Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by jumpinjarhead, Mar 31, 2010.
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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.
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:
Pretty clear that nobody around here has studied much about the Vichy government....
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.
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.
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.
"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..
Do not see the relevance to Stockholm syndrome at all.....
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!
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.
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.
Separate names with a comma.