Friday, April 10, 2009


Charles De Gaulle in his last conversation with Andre Malraux, quoted in Paul Johnson's Heroes (2007) at 233:
I have tried to set France upright against the end of the world. Have I failed? It will be for others to say. We are certainly present at the end of Europe. Why should parliamentary democracy (involving as it does here in France the distribution of tobacco shops!) which is on its last legs everywhere, create Europe? Good luck to this federation without a federator! Why should a type of democracy which nearly destroyed us, and isn't capable of ensuring the development even of Belgium, be sacrosanct, when we have to overcome the enormous difficulties with face the creation of Europe? You know as well as I do that Europe will be a compact between the States, or nothing. Therefore nothing. We are the last Europeans in the Europe that was Christendom. It was a lacerated Europe, but at least it did exist The Europe whose nations hated each other had more reality than the Europe of today. Don't ask whether France will make Europe--we have to grasp that France is threatened with extinction through the death of Europe. Nothing is final, to be sure. Supposing France became France again? I have learned the hard way that putting France together again from the broken pieces has to be done over and over. But perhaps this time. . . I have done what I could. If we much watch Europe die, let us watch. It doesn't happen every day!


Lame-R said...

Bah! They're Europeans, which means they'll never get along well for long. The common identity will never be stronger than their national identities.

It's nice of them to try and get along (thus sparing us the trouble of cleaning up their messes), but they just don't have it in them.

Sez my crystal ball...

OBloodyHell said...

At first, I thought he was talking about his decision to assist China in developing the Bomb, which changed the US-USSR Mexican Standoff into a Triumvirate (and history has shown, time and again, that triumvirates are excellently stable mechanisms for handling and distributing power, most especially when all three sides have no willingness to compromise with either of the other two):

> I have tried to set France upright against the end of the world. Have I failed? It will be for others to say.

But his later comments make it sound as though he's given up on Western Culture as so many others on the Left have. While that might have seemed appropriate back in his time, when communism seemed ascendant, it's pretty clear it's brain-damaged nowadays.

A United Europe wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if they got enough of a clue about postmodern liberalism. I don't have a lot of faith in the likelihood of that anytime soon, but we'll see...

I guess the real question is going to be: "Do they knuckle under to Islamicism or do they fight?"

So far, the answer to that has been rather unimpressively submissive, though with a few positive signs...

In the end -- are they men or are they dhimmi?

Anonymous said...

I think he had too much French wine before he made those statements. He seems depressed that he did not accomplish more, but wishes to allay that sadness by accepting what he could not change. Alas, there is only so much one person can do for his country.

But despite all the complaints and jokes about France, there are some aspects of his nation we will miss or should miss. Indeed, France did play a significant role in developing the best of Western civilization -- although parts of its worst as well.

Yet, at a minimum, we should honor Charles De Gaulle for his heroic and selfless leadership. Nobody is perfect, but he clearly tried to serve his country, Europe, and mankind! More than many leaders do today.

I raise my wine glass to you, Monsieur.


Carl said...


Perhaps--but France always as acted as if a united Europe could only be France writ large. De Gaulle knew that such a state wouldn't be democratic at all--and it isn't. Which is why Lame-R's right, as is OBH--they're dhimmi.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I frankly don't know what to make of this. It veers between prescience and foolishness. It all seems to hinge on what he was thinking about when he thought of France. There are many ideas one could legitimately stuff into that sack.

OBloodyHell said...

> Perhaps--but France always as acted as if a united Europe could only be France writ large.

Heh -- If you know anything of Doctor Who's "Daleks", who seek, Nazi-like, to destroy anything which is not pure Dalek, then you ought to appreciate this 'toon, from 1964