On Criticizing Dead Figures Of Importance

margaret thatcherVia Common Dreams, on the insistence that Western political figures of power should not be criticized upon their deaths, Glenn Greenwald writes:

There’s something distinctively creepy – in a Roman sort of way – about this mandated ritual that our political leaders must be heralded and consecrated as saints upon death. This is accomplished by this baseless moral precept that it is gauche or worse to balance the gushing praise for them upon death with valid criticisms.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with loathing Margaret Thatcher or any other person with political influence and power based upon perceived bad acts, and that doesn’t change simply because they die. If anything, it becomes more compelling to commemorate those bad acts upon death as the only antidote against a society erecting a false and jingoistically self-serving history.

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  • emperorreagan

    His point is a good one.

    In particular, I think it’s a big deal when it comes to people who have little-to-no memory of the person (or weren’t yet born). I barely remember Reagan during his presidency – faint memories of sitting with my parents while they watched one speech of his or another. If you combined the nostalgia of being a child in the 80s with the fawning media coverage of his death, I can see where you could easily turn the man into a saint in the eyes of a generation.

    I remember watching some of the coverage of his death and feeling sick that his legacy wouldn’t be his terrible policies and abuses of power. But at the same time, it almost made me want to question my own opinions of the guy.

  • saint_al

    You still can’t even say anything nasty about JFK… y’know, like suggesting an exhumation/ 2nd autopsy since the doctor who did the only one had never seen a gunshot wound. Foul play, indeed.

    • Anarchy Pony

      Or like the fact that he was just as much of a savage imperialist as most other US presidents.

      • kowalityjesus

        yet a president that was so unbeholden to ‘the system’ that he had to be annihilated…it gives one a mystified reverence for him.

        • Anarchy Pony

          Could go to show how little disobedience the PTB are willing to tolerate.

  • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

    “if anything…” .. well said.

  • http://twitter.com/Tweet_Afton Tweet Afton

    Maggie Thatcher was a vile human. She was sadly missed in Brighton in 1984.

  • BuzzCoastin

    criticizing a puppet after it’s disposal
    for acting like a puppet while in “power”
    is to overlook The System & the people pulling the strings

    Ronnie had Alzheimer’s and he could still follow the script
    that’s a very good puppet

    • kowalityjesus

      My sentiment exactly, lol. an acrid spray of criticism is simply unpleasant and generally useless to the uninculcated.