Thursday, February 11, 2010

"When Passion Can Sweep The Facts Before It"

All parties in a democracy are jeopardized when passion can sweep the facts before it.

Allan Bloom, in discussing France’s inexplicable and chilling national furor in the mid-1930’s to expand cradle-to-grave social welfare benefits while the nation’s security was in peril and its economy in ruins. Bloom goes on to describe France’s fatal decade-long vacation from reality, embodied in

newsreel pictures of Frenchmen splashing happily in the waters at the seashore, enjoying the paid vacations legislated by Léon Blum's Popular Front government. It was 1936, the same year Hitler was permitted to occupy the Rhineland.

By 1940, France was no more.

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