The New Yorker:
In November, 1989, when the Berlin Wall suddenly began to crumble and then fall, much of the world watched in awe. Could it be true that Communism was about to collapse? For seventy years, it had been a system, an ideology, that ordered large swaths of the globe. Now a whole vision of history—a vision meant to maximize freedom, but which had turned, over time, into tyranny—seemed to be leaving the stage.
Many people still possess, as I do, little pieces of concrete from the Berlin Wall. And many of us feel some awe in seeing, during these past few weeks, Confederate monuments in America likewise reduced to pieces, relics of the collapse, after a hundred and fifty-five years, of the public vestiges of the Lost Cause tradition. The summer of 2020, like the autumn of 1989, could mark the death of a specific vision of history. If so, it has taken a long, long night—to borrow from Robbie Robertson and the Band—to drive old Dixie down.
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