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)
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.)
The time would come for the first stroke of the consecrated sword, piercing the darkness like a lightning flash. For this reason individuals have the duty of living in alliance with others, gathering the treasure of a new rule of law…
– Ernst Jünger, On the Marble Cliffs (1939)
In the aftermath of the great fratricidal war which tore humanity between the extremes of chaotic anarchy and base inhuman subservience, there emerged men and women of great moral clarity, heroic action, and concern for the future of a world scarred by unspeakable horrors. Offering belief in the rule of the Natural Moral Law as a light to a fragmented and benighted world, these Legitimists provided a compelling vision of the Common Good, and though their work is largely dismissed and abandoned today, it is not forgotten. This manifesto is an invitation to all men of good will to join in an alliance for the preservation of the rule of Natural Law, and the restoration of the state and society in proper relation to it, informed by our perspective sub specie Æternitatis, that we never place our hope for paradise in this world but in Eternity. In this dark and chaotic yet fateful night of modernity let us go forth ensigned by an eight-pointed star, representing the light of our eight fundamental and eternal principles, Authority, Faith, Responsibility, Restoration, Tradition, Truth, Freedom, and Nobility through which we seek the Highest Good and ultimate End of Man in political society.
The Eight Points of the Legitimist Alliance:
Authority – Man, the Image of God, is inherently gifted with Authority; the hierarchy of community reflects the hierarchy of goods to which the community is ordered. It must be exercised by the Person for the Community.
Faith – All Authority proceeds from Faith, from Trust, and from the Divine Creator. Without Faith, there is no ultimate good in Man’s existence, and thus no moral responsibility.
Responsibility – Authority and Faith imply Responsibility, the existence of Rights moral and legal which we have the duty to fulfill for the Good of the Community and for our own person.
Restoration – In this fallen world, there is no Good without decay. Thus, we as a community have a responsibility to the Restoration of Good and to fight against decay until we witness the Creation by God of a new Heaven and a new Earth.
Tradition – Man exists not as an individual, but as a Person, which contains the whole of his self, and all of his relations to other Persons. These are expressed as Tradition, of which the Family is the prime guardian and transmitter.
Truth – For the Man of Tradition and Faith, Truth exists not only as a moral reality, but as a fundamental aspect of reality which must also find its place in political life. A man’s word is sacred, even that of a politician, and to lie is a form of sacrilege.
Freedom – Political Freedom is a necessary means to the true Freedom of the Person, which is by no means anarchy, rather it is a fullness of Belonging, the Person ordered to the Authority of Reason and Faith.
Nobility – The Service of the Common Good in Political Life is not a “job” or a career, it is a Divinely ordered Vocation. This is the true meaning of Nobility, to give one’s whole life to the Common Good, and for that honor and privilege are justly given, and ought, so long as its recipients are worthy, be passed on through the family as a good and holy Tradition.
Together these principles form a common moral framework, a Civilization maintained through continual vigilance and sacrifice. Only within this Civilization can the most Divine activity of Man, contemplation and participation in Eternal Truth, be achieved. Let us stand together as allies against the obscuring darkness of nihilism and the false promises of totalitarianism, and let us stand united together as one preserving his own small flame in imitation of the morning star, awaiting in hope the coming dawn.
ET LUX IN TENEBRIS LUCET
Enrico Fratangelo, mayor of Castellino del Biferno in Mulise, is not a legitimist. He acts as a loyal public servant of the Republic of Italy and as he says he “sang the anthem of Italy at the top of my voice.” But in the past few months, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent crisis, Fratangelo is praticing what can only be called localist legitimist politics. He has begun printing money called ducati, bearing the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, images of Our Lady or the Saints, and bearing the inscription:
“Flourishing and Peaceful community of the Kingdom of Naples, County of Molise, land of Workers and of Patriots called Brigands. From 1861, land of unemployment and emigration.”
Archduke Karl von Habsburg has recovered from the coronavirus! Thank you to all who prayed for his recovery and God bless everyone during these trying times.
A few days ago it was discovered that Archduke Karl von Habsburg-Lorraine, heir of the Holy Roman Empire, had contracted the COVID-19 virus or as it is commonly called coronavirus. I would like to ask for prayers on his behalf and for his family, and would especially encourage tradition and restoration supporting Catholics to renew this Good Friday and Holy Saturday the traditional liturgical prayers for the Emperor, saying them faithfully as private devotions. I would also like to encourage all to invoke the traditional defense against epidemic diseases, The Cross of Saint Zacharias of Jerusalem, available in both Latin and English on the Tradistae website.
Regard also our most devout Emperor, and since Thou knowest, O God, the desires of his heart, grant by the ineffable grace of Thy goodness and mercy, that he may enjoy with all his people the tranquillity of perpetual peace and heavenly victory.
–Exultet Prayer for the Emperor
Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: ‘His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ.’ Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In Him is the salvation of the individual, in Him is the salvation of society. ‘Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.’ He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. ‘For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?’ If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. ‘With God and Jesus Christ,’ we said, ‘excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation.’
-Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas
Anyone who has escaped the clutches of catastrophe knows that he basically had the help of simple people to thank, people who were not overcome by the hate, the terror, the mechanicalness of platitudes. These people withstood the propaganda and its plainly demonic insinuations. When such virtues also manifest in a leader of people, endless blessings can result… The ruler reigns not by taking but by giving life.
-Ernst Jünger, The Forest Passage
Each one of us, as human persons, has a deep and lasting desire for virtue. Though this desire to conform one’s life to the good might be distorted by ignorance or completely perverted by vice, it cannot be erased from the human heart. It is this insight into the life of the human person that is the foundation of our Civilization, the guiding principle of the West. And because it is forgotten again and again, pushed aside by the cares and concerns that poison our world, Divine Providence raises heroic witnesses before the community of Mankind, to remind us what each and every one of us are capable of doing. For our own age, we have been gifted with the life of an amazing hero, Karl of Austria, to embody for us the call to virtue.