Historia magistra vitae: as in the past, today’s iconoclastic fury suggests only a new “terror”

Today the scenes of demolished statues and that smell of censorship and the court of the inquisition for the unjust death of an African American citizen do not portray anything good except a new "terror", a new damnatio memoriae, a totalitarian operation

Worldwide protests for the killing of George Floyd are leading to the demolition of statues, the censorship of films, the ban on books, sites, misaligned thoughts. These drifts should scare anyone who cares about the culture and history of all mankind. As an example we should have clear in mind what happened to the city of Alexandria when the pagan cult was supplanted by the Christian one. The Christians, long oppressed and martyred, however wanting to take revenge on the harassment suffered and taking advantage of a political decision (the edict of Theodosius), set fire to and destroyed everything concerning paganism. At this expense, in this iconoclastic fury, were the beautiful marble statues, the magnificent Ptolemaic temples and palaces, the library of Alexandria, the glorious Serapeum and the so-called Sema, the tomb of Alexander the Great, which archaeologists still seek today ( perhaps in vain because it was completely razed to the ground and even disappeared from the chronicles of historians). A millenary wisdom therefore, pagan wisdom, was canceled forever because it was not in conformity, not aligned with the new prevailing culture.

The same thing happened in France during the French Revolution. In order to supplant and cancel the privileges of ancien régime and Catholicism, the Jacobin revolutionaries destroyed and sacked churches (hundreds), beheaded statues (those of the prophets of Nôtre-Dame then restored by Viollet-Le-Duc), even destroyed the tombs of the oldest monarchy in Europe throwing the bones of Merovingian and Frankish rulers and their treasures, of inestimable value, in squalid mass graves. Churches that were not destroyed or became barracks or hospitals, ancient liturgical objects, gold and precious items were melted and disappeared forever from the face of the earth. In short, in doing so the revolutionaries did not sanction an ideological or cultural primacy over another at all: they simply deprived all French citizens of the historical memory of a nation, or that of the oldest monarchy that embraced Christianity (with Clodoveo), 1300 years of burnt and sacked history, a totalitarian operation that still makes itself felt in France since any Frenchman will answer that France is a secular country and woe to remind him that it has been for only 300 years while it was Christian for 1300 years. This story was also erased from the memories of the French because the symbols that represented it were erased.

The Bolshevik revolution also destroyed the hated heritage of Tsarist Russia by demolishing statues, plundering precious Orthodox churches, melting liturgical objects and erasing forever from the memory of the Russians an important part of the history of their nation. Today those scenes of demolished statues and that smell of censorship and the court of the inquisition for the unjust death of an African American citizen do not portray anything good except a new "terror", a new damnatio memoriae , a new counter-revolution, a reaction more violent than the violence that it would like to erase with the suppression of monuments and symbols of the culture of the past. Any suppression, in fact, even if of a symbol considered unfair, is itself a totalitarian operation. Historia magistra vitae , said our Cicero, history is studied and deepened, it cannot be erased. Only dark times erase history.

The post Historia magistra vitae: as in the past, today's iconoclastic fury suggests only a new "terror" appeared first on the Daily Atlantic .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL http://www.atlanticoquotidiano.it/quotidiano/historia-magistra-vitae-come-nel-passato-la-furia-iconoclasta-di-oggi-lascia-presagire-solo-un-nuovo-terrore/ on Thu, 11 Jun 2020 04:01:00 +0000.