners who control that particular present time for the glorification of those rulers. A vast removal of historical artifacts speaks of a weak nation fading into the west's need to clean up some points from history of mean and brutal behaviors which we as a nation support now in the present but try and make it about others.

Posted by: perry | Aug 16, 2017 7:51:05 PM | 88

A paragragh here from lemur 77 comment...
"Now, within ethnic European countries, should whites be supreme? You're goddamn right they should. Just as the Japanese should practice 'yellow supremacy', and so on and so forth. Most of you lot here, being liberals, will be in favour of no fault divorce. You understand there can be irreconcilable differences which in way suggest either person is objectively bad. The same applies to disparate ethnicities. If white Slovaks and Czechs can't get one, why would white and non-white groups?"

What is the United States of America? It is made up of British, French, Spanish and Russian territories aquired or conquered, the original colonists in turn taking them from the native inhabitants. The US has had a largley open imigration policy, people of all cultures, languages and skin colours and religions.
Why should white Europeans be supreme in the US lemur?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 16, 2017 8:01:00 PM | 89

The following is the guts of a posting from Raw Story that I see as quite related.
"
White House senior strategist Steve Bannon is rejoicing at the criticism President Donald Trump is receiving for defending white nationalism.

Bannon phoned The American Prospect progressive writer and editor Robert Kuttner Tuesday, according to his analysis of the interview.

In the interview, Bannon dismissed ethno-nationalists as irrelevant.

“Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element,” Bannon noted.

“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

Bannon claimed to welcome the intense criticism Trump has received.

“The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

Kuttner described Bannon as being in “high spirits” during the call

“You might think from recent press accounts that Steve Bannon is on the ropes and therefore behaving prudently. In the aftermath of events in Charlottesville, he is widely blamed for his boss’s continuing indulgence of white supremacists,” Kuttner explained. “But Bannon was in high spirits when he phoned me Tuesday afternoon to discuss the politics of taking a harder line with China, and minced no words describing his efforts to neutralize his rivals at the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury.”

“They’re wetting themselves,” Bannon said of opponents he planned to oust at State and Defense.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 16, 2017 8:01:58 PM | 90

Curtis 6 isn't me. However, I somewhat agree with the point.

Joe 41
Very true. Lee saw himself as defending Virginia. Slavery was the chief issue used in the states declarations of secession. But the end goal was a separate govt (that actually banned the importation of new slaves).

Nemesis 57
Excellent. Racism was bad in the North, too.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 16, 2017 8:25:00 PM | 91

Strange how the left are pulling down statues of democrats, and the right are fighting to have them stand. The confederates were democrats, but nobody seem to remember that now anymore.

Posted by: Alexander Grimsmo | Aug 16, 2017 8:37:55 PM | 92

Nothing strange about it. The Democrats dropped the southern racists and the Republicans picked them up with the Southern Strategy. It's all pretty well documented. The current Republicans are not heirs to Lincoln in any meaningful way.

Posted by: sigil | Aug 16, 2017 8:51:24 PM | 93

some may consider this interesting.. at the end of Robert Kuttner's conversation with Steve Bannon, Bannon says:

http://prospect.org/article/steve-bannon-unrepentant

....“The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”.....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 16, 2017 8:53:14 PM | 94

Those who make silly talk about "Patriots and Traitors" (Swallows and Amazons?) are being obtuse about their history. The whole system was racist through and through, depended upon it and was built upon it, starting with the very first rapacious sorties inland from the swampy coast.

Some excellent commentary here, including james's percipient notes, Grieved's point, RUKidding's and karlof1's, perry's observations and speculations.

Aside, this "99% v.1%" discourse is disempowering and one has to ask whose interests such talk and attendant disempowerment serve.

Posted by: Petra | Aug 16, 2017 9:11:29 PM | 95

Both sides of this ideological issue are frooty and do not see the invisible hands that manipulate their weak minds. See Mike Krieger On Charlottesville: "Don't Play Into The Divide & Conquer Game"
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-14/mike-krieger-charlottesville-dont-play-divide-conquer-game

Please note that slavery persisted in some Northern States after the end of the Civil War. The slave trade was even a profit center in the North:

http://www.tracingcenter.org/resources/background/northern-involvement-in-the-slave-trade/

Posted by: Krollchem | Aug 16, 2017 9:33:38 PM | 96

This is a meaningful post on a touchy subject. Global Brahmins are looting the developed world. Color revolutions and ethnic rifts make great fire sales. In a sane world, old monuments would molder away in obscurity. Instead a faux resistance to divide and conquer the little people has commenced. But, it is careening out of control due to austerity and job loss. Deplorable Bushwhackers are fighting for tribalism and supremacy. After the 27 year old war in Iraq, subjected Sunnis turned to their ethnic myths and traditions to fight back; obliterating two ancient cities and themselves. The Chaos is coming west.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Aug 16, 2017 9:40:12 PM | 97

The problem is that people focus on the effects of history, like slavery and the holocaust, but if you go into the causes and context of these events, then you get accused of rationalizing them. Yet being ignorant of the causes is when history gets repeated. By the time another seriously bad effect rises, it's too late.
As for slavery, it's not as though peoples lives haven't been thoroughly commodified before and continue to be. Yes, slavery in the early part of this country was horrendous and the resulting racism arose from the more reptilian parts of people's minds, but that part still exists and needs to be better understood, not dismissed.
It should also be noted that if it wasn't for slavery, the African American population would otherwise only be about as large as the Arab American population. It is a bit like being the offspring of a rape. It might the absolute worst aspect of your life, but you wouldn't be here otherwise. It's the Native Americans who really got screwed in the deal, but there are not nearly enough of them left, to get much notice.

Posted by: John Merryman | Aug 16, 2017 9:43:21 PM | 98

PS,
For those who know their legal history, no, I'm not using a pseudonym. There is a lot of family history in this country, from well before it was a country.

Posted by: John Merryman | Aug 16, 2017 9:47:52 PM | 99

The "All the World's a Stage" of things ...

why-was-crowd-hire-company-recruiting-25-hour-political-activists-charlotte-last-week?

Posted by: x | Aug 16, 2017 10:14:27 PM | 100

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