Rethinking Churchill – Ralph Raico

This is another entry in sacred cow tipping and toppling statues of conservative visions of grandeur. But who better than Ralph Raico, historian of European classical liberalism, an original member of Rothbard’s Circle Bastiat, and today is his 79th birthday. Controversially, yet unsurprisingly Churchill’s legacy (especially among modern conservative-republicans) is really the result of a half century of propaganda and Churchill himself rushed several works into print which would set the tone for his legacy from then on. This version of Churchill would eventually cross the pond and he would become the “the human bridge across which the transition was made between a noninterventionist and a globalist America.” Have a read below, or listen to the lecture here:

“When, in a very few years, the pundits start to pontificate on the great question: “Who was the Man of the Century?” there is little doubt that they will reach virtually instant consensus. Inevitably, the answer will be: Winston Churchill. Indeed, Professor Harry Jaffa has already informed us that Churchill was not only the Man of the Twentieth Century, but the Man of Many Centuries.[1]

In a way, Churchill as Man of the Century will be appropriate. This has been the century of the State — of the rise and hypertrophic growth of the welfare-warfare state — and Churchill was from first to last a Man of the State, of the welfare state and of the warfare state. War, of course, was his lifelong passion; and, as an admiring historian has written: “Among his other claims to fame, Winston Churchill ranks as one of the founders of the welfare state.”[2] Thus, while Churchill never had a principle he did not in the end betray,[3] this does not mean that there was no slant to his actions, no systematic bias. There was, and that bias was towards lowering the barriers to state power.”

And one more: “Finally, there was what appeared to be the abiding love of his life, the British Empire. If Churchill stood for anything at all, it was the Empire; he famously said that he had not become Prime Minister in order to preside over its liquidation. But that, of course, is precisely what he did, selling out the Empire and everything else for the sake of total victory over Germany.”

For those of you Churchill lovers do not think that Raico is off on his own. Pat Buchanan (no lefty-shill) has recently published a book on Churchill’s leadership as a complete failure and the true reason for the downfall of the British Empire (not that we’re complaining).