Sunday, 25 September 2011

A traditional Catholic theologian on liberalism

The following is an extract from Cardinal Billot's De Ecclesia (1910).  It is heavily influenced by de Maistre's Essai sur le principe générateur des constitutions politiques et des autres institutions humaines.

Corpus Christi in pre-revolutionary France

Pierre de la Gorce paints a picture of the French ancien régime in his Histoire religieuse de la Révolution française:

A quotation from Alfred Rosenberg

The following is a quotation from Alfred Rosenberg's turgid classic The Myth of the Twentieth Century.

In typical Nazi style, Rosenberg was fundamentally opposed to modern liberal civilisation.  He was against civil rights and parliamentary government, which he thought were of use only to Jews and capitalists.  A nation could not be properly governed on the basis of elections, so it was necessary to replace democracy with dictatorship.  He was also anti-feminist, and saw the liberal state as a female or feminised entity.

A quotation from Fr Denis Fahey

This is an extract from The Kingship of Christ (1931), a book by the Irish conspiracy theorist Fr Denis Fahey.

It shows the same themes as Fahey's other work.  He thought highly of mediaeval Christendom, but believed that civilisation had declined with the Reformation and the French Revolution.  He saw modern constitutional governance as inconsistent with the transcendent order established by God.  He had a dualistic view of the world, which he saw in terms of a great battle between "naturalism" and "supernaturalism", waged between Freemasonry and Christianity, and ultimately between Satan and God.

Bossuet on kingship

An extract from Bishop Bossuet's Politique tirée des propres paroles de l'Écriture sainte (Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture), which was written between 1679 and 1704:

The Counter-Enlightenment and mediaeval thought

I have just come across an interesting doctoral thesis by Tamás Nyirkos of Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary entitled (in English) Christianity and Conservatism: Theology of the French Counterrevolution.  Unfortunately, the thesis is written in Hungarian, but a summary in English is online here.

Review of "Fascism" by Roger Griffin

"It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless.... I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else."

So wrote George Orwell.  This is a book which is essentially dedicated to the opposite view: that fascism exists as a coherent phenomenon which can be defined and studied.  It is a reader compiled by one of the great academic experts on the subject, the Oxford Brookes scholar Roger Griffin.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Review of "Architects of the Resurrection" by R.M.Douglas

When scholars are looking for an Irish example of fascism, they generally light on a group called the National Guard, better known as the Blueshirts.  This was a short-lived organisation led by a complete idiot which failed to get close to the levers of power and ended up being subsumed into the mainstream conservative Fine Gael party in 1933.  In fact, most historians have come to the conclusion that the Blueshirts weren't really proper fascists, not least because most of them didn't have any very coherent political beliefs beyond a dislike of the IRA and Eamon de Valera's economic policies.

In this book, the historian Ray Douglas seeks to identify an alternative Irish manifestation of fascism: a charming little organisation called Ailtirí na hAiséirghe, or 'Architects of the Resurrection' (Labour supporters dubbed it Áilteoirí na hAiséirghe, 'Clowns of the Resurrection').  This group was active during and after the Second World War, though it lingered on in some form until the 1970s.  More contentiously, Douglas argues that Irish society in general was a great deal more receptive to extreme right-wing ideas than is generally admitted today.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Adolf Hitler on the Jews

The following remarkable passage from Mein Kampf sets out Hitler's views on how the Jews had been active in German and international history up to the present day.

Loyseau on the French royal bloodline

From Charles Loyseau's Treatise of Orders and Plain Dignities (7.92):