I have been watching the series “Hornblower” recently. I’ve been enjoying it thoroughly as I have quite an interest in that time period. The last episode that I watched however, left me disappointed. In that episode, Hornblower’s ship is tasked with taking French Royalist troops, as well as British troops, to land in France and fight against the new Republic. Immediately, the royalist army is shown to be slovenly, inept and its officers as power hungry sadists looking only to restore their lost luxuries. After landing in France, the French colonel, who is also a Marquis, finds that his old manor has been looted by the revolutionaries, his art collection destroyed and his former servant is now the town school teacher. At dinner with the other officers, he proceeds to lecture on the stupidity of the idea that the peasants can rule, and how they will just destroy anything worth value, such as his art collection. While my feeling is that the producers wished to show him as a cruel, selfish beast, they inadvertently illustrated a very valid point. The peasants cannot rule, it never works out.
What is needed is a strong leader, a righteous judge, someone imbibed with knowledge of the concept of the “Rex Justus”. There is order in God’s Kingdom, there is order in nature, there is order in humanity. By nature, leaders are few and a society with many “leaders” is a many headed beast, an aberration which cannot last. Ultimately, democracy will turn to dictatorship in order to enforce its “equality”, but before this, it sinks further and further into a celebration of mediocrity. It can be no other way, for in order to be “equal” it must appeal to the lowest common denominator.
The highest arts were encouraged and groomed by aristocrats. Classical music, art and architecture were all supported by and flourished under monarchies. It is interesting to me to see how revolutionaries in China, France and Russia all “dumbed down” the culture, the language and the arts. In America, the appreciation of beauty is all but gone and we all know about American “English”. What revolutionary thinking brings us is a society where we no longer experience the things that draw us all upwards in society, but rather those things which keep us rolling around in the common dirt, enjoying our “rule”.
Vive le Roi!