Workers taking down the statue of Vladimir Lenin in Mongolia AFP/Getty Images

纪念碑的力量

纽约—上个月,弗吉尼亚州夏洛特维尔(Charlottesville)出现了“壮观”的新纳粹游行,游行者手持火炬,高喊白人至上的口号。这次游行的起因,是该市计划移除南北战争中领导邦联军队,为脱离联邦的南方蓄奴州而战的罗伯特·李的雕像。这座李将军骑马的雕像树立于1924年,当时,对黑人公民动用私行的情况还不少见。

受夏洛特维尔事件的刺激,英国也出现了一批人想要将著名的伦敦特拉法加广场的纳尔逊将军雕像移除,因为这位英国海军英雄支持奴隶贸易。而在两年前,牛津大学的示威者要求移除奥里尔学院(Oriel College)的塞西尔·罗兹(Cecil Rhodes)塑像,因为他对种族和帝国的见解现在看来令人憎恶。这位昔日的帝国主义者曾在奥里尔学院就读。

这类打倒偶像的行为,总是带有一丝魔幻。这种行为建立在一个信念的基础上:打破一个形象,便解决了与之相关的问题。十六世纪英国新教徒挑战罗马天主教会的权力时,暴徒举起锤子和斧头,破坏圣徒石像和其他圣迹。法国的十八世纪革命也做了同样的事情。而最激进的例子发生在中国,时间仅仅50余年——红卫兵摧毁佛寺,焚烧儒家著作(事实上是一切旧的、传统的东西),拉开了文化大革命的帷幕。

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