Wednesday assorted links

by on August 16, 2017 at 12:59 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Hadur August 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm

One of these days I will try to hit up Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia on one trip. The downside is that it can be difficult to get around this part of the world: roads are bad, trains are worse, intercity buses do most of the work. Turkish Airlines does fly to each and every one of those countries (and to all the ‘stans) and this is how Turkish Airlines ends up always ranked first for most countries served.

I’ll get a huge kick out of seeing things named for Clinton, Bush, and Tony Blair in Kosovo and Albania, where these figures are all extremely popular.

2 Doug August 16, 2017 at 5:41 pm

I’d recommend Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia first. (Assuming it’s your first trip to the Balkans). Bosnia may be the best destination in Europe at this point. Particularly when adjusting for the costs and crowds in the EU.

3 EverExtruder August 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm

#3 Removing confederate monuments and this whole discussion is a waste of time and money. It is a symbolic and entirely psychological victory for the left and a pyrrhic one at that which will come back to haunt not just them but everyone in a foreseeable future where literally everything is offensive to someone and requires some form of psychological stroking to restore felled status. Yes. Trump was right about this being a slippery slope. He was also right to call them “Alt-Left”.

4 Anonymous August 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Unfortunately the organizer’s poster does not say anything about statues. It says To End The Jewish Influence In America.

Truth.

5 Thomas August 17, 2017 at 1:57 am

The organizers’ posters, therefore no one can oppose the whitewashing of history, the explicit discrimination against those with white skin and penises, and the violent communist revolutionaries who are regularly beating random Republicans.

6 Hazel Meade August 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

Can you hyperventilate any more about the state of the poor white man?

7 Andre August 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Most of these statues weren’t put up 150 years ago by tearful widows and mothers after the civil war, they went up in the late 50’s when the states found they couldn’t stop desegregation. So who is it that is getting the psychological stroking or trying to restore felled status?

In Tyler’s back yard they are trying to rename J.E.B Stuart high to dereference the confederate officer. It was built in 1959 while Virginia was in the midst of closing public schools all over the state to stop integration. It certainly sent a message to people when it opened, why are we obligated to keep sending it?

8 MOFO August 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Is it at least possible that this isnt entirely about slavery? You are sending a message one way or another.

9 mulp August 16, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Right, slavery is no longer profitable, so it’s now about a final solution for non-whites including Jews, Catholics, black evangelicals and protestants.

What I look back in wonder at is how Catholics are no longer lumped in with Jews and blacks.

That every “conservative” on the Supreme Court is a puppet of the Pope…

10 EverExtruder August 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

This is about statues and slavery now because the left lost an election last year. Massively. The only way to motivate their base now is stirring the racial stew. They fail to realize that as a motivation tactic that is largely responsible for why they lost last year.

The Democratic party has essentially gone all in on their strategy of everyone vs. white men. In making everything about identity they have created a new identity awareness around white men. This will get worse and it will not end well.

11 Anonymous August 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm

You repeat that it is about statues, because you do not want to defend the Charlottesville chant “Jews will not replace us.”

That says something good about you, but go all the way.

This was not about statues.

12 MOFO August 16, 2017 at 2:35 pm

I think the problem here is there are two types of people. The types who would like to see this fight end well and not lead to ruin for all of us and those who just want to fight.

Id say you are in the second group. Fighting makes you feel self-righteous, damn the consequences.

13 Anonymous August 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm

No sir, that is some need of yours speaking.

I want to live in a world where this does not happen:

http://reformjudaism.org/blog/2017/08/14/charlottesville-local-jewish-community-presses

14 Anonymous August 16, 2017 at 2:47 pm

“Soon, we learned that Nazi websites had posted a call to burn our synagogue.”

15 MOFO August 16, 2017 at 2:54 pm

“I want to live in a world where this does not happen”

And this is exactly what i was talking about. So do i, so does every right thinking person in the country. You are not some special hero for not wanting violence visited upon these people, you are not uniquely righteous for wanting to see Nazism fail, we all want those thing. The question is are you helping or hurting?

The best answer i can give is that you dont seem to care and you certainly arent alone.

16 Anonymous August 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

You are dreaming if you think the best answer to evil is acceptance.

I have stood for non-violent protest every day. It would be good of you to remember that and acknowledge that. It is where I still stand.

17 Anonymous August 16, 2017 at 3:19 pm

By the way, it sure as he’ll isn’t everyone who opposes that. Trump, who has “all the facts,” both-sided it away.

18 MOFO August 16, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Im not advocating acceptance, im suggesting that the best way to respond is to not inflate their importance. You are right to advocate non-violence only, and yes, i acknowledge that you have from the start. My point is that is only half way there. Deny them any response. If you are dying to respond, wait until the next day and have an “unrelated” sit in. Dont mention them, treat them as beneath your notice. These assholes are no different than the dimwits who are constantly posting stuff about ‘cucks’ here, ignoring them is not acceptance, its denying them the attention they crave.

19 Anonymous August 16, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Actually, I did make myself scarce the day-of, as I digested it.

And now it IS days after.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/16/berliners-gather-at-brandenburg-gate-to-denounce-charlottesville-nazis/

20 Thomas August 17, 2017 at 1:59 am

Anon uses the 200 Nazis who rallied at this event, to paint 150 million Republicans, because it makes him feel better, end of story.

21 Anonymous August 17, 2017 at 9:28 am

No Thomas, but watch for when something similar happens.

When someone like you is mad that we are mad at Nazis. I’m that moment you, not I, make the binding.

22 Nigel August 16, 2017 at 6:01 pm

I rather had the impression that it was about the decision of a local city council to remove a statue – which decision a bunch of racists and self professed fascists from outside tried to prevent being implemented.
From your comments, you don’t appear to be a big fan of local democracy.

23 Hazel Meade August 17, 2017 at 11:30 am

Actually, IIRC the movement started after that white kid shot up a black church in Georgia, which was before the election. Dylan Roof.
It picked up some stream after the alt-right became more prominent, but it’s not primarily in response to Trump’s election.

24 Sure August 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm

1959 is, of course, just shy of the 100th anniversary which might also have had something to do with the frame of mind of the school namers. In general, most of these memorials were put up during two time frames: when the bulk of civil war veterans were reaching their 80s and when the 100th anniversary was occurring (which also coincided with the death of the last veteran supercentarians).

These dates, of course, also had political implications as well. The dying out of the civil war veterans also began breaking up certain voting blocs in the North that had been welded together by the Civil War, the pensions, and the like. The civil rights movement also was something that could more easily prosper with the memories of Radical Reconstruction dying off.

Some of these names were messages about segregation, but not all of them were. Certainly we should afford the dead the same nuance that the living demand. After all J.E.B. Stuart only joined the confederacy after Virginia had voted, twice, not to leave the Union and only did so when Lincoln elected to enforce the Union by force. After all, taking down these monuments is heard as a message too – that some people’s ancestors were irredeemable, that we cannot honor the military brilliance of Grant because he was wrong about slavery, but we can honor Oscar Wilde even though he was child rapist.

Like most things in life, these statues are far more complicated than some simple narrative – be it strict martial memorialization or ongoing racist imposition.

25 Jordan B August 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm

“Entirely psychological victory”

Uhh.. yes? Isn’t that the point? To not have a large segment of the population have to be constantly reminded that their ancestors were slaves, that the ancestors of those around them fought to keep them enslaved, and that the current population at best doesn’t really care enough to remove these reminders and at worst actively likes these reminders.

I’m just at a total loss as to how it being psychological makes it irrelevant. If your spouse yelled at you every day, that’s “just” a psychological impact, but it will seriously degrade your quality of life. It’s something that they need to change, otherwise you’re better off getting a divorce (which the equivalent obviously isn’t possible in this situation).

26 MOFO August 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm

“and that the current population at best doesn’t really care enough to remove these reminders”

Correct me if im wrong here, but the wasnt whole point of the Nazi demonstration to protest that these statues *were* being taken down? Is that not the case?

27 Jordan B August 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm

“Correct me if im wrong here, but the wasnt whole point of the Nazi demonstration to protest that these statues *were* being taken down? Is that not the case?”

True. But I’m talking about EvanExtruder’s world where these statues aren’t taken down. (And that’s the world that has existed up until very recently).

28 Thomas August 17, 2017 at 2:01 am

Can you give me an example of black lives matter or the Democrat Party not wanting to remind people with black skin that their ancestors may or may not have been slaves? You can’t, so at least try to be honest with yourself.

29 Joan August 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

What we are doing when we tear down the civil war monuments is removing the evidence of the persistence of racism long after slavery ended. For the most part they were not erected by the survivors of the war but 50 or more years later and the flag was not commonly displayed until the civil rights movement. In the 1960. We should not tear them down but put up placards showing when and by who the were erected, Theyreflect the values of the communities the erected them and we should not forget the past even if it is unpleasant.

30 mavery August 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Why can’t modern communities choose to honor (or not honor) individuals based on their own values? Why should they be forced to live with the choices of folks many years ago?

Monuments are for holding up individuals, groups, or ideas as signifiers of community values. Museums are for remembering the past.

31 Joan August 16, 2017 at 5:07 pm

I might agree with you if it were not for the lack of support for affirmative action because young people today seem to believe that ending slavery was sufficient to create equality.

32 Thomas August 17, 2017 at 2:03 am

Could you take a minute to explain how two 16 year old immigrants, both with the same education credentials, should have divergent college acceptance and employment prospects, based on their divergent skin colors? If you can’t, could you explain why the Democrat Party insists on maintaining this solution?

33 Hazel Meade August 17, 2017 at 11:40 am

I’m pretty sympathetic to this argument. History is history, including the history that whites sought to preserve white rule long after slavery was ended. But it might be possible to gather all the statues in one place such as a museum or memorial garden or something.

34 buddyglass August 16, 2017 at 5:20 pm

Hate to break it to, but people have emotions. I know, it may be hard to understand. Just keep trying.

35 Nigel August 16, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Not your time; not your money.
So what’s your beef ?

36 Magna est Veritas August 17, 2017 at 12:12 am

The statues of Martin Luther King, Junior, close friend to murderous Communists, will come down less than a week after the statues of George Washington come down (and George Washington – not someone I have much respect for, by the way, for reasons too long to go into here – but who never would have befriended a murderous Communist in his life if he lived to 200 years old). Then everybody will be happy, right? Does anyone really believe that the rapist culture of most of the Native Americans or the Communist befriending culture of most of our 20th century “heroes” (FDR is toast for having called the evil murderer Stalin “Uncle Joe” – sorry Democrats – and even Kennedy is a goner, after all he laughed when teenage girls were sexually exploited – he laughed – get that through your heads – it could have been your daughter – he laughed when young women of 18 were coaxed into prostitution-type acts- sorry Democrats that is what decent people know about your hero) will not be completely wiped from cultural memory in the near future, if the rampaging hatred of today for previous generations is, in its silly way, allowed to go on? No, nobody believes that. The Stooges were cool in their day, too, but at least they were funny.

37 Magna est Veritas August 17, 2017 at 12:17 am

Also, Obama still, even in his aging years, supports elective abortion of children who could be successfully born by Caeserean section or induced childbirth. No statues for him, either: sad! he is so well liked by so many, but there will be no statues for a hater like him! And if there are: down they go: No statues for evildoers!

38 Magna est Veritas August 17, 2017 at 12:38 am

Actually, I would like to see them all go down: Teddy Roosevelt shot a giraffe (an animal, noble in its heart, that would never have harmed him. Fucking coward. Take all his statues down.) The Statute of Liberty, designed by a depraved liberal who never had the simple heart-felt affection for his fellow human beings to denounce the vicious French Revolution. Take it down. Thurgood Marshall airport: let’s rename it “Victims of Roe v Wade” airport. Mount Rushmore – would be nicer if it were just trees, everybody knows that. St Louis Arch, emblem of the Euclideans: what did they do for us? The statue of Confederate Lieutenant Twain in Hannibal – take it down, who cares if he loved animals and his fellow man? Take it down, he fought for the Confederacy. Kennedy Airport – are you kidding me? A family of abusive people who did not care about women enough to keep them from physical harm and, frequently, death? Everybody knows that. And who would name an innocent street after Malcolm the Tenth, having read even a few pages of his hateful autobiography? Either you care about other people or you don’t – not a single person in the United States with his or her statute in a public park really cared about other people, everybody knows that. Magna est Veritas et Praevalebit. We are all better than anyone who ever lived before us, take all their statues down. And then watch to see how much better the world will become. Good people who took down those statues will have their own statues raised!!!! That is why I would like to see all those statutes go down, because the haters of today are so wonderful, and all deserve their own statues! Because they are braver and better than anyone who went before! (As for me, I am glad that so many people did so many brave things before I was born: and while I am really frustrated with Teddy Roosevelt and his cowardice, and I really do not respect the Kennedys or most of the other people I have mentioned, I think that even flawed people deserve the respect for that part of their lives where they exhibited virtue. And, with the exception of one or two Kennedys, almost every name I have mentioned in these comment – which nobody will read, everybody knows that – showed some real virtue at some point in their lives. God loves us all the way we are but loves us too much to let us stay that way. ) Thanks for reading, and if you feel inclined to feel hatred for me: don’t. This is not 2017 and you are not an intellectual child. Only intellectual children refuse to see the world, if they can, sub specie aeternitatis. This is not really 2017. Think of me and try not to laugh.

39 Magna est Veritas August 17, 2017 at 12:41 am

the typos were on purpose. seriously. thanks for reading; and because the typos were on purpose, please feel free not to comment on the typos.

40 Magna est Veritas August 17, 2017 at 12:48 am

actually the typos were by mistake. there will never be a statute of me but if there ever is fucking tear it down because typos. Rejoice in the hatred in your heart! (Actually I am kidding. Try your best to feel love for the suffering human beings who are lucky enough to be cared for by you. I pray to God that there will be many! and Judge not, as they say all over the world.).

41 Magna est Veritas August 17, 2017 at 12:59 am

it is really hard to think about some poor old giraffe, who never had a friend in this world, being shot, after a hard life, through the heart on some comfortable African afternoon by an idiot like Teddy Roosevelt, sitting somewhere out of sight like a coward. Either you care about other people or you don’t (and if you don’t please do not comment, and if you do, please do. Cor ad cor loquitur.)

42 Magna est veritas August 17, 2017 at 1:19 am

People talk about how funny the Stooges were but Marjorie White, a Canadian born actress of stage and screen, was perhaps the funniest performer in the only Stooge movie to win an Oscar (as Casey Stengel used to say, knowing that he was saying the sort of thing people expected him to say – God bless his heart – you could look it up.) People are so interesting when they realize how capable they are to do that which is right! This is not 2017 for almost all of us. Think of that before you criticize in your heart someone else in what you think is 2017. I remember every fucking day that giraffe enjoyed in its savannah loneliness before it was shot. Who could have shot such a wonderful creature? Tear all the fucking statues down: they all could have shot that giraffe: nobody deserves a statue in a world where that can happen.

43 Magna est veritas August 17, 2017 at 1:23 am

And don’t pretend you now care if you didn’t care yesterday. Not some statues: all statues! Take them all down! Don’t pretend you don’t think that you, too, would have been a friend to that poor giraffe. and don’t pretend you disagree. If they are not a saint they do not get a statue, and even the saints who never said a prayer for that giraffe who never had a friend in the world don’t get to have a statue!

44 Magna est veritas August 17, 2017 at 1:33 am

Thanks for the bandwidth. Should you be the one in 2 billion people or one in 20 billion bots (yes I know how offensive that word – bots – will be in the future, but just as I forgive the linguistic choices of previous generations, I hope for forgiveness for the baffling linguistic choices of my generation, which I can neither figure out nor rise above) who bothered to read, and who wishes to criticize me in the most effective way possible, I wish you the best of luck! I recommend studying the Book of Proverbs and the beautiful letter from Saint Paul, who did his best, to his friends the Philippians. Anyone familiar with those two works of breathtakingly honest literature should have no problem, if they wish, in rhetorically defending the good people of the world they believe they live in against people like me, who are merely living in the real world and who are nothing more, at our best, than friends of giraffes who never had a friend in this world. (This is 2017, by the way. God loves us the way we are but loves us too much to let us stay that way.)

45 Magna est veritas August 17, 2017 at 1:35 am

Please, if given the choice to ‘plagiarize’ or reply: ‘plagiarize’. Why? Because I meant what I said. You would have said the same thing if you did not have better things to do. Seriously: I was not kidding – I remember the giraffe, and the happy days it hoped for and never experienced. I remember.

46 Magna est veritas August 17, 2017 at 1:57 am

For the record you have no idea how sorry I feel for anyone who has any desire to mock the giraffe I remember. Thanks for not responding (I know how funny you could be if you want. But I do not need your comical help!). There will be almost no statues ever, for those of us who care about that giraffe, or who care about every other unremembered by most victims. Don’t try to count them, you can’t. And when you say you can remember and count, and can criticize those who seem to claim they care (like. for example, me – I don’t expect anyone to think I really care, although I do) – and I say this from my heart – retract what you say. I can’t (count them all). You can’t. I will have thousands of descendants, and I hope you will too, and please pray with me that they renounce self-centered hatred: that seems like such an unreachable goal but it is, remember this, the goal that anyone who has imagined the world a century or more from now will recognize as the most important goal of all. Sure there are more fun goals – anybody who has ever loved anybody else knows that – what is the renouncing of hatred compared to just simply caring about other people? The question answers itself! And when I say I remember – make fun of that – but I do, humbly, remember. And yes, I remember the actual giraffe on the actual savannah on the actual afternoon, and it was not that long ago. Tear all the statues down, or not, that day was a real day, and i remember. So do you.

47 Magna est veritas August 17, 2017 at 2:09 am

the giraffe was walking through a few acres of grassland roughly ringed by trees and saw on its left, where it was about to step, a puddle, a puddle whose depth it could not gauge (the reflections of the sky were dulled by the muddiness of the water) and the giraffe carefully moved a little to the left, skimming the puddle instead of stepping in it (but certain in its heart that the wetness from the puddle would soon be comfortably diminished as the trail ahead led through grasslands, where one’s wet legs were blissfully dried by the passing grass): perhaps these last few weeks where the herd was so spare would not last, and more giraffes would by some miracle be present to be the friends that was the only desire in the heart of the giraffe: sadly, the next day, Teddy shot the giraffe through the heart from a hiding place. Take all the statues down, my friends. take them down and be perfect. but first stop lying to yourselves. Remember the best day of your life. Then remember a better day.

48 Magna est veritas et praevalebit August 17, 2017 at 2:21 am

stop lying to yourselves. Remember the best day of your life. Then remember a better day.

49 Hazel Meade August 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

How do you suppose it is only a victory for the “left”?
Are only leftists against slavery?
Was the anti-slavery cause of the North a “leftist” cause?
Do you consider neoconfederates part of your side, and if so why?

50 Ted Craig August 16, 2017 at 1:17 pm

“The argument fails because there are obviously relevant distinctions that can be made between Washington and Jefferson on the one hand and Confederate leaders on the other.”

Just because distinctions can’t be made doesn’t mean they won’t. I’m not saying that keeping the statutes standing is a good idea, but Somin is being foolish by saying people will make distinctions.

51 mavery August 16, 2017 at 3:05 pm

The premise of a slippery slope argument is that there is no basis upon which a distinction can be made. In this case, the distinction is patently clear: “Fought a war for continuing slavery” is a clear way to distinguish between heroes of the Confederacy and heroes of the American Revolution.

Some may argue that no slave holders should ever be honored, but now you’ve changed the criteria in an obvious way. Slippery slope is a pretty weak argument on which to hang your hat in this case.

52 MMK August 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Somin’s point is already nullified by the fact that a statue of Roger Taney was removed as well.

53 Bob from Ohio August 16, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Taney of course was a racist who wrote Dred Scott. But he was loyal to the Union [serving until death in 1864] and freed the slaves he inherited.

The slope isn’t slippery, its straight down.

54 peri August 16, 2017 at 5:16 pm

I read a recent thing in the New Yorker where the writer contended we would have been spared the civil war and ended the slave trade when England did, and been altogether more like Canada, had there been no revolution. So maybe the Founders should own those 400,000 lives and come down from their pedestals.

(One suspects, though, that the the left would bring the Southern boys back to life in order to shoot them again – so maybe the revolutionary generation will get a pass for anything they did that might have seeded the Civil War: war good, dead Southerners good, starving Southerners the cherry on top.)

Lee revered the Founders, though, so however they may have punted on the subject, he was accustomed to sacrifice and would probably be okay with the enthusiasm for placing the entire institution of slavery on his shoulders.

55 Thomas August 17, 2017 at 2:08 am

The goal is a Communist dictatorship, and nothing can stand in the way. There is no principal. There is no moral. There is only the everlasting pursuit of power.

56 JWatts August 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm

I think we would be better off moving the statues to cemeteries or museums. But Trump is right when he says that Washington and Jefferson are next on the block. They were both slave holders. They’ll both be condemned by those that find it convenient to do so and the ideologues.

57 djw August 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Or they will go after Wilson College at Princeton again.

58 gregor August 16, 2017 at 6:17 pm

This is especially true when you consider that people lie about their intentions. The larger issue is that the left clearly wants to erase and remake the national mythology and frankly they can’t be trusted to honor whatever distinctions they pretended to care about last week.

Logic is really the wrong framework. This is strategy and tactics.

59 peri August 17, 2017 at 12:28 pm

+1
I’m guessing the origin story will shift a century or so, to the shipping of the Statue of Liberty. Or the assembly.

One Statue to unite them all.

60 prior_test3 August 16, 2017 at 1:24 pm

1. Adam Smith and Ricardo repudiated – has Piketty been informed? (Depending on how one views specialization and comparative advantage, of course – maybe only one of them was wrong, not both.)

61 ABV August 16, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I think it’s just another reason why being a small country sucks.

One of my favorite economics books is “The Bottom Billion” by Paul Collier. It goes into a lot of the emperics behind which countries develop or stay poor. Small countries always had less of a chance to reach escape velocity and a lot were land locked. That would fit this model where trade is important, but especially broad based trade not limited to high value per kg imports/exports that aren’t perishable.

62 Cooper August 16, 2017 at 1:31 pm

The confederate statues were put up to entrench white supremacy. They have nothing to do with our history or memorializing the dead.

They were put up at court houses in order to show black people that the whites were still in charge.

Defending courthouse statues of traitors who fought for the explicit purpose of maintaining slavery is simply not worth the political capital. You need to draw a firm contrast between Stonewall Jackson and George Washington. Conflating the two merely makes tearing down statues of George Washington more likely to happen, not less likely.

63 MOFO August 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

“The confederate statues were put up to entrench white supremacy. They have nothing to do with our history or memorializing the dead.”

Really? Solely for that purpose? No one responsible for them felt a kinship to the dead? None thought this portion of history was worth remembering? Come now, it can be both and that’s the problem.

Dont get me wrong, i totally agree that the southern ‘heroes’ were traitors, and i wont lose a wink of sleep when their statues are melted down, but for a not insignificant portion of people, this is an attack on who they are. It really isnt about slavery to them, its about believing the culture you grew up in and hold dear is worth defending, even the ugly parts. You say its not worth the political capitol to defend them, i say that destroying them generates political capitol for exactly the type of people that these antifa clowns hate, southern Republicans.

I really believe that the left or liberals or progressives or Democrats or whatever you want to call them can do one of two things, they can win the culture wars or they can win elections. They are not going to do both. Personally if i were them id rather gain political power and live with some statues than tear down some statues while Republicans gain more and more power.

64 Brian Donohue August 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Very good comment. I would rephrase “even the ugly parts” as “in spite of the ugly parts.” The ugly part is the Original Sin in the story of America. It is represented by the difference between the concrete US Constitution (3/5) and the aspirational Preamble and Declaration of Independence. It ran down the middle of Washington and Jefferson.

The slave-holding South, a crucial lynchpin at the founding of the Republic, has been on a sociopolitical losing streak for most of the last 250 years. As it should be, as it had to be, as the story of America becoming has played out. But this is a sucky role to play in our drama, much different from the standard American story.

It is possible that monument-erection was important to the South psychologically as they saw they writing on the wall for civil rights, a century after the military crushing.

Regardless, the winds blow, and the monuments come down. It’s time. The fact that this is accompanied by gloating from some quarters is too bad.

65 Ricardo August 17, 2017 at 1:59 am

“but for a not insignificant portion of people, this is an attack on who they are. It really isnt about slavery to them, its about believing the culture you grew up in and hold dear is worth defending, even the ugly parts.”

OK, but the removal of these statues is the prerogative of state and local elected officials. If their constituents want to see the statues come down, then that’s the way the cookie crumbles and maybe some of these people can raise money to buy up the statues and put them in a private museum somewhere.

Another possibility might be to integrate more into the American mainstream by adopting an identity that is more national and less regional in nature — there is more than a little bit of hypocrisy in talking about how “we are all Americans” and then celebrating people who tried to tear the country in half. Or take after the Germans and adopt an identity that celebrates your homeland’s enviable contributions to literature, music and culture and forget about politics and political leaders. This shouldn’t be too difficult for southerners with a libertarian bent — why should your sense of self have anything to do with who was in charge of the government more than 100 years ago?

66 Thomas August 17, 2017 at 2:10 am

And the statues are being taken down by mobs. And NPR loves it. And CNN loves it. And the DNC loves it. And you love it.

67 DBN August 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm

The confederate statues were put up to entrench white supremacy

The Arch of Titus of erected in Rome to celebrate the destruction of Jerusalem and diaspora of the Jewish people. The Renaissance popes used to gather the Roman Jews out of the ghetto every year and make them symbolically parade under the arch to symbolize their submission to Christian rule.

Just like antisemitism, white supremacy is a part of history and leaves monuments behind. To quote Walter Benjamin, “There is no document of culture which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” The statues are not in some way special.

68 MOFO August 16, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Do you suppose that if you proposed tearing it down that the current inhabitants of Rome might object? If they did, would you then conclude that the only reason why they might do that is antisemitism?

69 mavery August 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

The Arch of Titus has tremendous architectural and historic value in the year 2017. If you want to defend these statues on historical or artistic grounds, do it. Then they can be preserved in museums as appropriate.

70 MMK August 16, 2017 at 3:57 pm

They can’t if protesters are destroying them…

71 Cooper August 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm

I don’t support angry mobs destroying statues they don’t like.

I do support mayors and governors with the political courage to do the right thing and take down these statues lawfully. Governor Nikki Haley did it. Governor Larry Hogan did it. Mayor Landrieu and Mayor Pugh did it.

We just don’t need these symbols of white supremacy in modern America.

There’s a HUGE difference between a confederate history museum or a confederate cemetery and a statue of Stonewall Jackson on a horse standing next to the county courthouse.

72 Bob from Ohio August 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Haley took no statute down, it was removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the statehouse grounds.

Hogan supports taking down the statute of a US Chief Justice who was not a Confederate. A racist sure, just like 99% of antebellum Americans.

73 Thomas August 17, 2017 at 2:11 am

” I don’t support mob violence, but isn’t antifa just like World War II soldiers?”

74 Bob from Ohio August 16, 2017 at 4:23 pm

“They were put up at court houses in order to show black people that the whites were still in charge.” … “They have nothing to do with our history or memorializing the dead.”

That is true only for some. But iconoclasts can’t do nuance.

75 rayward August 16, 2017 at 1:41 pm

3. When I was a child my family had this multi-volume collection of the history of the civil war which had these scenes of the civil war (war between the states) in vivid color, including many of confederate officers on horseback and infantrymen preparing for battle. What I remember most are the uniforms, beautiful and colorful and well-tailored uniforms, especially those of the confederates. Confederate monuments are like that, depicting heroes sitting atop horses ready for battle. Has there ever been such divergence between perception and reality as the South’s memory of the civil war.

76 DBN August 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Has there ever been such divergence between perception and reality as the South’s memory of the civil war.

Yeah, almost every memory of every war is viewed either with Herrenmoral chest-beating by the victor or Sklavenmoral bereavement by the defeated. The Second World War was a cataclysm unparalleled in human history, except perhaps by the ravages of Ghengis Khan. Its term in America of late has been “the good war”.

77 B.B. August 16, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Would an academic be permitted to defend keeping Confederate monuments up?

May I suggest a stress test of so-called academic freedom, Tyler? Publish a view that says that removing the monuments is a waste of time, money, energy, and brains. Then record what happens next, just for kicks. I am eager to see the results. You could call the book “Democracy In Chains.” Make sure your life insurance is paid up first.

78 Mark Thorson August 16, 2017 at 1:44 pm

How long will it be before we dynamite the sculpture at Stone Mountain? It depicts Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson astride their horses. It’s the world’s largest bas-relief sculpture, originally designed by Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mt. Rushmore. It was paid for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and Stone Mountain is the site of the founding of the revived KKK, following the release of Birth of a Nation. I can see why lots of people would like to destroy it. They may get their chance, though I wonder if the wave of monument-destroying is a temporary phenomenon or permanent.

79 Slocum August 16, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Are the Stone Mountain figures larger or smaller than the Bamiyan Buddas?

80 Bob from Ohio August 16, 2017 at 4:26 pm

“How long will it be before we dynamite the sculpture at Stone Mountain?”

Leading Democrat candidate for US senate in Georgia already has called for it. By September, it will be a “right thinking” consensus.

81 Anon August 16, 2017 at 6:35 pm

It will be replaced by a bas relief of MLK in the next 20 years. You’ve read it here first.

Seriously, go see it before it’s destroyed. It’s impressive.

82 Art Deco August 16, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Ha ha ha. We have a sculpture of Martin-Luther-King-the-Merciless on the Mall, produced by a ChiCom artist who evidently thought he’d been commissioned to produce a statue of Emperor Shih Huang Ti.

83 JWatts August 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm

“1. Is it bad for countries to specialize?”

The chart doesn’t agree with the premise.

The premise is that: “They and their research team have a theory that the more different products a country makes, the better positioned it is to grow. ”

And yet they predict substantially higher growth in Canada than the US, even though the US economy is much larger and more diverse. Granted, there will be some other factors, that contribute, such as catch up growth for third world countries, etc. What explains the projected Canadian growth?

And is the high projected growth of the UK a factor of leaving the EU in their model? I would assume that leaving the EU would decrease growth in their model.

84 Jerry August 16, 2017 at 2:01 pm

While there are distinctions to be made between Confederate soldiers and the Founding Fathers, many elements of the left have no shown no sign of nuance. Trigger warnings on classic works of literature. The rise of micro-aggressions (expanding the definition of violence to the minor, subjective, and emotional). Liberal usage of the label “Nazi” to denigrate dissenteres —
long before Charlottesville, where the term is literally used and clearly warranted. The argument depends on the dominant cultural powers to have nuance and there’s nothing nuanced about the mob or moral panics.

85 rayward August 16, 2017 at 2:04 pm

1. What’s good for the gander may not be good for the goose. Specialization will achieve maximum global output but at the cost of lower output for some nations; mankind may be better off with specialization, but man may be worse off. It’s similar with monopolies: global output may suffer, but the monopolists will prosper. Of course, the monopolists will have the political power to maintain the status quo; indeed, the monopolists will have the political power to enhance their own power, at the further cost of lower global output. Markets would correct this imbalance, but monopolists often possess to the political power to prevent markets from correcting the imbalance. As monopolists further their power, the greater the tension between market mechanisms to correct the imbalance and the will of the monopolists to further their own self-interest. Like the Wizard of Oz, however, markets are all powerful. In the long-run, I’d put my money on markets.

86 yo August 16, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Think of it from a strategic perspective. At the margin, specializing will make your country richer. Thus, it will become more of a target for aggressors while at the same time your military will need more components from abroad (remember you specialized, you’re not producing them any more). You’ll need stronger allies, reliable trading partners, and/or better deterrence, preferably all three. So it depends – if you live in a world where you can get some of that, it will pay off to specialize. If you’re isolated strategically, the reverse is true.

87 DBN August 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Speaking of Confederate memorials, what are you going to do about Stone Mountain? Dynamite it like Buddhas of Bamiyan?

88 Dzhaughn August 16, 2017 at 2:22 pm

#5 The disorienting verblessness. The fatuous patriotism. The misattribution of physical laws. The remystification of the demystified. The sorry state of popular science writing. With Philip Glass.

Send More Chuck Berry.

89 anon August 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm
90 Thanatos Savehn August 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm

#3 People have been mocking reductio ad absurdum arguments for as long as they’ve understood they can’t rationally defeat them. If we’re going to destroy every statue and bust of every person who ever defended slavery we’ll be smashing them until we get back to Aristotle (and burning all books containing references to his defense of natural slavery). But why stop there? San Francisco has a big statue of Ashurbanipal holding what would have been his laws, including some very ugly penalties for his naughty slaves and those who freed them. Tear it down too.

As for Kant and Hume, well, rummage about for their comments on the denizens of black Africa and you’ll soon realize why their thought must be eradicated from all curricula. Forever.

Or, we could change our premise. We could instead assert that all men are sinners with intellects, even among those considered to be brilliant, prone to mistaking correlation for causation, prone to biases which flatter their egos and wallets, and prone to believing that theirs is the era in which the scales have finally fallen from men’s eyes.

91 uair01 August 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

+1

92 Jordan B August 16, 2017 at 2:57 pm

It’s about the principle legacy of the person being memorialized, that’s ultimately what we remember and the statement being made with the memorialization. Obviously, all humans have flaws.

Kant, Hume, and Artistotle’s principle legacies concern advancing humanity’s understanding of science, mathematics, philosophy, economics, and more.
Ashurbanipal’s is that he assembled one of the greatest libraries in the ancient world, preserving knowledge and culture, including the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Robert E Lee’s principle legacy, on the other hand, was that he was the top general of a secessionist movement that was primarily dedicated to preserving slavery.

I can see a difference.

93 JWatts August 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm

“It’s about the principle legacy of the person being memorialized, … I can see a difference.”

There were 4 monuments taken down in Baltimore today: “The fourth was for Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a Maryland native and author of the majority opinion in the infamous Dred Scott case that determined former slaves could not become U.S. citizens.”

The difference seems a lot narrower in this case.

94 Borjigid August 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Does Taney have a legacy outside of Dredd Scott? Genuine question.

If not, there is no reason to have a statue of him other than to memorialize the notion that black people cannot be citizens.

95 MMK August 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Yes, Taney was brilliant and extremely influential.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_parte_Merryman

96 Bob from Ohio August 16, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Taney freed the slaves he inherited.

97 Thanatos Savehn August 16, 2017 at 8:21 pm

OK, I’ll play. I hereby begin to teach that Aristotle’s defense of natural slavery is his principal legacy. His reputation for logic beguiled 2,000 years of civilizations to use his justification for the enslavement of peoples throughout the West. Few could recite his ethics, rhetoric or analytics, but all could say “slavery is natural, The Philosopher says so”. Thus his most important legacy was slavery. Smash all ancient busts of him. Then we’ll move on to the next unreconstructed ancient.

When all is said and done all that will be left is emoting. Which will suit the increasingly reasonless Eloi. Thereafter their masters can eat them; which is, and always has been, I suspect, the plan. Alas.

98 Thomas August 17, 2017 at 2:14 am

Yeah I need, but you are missing the point which is that all minorities are good and all white, or western, or male people are bad.

99 Stephen August 16, 2017 at 2:47 pm

Trying to apply current left logic in America to other countries (yes, they do exist).

Should the French destroy the Arc de Triomphe that celebrates the aggressive victories, real or imaginary (I visited it, they count Aboukir and Baylen as victories) of the First Republic and the First Empire? If not, why not?

Should the British destroy every monument to anybody involved in the British Empire, including Churchill? If not, why not?

100 mavery August 16, 2017 at 3:26 pm

The French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and WWII were not primarily about defending and preserving slavery as an institution.

101 Axa August 16, 2017 at 3:36 pm

I think the French equivalent would be monuments to the Vichy government during WWII. Is there any?

102 Cooper August 16, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Does Norway have monuments to Quisling? I would imagine the answer isn’t “no” but “FUCK NO”.

103 Art Deco August 16, 2017 at 8:33 pm

No, it wouldn’t be. Vichy was an accommodation to circumstances, and one the bulk of the French political class favored in June 1940. Vichy wasn’t a secessionist movement.

104 Just Another MR Commentor August 16, 2017 at 5:02 pm

The Confederacy was a rebel entity in rebellion against the United States. Do Britain and France have many monuments celebrating those who led violent insurrections against the nation? Let alone inserrections whose aim was to maintain slavery?

105 Art Deco August 16, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Just about every working politician in France after the King was deposed in 1792 was an insurrectionist, and, yes, some were advocates of terror.

http://www.vanderkrogt.net/statues/Foto/fr/frif030.jpg

Oh, and this little putschist here:

https://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-photo-statue-monument-napoleon-bonaparte-place-st-nicolas-outdoor-park-bastia-corsica-france-54697564.jpg

106 The Anti-Gnostic August 17, 2017 at 8:50 am

Well, we have a whole capital and national culture dedicated to memorializing the men who led a violent insurrection against Great Britain.

107 Judah Benjamin Hur August 16, 2017 at 3:21 pm

The alt.right has retconned the Confederacy into a proto-Nazi movement so pretty much is responsible for all the consequences.

Hilariously, Richard Spencer’s group is complaining that a monument to Judah Benjamin hasn’t been torn down.

108 Brian Donohue August 16, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Your first sentence is nonsense. Retconned my ass. What do you think a comparison of the attitudes of white Southerners 50 years ago to today would show? Over any appreciable time scale, the South has been moving in the correct direction attitudinally.

109 Judah Benjamin Hur August 16, 2017 at 8:55 pm

My point is that alt.Nazi ideology is a completely different animal. The alt.right should take their Blut und Boden somewhere else (preferably Hell, it would save them some time).

110 JWatts August 16, 2017 at 3:23 pm

“3. Ilya Somin on Confederate monuments.”

The slippery slope argument is presented poorly. Washington & Jefferson won’t be next. The next target will be Confederate statues and emblems on Private property where it’s visible from a public space.

The current crusaders will turn their attention to anybody flying or displaying a Confederate flag. Or Confederate statues. Prominent displays at public cemeteries. The next step in the argument won’t be “what was their principal accomplishment” it will be a Public space versus Private property argument.

The Left would love to be able to mount a successful attack on freedom of expression and be able to make “Hate Speech” an actual crime.

Obviously Bo and Luke Duke were despicable racists and the General Lee was designed to “have a large segment of the population … be constantly reminded that their ancestors were slaves,”.

https://goo.gl/aK8WtW

111 mavery August 16, 2017 at 3:29 pm

“People might make a completely different argument sometime in the future” is not a slippery slope…

If you can’t make a distinction between public and private property, I’m happy to.

112 JWatts August 16, 2017 at 3:54 pm

“If you can’t make a distinction between public and private property, I’m happy to.”

I agree that there is a distinction, but I disagree that it will matter. How long do you think this monument on the side of I-65 is going to stand in the current climate?

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/10053751.jpg

For reference, this happened on Monday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfyXa3GBq2Q

113 Bob from Ohio August 16, 2017 at 4:31 pm

“I’m happy to.”

You are not going to be the one making the effort to remove it from private property. Do yo think the “antifa” thugs make a distinction?

114 Art Deco August 16, 2017 at 3:48 pm

#3: Prof. Solmin advises the collective to commit acts of vandalism as the commemorations are something in which he has no personal investment. Item #637.5 in the file marked “Libertarianism: an ideology for the self-absornbed”.

115 MOFO August 16, 2017 at 4:38 pm

What does any of this have to do with libertarianism?

116 shitposter August 16, 2017 at 4:54 pm
117 Anon August 16, 2017 at 6:49 pm

Woodrow Wilson’s name on the building in Priceton? Does anyone recall calls to remove that? I don’t have a problem with removing Confederate monuments but I have no illusions that it will stop there. The argument used by the left will simply change to rationalize what they want done.

118 Anonymous August 16, 2017 at 7:24 pm

3. Some years ago the Taliban blew up some giant, ancient, Buddhist statues. The press ran to the Buddhists for a quote, perhaps expecting sorrow if not anger. But the Buddhists were serene. “This just demonstrates the impermanence of all things” They said.

They were just statues.

119 stephan August 16, 2017 at 8:57 pm

I suggest all bibles should be removed from hotel rooms and put into museums. In many places , God instruct the Israelites to slay the males and take the women and children captives ( slavery ). Moses does just that ( Numbers). Why be reminded that God himself condoned slavery.
The San Diego State athletic teams are called Aztecs. A bloodthirsty culture responsible for the human sacrifice of millions. We need to change this name at once.

120 Anonymous August 17, 2017 at 12:14 am

I think the discomfort is with changing opinion, and the fear that people really could decide to be .. too nice?

A strange “problem” for a society to have.

No one dies when you rename a building, or even a sports team.

121 merro August 16, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Somehow over the past few years, “the Civil War was not really about slavery” has gone from being conventional wisdom to unspeakable heresy.

When I was growing up (in New York City no less), history teachers calmly explained that a war is *about* what the two sides *fight about*. The Civil War was not *about* slavery because the North, one of the two sides, did not fight to end slavery. The North wanted to bring the South back under the control of the Union government, and war was how they did it.

Lincoln himself explained (to Horace Greeley?) that if he could preserve the Union by permitting slavery, then he would do so. It is also unlikely that many Union soldiers (who were often quite vicious toward black men and women they encountered in the South) would have enlisted in any “emancipation” war.

Finally, there are a number of commenters who write with no sense of irony that the Southern leaders were “traitors” while Washington was not. And that Washington’s violence must be offset against his commitment to the Constitution and the peaceful transition of presidential power. Uhm ok. Is it so difficult to imagine that if the South had won the war, that Jefferson Davis would probably be remembered for similar accomplishments? And Stonewall Jackson would be remembered in the same vein as someone like Lafayette? The Confederate founding fathers’ legacies seem to be paying a price for supporting slavery, and that is understandable.. But they seem to be paying an even heavier price for *losing*.

122 Anonymous August 17, 2017 at 12:11 am

No statues for losers is a pretty realistic expectation, generally.

Why not Tojo in Honolulu?

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