Recently, the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, called for the removal of the statue of Teddy Roosevelt from in front of the museum of natural history.
When movements began under the Obama administration to tear down statues of confederates, many conservatives including Trump were criticized for claiming that rioters would eventually target statues of American figures including the founding fathers, and their predictions are now proving accurate. Statues of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and others have been destroyed.
Trump said at his recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that;
This cruel campaign of censorship and exclusion violates everything we hold dear as Americans. They want to demolish our heritage so they can impose their new oppressive regime in its place. An unhinged left-wing mob is attempting to vandalize our history…tear down our statues and punish, cancel, and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control.President Trump – Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 20, 2020.
Democrats meanwhile have largely stood by the movement. House speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the removal of four speaker portraits from the capitol – they are individuals who had served in the confederacy. She also called for the removal of 11 statues in the national statutory hall collection, nine of whom were democrats, claiming they “pay homage to hate“.
The movements we’re now watching sweep across the United States to destroy history are not new however, and neither are the narratives being used to excuse it, and this isn’t limited to the United States or the confederates or to slavery.
Why? A new history is being taught to youth in the United States as well as other Western countries, that criticizes their traditional cultures, curses their founding stories, and condemns their founders. Students are being taught to hate where they come from, and much of this ties to well-established socialist methods of ideological subversion. It is a battle for memory, a war of ideas, and we need only look at countries that have already gone through this process to see what the goals are.
In China the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) similarly destroyed the cultural relics of their country during Mao’s cultural revolution the 1960’s and 1970’s. Both China’s values and its traditions were erased, and over 2 million were murdered, usually just for having some form of education.
The CCP’s destruction of China’s 5,000 years of culture didn’t end there however, still today depictions in film and in video games of China’s cultural heritage that was destroyed are banned by the CCP.
The same thing happened under the USSR to communist and socialist regimes in parts of Europe. This process was described by former Polish minister of education, Ryszard Legutko, in his book; The Demon in Democracy, as being meant to wipe out all memory of what socialism aimed to destroy. Legutko said that communism was a system that tried to recreate history in its own image through movements “against memory“. He explained that those who stood against these systems not only faced the gulags, agitated mobs, and secret police, but we’re also;
fighting for memory against forgetting, knowing very well that the loss of memories strengthened the communist system by making people defenseless and malleable.Ryszard Legutko – The Demon In Democracy
When Karl Marx envisioned regimes under socialism and communism, neither of which existed at his time, he believed they would destroy all the beliefs, traditions and morals of the world as it was. He and other communists that followed throughout history believe their ideas superseded all others and that in the brutal regimes that would follow to create these systems – the ends would justify the means. After taking power these socialist tyrants typically are not satisfied with the mere surface destruction of traditional culture and belief, but also seek to destroy the past through criticizing and altering history. With these values and traditions destroyed, the ruling regime is able to embed its power into every pore of society. Legutko wrote that the socialist leaders believed;
“the political system should permeate every section of public and private life, to include ethics and mores, family, churches, schools, universities, community organizations, culture, and even human sentiment and aspirations.”Rizard Legutko – The Demon In Democracy
“By being identified as serving the cause of the bourgeois [conservatives], the philosophers, artists and writers could be arraigned on a charge of being the enemies of the socialist revolution and standing in the way of the future, often with lamentable consequences for the defendants.”
Legutko explained; this same philosophy of destroying the past doesn’t just exist under full socialist regimes, but also under the liberal democratic systems of the West. Both systems generate–at least in their official ideological interpretations–a sense of liberation from the old bonds.
These systems at play are similar to what author George Orwell envisioned in his book 1984, in which his fictional English Socialist (INGSOC) regime had established absolute control over all of society. Part of what secured the regime’s control said Orwell, was a system to make people forget they ever believed in anything that would oppose the regime.
“This demands a continuous alteration of the past…a person under a system like this tolerates present day conditions partly because he has no standards of comparison.”George Orwell – 1984
“The individual is made to believe that he is better off than his ancestors and the average level of material comfort is constantly rising.”
True to life for today’s socialist regimes Orwell also wrote that;
past events survive only in written records and in human memories, the past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon, and since the party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the party chooses to make it.George Orwell – 1984
Orwell described this as part of “reality control”, and many people have observed these same trends; when socialism was taking over in Europe in the early 20th century, author G.K. Chesterton described its attempts to wipe out all that once existed in order to build up its envisioned system as something based in a distrust of the common man. He wrote;
…and these primary things in which the old religion trusted the man, the new philosophy utterly distrusts man. It insists that he must be a very rare sort of man to have any rights in these matters and when he is the rare sort he has the right to rule others even more than himself .G.K. Chesterton
What we’re witnessing in the United States is something we’ve seen before in history, it’s not new, and while history is being destroyed by these groups, we need only to look at history to see where this will lead.
The destruction of cultural relics in China by the Chinese Communist Party.
Again, see anything familiar?