Artillery Row

Unmaking history

Stripping a people of its identity and history is the prerequisite to control

On Remembrance Day, in a quiet corner of British Columbia, two fronts of the War for the West collided.

On the one side, the Culture War waged by those who would denounce the West’s history as irredeemably wicked, with even the world wars against tyranny and genocide dismissed as “imperialist” (as Young Labour tweeted the same day). On the other, the Covid War and the increasingly bitter division between those who support coercion and those who believe in personal choice.

The collision point was the small city of Cranbrook’s Wall of Honour, which lists the names of its war dead. The memorial was vandalised Thursday morning, spray painted with the words, “The real heroes are the vaccinated”.

The blob of State grows ever larger

The connection may not be immediately apparent as the opposing camps in these two conflicts are not entirely aligned, with a significant number maintaining a foot in each. Indeed, some speculated that the attack could be a “false flag” operation, carried out by opponents of coerced vaccination in order to incriminate its proponents. But, in my experience, there is a high correlation between those who would defend the West’s heritage and those who would defend its freedoms.

Those who straddle the divides — honouring those who gave us freedom, while simultaneously aiding and abetting its dismantling — now find themselves in an incongruous and increasingly untenable position. The government has been ruling with emergency powers for eighteen months and recently extended them yet again without so much as a vote. Meanwhile the blob of State grows ever larger, with a tax burden not seen since Attlee. The government is taking more and doing more than ever. Our ancestors, throughout history, have consistently fought against such governments.

So this attack in fact represents an entirely consistent position, demonstrative of a society that has lost its sense of perspective and direction. It is a society that devalues real achievements by focussing instead on our own grossly overvalued obsessions. History has been demoted to a single-issue subject, the heroes of which can no longer be honoured in case some of their tangential opinions fall foul of this twisted value system.

Today’s narrative needs its heroes

Instead, insignificant words and deeds are today construed as “heroic” based purely on the amount of perceived “virtue”. On this value scale, courage, achievement and sacrifice are now subordinate to self-righteousness, identity and victimhood. This re-baselining has no shortage of advocates, for while only the exceptional could ever realise the former, every over-ambitious mediocrity can easily lay claim to the latter and thus become a modern “hero”.

As the past has been reduced to a simplistic tale of oppressors and oppressed, today’s narrative also needs its heroes as well as villains. The first heroes were the NHS, but that became complicated when some dared to exercise personal choice. So enter the new hero, the vaccinated. As any authoritarian regime knows, the only weapon greater than fear is hope. You can use fear to get people to do what you want, but only hope will get them to actively support it. Thus the Soviet propaganda machine elevated people like Pavlik Morozov — the thirteen year old boy who informed on his own father — to national heroes, persuading a whole generation of children to spy on their families, pitting “heroes” against “villains” as defined by their willingness to conform and obey.

Stripping a people of its identity and history — making it forget, or devalue, the efforts that made us in the West so free and prosperous — is the prerequisite to control. No people with a history like ours would support such a system unless they are first convinced that this history is valueless, that the real heroes are not the heroes of old, but themselves. The fight for the word “hero” is at the centre of the fight for the West.

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