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Corinna McGregor
Corinna McGregor
1 year ago

One of the best articles I’ve read. Thank you! By illuminating the temperament of today’s conversation with a historic event, participants might recognize their folly. Now, as then, the discussion needs to focus on the deception and lies by our governments, that are advancing their own personal gains and cover ups, at our expense, using truth to unite the global populous.

terence fitzpatrick
terence fitzpatrick
1 year ago

Couldn’t have described it better myself and it applies to the PC Wole left today.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Just the “PC Wole left”? Not the anti-“Wole” right at all?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Just the “PC Wole left”? Not the anti-“Wole” right at all?

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
1 year ago

By illuminating the temperament of today’s conversation with a historic event, participants might recognize their folly.

Hear, hear!

terence fitzpatrick
terence fitzpatrick
1 year ago

Couldn’t have described it better myself and it applies to the PC Wole left today.

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
1 year ago

By illuminating the temperament of today’s conversation with a historic event, participants might recognize their folly.

Hear, hear!

Corinna McGregor
Corinna McGregor
1 year ago

One of the best articles I’ve read. Thank you! By illuminating the temperament of today’s conversation with a historic event, participants might recognize their folly. Now, as then, the discussion needs to focus on the deception and lies by our governments, that are advancing their own personal gains and cover ups, at our expense, using truth to unite the global populous.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

It’s a good job today’s social media were not around more than a century ago. Think of the passions inflamed by hash tags. Think of the opportunities to supress by ‘fact checking’. Think of the people being ‘absolutely convinced’ by posts unrelated to actual truth.
Or you could equally argue (as in the article) that those injustices back then were merely the political world playing out in years rather than days.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Plus ça change. Same extreme passions, knee-jerk reactions and intolerance. The delivery mechanism has just become a thousand times more effective.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Plus ça change. Same extreme passions, knee-jerk reactions and intolerance. The delivery mechanism has just become a thousand times more effective.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

It’s a good job today’s social media were not around more than a century ago. Think of the passions inflamed by hash tags. Think of the opportunities to supress by ‘fact checking’. Think of the people being ‘absolutely convinced’ by posts unrelated to actual truth.
Or you could equally argue (as in the article) that those injustices back then were merely the political world playing out in years rather than days.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago

Zola knew the difference between the truth and My Truth.

Gayle Buhler
Gayle Buhler
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Yes! This My Truth is utter nonsense and Zola did indeed know that.

Gayle Buhler
Gayle Buhler
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Yes! This My Truth is utter nonsense and Zola did indeed know that.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago

Zola knew the difference between the truth and My Truth.

David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

Ms. McGregor is quite right. This is a superb piece. It uses the Dreyfus Affair to illustrate the point Camus made.
It is the unhappy lot of rebels to be shot at by both sides. More than that, rebels have to resist the temptation to belong to the tribal groups who embrace and protect their own, whilst making war on the enemy tribal groups.
How can democracy survive in such an environment? Only if there are sufficient rebels in every generation who are are willing to suffer the discomfort of never being ‘one of us’, and are willing to put in the intellectual spadework of thinking for themselves.

David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

Ms. McGregor is quite right. This is a superb piece. It uses the Dreyfus Affair to illustrate the point Camus made.
It is the unhappy lot of rebels to be shot at by both sides. More than that, rebels have to resist the temptation to belong to the tribal groups who embrace and protect their own, whilst making war on the enemy tribal groups.
How can democracy survive in such an environment? Only if there are sufficient rebels in every generation who are are willing to suffer the discomfort of never being ‘one of us’, and are willing to put in the intellectual spadework of thinking for themselves.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

I’ve come late to this article, but worth the wait. A brilliant example of history, reportage, social sabotage and artistic endeavour realised in public action and most of all, relevance to the world today.

Without doubt, one of the best i’ve read on Unherd.

Edit: and the Comments too!

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

I’ve come late to this article, but worth the wait. A brilliant example of history, reportage, social sabotage and artistic endeavour realised in public action and most of all, relevance to the world today.

Without doubt, one of the best i’ve read on Unherd.

Edit: and the Comments too!

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago

At last, confirmation that I am indeed a rebel!

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago

At last, confirmation that I am indeed a rebel!

Andrew Watson
Andrew Watson
1 year ago

The radical centre – a memorable description. Radical in its refusal to submit to the disembodied dictates of ideology (in whatever form) and in its fidelity to what is actual and true. This was the great discovery of Orwell in the 1930s, having experienced how the ideology of the extreme left overlapped with that of the extreme right, and neither cared about justice or the freedom of the individual. As always, the real nature of ideological extremism is made manifest in the poor quality of the individuals who espouse it – here in Britain we need think only of those who gave presided over our precipitous decline in recent years – and I refer to ideological extremism of the right as well as the left.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Watson
Andrew Watson
Andrew Watson
1 year ago

The radical centre – a memorable description. Radical in its refusal to submit to the disembodied dictates of ideology (in whatever form) and in its fidelity to what is actual and true. This was the great discovery of Orwell in the 1930s, having experienced how the ideology of the extreme left overlapped with that of the extreme right, and neither cared about justice or the freedom of the individual. As always, the real nature of ideological extremism is made manifest in the poor quality of the individuals who espouse it – here in Britain we need think only of those who gave presided over our precipitous decline in recent years – and I refer to ideological extremism of the right as well as the left.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Watson
Paul Hemphill
Paul Hemphill
1 year ago

Agreed. A concise, well written article. We see many parallels today in the way so called democratic governments pursue whistleblowers and how defamation laws can muzzle those calling out the dubious activities of the rich and powerful. The pursuit of Julian Assange by the US government and the willingness of the UK government (and to a degree our previous Australian government) to go along with it. ClichĂ©d though it may be, there’s the old Edmund Burke quote about evil triumphing when good men do nothing.
As for antisemitism at the centre of the story, it is indeed the devil that has never gone away. It changes its names and faces and re-emerges in new guises, like, for instance, the conspiracy theories of Q Anon and others that lure people of the left and right down rabbit holes, and the supporters of the BDS movement who proclaim that it’s nothing to do with the antisemitism.

Paul Hemphill
Paul Hemphill
1 year ago

Agreed. A concise, well written article. We see many parallels today in the way so called democratic governments pursue whistleblowers and how defamation laws can muzzle those calling out the dubious activities of the rich and powerful. The pursuit of Julian Assange by the US government and the willingness of the UK government (and to a degree our previous Australian government) to go along with it. ClichĂ©d though it may be, there’s the old Edmund Burke quote about evil triumphing when good men do nothing.
As for antisemitism at the centre of the story, it is indeed the devil that has never gone away. It changes its names and faces and re-emerges in new guises, like, for instance, the conspiracy theories of Q Anon and others that lure people of the left and right down rabbit holes, and the supporters of the BDS movement who proclaim that it’s nothing to do with the antisemitism.

Richard Barrett
Richard Barrett
1 year ago

Is this writer trying to say that the left was as Anti-Semitic and authoritarian as the right? If so, it is a misuse of the Affaire. Anti-Semitism on the left disappeared in the early 20th century, partly as a result of the Affaire’s exposure of the nature of Anti-Semitism. The French left and liberals, exemplified by Clemenceau and Jaures, were the linchpins of the struggle against authoritarianism in the Third Republic.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

He was talking about the extreme left at the turn of *the last century* (1900). Yes, his wording is a little loose and implies far let anti-semitism persists to this day. I suspect it’s accidental. And I very much doubt that anti-semitism is anything like as widespread today as it was in the 1880s.
I don’t think Clemenceau and Jaures ever qualified as “extreme left” though, so I don’t see any implied criticism of them.
Back to the article. The whole story is one of proper investigative journalism and what happens when governments stray from the rule of law. Contemporary examples might be the continued detention of “enemy combatants” at Guantanomo Bay – the US government making the law up as it went along. The disgrace of extraordinary renditions – carried out with UK complicity, but still denied by the awful David Miliband, mercifully now in exile. The Guildford Four and Birmingham Six also come to mind.
Piers Paul Read’s “The Dreyfus Affair” is an excellent and highly readable account of the affair.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes, the Piers Paul Read book is very good. Would also recommend the (slightly) fictionalised account by Robert Harris ” An Officer and a Gentleman”.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes, the Piers Paul Read book is very good. Would also recommend the (slightly) fictionalised account by Robert Harris ” An Officer and a Gentleman”.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

“Anti-Semitism disappeared on thr left in the early 20th century”.
Just like that- pff! And away it went, cleansed of even the merest taint. Like a washing powder advert….

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

He was talking about the extreme left at the turn of *the last century* (1900). Yes, his wording is a little loose and implies far let anti-semitism persists to this day. I suspect it’s accidental. And I very much doubt that anti-semitism is anything like as widespread today as it was in the 1880s.
I don’t think Clemenceau and Jaures ever qualified as “extreme left” though, so I don’t see any implied criticism of them.
Back to the article. The whole story is one of proper investigative journalism and what happens when governments stray from the rule of law. Contemporary examples might be the continued detention of “enemy combatants” at Guantanomo Bay – the US government making the law up as it went along. The disgrace of extraordinary renditions – carried out with UK complicity, but still denied by the awful David Miliband, mercifully now in exile. The Guildford Four and Birmingham Six also come to mind.
Piers Paul Read’s “The Dreyfus Affair” is an excellent and highly readable account of the affair.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

“Anti-Semitism disappeared on thr left in the early 20th century”.
Just like that- pff! And away it went, cleansed of even the merest taint. Like a washing powder advert….

Richard Barrett
Richard Barrett
1 year ago

Is this writer trying to say that the left was as Anti-Semitic and authoritarian as the right? If so, it is a misuse of the Affaire. Anti-Semitism on the left disappeared in the early 20th century, partly as a result of the Affaire’s exposure of the nature of Anti-Semitism. The French left and liberals, exemplified by Clemenceau and Jaures, were the linchpins of the struggle against authoritarianism in the Third Republic.