Paul Craig Roberts recently posted his commentary on the erasing of history. He correctly points out that erasing a country’s history is erasing the country. And he attributes to people who want to do just that.
He uses the American Confederacy – the Confederate States of America – as an example, as a warning to what is happening to every State in the “Federal Union” cum Federal Empire of 2023. Please take time to read it. His example is an excellent one for us to remember in 2023.
It may make readers angry, just as this commentary may do the same. Among other things, Roberts points out the honor and gallantry and truth about Robert E. Lee, who even by most rational modern standards was NOT the evil racist he is proclaimed to have been, today.
Like any man, Lee was fallible and far from perfect. But for generations of American soldiers, black, white, and other colors, he was held up as an example of how a soldier, an officer, should behave. How he should live up to his oath, how he should treat his troops, his commander-in-chief, and his enemy troops and warriors. Even bloody-handed terrorists. (Lee fought AmerInd in the West, as well as Mexican troops and outlaw insurrectionists, and then, finally Union troops. All of these contained some men who would be labeled as terrorists today – and indeed may have been.)
Today? He and his memory, like his cause (both before and during the War Between the States), are blackened as monstrous evil. Even by those who claim to be lovers of (or at least, fond of) liberty. But for many, it is not enough to condemn and hate the man, like his cause. No, those things and the people who supported them, must be erased, must be cancelled.
It is not the insult to a brave, honorable and wrongly accused man: a man of his times and culture, that is of concern to lovers of liberty.
No, it is the fact that those who do not know and understand their history are doomed to repeat it. Not just erase their own nation, as Mr. Roberts points out. But destroy their future by repeating the mistakes of the past. Mistakes which are erased from the history books, erased from the landscape, erased from everywhere except the most dusty and bypassed archives and library stacks.
Which is what the woke enemies of liberty are seeking to do now. If we let them.
As written above, this commentary may anger and upset some readers. For those who wish to discuss why Robert E. Lee is an admirable (though flawed) man, please feel free to contact us either through comments or by email to TPOLNathan-at-gmail.com.
Insightful article. I live in the Deep South, grew up during the Civil Rights era in Birmingham, Alabama and have observed things as they unfolded first hand. I read Roberts’ essay and it’s spot on. Although surrounded by southern racism I never understood disliking someone for the color of their skin. However, Roberts pointing out that, “ Southerners, who were not racists, viewed coerced desegregation of neighborhood schools and false accusations against Southerners as a second Reconstruction. The North Easterners enjoyed their virtue-signaling with their parodies and misrepresentations of Southern life”, was brilliant! In the early 80s, I attended an engineering school at General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan. There were others, mostly from the North East. At lunch one day I sat with several of them. They were complaining about Blacks causing so many problems in their schools and their resentment because the government forced it upon them. Apparently, many schools there were still segregated until then. I couldn’t resist. I pointed out that, in the South, we had contended with desegregation for 20+ years and that they had been all for it when it involved “those Southern racists” and didn’t involve them. It seems very similar to the illegal immigrants being sent to Martha’s Vineyard recently. Liberal elitists simply have no self awareness when it comes to their hypocrisy.
I forget who said it, and a keyword search is not helping me at all, but as best I recall from a couple decades ago…
“If you can see in a situation only what everyone else can see, you can be said to be not so much as product of your culture as a victim of it.”
Of course it is easy to be opposed to chattel slavery now. Apart from China and a few spots in Africa, and allegedly isolated spots in the Mid East, there is very little of it on the planet anymore. Everyone’s culture is at least ostensibly opposed to slavery, while a scant couple centuries ago, three on the outside, it was part and parcel of pretty much every culture on earth. I sometimes ponder where I would have been on the issue a few centuries ago. Probably too dirt poor to give it much thought, honestly. But if my culture viewed some people as property, would I have accepted that as a self-evident truth?
I see this all the time today. (Not TODAY today; you know what I mean.) I take devil’s advocate all the time to do my part to undo the social conditioning that is omnipresent, and try to get rational thought a place in the world. Sadly, it’s usually to no avail. When I ask someone why slavery is wrong, I can honestly say no one has ever had an answer rooted in any principle. At best it’s just a restatement of the Non-Aggression Principle, but with no ability to explain why it is axiomatic truth. It’s usually just an immediate verbal and on occasion physical hostility. And while it gives me hope that maybe the coming spiciness might not plumb the depths of my nightmares, it does make me accept that the climb out of that mess will not be to any libertarian paradise. The quality of the output is dependent on the quality of the inputs, and humans are not very good raw material.
Of course, the obvious is that almost none realize that the state is only one step removed from chattel slavery. Not just anyone may own human livestock. Only those within the state apparatus can, and must, own their slaves.
Again, many good points, Steve.
Here at TPOL, our response to your question is rooted in what we believe is a fundamental principle: humans were created by God in His own image, and we are given free will – which among other things is the right to obey or not obey others: individuals, groups, or whomever. (But we may suffer consequences for our actions, of course.) Any other human who seeks to own us in essence is attempting to deny our right of exercising that free will. It does not just violate the NAP/ZAP and the Golden Rule, it puts that other person into a role which is usurping the role of the Creator Himself.
I stand corrected. I meant apart from the explanation of God creating the rules as they are. Like Porretto’s article Sunday says, ( https://www.libertystorch.info/2023/03/12/important-truth/ ), once you reject the sacred explanation, you don’t have any alternatives left apart from teleology or solipsism.
While discussing it with hardcore atheists, the absolute best I’ve seen is teleological — we think something unjust simply because we think it unjust. No explanation of why is required. You and I know it is because the law is written on our hearts, but without that, there’s no good reason that so many cultures should have come to approximately the same answers when they are counter to the perpetuation of the society. Why is helping out someone who will not be able to contribute to society the right thing to do? Atheists have no answer other than irrationality.