June 30, 2015 Leave a comment
The brilliant Victor Davis Hanson never disappoints:
What started out just days ago as a reasonable move by the state of South Carolina, in the aftermath of the Charleston mass shootings, to remove the Confederate battle flag from public display on state property, within hours had descended into something like the mob’s frenzy over Mytilene. We have now gone well beyond removing state sanction from a flag that represented an apartheid society. Indeed, Americans of the new electronic mob are witch-hunting the past with a vengeance, as private, profit-driven companies seek to trump one another’s piety by banning the merchandising of Confederate insignia….
These outbursts of public frenzy at supposed enemies may reflect grassroots furor, but they are also orchestrated by progressive grandees who are inconsistent in their targeting of history’s villains — offering context and exemption for liberal fascist and racist thought, speech, and iconography, while connecting their present-day political rivals to the supposed sins of the country’s collective past. Manipulating the past, in other words, becomes a useful tool by which one can change the present….
Manipulating the past, in other words, becomes a useful tool by which one can change the present. In another analysis, Thucydides reminds us, in regard to the stasis at Corcyra, that in frenzied efforts to reconstruct both the past and present to fit ideological agendas, “Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them.”
Be sure to read the whole thing.