- Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:41 am #614475
“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: there must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” - Frank Wilhoit
I think there is a bit of a danger in taking these things down. It's not because it would 'erase our history', (nobody learns history from statues), but because it risks us forgetting that bad people can also do good things. I'd quite like there to be conversations about Rhodes for many generations to come, and for people to know that people who can be the good guys in one place, can be the opposite in another.Tubby Isaacs wrote: ↑Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:13 pmIf you take off the Rhodes statue for "memorializing", should you take off that nice stone writing too? After all, it says "by the great generosity of Cecil Rhodes". That would be going too far for me. I appreciate that there's no easy answer, and lines will be drawn, but I'd like us to establish some solid principles on this stuff.
Absolutely. And as someone once pointed out, if human history had evolved without any questionable acts, Olduvai Gorge would be bloody crowded about now.In a world where we seem increasingly obsessed with binary divisions and nuance being dismissed, I think it's more important than ever for people to remember what much of our Victorian prosperity was actually built on, and not slip into the complacent delusion that all bad people are entirely-bad pantomime villains. I think it risks letting the next Cecil Rhodes off the hook.
Great, then we can not only continue to ignore all the present-day slavery on which our modern society depends, but start to ignore all the historical stuff, too. It would be so much more comfortable if I didn't have to know the parks I enjoy and the grand squares and terraces were built with Irish hunger, African blood and Indian tears. Much better that no child ever gets the opportunity to ask "who's that man on the statue, mummy?" to be told "a piece of shit, darling, a piece of shit".
This was the question raised on James O'Brien last week that gave me pause for thought about if the whole "preserving history for educational purposes" argument still washes (and I've still not arrived at a conclusion thus my mostly lurking in this thread).
Yes. And I still do.
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