In our last long article, the story of the Münster rebellion, we did not mention one of the other topics within the story: that of iconoclasm. In the context of what happened during the "rebellion", the iconoclasm was not an attempt to rewrite history- but during the Reformation there were riots where religious imagery, statues, etc. were torn down as part of a destruction against perceived idolatry.
The term 'iconoclasm' has been used to describe the recent attempts to take down confederate monuments across the southern U.S. states.
I don't believe there should be the kind of alarm over this that some are showing, and reaching back in history to make their arguments.
First, Iconoclasm has usually had a specific intent, and in many cases has been viewed as trying to "erase history." In this sense, the history of iconoclasm has been looked at as an Orwellian attempt to control the future by controlling the past.
We live in a new world. We have been living in the information age for a few decades now, and erasing history through destruction of imagery is not the same as it may have been during the Religious wars, the French Revolution, and the rise (and then the fall) of Communism. At least not in the United States, with a free internet, freedom of information, etc.
Looking at the French Revolution specifically, there was an agreement between many in the government and citizens that taking down some of the imagery of the old regime would be good. This gave birth to a lot of the development of museums in Western Europe. Rather than "destroy", the art was moved. It seems like a good model for what is going on today. I wouldn't support senseless vandalism, but if some of these statues are perceived as racist imagery for some, and cultural heritage for others, taking them down and moving them to museums makes a lot of sense.
Going back to the Münster rebellion article, the portrayal of Thomas Müntzer was incomplete, owing to his controversial nature, and the sources that we used. What we wrote wasn't wrong, but his story is much more complicated than just one paragraph can do justice to.
Finally, one of Donald Trump's latest tweets was truly bizarre:
""Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught," Trump urged his 36.1 million Twitter followers. "There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!" (from CNN)
I believe it was his craziest tweet to date. It is a romanticized notion of tactics of intimidation being a good way to deal with a Colonial population. I won't even go further than that, this site isn't meant to be too controversial, but fair to the varying perspectives on World history.