Journal of Libertarian Studies

Monarchy and War

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

[Journal of Libertarian Studies 15, Number 1 (2000)]


Modern history is nothing but an inventory of bankruptcy declarations. —Nicolas Gomez Davila


Monarchy is a form of government not well understood in North America. To many people in that part of the world, monarchy seems to be a totally obsolete, even childish, institution. The surviving monarchies, after all, might still play a symbolic or even a psychological role, but not a decisive political role.

As a rationalist and a liberal (in the worldwide sense rather than in the American sense), I am also a monarchist who realizes that monarchy, combined with Christianity and Antiquity, was responsible for the rise and flowering of Western civilization, which is slowly assuming an almost global character. Yet, the modern mind is political rather than historical, and therefore is hopelessly tied to the spirit of his time. As Goethe wrote:

He who cannot give account
Of the last three thousand years
Rests in darkness inexperienced
though he lives from day to day.

Such a person, intellectually nurtured by the boob-tube and newspapers, would be greatly surprised to hear British Prime Minister Disraeli say:

The tendency of an advanced civilization is in truth Monarchy. Monarchy is indeed a government which requires a high degree of civilization for its full development. ... An educated nation recoils from the imperfect vicariate of what is called a representative government.1

Democracy is, after all, the oldest form of government in which majorities rule over minorities.2

Democracy reappeared in a more civilized form in Athens, but when, in a truly political trial, Socrates praised monarchy, he was condemned to death.33 Remember also that Madariaga said rightly that our civilization rests on the death of two persons: a philosopher and the Son of God, both victims of the popular will. No wonder that Plato, Socrates’s follower, and Aristotle, Plato’s disciple, were fierce monarchists, and that the latter, when democracy returned to Athens, went into exile to avoid Socrates’s fate.4 Plato’s thesis that democracy naturally evolves into tyranny was also adopted by Polybius, who believed in an anakyklosis, a natural circular evolutionary process from monarchy into aristocracy, aristocracy into democracy, and democracy into tyranny. Indeed, reading Plato’s Republic, Books VIII–IX, one gets an exact description of the transition from the Weimar Republic to National Socialist tyranny. 

The historically conscious observer realizes not only that countries like Great Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands, which today are monarchies, went through republican periods, but also that Greece and Mexico, today republics, have already been monarchies twice. Still, the most “educational” case is that of Rome. If we had the opportunity, given our knowledge of history, to meet a Roman citizen in the sixtieth year before Christ, and told him that his country would soon become a monarchy, he certainly would have reacted most vigorously, blaming us for ignoring Roman tradition and mentality. Monarchy? A return to the authoritarianism of Tarquinius Superbus? Out of the question! Yet, Caesar already loomed beyond the horizon.

Subsequently, if we had the chance to meet with one of his descendants in the year 260 after Christ and told him of his ancestor’s indignation about our naiveté and arrogance, he certainly would have shrugged his shoulders. “And now?” we might ask. “Now? We are still a republic. Look at signs everywhere declaring SENATUS POPULESQUE ROMANUS! A monarchy? As among Orientals and barbarians? Out of the question!” “But you have an Emperor!” “Ha ha! Imperator means general and there always have been generals in republics!” Yet, a few years later, Diocletian, the Imperator Augustus, had a golden crown put on his head and demanded proskynesis, the kneeling approach to his person. Then, even the most stupid Romans realized that the republic had gone the way of all flesh. Tacitus, indeed, had suspected it long before.

There are still outstanding thinkers who have a deep respect for the monarchical order, for rational as well as sentimental motives. Yet, even the rationalist has to take the psychological factor into account, or he would cease to be a realistic rationalist. As a matter of fact, the increasing democratization of Western civilization has fostered monarchophile thinking, although only on a high level. Thus, it is not surprising that Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, declared monarchy the best form of government, but, since no descendants of David survived, the aristocratic constitution of Venice should be studied in the planning of a Jewish State, whereas democracy, as the worst type of rule, was to be strictly avoided.5 History is already telling us how right he was.

This introduction is necessary to understand the relationship between monarchy and war, and between monarchy and warfare. However, we are limiting ourselves here to the Christian monarchy in our civilization, and not discussing some abstract form of monocracy. (Bear in mind that arche is not kratos.) We must remember the words of Nicolas Gomez Davila, who wrote that without Christianity and Antiquity as their background, Europeans would be nothing but palefaced barbarians.6 Nor should we forget that war is a calamity to be avoided, one of the many results of our imperfections caused by Original Sin, even if soldiers, by and large, play a positive role in the New Testament. Many of our saints have fought in battles, from St. Francis to St. Ignatius. Still, eliminating, or at least limiting, war should be one of our goals.


The First Enlightenment produced the French Revolution, the great historical revival of democracy, a sadistic orgy in which the “Divine Marquis” played a leading role both intellectually and personally.7 Here is not the place to portray the Revolution’s horrors, which were revealed to a broader public only in the years preceding its 200th anniversary in 1989.8 But, in order to explain its effects on wars and the methods of warfare, it is necessary to highlight its character and role in history. The French Revolution attempted to bring liberty and equality under a common denominator, something Goethe argued that only charlatans would promise.9 Equality, indeed, can be established only by way of some form of slavery, just as a hedge can be kept even only by way of constant trimming. In this perverse competition between liberty and equality, the latter naturally won out.

Robespierre, before being dragged to notre chère mère la guillotine, had planned to put all Frenchmen into one uniform, and all Frenchwomen into another. He also wanted to eliminate all church steeples as “undemocratic,” since they were taller than all other buildings.10

With its ideal of equality, democracy’s revival from antiquity was closely connected with “nationalism,” a term most Europeans equated with what Americans might call ethnicism (not to be confused with racism, which is not a linguistic-cultural concept but a biological one). The basic drive is the craving for sameness, the twin of equality. (Whatever is the same is also equal, although it is not necessarily true the other way around.) After 1789, differences became suspect, and were to be rejected and eradicated.

The traditional outlook of our culture, indeed, was vertical: God the Father in Heaven, the Holy Father in Rome, the King as the Father of the Fatherland, and the Father as the King in the Family. (In the lands of the Reformation, the monarch, not the Pope, was the head of the Church.) Connected with the Fathers were the Mothers, from the Regina Coeli down to the Queens and the various matriarchs.

Following the Revolution, the new order was increasingly flattened until it became horizontal. Of course, the people as such could not rule; rather, majorities could rule over minorities, so numbers assumed immense importance.11 Even truth became a matter for majorities, so the bigger the majority, the “truer” the right answer. The ideal was the consent, the affirmation by the majority, which in its ultimate form achieves a totality.12 Hence, we see the totalitarian root of democracy, which stands for the “politization” of the entire people. Even the children, although not allowed to vote, are now educated in that direction.

It was obvious that the new order could tolerate no estates, and, soon, the demand arose to eliminate social differences based on wealth and income, as well as those based on birth. In 1794, the popular ire also turned against the rich, and some were guillotined for just that reason. Needless to say, the new horizontalism was in conflict with the Christian tradition, which emphatically does not stand for equality.13

In the French schoolbooks, one can read “La terreur était terrible, mais grande (the Terror was terrible, but great),” which, in view of our bottomless human stupidity, one might some day even say about German National Socialism and Russian International Socialism. Most of our contemporaries assume that the victims of the guillotine were largely degenerate aristocrats,14 and that the final benefits of the Revolution were greater than the damages or losses the French suffered. Yet, only a few years before the celebration of its 200th anniversary in 1989, a flood of well-documented books came out which tore the mask away from the face of that godless event. Already in 1986, French Deputy Bernard Antony warned the European Parliament in Strassburg not to celebrate 1789, since it had bred National and International Socialism.15 At about the same time came the revelations of Francois Furet, Simon Schama, and, above all, Reynald Secher, about whose terrifying volume Professor Jean Meyer wrote that the worst and most nauseating atrocities could not even be mentioned.16

We are told that in this sadistic orgy, pregnant women were squeezed out in fruit- and wine-presses, mothers and their children were slowly roasted to death in bakers’ ovens, and women’s genitals were filled with gun-powder and brought to explosion. We cannot continue to dwell on these unspeakable horrors, and should not be surprised that Sade was invoked, since his pornographic writings contain long philosophical and antireligious passages. The infamies and cruelties of the French Revolution were of such a low nature that the National and International Socialists seem humanitarians in comparison.17 The 1989 celebrations of the French Revolution concentrated unilaterally on the “Declaration of Human Rights” (in the shadow of the Guillotine), and did not even mention the fall of the Bastille with its most unsavory details.18

The invention of the guillotine was psychologically a step in the “new direction”: the mechanization of swift murder. Yet, the French Revolution left behind something much worse than the guillotine, because it was permanent: a radical change in the nature of wars, which made this human calamity still more extensive, as well as intensive—la levée des masses, conscription.


The social pyramid in the new horizontalism was now upturned, and quantity, not quality, had its day. Everybody had the same rights—a truly microscopic share in decisions, effective only if it were part of a majority—but also the same obligations. One could vote for a representative, but, in turn, a male had the duty to defend his country (or to participate in its aggressions), which might mean drudgery in barracks, captivity, wounds, mutilation, or even death, a bad deal indeed. The draftee almost ceased to be a real person as he was dragged out of his privacy and became an “individual,” the meaning of which is only the last indivisible part of a collective whole.19 Hippolyte Taine described the results of this return to the stage of primitive tribes with these ringing words, taken from his Origines de la France contemporaine:

One puts in the hands of each adult a ballot, but on the back of each soldier a knapsack: with what promises of massacre and bankruptcy for the Twentieth Century, with what exasperation of ill will and distrust, with what loss of wholesome effort, by what a perversion of productive discoveries, accompanied by what an improvement in the means of destruction, by what recoil toward the inferior and unhealthy forms of the old combative societies, by what a backward step toward egoistic and brutal instincts, toward the sentiments, manner and morality of ancient cities and barbaric tribes, we know all too well.20

One of the most immediate and degrading consequences of general military service in time of war was the “indoctrination” of the draftees. They were in the vast majority innocent, and largely even unwilling, civilians whose enthusiasm for fighting and killing was limited. They were, therefore, taught to hate the enemy, degraded to the point of wickedness, and stripped of all virtue. This had been different in previous ages when soldiers were men—gentlemen as well as ruffians—who loved to fight and offered their services to anybody who led and paid them well. Prince Eugene of Savoy had vainly offered his services to France, but ended up as the glorious military hero of the Habsburgs. The same happened finally to Baron Gideon Loudon (Laudon), born in Livonia, but of Scottish origin, whose father was an officer in the Swedish services. Loudon, however, served first in the Russian Army, and then offered his experience to Frederick II of Prussia. Rebuffed, Loudon joined the largely Austrian army of the Holy Roman Emperor, and defeated Frederick in battle.21

As late as the mid-nineteenth century, the vast majority of “recruits” had scant education (mass illiteracy prevailed for generations), and had to serve long stretches in the army, frequently three, sometimes four years. Those who had bachelor’s degrees (aged 18 to 19 years) served only one year, received a commission, and became reserve officers. The idea was to have trained soldiers under arms, as well as in a reserve capacity, periodically called to maneuvers. The loss of time for all was considerable.

Yet if one major power adopted that system, it forced other countries on the same continent, to keep from being outnumbered, to do exactly the same. And since the European monarchies had painfully experienced the numerical superiority of the French armies in the Napoleonic wars, and, as “constitutional” monarchies, were drifting into the democratic cauldron, they too were now victims of a phenomenon called “militarism,” resulting in the “Armed Horde.” England, relying on its “splendid isolation,” was an exception to the rule, but the United States, politically already a victim of the “French School,” during the War Between the States drafted not only its citizens but also foreigners on its soil. Although they could not vote, they earned money; thus, cash was redeemed with blood. Voluntary military service, however, is a different matter. On a lower level, it might rely on the desire to fight,22 on a higher one the fascination of army life,23 and on the highest the wish to defend one’s country or bring to life a great ideal.24

In the book from which we quoted Taine, American author Hoffman Nickerson writes:

During the last century-and-a-half, civilization has recreated the armed horde. Previously a rarity, it has become the accepted instrument of any great military effort. It has not, however, come alone. Exactly a hundred fifty years ago in 1789—shortly after the United States had sought to protect themselves against democracy by their Federal Constitution—the French Revolution began. From that time to our day, democratic ideas have come to dominate politics just as the mass army has dominated war. It is the thesis of this book that the two are inseparably connected with each other and with a third thing, barbarism.25


The fact that the monarchs appeared in military uniforms and figured prominently as heads of the army also symbolized the nineteenth century compromise of monarchy with democracy. The horizontal–identarian order assumed an increasingly “national” character, and the general tendency moved toward the ethnically unified state. We faced “Pan-Germanism,” “Pan-Italianism” (the Risorgimento movement), even “Pan-Slavism,” which transcended “minor” ethnic boundaries.26

Hand in hand with this evolution, we see in the Germanic and Slavic areas the rise of collective gymnastic movements, cultivating a violent nationalistic spirit and manifesting itself in gigantic “synchronized” performances.27 This physical training also implied a paramilitary aim to impress the public with numbers.28 Undoubtedly, we have here one of the psychological roots of national socialism. The Communists, too, loved synchronized, uniformed, mass performances. Horizontalism asserted itself visually.

This is part of the nineteenth century’s still “mixed” transformation. The new ideal, the ethnically uniform state, is more in harmony with militarization and for the development of parliamentary institutions than is the ethnically mixed state. Mark Twain has given us an account of parliamentary life in Vienna,29 and John Stuart Mill has insisted that democracy is problematic in a multilingual state30 —no wonder, since totalitarian institutions need linguistic uniformity. Added to this is the fact that the ethnic majority, through its party (or parties), seeks to rule democratically, but not in a liberal way, over the minorities.

Multilinguality creates enormous difficulties in a parliament as well as in an army. Hence, we observe the hostility of the French Revolution toward the use of non-French languages in the Republic. The rise of democracy and of ethnic nationalism went in synchromesh. These two horizontal mass movements easily combined in the name of the demos. It is significant that the armed forces of the red “German Democratic Republic” were the conscripted and ideologically drilled Nationale Volksarmee, the “National People’s Army,” in whose name the term “people” appears in two forms. Yet, when the monarchist nobleman Charles de Gaulle proposed to the Socialist Léon Blum to transform the French Army into an armée du métier, a purely professional army consisting of volunteers, his plan was immediately rejected as a rightist undemocratic trick. Such an army could be easily mobilized against the people, and might develop an esprit de corps, which would be fully “undemocratic.”


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.

In the First World War, the Western Allies, being more democratic, were also more skilled in organizing collective hatreds. Taking advantage of the stupidity of the masses (everywhere!), they could print almost anything, and even the silliest accounts, for instance that German soldiers cut off the hands of Belgian babies, were readily believed.

Louis Raemaekers, a Dutchman in the service of the Allies, produced incredibly nauseating etchings depicting atrocities committed by the German Army. One of the worst showed a naked French girl crucified and spat upon by bespectacled, unshaven German soldiers. Nothing like it was manufactured by the Central Powers.31

In a memorable book, Georges Bernanos described the idiocies of French war propaganda of the period. According to Bernanos, the French were told that the German bodies on the battlefield had a worse stench than those of the French, and that the Germans were ridiculous cowards who would not dare to interrupt the cozy life of the French poilus in their trenches. It was deceitful propaganda of the worst kind.32 (Yet, during the French mutinies in 1917, entire batallions were decimated, i.e., every 10th man was executed. The war, therefore, was not so entertaining or cozy at all.)

Naturally, World War I was no longer a cabinet-war between monarchs, but already what the Germans called a Völkerringen, a war between nations, at least up to 1917, when the Russian monarchy fell and made America’s entry politically feasible. Then it became an ideological crusade “to make the world safe for democracy,” as had happened at the end of the eighteenth century, when France challenged Europe ideologically.

It was interesting to see how the tensions were different on the two fronts, East and West. In the East, until 1917, it was still a fight among three emperors, which was the reason why the old style there somehow survived and continued on a higher level. It was still a war between gentlemen,33 a fact evident not only at the front, but also evident in the homelands. In Russia, craftsmen and tradesmen among the prisoners were often released and, until the Bolsheviks took over, they earned money very nicely. “Enemy Aliens” were jailed in Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, but not in Austria.34


A war between entire nations developing into an ideological crusade—the word “crusade” has near-religious implications—was bound to assume total and totalitarian features.35 The totalitarians could kindle the fervor of their soldiers more easily because they operated in a highly authoritarian framework. (This also explains why the German army fought well in a hopelessly defensive rear action for more than two years, between 1942 and 1945.)

Yet, the hate propaganda of the democracies was successful. Thus, mixed with racist motives, the United States decided to put the West Coast’s entire foreign as well as American population of Japanese ancestry in concentration camps—a wartime tactic developed by the British during the Boer War. There were among them U.S. citizens with only one Japanese grandparent, who looked Caucasian and spoke not a word of Japanese.36

Likewise, after the final mass surrender of German soldiers in May 1945, they were not treated as ordinary prisoners of war who were protected by the Hague Convention, but as DEF (“Disarmed Enemy Forces”) and dealt with miserably. They were starved and ultimately suffered enormous losses—possibly as many as a million.37 Indignation about the German Concentration Camps, how-ever, played only a minor role in this “policy,” because the facts about German war atrocities were largely not believed. People remembered the lies spread about the Germans during World War I.38

Upon entering the Age of the Armed Horde, wars inevitably took on new forms and another character. The idea was no longer to outmaneuver the enemy and merely to win battles, but—since this was a war between peoples and ideologies—to kill as many enemies as possible, whereby wars assumed an exterminatory character. The mercenaries of the past belonged to different nationalities and, once they “signed up,” could be employed for different reasons and operations by their employer, or even “traded” to another one. He who sells himself can also be sold to somebody else.39

Since wars had evolved from clashes between crowned heads to conflicts between masses of people, entire nations collectively became enemies of other nations. Therefore, wars could at long last be waged against civilians—not only against beleaguered cities, but against entire populations of men, women, and children. And, since technology had given us aviation, it had become possible to attack villages and cities in the hinterland of the enemy, rather than just attacking the enemy soldiers on the front lines.

The French, pioneers in aviation, made a beginning in World War I by bombing a Corpus Christi procession in Karlsruhe and killing children, and the Germans followed up by dropping bombs from Zeppelins on British cities and firing artillery missiles on Paris from a distance of 80 miles. Frenchmen had to die, regardless of age and sex. This seemed all right; Europe had fallen that low.

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. Actually, all important British authors confirm the thesis that, in the Second World War, the aerial warfare started total war—war to the last extremity—willed and perfected by the democracies, not by the National Socialists. German attacks outside of the war zone were always retaliations. Some British authors merely shamefacedly admitted this fact; others, Mr. Churchill above all, boasted of it.40

General J.F.C. Fuller stated that “it was Mr. Churchill who lit the fuse which detonated a war of devastation and terrorization unrivalled since the invasion of the 41 Seldjuks.” The war reached its all-time lows with the destruction of Dresden, the German Florence, with a loss of 204,000 lives,42 and the annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.43 Although the Japanese had desperately asked for armistice conditions twice in 1945, in April through the Vatican, and in July via Moscow, the answer was only the infamous and idiotic “Unconditional Surrender” formula. (The American people knew nothing about this, and during that period, not only did thousands of Japanese died in vain, but so, too, died innumerable American “boys.”) The hatred generated by propaganda heated up the horizontal–collective mentality to such a degree that the war in the Pacific assumed, in the words of American Socialist leader Norman Thomas, the character of a militarily organized race riot.

The racist aspect of that war achieved a very concrete expression in a memorable incident: an American soldier sent President Roosevelt a paper-knife, made from the thighbone of a Japanese soldier killed in action. The President wrote him a letter of thanks and expressed his hope to get more such presents. The news reached the Japanese, whereupon Ken Harada, Japanese ambassador at the Vatican, decided to protest via Roman channels. The President then changed his mind and promised to give the knife a dignified burial.44

An even graver evidence of sheer barbarism appeared in the bombing of a Gestapo-Center in the Hague, leaving 800 Dutch dead. Even worse were the 3,500 victims of the “carpet-bombing” of Le Havre just prior to its liberation, but after the evacuation by the Germans. De Gaulle was outraged, but the British–American Allies justified themselves by saying, “We really thought that the Gerries were still in the city!” Thereupon de Gaulle hit the ceiling. Butchering 3,500 Frenchmen just to get a few Germans!45 He went to Le Havre for their burial, heading the cortege with the clergy.

Nor was there any respect for the cultural treasures of the Old World. In World War I, the Germans were accused of shelling Reims Cathedral (with the excuse that observers were hidden in the spire) and having willfully burnt down parts of Louvain–Leuwen because civilians had fired on their troops. But World War II was far more “progressive,” which means that Europe and North America had declined for the previous 200 years under “populist” rule, and had reached the cultural and ethical level of Dahomey’s Glegle or Uganda’s Idi Amin Dada.46 The raids over Germany were called “Baedecker Raids” because, fearing for their safety, the Allied pilots flew very high and emptied their freight more or less in the historic centers of the cities, destroying the most beautiful buildings, but damaging industrial war production astonishingly little. The hearts of Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg, Hamburg, and Bremen were in shambles, but the industrial establishments surrounding them survived. (Some Allied spokesmen explained that one wanted to hit the workers’ dwellings, while others thought that annihilating German “Kultur” destroyed Nazi arrogance.) Yet, that blood orgy contributed little to the Allied victory. IG-Farben and other big enterprises functioned to the bitter end.

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.47

Yet, what did the American soldiers 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.”

Most unfortunately, the Second World War had another fatal aspect: the resistance movement, enthusiastically applauded by the “public” of the Western Alliance. An exception has to be made for the Polish Armia Kraiowa, as well as for Jewish fighters, because the National Socialists, like the International Socialists, wanted to deprive them of their upper classes or to exterminate them altogether.48 With no legal armies for their defense, they had the moral right to fight for their very existence.49 Yet, as in other countries, the occupying army had no other means to combat these sly attackers but to take hostages and shoot them. Not-completely-democratized nations did not engage in such activities, and, all too often, “Resisters” were former collaborators who, sensing that the Third Reich was a sinking ship, changed sides.50 Obviously, the French Résistance became truly active only after the collapse of the National–International Alliance. There had been a predecessor of the civilian Résistance, after France became a republic in 1870, in the form of the franc-tireurs, entirely in keeping with the rising horizontalism. One used to have no right to participate in a war without wearing the “King’s Coat.” The alternative was to sink to the level of savages. This was somewhat different in the case of the Balkans, where, after 500 years of Turkish rule, the Christian tradition had been broken, and one went to war “collectively,” as we painfully experienced in two World Wars. First we had the nationalistic komitadjis, then the ideological partizani.51


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.)

Moreover, generosity is a virtue more frequently found in the small top layers than among the masses. After all, it takes intelligence to suspect that generosity very often pays while egotism does not. In a brilliant book, Fénélon exhorted the Dauphin,

Peace treaties are meaningless if you are the stronger one and if you force your neighbor to sign a treaty to avoid greater evil; then he signs in the same way as a person who surrenders his purse to a brigand who points his pistol at his throat.52

Yet, already in the nineteenth century, in which we witnessed the democratization of “constitutional” monarchies, we see that the warning of Fénélon was increasingly ignored. The German drive for unification and the Italian Risorgimento offered opportunities to annex entire countries and to make dynasties homeless. In this respect, the Italians made the start. The sovereigns of Modena, Parma, and Tuscany, and the Bourbons of both Sicilies had to quit. After the liberation of Sleswig–Holstein from Danish rule by the German League, the legitimate heirs were not allowed to take over their inheritance. The situation was made worse by the outcome of the German–Prussian War of 1866,53 which ended with Prussia’s incorporation not only of Sleswig–Holstein, but also of Hesse–Nassau, the Imperial City of Frankfurt, and the Kingdom of Hanover.54 This was the policy of Bismarck, who had started his life as a typical Prussian Conservative and devout Lutheran Christian, but became a German nationalist and a “National Liberal” who, soon after the establishment of the German Empire (the “Second Reich”), initiated as a “nationalistic progressivist” the Kulturkampf against the Catholic Church.55

Yet, the real break came with the end of World War I, which changed from a war between nations into an ideological “Crusade to Make the World Safe for Democracy.” By 1900, Europe had only two democratic republics (France and Switzerland), a form of government then represented largely by South and Central American nations “enriched” in 1910 and 1912 by Portugal and China.56 The great victory of democracy in Central Europe (even though its triumph in Russia lasted only 7 months) and the disappearance of the three emperors created a new scene. The democrats expected to fashion the “peace” democratically, i.e., by the consent of the majority of the voters in the victorious nations.

Of course, if we look at Wilson’s Fourteen Points,57 the defeated should have expected the principle of self-determination to be applied even to them, but this lovely document had merely been bait for surrender. Since the victors were the democracies, the “treaties” were not treaties but dictates which had to please the voters at home. Since these had been taught to “hate the enemy,” the agitated masses in reality voted for (even if indirectly) the dictates. In Britain, we had the famous “Khaki Election,” an orgy of demagoguery in which Lloyd George promised to ruin the German middle class by way of exorbitant reparations, to make Germany pay “so that the pips squeak,” and to “hang the Kaiser.”

George F. Kennan stated that nearly all our evils go back to the First World War, not to the fighting, but to the outcome. I offer four reasons for his thesis: American intervention, which artificially prolonged the war and prevented a compromise peace;58 the combination of national combat with an ideological crusade that aggravated the issue; the mountainous historical, geographic, economic, and psychological ignorance of the politicians who naturally (thinking only of elections) wanted to please the voters; and the people’s intellectual vacuum after their emotions had been whipped up to the nth degree.

The bad taste of Bismarck, who organized the celebrations for the establishment of the Second Reich in Versailles, was now imitated by those who prepared the humiliation of the German Reich in the Mirror Hall of the same building. There, as in the far more important dictates of St. Germain-en-Laye and Trianon, were laid the foundations of the Third Reich and World War II with an admirable foresight and loving care in every detail. The Versailles Treaty did tremendous harm in Germany internally, but hardly changed the map of Europe.

The destruction of the Habsburg Empire made Germany the geopolitical winner of World War I. Bordering after 1919 on only one great power, France, it was now the direct or indirect neighbor in the East of partly artificial, partly militarily indefensible states. As His Magnificence Ernst Kornemann, the Rector of Breslau University, pointed out in 1926, the time to take advantage of this situation would come sooner or later. It came.

Hitler inherited from the authors of the Paris Suburban Treaties not only an internal situation characterized by the economic uprooting of important social layers and the imposition of an unworkable form of government,59 but also a uniquely profitable geopolitical position which was caused primarily by the division of Austria-Hungary.60 If Hitler had had any sense of humor, he would have erected a colossal monument to Woodrow Wilson.61

Looking back at these happenings, John Maynard Keynes, who assisted Lloyd George at these conferences, wrote that

The Carthaginian Peace is not practically right and possible. ... The Clock cannot be set back ... without setting up such strains in the European structure and letting loose such human and spiritual forces as, pushing beyond frontiers and races, will overwhelm not only you and your “guarantees,” but your institutions and the existing order of your Society.62

One of these “guarantees” was the League of Nations, which Compton Mackenzie called “a typist’s dream of the Holy Roman Empire,” and which the Congress of the United States refused to join.63 Still, there is no doubt that general satisfaction reigned in the nations of the victors, not only among the Americans, British, French, and Italians, but also among the Czechs, Rumanians, and Serbs.64 However, intelligent Poles, seeing their country buffeted between Germany and the Soviet Union, remained skeptical.65 Yet “History,” always immensely brutal, might have said to the defeated: “Since you were disloyal to your better self, to your heritage and traditions, you will serve not Emperors but Exterminators in abject slavery, pitiless megalomaniacs who will force you back to an-other slaughter!” And to the victors she would say: “Profiting from your huge superiority in men and wealth, you have abused your triumph and paid dearly not only with men, women, and children, but also with your world-wide prestige and possessions!”

Looking back to World War I, the old democratic enthusiasm for extending the great ideals of the French Revolution reappears,66 even at the price of enormous bloodshed, because democracy means to simple spirits freedom from rule from above or outside. When a compromise peace was in the offing, the democratic idealists went up in arms. The “Left hand of Wilson” in foreign politics, George D. Herron, preferred even a Prussian victory to a compromise peace, which to him meant aristocracy, Ruhr barons, Habsburgs, and the Catholic Church, and “would break God’s heart,” whereas, even after a triumph of the Hohenzollerns, the nations “still might awake after a long baleful night to cosmic intimacy and infinite knowledge.”67

Wilson greatly admired Herron, and made him his go-between in Europe during the war, thus giving him the opportunity to torpedo the Austrian peace effort in February, 1918, for it would have meant the political survival of the Habsburgs.68 Yet, under conscription, the lives of soldiers are of little value, since they are easily replaced. The same holds true for the rebuff suffered by the secret German Right before the outbreak of the Second World War (the Halder–Beck conspiracy), and then for the rebuff during the war of their efforts through Dr. Bell, the Bishop of Chichester, who begged in vain to get the cooperation of Winston Churchill.69

The Germans had to sign the “Treaty” in Versailles because the hunger blockade worked like thumb-screws. The hope for a liberal democracy in Russia had been snuffed out by the radical Social Democrats, the so-called Bolsheviks, and thus Russia was no longer a “fit partner in a league of honor,” as Wilson had greeted the rule of Alexander Kerensky. (Twenty years later, the New Russia, the “Socialist Fatherland,” had the delightful chance to start the Second World War jointly with the National Socialists.)

Had the European monarchs ever tried to enforce monarchism in the Second or Third French Republic, in Brazil after the fall of the monarchy, or in Portugal in 1910? No, because there is no such thing as “monarchism.” Democracy as democratism is a gnostic ideology hell-bent on “saving the world.”70 Monarchy is “familistic.” The family is something natural. It needs no philosophical impulses. It represents no secular religion.

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.73

With that unsophisticated mentality, the “young democracies” were forced to “enjoy” self-government, to rave about their “new republican liberty.”74 This wording reminds one of the Napoleonic conquerors of the Tyrol and the spirit in which the Suburban Paris Treaties were dictated.75 France had drowned Europe in blood in the 1795–1815 period. Yet, at the Congress of Vienna, its delegates were received with great honor, the sessions and discussions were conducted in French, and France left the conference tables slightly enlarged.76 There was no cry to “Hang the Empereur!”—nor was there a “public” whose craving for revenge had to be satisfied.


Of course, it would be naive to think that wars in the truly monarchical period of our Christian history were a pleasant pastime. Wars were not infrequent, and the discipline among the mercenaries was miserable. Occupied cities had to pay contributions, the taking of booty was accepted, and marauding soldiers were a plague. It was only in the eighteenth century that wars had assumed a civilized character.77 The fact that generals belonged to noble families helped greatly. They had the right upbringing, and Europe’s aristocracy was internationally related, although not to the extent of the royal–imperial families.78 In judging the character of their enemies, they certainly were never influenced by the mass media. One cannot imagine Marlborough being moved by the editorials in London’s Daily Courant, as President Kennedy was by David Halberstam of the New York Times.

The monarchs, however, were not only an international, but also an interracial breed, a great advantage to nations they ruled because it gave them a certain distance from their subjects whom they could, thus, judge more objectively. In 1909, the only genuinely native sovereign dynasties in Europe were the Petrovic–Njegos in Montenegro and the Karagjorgjevic in Serbia, certainly not the most significant or distinguished ones. The House of Saxe–Coburg–Gotha ruled in Saxe–Coburg, Great Britain,79 Belgium, Portugal, and Bulgaria; the Holstein–Gattorps ruled in Russia, where the real Romanovs had died out with Peter II; the Bourbons ruled in Spain; the Alemannic Hohenzollerns ruled Prussia and Rumania; the Nassaus ruled in the Netherlands and in Luxemburg; the Swiss–Lotharingian Habsburgs ruled in Austria-Hungary; the (French) Savoys ruled in Italy; and the Sonderburg–Glücksburg–Augustenburgs ruled in Denmark, Norway, and Greece. They all descended from Charlemagne and Muhammad,80 had a drop of Jewish blood,81 and, from the motherline of Maria Theresia they come from Kumanian (Turk–Tatar) princes.82

The Reformation raised a wall between the Catholic and Protestant families, but it was sometimes broken.83 Despite quarrels, wars, and denominational differences, even as late as 1870 the defeated Napoleon III dined as a prisoner with William I of Prussia and Bismarck in Wilhelmshöhe Castle, where the Prussian King addressed the French Emperor as “Mon chère Monsieur frère!”84 Self-control, good manners, and generosity belonged to a monarch.

Here we have to keep in mind that although the interrelation-ship between the monarchs was tightened in the course of centuries, they were not entirely immune to the influence of the historic developments after 1789, in other words, to democracy, socialism,85 nationalism, and “horizontalist” temptations.86 It is even doubtful whether Lloyd George alone was responsible for not saving the lives of the Russian Imperial family. In 1917, the British refused to give them asylum.87

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 relationships 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 possibilité 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.94

Wars, however, are undesirable under all circumstances. The ideal solution (at present a dream without any hope of realization) would be a board of Christian monarchs95 controlling the globe, aware of the fact that wars today, thanks to the developments of technology, chemistry, physics, and biology, have assumed a suicidal character.96 They menace the survival of all mankind, which, so far, has no common spiritual denominator. Neither has the U.N., nor, really, the European Union. So far, the E.U. can only boast of a common economic desire to become more prosperous and a common defense against outside enemies (but without any aggressive drive). Under these circumstances, its coat of arms should be a fat porcupine, a beast fairly safe in its natural surroundings, but not a valid symbol for Europe.

  • 1See Benjamin Dis raeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, K.G., Coningsby; or, The New Generation (London: Longmans, Green, 1849), book V, ch. 8.
  • 2It is still preserved by aboriginies in various parts of the globe. You can find the name of the ethnologists who have studied this phenomenon in some of my books. See, e.g., Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Liberty or Equality? (Front Royal: Christendom Press, 1993), p. 314 n. 474.
  • 3The political aspects of the death of Socrates can be found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in the 1911 as well as in the most recent edition. Other authors are mentioned in Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism Revisited (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 1989), p. 349 n. 47. Recently, I. F. Stone dealt with the same subject from a leftist point of view in The Trial of Socrates (New York: Anchor Books, 1989). According to Stone, Socrates was a “fascist.”
  • 4In accordance with these leading philosophers of antiquity, Thomas Aquinas maintained that democracy was the least bad of the three evil forms of government. Ochlocracy and tyranny, he argued, were worse.
  • 5See Theodor Herzl, “Der Judenstaat,” Theodor Herzls zionistische Schriften (Charlottenburg: Jüdischer Verlag, n.d.), p. 119. Around the year 1000, the Romans investigated whether any descendants of King David were still alive, but found only two old men without issue. Needless to say, most Israelites saw in Jesus not the son of a poor oikodomos, but a Prince of Royal blood and pretender to the throne of Israel.
  • 6See Nicolas Gomez Davila, Auf verlorenem Posten (Vienna: Karolinger, 1992), p. 259; originally published as Nuevos Escolios a un texto implicito (Bogota: Nueva Biblioteca Colombiana, 1986).
  • 7The Marquis de Sade was held as a prisoner in the Bastille, a partly luxurious jail for criminal noblemen, until July 4, 1789, by a royal lettre de cachet upon the behest of his mother-in-law (largely for cruelties to his wife). There, using a funnel, he incited the population in the quarter to liberate “innocent prisoners.” The commander of the jail begged Louis XVI to liberate him from this burden, whereupon Sade was transferred to Charenton, a jail for the criminally insane. Ten days later, on July 14, the Bastille was stormed, and Sade was released from Charenton and became known as “Citizen Brutus Sade,” commander of a Section des Piques (some sort of democratic SS). Sade was a very active revolutionary who boasted of the role he had played in the fall of the Bastille. It is no wonder that he became a cult figure to the students in 1968. See Gilbert Lely, Vie du Marquis de Sade, vol. 1 (Paris: Gallimard NFR, 1952), p. 273.
  • 9Goethe spoke about “Phantasten und Charlatane,” be they legislators or revolutionaries. See Johann Wofgang von Goethe, Maximen und Reflexionen, no. 955 (New York: MacMillan, 1893).
  • 10Crane Brinton, The Jacobins (New York: MacMillan, 1930). In Strassburg, preparations were underway to destroy the spires of the world fa-mous cathedral. In some villages, the “project” was actually carried out. Since the Alsatians “did not speak the republican language” (i.e., French), plans were made to remedy this lack of “sameness.” The proposals were: 1) to take away their children; 2) to disperse the families evenly all over France; or 3) to guillotine them all. This account by Brinton, a Harvard professor, reads like a description of the Third Reich.
  • 11In this sense, one has to understand the statement of Jorge Louis Borges: “Yo descreo en la democracia porque es un abuso curioso de la estadistica.”
  • 12In the German elections of 1932, about 98 percent of the voting public went to the polls. The totalitarian powers later “produced” numbers approaching 100 percent, but they still loved, very democratically, to stage “plebiscites.”
  • 13It is most amazing that one encounters fairly well-educated Christians who believe that “we are all equal before God.” If Judas Iskariot were equal to John the Baptist or John the Evangelist, Christianity would have to close shop. Dominican R.L. Bruckberger said rightly that the New Tes-tament is a message of human inequality. (Could one imagine that, at the Day of Judgment, all sentences could be identical? That God would not “discriminate” between saints and sinners?)
  • 14Of those condemned to death by the “courts” and usually guillotined, only 8 percent belonged to the nobility. Farmers represented the largest share, at 32 percent. We have no exact data about the number of victims in the larger slaughters, above all in the Vendée, Britanny, Lyon, Toulon, Bordeaux, and Marseilles. Mass slaughters also took place in monasteries and convents. The estimates run between 120,000 and 250,000.
  • 15Goebbels insisted that the German Revolution was a counterpart to the French Revolution. The Soviets renamed battleships they took over from the old regime Danton and Marat.
  • 16There were forerunners to the publications of Secher, Furet, and Schama, authors like Cabanes & Nass and Jacques Cretineau-Joly, who told us how the genitals of the Princess de Lamballe were carried in triumph through the streets of Paris, and how a cook’s apprentice was covered with butter and roasted alive after the storming of the Tuileries. The enthusiasm for equality had frightening consequences.
  • 17In the number of victims, however, the French Revolution could not beat the National and International Socialists, since the world has technically “progressed” after 1789, and now offers greater possibilities for mass mu r-der.
  • 18The defenders of the Bastille were invalids and Swiss mercenaries. They had been promised freedom if they surrendered, but the mob killed without pity, while a young butcher qui savait faire les viandes was fetched to sever the head of Governor de Launay. The seven minor criminals were set free.
  • 19The word “person” comes from the Etruscan phersú, the mask actors wore which determined their (intransferable) role on the stage. It is signifi-cant that individu is in French a term of abuse.
  • 20Cited in Hoffman Nickerson, The Armed Horde, 1793–1939: A Study of the Rise, Survival, and Decline of the Mass Army (New York: G. Putnam’s Sons, 1940).
  • 21Bismarck, who was Prussian Ambassador in St. Petersburg, was offered a Russian career by Nicholas I, but rejected the offer. Yet, the Portuguese ambassador in Berlin, Count Joaquin Oriola, transferred to the Prussian civil service. It was perfectly all right to choose one’s employer inside or outside one’s own country.
  • 22See Nickerson, The Armed Horde, p. 15.
  • 23The Irish in New York revolted against this (draft) regulation. Popular indignation turned against them as embodiments of “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.” Still, in 1935, I met in London an Englishman who had served in the Prussian Army in World War I. His boyish “dream” was to become an actor or a Prussian officer. His father rejected both careers, but then they found out that a foreigner could be accepted by the Prussian Army. So he became an officer, and he faithfully served William II after the war broke out, but only on the Eastern front. In August, 1914, he considered that the army oath he had solemnly given was more significant than his nationality. Yet, he despised the Nazis, and, under great difficulties, worked his way back to Britain without being tried for treason.
  • 24In the Spanish Civil War, there were idealistic volunteers from foreign countries on both sides. Among the Nationalists, I encountered French and Irish.
  • 25Nickerson, The Armed Horde, p. 14.
  • 26During the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Reformation in Wittenberg Castle, pan-Germanist students added the red of the Revolution to the black-golden Imperial flag.
  • 27Friedrich Ludwig Jahn spent a few years in a fortress as a “demagogue.” He visited Paris in 1814 dressed in an “Old Germanic” fantasy costume, pushed passers-by from the sidewalks, finally climbed the Arc de Triomph, and tried to wrestle the tuba from the hands of the angel. Miro-slav Tyrš (Tiersch) founded the radically anti-Habsburg and anti-German Sokol (Falcon) gymnastic movement patterned after Jahn’s Turnerbund. The crowds adore masses in motion.
  • 28In democracies, which worship numbers, smallness is seemingly a great handicap. Jacob Burckhardt said in 1866 that “The despair in everything small is a serious evil in every respect. He who does not belong to a na-tion of thirty millions cries: ‘Help us, oh Lord, we are drowning!’ The philistine wants to eat from a big kettle with diabolical determination or it does not taste well to him.” See Emil Duerr, Freiheit und Macht bei Jacob Burckhardt (Basel: Helbing & Lichtental, 1918). Here are some of the roots of Pan-Slavism and Pan-Germanism.
  • 29Mark Twain described the hopeless situation in the Austrian Parliament, which he visited in 1897, in his “Traveller’s Record,” which appeared periodically in Harper’s Magazine.
  • 30John Stuart Mill declared it very simply: “Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities.” Considerations on Representative Government (New York: H. Holt, 1882), p. 310. Switzerland is very much an exception to the rule, as the Swiss feel an overpowering Helvetic loyalty far above their ethnic ties.
  • 31There were also hate-expressions current among the people of the Central Powers like the hate-poem of Ernst Lissauer. Slogans like Gott strafe England! (God punish England!) and Serbien muss sterbien! (Serbia must die!) were frequently repeated, but nobody invented such nonsense as calling Sauerkraut “Liberty Cabbage” or German Shepherd dogs “Alsatians.” In England, people even burned German pianos, and put badger dogs to sleep to prevent their torture by children. In the United States, teachers stopped teaching German. Those who taught German enjoyed a sabbatical, and then had to teach Spanish.
  • 32See Georges Bernanos, La grande peur des bien-pensants (Paris: Grasset, 1949), pp. 414–18. Bernanos, a devout Catholic and monarchist, characterized World War I (in which he had partipated as a soldier), as “That famous, pitiless war of the pacifist and humanitarian democracies.”
  • 33Aviators in the West, frequently engaged in personal duels in the sky, were still fighting a gentlemen’s war. Fritz Reck-Malleczewen (who died in the Dachau concentration camp) described the despair of a German uhlan piercing to death a Russian horseman with his lance. Weeping, he knelt before the dying man, who forgave him. Solzhenitsyn, on the other hand, mentioned cossacks who happened to venture upon a car with German generals without molesting them. They explained afterwards, “This was just an accident. It was not planned!” When the Austrians reconquered Lemberg (Lwow), they found in an apartment deserted by Russian occu-pants a list of damaged objects, and money to cover their repair. This was different in World War II. By that time, the majority of the Soviet soldiers were literate, had “progressed,” were “enlightened,” and behaved worse than gorillas—more than 2 million cases of rape, even in liberated areas!
  • 34On the concept and treatment of “enemy aliens,” see Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History, vol. 4 (London: Oxford University Press, 1939), pp. 160–62. Organized hatred against “enemy aliens” also led to mob hostilities. Thus, the “patriotric” canaille of St. Petersburg burnt down the German Embassy after the outbreak of the First World War, but more or less the same people, about three years later, were instrumental in staging the “Red October” Bolshevik revolution.
          Of gentlemen in that war, one got a good account in the 1937 Stroheim and Gabin film Lagrande illusion. The title was most fitting in light of the events which took place after September 1, 1939. This film, showing French airmen downed by Germans and hosted by them afterwards, re-minds us of Caulaincourt’s story about a Baron Wintzigerode who, wear-ing a long cloak over his Russian uniform, interrogated a French soldier standing guard in front of a camp near Moscow in 1812. Stopped and ar-rested by a French officer, he was brought before Napoleon, who discov-ered that he was a subject of his brother Jerôme, King of Westphalia. The upstart Corsican lost his temper, menaced Wintzigerode with execution as a spy, and wanted to attack the arrogant Baron physically, but the French officers held him back and, ashamed about their sovereign’s bad behavior, invited Wintzigerode to dinner in the officers’ mess. See Mémoires du Général de Caulaincourt, Duc de Vicence, part 1 (Paris: Plon, 1933), p. 100.
         My family lived for half a year in an Austrian prison camp where my father installed and ran an x-ray station. We children loved the (mostly Russian) prisoners with whom we played. Then we lived nearly two years in Baden, near Vienna, the Headquarters of the Austro-Hungarian Army, where I sported a British sailor’s suit with a ribbon on my cap inscribed “H.M.S. Renown.” We also had a French governess and spoke French with her in the streets. Something of the sort would have been unthink-able in the more “progressive” West. After the fall of our great fortress Przemyst (it was starved into surrender), the Russian officers invited their Austro-Hungarian colleagues to a banquet where they toasted each other. I know of an Austrian officer who, made a prisoner, handed to the Russians his calling card.
  • 35After Clemenceau and France’s Foreign Minister Ribot had torpedoed the peace efforts of Emperor Charles of Austria, Anatole France remarked: “A King of France, yes, a King would have taken pity on our poor people, bled white, attenuated, at the end of their strength. But democracy is without heart, without bowels. A slave of the powers of money, it is piti-less and inhumane.” See Sir Charles Petrie, Twenty Years Armistice—and After: British Foreign Policy Since 1918 (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1940), p. 12. Rene Schickele, in his Die Grenze (Berlin: Rowohlt, 1932), pp. 145–46, told us that Clemenceau menaced Anatole France with jail if he were to publish a single line about his reactions to the war.
  • 36See Carey MacWilliams, “Moving the West-Coast Japanese,” Harper’s (September 1942).Their fully Caucasian spouses usually went with them. Of the far more exposed Hawaiian population, one-third was Japanese, but they were not “concentrated,” since the “Sons of the Golden West” were not active on these islands. However, there was not a single case of espionage among the “American Japanese,” and the most heavily decorated American battalion consisted of Hawaiian “Japanese.” They paraded in New York.
  • 37See James Bacque, Other Losses (Toronto: Stoddard, 1989). Germany complained that 1,700,000 prisoners had not been returned after the war. It is true that the Third Reich starved to death many Russian prisoners. German prisoners starved in Russia, but those who returned were, on the trip home, often implored for food by the hungry population.
  • 38In November, 1945, people were interviewed in Detroit about their reactions to the horrors of the German concentration camps. Ninety percent were convinced that all films about them had been staged, and reminded the interviewers of the fake propaganda stories of World War I. Belgian babies with their hands cut off! As Cicero said in his De divinatione: “We do not believe a liar, even if he speaks the truth.”
  • 39The Grand Duke of Hesse did not “sell” his own subjects in armed formation to the British during the American Revolution. These men were mercenaries, from all sorts of nations, who had voluntarily enlisted.
  • 40As a matter of fact, two German pilots were demoted because they had, in the early stage of the war, dropped bombs on London’s East End rather than on military targets. The RAF had advised against attacking Berlin or other German cities, but Churchill opposed this idea. See Phillip Knightley, The First Casualty (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1975), pp. 237–38.
          The German army was about to conquer Rotterdam and Warsaw when the Luftwaffe attacked them. The Bombardment of Coventry was in retaliation for the bombardment of Berlin. Basil Liddell-Hart insisted that the Germans had regarded the proposed (but rejected) airpact as though it were in force, but the Allies always renewed their bombardments. See Basil Liddell-Hart, “War Limited,” Harper’s (March 1946), pp. 198–99. The British Principal Assistant to the Air Ministry defended in two publications the policy of destroying the enemy’s economy and, incidentally, killing entire sectors of the population. See J.M. Spaight, The Battle of Britain (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1941), and Bombing Vindicated (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1944). Churchill, in his The Second World War, vol. 2 (Bos-ton: Houghton Mifflin, 1948–53), pp. 565–67, admitted to planning a huge air force abroad, beyond the German reach, to crush the Third Reich, whose human losses in the air war, as compared to those of the British, were about 1 to 10.
  • 41See General J.F.C. Fuller, The Second World War: 1935–1945 (New York: Duell, Sloane & Pearce, 1949), p. 222–23.
  • 42See David Irving, The Destruction of Dresden (London: William Kimber, 1963). The city was flooded with refugees from the East. The interesting question is, how many non-German slave-workers, citizens of Allied countries, were killed in that raid? Surely at least 5,000. It was ordered by Churchill, perhaps to impress the Russians at Yalta. In February, 1945, the war was practically lost by the Germans.
  • 43Nagasaki was hit even harder than Hiroshima. The cradle of the Catholic Church in Japan, it was home to the tallest cathedral in the Far East, which, on that day, was filled with worshippers. “Fat Boy” was dropped a few hundred yards from it, killing about 8 percent of Japan’s Catholic population in the suburb of Urakami. They had survived 265 years in the “underground” before being wiped out by Harry S. Truman’s minions.
  • 44Could one imagine one of the crowned heads of Europe engaged in a similar incident? Francis Joseph using the thighbone of a Prussian grenadier as a paper-knife? Or Queen Victoria the keybone of a Boer sharp-shooter? Only a paramount chief on the Upper Ubangi might have acted similarly.
  • 45See Ann O’Hare McCormick in The New York Times (October 9, 1944). More than 1500 people were also wounded or permanently mutilated.
  • 46See Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed. (1911), under the word “Dahomey”; also Henry Kyemba, State of Blood (London: Corgi Books, 1977). Idi Amin “lectured” at the UN in New York. Convinced that human flesh had a “lovely salty flavor,” he also practiced “Gastronomic Democracy.” Kyemba was one of his former ministers.
  • 47My father-in-law’s chauffeur was a German soldier at Monte Cassino. He told me that he and his companions thought that the Americans had gone out of their minds. There was not a single German soldier in the building, and the rubble was ideal for defense.
          In my several visits to Vietnam, it was clear to me that the U.S. Army had a similar problem in that war. It could not fight in a purely military way, and often had to make its moves in synchromesh with a fabricated public opinion.
  • 48The two socialisms tried jointly to exterminate the Polish top layers. The Russians admitted 15,000 butchered in Katyn and elsewhere. In Auschwitz, one can see barrack after barrack with photos of Polish victims. The camp was first designed to exterminate Poles; the Hebrew flood came in full force only in 1941.
  • 49The same holds true for the battle over the Warsaw Ghetto. There had been no peace or armistice between Germany and Poland, nor a declared war between Germany and Czechoslovakia.
  • 50According to the Goebbels Diaries, cooperation between the Czech industry and working class with the occupants was perfect. Then the Germans walked into the trap laid by the Czech government in exile, which organized the assassination of Heydrich, and they retaliated with the destruction of Lidice. After the war, the Germans of Bohemia-Moravia, even before being expelled, suffered atrociously, more often than not at the hands of former collaborators who now proved their “patriotism” by torturing helpless civilians.
  • 51In World War I, the Austro-Hungarian occupants in Serbia had troubles with franc-tireurs (erroneously called komitadjis). In World War II, the savagery and cruelty had no limits. Croats fought with Germans and Serbs, and Serbs fought Croats, Germans, Italians, and other Serbs in an Asian manner. Churchill supported the Bolsheviks because (as he told Fitzroy MacLean) they were “better at killing Germans” than his original Allies under Colonel Draza Mihajlovic, who was roundly betrayed by the West and executed by the Titoists.
  • 52See Francois Fénélon de la Mothe, “Direction pour la conscience d’un roi,” in Oeuvres, vol. 25 (Paris: n.p., 1787), p. 489.
  • 53This was the war of the German League against the Prussian–Italian alliance. To call it the “Austro–Prussian War” is a misnomer.
  • 54Did William I approve of the war against the German League? His queen ostentatiously left Berlin at the outbreak of the war.
  • 5555Bismarck was the driving and deciding force. William I of Prussia was reluctant to become the German Emperor, that is, the emperor of Germany (Deutschland). A country with that name has existed officially only since 1949. One must remember that the Habsburgs ruled the “Germanies” for more than 600 years, the Hohenzollerns for only 47, and that William’s predecessor, his brother, Frederick William IV, had declared that he would be only too happy if, at the coronation of a Habsburg as German Emperor, he could hold the wash basin at the ceremony.
  • 56We do not mention Poland at all, which, since 1572 was an elective monarchy, was called a republic (rzeczpospolita), and was actually ruled by the nobility. This most tolerant country in Europe had ceased to exist by 1795.
  • 57The “Fourteen Points” had been written by Walter Lippmann. It mentioned the “autonomous development” of the nationalities of Austria-Hungary. The definition of the word “autonomous” is not clear in English. It might stand for total separation, or merely for local rights and privileges. Lippmann, an admirable man, told me that in his mind, it had the latter meaning.
  • 58In an interview with the New York Enquirer in June 1936, Churchill berated the United States for not joining the Allies until 1917. They had secretly tried to reach a compromise peace which would have saved countless human lives, and prevented the rise of National Socialism and possi-bly even of Communism in Russia. His interview was read aloud by an “isolationst” before Congress in September 1939. Yet, such a compromise peace would have not fulfilled Wilson’s dream of making the world unsafe by democracy.
  • 59Jacques Bainville dreaded the idea of a German Republic (demanded by the German Socialist Karl Liebknecht). He was certain that it would imitate the Jacobins and, in the name of a Germany “one and indivisible,” become violently nationalistic—and how right he was. See his article in the ActionFrancaise (Sept. 29, 1914).
          Goebbels had seen in German National Socialism the companion pic-ture to the French Revolution, and boasted, in Der Angriff (December 6, 1931), that his party represented “the German Left.”
  • 60To the broad public in the Western Democracies, Germany and “the Kaiser” was The Enemy. Not so among the leading politicians, however, who were all linked by a Leftist–Protestant dislike against the Danubian Monarchy, for which one finds ample documentation in my books. Clemenceau loathed the Habsburgs so much that when the Germans were nearing Paris in August 1914, he only lambasted Austria. (See the surprise of Poincare in his diaries.) Lloyd George adored Hitler, but attacked Franco “because I always line up against the priests,” as he explained to Virginia Cowley. Sir Denis Brogan and Raymond Aron correctly called World War I the “Second War of Austrian Succession.” World War II was undoubtedly the Third War in this series.
  • 61Reichstag President Paul Löbe, a Social Democrat, although briefly incarcerated twice by the National Socialists, received a pension in the Third Reich for his role in replacing the monarchy with a republic.
  • 62See John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (London: Harcourt, Brace, 1920), pp. 4–5.
  • 63As an excuse for Wilson, it should be mentioned that he had suffered his first stroke in 1896, and, in 1906, a second massive stroke which blinded him in one eye and forced him to write with his left hand. This ruin of a man won the 1912 elections thanks to the antics of Theodore Roosevelt. At the Paris Peace Conferences, he was tortured by two delicate ailments. In September 1919, he suffered a third stroke which subsequently resulted in his wife running the White House. See Edwin W. Weinstein, Woodrow Wilson: A Medical and Psychological Biography (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981). Just as important and frightening is the book Sigmund Freud wrote jointly with William C. Bullitt, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: APsychological Study (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967). Freud told Max Eastman that Wilson was “the silliest fool of the en-tire century and also a criminal without realizing it.”
  • 64June 28, 1389, was the day of the assassination of Serb Sultan Murad. Exactly 525 years later, in 1914, was the date of the double murder of Sarajevo. June 28 was cleverly selected for the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, and also by the “Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes,” which in 1929 was named “Jugoslavia.” On the same day, a meeting of “Czechoslovak” ministers decided to send a congratulatory telegram for that crime to the new Balkan state, expressing “the hope for further such heroic deeds.” Butchering a couple! There we see the bloody heritage of the French Revolution.
  • 65Lloyd George ardently hated Poland, and saw to it that a Polish part of Silesia was given to Czechoslovakia. When he heard about the Red Army’s advance on Warsaw in 1920, he danced joyfully. As to his character, see the biography by his son, Richard Lloyd George, the Earl of Dwyfor, My Father, Lloyd George (New York: Crown Publishers, 1960).
  • 66“Democracy” is a theological problem, since government is the result of Original Sin. Democracy embodies the illusion that “Self-Government” means really to rule oneself and nobody else involved, whereas it is simply the rule of the majority over the minority. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman told us that “Self-government is better than good government.” So the next time we have a serious disease, we should practice quackery on ourselves and dispense with the medical profession.
  • 67See George D. Herron, The Menace of Peace (London: Allen & Unwin, 1917), pp. 9–10. Wilson apparently found himself only understood by a defrocked minister (he had committed adultery), a former socialist and pacifist who, after his divorce, married the daughter of the wealthy Mrs. Rand, foundress of New York’s “Rand School of Social Science.”
  • 68Herron’s willful ruining of the Austrian peace effort in February 1918 is well described by his Slovak assis tant, Stefan Osusky, in George D. Herron: Dovernik Wilsonov pocas vojny (Pressburg: Naklad Prudov, 1925). Incidentally, it was Herron’s idea to locate the League of Nations head-quarters in Geneva, the city of Calvin and Rousseau. The “Herron Papers” are preserved in the Hoover Institute, Stanford, California, and are available in 13 neatly typed volumes.
  • 69I met the Bishop of Chichester in New York after the war. He assured me that Churchill had not read the material he gave him. (Drinking a bottle of whiskey every day, Churchill obviously did not have the time.) Anthony Eden was afraid to irritate the Soviets if contacts were taken up with Ge r-man generals. Eden was also the man who surrendered the anticommunist Russians, Croats, and Slovenes to the Soviets and to Tito. They were butchered en masse
  • 70The gnostic character of democracy was also obvious to Eric Voegelin in Science, Politics, andGnosticism (Chicago: Regnery, 1968).
  • 71I often ask American audiences where in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution one finds the words “democracy” and “republic.” Their surprise is great when they learn that neither appears in either document. When I tell them that, according to Charles Beard, the Founding Fathers hated democracy more than Original Sin, they are surprised. Nor are they delighted when I tell them that after 1828, their country had gone to the French School.
  • 72The Duce was given his Spanish first name by his anarchist father. It was Benito (instead of Benedetto) in honor of Benito Juarez, who had a monarch executed. The fasces, we must remember, are a republican symbol, and Fascism found its full realization only in the RepublicaSocialeItaliana, with the seat in Salo.
  • 73See Burton J. Hendrick, The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, vol. 1 (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1925), p. 188.
  • 74How much female American influence was then active in the political scene? Masaryk, who had persuaded Wilson that in the war, Austria was even guiltier than was Germany, had an American wife, and so had Clemenceau. Churchill then played only a minor role, but his mother was American. The mother of  Italian foreign minister Sonnino was not American but British, and he became an Anglican.
  • 75When the French Army invaded the Tyrol during the Napoleonic Wars, they declared solemnly: “We bring you liberty whether you like it or not!” This is amusing when one realizes that since the late fourteenth century, the Tyroleans had a Landtag where all four estates were represented, and they all had equal power.
  • 76In 1814–15, France received the Papal enclave of Avignon, and joined the Holy Alliance. (Britain soon left it.)
  • 77In Lucerne one can admire Thorvaldsen’s “Dying Lion,” erected to the memory of the Swiss mercenaries who died loyally in the service of Louis XVI at the Tuileries. They were massacred to the last man.
  • 78Velasquez’s painting of The Surrender of Breda can be seen in Madrid’s Prado. The painting shows “Gentlemen of the Old School” in a delightful ceremony. That “Old School” still existed during World War I. The son of that supreme traitor, Thomas G. Masaryk, served as a Hussar captain in the Austro-Hungarian Army until the very end. He then told his colonel that neither he nor his fellow officers ever mentioned the well-known activities of his father. “It was often at the very tip of our tongues,” the colonel replied, “but, of course, we never did [mention it].” This was reported by Indro Montanelli. Could anybody imagine anything similar in a Western Army?
  • 79When the British Royal House changed its name from Saxe–Coburg–Gotha to Windsor to please the people, William II remarked: “Children, next time we go to the theater we’ll see the ‘Merry Wives of Saxe–Coburg–Gotha.’” Prince Charles belongs de facto to the House of Son-derburg–Glücksburg–Augustenburg, alias Windsor. His father was, after all, born a Greek Prince, though without a drop of Greek blood.
  • 80Alfonso IV, King of Castile, married the daughter of a captive Moroccan prince from whom all sovereign houses of Europe descend. Corresponding with members of European dynasties, King Hassan II of Morocco and his friends call each other “Cher Cousin.”
  • 81The Hebrew ancestor is Pierleone, brother of the antipope Anaclet II, the “Pope from the Ghetto.”
  • 82Otto Forst de Battaglia, Das Geheimnis des Blutes (Vienna: Reinhold, 1932), pp. 45–46, informs us that William II and George V of Britain also had Djenhiz–Khan as a common ancestor.
  • 83Elena of Spain, wife of Alfonso XIII and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was originally an Anglican; Astrid, wife of Leopold III of Belgium, was a Lutheran Princess from Sweden; the present Queen of Spain is a great-granddaughter of William II.
  • 84Napoleon III had been offended because Nicholas I had addressed him merely as “Dear Cousin.” At that meeting in Kassel, Bismarck spoke an impeccable French, whereas Napoleon III, having spent his youth and student years in German exile, had a German accent. Napoleon I, when speaking French, had an Italian accent.
  • 85In the quarrel between William II and Bismarck, which led to the latter’s dismissal, the “Social Question” played a major role. The Emperor was emphatic on the side of the Provider State, favoring more social legislation.
  • 86The inroads of ethnicism in the feeling of monarchs was evident in 1916 when the Empress Alexandra received in audience a young Austrian Countess Kinsky, sent by the Red Cross to inspect Russian Prison Camps. The Empress, thinking that her visitor (because of her name) con-sidered herself a Czech, asked her, “Do you really like these Germans, dear child?” The countess stiffened up and replied, “These are our allies, Your Majesty!” The Empress immediately apologized for her faux pas. See Nora Gräfin Kinsky, Russisches Tagebuch (Stuttgart: Seewald, 1976), p. 87.
  • 87It is unclear whether the guilt for not saving Nicholas II and his family lies with Lloyd George, George V, or both. Knowing of his peace efforts, they both saw him as a “traitor.” William II was desperate about not being able to do anything for them. When the “Bolshevik” wing of the Social Democrats took over, the fate of the Imperial family was sealed.
  • 88Monarchs usually realized that had they been born a few blocks away from the royal or imperial palace, they would never have been sovereigns. Nor could they claim that their office came about because of their intelligence, courage, intuitions, or superior qualities. Hence, the more highly developed megalomania of popular leaders, especially if they were not religious. (The dictum of Acton, “Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is valid only for non-religious people. Charles V, in whose realm the sun never set, was a true saint when compared to Rufino Barrios, the atheistic tyrant of Guatemala, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, or Hitler.)
  • 89Today, monarchs hold only symbolic value, their marriages no longer play a political role, and they have partly lost their international character. Still, it is significant that Swedish royalty is permitted to marry non-royalty, provided the partner is a foreigner. Yet, the present law of succession is clearly “undynastic”: a daughter can precede a male heir, so the name of the dynasty becomes fictitious, like that of the “Windsors.”
  • 90In the Middle Ages, European monarchs were very much subject to Constitutions. There was the principle of rex sub lege. See Fritz Kern, Gottes-gnadentumund Widerst itandsrechm frühenMittelalter (Leipzig: Koehler, 1914). The right to rebellion survived in post-Reformist Europe. The Jesuit Mariana taught, Justum est necare reges impios. For Calvin, a monstrous monarch was unire de dieu, whom one had to suffer with patience. Luther taught in the same way. According to Fernando d’Antonio, Aquinas permitted tyrannicide in the course of a general rebellion; see his Iltiranni cidio nel pensiero del Acquinate (1939).
  • 91As to the impossibility of a sound foreign policy in a democratic age, see my article “Foreign Policy and the Popular Will,” Chronicles (June 1998). Democracies are merry-go-rounds.
  • 92See Hans-Hermann Hoppe, “Time Preference, Government, and the Process of De-Civilization: From Monarchy to Democracy,” in The Costs of War: America’s Pyrrhic Victories, ed. John V. Denson (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1997).
  • 93All American wars after 1945 have been deeply affected by the demo c-ratic process: Korea, Vietnam, and even the Persian Gulf. The amazing case was Vietnam. See Leslie Gelb, TheIrony of Vietnam: The System Worked (Washington D.C.: Brookings Institute, 1978). The message of this book and its leftist author is revealed in the title: the irony lies in the fact that this victory of communism was at the same time a victory of democracy, and the system worked because majority opinion forced the White House, the Pentagon, and the Congress to give up. Thus, 56,000 men died in vain. Dissident Viet Cong Colonel Bui-Tin’s book, Following Ho ChiMinh: Memoirsof a North Vietnamese Colonel (London: Hurst, 1995), proves that an American victory was, in fact, attainable. All be-cause of errors at the top? Remember James Bryce’s TheAmerican Commonwealth, vol. 1, chap. 8 (London & New York: MacMillan, 1888), entitled “Why a great man cannot be elected President of the United States.” This is only partly because of the inverted pyramid, since the half-educated had nearly reached the original top.
  • 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.
  • 95We can see the Muslim version of this in Malaysia. The Sultans of Malaysia vote a man among themselves into power for the next five years. His title is “Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” and he is addressed as “Your Majesty.” The title and position of the person who will head the European Union remains a riddle.
  • 96European monarchs are still psychologic lightning rods, preventing popular leaders from grabbing absolute power. This worked even in the case of an Italian King who, in a great emergency, put a dictator into an ambulance and shipped him to a mountaintop. Yet, the extent to which a “constitutional mo narchy” is problematic was shown in Belgium, where a King abdicated temporarily to avoid having to sign a fundamentally immoral law. He was then called back by the parliament.


von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Erik. “Monarchy and War.” Journal of Libertarian Studies 15, No. 1 (2000): 1–41.

All Rights Reserved ©
What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. 

Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Become a Member
Mises Institute