The Peace Emperor, 100 Years Later

Tags

, , ,

TheLastPaintingoftheEmperor

It’s almost hard to believe that only a hundred years have passed since the death of the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor on the Portuguese island of Madeira. To simply list the changes to the world that have taken place since then would be inadequate, failing to capture the magnitude and depth of “the long twentieth century,” its joys and its horrors. For those who view recent events in a historical frame of mind, a mere century is a trifle to be added to the long ages of human existence, but in the real experience of a people, that time has already faded from living memory. So it is incredible that a man who died in obscurity on the periphery of a dying civilization finds such admiration in our troubled time.

Continue reading

Preface to Abendland (Abendland Vol 1. October 1st, 1925)

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

HermannPlatz

AbendlandPlatz1

By Hermann Platz

Translated by M.T. Scarince

As natural as service to the fatherland is for us – only fanatics believe that they have to be suspicious of it and instruct us in it – just as natural, after we have given each country its part, is the service to the greater country that we will hereafter call the West (Abendland). Admittedly, the consciousness of our occidental solidarity has been widely lost even here on the Rhine, where almost everything ought to keep it present to us. But today is a time of crisis, a time of divorce and decision, a day of judgment and a turning point, where individuals, peoples and groups of peoples must move on towards their new horizons and tasks- or perish. It must shake us up and lead us forward! Only once, perhaps, this moment of grace, this view into the distance, this duty of reconsideration has come close to us and to the many who are looking to us for inspiration. 

Continue reading

Legitimacy and Legality Part III: A Brief Outline of the System 5.-9.

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Zessner_SpitzenbergLegitimitat

By Dr. Hans Karl von Zeßner-Spitzenberg

Translated by M. T. Scarince

Translator’s note: This is the third part in a series of posts translating the work of Austrian Legitimist philosopher Hans Karl Freiherr von Zeßner-Spitzenberg (1885-1938), an active member of the Kaiser-Karl-Gebetsliga and a martyr for the cause of Austrian independence from the National Socialist occupation. Read Part I, Part II, Part IV.

5. Legality 

Legal refers to a state power which actually exists as a state power, as legislation and guardian of the law, which operates as such and as such has de facto asserted itself in public life. It fulfills the basic moral purpose of the state, the maintenance of public order, and thus the care of the Common Good by means of the basic element of the state’s power of order (i.e. by means of the positive legal regulation of social relations); namely, when it keeps itself bound to the positive legal order given and represented by it, when it sets the predetermined legal ways and measures in place of arbitrary acts of violence. These two moments, the actual establishment of order and one’s own commitment to it, are what make a force legal state power, in contrast to arbitrary and violent rule on the one hand and to revolutionary, adventurist, street-thug or tyrant rule on the other, which do not guarantee the moral original purpose of state power: public order and the Common Good through positive statutes. 

Continue reading

Legitimacy and Legality Part II: A Brief Outline of the System 1.-4.

Tags

, , , , ,

Zessner_Spitzenberg

By Dr. Hans Karl von Zeßner-Spitzenberg

Translated by M. T. Scarince

Translator’s note: This is the second part in a series of posts translating the work of Austrian Legitimist philosopher Hans Karl Freiherr von Zeßner-Spitzenberg (1885-1938), an active member of the Kaiser-Karl-Gebetsliga and a martyr for the cause of Austrian independence from the National Socialist occupation. Read Part I, Part III, Part IV.

For the purposes of this work, the following system is briefly outlined:

1. Morality and Public Law

Public powers and public legal systems are also essentially subject to the same moral principles and stand within the framework of the same Divine world order as private rights, powers and authorities. Here also, human beings are their bearers, responsible for their institution and exercise. Here also, we are dealing with the powers of individuals or entire communities in the fulfillment of a profession, which, like every profession, must serve (after God’s glory) not only the beneficiary himself or the community which he serves, but also the good of his fellow men.

Indeed, the power-competence in this case is necessarily more strongly directed towards authoritative ordering power of the rights of others than it is elsewhere, on account of the main goal of public order; here also it is only within the framework of the Eternal order, which protects and recognizes the appropriate vested rights and inviolable jurisdiction of individuals. From the moral point of view, therefore, public law can be distinguished from private law in these matters only in its object and in its particular purpose, but not in general demands and basic attitudes.

Continue reading

Legitimacy and Legality Part I: The Introduction

Tags

, , , , ,

Zessner_Spitzenberg

By Dr. Hans Karl von Zeßner-Spitzenberg

Translated by M. T. Scarince

Translator’s note: This is the first part in a series of posts translating the work of Austrian Legitimist philosopher Hans Karl Freiherr von Zeßner-Spitzenberg (1885-1938), an active member of the Kaiser-Karl-Gebetsliga and a martyr for the cause of Austrian independence from the National Socialist occupation. Read Part II, Part III, Part IV.

True Power lies in Justice

-Klemens Metternich

The law of hereditary succession of European rulers according to the indisputable Rule of Primogeniture is the first amongst all conceived earthly guarantees of any success at all, the foundation of the Legitimacy of all the rest of just relations, thus of national fortune: its violation in a single State is a universal calamity for all co-existing States.

-Adam Heinrich Müller

Condemned: The injustice of an act when successful inflicts no injury on the sanctity of right. It is lawful to refuse obedience to legitimate princes, and even to rebel against them.

-Theses 61 and 63 of the Syllabus of Pius IX

 According to the Catholic social conception, the nature of sovereignty appears most clearly when it is familial, that is to say, when the family is its bearer and the family stands as the sponsor of the body politic. As in the family other rights will be imparted through hereditary inheritance from generation to generation, so in this case also sovereignty. That family, which bears the spirit of the State, or who— as was the case especially in Austria— even created it, gain the hereditary right to preserve it. Nowhere does this appear more obviously than in the development and continuation of the multi-national monarchy of the House of Austria. Continue reading

Europe Awake! A Brief Biography of Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi

Tags

, , , , , , ,

The inner meaning of freedom is not freedom to produce anarchy or chaos, but freedom to develop according to form. Where there is freedom it is not arbitrariness which prevails, but inner law… Whoever confuses freedom and arbitrariness soon loses freedom, which he neither deserves nor can carry.

-Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, The Totalitarian State Against Man.

Richard Nikolaus Eijiro, Graf von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the most influential and mischaracterized founders of the Pan-European Movement, was born in Tokyo in 1894, the first son of the Austrian-Hungarian Ambassador Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi and Mitsuko Maria Aoyama, a Japanese convert to Catholicism. The Coudenhove family were Flemish nobles who inherited the patrimony of the Greco-Venetian Kallegris, and Aoyama was the daughter of a moderately wealthy Japanese commoner. Richard was raised in Ronsperg, in the Austrian Crownland of Bohemia, the second eldest of seven children, and was destined to follow his father into the diplomatic service. Though exempt from service due to his studies at the Theresianum, his first hand experience of the horrors of the first “European Civil War,” and the growing menace of Soviet Russia convinced him of the necessity of Pan-European federal state, one capable of standing militarily and economically against Bolshevism. Continue reading

The Peace-Emperor: A Personal Reflection

Tags

, , , , , ,

As the world sees these things, the emperor’s brief life was a tragedy; his empress’ long wait an exercise in illusion. But the truth is that, devoted to their Faith, their peoples, their children, and each other, they saw far more clearly than those whom fortune or Providence gave more power to – more than Wilson, the kaiser’s generals, Clemenceau, or Lloyd George. The pettiness of the Czernins, the Renners, and the Horthys that line their path merely serve, a century on, to underline their true greatness.

-Charles Coulombe, Blessed Charles of Austria: A Holy Emperor and His Legacy

Praying last night in the Church of Santa Maria dell’Anima, I felt enveloped in a deep serenity. Time, the fleeting world, passed into the obscurity of earthly twilight: the Eucharistic Sun alone remained shining forth His rays to comfort this deeply afflicted world. In this year of crisis, it is easy to fall prey to doubt, to let ” the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choketh up the Word” in our lives. In these moments, the saints show us the path of virtue, guide us to the light of the Sun of Justice. And there in the presence of Our Lady of the Soul, my own soul saw for the first time that the anxiety and turmoil we now face is as nothing to the Eternal Peace which one courageous saint tried to make present in a small way on earth a little over a century ago.

Continue reading

A Brief Reflection on Identity

Perhaps the most forgotten treasure of Western Civilization is its conception of multilayered identity, each layer corresponding to a good in the hierarchy of values. First and foremost, Man is the Imago Dei, the rational Icon of God, capable of truly willing Good for himself and others. He exists as a Person, with a unique vocation and role to play in the story of Humanity. As a person, he exists as part of a Family, the result of a miraculous intervention by God in the union of two other persons. His family exists as part of a Culture, the local expression of his Nationality (or as is often the case Nationalities), habits of life and art, and that nation exists as part of a broader cultural sphere of nations, constantly diversifying and changing each other in countless ways. As part of the natural communities of nation and family, he also exists in intentional communities, ordered consciously to the Common Good of all persons. These intentional communities also exist on multiple levels, Locality, Region, Country, Civilization, and Humanity itself.

His interaction with all of these communities involves countless conscious choices towards a greater Good than oneself, ultimately in form of the Good of Salvation given by the Church, and the ultimate end of Human flourishing found in civilization. For that flourishing to become realized, these communities are organized politically with certain members of society taking on social offices, known collectively as “the State,” primarily tasked with defending the Natural Law. Allegiance to Country, State, and Nation all form distinct and yet cooperative facets of identity, related in subsidiary form.

It is important to remember that though defined and divided in these important ways, all of Christendom exists as a single People of God, and while nations and countries both come and pass away through history, God has set up Christendom as a people “that shall never be destroyed… and it shall break in pieces and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand for ever.” (Daniel 2:44)

The Holy Emperor and the Most Holy Eucharist

Tags

, , , , , , ,

And after Caesar [the Emperor Charles V] and the noble Princes of his house bowed with all ardent humility, the whole city became fervent with piety, and following the Emperor’s example, love of the Divine Sacrament of the Eucharist increased within all the souls of the people.

Nicolai Vernulaei as quoted in The Last Descendant of Aeneas: The Hapsburgs and the Mythic Image of the Emperor by Marie Tanner. (Translation is my own.)

A blessed Corpus Christi!