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Columbus statue

Building and Toppling Public Statues

Statues of historical figures are being toppled or vandalized across the country. Many people claim that the statues being torn down or defaced are monuments to racism that can no longer be tolerated.

In this episode of New Ideal Live, philosophers Onkar Ghate, Ben Bayer and Gregory Salmieri discuss the nature of this phenomenon, whether it is a legitimate form of protest and what, if anything, should be done about public monuments of questionable figures.

Questions covered in the discussion include:

  • Should we venerate those who achieved great things, but whose ideas or actions we find offensive?
  • If a monument no longer represents genuine values, or even celebrates evil movements, what should be done about it?
  • Is it proper for people today to use force to effect change, like the tea-partiers did in the late eighteenth century?
  • Even if statues are taken down by proper, legal means, isn’t that a form of rewriting history?
  • Should public monuments exist at all?

This podcast was recorded on July 29, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts Google PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived episodes here.

Podcast audio:

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Agustina Vergara Cid

Agustina Vergara Cid, LLB and LLM, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and an opinion columnist at the Orange County Register.

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