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By Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Someday within the 18th century, the observe equality won flooring as a political excellent, however the thought was once continually imprecise. during this treatise, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn argues that it decreased to 1 basic and extremely harmful thought: equality of political strength 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, however the overall nation. He makes use of nationwide socialism as his best instance. He extra argues the previous suggestion of presidency through legislations is upheld in previous monarchies, limited through a noble elite. Aristocracy, now not democracy, gave us liberty. On his facet during this argument, he comprises the entire of the outdated liberal culture, and gives overwhelming proof for his case. In our occasions, warfare and totalitarianism do certainly sail below the democratic flag. This publication, able to overturning so much of what you concept you knew approximately political structures, used to be first released in 1952.

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Extra resources for Liberty or Equality: The Challenge of Our Times

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42 LIBERTY OR EQUALITY [Chap. With the French count, our marques shared the fear of the effect of the modern means of communication; with De Maistre and Koestler he had in common the concept of external and internal forces. " His whole outlook was therefore deeply pessimistic. Beginning his analysis of the general political situation he then said: Gentlemen, these words may sound terrible, but we should not refrain from terrible words if they express the truth— and I am decided on pronouncing them.

Thus Burckhardt wrote in a letter: But I know only too well the modern state, whose irresponsible omnipotence is going to manifest itself in a very crude and practical manner. 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.

0* Alexis de Tocqueville, on the other hand, clearly recognized the psychological roots of the levelling mania: Equality is a slogan based on envy. " 54 No wonder that the modern dictatorships with their " equality in slavery " are so strongly based on the egalitarian system and on mass support, not on elites or existing aristocracies (save those coming into existence through the new bureaucracies). National Socialism of the German pattern has been no exception to the rule. 3. THE ILLIBERALISM OF DEMOCRACY An inevitable result of all levelling tendencies is an antiliberal attitude.

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