Riotous Revisionism

There’s a revisionist movement going on here in the USA and I don’t like it one little bit.  As usual, it’s the leftniks who are driving things.

This time, it started in Charlottesville, Virginia, a place that used to be pleasant enough but that is hardly the center of the known universe.  A conservative group duly applied for and received a permit to hold a public demonstration, nominally against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  The fact that it attracted far-right groups is incidental, given that the demonstration was overall well planned and intended to be orderly.  What actually happened was that the demonstrators were attacked by a large number of masked (why?) leftist types.  (Doubters are referred to news footage.)

For once, the Only President We’ve Got was assailed not for something he said but rather for something he didn’t say.  Refusing to say what the loud lefties wanted to hear, that everything was the fault of the right-wingers, he stuck to his guns and said that each of the two sides was partly to blame.

There’s a movement afoot to eliminate all traces of the Confederacy, chiefly involving removal of statues of Civil War heroes.  In one of the latest incidents – the one that has lodged itself so far up my nostrils – the city of Bellingham, WA, located about as far from the Civil War as one can get, removed signs identifying the Pickett Bridge as such.  They also removed directional signs pointing the way to the privately owned Pickett House, which remains on the National Register of Historic Places.  The question is:  why did the City Council and the Mayor consider this necessary?  Only, one fears, because of George Pickett’s association with the “wrong side” during the American Civil War and because of their own fear that the lefties may also attack here (or at least vote them out of office).

Best remembered these days for leading the ill-fated “Pickett’s charge” at the Battle of Gettysburg, George Pickett was above all a professional soldier, a West Point graduate who served with distinction in the Mexican War and was later assigned to the Washington Territory.  He did his job well, commanding the construction of Fort Bellingham and of a bridge (not the current one, which is a modern structure).  He defended San Juan Island in the “Pig War,” an escalation of a conflict between an American farmer and the Hudson’s Bay Company.  When he later joined the CSA, he did so only out of loyalty to his home state of Virginia.

Although the loud left like to claim that anyone associated with the Confederacy must have been a while supremacist, they conveniently overlook the fact that, far from being a racist, Pickett married a Native American woman of the Haida tribe.  They no doubt have never troubled themselves to learn that he was well known to be opposed to slavery.  A genuine human being with a waggish sense of humor, Pickett remained haunted to the end of his days by the deaths of those under his command at Gettysburg.

Does this make him a “bad guy,” deserving to be stricken from recognition and memory?  Of whom are the Bellingham City Council more afraid, the Rabid Right or the Lunatic Left?  For whatever it’s worth (probably nothing at today’s exchange rates), it’s nearly always the leftniks who are worse behaved.  The KKK are to a considerable degree a spent force and no longer burn watermelons on front lawns.  The various “Neo-Nazi” groups may be taken for what they’re worth and safely ignored so long as they keep to themselves.  But the lefties – ah, the lefties – are usually the ones who start riots, break things and demand to have everything said and done their own way.  Sorry, but that’s not the way things should work in a real democracy.

Good Charioteers, please help me out here.  Although rarely at a loss for words, I need a phrase to counter “political correctness,” something saying that it is not necessarily correct.  So far, the best I’ve been able to do on my own is, “moral cowardice.”

28 thoughts on “Riotous Revisionism”

  1. In this case Trump was not malicious, merely clumsy. He was essentially correct. Most would agree with him, in fact. His mistake was to not “specifically” condemn Neo Nazis by way of removing cannon fodder from a hostile media.

    The mainstream American right has never been tied to the truly radical fringe. There are a handful of dinosaurs like Pat Buchanan who were, at one point, within the mainstream but their inability to evolve and change with the times has made them slightly embarrassing relics who find it increasingly difficult to secure and audience. But even they are merely the products of their time and their views, in their younger years, were closer to the mainstream. The mainstream American left “does” have ties to the extreme radical fringe. The current generation, especially, were either involved with the radicalism of 1968 or heavily influenced by it. They are yet to purge themselves of it. Even if most, in practice, are forced to hold to the centre-left in terms of economics and, to a large extent, policy, their rhetoric sometimes reveals the taint of militancy. Part of that entails cultural Maoism — out with the olds, create a new culture, banish the past, etc. I lived through the peak of the “Occupy” movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince Chinese friends to secure tanks to help clear out the rabble.

    Most Americans are fairly reasonable people who’d prefer to get on with their lives. If any of this were to ever have to receive support from the majority, it wouldn’t go anywhere. The problem, I think, is that the American left are beholden to its radical fringe in a way that the American right isn’t. Even if most centre-left and left-of-centre Americans are still fairly reasonable people, the Democrats need the active support of its nutter segment to secure electoral success.

  2. There is a similar attempt arouse left wing discontent in the UK

    This quote is taken from the LBC facebook page

    “A Guardian columnist has written that Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square should be toppled
    In the controversial article, writer Afua Hirsch describes Admiral Horatio Nelson as a “white supremacist” and a “slave trader”.

    As the US argues over whether to remove confederate statues, Ms Hirsch says the monument, which has stood in London for over 150 years, should also be torn down”

    Here’s another quote

    “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill.

    I think I’m slightly more inclined to believe that Sir Winston has a better chance of being correct but who knows, we may eventually be forced to apologize to the Nazis for interrupting their glorious social plans for Europe to enable the completion of the rewriting history into a more fashionable format.

  3. JL: Leftists are alienating themselves from the majority. I’d say both sides of the Atlantic, but that would leave out Australia’s current travails with its variant of the breed. Some are only very slightly foaming at the mouth, such as Stan Grant — a man who claims to be “indigenous Australian” while being even less an Aborigine than me, who wants to change plaques on statues of Captain Cook that say he was the first man to discover Australia. Never mind that Captain Cook was, in fact, the first man to actually explore the entire east coast of Australia and chart it out — indigenous Australians didn’t have the technology. The more rabid variety, veritably chomping at the bit, want to end Australia Day. As they alienate themselves from the majority, they’re also making parodies of themselves. Eventually sane, centre-left figures will have to tell them to shut up and lump it if they’re to have a chance of holding real political power again for any prolonged period of time.

  4. Britain’s loony left meeja love these bandwagons. Free rides, no backlash, a new campaign every month. Nelson, I bet, will rival the ravens in the Tower for longevity.

  5. The left has infiltrated all of our institutions and contaminated them with PC group think to the extent that employees are terrified to say ( or even think ) anything outside the imposed ‘norm’.

    It’s difficult to see how we escape from this bind without real trouble.

  6. Jazz: I’ve spoken to many Russians, Poles, Hungarians, East Germans, Czechs, Romanians, etc. One thing they said was that so long as one didn’t challenge the socialist system or go against the government’s ideological orthodoxy, you’d more likely than not be left in peace and frankly wouldn’t have much to worry about. Jobs were guaranteed, as were housing, heating, adequate food, etc. Outside the USSR, the way they usually kept control of the narrative was by ruining those who challenged it. For example, a Hungarian scientist who didn’t want to go along with the government’s proclamations found that his funding dried out, his son’s university application had suddenly disappeared without trace and his position was suddenly lost. Quite a few told me that this sort of political correctness is eerily familiar — they experienced it in the past.

  7. Cog, your post reminded me of a quotation I read from Tomas Masaryk. I did write it out but cannot now find it. Basically it came down to a little learning sometimes being dangerous. Those who had acquired some education sometimes felt that this put them above their fellow citizens, even when the said education was very basic. This frequently meant that they exercised an influence far beyond their capabilities and many followed them because they did not understand current events but could parrot what the one “educated” person in the village said and thereby make themselves feel important. This to me sums up the current political correctness, when the less able follow this trend because it saves them having to think for themselves and produce a coherent argument for or against a particular point. If you actually asked one of the pc brigade for the true definition of fascism, for instance, he/she/it would be unable to tell you. They have no idea of facts or history and thus are easily led. The communist cadres used this with great success.

    I believe political correctness used to be called kneejerk liberalism. I prefer to think of it as sheeplike and a get-out for the incompetent who want to hide their incompetence and lack of intellectual prowess.There is no point in telling these sheep that “phobia” means fear, such as arachnaphobia. They insist that “islamophobia” means hatred of islam rather than a fear. So much easier to follow someone shouting “racism/fascism” or whatever than have to think for yourself.

  8. Sheona, if a little learning is dangerous, a lot of learning is even more dangerous as evidenced by the way the elite, political and financial, control the useful idiots on the left. Though I hasten to add it depends on the type of learning.

    I increasingly tend to warn the younger generation from seeking any form of mainstream tertiary education. It is an invitation to being brainwashed.Even at secondary level, children are taught a revisionist view of the world; very much the wrong revision.

    The motives behind modern education are all wrong. A friend of mine is a French teacher. She maintains the measure of her success is whether her pupils pass their exams or not. I responded that I thought it would be better if she was able to teach them to speak French.

    A child needs to be taught the 3 Rs. Beyond that, any syllabus should be of his or her choosing. Too much emphasis is placed on passing exams that serve no practical purpose and certainly do not lead to useful education. A qualification allows an individual to be classified and thus controlled. Yesterday I learned from Radio 4 that the UK is changing GSE grade from and alphabetic system to a numeric one, so as to make it easier to determine the difference between a good pass and a bad pass. So instead of having grades A* to E, they now have 1 to 9, with 1 being worst and 9 being best. Why on earth did they introduce the A* whenever they did and if more categories are needed why not go from A to J or even Z?

    That sort of playing with classifications demonstrates more than anything the manipulation of the student population. Get ’em while they are young.

    I recently came across this site and this article in particular.

    I suspect several Charioteers will warm to some of the sentiments expressed therein.

  9. ‘A qualification allows an individual to be classified and thus controlled.’ God save us from people who know what they are doing, eh?

  10. Fair comment, Janus. Qualification was perhaps the wrong word to use. Grade, or degree or some other ‘academic’ as opposed to professional term would have been more appropriate. Though having said that, there are plenty of people in this world who have qualifications but are not qualified. The point I was trying to make is that an upper second in classics (if such a thing exists) does not mean diddly squat.

  11. If I didn’t know you better, Sipu, I’d suspect you of trying to be personal. Such a degree does indeed exist but its meaning clearly is beyond you.

  12. Interestingly (for me anyway), general education in the British and other West European cultures was founded almost exclusively on the Latin and Greek languages and literature, littering (some would say) English with their words, imagery and concepts.

  13. Janus, you do me an injustice. “Historically, the University of Oxford awarded fourth-class honours degrees and, until the late 1970s, did not distinguish between upper and lower second-class honours degrees.”

  14. “….general education in the British and other West European cultures was founded almost exclusively on the Latin and Greek languages and literature, littering (some would say) English with their words, imagery and concepts…..”

    And that’s the problem.

  15. Jazz: Yet, the influence of the Classics has overwhelmingly been positive. The problems we’re seeing now emerged later. The dumbing down of education, the removal of that which can’t be simplified for the dullest among us led to most of the problems we’re seeing now. Young adults can’t even think past a slogan, much less conceive a fully-developed argument.

  16. Give me an instance in which the influence of the classics was overwhelmingly positive.

  17. The transition from feudalism to modern statecraft was strongly influenced by the Classics. The concept that man is the measure of all things, that people have the ability to control their lives and prosper without the intervention of the gods is rooted in the Classics. The idea that people ought to have some say in how they’re governed is rooted in ancient Greece and Rome. In most ways, the Classics have an intangible, yet profoundly salubrious, impact on Western civilisation. Standards of beauty, that people can with effort craft themselves and their image, is based on the Classics. What is toxic is the attitude that has displaced the Classics –that no matter how rubbish or mediocre, we’re special because something or another.

  18. Hi Cog! To try to bring this back to your original post – although I’d like to join in with some of the other issues discussed here!

    Your plea at the end of your post to find a way to counter the “political correctness” that is swamping “plain common sense” is one that many of us have much sympathy with.

    I think that we, so called Right-Wingers, spend too much time working out why the world has changed and we’ve really been far too tolerant of those who don’t agree with us!

    We really need to stand by our principles and tell Governments that they need to listen to us just as carefully as they listen to the Lefties…

    ‘Political correctness’ is really “Political Ignorance”… Go read your history – in depth.

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