Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The enemy that was within

There is an interesting discussion over at the "View from the right" about the causes for the fast collapse of France in 1940. It is a worthwhile and interesting discussion and all the arguments put up over there asn possible causes have contributed to the disaster, some more others less. But, in my opinion, one important piece was left out.

It was not just the prominent public figures in the press and the arts who were propagating appeasement, they were sitting in the governement as well, even heading it. And some days before the war broke out reportedly this anecdote happened: French army chief of staff briefed the governement on the state of the armed forces but mostly neglected to mention the problems they were facing. After the meeting prime minister Daladier took the general aside and told him:"Good thing you kept quiet about the weeknesses of the army, tommorow Hitler qould have known every word you said". It was widely known that one of the ministers Georges Bonnet was a nazi sympathiser but he couldn't be sacked from the governement without bringing it to it's downfall.

What does this tell us? Even in the days before multiculturalism it was possible for an enemy focused and ruthless enough to use the democratic system against the country that adheres to it. Laval and Bonnet were both elected in a democratic elections yet they still chose to serve the enemy rather then fight for their nation. Being democratically elected or having a large number of votes is no guarantee of ones loyalty or patriotism nor is democracy a universal cure for all problems a country faces. Without elements that transcede the democratic or indeed any other state system or form of rule a nation is prone dramatic collapses and calamities that threaten it's very existance.

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