Sunday, November 9, 2014



Churchill Still Stands Alone

Winston Churchill remains a one-man argument for the idea that history is a tale of singular individuals and shining deeds.

Sir Isaiah Berlin called the wartime statesman ‘the largest human being of our time.’

by BORIS JOHNSON

Nov. 7, 2014 10:47 a.m. ET

When I was growing up, there was no doubt about it: Winston Churchill was the greatest statesman Britain had ever produced.
My brother and I pored over Sir Martin Gilbert ’s biographical “Life in Pictures” enough to memorize the captions. I knew that Churchill had led my country to victory against one of history’s most disgusting tyrannies. I knew that he had a mastery of the art of speechmaking, and I knew, even then, that this art was dying out. I knew that he was funny, irreverent and (even by the standards of his time) politically incorrect.
At suppertime, we were told the apocryphal stories: the one where Churchill is on the lavatory, is informed that the Lord Privy Seal wants to see him and says that he is sealed in the privy. We knew the one where Labour member of Parliament Elizabeth Braddock allegedly tells him that he’s drunk, and he shoots back, with astonishing rudeness, that she’s ugly, while in the morning, he’d be sober.
I knew that he had been amazingly brave as a young man, that he had killed men with his own hand and that he had been fired at on four continents. I knew that he had been a bit of a runt at Harrow, his famous boarding school near London; that he was only about 5 feet 7 inches with a 31-inch chest; and that he had overcome his stammer and his depression and his appalling father to become the greatest living Englishman.
I gathered that there was something holy and magical about him because my grandparents kept the front page of the Daily Express from the day he died in 1965, at the age of 90. I was pleased to have been born a year before his death: The more I read about him, the more proud I was to have been alive when he was too.
Most Americans, when they think of Churchill at all, seem to retain that pride and reverence. So it seems all the more sad and strange that today—nearly 50 years after his death—he seems in some danger of being shoved aside in the memory of the nation he saved. British students who pay attention in class are under the impression that he was the guy who fought Hitler to rescue the Jews. But a June 2012 survey of about 1,000 British secondary school students aged 11 to 18 showed that while 92% of them could identify a picture of a dog named Churchill from a popular British insurance advertisement, “only 62% correctly identified a photo of Sir Winston Churchill.”
That fading memory is a particular shame, since Churchill is so obviously a character who should appeal to young people today. He was eccentric, over-the-top, even camp, with his own trademark clothes and genius.
Of course, a hundred books a year are published on him—and yet we cannot take his reputation for granted. The soldiers of World War II are gradually fading away. We are losing those who can remember the sound of his voice. But we should never forget the scale of his deeds.
These days, we dimly believe that World War II was won with Soviet blood and U.S. money; and though that it is in some ways true, it is also true that, without Churchill, Hitler would almost certainly have won, and Nazi gains in Europe might well have been irreversible.
We need to remember the ways in which this British prime minister helped to make the world in which we still live. Across the globe—from Europe to Russia to Africa to the Middle East—we see traces of his shaping mind.
In March 1921, as Britain’s colonial secretary, he summoned all the key Middle East players to the Semiramis Hotel in Cairo to discuss the running of the region after the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in World War I. T.E. Lawrence (more famously known as Lawrence of Arabia) thought the summit an outstanding success, and 11 years later, he wrote to Churchill that the arrangements it produced had already delivered a decade of peace.
That peace hasn’t lasted, of course. Nor has the empire Churchill loved. He would have been saddened but not entirely surprised by that. He believed that the future of the world lay in America’s hands, and he was right. In our own time, it has fallen to the Americans to try to hold the ring in Palestine, to reason with the Israelis, to try to cope with what Churchill called “the ungrateful volcano” of Iraq. As a British imperialist, trying to salvage an empire destined to fade, he was inevitably a failure. As an idealist, summoning humanity’s grander values and fending off its worst demons, he was lastingly a success.
Churchill is the resounding human rebuttal to all Marxist historians who think history is the story of vast and impersonal economic forces. Time and again in his seven decades in public life, we can see the impact of his personality on the world and on events—far more of them than are now widely remembered.
He was crucial to the beginning of the welfare state in the early 1900s. He helped give British workers job centers and tea breaks and unemployment insurance. He was the dominant force behind the invention of the Royal Air Force and the tank, and he was absolutely critical to the conduct of World War I. He was indispensable to the foundation of Israel (among other countries), not to mention the campaign for a united Europe.
At several moments, he was the beaver who dammed the flow of events; and never did he affect the course of history more profoundly than in 1940, when he and his nation stood alone against Hitler. Without Churchill, Hitler would almost certainly have won, and Nazi gains in Europe might well have been irreversible. Churchill spoke to the depths of people’s souls when Britain was alone, when the country was fighting for survival, and he reached them and comforted them in a way no other speaker could have done. His language—stirring and old-fashioned—met the moment.
What were the elements that enabled him to fill that gigantic role? In what smithies did they forge that razor mind and iron will? “What the hammer? what the chain? / In what furnace was his brain?” as William Blake almost put it.
To try to answer that vast question, I had a long lunch in June 2014 at the Savoy Grill with his grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames, the Tory MP for Mid Sussex. As the waiter produced the bill—fairly Churchillian in scale—I noted that his grandfather was the man who changed history by putting oil instead of coal into the superdreadnoughts, the great battleships of World War II. So what sort of fuel did Churchill run on? What made him go?
Sir Nicholas brooded, then surprised me by saying that his grandfather had been an ordinary sort of chap. He did what other Englishmen like doing: mucking about at home, enjoying his painting and other hobbies. “You know, in many ways, he was quite a normal sort of family man,” he said.
But no normal family man produces more published words than Shakespeare and Dickens combined, wins the Nobel Prize for literature, serves in every great office of state including prime minister (twice), is indispensable to victory in two world wars and then posthumously sells his paintings for a million dollars.
What was the ultimate source of all this psychic energy? Was it psychological or physiological? Was he genetically or hormonally endowed with some superior process of internal combustion, or did it arise out of childhood psychological conditioning or some mixture of the two?
I remember, when I was about 15, reading an essay by the psychiatrist Anthony Storr arguing that Churchill’s most important victory was over himself. He meant that Churchill was always conscious of being small, weedy and cowardly at school. So by an act of will, he decided to defeat his cowardice and his stammer—to be the 80-pound weakling who uses dumbbells to acquire the body of Charles Atlas. Having vanquished his own cowardice, goes the argument, it was easy to vanquish everything else.
I always thought this analysis vulnerable to charges of circularity. Why did he decide to master his fear? Was he really a coward? Would a cowardly schoolboy, as Churchill did, kick an awful headmaster’s straw hat to pieces after the headmaster had given him a thrashing for taking some sugar?
So what else do we have in the mix of Churchill’s psychology? There was the father, no doubt about it: the pain of Randolph Churchill ’s rejections and criticism, the terror of not living up to him, the need after his death both to avenge and excel him. Then there is the mother, who was obviously crucial given the way she pushed and helped Churchill—his glory being at least partly her glory, after all.
There was also the general historical context in which Churchill emerged. He was born not just when Britain was at her peak but also into a generation that understood that it would require superhuman efforts to sustain her empire. The sheer strain of that exertion helped make the Victorians somehow bigger than we are now, constructed on a grander scale.
And then there was the natural egotism, shared to a greater or lesser extent by every human being, and the desire for prestige and esteem. I have always thought Churchill had a secret syllogism in his head: Britain is the greatest empire on Earth; Churchill is the greatest man in the British Empire; therefore Churchill is the greatest man on Earth.
But this is in a way unfair. Churchill did possess a titanic ego, but one tempered by humor, irony, deep humanity and sympathy for other people, and a commitment to public service and a belief in the democratic right of people to kick him out—as they did in 1945.
That is what I mean by his greatness of heart. Just before we left the Savoy, Sir Nicholas told me a last story—perhaps apocryphal—about his grandfather’s sentimentality and generosity.
One evening during the war, a cleaner at the Ministry of Defence was heading for her bus to go home and spotted something in the gutter: a file covered with pink ribbon and notices saying “Top Secret.” She picked it out of the puddle, tucked it under her raincoat and took it home. She showed it to her son, and he immediately realized it was terribly important.
Without opening it, he hurried back to the Ministry of Defence. By the time he got there, it was late, and most everyone had gone home—and this young fellow was treated pretty insolently by the people at the door. They kept telling him just to leave the file there, and someone would deal with it in the morning. He said no and refused to go until he had seen someone of flag-officer rank.
Finally someone senior came down and took the file—which turned out to contain the battle orders for Anzio, in which the Allies planned to try to establish a beachhead on Italy’s west coast.
The war cabinet was called the following day to work out how serious the security breach was and whether the Anzio landings could proceed. They looked at the file carefully and decided that it had only been in the water for a few seconds and that the cleaning lady’s story was true—and so on balance, they decided to go ahead with the invasion of Italy.
Churchill turned to Gen. Hastings Lionel “Pug” Ismay, the chief of the Imperial General Staff, and asked, “Pug, how did this happen?” Ismay told him about the woman and her son, and as he did, Churchill started to cry.
“She shall be a Dame Commander of the British Empire!” he said. “Make it so!”
That story, alas, has withstood all my efforts to verify it at the Churchill Archive or elsewhere. But it illustrates a fundamental truth. Winston Churchill had a greatness to his soul.
It is easy to see why so many historians and historiographers have taken the Tolstoyan line, that the story of humanity isn’t the story of great people and shining deeds. It has been fashionable to say that those so-called great men and women are just epiphenomena, meretricious bubbles on the vast tides of social history. The real story, on this view, is about deep economic forces, technological advances, changes in the price of sorghum, the overwhelming weight of an infinite number of mundane human actions.
The story of Winston Churchill is a pretty withering retort to all that malarkey. He, and he alone, made the difference. There has been no one remotely like him before or since.
[NOTE: Boris Johnson is the mayor of London. This essay is adapted from his most recent book, “The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History,” to be published Thursday by Riverhead.]

46 comments:

  1. A truly great man, certainly one of the ten most important people in western civilization.

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  2. Major Dick PeckerwoodNovember 9, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Churchill was perhaps the greatest man of the 20th century.

    He is in danger of being forgotten thanks to the red communist fire ants and flying marxist termites that have infested Western Christendom.

    Brave men who unabashedly stood up and called bullshit by its true name are anathema to subsequent generations, milquetoast and effeminate, afraid of the various racial, gender and cause mafias and the progressive PC ayatollahs who have rotted out the very foundations of our culture.

    We suffer today from a lack of Churchills, and our teachers syndicate-run schools are doing their damnedest to choke any future Winston's in their educational cradles.

    Damn them to hell!

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  3. Nursey-pooh, I can SMELL you a mile away. You are not welcome here. I've told you that, so please stop trying to sneak in under the radar screen.

    I have no problem with genuine debate, but I will not tolerate persistent antagonism.

    I'm too friggin' old to put up with nonsense any longer.

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  4. Glad you other two appreciate Churchill. I happened to run across this beautiful tribute to him yesterday, and was touched by it's modesty, sincerity, and the clarity of Mr. Johnson's prose.

    Stating one's case eloquently, elegantly, and graciously has almost become a lost art, so when I run across fine examples as I did here, and with Peggy Noonan's touching tribute to Joan Rivers a few short weeks ago. I feel compelled to share the item just to remind us what good communication should be all about.

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  5. By the way, if you click at the link to WSJ where this article originated at the bottom of the page, you should find a sizable portfolio of photographs of Sir Winston taken at various stages of his long life. His mother was one of the great beauties of her time.

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  7. Churchill had a few downsides that caused him, and a lot of British subjects, a lot problems. It's why his political career was so erratic. He brilliantly led Britain through it's greatest trial, but he was not history's greatest human being. He was a man who was after his time.

    JMJ

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  8. Whether or not one agrees that getting the United States involved directly involved in WWI has led inexorably to the present state of our world, some folks could be reminded that Churchill, himself, was directly involved in bringing America into this war. The one event that's considered the event that finally brought this about was the sinking of the Lusitania, a passenger ship sailing from America with a large number of American civilians on board.

    When informed that the Lusitania was sunk by German u-boats he dismissed the loss as being 75 tons of live bait. Not a very endearing picture of somebody so readily worshiped by many by those swallowing the sewage pumped out daily by our main stream media.

    More likely Churchill sought to be recognized and loved by masses of people because of the brutal soul-destroying actions of his father toward him in his life including sending him off to "school" at a young age and afterward demeaning almost everything young Churchill did.

    Today more people are seeing that Churchill made a major contribution to the destruction of large swaths of humanity in the 20th Century both in the Allied cause and in the remnants of a defeated Germany after WWII.



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  9. Yet Waylon, where would you be without him?

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  11. And that's a good question, Finntann.

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  12. I wonder how many of my homeschoolers -- parents and students -- would recognize a portrait of Churchill, not to mention what he achieved. I think that some would not!

    That British students -- every single one of them -- don't unanimously recognize Churchill is a stunner. And depressing, too.

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  13. "only 62% correctly identified a photo of Sir Winston Churchill."

    I don't believe a word of it. The poll in question was conducted by Lord Ashcroft of the Conservative Party, with political intent.

    Churchill is highly recognisable, that's why so many adverts appropriate his image (eg. ryanair) -- a practice which I consider deeply disrespectful.

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  14. ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREECH ...

    We welcome Conversation
    But without Vituperation.
    If your aim is Vilification ––
    Other forms of Denigration ––
    Unfounded Accusation --
    Determined Obfuscation ––
    Alienation with Self-Justification ––
    We WILL use COMMENT ERADICATION.

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  15. I am glad churchill is more recognizble still in Britain than has been reported, but here's the underlying question we need answered:

    FOR WHAT is CHURCHILL RECOGNIZED TODAY by most YOUNGER BRITISH SUBJECTS -- and WHAT are they being TAUGHT about him in your SCHOOLS?

    You nearly disqualify yourself from being taken seriously when you come right out and say:

    "I don't believe a word of it, [because] the poll in question was conducted by Lord Ashcroft of the Conservative Party, with political intent."

    However, at least you freely admit your profound leftist bias, which is more than most disingenuous American "reporters" and "analysts" do. THEY pretend that they are OBJECTIVE, and got away with it for far too many decades until FINALLY "The Silent Majority" here WOKE UP.

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  16. He is known as a War Prime Minister, and elements of his famous speeches are common lingual currency.

    As far as I can tell, nobody leaves school without covering WWII in some depth (if anything, there is too much emphasis there at the expense of other periods). However, you're unlikely to cover Churchill's pre- or post-war career careers before A-level. (disclaimer, I did not do A-level history).

    I'm not attempting to make any partisan points when I say that this poll looks specifically like it was published to support Michael Gove's (then education secretary) stance on the history curriculum. What do you think was its purpose? Do you imagine that the conservative party does not practise the Dark Arts? If you're curious, look up Iain Duncan-Smith's misuse of stastics.

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  17. Jez,

    Thanks for the "local" perspective.

    I share you abhorrence to pressing historical figures into hawking commercial products. It is indeed deeply disrespectful.

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  18. Not nearly so disrespectful, one should think, as having the gutter press refer to the living British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, as "LIZ!"

    That offends ME, and I'm not even a British subject.

    I doubt if Winnie would object too strenuously to having his famous cherubic scowl used to promote a commercial product -- as long as it is a GOOD commercial product.

    In the ever-lengthening catalogue of insidious sophistry and strident abuses of the right to Freedom of Speech putting Churchill's image on a box, bag, can, lorry or freight car would be close to last on the list.

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  19. Don't think Ryan air qualifies. Some of the ads have disrespected the fallen too if you ask me.

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  21. Sorry, Dave, but the topic was WINSTON CHURCHILL not you -- or me -- or the blogosphere.

    I shouldn't have to say it, but there are worse ways of being obnoxious, intrusive, offensive and of befouling the atmosphere than using four-letter words, BOILERPLATE, and clichéd anti-This, anti-That rhetoric.

    It isn't that I want an Echo Chamber or an Amen Chorus, but I am far beyond the point where I will tolerate personal criticisms, however politely phrased -- studied insolence -- persistent hectoring and badgering -- smarmy hypocritical questions that don't require an answer -- quasi-benign statements betraying thinly-veiled contempt, et al.

    The humorless legalistic thinking, turgid literalism and unlimited captiousness espoused and employed primarily by leftists constitutes -- in the immortal words of Max Ehrmann -- "VEXATIONS to the SPIRIT."

    He wisely advised us to avoid all that, and so I shall.

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  22. And, Nursey Poo-Poo, as I've said elsewhere, your FOUL ODOR precedes you by a mile. No pseudonym could possibly disguise your moronic, aggressively rude, obnoxious, malodorous presence, so please quit trying to sneak in under the radar screen.

    It DELIGHTS me to OBLITERATE you ever time you rear your fat, bald, ugly head.

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  23. Who The Fuck Is Nursery Poo-PooNovember 10, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    Inquiring minds what to know.

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  24. DOW close @ 17,613 74 today.

    Woo Hop...! Good times a rolling.

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  25. FT, I'll see your "Liz" and up the ante by calling the whole lot of British Royalty "Royal A$$holes". There are plenty of examples that show too much inbreeding does result in mental deficiency. Including the hubby of "Liz", Prince Phillip,wishing to be reincarnated as a deadly virus so that he can contribute better to reducing the population of the planet.

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  26. Churchill has some interesting insights into the Jewish influence on recent history. He sees the influence of Jewish financial interests such as central banking and global financial control—of which he approves, and international Jewish influence such as Zionism and Communism, of which he disapproves.

    "Some people like Jews and some do not; but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world.

    And it may well be that this same astounding race may at the present time be in the actual process of producing another system of morals and philosophy, as malevolent as Christianity was benevolent, which, if not arrested would shatter irretrievably all that Christianity has rendered possible. It would almost seem as if the gospel of Christ and the gospel of Antichrist were destined to originate among the same people; and that this mystic and mysterious race had been chosen for the supreme manifestations, both of the divine and the diabolical. "

    ...

    "International Jews
    In violent opposition to all this sphere of Jewish effort rise the schemes of the International Jews. The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. Most, if not all, of them have forsaken the faith of their forefathers, and divorced from their minds all spiritual hopes of the next world. This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.

    Terrorist Jews
    There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd), or of Krassin or Radek -- all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses.

    The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing."

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  29. Sounds like Ducky and his sock puppet don't like associating Jews with the communist plague that was introduced into Russia in 1917, Churchill eloquently did with the quotation I cited.

    Ducky sometimes you just have to suck it up and face reality.

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  30. Waylon, why are you surprised by anti-Tsarist sentiment among many Jews in early 20th century Russia? You know about the pogroms, right?

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  31. Yes, jez, I'm surprised. And I do know about the pogroms. A little much in the way of overkill on the part of Jewish-Communist cabal, no?

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  32. Do you think the Jews (along with all the other rebels) could have achieved reform without overthrowing the Czar? Or did the overkill happen later?

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  33. Jez, you call the communist revolution in 1917 in Russia REFORM? I'd be more inclined to call it enslavement of a people and a country and a people to the tyrannical whims of an elite group of masters imposing their diabolical ways on a subdued population.

    All that came after was REFORM?

    First of all, that so-called revolution was one that had plenty of outside help to bring it about. Lenin had been exiled. Trotsky was living as a journalist and union organizer on the lower East Side of Manhattan. Neither one of those individuals instrumental in imposing communism on Russia would have made it back onto the scene without outside assistance to bring them back to Russia.

    And REFORM brought about the extermination of upwards of 20 million Russians (according to the Black Book of Communism) and add to that the Holodomor which was the deliberate extermination of upwards of 10 to 12 million in the Ukraine ... and they were only getting started.

    Seems those numbers might make the Holocaust miniscule in comparison — so much chopped liver, so to speak.

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  34. I wonder why the Wall Street Journal in such an in depth look at Churchill would have overlooked his article from February 8,1920 in the Illustrated Sunday Herald "Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People"?

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  35. You misunderstand the question. What I mean is, was overthrowing the Czar an over-reaction? Leaving aside the specifics of the Bolshevism which replaced it, could the overthrow be justified by the Czar's pogroms and his other excesses?

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  36. How could you possibly look only at the "overthrow of the Czar" in the larger context of what evidently followed? We have a historical perspective of almost 100 years and it only makes sense to consider the complete picture as we understand it to be.

    Those that overthrew the Czar, specifically Lenin and Trotsky absolutely knew what they had in mind for the Czar and the country from the start, IMO.

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  37. Good show, Waylon. Thank you. Most will not discuss -- nor even admit the existence of -- these unpleasant, "inconvenient truths."

    Why do you think our most effective anti-Communists -- particularly J. Edgar Hoover. Joe McCarthy and Richard M. Nixon -- have been pilloried, defamed, vilified and successfully kicked to the curb, thenstomped by the enemedia?

    BECAUSE to be anti-Communist at the time was to be a de facto anti-Semite? SURPRISE! -- NOT!

    Were it not for the relentless crafty and insidious machinations of unbelievably tough-minded, diabolically clever Jewish intellectuals, all that we think of as "LEFTIST" today would very likely never have come to plague us to the ruinous extent it has.

    The very existence of creatures such as Jez and Ducky and millions of others like them, who prefer to give the Devil HIS due while they despise and reject their rightful heritage and do everything possible to bring about their own downfall in service to a spectacularly evil ideology provides clear proof of the efficacy of leftist sophistry and guile.

    Then the Truth is too ugly or too painful to acknowledge, by ll means do your best to represent it as a LIE.

    The oldest trick in the book.

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  38. It's hardly worth the time to discuss the character of the committed ideological progressive-socialist-communist mentalities. We've seen too much direct proof of their complete over-the-wall and in-your-face hatred often hidden behind the pretense of seeking an answer to some idiotic question that any second-grade kid would understand, even without asking.

    But since Churchill is the main topic of this thread I'll use another quotation from the linked article above that summarizes these "creatures" succinctly and honestly:

    ..." this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire."

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  39. Waylon: I'm asking you what you consider a proportionate push-back against the Czar would have been. Establishing a communist state was overkill, but what would have been justified?

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  40. One would first need to understand the context of the period say from 1870 to 1905. Were there any political assassinations? Were the Czars themselves targeted and murdered? I think there were and some were killed . Were the pogroms a response to political agitation or were the Czars just plain anti-Semites driven strictly by a hatred of Jews?

    Depending on whose version of the story you accept as being the most truthful you might find your answer yourself.

    If the Czar Nicholas himself might suddenly reappear today, in light of the fate bestowed upon him and his family in 1917, you might ask him if he would have done things differently, such as instead of exiling Trotsky and Lenin, maybe done to them and their families what was done to the Czar, would have resulted in an entirely different course of history for the 20th Century.

    Lastly, since you seem to be stuck on proportionate "push back" maybe you can put a number on the number of Jews that were killed in the pogroms. One thousand, ten thousand, one hundred thousand? Definitely not the 20 million that died in Russia at the hands of the communists. And most of the 20 million would be considered to be "the goyim" by the self styled chosen people.

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  41. I certainly can arrive at an answer for myself, but I am here trying to extract your opinion. I already know that you think Stalin was worse than the Czar. I agree, but please I would like to examine 1917 without Stalin -- nobody in 1917 could have predicted, still less engineered, Stalin's reign, so our hindsight in this regard does not help us untangle their motives. You say 1917 was overkill, that sounds like you have in mind what should have happened instead. What is the proper response to a Czar like Wilhelm?

    Let's try to get some perspective. Would you agree that the pogroms were atrocities on a similar scale to, say, 9/11?

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  42. You'll have to enlighten me about Czar Wilhelm. Not familiar with him.

    Don't think this conversation is going anywhere anyway.

    Save the bandwidth for something more enlightening not a make believe situation like you are trying to create.

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  43. I meant Nicholas of course (I have a terrible memory for names, sorry).

    I fear you miss the point of history if you think it is merely a dry recitation of factual events. As soon as you want to judge a historical figure's motives or evaluate their actions, (eg. such-and-such was "overkill"), you are forced simulate his state of knowledge and his expectations as they were during the period in question. Morality is impossible if you cannot imagine the effect your actions might have; and so it is that your history will be immoral if you cannot imagine about the past.

    Who knew what Stalin would go on to do from the vantage point of 1917? No-one! So his later reign had nothing to do with what motivated the revolution. Get it?

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IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING, YOU DON'T BELONG HERE, SO KINDLY GET OUT AND STAY OUT.

We welcome Conversation
But without Vituperation.
If your aim is Vilification ––
Other forms of Denigration ––
Unfounded Accusation --
Determined Obfuscation ––
Alienation with Self-Justification ––
We WILL use COMMENT ERADICATION.


IN ADDITION

Gratuitous Displays of Extraneous Knowledge Offered Not To Shed Light Or Enhance the Discussion, But For The Primary Purpose Of Giving An Impression Of Superiority are obnoxiously SELF-AGGRANDIZING, and therefore, Subject to Removal at the Discretion of the Censor-in-Residence.