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UK Politics The Brexit thread (or All -not- quiet on the western front)

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
Aha. You mean Vichy?
Pretty much everything that happened. We faced the test and our society as a whole failed, therefore the priority was to rebuild and make sure it wouldn't happen ever again. Those who rebuilt and reworked weren't those who were in power during the War, but those who betrayed the people in power then. A generation of political, civil and military leaders whose most important selection criterion was to have said 'fuck off' to their own bosses?

Well, it leads to a pretty different culture. Our top level civil administrators are literally taught that if the day comes, their duty will be to break the law and to go rogue, and that if they make this choice, they won't be covered by anyone yet it remains their duty. Different indeed from the blind obedience to the law enshrined in anglo culture.
 

Alcibiades

Active member
Pretty much everything that happened. We faced the test and our society as a whole failed, therefore the priority was to rebuild and make sure it wouldn't happen ever again. Those who rebuilt and reworked weren't those who were in power during the War, but those who betrayed the people in power then. A generation of political, civil and military leaders whose most important selection criterion was to have said 'fuck off' to their own bosses?

Well, it leads to a pretty different culture. Our top level civil administrators are literally taught that if the day comes, their duty will be to break the law and to go rogue, and that if they make this choice, they won't be covered by anyone yet it remains their duty. Different indeed from the blind obedience to the law enshrined in anglo culture.
This is a digression, but... you root this in the experience of the war, and not the Revolution?
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
This is a digression, but... you root this in the experience of the war, and not the Revolution?
The War. The Revolution led to some changes but there is some continuity with the earlier stuff. The War, however, changed everything, and in particular added the notion that the law, even if voted by a legal mean, by the proper people, can be wrong, that there are principles above the law. For the matter of the relation with the US, they started trying to fuck us right after the war with the "European Defence Community", AKA an attempt at a US takeover of all continental defence industries and policies. To say it didn't go well would be an understatement, and after that, it became pretty clear that if we wanted to survive the coming shit in one piece, we'd need to do it with reliable people, AKA those on the firing line rather than the peanut gallery playing Pokemon with our countries.
 

Alcibiades

Active member
The War. The Revolution led to some changes but there is some continuity with the earlier stuff. The War, however, changed everything, and in particular added the notion that the law, even if voted by a legal mean, by the proper people, can be wrong, that there are principles above the law. For the matter of the relation with the US, they started trying to fuck us right after the war with the "European Defence Community", AKA an attempt at a US takeover of all continental defence industries and policies. To say it didn't go well would be an understatement, and after that, it became pretty clear that if we wanted to survive the coming shit in one piece, we'd need to do it with reliable people, AKA those on the firing line rather than the peanut gallery playing Pokemon with our countries.
My wife watches a lot of French movies (comedies mainly), and she always comments that these people's lives seem so small -- it's all about familly and business. I tell her that she's missing something and needs to look at Sartre and Camus, the generation of the war, and not get her opinions from mass pop culture.

EDIT: I haven't been to France since 1999. My French has degraded to the point where I would be embarassed to visit.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
My wife watches a lot of French movies (comedies mainly), and she always comments that these people's lives seem so small -- it's all about familly and business. I tell her that she's missing something and needs to look at Sartre and Camus, the generation of the war, and not get her opinions from mass pop culture.

EDIT: I haven't been to France since 1999. My French has degraded to the point where I would be embarassed to visit.
Have her watch Army of Shadows, from Melville. She'll understand what the politician, military, intellectual and labour leaders of the post-war era had in mind. Add to this the Algerian War and you get a good part of the trauma. Appreciate what you have, but remain vigilant for what might come.
 

Alcibiades

Active member
Have her watch Army of Shadows, from Melville. She'll understand what the politician, military, intellectual and labour leaders of the post-war era had in mind. Add to this the Algerian War and you get a good part of the trauma.
I'll tell her. Je te remercie pour ton avis.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
I'll tell her. Je te remercie pour ton avis.
Pas de problème. Army of Shadows was recently (in the 2000s) subbed in English correctly, so it's a good opportunity to brush up on your French while being able to make sure you don't miss out on the story. Watched it with 42BSPG in Houston, one of the museums there showed it. ^_^;
 

Alcibiades

Active member
Pas de problème. Army of Shadows was recently (in the 2000s) subbed in English correctly, so it's a good opportunity to brush up on your French while being able to make sure you don't miss out on the story. Watched it with 42BSPG in Houston, one of the museums there showed it. ^_^;
What about Hiroshima Mon Amour?

My wife is Russian and has English far worse than my French, so I'll get a Russian version.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
What about Hiroshima Mon Amour?

My wife is Russian and has English far worse than my French, so I'll get a Russian version.
Good play and movie indeed. Indigènes is a more recent movie about our colonial troops during World War II and the mess it was with them. Check Pierre Schoendoerffer's movies, he's probably the best director out there when it comes to the colonial wars. Indochina, Vietnam, Algeria, he left a strong mark on the representation of these conflicts.

 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
Huh, I've seen that. Great movie, sometimes difficult to watch.
It's a testimony from a writer who was in the resistance, put into pictures by a director who also was in it. The names changed, the faces too, but the stories and the memories are there, shared with us.
 

Alcibiades

Active member
It's a testimony from a writer who was in the resistance, put into pictures by a director who also was in it. The names changed, the faces too, but the stories and the memories are there, shared with us.
How did France reconcile the people who resisted with the people who supported the occupiers? I know a lot were executed (?), but it can't have been all of the people who supported Petain.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
How did France reconcile the people who resisted with the people who supported the occupiers? I know a lot were executed (?), but it can't have been all of the people who supported Petain.
We moved on, accepted that we fucked up, that most people were trying to survive in a pretty shitty situation, had responsibilities for their families, for their friends, and that you can't realistically ask everyone to be a hero. To quote de Gaulle, 500,000 heroes, 500,000 bastards, 30 million sheep. Those who really went out of their way for one side or the other became heroes or got executed/lost civic rights/etc., and the rest? They had to live with their conscience, with the knowledge that they kept their head down when shit happened.

There isn't the British delusion of the entire nation resisting and being strong. The Brits were just the same as we were: they followed suit nicely, but those they followed won the war, so they think themselves all big damn heroes as a nation, that when push comes to shove, they'll end up on top due to some sort of national spirit. Here, not so much, we have a shitload of reminders of our sins, literally engraved in stone in various parts. If your French isn't too rusty, I think you'll realize the implications of the plate. Furthermore, the duty of remembrance is still pretty strong to this day, with for example the highest administrative court, during the Papon case, making it into jurisprudence that there is a clear and legal continuity between the Pétain administration and the current administration, that the government of our darkest hours was indeed our government, that there is no escape from our responsibility (hell, in comparison, the judicial system in Italy held its ground a lot, lot more under Mussolini than our administration). That France was as much de Gaulle as it was Pétain.

And that neither UK nor the US went through this deep hard look in the mirror is one of the greatest tragedies that ever happened to their nations, in my opinion. They think themselves above of these very human instincts, and populists are no able to get through to them much more easily.
 

Alcibiades

Active member
There isn't the British delusion of the entire nation resisting and being strong. The Brits were just the same as we were: they followed suit nicely, but those they followed won the war, so they think themselves all big damn heroes as a nation, that when push comes to shove, they'll end up on top due to some sort of national spirit. Here, not so much, we have a shitload of reminders of our sins, literally engraved in stone in various parts. If your French isn't too rusty, I think you'll realize the implications of the plate.
I think that's the only time that I've seen a commemorative plaque that in some sense indictes the people reading it. Russia is full of them, but they're all celebrations of our good vs. their evil, not look at this evil shit we did
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
I think that's the only time that I've seen a commemorative plaque that in some sense indictes the people reading it. Russia is full of them, but they're all celebrations of our good vs. their evil, not look at this evil shit we did
We've done bad shit, and it'd be adding insult to death if we didn't acknowledge it. Usually, you see two types of plates side by side in the large train stations: one reminding that these trains carried tens of thousands of French people to their death, one that train workers were critical for the Resistance efforts. History is complex and contradictory, and it's better to recognize it.
 
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IndyFront

Yokkiziikzekker
Author

With the looming threat of a hard border in Ireland and the crisis with stocks and supplies and the economy writ large, this is like thinking the bestcourse of action to fighting a fire is taking the fire-extinguisher, and then promptly throwing the entire fire extinguisher into the fire and screaming angrily at it...
 

Lord Kragan

The one and only Lord of Mutton Chops.
Author

With the looming threat of a hard border in Ireland and the crisis with stocks and supplies and the economy writ large, this is like thinking the bestcourse of action to fighting a fire is taking the fire-extinguisher, and then promptly throwing the entire fire extinguisher into the fire and screaming angrily at it...

Holy shit. This can't be real.
 

Inquisitor Solarion

Active member

With the looming threat of a hard border in Ireland and the crisis with stocks and supplies and the economy writ large, this is like thinking the bestcourse of action to fighting a fire is taking the fire-extinguisher, and then promptly throwing the entire fire extinguisher into the fire and screaming angrily at it...

I think what he did is not throw the fire extinguisher but throw a Molotov cocktail.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
The British Empire will rise again?
No, the Empire's time in the sun ended when Germany outpaced it in 1900. Right now it's going to get all that karma that it had in the bank unleashed with interest.
 

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