Life in Vichy America


William Buppert
Lew Rockwell
May 31, 2009

“You can only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.”

– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Collaboration in a negative connotation is an active or passive surrender to an overarching regime which removes freedom and liberty and replaces it with an ordered command mechanism to modify or influence your behavior. One can consider the British Loyalists in the American colonies to be collaborators and their fates on occasion were quite ghastly. This can happen as a result of foreign occupation or a replacement of statist forces over time through elections, coups and administrative fiat in an increasingly tyrannical government. The state is a remora that needs a host to survive and convincing the host that the relationship is beneficial to both parties is the key to the remora’s survival. If Obamunism provides one salutary service to the nation, it is a televised demonstration project on how gangster government (is that redundant?) thrives in an environment where the rule of force trumps the rule of law. On your own counsel, is your acceptance and compliance voluntary or a submission to staying one step ahead of the jailer?

[efoods]When the Germans rolled into France in June 1940, the French Third Republic toppled to be replaced by État Français or the French State. Vichy France was established after France surrendered to Germany on 22 June 1940 and Marshall Phillipe Pétain removed the administrative center of France from Paris to Vichy. Southern France remained relatively autonomous from direct German control until 11 March 1942 when the Allies landed in North Africa in 1942. The Vichy government ruled over France until the Allied repatriation of the Free French under de Gaulle in June 1945. This government was acknowledged and legitimized by the US and Canada, among others, until 23 October 1944.

During this entire time a guerilla war raged between the French Resistance and the maquis and the Vichy/German government in France and some of its colonial holdings. The Vichy government was simply the latest installment to provide a stage for the adversaries to engage in real and rhetorical combat. This civil war had its origins in the 1789 Revolution when the people who did not agree to the destruction of the Ancien Régime continued to sow division resulting in tremendous dissent and disruption throughout French history in the nineteenth century. During WWII, the behavior and resistance of these anti-Vichy forces was used as an opportunity to expand the state and was responsible for the post-WWII socialist government after the war.

“Historians distinguish between a state collaboration followed by the regime of Vichy, and “collaborationists,” which usually refer to the French citizens eager to collaborate with Nazi Germany and who pushed towards a radicalization of the regime.”

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