Quote of the Week: Paul Gottfried, “War and Democracy”

Paul Gottfried

In his fiery courage, my father had nothing in common with today’s feminized and media-acceptable males. He had not distinguished himself as a soldier, but in his readiness to risk his life for a matter of honour, he did not much differ from the old exemplars of valour. Once, when he was already advanced in years and in visibly failing health, several local thugs, who had followed my parents back from a shopping mall, broke into their house and held them up at knifepoint. When they ordered my father to lay on the floor, he responded, ‘the hell I will.’ Picking up a lamp, he smashed it over the head of one of the three robbers. Another one delivered a glancing punch, which my father mostly avoided before striking his assailant back. Thereupon the robbers ran out of the house with my father in frenzied pursuit. It seems that these malefactors had been arrested for other break-ins, but those who had any evidence of their crimes had been too frightened to press charges. My father made sure they were rearrested and told his assailants that if he saw them prowling around, he’d be delighted to kill them with the gun he stored upstairs.

Needless to say, he suffered in no way from the politics of guilt. […] Although a refugee from the Nazis who probably lost family members in the Holocaust – he could never determine how his half-brother and his children perished during the war – Dad would go ballistic if someone tried to misapply the ‘lessons’ of Nazi genocide. He never blamed American Christians for what had been done by European Nazis, and he grew particularly exasperated if someone tried to draw dishonest implications from what had befallen Nazi victims. He did not believe that the American civil rights revolution was ‘mandated’ by events that unfolded in Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia, and he would go speechless with rage if someone suggested that Jews were morally required to support a porous border with Latin America because a ship of German Jews had not been allowed into the U.S. in 1940. In his view, such contrived parallels were utterly specious. They were made to fit a contemporary political agenda – one that he definitely did not support.

▪ Paul Gottfried, War and Democracy (Arktos, 2012) extract from pages 132 through to 133; republished from Paul Gottfried, “A Man in Full” The American Conservative 8:12 (September, 2009) extract from pages 32 through to 33.

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2 Comments on "Quote of the Week: Paul Gottfried, “War and Democracy”"

  1. Ah, the great Paul Gottfried. Always worth a read.

    • Dear Tim,

      Yes Indeed. It is a pity that Prof. Gottfried does not get more “airtime” among the commentariat. That is to be expected given the brutal honesty of his political critique. His work is a barb in in the heel of mainstream establishment conservatism, and so it should be. There are very few rightist intellectuals today who can measure up to him in terms of historical analysis and knowledge-base.

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