article-single

Revolution and Counterrevolution

I think light is dawning in this citizen's somewhat dim occiput. There has been a revolution. And there desperately needs to be a counterrevolution. Yes, indeed. But what form should – must – the counterrevolution take to be an effective, useful, restorative revolution?

I note with interest Pat Buchanan's fine appreciation in his new book, The Death of the West, of the roles of Antonio Gramsci and the so-called "Frankfurt School" in bringing it about that the society-wreckers of the 60s are society's rulers today (after the "long march through the institutions"). Thus the revolution.

What will be the counterrevolution? How will those of us who detest what American politics and culture have become, but who still love our homeland – how, I say, will we deploy a counter-revolution and "get the country back"?

Let us look at the strategy Garet Garrett said was employed by the Great Revolutionaries of the New Deal (who had to come before the thugs and pipsqueaks of the 60s in order for them to have the occasions to put over their own revolt).

"Now given [writes Garrett in "The Revolution Was"] – (1) the opportunity, (2) a country whose fabulous wealth was in the modern forms – dynamic, functional, non-portable, (3) a people so politically naive as to have passed a law against any attempt to overthrow their government by force – and, (4) the intention to bring about what Aristotle called a revolution in the state, within the frame of existing law – Then from the point of view of scientific revolutionary technic what would the problems be?

"They set themselves down in sequence as follows: The first, naturally, would be to capture the seat of government. The second would be to seize economic power. The third would be to mobilize by propaganda the forces of hatred. . . ."

Garrett lists nine steps, but let us stop for now to take a look at how the first three apply to our present need to bring off a counterrevolution. If we are to drive the Flaming Jerks out of the high places of our politics and culture, that is, out of federal office, out of the bureaucracies, out of the media, out of "Hollywood," and even to a considerable extent out of the churches, then we certainly need to do something. Will these first three steps get us launched?

It occurs to me that they are what nearly everyone who wants to fix things, decides he must achieve.

"Capture the seat of government": Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party (formerly the Taxpayers Party), whom I supported in the last three presidential elections, had a perfectly clear plan for reinstalling the Constitution as a controlling document (which, as Joseph Sobran has repeatedly pointed out, it certainly isn't now). He needed to get elected president and then get a certain modest number of votes in the U.S. Congress to wipe out the Federal Reserve, the IRS, etc. A marvelously attractive prospect. I loved it.

Look at just the last election: Bush and Gore obviously wanted to capture the seat of government. One of them certainly would. The only question was which one, and that turned into as hot a debate, and perhaps nearly as meaningful a one, as the question of which movie will get the Oscar for Best of 2001.

But there were four other "major contenders," Harry Browne, Pat Buchanan, Howard Phillips, and Ralph Nader (to list them alphabetically and so without prejudice to their relative standings).

Now, all four subscribed to the idea that the secret of great changes was to capture the seat of government. And I think it's safe to say they would also have moved at once, as did FDR once upon a time, to capture economic power; and they would inevitably have attempted to arouse the forces of hatred against those opposing them, etc. (Most emphatically there would have been opposition.) And very likely they would have gone on with Garrett's other six steps, but there is no need to speculate on that because we have got far enough with just three steps to make my point.

All of these men are Statists, all in the thrall of the conviction that political and economic progress comes through the Führer Prinzip, as the Germans called it; that to be the Supreme Ruler, Il Duce, El Primo, of THE STATE is the best thing of all. And of course all that is baloney. No hope down that alley. Not for us kids, the boobs out in the burbs and the boonies.

The light I mentioned in my first sentence above has come to me from a perusal of Hans-Hermann Hoppe's new book, Democracy: The God That Failed. I have learned from him at last what I should have figured out for myself long ago, that the answer lieth not in further Statism but in deconstructing THE STATE altogether.

Yes, I recognize that is going to be One Tough Job, but at least I now know what kinds of baloney not to buy in the future. I will no longer respond to claims from faithful Statists that if I help elect them all will turn wonderful. It won't. It didn't for the German boobs who elected Hitler, or the Italian ones who suffered Il Duce with patience and tentative applause, and it certainly didn't for the long-suffering Russian ones Lenin deigned to oppress with the help of (Western) bankers' gold.

Hoppe has supported that old-timey genius La Boétie by suggesting that the only effective use of our political breath is to help delegitimatize the State, to spread the word that the State's doings are futile and inimical, as were the old gods Diana, Mars, and Venus in Dryden's lines: "All, all of a piece throughout: Thy chase had a beast in view; thy wars brought nothing about; thy lovers were all untrue. 'Tis well an old age is out, and time to ring in the new."

The new, in a few words? A civilized natural order based on – to speak of political economy – "private property owners, cooperation based on the division of labor, and market competition" (Hoppe, page 265). To speak of culture and sociology – it is an order based on the sacrosanct family and the entirely local government that would spring up around a natural elite (Jefferson's "natural aristocracy") of talent and virtue, of people one knows personally and admires for their accomplishments.

Wouldn't that be something?

January 23, 2002

LRC needs your support. Please donate.