Is it necessary to give a proof of this last fact ? We think we have furnished it in remarking that one of the sentiments most natural to man, that of nationality, is erased from the Liberal catechism, and that where the word is still employed, it is used by the heads of the party as a pretext to enchain Governments, or as a lever to bring about destruction. The real aim of the idealists of the party is religious and political fusion, and this being analysed is nothing else but creating in favour of each individual an existence entirely independent of all authority, or of any other will than his own, an idea absurd and contrary to the nature of man, and incompatible with the needs of human society.
April 23. — My proposals are confined to the discipline of the universities, and do not at all touch the studies themselves—two questions which are very closely related, but yet in the present discussion necessarily separated. If we meddle with the latter, nothing at all will be done, and a letter from Müller sufficiently points this out to me, in which in speaking of this affair he observes ‘ that the disorder in the universities proceeds from the Reformation and that it can only be really set right by the recall of the Reformation.’ I deny neither the assertion nor its justice. But here on the Quirinal I cannot meddle with Dr. Martin Luther, and I hope that nevertheless some good will come of it without even touching its source— Protestantism. The last very excellent letter of Müller’s reminded me involuntarily of Golowkin’s proposition for the investigation of ‘ Causes primitives de la révolution française.’
Napoleon was not irreligious in the ordinary sense of the word. He would not admit that there had ever existed a genuine atheist ; he condemned Deism as the result of rash speculation. A Christian and a Catholic, he recognized in religion alone the right to govern human societies. He looked on Christianity as the basis of all real civilization ; and considered Catholicism as the form of worship most favourable to the maintenance of order and the true tranquility of the moral world ; Protestantism as a source of trouble and disagreements. Personally indifferent to religious practices, he respected them too much to permit the slightest ridicule of those who followed them.
An amazingly far sighted letter. In 1820 it was controversial verging on revolutionary to suggest giving the right to vote only to the wealthiest 1% of white men. For Metternich to predict racial diversity at a time when his only European points of reference were the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution is exceptional; exceptional by anyone’s standard and not just the low standards of modern times when the average political commenter is trying to erase off the internet what wrong predictions they made 198 days ago.
After almost 198 years his letter is not only ahead of its time, it is also timely because no one else currently has a satisfactory explanation for why Progressives are obsessed with diversity despite, and very paradoxically, the topic dominating almost every political discussion. Nor is there an explanation for why Western voters keep willingly voting for diversity after Progressives have made it clear many times that diversity is their goal.
His prediction to Tsar Alexander I is obviously phenomenal.
But how Metternich reasoned from the Reformation and the Revolution to racial diversity is not obvious to modern readers.
To understand his methodology, additional background into his mindset is called for since that context is more antique than its age of 198 years would suggest.
Having read the entire English translation of his Memoirs, I will undertake to put Metternich’s analysis within his context.
The first matter he would address is the inadequacy of current explanations by the Right (or what passes today for “Right”). At best, Metternich would say, the modern “Right” has clumsily identified side effects that work to benefit the Left, but which do not reveal their true motivation. To add further confusion, Liberals themselves cannot give coherent reasons for their stance when pressed.
He would dismiss “virtue signalling” as vapid analysis. All elites in all ages have practiced signalling virtues of some kind. The question is why immigration and diversity particularly are considered virtues when they were never among elite virtues before. On this point virtue signalling answers nothing. Likewise with status posturing. Status signalling has always been a feature of all societies in history, but only with this elite is this particular class marker valued. But why?
Material gains from diversity are explanatory dead ends. First, because Liberals tolerate many negative effects of immigration such as higher real estate prices, crime rates, extortionist levels of pre-college tuition, higher tax rates to support immigrants, etc., that objectively leave Liberals, net-net, worse off economically than they otherwise would be.
More fundamentally, whatever material benefits the Left derives from immigration cannot explain the religious fanaticism Liberals hold toward immigration.
The potential of Liberal electoral dominance is, again, not a sufficient material benefit because diversity isn’t really necessary to achieve it. A 100% white nation is still perfectly mediocre enough to vote for a Leftist government indefinitely so long as the electoral slogans and policies meet some minimal standards of voter self-interest. Anyway, immigration as an electoral strategy brings the risk of electoral backlash. It also, again, fails to explain why a crude electoral cost-benefit calculus would inspire cult-like fanaticism.
More frivolous explanations, both in against and in favor of diversity, such as better restaurants would be dismissed by Metternich as just proof of the frivolous nature of the anti-immigration and pro-immigration partisans who make them: If Liberals simply wanted, for example, foreign cuisine then they could just import the recipes and ingredients, rather than whole foreign populations.
On to how Metternich anticipated racial diversity would result from the French Revolution and the Protestant Reformation.
Per Metternich, the ultimate cause of the French Revolution was the Protestant Reformation. To understand the central importance he placed on the Reformation the reader must first understand his view of the Catholic Church.
To Metternich, his view was nothing other than that the only true religion with actual Divine authority invested in it is Catholicism. However, Protestantism in all its forms is purely heretical Christianity holding no Divine authority within any of its various sects.
Now, the reader should keep in mind that by this opinion Metternich was not expressing his own moral judgment on those outside Catholicism because he was, by his own admission, not capable of making moral judgments as far as it concerned public policy. And in his time the policies of the Catholic Church were closely connected with policies of state across much of Europe.
Actually, Metternich’s Catholic mindset is a surprisingly limited opinion much like his opinion on the death penalty –
The execution of criminals became the subject of conversation. The Prince defended this extreme rigour of the law in cases of murder saying that it should not be viewed in the light of punishment but of prevention only. Therefore he thought judges should never enter into the question whether a convicted murderer were a monomaniac or not, but leave him to be executed as a warning to others. Besides, it would be dangerous for society if it were established that eccentric indulgence in unbridled passions should they lead to murder, might be excused on the score of unsound mind, Prince Schönburg mentioned a project in Saxon to abolish public executions, and to have them take place in jails before certain public functionaries.
This plan Prince Metternich decidedly disapproved of; it would be as well, he said , to do away with capital punishments altogether, for the object being to deter by the example of a painful and ignominious death, the public at large would soon cease to believe in executions if they took place within the precincts of jails, and before social persons only.
The Emperor has no idea if executing prisoners is just because only God can read intent and deliver justice. The role of Imperial law enforcement is limited to the promotion of deterrence.
In the same spirit, whatever judgment God passes in favor of or against non-Catholics is completely up to God alone – and out of Metternich’s hands – because only God can judge the individual.
Imperial government, you see, can also be limited, and often was. If an average German of today were transported back into Metternich’s time they would be surprised at how much personal freedom they had in Metternich’s supposedly “oppressive” Austrian Empire compared to today’s Germany.
If objections were raised about the Priesthood’s professional inadequacies, Metternich would not disagree because the Priesthood is composed of humans and humans are inadequate. But the Divinely granted authority to the Catholic Church, and only the Catholic Church, would in his opinion remain with the Priesthood, despite their flaws, until God decides otherwise.
It was from this belief that Metternich found a causal relationship between the Reformation, the French Revolution, and racial diversity. To him they are all perfectly logical expressions of a relentless Liberal impulse to break free from a Divinity imposing any moral obligations whatsoever on them in order to achieve a purely atomized individuality that is opposed to God’s will.
For Metternich, as well as every major religion that has ever appeared, human existence encompasses various dimensions of moral obligations imposed by God on each individual that manifest in man’s biological and social existence. Those dimensions include the individual’s moral obligations to the rest of mankind generally, to God, some sort of worldly religious authority, to country, political authority, legal authority, ethnicity, neighbors, nuclear and extended family, sexual relations, the individual’s obligations to his own spiritual well-being and physical body, and obligations to nature.
The Progressive love for racial diversity is essentially a rebellion against Divinely imposed moral obligations on the individual towards their country and ethnicity. The motivation for this rebellion is exactly the same motivation behind the Protestant Reformation and French Revolution: The Reformation was a rebellion against the Divinely imposed obligations of Catholics towards the Catholic Church, and the French Revolution was a rebellion against the Divinely imposed obligations of French citizens towards their Monarch.
The only difference between the three is that they are rebellions against different dimensions of Divinely imposed relationships – Church, political authority, and ethnicity.
And the reason for the rebellions themselves came about because Progressives (consciously or unconsciously) understood those dimensions are manifestations of Divine law which they hate in whatever form those laws take.
To Metternich, any philosophies Liberals invented before or after 1820 to justify Liberalism are just after-the-fact justifications for what they truly desired; not diversity or “Democracy”, per se, but moral atomization of the individual and total liberation in every way from God.
If Metternich’s analysis falls short it is in not going far enough through what other dimensions the Left would rebel against. For example, Metternich did not suggest the Left would, at an advanced enough stage, try to break free of the biological constraints imposed on humanity with the quality of gender differences. Perhaps Metternich avoided gender equality because it would have stretched the Tsar’s credulity beyond what he could be expected to imagine in 1820.
But whatever the case may be, the true objective of Liberalism as Metternich saw it would have led him to project that they would not be finished when they had achieved a satisfactory level of racial diversity. Far from stopping at that point, he would predict the Left would move on from race and ethnicity to breaking down biological “barriers” between the human race and animals, humanity and machines, as well as other non-living objects.
He might see an early indication of “equalizing” man with non-living matter in the Progressive war on the carbon atom, one of the most essential molecules to life on earth.