The New Vichy Syndrome--anyone read it?

#1
The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism

by Theodore Dalrymple
 
#2
Mr_Deputy said:
The New Vichy Syndrome? Isn't this what Fantassin suffers from? although I thought its symptoms were defending all things French to the point of re-writing historic events.
:D
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#3
jumpinjarhead said:
The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism

by Theodore Dalrymple
Don't think I'll bother.
Vichy France, Petainism etc has to be viewed very much in the context of France at that time, and its post WW1 history. Completely irrelevant in a 21st century European context.....
 
#4
Alsacien said:
jumpinjarhead said:
The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism

by Theodore Dalrymple
Don't think I'll bother.
Vichy France, Petainism etc has to be viewed very much in the context of France at that time, and its post WW1 history. Completely irrelevant in a 21st century European context.....
Au Contraire! We have a Vichy type government in the UK specifically in the 21st Century European context. The EU are merely the new reich. Times change... politicians dont.
 
#5
Alsacien said:
jumpinjarhead said:
The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism

by Theodore Dalrymple
Don't think I'll bother.
Vichy France, Petainism etc has to be viewed very much in the context of France at that time, and its post WW1 history. Completely irrelevant in a 21st century European context.....
Thanks-the reason I am intrigued is I heard the author interviewed on he radio and the title reference to "vichy" is generic for an attitude/world view of capitulation and compromise by European governments generally in the post-modern era.

This from Amazon:

Product Description
Theodore Dalrymple explains how European intelligentsia turned on Western civilisation and paved the way for hedonism and Islamism to run roughshod over a once proud European culture. Western Europe is in a strangely neurotic condition of being smug and terrified at the same time. On the one hand, Europeans believe they have at last created an ideal social and political system in which man can live comfortably. In many ways, things have never been better on the old continent. On the other hand, there is growing anxiety that Europe is quickly falling behind in an aggressive, globalized world. Europe is at the forefront of nothing, its demographics are rapidly transforming in unsettling ways, and the ancient threat of barbarian invasion has resurfaced in a fresh manifestation. In "The New Vichy Syndrome", Theodore Dalrymple traces this malaise back to the great conflicts of the last century and their devastating effects upon the European psyche. From issues of religion, class, colonialism, and nationalism, Europeans hold a 'miserablist' view of their history, one that alternates between indifference and outright contempt of the past. Today's Europeans no longer believe in anything but personal economic security, an increased standard of living, shorter working hours, and long vacations in exotic locales. The result, Dalrymple asserts, is an unwillingness to preserve European achievements and the dismantling of western culture by Europeans themselves. As vapid hedonism and aggressive Islamism fill this cultural void, Europeans have no one else to blame for their plight.

About the Author
Theodore Dalrymple is a former psychiatrist and prison doctor. He writes a column for The Spectator of London, contributes frequently to the Daily Telegraph, and is a contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal. He lives in France.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594033722/?tag=armrumser-20
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#7
Mr_Deputy said:
Alsacien said:
Pretty clear that nobody around here has studied much about the Vichy government....
I don't see your point.

I have studied many/all or most of the French periods of government. Including the colonial ones such as the 'Pieds Noirs.'

Why are you so dismissive of this important part of international history? and of anyone thinking it to be relevant now?
The 1940's French Vichy government would have been an impossibility in any of the other comparable major European powers such as Spain, UK or Germany at the time - it was specifically French, not a pan-European manifestation.
There was no such government as the "pieds noirs", or are you referring to the fall of the fourth republic (which kind of proves my point...)?

Vichy France is an important part of French history, but not so significant in terms of European history.
 
#8
Mr_Deputy said:
Alsacien said:
Pretty clear that nobody around here has studied much about the Vichy government....
I don't see your point.

I have studied many/all or most of the French periods of government. Including the colonial ones such as the 'Pieds Noirs.'

Why are you so dismissive of this important part of international history? and of anyone thinking it to be relevant now?
Perhaps another analogy to the broader dynamics (beyond the obvious time, place, personality specifics that inhere in every period of history) that gave rise to the Vichy government may help--one might think of it in terms of the more recent phenomenon of the so-called "Stockholm Syndrome" whereby captives develop affinity at various levels with their captors.
 
#9
Mr_Deputy said:
Alsacien said:
Pretty clear that nobody around here has studied much about the Vichy government....
I don't see your point.

I have studied many/all or most of the French periods of government. Including the colonial ones such as the 'Pieds Noirs.'

Why are you so dismissive of this important part of international history? and of anyone thinking it to be relevant now?
I personally cannot see strong Vichy parallels, but do know the role that the term 'Vichy' might play in increased book sales. Cynical, moi?

Theodore Dalrymple I have actually met and he seemed like quite a balanced chap.
 
#10
"On the one hand, Europeans believe they have at last created an ideal social and political system in which man can live comfortably"......

Sorry, not just bol locks, but utter bol locks..
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#11
jumpinjarhead said:
Mr_Deputy said:
Alsacien said:
Pretty clear that nobody around here has studied much about the Vichy government....
I don't see your point.

I have studied many/all or most of the French periods of government. Including the colonial ones such as the 'Pieds Noirs.'

Why are you so dismissive of this important part of international history? and of anyone thinking it to be relevant now?
Perhaps another analogy to the broader dynamics (beyond the obvious time, place, personality specifics that inhere in every period of history) that gave rise to the Vichy government may help--one might think of it in terms of the more recent phenomenon of the so-called "Stockholm Syndrome" whereby captives develop affinity at various levels with their captors.
Do not see the relevance to Stockholm syndrome at all.....
 
#12
It sounds interesting from the Amazon blurb. I think, I'd get very annoyed reading it though - the sort of 'European' (does Europe have a collective set of values?) he describes is the kind of person I loathe - especially those with, as he puts it, 'a miserablist view of history.'

Still, being a masochist I think I might buy it!
 
#13
But thats the point, he ascribes values to "Europeans" which few actually subscribe to in reality apart from some politicians who hope to make it reality.
 
#14
eodmatt said:
But thats the point, he ascribes values to "Europeans" which few actually subscribe to in reality apart from some politicians who hope to make it reality.
Do you mean that he is mistaken when he does so, or that he is pointing out that it is driven by a political set? If it's the latter then I'm wholeheartedly in agreement.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
Dalrymple used to write a regular column in the Spectator. I didn't find myself disagreeing with him often.

I probably would have got the book but its not available on Amazon.co.uk (yet)

Doh! Obviously Amazon's search facility had a hiccup. I found it when I searched by author. Ordered.
 
#16
Oyibo said:
eodmatt said:
But thats the point, he ascribes values to "Europeans" which few actually subscribe to in reality apart from some politicians who hope to make it reality.
Do you mean that he is mistaken when he does so, or that he is pointing out that it is driven by a political set? If it's the latter then I'm wholeheartedly in agreement.
I refer to the latter. And this represents a huge flaw in his argument.
 
#17
eodmatt said:
Oyibo said:
eodmatt said:
But thats the point, he ascribes values to "Europeans" which few actually subscribe to in reality apart from some politicians who hope to make it reality.
Do you mean that he is mistaken when he does so, or that he is pointing out that it is driven by a political set? If it's the latter then I'm wholeheartedly in agreement.
I refer to the latter. And this represents a huge flaw in his argument.
I guess as I am an expat who has not lived in Europe for quite a few years, I don't see an average cross section of European people - The fact that the European people I meet travel to distant places to work and live suggests that they are more adventurous and self-sufficient than those who stay behind. But it would surprise me if those values were not driven by the politicians. It seems to me (and it's only an opinion) that politicians benefit most from the described 'values' and actively encourage them.
 
#18
My understanding of the Vichy Government is that France, when faced with total occupation were given the chance to administer their own 'zone' in order to keep, at least, half of the country free from occupying forces. The Government was lead by an ageing war hero who was a man of honour and of his word who tried to strike a balance between keeping the Germans at bay and preserving the illusion of French rule in France.
The VG in its efforts to retain the Vichy Zone acquiesced to such things as forced removal of 'untermensch'. Their darkest hour was probably in waging war on the Allies in North Africa where they were responsible for several war crimes.
I'm not sure how French history sees them, as total Quislings or honourable patriots making the best of a very bad lot? I don't think English history sees them in too kind a light but could be wrong.
Surely a more modern analogy (but only just) would be the East German Government who ended up more Red than the Russians?
Alsacien I'm quite happy for you to shoot me down in flames because I would like to know how the VG is viewed and how my account meets with reality.
 
#19
Alsacien said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Mr_Deputy said:
Alsacien said:
Pretty clear that nobody around here has studied much about the Vichy government....
I don't see your point.

I have studied many/all or most of the French periods of government. Including the colonial ones such as the 'Pieds Noirs.'

Why are you so dismissive of this important part of international history? and of anyone thinking it to be relevant now?
Perhaps another analogy to the broader dynamics (beyond the obvious time, place, personality specifics that inhere in every period of history) that gave rise to the Vichy government may help--one might think of it in terms of the more recent phenomenon of the so-called "Stockholm Syndrome" whereby captives develop affinity at various levels with their captors.
Do not see the relevance to Stockholm syndrome at all.....
I was making an admittedly loose analogy--in effect the French had the Nazi gun to their head much like a hostage situation. If that doesn't help move you and others off the focus on the time-specific aspects of the era to the broader implications, then perhaps the cooperation of the Jewish Kapos at the concentration camps may as another example of the larger phenomena.
 
#20
eodmatt said:
But thats the point, he ascribes values to "Europeans" which few actually subscribe to in reality apart from some politicians who hope to make it reality.
I suppose we all should read it then rather than speculate? I just ordered it.
 

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