Fallen Statues, Fallen Men

Fallen Statues, Fallen Men
Michelle Locke via AP

This magazine’s former Washington editor, George Will, is displeased at the sight of his nation’s statues toppling all over the country. He accuses the topplers of tearing down statues of Grant in an orgy of self-congratulation, thinking themselves better than the man who quickly freed the slave he inherited and “went on to pulverize the slavocracy.”

Drawing on the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, Will attacks what he sees as a barbarian conviction that ideas are “nothing more than appetites in words.” Colleges and universities teach their students that there are no real intellectual and moral standards, just narratives or discourses of power. There is no principled argument at all, just assertion.

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