General Lee Rides Again!

by Veiko Hessler

ALL ACROSS America a great iconoclasm is happening. What started with murmurs of disapproval and the banishing of suspect symbols has become an out and out torrent of inchoate rage against collective memory. In towns and cities across the South, Confederate monuments that have stood in their silent watch for a century or more are being dismantled and removed in the dead of night by cowardly municipal councils hoping to appease the howling mob.

Frustrated with the slow pace of bureaucratic vandalism, the same mob has taken it on itself to engage in vigilante vandalism to destroy these icons in broad daylight instead — literally trampling and spitting on the past with self-congratulatory abandon.

This attack on history is not new. It is simply the culmination of a process which has been ongoing in Hollywood and in print for years; the psychological destruction of history has now manifested itself in the physical realm. Yet their actions which aim to show their strength, in reality show their weakness. Though they may be able to operate with seeming impunity, the factor which above all motivates them is fear. They are frightened of history itself, and its power to potentially awaken the spirit of resistance.

It is unsurprising they should accelerate their campaign to destroy history in the era of Brexit and Trump. These electoral earthquakes exposed the precariousness of their ideological hegemony and showed indisputably a hardening resistance to their agenda. But far from backing down in the face of the turning tide, they have sought to speed up their plans to sever nations from their roots by erasing the great continuous procession of the past. In their efforts to convert all to their nihilistic, relativistic, and hedonistic ideology tearing down the heroes of history is essential, because the great heroes of the past, through their actions, prove there are objective standards to live up to. They prove that an individual can transcend circumstance, conquer adversity, and above all — resist the prevailing currents of thought. General Lee is an infuriating figure for the left, because although sullied by the supposed moral infirmity of his cause, The Marble Man who carried out his duty to the end with impeccable conduct in the face of overwhelming odds still captures the imagination of many.

They believe that by removing his likeness and attempting to erase him from history, they will extinguish his ability to awaken the will to resist in those who are seeking idols in an age of villains. It is important that they do this now, because more and more people are surveying the vulgar, vapid, and morally sick nature of modernity and becoming restless and disillusioned. More and more people are realising we have chosen the wrong path, and to choose a different route we must return to where we came from — we must look back to our ancestors. In the minds of the fearful, they must stamp out the dim embers of a coherent collective mythology now, once and for all, to complete their plans for a rootless, international, and meaningless world. A world in which they can guiltlessly aspire to nothing, because no man ever was better than another. A world in which no one is subjected to judgement, because they fear if they ever were, they would be found wanting.

For all their hollow espousal of tolerance, it is inconceivable to them to believe that the Confederate memorials represent in actuality the pinnacle of tolerance. They are the embodiment of a respectful reconciliation between old enemies, a graceful nod to the notion that people can fight and die on opposite sides, but in the end, come together as one to build a collective future. A nation that has the capacity to build memorials to those who disagreed violently with its fundamental ideals without rancour surely is a nation replete with tolerance.

If they believe that by destroying these signifiers they can make the past simply go away, they are wrong. For every statue they topple, for every set of bones they disturb (literally, in the case of Nathan Bedford Forrest), for every memorial that is melted down, they stoke the fires of resistance.

By their conspicuous and reckless actions, they expose the true fundamental political and philosophical dichotomy of our time — it is not “right” or “left,” but builders and destroyers. Those who wish to preserve and grow, and those who wish to venerate random destruction and waste. They have made a catastrophic miscalculation — the history of the West is too bejewelled, too powerful, and too large to be swept away by a few fearful and jealous pygmies.

It is telling that the statue that was toppled in Durham, North Carolina was not a memorial to a great general, but a humble tribute to commemorate all the nameless hundreds of thousands of Confederate soldiers who died, not for a belief in some odious economic system or grand ideology, but simply because they were inspired by a deep-seated desire to preserve their locality, their order, their way of life. In the moment that the monument simply known locally as ‘Old Joe’ was cast to the ground and set upon by a frothing mob, it was retroactively vindicated. The great mass of Confederate soldiers was roused to take up arms against their own nation exactly because they feared that one day, this would happen: that the nation itself would fall into the hands of the ignorant, the fearful and foolish, who sought to erase it. The vandals may have succeeded in destroying a statue, but in doing so they released the ghosts dormant within.

The boiling indignation of any true patriot at the lawless and reckless destruction of our heritage instantly created thousands more supporters of that heritage. We may still be outnumbered, but we have something that our enemies will never have. While they live their lives wracked by self-doubt, fearful and riven by existential crisis in the meaningless world they have created, we march with thousands of years of glorious history on our side. Our path may be difficult, but every step we travel we are cheered on by the multitude of those who fought and died to make our world possible.

While the destroyer can only feel strength in the mob, every one of our actions is guided by the wisdom and strength of those who came before us. When we march together, we march not only as friends and comrades standing against the tide of destruction and decay, but we march in lockstep with the tenacious columns of those Confederate soldiers who gave their lives in a heroic act of collective defiance. They may pull down Robert E. Lee, but they will not pull down Western civilization. His likeness may have vanished from many parks across the country — but that is only because General Lee rides again!

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Thomas Plaster
Thomas Plaster
26 August, 2017 3:21 pm

Removing monuments/statues is the replacement tactic for changing the name used of the negroid race. First it was “nigger”, a corruption of niggardly meaning miserly/cheap skate/tight wad. Which is how many blacks saw themselves. Whites went along with it. Then the demand was changed to negro, then colored folk, then black then African-American. No doubt in a decade negroes will start bellowing that they were not born in Africa, never stepped foot in Africa and do not want that appellation applied to them. They will concoct a new a name. Orientals have gotten in on the act; mongoloid (race) to oriental to asian. It is a way to feel powerful over the Whites while still a numerical minority in White countries. Now it is being done to monuments. Whatever or… Read more »

Will Williams
Will Williams
Reply to  Thomas Plaster
30 August, 2017 5:38 pm

Mr. Plaster: First it was “nigger”, a corruption of niggardly meaning miserly/cheap skate/tight wad… Then the demand was changed to negro… — The etymology of niggard and nigger are entirely unrelated. This from Wiki: — “Niggardly” (noun: “niggard”) is an adjective meaning “stingy” or “miserly”. It can be traced back at least to the Middle English word nigon, which has the same meaning, and is related to the Old Norse verb nigla, which means “to fuss about small matters”. “Nigger”, a racial epithet in English, derives from the Spanish/Portuguese word negro, meaning “black”, and the French word nègre. Both negro and noir (and therefore also nègre and nigger) ultimately come from nigrum, the accusative case singular masculine and neuter form of the Latin masculine adjective niger, meaning “black” or “dark”.… Read more »

Thomas Plaster
Thomas Plaster
Reply to  Will Williams
30 August, 2017 6:47 pm

Will Williams: I have heard that about nigger/niggardly many times but I am still not convinced of it. It comes from academia, so I don’t give it weight for that reason. No telling what academia’s reasoning is on any given thing, being so politicized. I’ve read somewhere, can’t remember the name just now, in a tract from the late 1800s that nigger came from niggardly. Early ebonics, basically. Being to lazy to say the whole word or pronounce it properly, so the negro corrupts it.

Yes, I was aware that negro comes Spanish.

26 August, 2017 4:08 pm

Founders of Culture; Builders of Culture; Destroyers of Culture.

The mobs and fanatics who rename our streets, buildings and tear down our statues to erase history also seek to destroy Southern culture. Orwell’s book called it “a continuous alteration of the past.”

Southern-down-homers still speak Elizabethan English: I’m sick ‘yet’. They’re there ‘yet’. A southern girl might say of her boyfriend — ‘ah he’s shinin’ me own’.

All through the war, Lee called the enemy “these people.” So who are the people destroying our monuments?

James Clayton
James Clayton
27 August, 2017 10:14 am
29 August, 2017 7:15 pm

Three more protesters were arrested Wednesday for participating in the toppling of a nearly century-old statue of a Confederate soldier in North Carolina. Dante Strobino, 35, and Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, were arrested when they attended a court hearing for another woman who was charged Tuesday for climbing a ladder to attach a rope to the bronze soldier. Peter Gilbert, 39, was arrested later Wednesday afternoon. Ngoc Loan TranExpand / Collapse Ngoc Loan Tran, 24 (Durham County Sheriff’s Office) The Durham County Sheriff’s office said the three arrested Wednesday were charged with two felonies related to inciting and participating in a riot that damaged property. Dante StrobinoExpand / Collapse Dante Strobino, 35 (Durham County Sheriff’s Office) The woman who climbed the ladder, Takiyah Thompson, was charged with the same counts… Read more »

Thomas Plaster
Thomas Plaster
Reply to  Chass
29 August, 2017 8:58 pm

Chass: I wish the governor would force the colleges they attend to expel them. Then ban them from any college enrollment in the state.

B. Smith
B. Smith
29 August, 2017 9:07 pm

Being a self-studier, though not from “The South”, I knew Robert E. Lee (and Jackson and other real American heroes, their valor, integrity, dignity…),

but this assault on history, in the form of their statues and memorials, is making them somehow more alive to me.

As if at the statues fall their spirits rise and come to life — in myself and many others I imagine.

Kind of an odd thought maybe but that is how it is — maybe they can take the statues, for now, but the heroes and the history is coming alive. In me and my sons too.

30 August, 2017 4:11 pm

Ghosts of the dead Confederate soldiers to the Grand Republic Army — Why are you in Asia?

21 June, 2020 8:56 am

Re: iconoclasm, et. al. – read The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixey.