I haven’t read this book. I will order it soon enough, because I like the topic:
Sometime in the 18th century, the word equality gained ground as a political ideal, but the idea was always vague. In this treatise, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn argues that it reduced to one simple and very dangerous idea: equality of political power as embodied in democracy. He marshals the strongest possible case that democratic equality is the very basis not of liberty, as is commonly believed, but the total state.
He uses national socialism as his prime example. He further argues the old notion of government by law is upheld in old monarchies, restrained by a noble elite. Aristocracy, not democracy, gave us liberty. – Mises
Who made society comfortable for the rest of us?
What are aristocrats?
Nietzsche says they’re the most warlike, vir-laden, powerful and smartest men among us. The beast that tames itself. The creative demon.
Everyone else is sitting around bickering about who got too many turnips, who’s kissing who under the plum tree, and what they’re going to eat, drink or fornicate with this weekend. In short, what you see on Facebook is what’s running through most people’s heads.
Aristocrats are the ones who think toward the future. Our academics and politicians now are wimps in comparison.
To an aristocrat, conflict is inevitable and not to be avoided. For that reason, one must do what is right and ignore those who are offended. Tolerance, feelings, equality, justice, etc. are the whining of those who cannot understand this principle.
The truth of these two axioms only ceased being obvious the day it was desired to base social relations on mutual hypocrisy, when it became necessary to forgive our neighbor’s vices in order to forget our own. And so now the reproach of intolerance has become the most terrible one that can be addressed to any man who, due to the exaltation and affirmation of his own opinions, tends to trouble the customary peace.
From this time forward, any policy that doesn’t benevolently assure that all forms of government are good, the apostle who doesn’t salute the rival religion with good-nature, the critic who refuses to speak of all works with the same banal indifference, all of these will receive nothing but the hatred of their fellow citizens, offended in their repose and tranquility.
It is possible that tolerance is the obligation of he who judges. He who seeks the beautiful wherever it is capable of showing itself can find it in Shakespeare and Alighieri, in Goethe and Rabelais. But wasn’t it Goethe’s duty to admit to be beautiful only that which Goethe saw? And what powerful reason could have incited him to write “Faust’ if he had perceived alongside this poem something of an equal beauty. The artist must be intolerant, just as the philosopher is intolerant, the sociologist is intolerant, and the priest is intolerant.
No being animated by a sincere faith, valiant and forward looking will admit there is a better or even equivalent faith. If he admits there’s a better one, why didn’t he choose it? And if he preferred a mediocre ideal to a superior one isn’t he like a poor madman who casts aside an inestimable perfume in order to satisfy himself with a vague odor? If he conceives of a faith equivalent to his he can only decide to choose by virtue of considerations exterior to that very faith, and in truth he will be without convictions or belief.
Nothing that has been great in this world was founded with tolerance, and sectarians alone have been creators. Can you imagine the fathers of the Catholic church making room for the pontiffs of Cybele and Originus saying to Celsius: “Maybe we’re both right.” Do you see Luther saying to the Pope: “We can come to an agreement,” and the Jacobins of ‘93 murmuring to the émigrés: “Everyone is right.” In the symbolic debate between Queen Atahalie and the young Joas, it’s Joas who is in the right: “He alone is God, Madame, and yours is nothing,” he says. Only our ideal is god, the others are nothing. So every spirit must deny and reject that which makes it suffer and can only admit thoughts that do not contradict its norm. This is the vital condition for its dreams and their realization. – Bernard Lazare, “On the Need for Intolerance”
Tolerance is the cry of the fence-sitter and person who fears injury more than doing what is right.
It is a backward-looking worry, a neurotic fear of the bad things that might happen, instead of looking toward what needs to be done for the future to be better.
Like all things whiner, it focuses more on methods than goals. It is worried that the methods used might hurt or cause offense; in doing so, it ignores the goals.
The West was won by aristocrats who brushed aside such objections, and while everyone else (especially the whiners) sat around keeping their thumbs warm, just did it.
We can learn from such intelligent men.