Download Liberty or Equality: The Challenge of Our Time by Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn PDF

By Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Someday within the 18th century, the notice equality won flooring as a political excellent, however the concept used to be constantly obscure. during this treatise, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn argues that it diminished to at least one easy and intensely risky notion: equality of political energy as embodied in democracy.

He marshals the most powerful attainable case that democratic equality is the very foundation, now not of liberty, as is often believed, yet of the full country. He makes use of nationwide socialism as his top example.

He additional argues the outdated concept of presidency by way of legislation is upheld in outdated monarchies, constrained through a noble elite. Aristocracy, now not democracy, gave us liberty. On his aspect during this argument, he contains the total of the previous liberal culture, and provides overwhelming facts for his case.

In our occasions, conflict and totalitarianism do certainly sail less than the democratic flag. This publication, able to overturning such a lot of what you inspiration you knew approximately political structures, was once first released in 1952.

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89 Yet the picture he painted of the coming servitude— grandiose and depressing by its very depth and accuracy— shows a more pessimistic outlook. '' 90 He begins his speculation by remarking that during his sojourn in the United States (1831-32) and after his return to Europe, he was haunted by the spectre of a new despotism which would engulf the nations of Christendom. After analyzing tyranny in antiquity, he comes to the conclusion II] DEMOCRACY AND TOTALITARIANISM: THE PROPHETS 20, that in spite of all the arbitrariness, brutality and vindictiveness of despots and emperors, the totalitarian element was fairly absent: the natural and historical obstacles for a complete regulation of civic and political life over vast areas would have proved insurmountable.

42 Constantine Leontyev saw clearly how the basic " uniformistic" ideas of the French Revolution triumphed along the whole line; these had influenced the structure of the two French Empires under the Bonapartes, and now affected even the German victor of 1871: The " pure race " centralization, egalitarianism, a constitution (of sufficient strength so that a man of genius will not dare to engineer a coup d'etat), support to industry and trade and, in opposition to all the aforementioned—a strengthening and a union of all elements of anarchy; finally, militarism.

51 20 LIBERTY OR EQUALITY [Chap. These horrors, according to the great seer of Basel, are already conditioned by tendencies which can be found in earlier forms of democracy. He insisted: Democracy, indeed, has no enthusiasm for the exceptional, and where she cannot deny or remove it, she hates it from the bottom of her heart. Herself a monstrous product of mediocre brains and their envy, democracy can use as tools only mediocre men, and the pushing place-hunters give her all desired guarantees of sympathy.

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