Rip it down? Let it Stand?

Posted: November 14, 2017 in for your reflection, question we got a question, The Ruling Class Must Be Brought Down!

(we republish this post for our new readers in the Hartford area. It was first published this past June.)

You know a lot of removing statues has occurred in our life time. Lenin is gone from most Russian cities, Stalin is no where to be found, Gaddafi’s came tumbling down and his bronze head kicked through the streets, Saddam Hussein met the same fate in Firdos Square Bagdad. Here in amerikkka some in the south are now  facing their racist past and racist present statues of confederate war heroes and war memorials  are falling and have fallen.

Well there is a monument located in our own backyard that some are beginning to question. Ms Elly Jones asked us what we thought about removing it and so we said, okay but tread lightly so we don’t get the intellectual class up in arms again. It seems we are very well capable at pulling off such things. But the truth be told we know that it doesn’t matter what we say or what we write. It doesn’t matter who loves us or hates us, who ignores us or reads our work. We’re going to do it anyway. You know we are going to do it anyway even if even we don’t care all that much for doing it. What’s a few feathers ruffled? In these times.

Perhaps we should re-think as some say our memorial landscapes. Perhaps we should move our memorials into an educational setting. A setting where we all can explore the subject with no holes barred. A setting where our goal is not to sanitize, glorify or deny the past but to reexamine it within the context of a real inclusive history. We like that idea. Hopefully it is spreading in the South and hopefully folks there come to terms with their unsavory past. So let’s take a look however short at a monster of a person who is high up on the pedestal who is responsible for the deaths of millions and who today is glorified by people in this city.

Should Colt go or stay?

As our queer Marxist comrade Eaemaehkiw Thupaq Kesiqnaeh points out: “As indigenists, as revolutionaries, we stand firm in our rejection of all heroes of empire and the distorted histories around them spun by both the forces of the colonial state and its loyal opposition among the so-called left”

Where does the trail of tears lead? Some will say out west but we know that it leads straight to Mr. Colt’s door here in Hartford Ct.. We know that everyone of those faces streaked, that all of the sore feet, those left on the side of the trail to die, the stomachs rumbling for the lack of food, the frozen limbs, the sobs come knocking come calling to tear this statue down. We must take a hard look at our past, move beyond the strong emotional ties to the past glories, we must shake a collective sense of identification with the ruling elite, (a trick of the ruling class for sure) the 1 % of the past as they are not our friend now and were not our friend back then. Free ourselves from the chains that the ruling class binds us with no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Nothing is small or petty in this process.We have always found it interesting that those who are not on the end of the beating stick are the ones who are either appaulding the stick or turning their heads away. Some will thank the Colts for a nice park, an art museum, treasures, a home at Armsmear. Some will recall Mrs. Colt’s civic duties with a fond heart all this good, all this all, this all this. Abundance given out/Back which was really taken in the first place. These are those who turn their heads who only see what the rich gave back. (we hold that the rich are duty bound to give back, to give back quite a bit). Always is the question how much did they keep for themselves? How much never went into the workers pockets who live in poverty not knowing where their next meal was coming from? All of the so-called good that came about because of the Colt’s bloody money can never outweigh or excuse how they got their money in the first place. This look should never be a shrug off but a hard look.

Our historical ideals should be people who tried to build a normal civilized country rather than bloodthirsty capitalist. No where can we go to learn all of the history of Mr. Colt. We are only treated to a glorifying version that seeks to oust truth. We want to hear from those who were on the end of the barrel of the Colt Guns, and the Gatling Machine Gun. We want to hear the true story of the war profiteer who sold weapons to both sides not only in the Civil War but in the Crimean war. We want to hear about the millions made in blood money and what this blood money bought. We are not satisfied that these treasures left to us and to our city are celebrated but want to understand how these treasures came into our possession. Is he who supplied the weaponary to carry out despicable acts against humanity as guilty as those who carried out these acts? Of course.

Guns Guns Guns, I got guns, you got money?

Here is something very interesting “All of these early American gun czars were capitalists to the core, inoculated against the real-world effects of their products through a commercialist ethos that concentrated on “contractual obligations” and allowed them to ignore the question of what actually happened at the other end of their thundering gun barrels. The Civil War shined a light on the regional loyalties of the gun bosses. (Samuel Colt sold plentifully in the South, causing the New-York Daily Tribune to label him a traitor; Winchester fed the North; the state of Kentucky was carved up between the two.” ( 1 )

Ellsworth S. Grant in writing about Sam Colt had this to say, ” as the North and South raced toward cataclysm, Colt was busy making enormous profits by filling the demands of both sides for what he sardonically called “my latest work on ‘Moral Reform.”‘ He seriously considered building a branch armory in either Virginia or Georgia.

“The Armory’s earnings averaged $237,000 annually until the outbreak of the Civil War, when they soared to over a million. “He was shipping weapons South because he was being paid for weapons South and there was an opportunity to make a sale. That kind of almost amoral willingness to deal the instruments of death to both sides as long as there’s a demand for weapons is something that really becomes marked later in the century where Colt is selling weapons to both sides in European wars, continental wars, Asian wars”…Richard Slotkin

Colt didn’t seem to mind to sell weapons to both sides during war as during the Crimean War (1854-1856) Either. Anything for a buck.

The Crimean War (October 1853–February 1856) was fought between the Russian Empire on one side and an alliance of the British Empire  France, the  Ottoman Empire , and the Kingdom of Sardarnia on the other. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. Most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula, but there were smaller campaigns in western Turkey, the Baltic Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the White Sea. Colt went to Russia in 1852and told the Czar that the sultan of Turkey had just purchased 5,000 pistols. After the Czar scrambled to likewise arm his troops with 5,000 revolvers. Colt then went to Constantinople to tell the sultan that the Czar of Russia had just bought 5,000 pistols. Colt created a mini-arms race and made 10,000 sales.

War-like tribes and marauding Mexicans

Colt received a boost in sales during the Texas Revolution and the Mexican American War. His weapons contributed to the U.S. Army’s success, and to the resulting westward expansion of American territory. A Texas Ranger, Captain Samuel Walker, wrote Colt a testimonial that read, in part: “Your pistols…[are] the most perfect weapon in the World… to keep the various warlike tribes of Indians and marauding Mexicans in subjection.”

Firearms were a key tool in the settlement of the American West. Part of a larger technological revolution that transformed the United States from an isolated agricultural nation into the world’s leading industrial and military power, firearms manufacturing and expertise came of age when Western expansion was at its peak. More than two million people flooded into the West in the last four decades of the nineteenth century, and almost all of them relied on firearms in one way or another. The two firearms that are commonly cited as “the gun that won the West” are the Winchester Model 1873 Rifle and the Colt Single Action Army Model Revolver.

“So by “Winning West” as in “tame this nation”, can we assume that means this gun killed the most Native Americans? You know, the millions of people that had been living here for 40,000+ yrs? Smallpox may have got lots, but armed militias and stalwart pioneers finished the job.” And the Bison let’s not even start talking on the massive killing of these creatures. The association between Colt and the United States Military dates all the way back to Samuel Colt’s first revolvers. In January 1838, the government ordered twenty-five revolving handguns and fifty revolving rifles from the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company for use primarily in Florida during the Second Seminole War. As a result of the Second Seminole War (1835–1842) about 3,800 Seminole and Black Seminoles were forcibly removed to Indian Territory (the modern state of Oklahoma.)

Westward HO!

46 million white adults today can trace the origins of their family wealth to the Homestead Act of 1862. This bill gave away valuable acres of land for free to white families but expressly precluded participation by blacks. This land of course was made available through  forced relocation and genocide…meme today from Anarchy is Equality.

Oh but that happened back in the day. Whine whine.

Whenever we say, “oh that happened 100 or so years ago, different people with different values, Sam Colt was a capitalist out to make as much money as possible, or the best one yet, “No he probably isn’t a person that you would invite over for dinner but we love him warts and all,” we dishonor all those who lost their lives because of this merchant of death and we are making excuses for all of the merchants of death who work the planet today.  Many folks condemn the immoral business of the 1% today, so why not condemn the same type of folks from history past? This blog and a good number of our readers would never celebrate the 1% of today and it would follow to reason that none of us would celebrate the 1% of yesteryear.
Celebration of a man who through intimidation, fear, for sport, began an arms race among the population of Amerikkka. Buy a gun save yourself, there’s a savage in the woods, a shifty slave, a black freeman,  a big bad buffalo to chase down and kill. There was a saying that Lincoln freed the slaves but Sam Colt made them equal. This folks celebrate. Equal to kill, equal in blood up past their elbows. Yes all these good things brought to life by murder and mayhem. All of the so-called good that came about because of the Colt’s bloody money can never outweigh or excuse how they got their money in the first place. That idea can not be stated enough.

Hopefully we would not in this day and age sit idly by and say nothing if all of this was happening down the street from us today. As we fully know we can not nor do we want to change history but we sure as hell do not have to celebrate it. This article is only the tip of the iceberg in what we have learned about the man Sam Colt, what others have told us and what is published about him. Lots of warts and we do not love him.

We do not expect any support for this endeavor from the liberal left, the intelligentsia, the creatives, the historical’s of Hartford but we do know one thing. That the day will come when Capitalism falls and all kind is set free, that the revolutionary government will tear down this statue which represents the interests of the ruling elite. We will not be here, we will not be alive but mark our words it will happen. That train is coming and I for one can hear it.

While we are at this business let’s consider the statue that graces the lawn of Center Church. The man who helped to torture women, call them witches and hang them.  For the essay on this go to HERE.

Notes:

( 1 )  The Gun That Won, Eli Gottlieb from the New Republic HERE.

“It seems to be the same old, same old, always something has to die, or some area is devastated just to give the citizens the chance to learn about or to see art. Do we use the final outcome as an excuse to forget or to sanitize the how? From death and destruction comes our art museums, libraries,  universities, churches, and all sorts of other things provided to us by the filthy rich. Do these practices of the wealthy pacify the people from questioning the why, and mitigate the crimes that have been committed, and are still going on here today with companies and business executives who are making millions on death and destruction. Art and murder funny bedfellows.”..Bessy Marie Furbird

Many of our essays on Colt can be found in our Pages section. These essays contains photos, songs, art work.  Essays on Sam and Elizabeth Colt Merchants of Death can be found HERE.

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. The train is coming.

  2. Sam says:

    WOW! Thanks for this essay. I never really gave it a thought it seems like it was just there and it was a part of our history. It does beg the question about the 1% of yesterday and the 1% of today. Greedy Capitalists out to make a buck and they don’t care how. This gun runner and mass murderer as you say should not be glorified in anyway no matter how much we need something to hold on to. Yea I hope that is the train I hear.