Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Thursday, October 06, 2016


Just laying down a marker that I might return to in the future.  After World War II, the Allies obviously punished Germany for its crimes.  But Austria was largely given a pass, despite the fact that Austrian elites were generally at least as complicit as German elites in the various crimes of the Third Reich.  (In fact I seem to remember reading that German elites on the whole acquitted themselves better than their Austrian counterparts, but this is not the sort of conclusion I would have much confidence in.  The broader point is that Austrians were hardly passive victims of Hitler's plans.)

So why was Austria largely spared?  My understanding is that it is because Austria was crucial to cold war politics.  This also helps explain Germany's relatively light punishment, but Germany on some level couldn't deny its central role.  By contrast, the Allies essentially invited the Austrians to play the role of victim, and the Austrians eagerly complied.

Now consider Trump's various enablers and supporters.  Which of these will get the Austrian treatment?  I honestly have no idea.  But one interesting and somewhat disturbing possibility is that some of his white working-class supporters from swing states will be considered "up for grabs" and (here's the disturbing part) as a result it will be difficult for Democrats to condemn Trump and Trumpism.

I'll have a lot more post-election predictions to write about, but right now I'm wondering how strong the Austria Effect will be and who will take shelter in it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or how about the Irish? Those guys weren't on our die in World War II and they manage to get away with almost no flak for that. Which passive politicians who stood by and said nothing will get the Irish treatment?

1:36 PM  

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