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Vichy: The Ravenna of the Third Reich

Cacildo Marques – Sao Paulo

The Ravenna Effect is, almost certainly, the most decisive causal relation of Social
Psychology to guide the paths of history. It is configured by the shock of years or decades
caused by the transfer of the chief of State from his traditional capital to a city without
historical secular status of capital, with the ensuing disruption of the services and symbols
of stability already built for the conduction of the State, with highlight for the currency.
Through the Versailles Effect (Prof. Malcolm H. Wiener), the problem spreads over the
countries of the area of influence. The localization of the government does not matter
(Bonn Effect), provided that the residence of the chief of State functions effectively in the
secular capital (for Germany, it is Berlin).
Fall. The name Ravenna Effect comes from the set of events that in the fifth
century, from the year 402 to the year 476, led to the fall of the Roman Empire. In the year
402, Emperor Honorius transferred the court to Ravenna, leaving the city of Rome to its
fate. Since then, frequent wars, uprisings, invasions by other peoples, famine, shortages,
epidemics, and many other problems devastated the Italian Peninsula in such a way that
when Odoacer, leading his barbarian soldiers, entered Rome, to set up his imperial court,
he was received with relief and feast in the streets, by a population that then had great
contempt for its distant emperor, Romulus Augustulus.
Thirteen centuries later, the same mechanism that left the Old Age behind and
ushered in the Medieval Age acted to kick-start the Contemporary Age, with the key
episode of the French Revolution, which was the Fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.
Versailles. Who played the part of the Ravenna of France at that time was the city
of Versailles, where the chief of State Louis XVI resided. After three months, in the heat of
the agitation of a rumored protest against the rise of prices, amid rumors that the
aristocracy planned deliberately to kill the poor with hunger, there was the Women's
March, or October March, in which the Parisian ladies, united with revolutionaries who
looted the official weapons depot of Paris, went to Versailles on the evening of October 5
and, after many battles in which a protester was killed and, in response, two guards of the
palace had their heads cut off and propped up in stakes, in the afternoon of the October 6
they demanded that Louis XVI was with the protesters to Paris, to settle in the old Tuileries
Palace.
The Ravenna Effect was over, but less than two years later, Louis XVI and his wife
Marie-Antoinette fled towards Varennes, when they were intercepted. In a few more
months they were sentenced to death in the guillotine.
Washington. A decade later it began the saga of the Ravenna of the United
States, that was its capital Washington. Unlike Ravenna and Versailles, Washington was
consolidated, because the citizens of the country had no way of knowing the origin of their
misfortunes. Washington was built in 1800 and twelve years later it occurred the Great
Anglo-American War, in which English soldiers, attempting to retake the colony, set the
city aflame. The Americans rebuilt Washington with a greater commitment than the one
shown in 1800, remaking the Capitol, the White House and many other buildings with
better designs and in a more reinforced way. In the sixth decade it came the War of
Secession, which inside the country is called the American Civil War. It was the greatest
civil war in the New World. In the final phase, President Abraham Lincoln abolished
slavery and was later murdered, but no one distrusted the Ravenna Effect. And
Washington continued its history toward consolidation as a historic capital, which
happened with the last capital-newist vicissitude of the country, which was the Great
Depression in 1929.
Tokyo. The time elapsed between the exchange of Rome by Ravenna and the
moment of the fall of the empire was 74 years. From the transfer of Louis XIV to Versailles,
in 1682, until the withdrawal there of his grandson Louis XVI 107 years passed. The
French suffered the cost of the new "capital" for 11 decades. The United States suffered
this for 13 decades, lessened by the clever adoption of the gold standard. Japan, which
had its capital transferred to Tokyo in 1869, had, 13 decades later, the highest real estate
prices in the world, which have declined since then, that is, since the beginning of the 21st
century. The problems experienced by Japan in this interval are no secret to anyone, but it
is easy to remember, for example, the Sino-Japanese war of 1894 and the attack on Pearl
Harbor in 1941, which received Washington's response nearly four years later with the spill
of two atomic bombs.
Bad. Before this tragic outcome, which was part of the World War II, the world went
through World War I, triggered by the attempt of the activist Gavrilo Prinkip against
Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, then part of the Autro-Hungarian Empire, which
went through a serious problem of dearness. The Ravenna of Emperor Franz Joseph I is
not as gaudy as Versailles was in the eighteenth century. It is because he moved in order
to stay overnight with his mistress in the city of Bad Itschl, leaving the official capital,
Vienna, and Empress Sissi in second plan. Bad Itschl was the most discreet Ravenna in
history.
Weimar. As for the city of Weimar, it did not overthrow an empire, since it was the
center of a Republic, which proved to be frustrated, but the superinflation experienced
there, leading Germany to an unprecedented impoverishment in the phenomenon called
the Weimar Effect (Professor Philip David Cagan), made the Germans search for a
mountebank who offered himself as a savior of the homeland, Adolf Hitler, after the
problem was already resolved by a descendant of Martin Luther, President Paul von
Hindenburg, already installed in the traditional capital, Berlin. The President noted that the
voters were being confused, not realizing that Germany was already rerouted, and tried in
every way to prevent the rise of the Austrian man, who had been arrested in 1923 for
attempted coup. Hindenburg did not succeed because he was taking a solitary fight. On
here, a human fault is formed that is explained by the phenomenon of hysteresis: The
impulse of the effect ceases, but the effect continues for some more time. In this case of
Social Psychology, what occurs is a sensation of hysteresis, not hysteresis itself. The
solution is obtained, but popular perception is that everything remains the same. An
example of this, there in the same region, was the destruction of Budapest, ordered by
Hitler. He died in 1945, but his soldiers proceeded to the destruction of the Hungarian
capital in 1946. This is a pure sensation of hysteresis. For those insiders, the Nazism was
still in force.
Hitler, therefore, grew politically along the road opened by Hindenburg. When he
died in 1934, Hitler, there was one year as Prime Minister (Chancellor), took his place,
through the plebiscite of self-referral, in which he obtained 88% support from the
electorate.
Free from the moorings of the Ravenna Effect represented by Weimar, Germany
was growing in the stern. Emma Goldman, a Jewish writer, promoted marches in New
York charging the United States government to take action against Hitler, who was
chasing Jews. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt despised this demand, because the
economic growth of Germany favored much the American companies, among them IBM,
or "Big Blue". Hitler feared only one event, as he himself told the advisors at his country
house, on the scene shown in the documentary "Swastika": The possible election of
Winston Churchill as premier of England.
Vichy. And what was the Hitler's Ravenna? Now, in obtaining the collaboration of
Marshal Philippe Pétain, who agreed to govern France as a province of the Third Reich,
Hitler saw no problem in setting up the French government in Vichy. Joan of Arc
considered in 1429 that France without Paris did not be France. Pétain ignored it. He did
not consider that in the Hundred Years War, after Joan of Arc obtained the coronation of
the dauphin as king Charles VII, she demanded him to finance the resumption of Paris,
without his giving in to the appeal. She has undertaken on her own day, and was captured
in the immediate vicinity of the city. It must be understood that France was in shambles for
having its chief of State far from the historical capital. And even with the later retake of the
city, the Hundred Years' War left Western Europe broken and unguarded, opening the
doors to the materialization of the old dream of the Turks of taking Constantinople, which
happened to take place in 1453. There the Medieval Era was closed, and the Modern Age
was beginning.
Pétain and the Nazis saw it as a salutary move to let rebellious Parisians relegated
to the basement of history. The new era was with the Vichy Regime, from 1940.
It was the Ravenna Effect (or Versailles-Weimar Effect) generated from Vichy that
showed the French that Nazism - demagogic, uncultivated, racist and authoritarian regime
- was a disgrace, something that only 12% of the Germans seemed to agree, by the voting
in the plebiscite of the self-referral.
Resistance grew from France. When the United States, Britain, and the French
Resistance decided to disembark to the D-Day on June 6, 1944, they did this in
Normandy, French territory, because the initial priority was to free France, a result
obtained in the first month of battle. The easiest part for allied troops was to take Paris,
because the Parisians, animated by the entry of allies into French territory, had already
done the service inside the city, expelling the Nazis.
Here we have a new aspect of the Ravenna Effect. In addition to this new
characteristic, we can call the phenomenon as the Vichy Effect: What the new capital
without secular status has to unmask and destroy bad governments that deceive the
population when sustaining itself in the demagogy using the developmentalism as a trump.
Far from being embarrassed to have harbored the collaborationist government of Pétain,
Vichy must be proud to have been the spearhead of the revolt that resulted in the
destruction of the Nazi horror.
History. If we consider, like Popper, that the human story they say to be relevant is
the history of tragedies, not that of the great discoveries, artistic creations and great
philosophical conceptions, then every truly important episode has the Ravena Effect as its
background, even before the fate of the city of Aten, of the father of Tutankhamen, passing
through Alexandria, which shortened abruptly, by the early death of the titular, the reign of
Alexander, until the recent disaster of the administrative city of Robert Mugabe,
Borrowdale Brooks, on the outskirts of Harare, which pushed Zimbabwe to the highest
hyperinflation in history in 2008. Earlier, the record was exactly with the Hungarians of
1946, that, having its capital destroyed by the late Nazis, installed the residence of their
president in the Lake Balaton.
Nowadays, following Brazil, Myanmar and Nigeria, the focus of the Ravenna Effect
is with Tunisia, whose presidential residence is outside the traditional capital.