Charlottesville Redux: D.C. August 12, 2018
Avoid Getting Bit
‘Don’t Swim With Sharks’
There are those that believe that the earth will eventually be governed by insects. This is a likely eventuality based on past “experience”.
After all, for each human that occupies the globe today there are countless insects. Insects are much more efficient as beings than are people, after all.
Moreover, there have been eras wherein, for millions of years, species other than Homo sapiens have held considerable sway over the world. Our time will come…
Sharks, have enjoyed an, overstay of their welcome. Having been the beneficiaries of more than one prehistoric era of existence, and, to date, one historic era of continued prosperity.
No matter. If you want to avoid the plight of the classic prey, don’t swim with the sharks.
It is highly unlikely that the shark species will, at any time, overtake civilization. Were they the opportunity, civilization, as we know it, would be long gone by then.
Avoid Getting Bit
‘Don’t Poke the Bear’
It is a fools mission to upset the ‘nature of things’ by tempting Fate. To bait a bear is to tempt Fate.
The wiser among us would never engage such a folly. Bears will not likely take over the world, either.
So why would we fly in the face of militancy that suffers the benefits of free speech and a constitutional right to keep and bear arms when none of these misfits is likely to take over the civilized world? We might be afraid of the individuals. We might be afraid of the prospect of governance under their perverted tutelage.
Yet, in the end, they are nothing but a threat to civilized society. To, which, in the end, a simple majority of civilized citizens can object and eventually quash in a muscular and efficient jurisprudence.
Let animals be observed. Don’t engage them on their own turf, in kind. Prosperity will suffer.
Non ragioniam di lor, ma guarda e passa
(‘Do not think of them but look and pass’)
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-Originally Published August 22, 2017-
Saturday August 12th
The Story of the Elephant and the Mouse
-(And Other Animals Caught In the Shadow of a Statue)-
“Most of your fears are much bigger in your mind than in reality.
You’ll see as soon as you face them.”
The story of the ‘Elephant and the Mouse’ is one having originated in the Tales of Panchatantra. Panchatantra is a collection of ancient, interrelated, animal fables.
These fables were originally set in Sanskrit poetry and prose and arranged in a “frame story”. That purports to present a moral or lesson via the allegory.
One of the most famous and enduring of the Panchatantra tales in its adaptation to Western culture is the story of ‘The Elephant and the Mouse’. The lesson of ‘The Elephant and the Mouse’, of course as any child knows, is that the fears of the greater animal are unfounded and the reaction to the relatively diminutive threat: highly over-exaggerated.
“White Supremacy” as the “Elephant”
So-called “White Supremacy” in the United States and its sordid, stepbrother of European provenance: “Neo-Nazism”. Should be scourges upon the conscience of most right-minded, cogent-thinking citizens. The perception is one that undermines the conscience of most folks on both sides of the highly nuanced issue of racism.
The “White Supremacy” movement, however, enjoys a strange and illogical essence. Even beyond the presence of African-American prejudices in the country today.
Unlike many ideologies, which cause fear in others based upon some form of de facto dominance, the essence of “White Supremacy” seems to thrive in some issue-internecine place. Where it foments almost independently of conventional racism.
Yet all the while, based on fear from two sides of the controversial matter of “White” prevalence. How could this be possible?
1) If “supremacy” were the advent of some intangible trait that dictates a form of superiority: that is one thing. 2) If “supremacy” is based upon sheer numerical prevalence: that is another.
For the purposes of this exercise (“First Canto”) it is the second premise. That is addressed in what follows.
‘Because We Said So’
By all indications it would seem that a diminutive group of “White Supremacists”, somehow, has become the self-appointed representative of the greater “White” numerical superiority in American culture. Blatantly insinuating this dubious and diminutive posture is surely misplaced, however.
Moreover, in addition to not being the official voice of an actual majority. From all indications, the “White Supremacists”, as a group movement, are in a distinct numerical minority!
They are a diminutive minority. Both within the greater “White” population’s numerical majority; as well as in wider American culture: in fact there is a good likelihood that the totality of the membership of so-called “White Supremacists” and their related ilk are as small or smaller in number than most recognized minorities in the Untied States today.
It is agreed that there are roughly 900 “Hate Groups” in the United States today. By some estimates, the number of self-identified individuals comprising the “White Supremacist” and other related organizations. Might be fewer than 10,000 individuals nationwide, however.
“White Supremacists”, painfully puny in number. Presuming to represent a greater numerical majority. Are, themselves, diminutive in size: by any measure.
So then, how does something so diminutive impact the balance of “White” and other greater segments of American society? Why does such a skewed relationship persist?
Just Being Afraid
It is any wonder. That the underlying psychology of the “White Supremacist” movement appears to act out of a feeble, reactionary, maybe paranoid, animus. The movement could be relegated, in a psychological sense, to one motivated out of: fear and existential threat.
It is entirely possible and can likely be proven. That the so-called “White Supremacist” movement represents a force that is so miniscule in number that it could, in fact itself, be easily dispatched by any one of its much-declaimed, fellow-minority status counterparts.
Which are comprised of duly recognized, conventionally accepted, American minorities. As in: those who might be identified as having endemic, African-American or Arab/Jewish-Semitic origins or interests.
Were, this the fact. It would strike fear into the heart of anyone. Even of a so-called, “supremacist” ilk.
“White Supremacy” as the “Mouse”
In the wider context, it would seem: those who are even more reactive to and seeming fearful of, the nominal presence of the slight-in-number and diminutive but overly demonstrative “White Supremacists” group proper. Are those who actually are the greater demographic itself: many, many more “White” folks who are not “supremacists”.
“White Supremacists” speak loudly. Yet, without the authority of their true constituency!
The outrageous, “White Supremacist” movement, essentially gives the actual bona fide “White” majority: a bad name! The so-called “White Supremacist” movement raises its diminutive but ugly head, clearly for the purposes of getting a social reaction as well as attracting the attention of a scandal-hungry media.
The matter remains. That this “White Supremacy” movement represents only a diminutive, small minority of the “White” demographic that is a very real, demonstrative and actual greater, “White” majority in America today.
The fact is. That a largely impassive, greater and far more muscular “White” majority: claims no connection to such a diminutive fringe existence.
The “White Supremacists” who seem to have captured the attention of the media and a population of the historically fearful have hijacked the issue of both ‘whiteness’ and ‘supremacy’. In fact, these very few in number, faux representatives of the greater “White” majority are, themselves, not much more than a fringe group of ultra-orthodox, super-focused, largely maniacal, practitioners of an outmoded and decrepit mindset.
In other words: “White Supremacists” themselves are nothing more than a diminutive minority, a…mouse. That roared.
All of, which begs the question: how can and why would; the far-greater number of an actual “White” majority population, voluntarily allow itself to submit to even acknowledgment, let alone conscious fear, of such an outrageous,diminutive movement?
Elephants and Mice in Charlottesville
The vexing problem remains. That this “White Supremacist” mouse that roared, especially in its actual diminutiveness, is entitled to: “Equal Protection” under the law.
After all, no matter how repulsive: a “White Supremacist” demonstration might be. Even as against a bona fide state act, such as the threatened removal of a historic statue. Their raucous demonstration actually amounts to nothing more than a legitimate, U.S. Constitution-protected manner of guarantied, American free expression.
That mustn’t be denied or hobbled by any restraint. If: it is exercised in a lawful manner.
No matter how repulsive. In the end: free speech has been proven to discourage tyranny.
It might be that, even the best intended among us could be capable of tyrannical inclinations. The overarching theory of freedom, however, is that the allowance of expression of even controversial thought in a democracy breeds intellectual interaction. Intellectual interaction, itself, then begets democracy.
Moreover, as opposed to many, more evil things that might be considered as contributing to Life’s ‘vicious circle’. In this world, democracy and free speech constitute: more of a ‘benign orb’.
“White Supremacy” and the “pushmi-pullyu”
Created by children’s author, Hugh Lofting, the fictitious animal with two heads set as corporeal polar opposites, is first detailed in “The Story of Doctor Dolittle”. The “Push-me Pull-you” appropriately depicts an animal with a physical being and personality that consistently contends with itself. An extension of the fanciful animal image might be something that is akin to the personality trait of folks that tend toward self-defeat in their everyday inclinations.
Assuming arguendo that those representing the “White Supremacists” in Virginia. Believed that they spoke for the greater “White” demographic, which actually does enjoy a clear, numerical superiority.
Their, underlying fear, of the progress of legitimate minorities such as: “blacks” or Jews’ is evident. Which, fear, likely motivates these so-called “White Supremacists” to outrageous expression and threatening behavior.
Their aggressive presence and noisy performance probably betrays a sense of their own self-defeat. Thus providing some of the fuel for frustration that was experienced, on both sides, of the fraught, gang-fight atmosphere in Charlottesville on the afternoon of Saturday, August 12th.
There is no doubt that this limited, diminutive element of the actual and greater “White” American majority that calls itself “White Supremacists”. Is intimidated.
It is clear. That they are impressed with the probability that there are many more persons of other ethnic suasions who threaten to impinge upon their self-proclaimed “Supremacist” presence as a racial segment of modern society.
In the end: when all is said and done. All who observe should seriously consider: that “White Supremacists” appear to portray themselves as nothing more than an effete, reactionary, diminutive minority.
In the Light of Day:
Behind Every Statue, Lurks a Shadow
-Icons and Interpretations Through Time-
“A horse is a thing of beauty…
None will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendor.”
“Traveller” carried General Robert E. Lee into battle. The sturdy steed and favorite mount of the former Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, West Point, also dutifully delivered his master to the “McLean House” in the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Where General Lee tendered his battle sword into the hands of his West Point fellow-alum: General Ulysses S. Grant. The much-discussed historical end-of the-war, vignette took place more than a century and a half ago.
Many of the official and imposing monuments depicting the proud but vanquished General portray him astride: “Traveller”. According to Internet sources, “Traveller”:
“…was a gray American Saddlebred of 16 hands, notable for speed, strength and courage in combat.”
As well as being a striking pair in battle as soldier and steed. Horse and rider were also an image of honor and restraint in surrender. It was to the superior forces of the North that General Lee, eventually submitted. “Traveller” was there.
Robert Edward Lee
Robert E. Lee, according to Internet sources, was a son of Revolutionary War officer Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee III. R.E. Lee was a top graduate (second in his class) of the United States Military Academy (West Point), an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years. During this time, he served throughout the United States, distinguished himself during the Mexican-American War; and served as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
According to Internet sources, John S. “Rip” Ford, a Texas Ranger, United States Army Texas Militia, Civil War Confederate Colonel, doctor, lawyer, journalist and Texas newspaper owner, who served with him, described Robert E. Lee as:
“…dignified without hauteur, grand without pride…he evinced an imperturbable self-possession, and a complete control of his passions…possessing the capacity to accomplish great ends and the gift of controlling and leading men.”
General Robert E. Lee
The Institution and the Man
The Military, The War
Washington and Lee University
According to Internet sources:
Washington and Lee was founded in 1749 as a small classical school named Augusta Academy (later Liberty Hall Academy) by Scots-Irish Presbyterian Pioneers, though the University has never claimed any sectarian affiliation. In 1796, George Washington endowed the struggling academy with a gift of stock, one of the largest gifts to an educational institution at the time.
In gratitude, the school was renamed for the first United States President. In 1865, after his surrender at Appomattox Court House, former General Robert E. Lee served as president of the college until his death in 1870, when the college was renamed Washington and Lee University. Washington and Lee is the ninth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the second-oldest in Virginia.
United States Military AcademyLee Barracks, West Point
According to Internet Sources:
…Lee’s popularity grew even in the North, especially after his death in 1870. Lee Barracks: Home to cadets from the First Regiment, it was built in 1962, and is named after General Robert E. Lee.
(The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul)
According to Internet Sources:
A ‘stained glass of Lee’s life is in the National Cathedral’.
Arguably, that image of Lee is easily viewed as an important part of American History. The image is now numbered amongst all art that defines or impinges upon or is created by “religion”.
History is often depicted in art. History that isn’t religious is not often found within the hallowed confines of houses of worship.
Once there, however, the “art”, much like the bell that swings above the congregants, steeple-bound and poised to toll. Cannot be unrung. No matter the objection or the insult or the noise. Once rung: a bell cannot be “unrung”. So too: religious or secular images that have been embraced.
General Lee. Is enshrined within a cathedral in the nation’s capital.
Wasn’t it so? That the very moment that the war ended, the man who surrendered, was the first to bring peace. Peace. That was so ‘devoutly to be wished’ and that was prayed for by so many? North and South?
According to Internet Sources:
24 Public Buildings and Roads
12 Public Monuments and Sculptures
19 Public Schools
10 U.S. Counties
3 United States Settlements
3 United States Ships
2 Universities and Colleges
(All bear the name of General Lee)
According to Internet Sources:
…Lee rejected the proposal of a sustained insurgency against the Union and called for reconciliation between the two sides… (Emphasis added)
…After Lincoln’s call for troops to put down the rebellion, it was obvious that Virginia would quickly secede. Lee on April 18 was offered by presidential advisor Francis P. Blair a role as major general to command the defense of Washington. He replied:
“Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South I would sacrifice them all to the Union; but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native state?”
[Later, at war’s end]…Lee resisted calls by some officers to reject surrender and allow small units to melt away into the mountains, setting up a lengthy guerrilla war. He insisted the war was over and energetically campaigned for inter-sectional reconciliation. (Emphasis added)
According to Internet Sources:
In 1857, [Lee’s] father-in-law George Washington Parke Custis died, creating a serious crisis when Lee took on the burden of executing the will. Custis’s will encompassed vast landholdings and hundreds of slaves balanced against massive debts, and required Custis’s former slaves…
“to be emancipated by my executors
in such manner as to my executors may seem most expedient and proper…
…the said emancipation to be accomplished in not exceeding five years from the time of my decease.”
Robert E. Lee was the executor of the Custis estate.
Lee freed the slaves.
“So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery,
I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South…”
–Robert E. Lee
According to Internet Sources:
Lee: “As an American citizen, I take great pride in my country, her prosperity and institutions, and would defend any State if her rights were invaded. But I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation.
I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It was intended for “perpetual union,” so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government, not a compact, which can only be dissolved by revolution, or the consent of all the people in convention assembled.”
According to Internet Sources:
In his public statements and private correspondence, Lee argued that a tone of reconciliation and patience would further the interests of white Southerners better than hotheaded antagonism to federal authority or the use of violence…
Lee repeatedly expelled white students from Washington College for violent attacks
on local black men, and publicly urged obedience to the authorities and respect for law and order. (Emphasis added)
In 1869–70 he was a leader in successful efforts to establish state-funded schools for blacks. He privately chastised fellow ex-Confederates such as Jefferson Davis and Jubal Early for their frequent, angry responses to perceived Northern insults, writing in private to them as he had written to a magazine editor in 1865, that:
[Lee] “It should be the object of all to avoid controversy, to allay passion, give full scope to reason and to every kindly feeling. By doing this and encouraging our citizens to engage in the duties of life with all their heart and mind, with a determination not to be turned aside by thoughts of the past and fears of the future, our country will not only be restored in material prosperity, but will be advanced in science, in virtue and in religion…”
[And] …While at Washington College, Lee told a colleague that the greatest mistake of his life was taking a military education…
Robert E. Lee
21st Century Aftermath
Past Peace and Present Convenience
While wider society condones and encourages lavish monuments to the survivors and victims of terrible American disasters. Like 9/11.
As well as foreign debacles such as those that took ghastly form in the Armenian Genocide and Holocaust: all of, which are still demonstrative of the failures and resurrections of the individual and cumulative human psyche. Venerable artistic representations of valid, though unfortunate, segments in history are often summarily pulled down in order to meet specious demands of the political moment.
For years in Japan, ‘revisionist historians’ denied that there was a Japanese Imperial element to the ignition of the conflict in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War. It has become the more contemporary function of the revisionists of those same ‘revisionist historians’ of generations ago. Who, in latter-day Japan have successfully restored the missing or much-muted paragraphs. Depicting the true history of Imperial Japan for review and complete study by modern Japanese students, as well as the misled citizens of a past generation.
“Shirking the past or hiding its facts is ignorance of certainty.
Ignorance of certainty is a grave mistake.”
-Julius D. Thomas
At a demonstration against the erasure of history, not in Japan: but in America. Two sides of a domestic revisionist ignorance sought violent purchase in an otherwise peaceful Charlottesville park.
The future of a venerable, century-old statue of “Traveller” and General Lee was the source of intense and demonstrable expressions of anger. Beyond the massively wrought statue of man and beast, a shadow was fresh-cast in the aftermath of the unfortunate set-to.
Lee surrendered long ago. Slavery ended. By a general’s surrender, he became the living amanuensis of the end of the horrible, very uncivil: “War between the States”.
Build a new monument.
To those who wanted the Civil War to be prosecuted in the first place and who fomented for the continuance of the savage conflict.
Who live in a far-distant time might be able to make a cogent argument, if they must.
Which justifies their actions that they may.
Tear it down.
Robert E. Lee
However, was not such a man who wanted the
Civil War to be prosecuted.
After all was said and done. North and South. South and North.
“Traveller”, and Lee too, were slaves to Duty…
So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
So near is God to man,
When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
The youth replies, I can.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Voluntaries”
Posted 22nd August 2017 by DILULIUS, King of Troy
Posted 32 minutes ago by DILULIUS, King of Troy