April 21, 2011
America's Vichy Regime?
For the French, revisiting the time period when the Vichy Regime ruled what was left of the country after its humiliating defeat by the Germans in 1940 involves trauma. But the lessons imparted by those dark years of Nazi occupation transcend historical era and nationality, touching upon equivalent circumstances in the United States for the past few years. Equivalent, not identical: clearly, phalanxes of Nazi troops aren't goose-stepping down Pennsylvania Avenue. Don't have to: the threat is not swastika-black, but rather red and green and yellow. Indeed, one may hurl many criticisms against America's ruling class, but rainbow-challenged it's not.A few comparisons are in order. In their fine review of French history since 1870, Alice L. Conklin, Sarah Fishman, and Robert Zaretsky point out that French leaders at Vichy had several bargaining chips they could use against Hitler, but decided not to play them "because they had other priorities on their...(Read Full Article)