Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Von Moltke localists let swing by British left

The older I get the more that small pieces of the jigsaw puzzle slot into place; the latest is a worthy essay in Brussels Journal by Jerry Salyer. Both Anthony Powell's 'Dance' and Waugh exposed in their novels the insidious influence of the left in UK wartime policy; Tito, not Mihailovic and so on.

The same applied to British support - or lack of it - for the Kreisau Group's opposition to Nazism. The group, and Von Moltke, its leader, were de facto Localists - anathema to the Statists of the left who were already determining British policy from within the establishment. "Not the sort of people we want to deal with" was the response - the preference being for a Communist resistance movement. Salyer writes of Kreisau;
Moltke’s most productive work is circumscribed by the Kreisau Circle, so-called after the count’s country estate where Protestant theologians, Catholic priests, and lay intellectuals gathered to discuss Germany’s fate. Moltke and his companions intended that post-Hitler Germany would not repeat the mistakes of Weimar, and sought some viable, humane vision with which to fill in the vacuum left by Nazism’s inevitable self-destruction.

The Kreisau papers describe a decentralized society anchored by organic institutions, in which regional autonomy and an independent local leadership class would impede the ascendancy of any totalitarian demagogue. This decentralist ideal flowed from Kreisau’s Christian orientation, which translated practically into an emphasis upon localism and small communities. Such communities based upon “naturally occurring ties between individuals” – i.e., the organic ties which bind families together and neighbors to one another – were in Moltke’s view the key to a sustainably sane society.
The followers of Burke were eschewed by our enemy within, the real-life Widmerpools, in favour of Hegelian Statists.

Quelle surprise.


coneyisland said...

Ties in nicely to a piece in The Times about another probable coupe against McDoom for his abject failure re the al Magrahi debacle. The current lot (with the notable exeption of Frank Field, a quality localist) are "not the kind of people we want to work with" and as such we would be no better off as a nation. Better to let McDoom carry on at the helm and we sink the entire ship at the next General Election.

Coney Island

Young Mr. Brown said...

Interesting, though very uncomfortable, article.

The thing that strikes me is that even in the good old days before I was born, the Foreign Office was a bastion of politically correct 'progressive' thought.