The vandalism during protests in London and Bristol over the weekend has highlighted a worrying trend for people to attempt to remove anything from view that they find unpalatable – without any regard for the real cost of doing so.
Whilst this vogue appears new to many, it has been in its ascendency for a good time. It hinges on blame culture and the overindulgence of the personal slight. It takes the self-righteous influence of myopic thinking nearer to the manifestation of a very twisted and unrealistic life view.
The reason it is so unrealistic is because it is built upon the foundation of idealism; that of denying that which cannot be denied.
Even in politics we have reached a point where well-educated people with significant responsibility placed upon them by many others, believe and apply the fallacious principle that “if I say it is so, then it will actually be so”.
An eye on the future is one thing. But looking back turns the same coin on to its other side.
History is planned, created and experienced in the present moment by us all. Yet it is an infinite chain of perspectives or opinions, based upon what are almost always an exceedingly small number of facts – some of which even the very people who were present and involved may not themselves have known.
That we live in a world where opinion has a level of power which just tolerates the occasional fact should be far more alarming to us all than it really has become.
That individuals have the power to blight the lives of others, simply because they hold a conflicting view, should be something that concerns everyone.
That others are now trying to rewrite history and remove our heritage is a risk and threat to the future of us all. Once completed it may never be undone.
Culturally, we indulge the notion that only bad news sells in almost everything we do, to the point where it is only the bad news about anything that we remember, overlooking many more good-news-stories as we do.
The most dangerous of steps being taken – usually by people who believe that they have been slighted in some way by the actions of people that not one of us has or will ever know – is to apply this approach to history, focusing only upon the bad parts of his story, so that the good that may have come from their existence will automatically be overlooked and quietly denied.
The politically correct form of censorship that manifested itself through the attempted removal of historic names from buildings and even trusts, like those of Rhodes in Oxford, Colston in Bristol, has now developed into the proposed change of Street Names in Glasgow and the actual removal and discarding of Colston’s Statue into Bristol harbour.
It may look like the delivery of justice in the shallow minds of the egocentric. But in terms of what this action overlooks, it is to all of us collectively in nowhere near the same thing.
Nobody can realistically refute the pain and suffering that colonialism, empire and slavery visited upon many millions of innocent and powerless people over tens and hundreds of years.
Yet the industry and commerce it created also brought prosperity, wealth and learning to all corners of the globe.
It supercharged the path towards a more enlightened and civilised way of being which now allows these same individuals the freedom and platform to influence the world around them – for better or worse today.
There is no escaping the dark parts of this Country’s historic chapters. But there are also many beneficial lessons to learn by looking them in the eye – not least of all for the purpose of ensuring that we have enough awareness of what can happen when the conditions for oppression and exploitation are right.
The irony of the drive to trash these parts of history is they are being repeated all around us in many ways, albeit wrapped differently today.
They may not look the same, but they have very much the same effect emotionally on the oppressed within the quiet of their own minds.
It is a great shame that the energy and passion focused on the drive for protesting is not redirected to help others alive today who need real help.
Regrettably, it is this same lack of human awareness on the part of those seeking ‘justice’ that leaves them unable or unwittingly unable to define the real depth of injustice that surrounds them today.
People are increasingly being enslaved and oppressed by the world around them, financially, by rights, quixotic ideas and by the bureaucratic systems that political correctness is slowly ratcheting down around us, like a slow pull on a closing cable-tie.
To destroy the lessons of history, whilst overlooking oppression in real time is one of the most hideous forms of hypocrisy in action today.
Focusing on events to learn lessons and help others going forward would be much better for us all than playing a disingenuous game of out of sight, out of mind.
This article has been adapted and updated to reflect current events from another of Adam’s blogs, published on his own site in January 2018.