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Special Interest Groups

Folly of Appeasement Policy

The appeaser is the one that feeds the crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.

In the book Winston Churchill CEO, Alan Axelrod discusses the policy of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of “active appeasement” regarding Hitler’s early aggression in Europe.

Chamberlain’s policy was to give Hitler all he demanded in exchange for his pledge to make no more territorial demands in Europe. His objective was to avoid and delay war even if it meant sacrificing allies and obligations of the Treaty of Versailles. Winston Churchill later comments in the House of Commons that England “has been offered a choice between war and shame. She has chosen shame and will get war”.

“The folly of appeasement is agreeing to a relative evil for the purpose of averting a great evil. Ethically considered, ends are never separable from means, and in no instance is this truer than when evil is proposed as a means of avoiding evil. Ethical conduct unfolds along a continuum, in which origin and result, means and ends, cannot be separated. A process that commences with a wrong must conclude with one.” (Axelrod, page 145).