Statues and monuments are works of art. In the war on free expression the first things to go are works of art, because art encourages free thought by being simultaneously beautiful, accessible, multifaceted and mysterious. Art draws the audience toward psychological freedom. Authoritarians, who peer at the world though an ideological lens of pure power, understand that psychological freedom is a threat to their desired monopoly. So, they misrepresent nuanced works of art as single-minded and offensive, as "against us" for refusing to be "with us," and destroy such art as an act of political conquest. Communists, Marxists, Nazis, Fascists, Islamists -- all are art-hating authoritarians. All seek to destroy the value and meaning in the freely organic cultures they invade in order to install their own. They destroy art and replace it with propaganda in service to their own hubris, their own greed, their own insatiable lust for control over others.
Monuments don't exist to be blindly worshipped. Those who wish to tear them down are simpleminded types who worship their own ideas, and are projecting that unhealthy degree of reverence onto their perceived enemies. These monuments exist, and remain, as historical bookmarks, inviting the common people to live among them contemplatively, remembering the long uphill journey of progress. If an ideological enemy does worship a monument, the only way to dispel the error is through discussion, as removal of the monument only further entrenches the misconception that historical monuments are equivalent to idols, erected and demolished as meaningful acts of psychological warfare in a black-and-white world.( Video embeds and more writing under the cut. )
(Posted to free_speech