France, 1930's: A Fatal Flaw in Liberalism

Discussion in 'History' started by PoliticalChic, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    1. Liberalism is a religion. Central to this religion is the assertion that evil does not exist, all conflict being attributed to a lack of understanding between the opposed. The notion that an honest exchange of views will solve all problems is an ‘article of faith,’ i.e. ‘war never solved anything.’

    a. How is it that one can force oneself to accept horrendous ideas, and events, as though they were normal and totally expected? Perhaps a cautionary tale from the 1930’s…
    The French Socialists of the 1930’s had impeccable democratic credentials, dating back to the 19th century. They won elections, and in Leon Blum they produced a great leader, a prime minister who had the ability to fuse French patriotism and social justice, and the finest cultural values.


    2. Which brings us to Paul Faure, the general-secretary of said French Socialists, and leader of the faction that opposed war- at any cost. While Blum recognized the horror that Hitler represented, the Paul-Fauristes desperately sought to find a description of reality that did not point in the direction of war! ‘Don’t judge Germany too quickly, nor too starkly.’ After all, they had been treated poorly by the Treaty of Versailles. And their people living in Slavic countries weren’t being treated well… shouldn’t we show some flexibility? Conciliate the outraged German people! This is not cowardly, or unprincipled…no, it is simply anti-war. And, therefore, the real dangers were not from the Nazis or Hitler, but from the warmongers, those who would profit from war!


    a. While those were the arguments of the anti-war left, the unfocused or philosophical basis which gave credence to those arguments, was that, in our modern world, even the enemies of reason cannot be the enemies of reason. Can you say “liberal naïveté” of the nineteenth century…a simple minded optimism, the liberalism of a strictly rational world, the liberalism of denial.


    b. Paul Faure’s French Socialists refused to believe that millions of respectable Germans subscribed to a political movement whose doctrines were paranoid conspiracy theories, blood-curdling hatreds, medieval superstitions, and the lure of mass murder. For the Socialists, there was always a why.

    3. So our Socialist friends listened to the Nazis’ speeches about Jews, and stroked their bearded chins, and queried, ‘what is anti-Semitism, anyway?’ Aren’t there some Jews who we don’t like? And the war-hawks…some of them are Jews…why, even Leon Blum, he is a Jew, and he takes a hard line…suspicious. Perhaps Hitler isn’t entirely wrong.

    a. Marshal Petain and the right wing proposed to accept the invasion, a new government under Hitler. The anti-war left voted with Petain, and the new Vichy government arrested Blum, and sent him to Dachau.


    4. The defenders of human rights and liberal values evolved into bigotry, tyranny, and murder. The democratic leftists accepted a naïve faith in the rationalism of all things, and ended up as fascists.
    From chapter six of "Terror and Liberalism," Paul Berman
     
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  2. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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  3. regent
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    regent Gold Member

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    And in America it was one group that tried to warn America of the dangers of Hitler and tried to get America to rearm, and it was another group headed by the America Firsters that wanted isolation and not rearm. Guess which political party each group was allied with.
     
  4. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    You tell them PC

    Diplomacy is for pussies
     
  5. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Of course, what PC neglects to tell us is that FDR was our greatest Liberal President and that it was the US Conservatives that urged us to mind our own business and stay out of the war
     
  6. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    It is quite apparent there is a direct correlation between Liberalism and loss of reality.

    Basically, the more Liberal a person's thinking becomes.

    The further that persons grasp on reality slips away.


    I am not going to say that Liberalism is a form of mental illness.

    But is in essence more like a drug or intoxicant.


    In small dose's Liberalism can help temper rigid or over the top conservative views.

    Yet, like any drug, excessive Liberalism can become addictive and eventually unhealthy as the OP has clearly shown.
     
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  7. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    When you start with something this silly, why bother reading the rest? Good grief . . .
     
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  8. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Disappointing, the lacunae in your education....
    ...You should read more....


    1. "The deifications and hagiologies were particularly overt in the remarks of prominent black figures. Filmmaker Spike Lee, predicting an Obama victory, implicitly compared the candidate with Christ: “You’ll have to measure time by ‘Before Obama’ and ‘After Obama.’ . . .

    a. Jesse Jackson, Jr. called Obama’s securing the Democratic nomination “so extraordinary that another chapter could be added to the Bible to chronicle its significance.”

    b. Louis Farrakhan went one better, according to the website WorldNetDaily: “Barack has captured the youth. . . . That’s a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”

    c. The website ObamaMessiah.blogspot.com has diligently chronicled many more instances of such talk, which seems positively cringe-making in 2010.

    d. To this day, BarackObama.com displays at the top of its homepage the following words (attributed to Obama, though nobody seems to have been able to pinpoint the speech): “I’M ASKING YOU TO BELIEVE"

    2. If twentieth-century history teaches us anything, it’s that political religions spell trouble. Soviet Communism, Italian Fascism, and Nazism aren’t just called “political religions” by scholars today. Mussolini, for instance, called his ideology “not only a faith, but a religion that is conquering the laboring masses of the Italian people.”

    a. And in Italy, writes the historian Michael Burleigh, “intellectual sycophants and propagandists characterised [Mussolini] as a prodigy of genius in terms that would not have embarrassed Stalin: messiah, saviour, man of destiny, latterday Caesar, Napoleon, and so forth.”

    3. “The totalitarian movements which have arisen since World War I are fundamentally religious movements,” wrote the political scientist Waldemar Gurian in 1952, in part because they “cannot conceive of realms of life outside and beyond their control…. the private lives and practices of individuals.”

    a. Marcel Prélot had commented that “the totalitarian state, naturally extending its field of action far beyond the recognized domain of the conventional state, claims to constitute both a political entity and an ethical and spiritual community, . . . the state itself being a church.”
    The Varieties of Liberal Enthusiasm by Benjamin A. Plotinsky, City Journal Spring 2010
     
  9. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Classical Liberals...known as conservatives, today...get any credit for the creation of the United States, and for writing the greatest political document in the history of the world, the US Constitution?
     
  10. elvis
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    elvis BANNED Supporting Member

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    Um FDR won an election by promising to keep us out of the war.
     
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