3 Warnings From History About Those Who Tried Erasing It

By Ryan Walters | August 21st, 2017 at 7:45 pm

BY: Ryan Walters / Mississippi PEP Contributor

Ryan Walters is a life-long Mississippian from Jones County. He is a professor of history holding a bachelor and master’s degree in American history from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is the author of "The Last Jeffersonian: Grover Cleveland and the Path to Restoring the Republic." Find more of his writing at MississippiConservativeDaily.com

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Antifa and Hitler’s Brownshirts are identical.

"The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history,” said George Orwell, author of the famous book, 1984. Others have made similar statements, like the oft used “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” a phrase of George Santayana.


These are very wise words and we should learn to live by them, especially in light of what is happening across our country, with radicals and fanatics protesting, destroying monuments, and suppressing the free speech rights of those whom they disagree.

But why is this happening? These so-called “anti-fascists,” who are really fascists, are attempting to erase all of America’s past. Because that’s what tyrannical movements do. They hate our history, hate the country, hate the Constitution, hate the Founders, hate it all.

Make no mistake: These folks in Black Lives Matters and Antifa are would-be tyrants. They have no respect for the rule of law, the Constitution, or the rights of anyone but themselves. But that’s how tyrants, like the Nazis, rose to power – by violence and intimidation. Antifa and Hitler’s Brownshirts are identical.

This is nothing short of a revolution in the making and true revolutions rarely succeed in making society better. In fact, as history has shown, they almost always make things much worse, not freer but more totalitarian than before. But that is their true objective.

And tyrants and the tyrannical movements they spawn always erase the past. It’s a Marxian tactic. Karl Marx once said, “Take away a nation’s heritage and they are more easily persuaded.”

Here are a few examples of attempts to erase the past that should get our attention:

1. The French Revolution

The French Revolution broke out in Paris in 1789 and at first it looked similar to the American Revolution.

The French Revolution


The French Revolution began conservative and the leaders drafted a document much like the Declaration of Independence. In fact, Jefferson himself, still in France as the American ambassador, gave his assistance to the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.”

But soon things took a turn for the worse. The radical extremists took control and it soon evolved into a very bloody affair. The King and Queen were overthrown and beheaded by the guillotine, a new execution device so often used it was nicknamed the “National Razor.”

Under the leadership of the bloodthirsty tyrant Maximilien Robespierre, tens of thousands were executed for opposing the new revolutionary regime.

The revolutionaries began changing French society and erasing history. All street signs, the calendar, churches (they came up with a new deity for everyone to worship) – all erased and re-constructed to fit the new order of society. And if you did 

not adapt to changing times, you were sent to the guillotine, and for the slightest of “crimes.”

In one striking example, if a revolutionary overheard you use the wrong prefix in identifying someone (sound familiar?), such as calling someone a “Madame” or “Monsieur,” the old revolutionary titles, you went to the guillotine. The new titles for everyone was “Citizen” and “Citizeness” – equality you see – and to use the wrong prefix meant that you were still an old thinker, so you had to go.

In the end, Robespierre had to be overthrown and executed but things did not settle down. A young French military officer eventually took power – Napoleon Bonaparte. So French society had come full circle – they got rid of the King, flirted with a republic, only to end up with an Emperor. And at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives.

2. Cambodia

In Pol Pot’s Cambodia in the 1970s, the revolutionaries took Marx and Lenin to heart, and very literally.



In Pol Pot's Cambodia, anyone thought to be a potential problem for the revolution was executed, and since Lenin has used the word “smashed” to describe getting rid of “enemies of the state,” Pol Pot’s thugs did exactly that. Enemies of the Khmer Rouge were taken to the “Killing Fields” for execution. Many were literally “smashed” to pieces with iron rods. Small children and babies were picked up and “smashed” into trees.

And Cambodia got as crazy as Revolutionary France. For example, anyone who wore eyeglasses was imprisoned and killed. Why? That was a sign that you were probably well educated and well read, and most likely a non-conformist.

They also created a whole new calendar and erased the past to such an extent that time itself was restarted, beginning with “Year Zero.” Nothing before the rise of the Khmer Rouge mattered. And, like France, they had their own titles denoting equality. Men were referred to as Brother. Pol Pot was Brother Number One.

In the end more than two million Cambodians were murdered by their own government, a full quarter of the entire population of the country, before the regime was overthrown by Vietnam. On my 2007 trip to Cambodia, I felt a spiritual heaviness hanging over that nation that I’ve never felt anywhere else. It was eerie and I was uncomfortable for the entire time in the capital city of Phnom Penh. The spirit of the evil Pol Pot has yet to be exorcized it seemed to me.


ISIS intends to destroy every Christian symbol and artifact..



Today we see ISIS attempting to do the same thing in the Middle East, destroying every Christian symbol and artifact, while executing thousands of Christians simply for being Christians. They have targeted the past.

But none of those things could possibly happen here you say? Do you think the common man in France or Cambodia thought their respective revolutions would plunge into bloodshed and murder?

In California, the legislature is currently debating a bill in the state legislature that if a person calls someone by the wrong gender pronoun, it is punishable by a year in jail. Yes you read that right. Jail today; guillotine tomorrow?

But I believe in the goodness of the great “silent majority” in our country. We don’t scream and yell, nor do we take to the streets and attempt to tear society apart. We work, pay taxes, and vote.

And in 2018 and 2020 we can send these revolutionaries a message they will never forget. Time to put them in their place and take back our streets, our society, and our nation.