Monday, August 17, 2020

"Classicism is a language calling out for cancelation."

Michael Lumish

This is a brilliant piece by James Panero of the Wall St. Journal.

He argues that the primary goal of the rioters is not social justice, nor ending police brutality, but the elimination of "the classical liberal order.

It matters less the subject of the statuary to be torn down because these cry-bullies tear down the statuary of even abolitionists.

It is, rather, Western culture that is the target. It is the "white" Political Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries which gave us the Constitution of the United States, democracy, liberalism, and capitalism that is the enemy of the rioters in Portland and Oakland and Seattle and Minneapolis and New York.

They are trying to do nothing less than divide the Western world from its cultural roots grounded in the classical underpinnings of ancient Greek rationalism and the Jewish devotion to God and justice. Such values are -- among the woke-ones and the socialists and Antifa and Black Lives Matter -- the veritable font of "white privilege" and racist "white" epistemology, or "ways of thinking."

This is a fascinating read that cuts to the core.




Rioters Seek to Destroy Aesthetic Order, Too

Classicism is a language calling out for cancelation.

By James Panero

Wall St. Journal, Aug. 16, 2020 4:01 pm ET

It was never about Confederate monuments—that much is now clear. Statues of America’s Founding Fathers and presidents have been smashed and burned. Christian iconography has been desecrated. Monuments to Gandhi and Churchill are under threat. Even memorials of great emancipators and abolitionists—Lincoln, Grant, Frederick Douglass, Matthias Baldwin, Hans Christian Heg, John Greenleaf Whittier, the Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment—have been defaced.

It might be a fool’s errand to look for the patterns of the mob. The targets are often arbitrary. But while the figures under assault have become more disparate, their solid forms have shown striking similarities. They are classical forms. Their desecration is an attack on the classical orders they represent, and in particular the classical liberal order.

This isn’t to suggest that today’s iconoclasts are dissident classicists. Nevertheless, the classical language of monuments and monumentality may remain more comprehensible to the attackers than the forgotten figures this language looks to honor. Classicism is simply a language calling out for cancellation.

Look at the many recent incidents of vandalism. Classical plinths and pedestals have been covered in spray-paint. Classical order is conflated with law and order as the classical language of art and architecture is drowned out by antipolice slogans, epithets and defilements.

In downtown Manhattan, vandals defaced the classical Municipal Building, Tweed Courthouse and Surrogate’s Court Building. New York’s radical mayor has cut the city’s antigraffiti budget as he paints his own slogans across the avenues and appoints his wife to head his task force on racial redress.

As civilization from the Renaissance forward has drawn on knowledge of the classical liberal world, the association of classical forms with an illegitimate order has long been a central tenet of antiliberal ideology. “Racism” and “whiteness” have now been added to these accusations in an attempt to undermine the country’s classical foundations. For example, “the primacy of Western (Greek, Roman) and Judeo-Christian tradition” is now considered one of the “aspects and assumptions of whiteness,” according to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Similarly, earlier this year, after the Trump administration proposed a classical mandate for the design of new Federal buildings in keeping with Washington’s classical vernacular, critics denounced the style as one that “dredges up images of antebellum America.”

Those at the top were once the standard-bearers of our classical inheritance. Now they are the first to sacrifice their cultural charge in order to protect their salaries and status. “Every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute.” So George Orwell wrote in “1984.” “History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

Mr. Panero is executive editor of the New Criterion, from whose September issue this article is adapted.


  1. "'the primacy of Western (Greek, Roman) and Judeo-Christian tradition” is now considered one of the “aspects and assumptions of whiteness,' according to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture."

    Yes, please excuse the Western "white" World for inventing and developing its own majority culture, cultural values, and aesthetic. And how they dare maintain any of it in you supreme presence. It must look disgusting and inexcusable to both black and progressive cry babies and haters. And do make sure to have an exhibit that proclaims its unnaceptibility in one of those detestable marble buildings you've been putting up with - don't worry, after the revolution has been successful for a while we can move it all to a cave, after the radish harvest.

    1. Heya Jeff, I think that we need to see what is happening in the US (and the West, more generally) in a broader cultural way that Panero points to. Indeed, the rioters do not just rip down statuary of Confederate generals, but even of abolitionists. Why would this be? It must raise an eyebrow.

      What is before us is a serious attempt at cultural revolution. The toppling of statuary in a classical style and the attempt to disorient gender sensibilities are all of a piece connected to the riots. These are not distinct and unconnected cultural manifestations. They are all of a piece.

      As is, for example, the recent announcement by Rutgers University that it would no longer require standard English from their students in written assignments. This is due, at least in part, to the notion that "whiteness" represents a nefarious "way of thinking" that must be undermined. "Whiteness," after all, allegedly represents racism, imperialism, colonialism, militarism, and the oppression of the other.

      It is for this reason, also, that busts of Shakespeare have been removed from offices within University English Departments throughout the West. If the culture is "systemically" racist then the English language is "systemically" racist, as well. Given that Shakespeare is the most widely admired writer in the English language then he must go.

      When leading Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer quite literally bow to Black Lives Matter they are acquiescing to the demise of Enlightenment liberalism, the very ideological movement that gave us the Constitution of the United States.

      I gotta tell ya, man, I hate 2020.

      Furthermore, come March 2021 my mask goes in the garbage. One year is more than enough.

    2. I agree.

      Did you hear Michelle Obama the other night. Hear her husband lately. They can now lie brazenly and obviously and it even goes unnoticed by the Democrat voter. Virulent antisemite, Ilhan Omar claimed that Israel had hypnotized the world, but apparently the anti-Trump narrative has successfully anesthetized a once great democracy.
      Michelle, from the comfort of one of several of her multimillion dollar dwellings, opined about the oppression that she is subjected to as a people o'color, and the ongoing senseless ongoing murders of people o'color. Not not black people mind you, but POC, because it's important to gather the entire current race war coalition together to make the proclamation. What planet is she living on?
      Do these people not know or just not care that they are pushing this country into civil war? Do they not expect an eventual nasty backlash to all this? Do they not know that they are harboring a pernicious racism while acting as a recruitment tool for actual white supremacist racist movements?
      Dennis Prager has said that when people call in to his radio show he can always tell the ones with advanced degrees by the stupid ideas they promote.

      I have a lot more to say, but I have an appointment right now.
      Again, I agree with you 110%. A fine piece you have written. Later.

  2. Excellent article Mike. Thanks for highlighting it. Just another day in the move towards an actual Idiocracy.

    1. The United States is changing forever and not for better.

      2020 will go down in the history books as notorious.

    2. "forever and not for better."

      There are places I'll remember
      All my life, though some have changed
      Some forever not for better
      Some have gone and some remain

      Sorry, couldn't resist.

    3. That was just the song in my head!

  3. I have never seen such a willingness to tell blatant lies, big lies, lies of defamation, as I have seen from the current Democratic Party. It's hard to take. I heard about three sentences of Barack Obama's speech tonight. Trump was never serious? This from the man who called ISIS the JV team. The JV team took territory and took slaves for its caliphate. Women and girls were raped. Classical statuary and antiquities were blown to smithereens (sound familiar?). Men were boiled in oil. Then came Trump and the Caliphate is no more. The UAE is making peace with Israel. What did Obama accomplish? Obama said that Trump sent troops to violate the rights of peaceful protesters on American soil. What a stinker. I could see him almost snicker and sneer as he said that whopper knowing that his audience almost certainly patronizes the news outlets that push that nonsense and never show the violent anarchists who were trying to light a federal courthouse on fire.
    I have just never seen such brazenness before certain to be backed up by dishonest media outlets to swing an election in the United States of America. I'm shaking my head.
    Now, I must shower because I know I gave Obama my vote in 2008. Whether he would have won or not without my vote isn't really the point. The point is that I sensed something wrong but went along anyway.

    There is something else disturbing about the Democratic Party, i.e., it now has an antisemitic wing. And even more disturbing, it has Jews defending it.

    The Democratic Socialists of America (Communist) are basically threatening people running for public office in NYC by having them agree in writing not to visit the State of Israel in solidarity with "Palestinians under occupation." In fucking New York City!
    They won't stop there.

    1. Trump never sleeps. That's why he can tweet, watch TV, and make peace between Israel and UAE. Obama flopped tonight, as did Harris. At least she was only ordinary, unserious, and wrong about America. Obama, on the other hand, with each pronouncement, shows he actually did listen to Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, and others that have no love for America. He brought forth racial division and tossed civil liberties. And he lectures about democracy? He will only become more strident and hypocritical. It's sad to see him use people the way he does, and how he plays on the idiotic guilt of white progressives and dupes others. The media will not expose him, or virtually any Democrat, but people can see through him more and more.

    2. school,
      Well thought out and cogent. Thank you.

      As for listening to Obama speak, if didn't know all this stuff we all write about here, I would still have to say that after 8 years of Barack Obama, I am just grateful to finally have a president whose sibilants don't make me wince. :0)

    3. Trump is authentic. Blunt and basically honest. He said today that he only did it because of Obama, how Obama's ineptness, other than as an activist, was allowing the country to continue on a bad path. It did not start with Obama, but at least the others did not see that America started in 1619. Trump would have been perfectly happy to build his buildings. Obama parlayed the office into how many millions again? Biden? Yet Trump is seeking personal gain. The dupes fall for it. What can you say?

    4. Well, apparently I can't say anything. People are dug into their positions. I only hope to g_d Trump wins.

      Here's Caroline Click nailing it, as usual. I love reading her:

    5. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1460.

    6. "Blunt and basically honest."

      I'll grant blunt. However, you're about someone who initially said that the novel coronavirus was no big deal and then when it became clear that it wasn't claimed not to have ever not taken it seriously. You're talking about someone who less than a year ago stated that Hurricane Dorian was possibly headed towards Alabama and when confronted with a NWS map showing that Alabama was not in the cone, doctored the map to make it comply with his statement. That type of dishonesty was unheard of until Trump hit the scene.

      "Trump would have been perfectly happy to build his buildings."

      Trump wasn't doing much building when he started his campaign. No one will finance him based on an expectation of monetary payback because of his penchant for defaulting on his loans. Most of his most recent business activity is branding.

    7. "The Democratic Socialists of America (Communist) are basically ..."

      You should at least note that at least 50 members of the Democratic Caucus in the New York Assembly signed a letter opposing that effort of the DSA. Other members of the Democratic causus support the anti-DSA letter but did not sign because of their positions in caucus leadership.

      A further consideration is that if Biden does lose, the DSA's message to the rest of the Democrats will be "told you so." Do you really want to strengthen the DSA in that manner?

    8. Tit for tat. It's an easy game to play. Trump is called Hitler, which should be offensive to any Jew. His enemies are not basically honest. Now Pelosi says Republicans are enemies of the state. Kinda makes Trump's fabrications look trivial.

      You have a bad case of TDS, and take things too literally. You have no idea if anyone would finance him. Did he apply for a loan to someone you know? These dumb examples and assumptions have no relation to him as president, and his performance, and why he ran. But for anyone to say he did it for personal enrichment is silly. Obama and Biden, on the other hand, actually fit the bill.

  4. CNN guy Brian Stelter says of upcoming RNC “Television nets are going to have interesting choices to make...about whether to cut away if there’s this stream of disinformation happening live.” Promises CNN will cut in w/ “fact checks.

    Nothing like this was floated prior to the DNC. You can't make this stuff up.

    1. I know. And now twice I have seen "corrections" of Facebook post that aren't really corrections so much as running interference for the Biden campaign. I have seen no such corrections for any of the posts pushing misinformation about the POTUS, some of it is just horrendous.
      CNN does not act anything like the "news network" it claims to be, but rather as disloyal opposition to a president and half of the American citizenry whom they treat dismally with utter contempt.

    2. One of my fondest fantasies was to see the death of the MSM during Trump's presidency. Certainly the lying NYT and pretty much all of CNN. There are is so much honest alternative media out there it would be a good lesson to have tons of unemployed Commie journalists out there.

  5. Sam Harris has a takedown of the BLM response to police violence that is as oppositional to BLM as anything here without turning to defense of Trumpism. Have a listen at

    1. Jason Whitlock, a black man, takes down BLM in a most effective way, at

      BLM and those that kneel, will take it down better than anyone else can.

      It's sad you can hardly get through a comment without demeaning "Trumpism" as if that is related to BLM.

    2. I didn't like BLM during the Obama Administration either. What has that to do with Trump other then it seems to be an obsession with you lately? What is Trumpism? If I vote this time for Trump does it mean that I am a Trumpist? Does that work with all presidents or is this a special case?

      Sam Harris is a nice boy I suppose, but not a prophet. He endeavors to dedicate himself to reason, but has as much bias as anyone, IMV. And I find him a little hard to listen to, i.e., he often reminds me of someone hogging the toilet.

      I heard a good one the other day: Obamunism.

  6. While the NBA cowers and cowtows to an antisemitic movement, there is this:

  7. /////////////////////
    President Donald Trump's sister Maryanne Trump Barry delivered scathing comments on her brother's character and his performance as president in secretly recorded conversations with her niece, Mary Trump, who published a tell-all book about her uncle.

    According to The Washington Post, which first reported the recordings, Mary Trump recorded 15 hours of her talks with Barry in 2018 and 2019. Barry, 83, shared her opinion of her brother from his childhood to his presidency, calling him a "brat" and a "liar."

    "All he wants to do is appeal to his base," Barry said of her younger brother in one excerpt of the recordings obtained by USA TODAY. "He has no principles. None."

    "His goddamned tweet and the lying, oh my God," she said in another clip. "I'm talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying."

    Stop the nonsense.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. If only we had not been first hand witnesses to the last almost 4 years, and can see for ourselves what has occurred and the present state of things.

      The nonsense is the "resistance" and how Democrats have become reactionary and push for dystopia. That should stop, but it won't.

      Those that hate Trump, rather than carry on ad nauseum tossing sludge, should look at their own behavior and words. They are far worse. How ANY Jew would not shudder when Trump is labeled Hitler is amazing. Stop the nonsense.

    3. Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday morning, “I don’t think there should be any debates.”

      Then she added, “I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him.”

      Stop the nonsense.

    4. While I was paying for my groceries the bagger asked, "paper or Pelosi?"