A Monument to Authoritarianism, by Thomas DiLorenzo

Lincoln the authoritarian is revered by contemporary historians and intellectuals. From Thomas DiLorenzo at lewrockwell.com:

News coverage of the recent riots in Washington, D.C. revealed the utter inability of the police to protect shop owners, residents, and even the church across the street from the White House from vandalism, looting, and arson.  National Guard and even active-duty military troops were brought in to protect the White House itself.  The Secret Service is said to have brought the Trump family into the underground bunker beneath the executive mansion at one point.

Some of the government’s monuments to itself, which seem to be on every street corner and in every intersection in Washington, D.C., were vandalized and spray painted with graffiti.  Yet it was still surprising to see one morning on the news that even the Lincoln Memorial –the most popular tourist destination in the city, the national shrine — had a few graffiti scribblings etched on it during the previous night’s rampant hooliganism.

Well.  That does it.  The line had been crossed.  The response of the government was, to paraphrase President George H.W. Bush after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait:  “This Shall Not Stand!”  The next morning the news contained images of what appeared to be at least a hundred heavily-armed national guardsmen posted at the front of the Lincoln Memorial.  There were probably dozens or even hundreds more protecting the other sides as though they were preparing for another Battle of the Bulge.  You can loot and burn down every shop in Georgetown, set fires to garbage dumpsters and private cars in the streets, terrorize the public, assault and even shoot police officers and burn their squad cars, but hands off the Lincoln Memorial – the state’s quintessential monument to . . . statism.  Would the Soviet government have permitted the defacing of a statue of Stalin?  The Chinese government a trashing of Mao?  How about red devil horns spray painted on Castro’s statue in Havana?  As Murray Rothbard once said, the state considers the most grievous of crimes to be crimes against itself – or in this case its image of itself.  Not gonna happen, as George W. Bush was fond of saying (at least according to his imitator on Saturday Night Live).

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