Would You Have Been Dreyfusard or Anti-Dreyfusard?

If you lived in France in the late 19th Century would you have been Dreyfusard or anti-Dreyfusard? Remember its not “you” but a somewhat transferred version of “you” (ie if you’re socialist you’re still socialist) “edited” for 19th Century France. As a Protestant anticlerical moderate bourgeois liberal I almost certainly would have been Dreyfusard (due to the Protestants in France being felt threatened by the hardline Catholic conservatives most were pro-republican and liberal in the Third Republic).

As a non-religious legitimist I hope I would consider the matter unproven either way as the affaire developed — not that I should care what the Republic does or what happens to it’s military servants — however, as in most of these cases there is not enough evidence produced to the public in sufficient time for any reasoned judgement to be made. Most of the participants ran on emotion ( them being nineteenth century Frenchmen especially emphasises this: they quivered with thrilled emotion just choosing a meal back then ); and the Army was the most paranoid and sentimental of all.
Amusingly, the great Wilhelm sent his personal guarantee to France that Dreyfus was not the person who sent the information gained. They totally ignored this.

Above all, don’t discuss The Affair at dinner: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caran-d-ache-dreyfus-supper.jpg

Qin, you’re a good kid, but your historical-political polls like this will get more response if you bear in mind that a lot of us never took World History and give a brief description of what the heck you’re talking rather than forcing us to go read up on it on Wiki.

I would have been a Dreyfusard. While there was a lot of context to the issue, the fundamental evidence of Dreyfus’ innocence was overwhelming. The Anti-Dreyfusards were essentially arguing that his actual guilt or innocence didn’t matter - admitting that he had been framed would cause too much damage to the nation so Dreyfus had to be sacrificed even if he was innocent. I don’t agree with that kind of idea - the damage of institutionalizing a lie is worse in the long run than the damge of admitting it.

I kind of like how he does this, though. It’s like he’s learning about a topic in school, thinks about it, and comes to us to ask what we think about it. It’s probably a good way to learn more about the topic and get other perspectives. He’s a pretty typical self-absorbed teenager in the sense that he doesn’t realize that all of this is a vague memory an old history class.

Anyway, I’m Jewish, so take a wild guess. :slight_smile:

But of course I would have been anti-Dreyfusard! One must support the Army in all things, for l’Armee, c’est la France!!!

That whole “Dreyfus is innocent” claim, it’s an invention of France’s enemies designed to cast our sacred institutions into ill-repute! The Germans, the English, and above all the Jews are behind it!

Vive La France! Vive La France! Vive…
Nah, screw it, I’d have been a Dreyfusard. :slight_smile:

But, but, Richard Dreyfus wasn’t alive in the 19th century…however, I did like Mr. Holland’s Opus and Jaws, so he has that going for him…

(I have no idea what the OP is about.)

Not just the Jews either, but the evil Syndicate:

*-*Barbara Tuchman, The Proud Tower.

It may be as well to recall that whilst it was horrible he was sent to such a terrible camp, both Louis-Napoleon and the Third Republic sent a hell of a lot of Frenchmen to Cayenne and Devil’s Island etc., often for political reasons, such as communist sympathies, which wouldn’t be a crime now, and others for serial criminality, and nobody ever worries about their innocence or guilt, or their sufferings. Dreyfus was lucky during his long martyrdom that his case was flagged by a vigorous defence.

As a Jew, I’d be on the side where people weren’t shouting death threats because of my religion.

I’m an Establishment kind of guy who tends to go along with the crowd, so I’d probably be an anti-Dreyfusard, at least at first.

But I do eventually wake up, so I’d be a Dreyfusard by the end.

From my enlightened twenty-first-century perspective, the antis seem like bigoted authoritarian jerks, and all their arguments boil down to “I don’t want to admit I was wrong.” Not exactly compelling…

I’m with Rocketeer - I strongly suspect I would have been an Anti until after’s Zola’s expose and maybe right up until the Court of Cassation verdict.

I mistakenly voted anti-dreyfusard.
I’m a leftist atheist, which means that all things being equal I would have been a republican rabidly anti-clerical at the time. So, it would have been pretty much mandatory to be a dreyfusard too for me.

There were quite strong political demarcation lines at the time, and the dreyfusard/anti-dreyfusard issue strongly tended to follow those lines. Being anti-dreyfusard would have been tantamount to treason for my circle of friend, and they might have suspected me of other horrible thoughts and deeds, like being a secret church-goer or something.

“But, but- what about honor?!” (:rolleyes:)

True - I always wondered why they made a big honking fuss over the Scottsboro Boys when a lot of other people were wrongly convicted in those days. :dubious:

Or, you know, whichever side was shouting fewest death threats because of our religion. :smiley:

Dreyfusard, although of course that’s much easier to say with the benefit of hindsight. But I’m a big fan of accountability in public institutions, and the thought of sacrificing an innocent man to save face for the authorities is anathema to me.

Yes. How am I to know what my position on a more than a century old political debate in another country would have been if I’d been there at the time? It’s really impossible to say. We know now that the dreyfusards were right, so we may very well pat ourselves on the back by telling ourselves that we’d have been among them, but how are we to know?

I cannot answer this question; it’s just not possible to put the political being that I am today in late 19th century France and expect that it’d be the same.

No, I think you’re on the right track: Are you for him or against him? It’s not that hard.
Good thing I’m here, to help you stay smart!

btw, wasn’t R. Dreyfus in a movie about the Dreyfus affair?

Best wishes,
hh