I have seen a lot of talk on this subject by people of the Right recently and while I do agree with the overall consensus that the act of removing and tearing down monuments dedicated to Confederate generals and other great men of America is a disgrace and tantamount to ISIS destroying historical monuments all across the Middle East, I have not seen any discussion on what this all means or adds up to on a metaphysical level. This is what I plan on doing here.
It must first be said that what the statues and monuments signify has much less to do with the moral character of each individual represented with a monument. They are instead connected to maximal stress events, such as the War for Independence or the Civil War that is culturally a foundation of the nation. What one of these maximal stress events does is it creates a stress large enough to unite the culture and give the people in it a sense of collective identity.
The statues are signifiers that show how these men got the American nation through these collective sets of traumas.
Symbols should not be taken lightly as they give the people a sense of cultural identity. They also provide the population with a collective and cultural immune system that is built up from packets of signifiers that have come into being from the collective consciousness, through the survival of these maximal stress events.
This wave of deconstructive nihilism that is aniconic and based on getting rid of a cultures signifiers such as the statues of previous presidents or confederate generals has happened before to many cultures throughout history.
A clear example of this form of deconstruction can be found with the Roman Emperor Theodosius the Great in 390 AD, when he declared Christianity the only legal religion of the Roman empire and began persecuting people who continued to practice historic Roman paganism with their own pantheon of gods.
Institutions like the Vestal Virgins and the ancient Olympic Games were disbanded and discontinued and attacks on Roman temples were tolerated along with the destruction of many holy sites, images and objects that were considered sacred to the Roman pagans. All of this deconstruction of the classical Roman cultural immune system hurt them to such a degree that by 410 AD, the Germanic barbarians were able to swarm down and conquer Rome for themselves with ease.
This is a clear example of what happens when a culture’s signifiers that make up its cultural immune system and give them a sense of identity against other peoples are weakened or removed completely.
If you eradicate the signifiers from a culture it will lose its identity and will be taken by a people who have a stronger sense of their own cultural identity.
This deconstructive nihilism by the Left on American cultural signifiers is the cultural equivalent of ISIS or the Taliban destroying statues of Buddha or the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The longer Americans tolerate and kow-tow to these actions the worse it will get. Ask yourself, what is their limiting principle? Do they even have one? Where will the Left’s deconstruction end?
The human psyche was not made for nihilism and it abhors a vacuum. People cannot live in a world without meaning or signifiers and the removal of statues and monuments is just another example of the Left’s quest to throw the world into the abyss.
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