Deface, Defund, Destroy: The Left's Nihilism on Full Display

Julio Rosas/Townhall Media

It’s happened again, with nihilistic #BlackLivesMatter protestors defacing a monument to an abolitionist.

In Whittier, California, this weekend #BLM hooligans trashed a statue of John Greenleaf, the “prominent Quaker abolitionist known for his anti-slavery writings.”

My youngest turns ten in a couple of weeks. Imagine him celebrating the big day by trashing his unopened gifts and throwing the cake on the floor.

In Portland — although this one admittedly causes less shock and dismay — they’ve destroyed a statue of Thomas Jefferson:

Yes, Jefferson held slaves. Lots of them. But he also helped lead a philosophical revolution which over the next century would cause slaves to be freed nearly everywhere.

What is Jefferson’s more lasting legacy? That he held slaves of his own, or that his words would help free millions?

Nowhere stands a statue that says, “Thomas Jefferson, Awesome Slaveowner!” We celebrate a complicated man who on balance made this world, and especially this nation, a far better place.

Here’s the latest thing for leftists who just can’t keep their fingers off the History Eraser Button, this time in Boston.

That statue has to go because feelz. The Post reports:

Mayor Marty Walsh’s office said he’s “willing to engage in a dialogue with the community about its future in Boston” and looking into the process required to make the change, news station WCVB reported.

The statue, situated in the city’s Park Square, is a replica of the Emancipation Memorial in Washington and shows Lincoln with one hand raised above a kneeling man with broken shackles on his wrists.

The monument was intended to show Lincoln freeing the man from slavery, but a new petition argues that it “instead represents us still beneath someone else.”

Tory Bullock, who has collected thousands of online signatures to remove the statue, says, “It says that it’s a statue that’s supposed to represent freedom. But, to me, it represents submissiveness.”

Well, no. The shackles were broken by the standing man, and the kneeling man is preparing to rise unshackled for the first time.

As an amateur sculpture-lover, I find it quite moving. The statue generates compassion and excitement in the frozen moment of a former slave about to experience his first steps as a free man.

But nihilists claim that there are no values, and have only their feelz as their guides — so even Lincoln must go.

I told my older son when he was studying slavery and the Civil War last year that there are two things he must understand about the awful institution.

The first is that slavery is one of mankind’s great evils. The second is just how depressingly common it is. People will put “lesser” people into bondage pretty much any time they think they can get away with it.

BLM, antifa, whatever banner flown by the various riot groups, their motive remains the same — and it is not merely the destruction or defacement of monuments.

Their goal is to tear down society and civil governance.

Look no further than the two most recent examples: CHAZ and #DefundThePolice.

CHAZ is the Paris Commune redone Seattle-style. As PJMedia’s own Tyler O’Neil wrote on Saturday:

Like the Paris Commune, CHAZ claims to represent the people and aspires to bring about a new anarcho-communist utopia. In fact, the Paris Commune’s proto-socialism later inspired Karl Marx, and Marx referred to the commune as an example of the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” The Paris Commune also consciously echoed the Jacobin Terror of the French Revolution, an era of expunging the old order by renaming even the days of the week and the months of the year. CHAZ oozes with this spirit.

Tyler also wrote that the unfortunate locals trapped within CHAZ say that their antifa benefactors are “seizing their property, blocking their freedom of movement, and claiming to represent them without ever taking a vote.”

“Dictatorship of the proletariat” in reality always means the worst kind of lawlessness. Or as Lenin wrote: “We stand for organized terror – this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution.”

Nihilism as a foundational principle of governance.

It might seem a stretch to lump in #DefundThePolice with antifa, but bear with me on this one.

Antifa seeks to overthrow the U.S. government on a grassroots basis by challenging authority, and acting as their own authority, wherever they can get away with it.

#DefundThePolice in my opinion seeks the same goal, only through more democratic means. When a city council votes to take money from the police, they might be doing more longterm harm to their own ability to govern than antifa ever could. When they then vote to spend those funds instead on “social justice” groups like #BLM, they are in fact paying for future lobbying efforts to defund the police even more.

That’s exactly what’s going on in Los Angeles already. It will happen in other cities soon, if it hasn’t already.

First, the Left destroyed our cultural memory by purging American civics from public education. Once that is done, it’s easy to portray Jefferson — and even Lincoln! — as a villain.

Once the meaning behind our monuments has been forgotten, it becomes quite simple, as we’ve seen in recent years, to gin up a riot to tear them down.

Finally, our institutions themselves become ripe for destruction. The longer and deeper a city has been Blue, the riper it is for picking. There’s a reason antifa was able to seize entire city blocks in Seattle, but dare not even show their masked faces on the single city block of Smalltown, Red America.

Sadly, there really are two Americas. One is largely lost to the Left’s nihilism already. The other is still largely law-abiding and civic-minded — and resistant to the destructive forces seen in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and elsewhere.

If there’s to be an end to this semi-official nihilism and an American Renaissance, it will have to begin with us.

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