Thursday, June 16, 2011

Count Richard Nikolaus Eijiro von Coudenhove-Kalergi

Research for the post immediately preceding this one introduced us to the fascinating figure of Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi, half-Japanese progenitor of both the Paneuropean Union (whose goal was "the unity of a Christian Europe, free of 'nihilism, atheism and immoral consumerism'") and the idea of a Race of the Future (which, "similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals").

Wikipedia lists as fellow-travelers such Catholic luminaries as Engelbert Dollfuss, Otto von Habsburg, and even our own Whittaker Chambers! Calling him "practically a Pan-European organization himself," Mr. Chambers elaborates on his family,
    The Coudenhoves were a wealthy Flemish family that fled to Austria during the French Revolution. The Kalergis were a wealthy Cretan family. The line has been further crossed with Poles, Norwegians, Balts, French and Germans, but since the families were selective as well as cosmopolite, the hybridization has been consistently successful.
His "Pan-Europe would encompass and extend a more flexible and more competitive Austria-Hungary, with English serving as world language, spoken by everyone in addition to his native tongue." We are told that "his ambition was to create a conservative society that superseded democracy with 'the social aristocracy of the spirit'" whose "ideal political constituent was a gentleman, a person adhering to honesty, fair play, courtesy, and rational discourse." We also learn that "his Pan-Europeanism earned vivid loathing from Adolf Hitler, who excoriated its pacifism and mechanical economism and belittled its founder as 'everybody's bastard.'"

We learn also that his father "took them to Mass every Sunday," but "[o]n every Good Friday, as the liturgy came to the exhortation 'oremus et pro perfidis Judaeis' ('Let us also pray for the faithless Jews'), the old count allegedly rose and walked out of the church in a protest against this supposed expression of antisemitism." About the Jews, the young count wrote,
    Instead of destroying European Jewry, Europe, against its own will, refined and educated this people into a future leader-nation through this artificial selection process. No wonder that this people, that escaped Ghetto-Prison, developed into a spiritual nobility of Europe. Therefore a gracious Providence provided Europe with a new race of nobility by the Grace of Spirit. This happened at the moment when Europe’s feudal aristocracy became dilapidated, and thanks to Jewish emancipation.
It was he who "proposed the Beethoven's Ode to Joy as the music for the European Anthem" and later "urged Austria to pursue 'an active policy of peace', as a 'fight against the Cold War and its continuation, the atomic war'" and at the same time "advocated Austrian involvement in world politics in order to keep the peace, as 'active neutrality.'"

Let us end with a quote from this great man: "We are experiencing the most dangerous revolution in the world history: the revolution of the State against the man. We are experiencing the worst idolatry of all the time: the deification of the state."

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Blogger Pints in NYC said...

It doesn't surprise me that this would arise in the heir to the Habsburg lands.

Austria, not America, should be seen as the model for a true "pluralism".

Whereas America seems to be pure syncretism, Austria was truly the world.

1:38 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Indeed. I've more than once fantasized about myself being a citizen of Austria-Hungary circa 1890.

2:00 AM  

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