America, extremism, national housekeeping, national iconography, political memory, political symbolism, USA
With standards set by the definition of speech-related crimes (conspiracy, incitement, sedition, and a very few additional regions associated with prohibitions, rightly), I have been absolute about “Freedom of Speech” prerogatives for Americans. I not only see nothing wrong with such a statue but everything right if connected to greater contemplation requiring greater knowledge and humanity.
I own here a copy of Mien Kampf.
It doesn’t make me a Nazi.
In the area of public display managed by public offices or services, see this morning’s wall on Back-Channels.
In general, I endorse Milan Kundera’s observation, “The struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”
States and their leaders do have their icons and standards, and it’s those that may be favored or disfavored across time and adjusted by public consensus openly as part of the process of governance. It would seem that gross historical revisionism has accompanied extremist ideologies and absolute power across time. Certainly, it has been “Communists”, “Fascists”, and “Socialists” along hard lines that have sought to erase the past. Perhaps an exception may be made for the eventual erasure of the names of Palestinian mass murderers who have been made into heroes beneath the despicable and upside-down guidance of Soviet Era thought about the relationship between State Power and “The Masses”. Extreme revolt against that would seem in order today — when and as the Palestinians learn how they have been abused by Moscow — but Confederate flags, statues of despots, books — place them where they belong, but keep them somewhere and don’t forget them or what they said they stood for, or what they really did with their lives.
Today . . . it’s last week’s Big Topic: from the post-Civil War statues of Confederate military nobility to one of Lenin in Washington State, American extremists have engaged in minor battle over what’s in the public presence while the public has been urged to review policy and, perhaps, considering “moving the furniture” of the public lawn or into the back rooms we call museums.
Here’s Laura Southern on the matter:
And here a statement from the National Trust on Historic Preservation (June 10, 2017): https://savingplaces.org/press-center/media-resources/national-trust-statement-on-confederate-memorials#.WZoELdQrJlZ