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Old 17.02.2019, 13:47
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In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

It was at the end of last week when I posted a very tongue in cheek quotation from Cecil Rhodes to support an interesting argument that was being put forward about the privilege enjoyed to this day by Englishmen around the world. It was an innocuous post and I thought nothing of it. The reaction however was anything but. The point was implied how anyone could have the nerve to quote such a contentious figure unless to troll.

This got me thinking. Whatever you think of Cecil Rhodes, he lived his life over a century ago in a different Zeitgeist of empire building and expansion which simply cannot be judged by today’s standards. But it’s a trend we’re seeing increasingly more in the West at the moment: Winston Churchill was a 'villain' says John McDonnell, Confederate Statues are being removed in the US, Rhodes own statue was nearly removed from Oxford University and indeed has been removed in Cape Town. What’s also noticeable is that this is a trend that is being driven, for the main part, by the Left.

Whilst revisionism is a healthy way of revisiting traditionally held beliefs, I don’t see the benefit that this radical revisionism has other than to virtue signal and claim a supposed moral high ground over the rest of us. A statue of Karl Marx has been defaced this weekend in London. I despise Marxism and everything it stands for, however I can see the influence it has had over the last 150 years from the Russian Revolution all the way up to the bantz offered up by Yanis Varoufakis in his handling of the Greek economic crisis 4 years ago, and for that alone the man deserves commemorating.

But back to Rhodes. History has not been kind to him; however we should look at what he achieved in his short life (he died at 48). He was a dreamer in the same way that Elon Musk is a modern dreamer. Not only was he a dreamer, he acted on those dreams to put them into reality too. He created a country, he founded the De Beers company, he set up the Rhodes scholarships – which gave us Bill Clinton, that gave us Hillary, which led to the lolz we enjoyed during the US election campaign 3 years ago. For his achievements alone he should be considered a great man, a flawed man, but a great one. Certainly not someone we should think twice about quoting.

What I would suggest though is to look at some of those who were sticking the boot in over daring to mention Rhodes’ name and go back and have a look at what they wrote when Castro died a few years ago. Now unlike Rhodes, Castro was a man of our age, yet for all his atrocities and flaws there were people on here queuing up to sing his praises. Odd that, isn’t it?
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Old 17.02.2019, 14:44
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

Who the hell is Cecil Rhodes?

Tom
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Old 17.02.2019, 14:45
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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Who the hell is Cecil Rhodes?
Tom
Couldn't you have just looked it up?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Rhodes
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Old 17.02.2019, 15:22
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

I think historical revisionism is fine. Indeed, many of those Confederate statues were erected during a previous bout of revisionist frenzy.

It still makes me chuckle how emotional people get - or pretend to get - over historical figures. I don't give a shit whether someone thinks Winston Churchill is the Greatest Living Englishman or Worse Than Hitler, but they'd better not expect any sympathy from me either way. He's dead. I never knew him. The Germans never bombed our chip shop while I was alive, and I'm not a Tonypandy miner.

Virtue signalling is a thing, even if the term is over-used. There was a ton of it in response to your (entirely in-context) quote from Mr Rhodes. But what can we do? Handflappers gonna flap...
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Old 17.02.2019, 15:39
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

Why do people chuck out quotes from controversial, red button sources in one thread (also admitting to doing it to get a rise out of people) then feel the need to open a whiney thread justifying it all just because they don’t like being challenged on it?

You chose to quote. Own it and move on.
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Old 17.02.2019, 15:46
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

where’s the political revisionism? People were just questioning why you would quote someone utterly irrelevant and racist in the context of a Brexit debate!

If you want to start a debate about wiping out history to suit modern pc politics then please do! I don’t agree at all with revisionism, but let’s not celebrate outdated colonial racist attitudes either!
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Old 17.02.2019, 15:48
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

"It takes less courage to criticise the decisions of others than to stand by your own."

-Attila the Hun
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Old 17.02.2019, 18:34
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

What the hell is sarcasm?

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Couldn't you have just looked it up?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Rhodes
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Old 17.02.2019, 20:43
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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Why do people chuck out quotes from controversial, red button sources in one thread (also admitting to doing it to get a rise out of people)
Did you read what I wrote? I haven't admitted to anything of the sort.


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then feel the need to open a whiney thread justifying it all just because they don’t like being challenged on it?
Again, read what I wrote, that's not the point of this thread.
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Old 17.02.2019, 20:46
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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If you want to start a debate about wiping out history to suit modern pc politics then please do!
That was kinda the aim of this thread.

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I don’t agree at all with revisionism, but let’s not celebrate outdated colonial racist attitudes either!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Exhibit A - TobiasM on Fidel Castro:

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Well you have to admire him for standing up to the might of the US for over 60 years. It the end of an era, I am sure that the doors to Cuba will properly flood open now. Its an amazing place and the people are lovely, they deserve much more then they have. Of course it won't be the same in a nostalgic way of old bashed together 1950s cars and crumbling buildings as Havana gets renovated. I am glad I got to visit while Fidel was still in charge of things, also had the best damned Mojitos and Cigars while listening to amazing music.
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Old 17.02.2019, 20:51
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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"It takes less courage to criticise the decisions of others than to stand by your own."

-Attila the Hun
Funny, this does beg the question of where do we draw the line about quoting historical figures? For example, are we allowed to quote Elizabeth I who basically encouraged genocide of an entire religious group? Or where exactly is the cutoff that makes Rhodes so unpalatable, pre-Victorian I assume?
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Old 17.02.2019, 21:09
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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I think historical revisionism is fine. Indeed, many of those Confederate statues were erected during a previous bout of revisionist frenzy.

It still makes me chuckle how emotional people get - or pretend to get - over historical figures. I don't give a shit whether someone thinks Winston Churchill is the Greatest Living Englishman or Worse Than Hitler, but they'd better not expect any sympathy from me either way. He's dead. I never knew him. The Germans never bombed our chip shop while I was alive, and I'm not a Tonypandy miner.

Virtue signalling is a thing, even if the term is over-used. There was a ton of it in response to your (entirely in-context) quote from Mr Rhodes. But what can we do? Handflappers gonna flap...
I'm also not too fussed about what's said about Churchill, I'm certainly not going to take offence on his behalf. I think it is a dark path to go down when people want to disregard all the that Churchill did simply because he held the views of his day on Race. It also sets a dangerous precedent for how history is taught to kids, "forget the war and all that, the main thing to remember is that Chuchill was a racist".
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Old 17.02.2019, 21:20
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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Funny, this does beg the question of where do we draw the line about quoting historical figures? For example, are we allowed to quote Elizabeth I who basically encouraged genocide of an entire religious group? Or where exactly is the cutoff that makes Rhodes so unpalatable, pre-Victorian I assume?
I'd say quote away with the caveat that context is arguably the most important thing. History would be very dry indeed if all the juicy quotable figures were all entirely agreeable /"acceptable". My two penn'orth.
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Old 17.02.2019, 21:22
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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That was kinda the aim of this thread.



Ladies and Gentlemen, Exhibit A - TobiasM on Fidel Castro:
Wow, Loz you started a thread merely to drag up a post to try and suss me out about what exactly? I am not sure what’s more worrying, the fact you’ll trawl through somebodies post history to drag up a comment to try and make a petty point or that you genuinely think it’s valid quoting old racist history to prove there is a modern British sense of entitlement? In all of my “comprehensive schooling” I have honestly rarely come across as petty and pathetic a person as you.
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Old 17.02.2019, 21:28
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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I'm also not too fussed about what's said about Churchill, I'm certainly not going to take offence on his behalf. I think it is a dark path to go down when people want to disregard all the that Churchill did simply because he held the views of his day on Race. It also sets a dangerous precedent for how history is taught to kids, "forget the war and all that, the main thing to remember is that Chuchill was a racist".
It's due to a lack of interest in history, an ignorance of historical events and also the presumption that contemporary mores are by definition more correct.
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Old 17.02.2019, 21:33
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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to prove there is a modern British sense of entitlement?
Um, nobody was talking about a sense of entitlement in the original thread. I had been talking about Anglo privilege, from which Brits and other English speakers benefit whether they feel entitled to it or not.

You do understand the concept of "privilege", presumably? It's been all over the news over the last few years, mainly because most people who enjoy it refuse to recognise they have it.
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Old 17.02.2019, 21:49
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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Did you read what I wrote? I haven't admitted to anything of the sort.
So now you don’t admit to; “I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t engage in a little agitation...”?

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Again, read what I wrote, that's not the point of this thread.
It still comes across as a whine because you were challenged on the other thread. You can dress it up in whatever clothes you like.

You are dismissing everyone else’s take on history as inferior to yours based on a few lines on a public forum in response to your rather tenuous and irrelevant assertion over on the Brexit thread.
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Old 17.02.2019, 22:16
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

And if you want to talk about revisionalism, why not mention Poland and Hungry rewriting their role in the Holocaust.

yes DB, privilige, entitlement whatever! Do you have too much time on your hands?

Btw, I won’t scour the forum looking for previous posts regarding certain people’s comments to the Black Lives Matter movement, the #MeToo issue, race, immigration and religion in pointing out attitudes of entitlement and privilege.
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Old 17.02.2019, 22:34
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

Moral relativism... it's wrong to judge someone's actions from 'long ago' because their morals weren't our morals.

Doesn't really work for me... basic human behaviour has remained consistent, most actions that we consider 'wrong' today would have been thought 'wrong' 'a long time ago'. The difference is that today there are more opportunities for people to voice their opinion on 'right and wrong' behaviour.

It's not wrong today to judge some of the actions of Rhodes, or Emperor Nero as 'wrong'.

What is muddle headed is to think that we're now any better and, therefore can cast aspersions on Rhodes, or Nero, with any kind of superiority ... see John Gray.

Basically, Rhodes, and Churchill and Nero (ok, I'm not sure about Nero) did some 'bad' things.. and some 'good' things... just like people in authority do today.
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Old 17.02.2019, 22:38
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Re: In defence of Cecil Rhodes (The modern political cult of historical revisionism)

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yes DB, privilige, entitlement whatever! Do you have too much time on your hands?
No, not "whatever". They are two entirely different concepts. The difference between them is important. You, TobiasM, enjoy all kinds of privileges which are denied to others: acknowledging such privilege is not the same as having a sense of entitlement. I'm beginning to wonder if you're trolling me here.

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Btw, I won’t scour the forum looking for previous posts regarding certain people’s comments to the Black Lives Matter movement, the #MeToo issue, race, immigration and religion in pointing out attitudes of entitlement and privilege.
Are you referring to me when you say "certain people"? If so, I'd be very happy for you to go through my posting history on these subjects.

I have no qualms whatsoever acknowledging the privileges from which I benefit as a white, male, cis, heterosexual, middle aged, middle class Englishman. In fact, I consider it to be something of a duty.

Perhaps you might profit from a bit of self-reflection in this regard, too?
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