Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Waiting for the numbers

I got a lot of positive reactions to my previous post, in the Gates of Vienna thread, where it was originally written as a comment. The Baron himself was kind enough to populate my blog and give a comment here. He wrote "Our advantage is that we do have the numbers. But whether those numbers can be roused short of the nukes is anybody's guess." Well, I agree of course. Previously he had written:

The only possible advantages we will have will be the rightness of our cause, and superior numbers.

The first of those is taken care of. Can we manage the second?
As you all know, I'm sort of a skeptic regarding Christianity-Democracy-America. But if I would share some words of hope along this line, I would use the help of John Reilly (and Peggy Noonan). John Reilly, who is a very nice and interesting blogger, if you like history and the long view (which I do), wrote the following back in 2004:

There is an old theory on the reactionary right (the real reactionary right, not to be confused with conservatives or libertarians). It holds that liberal democracies are doomed, because, in international affairs, they necessarily lacked the persistence and focus of autocracies. Sometimes, when I listen to John Kerry or Howard Dean, I start to think this too, but it's nonsense: the historical record is clear that liberal societies beat every other kind of society hollow. A clue to why this should be may be found in Peggy Noonan's March 25 column on the recent 911 hearings:

One summer day in the late 1990s I had a long talk with an elected official who was a friend and longtime political supporter of President Clinton. I asked him why, if Bill Clinton cared so much about his legacy, he didn't take steps to make America safer from terrorism. Why didn't he make it one of his big issues? We were at lunch in a New York restaurant, and I gestured toward the tables of happy people drinking golden-colored wine in gleaming glasses. They're all going to get sick when we get nuked, I said; they'd honor your guy for having warned and prepared. Yes, the official said, but you have to understand that Clinton is purely a poll driven politician, and if the numbers aren't there he won't move.

Too bad, I thought, because the numbers will someday be there.

The strength of democracy is that sometimes the numbers are there. That is more than even the most fearsome totalitarian state can say. The Soviet Union collapsed because its rulers never really thought of themselves as legitimate, and so never dared asked their people for anything more than submission. Nazi Germany lost the Second World War because the leadership feared to risk unpopularity by putting the economy on a war footing. Britain, in contrast, was the most thoroughly mobilized of all the combatants; even more so than Stalin's USSR. The very qualities that enabled Britain to do that, however, also made it possible for the country to entertain the self-delusion and evasion that prevailed in the 1930s. Sometimes, what looks like a fatal weakness is really a latent strength.

So if there is a God, who will guarantee a correlation between good acts and success, this is it. Democracy will win. It will happen painfully slow, some tens of millions of extra lives will be sacrificed, but everything will end well. But I guess I'm one of those real reactionary rightists that John Reilly talks about, because I'm skeptical.

Yes, it worked last time, obviously. But that time they had a much simpler situation to deal with. Once they woke up to the situation, they had proper democracies, proper nations of people co-operating on the inside as the home front, against an external enemy met in conventional warfare where the combatants where properly dressed in uniforms. We have none of these advantages in our current situation. It's exactly or democracy that is dying, our demos is breaking apart. And the Muslims won't be putting on uniforms and line up nicely on a battlefield. In this war there is no home front, no safe havens. Our very countries (our home streets) are the battlefields, and the enemies (whether Muslim or PC) are right among us, right under our skins.

And no matter how despicable Chamberlain, Leon Blum, etc. were in their appeasement of Hitler. The were never actually siding with the Nazis against the people of their own countries, such as the appeasement elites of today are doing. They were never staging the kind of witch-hunts against anti-Nazis as the current "world community" elites of today are doing. They never launched the kind of stormtroopers against the anti-Jihadists as the PC elites of today are doing. They were just very weak leaders. But they didn't hate their own people and their own nations. They didn't actively collaborate with the Nazis/Jihadists. But this is what our elites of today are doing.

The whole basis for John Reilly's reasoning is that: this is how a democracy functions. My counter-argument is: very well so, but this is no longer a democracy.

Democracy or not, what will happen with those numbers? How will it turn out? When will they come? What will the situation look like by then? I will have reason to come back to this.

[End of post]


Helge said...

"Nazi Germany lost the Second World War because the leadership feared to risk unpopularity by putting the economy on a war footing"

This is plainly untrue! The German economy was indeed adapted to warfare, whereupon the Nazi elites could comfortably rely. Quite similarly to the Soviets, the Nazi mobilised every individual at hand for the cause of their war, and guess what, they need not dread civil disobedience.

Yet another instance of this is the issue of the first "Volkswagen" (people's car), which had been started in order to make a car affordable for every citizens. However, the begin of the war in 1939 disrupted this and all public savings with respect to the Volkswagen (some bank accounted had been set up, where everyone interested in this programme would pay a certain per cent of their monthly income and which, in the end, would cumulate in a purchase of said car) were frozen and subsequently adopted by the state. As far as I can recall, there was no(!) substantial public upheaval or discontent.

So much to the Nazis' being apprehensive for their public image.

Conservative Swede said...

Yes Helge. John Reilly really bent the reality about Nazi Germany here to fit the general picture that he wanted to paint.

rebelliousvanilla said...

This is probably the argument the Trojans had when facing the Greeks. Our walls have never been breached!!! Just like the Trojans though, we have the enemy within. Last time I checked, Hitler didn't vote in the British elections and Stalin's votes didn't count against those of the American presidents. This is what John Reilly doesn't gets. He also doesn't gets that the people back then actually had balls.

In the same sense, John Reilly probably tries to persuade an electorate on how capitalism is a better system and how it actually makes people more equal without governmental meddling, moral hazards and preferential tax loopholes. This will never work because the government will always rely on the support of James if the government gives him the money of John. Also, due to 'diversity' countries aren't homogenous anymore so they can't do what they did back then. In a heterogenous society, democracy is a joke(with universal suffrage it's bad everywhere).