Saturday, January 30, 2016

Should Rhodes Stay?

The BBC informs, Oriel College at Oxford University for some reasons decided to keep the statue of Cecil Rhodes on its building.

Reuters image from the BBC publication.

This decision is strongly opposed by "Rodes Must Fall" campaigners. THis campaign succeeded in South Africa, where a Rhodes statue was removed. The idea was adopted in Oxford by activists students insisting that Rhodes' views were incompatible with the modern 'inclusive culture'.

I have no doubt his views are incompatible. How could we expect it other way, talking about a British imperialistic (and as such, surely white) politician of 19th century?

The matter is that history was just the way it was. One can remove a statue, but no one can change history. History is to be studied, its lessons are to help us here, today, avoid mistakes of the past, and find better ways to future that is supposed to be better than the present and way better than the past.

As for removing statues, the world has quite a great example developing literally in front of our eyes. I am talking about Ukraine.

As soon as their Banderite coup-d'etat, hypocritically called the "Revolution of Dignity" won, they unleashed a country-wide program of destroying Lenin statues. Hundreds Lenins have fallen since, however, it hasn't help them to improve economy. It just catalyzed a civil conflict in the country; the Western masters of puppets preferred full scale civil war to peaceful federalization of the country proposed by sober minded people. The result is quite logic: in fact, Ukraine is politically and economically bankrupt.

Coming back to Rhodes and the statue, I'd like to notice, that his figure is not more controversial than any other top politician of the time, whether from the UK or from other countries, let alone other time periods. He was not any worse than his contemporary fellow politicians.

Liberals say, Russia needs a thorough 'destalinization'; why there are no talks of an urgent necessity of 'dechurchillization' of Britain? Sir Winston Churchill was not less bloody and responsible for millions of lives.

Fighting dead lions is an attracting, but useless game. And quite a good tool to detract attention of people from real troubles and problems that are worth fighting to make life better now.

Once again, from the modern viewpoint, Rhodes was an evil white imperialist. This fact is beyond discussion. But he left his money to his Alma Mater, and it has been doing a great job since 1902: a scholarship program titled after his name has been awarded to more than 8,000 foreign students.

Are their diplomas to be considered null and void now — just because they used 'bad guy's' money, and someone decided that #RhodesMustFall?

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