Thursday, May 8, 2014

V-E Day

I love England, but find today's anniversary difficult to celebrate. Let's not forget the falls of the Yugoslavian, Albanian, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and (if Horthy's kingless kingdom counts) Hungarian monarchies, the loss of half of Europe to four decades of Communist tyranny, and the destruction of so much architectural beauty. As far as victories go, 1945 was not much of a victory for Traditional Britain, which in the aftermath quickly lost its Empire and endured conditions more commonly associated with defeated nations than victorious ones. Truly it was Americanism in the West and Stalinism in the East that really triumphed, giving us the ugly postwar world of the United Nations, the European Union, Vatican II, and since 1947 no more than ten hereditary monarchies in Europe which is completely unacceptable. Waterloo 1815, now that was a victory...


9 comments:

Pair O' Dimes said...

This is not meant to be loaded, only a sincere question, as I haven't been a monarchist long and am curious as to the monarchist answer. Given that we can't know for sure, as a monarchist what do you think would have been the likely outcome for monarchy if the Axis Powers had won World War II and why? In particular, would it have been better or worse--and in either case, marginally so or significantly so?

God bless!

Theodore Harvey said...

Interesting question and a tough one. While the Balkan, Hungarian, and Italian monarchies might perhaps have survived, it's also possible that the Scandinavian and Benelux countries might have been incorporated into Germany. Like Peter Hitchens and Patrick Buchanan, I think that Britain blundered into the war unnecessarily in 1939. It might have been better from a monarchist point of view if Britain had allowed the war to become a purely Nazi vs Soviet conflict, but with Britain and therefore Western Europe involved I cannot imagine that it would be better if the war had gone the other way, and it might indeed have been worse.

Pair O' Dimes said...

Thank you for your response! I wonder how the Italian monarchy would have survived, though, given the Italian Social Republic headed by Mussolini in league with Hitler's Germany and the Kingdom of Italy having switched sides and joined the Allies. And of course there's the question of whether Hungary would have come to actually have a monarch in that event.

One thing I've come to conclude is that there doesn't seem to be such a thing as a "good guy" side and a "bad guy" side with regard to either World War, not like it had been in previous wars.

Thanks again!

Theodore Harvey said...

You're exactly right. I guess I was assuming a scenario in which the Kingdom of Italy remained on the Axis side.

Pair O' Dimes said...

One thing I'm still not completely clear on with regard to either World War is: what cause exactly was each side fighting for? That is, what united each side, in terms of something substantial (rather than opposition to something on the other side), that prompted them to fight on the same side?

Theodore Harvey said...

Originally, Britain and France were supposedly fighting for the freedom of Poland. Since the outcome of the war for Poland was forty years of Communist dictatorship, we can see how brilliantly that worked out.

Pair O' Dimes said...

That's not what I mean--surely the Soviet Union wasn't fighting for that, and yet the Soviet Union ended up in the war on the side of Britain and France.

What I mean is, why in the world did the UK (and ultimately the Kingdom of Italy) and the Soviet Union, for example, fight on the same side, or Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan fight on the same side? Why were Pope Pius XII's sympathies with the Allies, while Generalissimo Francisco Franco's were with the Axis Powers?

Other than common enmity, what substantial thing were all of the Allies fighting for, and what substantial thing were all of the Axis powers fighting for?

Or is the answer to both questions "nothing", making the war itself pointless?

(Same questions for World War I.)

Theodore Harvey said...

There are answers to those questions, but I think they may be outside the scope of this blog thread, requiring books or at least articles rather than comments!

I would say though that I think it would be an oversimplification to describe Pius XII's sympathies as "with the Allies" without qualification. He and the Church were in an extremely difficult position and often there were no "good guys." I'm sure he did not sympathize with the Americans' destruction of Monte Cassino.

In retrospect, both wars do indeed seem pointless--unless one's "point" were to destroy European Civilisation.

Pair O' Dimes said...

My apologies, I didn't mean to bear false witness against the Pope. That was just what I had heard--and certainly I don't think His sympathies lay with the Soviet Union!

But thanks for putting up with me this long! God bless!