Perspective

Why They Fought

The late Jean-François Revel wrote a once-famous book with the title Comment les démocraties finissent.  Revel was not a stupid man, and I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon “we tired the sun with talking,” but as a political philosopher, he was a prisoner of the leftist ideology that treats terms like equality and democracy as substantial realities.  He had moved just far enough away from Marx to enter the orbit of Voltaire and Robespierre, whose thoughts are utterly useless as weapons against the insanities of postmodern and post-Christian life.

I do not know what Revel thought democracy is or was, but anyone who has studied history knows full well how democracies always end up, and that is in tyranny.  The 60’s slogan “Power to the People,” a neat encapsulation of democratic theory, was then and is now used as a weapon to destroy all the customs, institutions, and laws that protect ordinary men and women from the power-seeking predators who rise to the top in every known political structure, whether monarchical, aristocratic, or democratic.

Politics, since even before Machiavelli, is a technique of gaining and holding power, and if the rhetoric of democracy serves the interest of a political class, then we all have to be democrats, just as we all had to be socialists and all will soon have to be transsexualists.  This much, at least,...

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