The Collectivist War Against Cultural Heritage
Naturally, every age thinks that all ages before it were prejudiced, and today we think this more than ever and are just as wrong as all previous ages that thought so. How often have we not seen the truth condemned! It is sad but unfortunately true that man learns nothing from history.
Two things make man what he is; his soul, and his memory. Lose one, or both, and he ceases to exist. He might as well buzz over his own garbage like an insect. When a society is drawn into the repugnant shadow of totalitarianism and collectivism, it is usually because the masses have abandoned (or been enticed to abandon) a piece of their inner and outer heritage, something which kept the darkness at bay, a lesson from the past, or a principle long honored. In the wretched and psychotic quest for the “perfect” establishment system, we are even often encouraged by the elitist ilk to slough off the warm remnants of our cultural inheritance like so much skin and “look forward” to a bright and more promising tomorrow, where everything will be different, and certainly, better than today.
The ideological brand of so-called progress that we call “collectivism” relies heavily on the notion that the values of the past are inadequate to the requirements of the future. We are taught by the peddlers of collectivist propaganda that our beliefs and our principles must evolve along with the perceived growth of our species as a whole. They see themselves as visionaries and prophets foretelling a grand reinvention of the world that we laymen are unequipped to imagine or understand. We cling to the old ways because we are “afraid of change”, or too ignorant to fathom the beauty of their Utopian beyond…
Pretentious bile? Absolutely. However, within the rhetoric and strategies of the collectivist agenda there are treasures to behold; reoccurring themes and indicators that can be found in nearly every modern tyranny and most ancient tyrannies that have ever existed. Words and actions that warn us of the true intent of the elite.
The fact is, collectivists drive so hard to admonish respect for the past because every lie they tell us now has been told before a thousand times, to build a thousand gruesome empires.
To gain an insight into the stunted philosophy that underlies collectivism, globalization, centralism, socialism, communism, fascism, etc., it is important to acknowledge the ways in which these systems seduce the public. Many people find themselves inadequate to the era in which they are born, or, believe their era inadequate to them. They wish they could live in a more enlightened age. They wish they could leap ahead in time and know what the next generations will know. They fear that they will die as obscure beings in an obscure moment of history devoid of discovery or legacy. People prone to collectivist fantasies seek to escape the struggles of their present life and transport themselves to a place where mankind has triumphed over the adversities of the “mundane” to frolic like gods amongst the stars.
Now, imagine you are one of these desperate men or women, and someone promises you in a rather convincing manner that their system of social structure and governance will bring that sterling-silver-gravity-defying-Star-Trek-future to you. What would you be willing to trade for even a glimpse into the next epoch? Some, sadly, are willing to trade everything, including their freedoms.
A movement from the early 1900’s called Futurism is a perfect example of this obsession with progress that sacrifices the lessons of the past. A quasi-art movement that also included political activism, the Futurists believed that in order for a society to flourish, it had to amputate its past. For them, all that was old was now useless, and only technological and cultural supremacy over nature could redeem humanity. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, the Futurists reveled in the rise of Fascism in Italy and Germany and supported it fully until they found their club did not necessarily fit into the social engineering programs of Mussolini and Hitler. In Russia, the Futurists also embraced Communism, searching for that far off prosperous sci-fi land. Leon Trotsky even wrote of the Futurists, though he attempted to separate Communist Futurists from the more “vulgar” and “naïve” Fascist Futurists:
"...Futurism is against mysticism, against the passive deification of nature, against the aristocratic and every other kind of laziness, against dreaminess, and against lachrymosity – and stands for technique, for scientific organization, for the machine, for planfulness, for will power, for courage, for speed, for precision, and for the new man, who is armed with all these things. The connection of the aesthetics “revolt” with the moral and social revolt is direct; both enter entirely and fully into the life experience of the active, new, young and untamed section of the intelligentsia of the left, the creative Bohemia. Disgust against the limitations and the vulgarity of the old life produces a new artistic style as a way of escape, and thus the disgust is liquidated. In different combinations, and on different historic bases, we have seen the disgust of the intelligentsia form more than one new style. But that was always the end of it. This time, the proletarian Revolution caught Futurism in a certain stage of its growth and pushed it forward. Futurists became Communists..."
The value of Futurism, for Trotsky, was measured by the extent to which the movement extolled communist virtues (he felt that they were not living up to his standards). In his mind, of course, the two systems (fascism/communism) were different. For the Futurists, though, each form of despotism held the same magnetic charm. They were collectivists at heart, and to them, the two systems were essentially the same. Both demanded that society cast off large portions of the past that were seen as “archaic” and stifling to progress. Both systems waged war on values long held by the citizenry.
A distaste or hatred of heritage is very common at the onset of any collectivist restructuring. These restructurings usually target principles of individual liberty and self governance while masquerading as a fight against oppression or corruption. The old principles are either presented as too outdated and insufficient to deal with the new problems of a culture, or, they are presented as the actual SOURCE of the problems of that culture. In either case, the elites wielding the collectivist machine inevitably call for a purge of all bygone ideals.
In Communist China, Mao instituted the Cultural Revolution, which encouraged the mindlessly mesmerized collectivists in the Chinese populace to destroy everything which represented the past. Artwork, buildings, historical artifacts, books; even teachers and proponents of any brand of pre-communist heritage were targeted.
In Fascist Germany, the Nazis destroyed countless books and manuscripts, rewrote German history, censored and removed thousands of artworks, instituting state designated artforms that depicted the collectivist vision of the new society.
In Russia, the Communists focused intently not only on liquidating manuscripts extolling the methods of different eras, but also the people who wrote them. Under Lenin and Stalin, the goal was to annihilate the memory of the world before, even if it meant annihilating the masses along with it.
A complete reformation of educational infrastructure came next. The children of the collectivist age had to be indoctrinated as if there had never been another way of doing things.
These purges, as numerous examples have shown, are only temporary. The great conundrum for the elites has not only been the obstacle of memory, but the obstacle of the soul; that inherent quality in human beings that compels us to pursue freedom, balance, and truth, regardless of the constraints of our environment. The documents and remnants of heritage that oligarchs seek to destroy are ultimately only expressions of our inborn consciences. Deep down in each person, no matter what they have been conditioned to believe, there is a well-spring of vital ideas that conflict with the mechanizations of collectivism. Individualism finds a way to surface, and so, the central rulers must start over once again, looking for an insurmountable method of control.Finish reading (with videos): The Collectivist War Against Cultural Heritage