April 9, 2013

My Taki's column on Margaret Thatcher

My new Taki's Magazine column puts Mrs. Thatcher in historical perspective.


Anonymous said...

Nice article. What was the conference about? And is that where the photo of you and Thatcher was taken?

Cameron said...

Thatcher new what was happening re immigration:


Anonymous said...

Soviets had lots of nukes and tanks but for defensive reasons, not to Finlandize Western Europe.

Soviets were deeply worried about Eastern Europe. Poles, Hungarians, East Germans, Czechs, etc has all revolted at one time. Yugoslavia wasn't even in the Soviet bloc, and Romania had forged chummy ties with the US.
Soviets knew that the vast majority of Eastern Europeans saw the Russians as an imperialistic occupying force. So, Soviet military might was really to intimidate Eastern bloc nations in case they rise up and side with the West. Also, Soviets feared the breakup of the USSR due to ethnic diversity. So, Soviet military power was to maintain the empire and intimidate enemies outside and inside that might seek to subvert the system. It was never to invade or own Western Europe.

And Soviets were right to worry. Once the Berlin Wall came down, all the Eastern European nations joined the West and expressed their hatred/fear of Russia. And the Soviet empire broke apart.

What Russians wanted was for the process of letting go of Eastern bloc nations(that seethed with hatred for Russians) and possible breaking up of the Soviet empire to be peaceful and painless as possible WITHOUT the US taking advantage of the breakup to gloat and extend its military influence to surround Russia. Bush I assured the Russians that US would not take advantage of Russian retreat from Eastern bloc nations and possible breakup of the empire.

Yes, there was the aggressive ideology of communism, but after Stalin's death, Soviets were mainly worried about stability, especially as the USSR was so vast and diverse--and massive China became a deadly foe--and as it was clear that Easter European nations were in the Soviet camp only under threat and therefore did not make good allies. Soviets would not have dared to try to invade the West since the unreliable Eastern Europeans might turn around and side with the West in WW III.

Also, Eastern Europe had fallen to the Soviets because the West--Nazi Germany--invaded Russia first. If Hitler hadn't attacked Russia and then lost the war, most of Eastern Europe would never fallen to the Soviets in the first place. Even Soviet's taking of half of Poland and war with Finland happened with the tacit approval or agreement with the Germans.
Once the Soviets won the great patriotic war--as it deserves to be called--with a loss of anywhere from 15 to 25 million people, they were determined to never be invaded again, so they kept the Eastern European nations as buffer states. But the buffer turned into a burden as Eastern Europeans barely concealed their utter contempt for everything Russian.
I never met a Pole who has anything nice to say about Russians.

Based on US's nakedly aggressive and opportunistic policy in Europe and againt Russia after the Cold War, I wonder if maybe it's true that the US was really the more aggressive power.

Another look at the cuban missile crisis.


Reagan meant well and did the right thing, and communism was despicable and stupid, but I believe that the Soviets were essentially defensive-minded after WWII, especially as so much of Russia lay in ruins and had to be rebuilt. And in the nuclear race, it was the soviets who were trying to keep up with the west from day one. Also, as no side dared contemplate starting WWIII with conventional or nuclear weapons, all the missile gap stuff was mostly hype.

Finally, though in principle I think high taxes for the rich is a bad idea, I wish Reagan and Thatcher hadn't done the rich a favor. After all, what did the superrich do with all that money?
Push open borders, globalism, 'gay marriage', political correctness, wars for Israel, porn culture, Obama, Wall street banksterism, etc.

Some thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ah, the nuclear freeze movement. I went to an exclusive private high school in Princeton, NJ in the early 1980's.

The nuclear freeze movement was huuuge there.

Also, my memories of the era include massive institutionalized hatred of Reagan among the privileged Princeton kids and lefty teachers. Kinda like Thatcher.

I now realize that they were and are the same bunch of Proto-Obamatards who run the MSM etc. and think Barack is the fulfillment of all of their warped fantasies.

Anonymous said...

In the spring of 1982, this Soviet model of foreign meddling to lessen domestic vulnerability was suddenly replicated at the other end of the world when the Argentine military dictatorship responded to demonstrations in Buenos Aires by seizing Britain’s Falkland Islands. Mrs. Thatcher dispatched the Royal Navy eight thousand miles, losing five ships to a brave and resourceful Argentine air force. Ultimately, the Brits won an improbable victory.

Lynn and Vanhanen's data seems to have been completely scrubbed from the internet, but I found a bootleg copy of a recent paper by Lynn and Meisenberg, and it looks as though the UK had about an half-a-standard-deviation advantage in IQ over Argentina.

So the Argentines weren't complete dimwits, but it would have been just about mathematically [socio-biologically] impossible for them to have defeated the British in almost any [even possibly] conceivable miltary scenario.

PS: By South American standards, Argentina isn't that bad:

Uruguay: 96
Argentina: 93
Chile [Pinochet]: 90
Brazil: 87
Venezuela [Chavez]: 84

In retrospect, maybe the Argentinians just got a little too full of themselves simply because they were one of the bigger fish in a very, very small pond?

Also, those numbers would tend to lend support to The Derb's thesis that maybe Uruguay might be a good destination for fleeing to...

Anonymous said...

an exclusive private high school in Princeton, NJ


The Lawrenceville Academy is down in Lawrenceville.

What else was there in P-Town in the early 1980s?

PS: I just googled, and apparently I'm dating myself - the Lawrenceville Academy is now known as the "Lawrenceville School".



Auntie Analogue said...

Anonymous 10:41...

So Soviet xenophobia, and the Soviet desire only to ride herd on their eastern European satrapies account for why the Soviets built up Gorshkov's huge blue water navy, including a vast fleet of boomer and attack submarines that plied the seven seas? Is it also why they built up huge fleets of attack and bomber aircraft and equipped them with standoff missiles designed to take out NATO ships, so they could isolate western Europe from the U.S.?

Some people will believe anything.

Turtle Wise said...

The Left hates Thatcher for helping defeat Communism. It is amazing how quickly most people have forgotten about Communism.

And the anti-Whites hate her for opposing open borders in only White countries.

Amazing how much overlap there is now between those who were fanatically communist back then and those who are anti-White now.

Anonymous said...

Cameron said: "Thatcher knew what was happening re immigration"

"Racist" is any comment about race, whether true or not, that some people don't like. I always thought Bob Carr looked like an alien, ET Roswell type. Thatcher's words were wise.

The Frankfurt School said...

Amazing how much overlap there is now between those who were fanatically communist back then and those who are anti-White now.

Gee, ya think?!?


Farang said...

Amazing how much overlap there is now between those who were fanatically communist back then and those who are anti-White now.
After 1991, at least here in France, they ALL said either "I always knew that communism couldn't survive" or "I voted for the communists in France but I loathed the USSR."

Read the British press. Now the anti-white crowd is beginning to say "It was irresponsible to open the borders to mass immigration, I always thought so, even if I didn't say so in public."

Two things must never be underestimated: the cowardice of the PC crowd, and human beings' seemingly unlimited ability to deceive themselves and re-write history.

Every politically correct person is either a coward (or merely prudent) or an idiot (or simulating. Playing the dunce to survive socially and professionally).

Anonymous said...

"We will bury you" and attempting to spread over the entire earth generally gets yourself taken as a threat.

dearieme said...

Her main enemies were Communists, the fascistic Argentine generals and the terrorists of the IRA. What a Roll of Honour!

Anonymous said...

I like this:


We need to get a Steve Sailer one made up.

Anonymous said...

"Soviets built up Gorshkov's huge blue water navy, including a vast fleet of boomer and attack submarines that plied the seven seas?"

Arms race. Soviets never wanted to use them in an actual war. Those were built in case of a worst-case-scenario.

Stalin was devious but careful. He used proxies like North Korea, and when things went badly, asked China to carry the burden.

American troops fought in Korea and Vietnam and had lots of military bases all around the world, but Soviet use of military force was close to home. To quell uprisings in Eastern Europe and prop up communist regime in Afghanistan. Soviets sent arms, aid, and advisers around the world, but didn't want to get to directly involved militarily from Russia and didn't. Soviets knew that American capitalism could support US aid and military ventures around the world. But soviet communism could barely feed its own people--if anything Russia had to import grain from the US and Canada. And petro-dollars that propped up the Soviet economy depended on sales to capitalist nations.

Even subsidizing small Cuba and North Korea was turning out to be huge burden on the USSR where one had to stand in lines to buy toilet tissues. Soviets also had to subsidize Eastern European economy buy purchasing its shoddy goods and by providing it with cheap raw material and energy.

The USSR looked big and mighty and it was, but its power was mostly invested in maintaining itself. The USSR was so big and diverse--and a massive headache to hold together--that the Soviets didn't want to gamble in some crazy war. During WWII, Soviets could easily have invaded all of Finland but did not.
During the early 60s when the USSR and China became bitter enemies, Russia could easily have invaded and kept huge swaths of northwestern parts of China as it had tremendous military advantage over China, yet Soviets didn't even dare engage with poor backward China except in tiny skirmishes.

Black Death said...

Steve -

Nice article - one of the best I've read about Margaret Thatcher.

I was unaware of the connection with General William Odom. I just finished his book, "The Collapse of the Soviet Military." Fantastic. I knew Thatcher was ambivalent about German reunification. Did Odom feel that way too, or was he in favor? Anyone who thinks that the USSR's intentions were benign should read Odom's book.

Anonymous said...

Thatcher was mainly hated in the UK because unemployment sky-rocketed in her term of office.
- Previously mass unemployment was *the* great big taboo of British poltics due to extremely painful memories of the deprivation of 1930s, the Jarrow Marchers, General Strike etc. In 1979 when she took office, men who started work in the 20s and 30s were still in the workforce. The memories were still very raw and bitter.
But in all fairness, Thatcher was not wholly responsible for the spike in unemployment. Most of it was down to Paul Volcker f*cking up the world economy and the mad mullahs taking over in Iran and unleashing a god-awful inflation wave (remember when gold hit crazy prices per ounce?). She was unlucky to catch that flak.
That said, Thatcher did feel guilt for Britain's unemployment problem an never - unlike Cameron or New Labour for that matter - insulted the unemployed as a matter of course. Under her reign there were some very good government run training centers run where the unemployed could learn new skills, full time,at government expense.
- New Labour got rid of all that.

Anonymous said...

I think Reagan and Thatcher weren't really interested in becoming rich themselves--or at least, stinking rich. Instead, they had this idea that the rich in a capitalist society were enterprisers, the best of the best; Reagan and Thatcher wanted to root for them, fight for them, and win their approval. This is where they failed. Masters rarely respect attack dogs that play fetch for them.

The new master capitalist class of the 80s-2000s was well-served by people like Reagan and Thatcher but saw them as eager-to-please dogs.
And such conservatives became less valuable as Clinton and Blair became friendly to the rich.
With new liberalism, the rich could have it all: more money and more-moral-posturizing than just one or the other.

The rich and ambitious people only respect other rich and ambitious people. Clinton, Schroder, Gore, etc had huge ambitions even outside politics. Out of office, they planned to get filthy rich and play the globo-game. The globo-rich saw them as 'one of us'.

After dutifully serving the rich/successful, Reagan and Thatcher just wanted to settle to a quiet life. All said and done, they were servers of the rich than people who wanted to be rich themselves. The rich don't much care for running dogs even as they benefit from creatures.

It's like aristocrats respect other aristocrats than the humble servants who work so hard for their masters.
And rock stars respect other rock stars than roadies who work so hard to carry the burden for their rock star bosses and groupies who go out of their way to please the stars by putting out. In the end, Thatcher and Reagan were groupies of the rich who went off with more glamorous lovers.

But to this day, cons wonder, 'gee, why do the superrich and privileged Jews go with Obama when it's us conservatives who put out for them?'
The powerful and ambitious don't respect brazen whores of power and wealth.

Canadian Observer said...

I read this snippet in a Canadian newspaper today. I live on the other side of the pond, so could someone please interpret it for me?:

"On Monday night, in the multi-ethnic London borough of Brixton, riot police were called out to break up anti-Thatcher street parties that turned unruly."

Anonymous said...

"Was German political reunification a good idea? Like Chou En-lai’s opinion of the French Revolution, all I can say is that it’s too soon to tell."

Oh, come on. Of course it was. The initial costs were high for the West but it was good for Germany to be one again.

a very knowing American said...

Another Thatcher fan was the novelist Anthony Powell.

"I continue to find Mrs Thatcher very attractive physically. Her overhanging eyelids, hooded eyes, are the only suggestion of mystery (a characteristic I like in women, while totally accepting Wilde's view of them as Sphinxes without a secret). Her general appearance seems to justify Mitterand's alleged comment that she has the eyes of Caligula and the lips of Marilyn Monroe."

if you like Waugh, you might like Powell. Powell is very funny, but drier. Both are great stylists. Both chronicled the decline of the English aristocracy, and England.

Anonymous said...

This is no defense of the Soviet Union as I detest communism and am repulsed by the bloody history of the USSR and other commie states.

But in order to understand postwar Soviet policy, we have to frame it in contexts other than merely the ideological one of 'world commie revolution' or 'soviet expanionism' or 'russian chauvinism'.
But 'Russian' is crucial to this understanding because the Soviet Empire was essentially a Russian Empire--though for a while, it was almost a radical Jewish empire(and that door opened up for a time during the Yeltsin yrs as well). Russians and Russo-centric non-Russians ruled the Soviet Empire, so we have to understand the Russian cultural and historical mind to understand the mind-set of the Soviet Union.

First, compare US and USSR. US never had hostile or dangerous bordering nations. Maybe Canada-as-part-of-British-empire in the early days, but the War of 1812 was instigated by Americans. Mexico was a pushover, and Americans took a big chunk of it. American Indians were no match to lots of whites with guns. Southern Whites felt a kind of defeat and humiliation at the hands of Yankees, but they were still part of America and had much to gain by remaining within the nation and were loyal to the nation during the major wars. Also, the deep northern/southern split is a rather recent phenomenon. After the Civil War, Republicans went easy on the South, and the Democrats relied on both urban northerners and southern farmers even up to the early 60s.
Americans always felt safe. The two biggest attacks on the US--Pearl Harbor(when Hawaii wasn't even an American state) and 9/11(the first attack on the American mainland)--hardly threatened America, and Americans caused much more damage on the enemies(and even extended the war to Iraq and Libya). How many Afghanis have died thus far? Over a million Japanese died and two cities were nuked. So, Americans never felt truly threatened. (One could argue that white Americans were ideologically, morally, politically, economically, intellectually, and culturally conquered by Jews and gays and are thus committing massive racial suicide by allowing massive immigration from the Third World and massive racial integration, but it was not a military or violent conquest).

Anonymous said...

Now, I understand and even approve of the Cold War rhetoric against the USSR. Against your enemy, you are supposed to hurl abuse and raise alarm. It's like two boxers do a lot of trash-talking. It comes with the turf. It's like there's been a cold war between white conservatives and American Jews. In this war, American Jews have been eager to put white America on the defensive by spreading hysteria and propaganda that white conservatives are closet-nazis, kkk, warmongers against women, 'xenophobes', 'homophobes', gun-nuts who wanna shoot school children, and etc. Of course, Jews know this is over-the-top and exaggerated, but as long as Jews still regard white conservatives as the main enemy, it's par for the course and no amount of hysteria is enough. It's how wars, hot or cold, are fought. Propaganda matters. So, even as American propaganda against the USSR was sometimes loony tunes and vice versa, it was politics as usual. It's always been so in every country because fear-mongering rallies and unites the people and because it's effective. The KKKGB is out to get you!! And during the Cold War, many Russians, rulers and ruled, believed that Reagan was some kind of a nut hellbent on circling Russia and maybe even doing something crazy.

But now that the cold war is long over, let's look at the Russian view of things. Unlike the US, Russia has a long history of encirclement and invasion. And not just the Pearl Harbor kind and 9/11 kind but the sorts of invasions that threatened to wipe Russia off the map or enslave Russians forever. Americans lost 1000s in Hawaii and decisively defeated Japan by killing a million or millions, but Americans are still angry over Pearl Harbor and 'evil Japs'. Imagine how Russians feel about WWII where tens of millions died and who knows how many were wounded. Where entire villages and towns were razed, where cities were bombed to smithereens. Where millions of Russians died in German prison camps. Japanese treated American POWS abominably but Germans really took the cake when it came to the prison camp business. Suppose Japan had done to America what Germany did to Russia. I'm positive we wouldn't merely have defeated Japan but killed everyone of them. And keep in mind that German plan for Russia was total enslavement and massive genocide. Russians had to draw on every last bit of strength and stamina to fend off the invasion and survive as a people.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the USSR was a murderous empire and Stalin was one of the foulest cretins that ever lived, but for most Russians, WWII was about survival and then revenge, not about spreading communist ideology.
But WWII was not an anomaly in Russian history. In the 19th century, Russia was almost conquered by Napoleon. Now, the Napper was not such a bad guy and prolly meant well in his own sort of way to liberate Russians--as well as punish them for doing business with the Brits. Even so, millions perished. And Russians have never forgotten the centuries-long tyranny under the Mongols. Later, Mongols and Muslims morphed into one called the Tatars and threatened Russia. And Turks were pretty expansionist too. And Russia wasn't always a great power. There were times when Lithuanians and Poles had a decisive advantage over the Russians. What always saved Russia was its space. When attacked from the south, Russians could pull back and unite to fight back from the north. When attacked from the west, Russians reorganized by withdrawing to the East. Mongols did invade all of Russia, but the land mass was so vast that Mongols simply couldn't rule over it effectively. Yet, Russia's land mass could be a curse as well as blessing. It meant Russia was connected to enemies/rivals all around.

Anonymous said...

Eisenstein's ALEXANDER NEVSKY and IVAN THE TERRIBLE I & II cannot be taken seriously as history, but they resonated with Stalin and many Russians because of their crystallization of the national myth. Alexander Nevsky represents Russia the survivor against tyranny and invasion. When the movie begins, Russia is under Mongol rule(invasion from the East), but Nevsky clings to his Russian pride and identity. When the Teutonic Knights come attacking(from the West), Nevsky leads his Russian army to defeat the invaders. The film spoke to the mythology of national defense of Russia.
IVAN THE TERRIBLE furthers the national mythology by saying 'offense is the best defense', both politically and militarily. The Czar is shown to have lots of enemies within the palace, so for Ivan to triumph, he must strike them before they strike him. Stalin thought this way, and so does Putin to an extent. It's ingrained in Russian political culture: intrigues all around, so get them before they get you. And militarily, Ivan figures it's not enough to defend Russia from the Tatars and the Poles. He will take the fight to them. Hit them before they hit Russia again. So, Russian aggression/expansion grew partly, even largely, out of Russian defensiveness and survivalism. Just like Jews believe in 'offense is the best defense', Russian foreign policy came to take on such coloring, especially as Russians historically feared the Germans, Turks, Muslims, Mongols, and Chinese. In a way, the Russian empire was an accidental empire. Russians took land for prestige and glory to be sure but also to maintain them as buffer zones against bigger enemies. Even the Russian Revolution was largely accidental. If the idiot Tsar hadn't gotten Russia involved in WWI, most Russians wouldn't have supported Lenin and the Bolshies. But Russia went broke, people went starving, sons died in the war or came back crippled, and Russians just about had enough. They went with the Bolshies cuz Bolshies promised them land, peace, and bread. So, Russians tend to be reactive than proactive. (Russians have some Mexicanishness in them.)

In contrast, Anglos and Americans have been very pro-active. They crossed the ocean and took the new world. They expanded westward with speed and fury. American idealism about slavery led to a major war to end it. Once the West was conquered and settled, Americans wanted to own the seas. American revolution was a very proactive revolution. The French masses were led to revolution out of desperation in a failing economy. Russians were led to revolution because of the hardships caused by WWI. In contrast, American colonialists had it rather good under the British empire. If anything, it was the Brits who did most of the fighting and spending to win the French and Indian War. So, Brits said, 'since we paid the cost for this war, you guys pay more taxes', which was reasonable enough. But Colonialists rebelled and made their own nation. Colonials were not reacting to tyranny under desperation but fired up by idealism and by ambition of self-rule and greater power. Americans were eagle-ish, on the look for more glory. Russians were bearish, big and powerful, but also slow and lethargic and not really wanting to get involved unless it really had to.

Anonymous said...

The problem for Russia was the paradoxical nature of its buffer zones. As buffers, they were useful and effective. But buffers can also serve as bridges to the enemy. Romans found this out when the Germanic buffer states became Germanic bridges for barbarian hordes to sack Rome. Russians were mighty proud to have conquered Eastern Europe after WWII but also aware that communism/Russian rule was not popular. Communists had some initial support as fighters against Nazism, but if free elections were allowed, communists had a good chance of losing, and so Soviet Union imposed regimes on those nations, and there was a lot of bad blood. Also, Western influence that might infect Eastern Europe could also enter Russia. East Germans got contraband stuff from West Germans and this stuff could end up with Russian soldiers who might bring it to Russia.

Russians valued the Central Asian states as buffer against the Muslim world, but the danger was that the Muslim tide could spread over into the USSR via those mostly Muslim regions. Russians feared the fall of communist regime in Afghanistan for two reasons. If it fell and Russians did nothing, Eastern Europeans might become bolder in resisting Russian rule. But more importantly, Muslim rule in Afghanistan--following Islamist victory in Iran--might mean the spread of Islamism in the Central Asian states of Russia. So, the buffer states could turn into a hornet hive for the Russians. By the 1980s, over 50% of young people in the USSR were non-Russian, and the fastest population growth was in the Muslim states. Russians had nightmares over this. In Stalin's times, harsh measures might have been taken. But since the 1960s, Russians no longer had a stomach for mass expulsions and mass killings. Also, as Central Asian Muslims were backward and not very talented, they didn't add much to the Soviet economy while draining Russia with lots of subsidies. One of the reason why Russians accepted mostly autonomous rule in many non-Russian regions is that a more federalized system would have required Moscow to offer all the benefits to everyone in the USSR that Russians got. Now, Russians didn't get much but they still got more than Central Asians. Kremlin couldn't afford to spend more on the exploding population of Muslims, and so, autonomous control pretty much took control over much of non-Russian regions, which is why the breakup of the USSR wasn't that difficult. The mechanism for autonomous rule had long been in existence.

Anonymous said...

Now, when we were growing up, we saw the USSR and its satellite states as this one giant red mark on the map against tiny little Western Europe. Since China was communist too, it too was marked with red. It really seemed like one giant commie empire, but reality was different. Soviet Empire was badly fractured culturally and regionally, and China and Russia hated one another. And Russians didn't trust the Eastern bloc and vice versa.

In the recent Mao book by Pantsov, we learn that Stalin's provocation in the Korean conflict was also partly defensive. By getting Americans mired in that war, Stalin figured Americans would be less aggressive in Western Europe and Turkey. And the main backers of Vietnam were the Chinese, not the Soviets. And Soviets didn't value that war so much in terms of communist expansionism but as Americans-being-too-busy-with-Vietnam-to-mess-with-Russia. Russians essentially valued Third World revolutions as diversionary advantages than the hope for worldwide communist revolution, i.e. focus Americans on other parts of the world so they would focus less on the Soviet Union.

For one thing, Russians knew that there was a huge discrepancy between their rhetoric and their reality. Yes, America was no paradise but it was a rich country where lots of people--even immigrants and minorities--lived well. But most Russians just had the basic necessities of life and not even always. If the West welcomed communist refugees, Russia dreaded capitalist refugees like Lee Harvey Oswald who'd soon realize that the USSR was no workers' paradise. And every time some nation fell to communism, its economy would go south and Soviets would have to bail them out at a huge and never-ending loss.

When China fell under Mao, you'd think Stalin would have been ecstatic. While he'd certainly sent aid to the chinese communists and helped them to power, Stalin dreaded Mao and fretted endlessly about Chinese communism.
Communists were paranoid in and across every country, and paranoids have a hard time coming and working together. And people tire of paranoia and, at the first chance of freedom, reject communism. Soviets knew this.

Anonymous said...

In Angola, Soviets used Cubans.

Soviets really didn't wanna get engaged in any conflict far from home.

Anonymous said...

Best Cold War movies?








Worst is Moscow on the Hudson. Hated it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hitler's intolerant racial policy of not recruiting Slavs early on to fight the Soviet regime cost him dearly.

But in a way, Stalin was ideologically far less tolerant.
Take the Spanish Civil War. Hitler didn't much care for Franco--and came to despise him--, but he did everything possible to help Franco win. Hitler figured any anti-communist was better than leftists/communists/anarchists. The Spanish Right was cobbled together of various groups but they came together against the common enemy.

But Stalin couldn't do this. He sent mucho aid to the Spanish government, but he also sent agents to purge the Republican side of as many OTHER Leftists as possible. For Stalin, the only true left was the Soviet left centered in Moscow. He couldn't stand anarchists, socialists, Trotskyites, and etc. In fact, the Stalinists in Spain fought as much with the OTHER/HERETIC left as with the Right. In some ways, Stalin preferred that Franco win than the OTHER left win. He figured that if the OTHER left won--socialists, anarchists, and/or Trotskyites as opposed to Stalinists--, it could stand as the OTHER beacon of leftist revolution/power in the world, and Stalin didn't want any other nation to be an ideological rival to the USSR.
Stalin knew that when the right criticized communism in the West, the western Left kneejerkedly rejected rightist criticism.

But if there was a OTHER LEFT nation in the West and if it criticized Stalin and the USSR, western leftists might side with this OTHER left than keep sympathizing with the USSR.
So, even if Stalin wanted Stalinists to win in Spain, he prolly preferred Franco winning than the OTHER left winning.

Though Hitler demanded loyalty and sought to be the dominant ruler of the European Right, he was never paranoid like Stalin. He had no love for German generals, but he had only a few purged. And even the ones purged were left to retire quietly; they were not killed. Hitler moved against Rohm and SA but that was a genuine power struggle. Hitler had to kill the SA thugs to win over the respect of German military. Hitler was ruthless against racial enemies but mostly trusted those around him.

Also, Hitler didn't mind sharing the spotlight with the OTHER right represented by Mussolini, Franco, and Japanese militarists. Hitler didn't think there was only one correct form of fascism or rightism. He didn't mind that Franco wasn't a true fascist; he wanted Franco to win just the same. He didn't mind that Mussolini's fascism differed significantly from German National Socialism. Hitler remained loyal to Mussolini to the very end and even restored him after the coup.

But Hitler's utterly extreme views on Jews and Russians brought him to a bad end. Until he invaded Russia, it was his greater pragmatism and ideological tolerance that had enabled him to achieve so much so fast. But then, he turned to pure radicalism and his own brand of total intolerance in the Eastern Front led to defeat.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the late Gen. Odom pop up in one of Steve's columns. I took the General's seminar on Russian politics as an undergrad at Yale, and although I'm sure that I must have picked up a thing or two about the subject at some point, all I can seem to remember is his folksy, Tennessee-hills manner of explaining that correlation does not necessarily imply causation:

A young man goes into a bar, orders rye and water, and proceeds to drink four of them, only to wake up to a splitting headache the day afterward.

The next week he goes to the same bar, orders whiskey and water, drinks four, and experiences the same aftereffects.

The third week he returns to the bar, orders vodka and water, drinks four, and, sure enough, finds himself in agony the next day.

He thinks to himself through the misery of his hangover: "That water sure is powerful stuff."

Aging Nag said...

"while totally accepting Wilde's view of them as Sphinxes without a secret)..."

How weird to insert that in the middle of an otherwise charming observation. The reference to Wilde sours everything. Ruined it for me.

Any man who quotes Oscar Wilde on women must be a closet queen.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Thatcher was absolutely right to keep Britain out of the ruinous euro project bonding the BMW 7 Series of the German economy to the Vespa scooter of the Southern European economies.)

Stupid comparison. The other European countries cannot devaluate their currency any longer and the Euro's value is much more stable to other currencies than the Deutsche Mark ever was.

Everyone likes to point at the huge amounts of money Germany has to give to other countries but no one ever considers the effects of devaluation.

- from Germany

PS: The attack on the Euro zone is over and it failed.