Monday, February 09, 2004

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn on Monarchy and War
We spoke already about the indoctrination of draftees, which,
naturally, becomes important in a time of war. An even greater evil
is the fact that, since the recruits are taken from the population at
large, the people itself has to be indoctrinated, in other words,
made to hate the enemy collectively. For this purpose, modern governments
invoke the support of the mass media, which then inform
the populace about the evil of the enemy (with little or no regard
for the truth). The attack stresses the wickedness and inferiority of
the hostile nation and the evil deeds committed by its armed forces,
which consists of cowards, a low breed recruited from a fiendish
people.

* * * * * *

Curiously enough, it was the Third Reich (although planning
aggressive wars) which desired to ban aerial warfare except on
well-defined battle fronts. In 1935, the Germans, wanting a pact
outlawing war on civilians in the hinterland, suggested this to Great
Britain, which at that time had a Labour government. However, the
offer was rejected on the ground that all efforts to humanize war
would make wars more acceptable, and would thus be a blow to
the noble cause of pacifism.

* * * * * *
One of the worst and most idiotic feats was the U.S. army’s
destruction of the ancient Italian monastery of Monte Cassino. The
Allies had been informed that there were no German troops inside,
but since the building remained intact, a hue and cry was raised in
the United States that to spare the monastery would be yielding to
“Roman Catholic interests” at the cost of American lives. “Our
Boys” would have to die to please the Pope! Finally, the military
yielded to bolster the “home front.” The vox populi should not be
thwarted, and a political decision, not a military decision, was made.
The old building went up in flames, thus making it safe for the
Germans to occupy the ruins, whereas to defend a huge building
under artillery fire would have been suicidal. Now the American
soldiers faced an enemy much better entrenched and more fully
protected by the rocks of the destroyed abbey. No falling walls
could bury them. The Allied losses became much bigger, as did
those of the poor betrayed Poles who had to fight with them, but
public opinion was satisfied: the war was fought democratically.

Yet, what did the American soldie rs think of such irreparable
losses of architectural beauty? An officer stationed near
Benevento, asked whether he had any misgivings, replied to an
American journalist, “There’s nothing what can be done about it.
Italy is just lousy with clerical monuments.”

* * * * * *

One of the worst results of the democratization of wars was—
and remains—the difficulty in terminating a war by peace, or, at
least, by lengthy periods of peace. In a partially or fully democratic
order, having fought with conscripted soldiers, one is governed
largely by representatives of the people who do not think historically,
but politically. Of history, economics, cultural mentalities, and
geography, they know nothing. Moreover, they think “personally,”
not dynastically. What do they have primarily in mind? The weal of
their grandchildren and great grandchildren? Or the winning of the
next election? Furthermore, the returning soldiers, if they have been
fighting on the winning side, want to see the fruits of their suffering,
so they yearn for a “peace” with maximum gains for their country.
(Mercenaries thought otherwise. They had their next job in mind.)

* * * * * *

Yet, to make people happy (after one’s own fashion), sometimes
requires a little and occasionally even a lot of pressure. In
February 1914, Mr. Wilson thought that the Mexicans would be
much happier if, politically, they imitated the United States, which in
turn had imitated France.71 This worried Sir Edward Grey, the British
Foreign Minister. Between him and American Ambassador
Walter Hines Page, a curious dialogue developed. The theme was
Mexican reluctance to adopt a full-fledged democracy, which the
United States, after all, had fostered and abetted in Mexico even
before they had supported Benito Juarez, the murderer of Emperor
Maximilian.72 The exchange of opinions went as follows:
Grey: Suppose you have to intervene, what then?
Page: Make ’em vote and live by their decisions.
Grey: But suppose they will not so live?
Page: We’ll go in again and make ’em vote again.
Grey: And keep this up for 200 years?
Page: Yes. The United States will be here for 200 years
and it can continue to hoot them for that little space till
they learn to vote and rule themselves.

* * * * * *

Monarchy had several great advantages. First of all, one could
expect a monarch to be psychologically88 and intellectually prepared
for his task. Considering the intellectual preparation of some
leading politicians for their task, we can only throw up our hands in
horror, as often their looks and their gift of gab alone got them into
office. A second asset is (or rather was) their international rela-
tionships and their lack of local ties.89 Number three is the fact that
they owe their position to no party, faction, interest group, estate, or
class, but only, to use the words of Bossuet, to “the sweet process
of nature.”90 The fourth advantage is that monarchs had the
chance to act historically. In democracies, where the primary task
is to win elections, and where instability with nicely spaced changes
is even a matter of pride, a constructive foreign policy is well-nigh
impossible.91 Monarchs were in office until they died, at which time
they left their realms to their sons or nearest relatives. They could
act historically, not politically, in a way without a time limit. Hence,
their various “Political Testaments.”

This has been aptly demonstated by Professor Hans-Hermann
Hoppe in an essay which likens the democratic procedure to a
small child wanting his wishes fufilled immediately, and protests in
tears if there is a delay or a negative reaction. A monarch, as a
member of a dynasty, can plan for the distant future, even for generations.
92 Yet, it would be most erroneous to believe that a return
to monarchy, even a Christian monarchy, would solve all of our
problems. Recall the praise the great monarchist Charles Maurras
bestowed on this form of government: “Le moindre mal. La possibilit√©
du bien. (The least evil. The possibility of something
good.)”

Still, a monarch as member of a dynasty can plan for the distant
future, even for generations. In our times, in which the globe
has been transformed into an immensely complex scene, the abyss
between the Scita and the Scienda, the actual knowledge of voters
and candidates compared with the necessary knowledge, unavoidably
widens all the time. And since the required knowledge among
those active or passive in the democratic process is minute, only
sentiments, sympathies, and antipathies, pleasing and unpleasant
factors, are now effective. Hence, democracies act like rabbits
jumping in all imaginable directions, into unwanted wars,93 idealistic
crusades, and undesirable, fatal peace arrangements. From childhood,
monarchs were prepared for their duties. They “inherited”
their profession as traditionally as craftsmen did theirs. The son of
a tailor became a tailor, and so forth. These tailors produced sometimes
bad garments, occasionally excellent ones but usually passable
ones. So, too, with monarchs. Yet dentists, lawyers, cobblers,
farmers, or plumbers could not have produced any clothes whatever,
only monstrosities. Hence, the decline of Europe, already lasting
more than 200 years, which also means that one should not forget
the already mentioned fact that monarchy compromised with
democracy during the nineteenth century, and thus acquired merely
a psychological role in the twentieth.

94We have to bear in mind that democracies boast of their instability and
their dislike for expertise. The real “hero” in democratic folklore is always
the “successful amateur,” not the expert, which implies that knowledge
and experience have no value.

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