Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Damascus Pew

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana.

 Until recently the only statues within my purview were Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Happy Prince’ and the two statues from Jake Thackray’s song.

The Happy Prince alleviates a small number of cases of poverty through stripping off gold outer casing of his body and using a bird as an emissary to
deliver temporary relief to the deserving poor. A piece of gold might feed them for a month, Socialism would feed them forever.

A jollier romp is Jake’s narration of a nymph and Sir Robert Walpole who finally happily consummate a century’s smouldering desire.  Musical statues is also fun.

Not to sound like ‘Outraged Margot of Surbiton’ (apologies to Surbitonites) or a leader column from the Sun or the Daily Mail but  the destruction of various statues in the name of ‘progressive’ or identity politics is merely virtue signalling.  What signals does such actions send out to the majority?

Is the intention to persuade the many of the righteousness and need to support the particular cause in whose name the hooliganism is carried out?  It fails dismally in that aim.

History shows that such actions are a precursor to Year Zero.

Even if successful in its aims, whilst  reformist issues may achieve some measure of ‘success’  whatever concessions are wrung from capitalism it always remains as exploitative as ever.

Might a socialist society decide that the removal of public artefacts was cultural vandalism? It will be choice of a future socialist society to decide if and what objects it wants to retain as historical reminders.

Don t waste your time knocking down straw men even if they are made of bronze.


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