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- Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
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Since its first publication in the Brazilian cultural journal Catolicismo in 1959, Revolution and Counter-Revolution has gone through a number of editions in Portuguese, English, French, Italian, and Spanish.
The present edition is the first to be published digitally in the United States. It includes recent commentaries on Revolution and Counter- Revolution’s third part, which was added by the author in 1976.
Revolution and Counter-Revolution, the basic book and inspiration of the many autonomous Societies for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property and like organizations, contains principles of wisdom that can efficaciously stop the disintegration of civilization in the world today.
The author of this work is the world-famous Brazilian Catholic philosopher Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Over the years he has written numerous works that have received noteworthy ecclesiastical approbation.
For example, in the late 40s, his Em Defesa da Acão Catolica, denouncing the danger presented by leftists encysted in the Catholic Action movement, prompted a letter of praise from Msgr. Montini, then substitute for the Vatican secretary of state, written on behalf of Pius XII.
In another work, The Church and the Communist State: The Impossible Coexistence (1963), the author proved that a Catholic could not view the establishment of a communist regime in his country as morally acceptable. The Vatican’s Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities called this work “a most faithful echo of all the Documents of the supreme Magisterium of the Church, including the luminous encyclicals Mater et Magistra of John XXIII and Ecclesiam Suam of Paul VI.”
In 1992, he wrote Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII contrasting two models of society. The first model is Christian, founded on the idea that God wills proportional and harmonic inequalities among the social classes, all of whose members are entitled to at least sufficient living conditions. The second model is based on the erroneous idea that all inequality is unjust. The book has been acclaimed in eloquent letters by Silvio Cardinal Oddi, Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi, Alfons M. Cardinal Stickler, theologian Fr. Raimondo Spiazzi, Thomist Fr. Victorino Rodriguez y Rodriguez, and canonist Fr. Anastasio Gutierrez.
Yet, the most significant of Professor Corrêa de Oliveira’s works is Revolution and Counter-Revolution. Its significance was quickly recognized. Eugene Cardinal Tisserant wrote: “The theme of this study is of the highest importance for the time in which we live… The analysis made by Professor Corrêa de Oliveira is clear, precise and accurate… It will be of interest to a considerable number of our fellow citizens. I congratulate the author of this magnificent work.” Thomas Cardinal Tien, of China, stated: “Those of us who personally suffer from the effects of communism are well able to calculate the accuracy and urgent necessity of such a study.”
All the editions of Revolution and Counter-Revolution have concluded with these words:
We have not the slightest doubt in our heart about any of the theses that constitute this work. Nevertheless, we subject them all unrestrictedly to the judgment of the Vicar of Christ and are disposed to renounce immediately any one of them if it depart even slightly from the teaching of the Holy Church, our Mother, the Ark of Salvation, and the Gate of Heaven.
Over forty years have passed since this statement was first published. In the meantime, Revolution and Counter-Revolution has been spread throughout the world without any of its theses being challenged as contrary to the Church’s Magisterium. This fact corroborates the earlier approbations and testifies to the integrity of this enduring work.
To this must be added another fact of enormous gravity. In the third part of the present work, the author states that the main battleground of the struggle between anti-order (the Revolution) and order (the Counter-Revolution) is no longer civil society but the Holy Church herself.
Such a terrible state of affairs is of first concern to Catholics. But it is also of concern to all men of good will, for without the influence of the Church, temporal society will never rise from the prostration to which it has been reduced by the same enemy: the Revolution.
People seeking the most effective way to combat this enemy will welcome a book that provides the principles needed for the pursuit of this struggle.
The American Society for the Defense of
Tradition, Family and Property ~ TFP
To Original Edition
Today, Catolicismo publishes its hundredth issue. To mark the event it wished to give this number a special note that might deepen the already profound communication of soul between it and its readers.
For this, nothing seemed more appropriate than the publication of an essay on the subject of Revolution and Counter-Revolution.
The selection of this subject is easy to explain. Catolicismo is a combative journal. As such, it must be judged principally in relation to the end toward which its combat strives. Now, whom, precisely, does it wish to combat? A reading of its pages may provide an insufficiently defined impression in this regard. One frequently finds therein refutations of communism, socialism, totalitarianism, liberalism, liturgicism, “Maritainism,” and various other “isms.” Nevertheless, one would not say that any one of these has been emphasized over the others to such an extent that Catolicismo could be defined by it alone. For example, it would be an exaggeration to affirm that Catolicismo is a specifically anti-Protestant or anti-socialist paper. One would say, then, that our journal has a plurality of ends. However, one perceives that, in the perspective in which it places itself, all of these aims have, as it were, a common denominator, and this is the objective our paper always has before it.
What is this common denominator? A doctrine? A force? A current of opinion? Clearly, an elucidation of this point would help explain the depths of the whole work of doctrinal formation that Catolicismo has been doing in the course of these one hundred months.
* * *
However, the benefit that can be derived from the study of Revolution and Counter-Revolution goes far beyond this limited objective.
To demonstrate this, we need but glance at the religious scene of our country. Statistically speaking, the situation of Catholics is excellent: According to the latest official data, we comprise 94 percent of the population. If all of us were the Catholics we should be, Brazil would now be one of the most admirable Catholic powers to have arisen in the course of the twenty centuries of the life of the Church.
Why, then, are we so far from this ideal? Can anyone truthfully say that the main cause of our present situation is spiritualism, Protestantism, atheism, or communism? No! It is something else, impalpable and subtle, and as penetrating as a powerful and fearful radiation. All feel its effects, but few know its name or nature.
As we write these words, our thoughts transcend the frontiers of Brazil, to our dear sister nations of Hispanic America, and thence to all Catholic nations. In each, this same evil exerts its undefined but overwhelming sway, producing symptoms of tragic grandeur. Consider this example among others. In a letter written in 1956 regarding the National Day of Thanksgiving, Msgr. Angelo Dell’Acqua, substitute for the Vatican secretary of state, said to Carlos Carmelo Cardinal de Vasconcellos Motta of Sao Paulo: “Because of the religious agnosticism of the states,” there has been “a decline or almost loss of the sense of the Church in modern society.” Now what enemy struck this terrible blow against the Bride of Christ? What is the common cause of this and so many other concomitant and like evils? What shall we call it? What are the means by which it acts? What is the secret of its victory? How can we combat it successfully?
Obviously, it would be difficult to find a more timely subject.
* * *
This terrible enemy has a name: It is called the Revolution.
Its profound cause is an explosion of pride and sensuality that has inspired, not one system, but, rather, a whole chain of ideological systems. Their wide acceptance gave rise to the three great revolutions in the history of the West: the Pseudo-Reformation, the French Revolution, and Communism.
Pride leads to hatred of all superiority and, thus, to the affirmation that inequality is an evil in itself at all levels, principally at the metaphysical and religious ones. This is the egalitarian aspect of the Revolution.
Sensuality, per se, tends to sweep aside all barriers. It does not accept restraints and leads to revolt against all authority and law, divine or human, ecclesiastical or civil. This is the liberal aspect of the Revolution.
Both aspects, which in the final analysis have a metaphysical character, seem contradictory on many occasions. But they are reconciled in the Marxist utopia of an anarchic paradise where a highly evolved mankind, “emancipated” from religion, would live in utmost order without political authority in total freedom. This, however, would not give rise to any inequality.
The Pseudo-Reformation was a first revolution. It implanted, in varying degrees, the spirit of doubt, religious liberalism, and ecclesiastical egalitarianism in the different sects it produced.
The French Revolution came next. It was the triumph of egalitarianism in two fields: the religious field in the form of atheism, speciously labeled as secularism; and the political field through the false maxim that all inequality is an injustice, all authority a danger, and freedom the supreme good.
Communism is the transposition of these maxims to the socioeconomic field.
These three revolutions are episodes of one single Revolution, within which socialism, liturgicism, the politique de la main tendue (policy of the extended hand), and the like are only transitional stages or attenuated manifestations.
* * *
Naturally, a process so profound, vast, and prolonged cannot develop without encompassing every domain of human activity, such as culture, art, laws, customs, and institutions.
A detailed study of this process in all its areas of development is much beyond the scope of this essay.
Here — limiting ourselves to one vein of this vast matter — we attempt to sketch summarily the outlines of the immense avalanche that is the Revolution, to give it an adequate name, and to indicate very succinctly its profound causes, the agents promoting it, the essential elements of its doctrine, the respective importance of the various fields in which it acts, the vigor of its dynamism, and the mechanism of its expansion. In a similar way, we then treat analogous points pertaining to the Counter-Revolution, and study some of the conditions for its victory.
Even so, in each of these themes, we had to restrict ourselves to explaining what in our view are presently the most useful elements for enlightening our readers and assisting them in the fight against the Revolution. We had to leave out many points of capital importance but of less pressing urgency.
This work, as we have said, is a simple ensemble of theses by which one may better know the spirit and program of Catolicismo. It would go beyond its natural proportions if it included a complete demonstration of each affirmation. We have limited ourselves to developing the minimum argumentation necessary for showing the relationship between the various theses and giving a panoramic view of a whole side of our doctrinal positions.
* * *
This essay may serve as a survey. What exactly do the readers of Catolicismo in Brazil and elsewhere (who are certainly among those most opposed to the Revolution) think about the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution? Although our propositions encompass only part of the subject, we hope they will lead each of our readers to ask himself this question and to send us his answer, which we would welcome with great interest.
The Crisis of Contemporary Man
The many crises shaking the world today - those of the State, family, economy, culture, and so on - are but multiple aspects of a single fundamental crisis whose field of action is man himself. In other words, these crises have their root in the most profound problems of the soul, from whence they spread to the whole personality of present-day man and all his activities.
The Crisis of Western and Christian Man
Above all, this is a crisis of Western and Christian man, that is, Europeans and their descendants, Canadians, Americans, Latin Americans, and Australians. We will study it especially as such. It also affects other peoples to the degree that Western influence has reached and taken root among them. In their case, the crisis is interwoven with problems peculiar to their respective cultures and civilizations and to the clash of these with the positive or negative elements of Western culture and civilization.
1. It is Universal
This crisis is universal. There is no people that is not affected by it to a greater or lesser degree.
2. It is One
This crisis is one. It is not a range of crises developing side by side, independently in each country, interrelated because of certain analogies of varying relevance.
When a fire breaks out in a forest, one cannot regard it as a thousand autonomous and parallel fires of a thousand trees in close proximity. The unity of the phenomenon of combustion acts on the living unity that is the forest. Moreover, the great force of expansion of the flames results from the heat in which the innumerable flames of the different trees intermingle and multiply. Indeed, everything helps to make the forest fire a single fact, totally encompassing the thousand partial fires, however different from one another in their accidents.
Western Christendom constituted a single whole that transcended the several Christian countries without absorbing them. A crisis occurred within this living unity, eventually affecting the whole through the combined and even fused heat of the ever more numerous local crises that across the centuries have never ceased to intertwine and augment one another. Consequently, Christendom, as a family of officially Catholic states, has long ceased to exist. The Western and Christian peoples are mere remnants of it. And now they are all agonizing under the action of this same evil.
3. It is Total
In any given country, this crisis develops in such a profound level of problems that it spreads or unfolds, by the very order of things, in all powers of the soul, all fields of culture, and, in the end, all realms of human action.
4. It is Dominant
Considered superficially, the events of our days seem a chaotic and inextricable tangle. From many points of view, they are indeed.
However, one can discern profoundly consistent and vigorous resultants of this conjunction of so many disorderly forces when considering them from the standpoint of the great crisis we are analyzing.
Indeed, under the impulse of these forces in delirium, the Western nations are being gradually driven toward a state of affairs which is taking the same form in all of them and is diametrically opposed to Christian civilization.
Thus, this crisis is like a queen whom all the forces of chaos serve as efficient and docile vassals.
5. It is Processive
This crisis is not a spectacular, isolated episode. It constitutes, on the contrary, a critical process already five centuries old. It is a long chain of causes and effects that, having originated at a certain moment with great intensity in the deepest recesses of the soul and the culture of Western man, has been producing successive convulsions since the fifteenth century. The words of Pius XII about a subtle and mysterious enemy of the Church can fittingly be applied to this process:
It is to be found everywhere and among everyone; it can be both violent and astute. In these last centuries, it has attempted to disintegrate the intellectual, moral, and social unity in the mysterious organism of Christ. It has sought nature without grace, reason without faith, freedom without authority, and, at times, authority without freedom. It is an "enemy" that has become more and more apparent with an absence of scruples that still surprises: Christ yes; the Church no! Afterwards: God yes; Christ no! Finally the impious shout: God is dead and, even, God never existed! And behold now the attempt to build the structure of the world on foundations which we do not hesitate to indicate as the main causes of the threat that hangs over humanity: economy without God, law without God, politics without God.
This process should not be viewed as an altogether fortuitous sequence of causes and effects that has taken place unexpectedly. Already at its inception, this crisis was strong enough to carry out all its potentialities. It is still strong enough to cause, by means of supreme upheavals, the ultimate destructions that are its logical outcome.
Influenced and conditioned in different ways by all sorts of extrinsic factors (cultural, social, economic, ethnic, geographic, and others), it follows paths that are sinuous at times. It nonetheless never ceases to progress toward its tragic end.
A. The Decay of the Middle Ages
In the Introduction, we outlined the main features of this process. It would not be amiss to add some details.
In the fourteenth century, a transformation of mentality began to take place in Christian Europe; in the course of the fifteenth century, it became ever more apparent. The thirst for earthly pleasures became a burning desire. Diversions became more and more frequent and sumptuous, increasingly engrossing men. In dress, manners, language, literature, and art, the growing yearning for a life filled with delights of fancy and the senses produced progressive manifestations of sensuality and softness. Little by little, the seriousness and austerity of former times lost their value. The whole trend was toward gaiety, affability, and festiveness. Hearts began to shy away from the love of sacrifice, from true devotion to the Cross, and from the aspiration to sanctity and eternal life. Chivalry, formerly one of the highest expressions of Christian austerity, became amorous and sentimental. The literature of love invaded all countries. Excesses of luxury and the consequent eagerness for gain spread throughout all social classes.
Penetrating intellectual circles, this moral climate produced clear manifestations of pride, such as a taste for ostentatious and vain disputes, for inconsistent tricks of argument, and for fatuous exhibitions of learning. It praised old philosophical tendencies over which Scholasticism had triumphed. As the former zeal for the integrity of the Faith waned, these tendencies reappeared in new guises. The absolutism of legists, who adorned themselves with a conceited knowledge of Roman law, was favorably received by ambitious princes. And, all the while, in great and small alike, there was a fading of the will of yore to keep the royal power within its proper bounds as in the days of Saint Louis of France and Saint Ferdinand of Castile.
B. The Pseudo-Reformation and the Renaissance
This new state of soul contained a powerful although more or less unacknowledged desire for an order of things fundamentally different from that which had reached its heights in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
An exaggerated and often delirious admiration for antiquity served as a means for the expression of this desire. In order to avoid direct confrontations with the old medieval tradition, humanism and the Renaissance frequently sought to relegate the Church, the supernatural, and the moral values of religion to a secondary plane. At the same time, the human type inspired by the pagan moralists was introduced by these movements as an ideal in Europe. This human type and the culture and civilization consistent with it were truly the precursors of the greedy, sensual, secularist, and pragmatic man of our days and of the materialistic culture and civilization into which we are sinking deeper and deeper. Efforts to effect a Christian Renaissance did not manage to crush in the germinal stage the factors that led to the gradual triumph of neopaganism.
In some parts of Europe, this neopaganism developed without leading to formal apostasy. It found significant resistance. Even when it became established within souls, it did not dare ask them — at least in the beginning — to formally break with the Faith.
However, in other countries, it openly attacked the Church. Pride and sensuality, whose satisfaction is the pleasure of pagan life, gave rise to Protestantism.
Pride begot the spirit of doubt, free examination, and naturalistic interpretation of Scripture. It produced insurrection against ecclesiastical authority, expressed in all sects by the denial of the monarchical character of the Universal Church, that is to say, by a revolt against the Papacy. Some of the more radical sects also denied what could be called the higher aristocracy of the Church, namely, the bishops, her princes. Others even denied the hierarchical character of the priesthood itself by reducing it to a mere delegation of the people, lauded as the only true holder of priestly power.
On the moral plane, the triumph of sensuality in Protestantism was affirmed by the suppression of ecclesiastical celibacy and by the introduction of divorce.
C. The French Revolution
The profound action of humanism and the Renaissance among Catholics spread unceasingly throughout France in a growing chain of consequences.
Favored by the weakening of piety in the faithful caused by Jansenism and the other leavens sixteenth-century Protestantism had unfortunately left in the Most Christian Kingdom, this action gave rise in the eighteenth century to a nearly universal dissolution of customs, a frivolous and superficial way of considering things, and a deification of earthly life that paved the way for the gradual victory of irreligion.
Doubts about the Church, the denial of the divinity of Christ, deism, and incipient atheism marked the stages of this apostasy.
The French Revolution was the heir of Renaissance neopaganism and of Protestantism, with which it had a profound affinity. It carried out a work in every respect symmetrical to that of the Pseudo-Reformation. The Constitutional Church it attempted to set up before sinking into deism and atheism was an adaptation of the Church of France to the spirit of Protestantism. The political work of the French Revolution was but the transposition to the sphere of the State of the "reform" the more radical Protestant sects had adopted in the matter of ecclesiastical organization:
— the revolt against the King corresponding to the revolt against the Pope;
— the revolt of the common people against the nobles, to the revolt of the ecclesiastical “common people,” the faithful, against the “aristocracy” of the Church, the clergy;
— the affirmation of popular sovereignty, to the government of certain sects by the faithful in varying degree.
Some sects arising from Protestantism transposed their religious tendencies directly to the political field, thus preparing the way for the republican spirit. In the seventeenth century, Saint Francis de Sales warned the Duke of Savoy against these republican tendencies. Other sects went even further, adopting principles that, if not communist in the full sense of the word today, were at least precommunist.
Out of the French Revolution came the communist movement of Babeuf. Later, the nineteenth-century schools of utopian communism and the so-called scientific communism of Marx burst forth from the increasingly ardent spirit of the Revolution.
And what could be more logical? The normal fruit of deism is atheism. Sensuality, revolting against the fragile obstacles of divorce, tends of itself toward free love. Pride, enemy of all superiority, finally had to attack the last inequality, that of wealth. Drunk with dreams of a one-world republic, of the suppression of all ecclesiastical or civil authority, of the abolition of any Church, and of the abolition of the State itself after a transitional dictatorship of the workers, the revolutionary process now brings us the twentieth-century neobarbarian, its most recent and extreme product.
E. Monarchy, Republic, and Religion
To avoid any misunderstanding, it is necessary to emphasize that this exposition does not contain the assertion that the republic is necessarily a revolutionary regime. When speaking of the various forms of government, Leo XIII made it quite clear that "each of them is good, as long as it moves honestly toward its end, namely, the common good, for which social authority is constituted,"
We do label as revolutionary the hostility professed against monarchy and aristocracy on the principle that they arc essentially incompatible with human dignity and the normal order of things. This error was condemned by Saint Pius X in the apostolic letter Notre charge apostolique, of August 25, 1910. In this letter, the great and holy Pontiff censures the thesis of Le Sillon, that "only democracy will inaugurate the reign of perfect justice," and he says: "Is this not an injury to the other forms of government, which are thus reduced to the category of impotent governments, acceptable only for lack of something better?"
If one fails to consider this error, which is deeply rooted in the process under study, one cannot completely explain how it is that monarchy, classified by Pope Pius VI as the best form of government in thesis (“praestantioris monorchici regiminis forma”), has been the object in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries of a hostile worldwide movement that has overthrown the most venerable thrones and dynasties. From our perspective, the mass production of republics all over the world is a typical fruit of the Revolution and a capital aspect of it.
A person cannot be termed a revolutionary for preferring, in view of concrete and local reasons, that his country be a democracy instead of an aristocracy or a monarchy, provided the rights of legitimate authority be respected. But, yes, he can be termed a revolutionary if, led by the Revolution’s egalitarian spirit, he hates monarchy or aristocracy in principle and classifies them as essentially unjust or inhuman.
From this antimonarchical and antiaristocratic hatred are born the demagogic democracies, which combat tradition, persecute the elites, degrade the general tone of life, and create an ambience of vulgarity that constitutes, as it were, the dominant note of the culture and civilization — supposing the concepts of civilization and culture can be realized in such conditions.
How different from this revolutionary democracy is the democracy described by Pius XII:
History bears witness to the fact that, wherever true democracy reigns, the life of the people is as it were permeated with sound traditions, which it is illicit to destroy. The primary representatives of these traditions are first of all the leading classes, that is, the groups of men and women or the associations that set the tone, as we say, for the village or the city, for the region or the entire country. Whence the existence and influence, among all civilized peoples, of aristocratic institutions, aristocratic in the highest sense of the word, like certain academies of widespread and well?deserved fame. And the nobility is also in that number.
As can be seen, the spirit of revolutionary democracy is quite different from the spirit that must animate a democracy according to the doctrine of the Church.
F. Revolution, Counter-Revolution, and Dictatorship
These considerations on the position of the Revolution and of Catholic thought concerning forms of government may lead some readers to inquire whether dictatorship is a revolutionary or a counter-revolutionary factor.
To provide a clear answer to this question — to which many confused and even tendentious replies have been given — it is necessary to make a distinction between certain elements indiscriminately linked in the idea of dictatorship as public opinion conceives of it. Mistaking dictatorship in thesis for what it has been in practice in our century, the public sees dictatorship as a state of affairs in which a leader endowed with unlimited powers governs a country. For its good, say some. For its harm, say others. But in either case, such a state of affairs is still a dictatorship.
Now, this concept involves two distinct elements:
— the omnipotence of the State;
— the concentration of state power in the hands of a single person.
The public mind seems to focus on the second element. Nevertheless, the first is the basic element, at least if we see dictatorship as a state of affairs in which the public authority, having suspended the juridical order, disposes of all rights at its good pleasure. It is entirely evident that a dictatorship may be exercised by a king. (A royal dictatorship, that is, the suspension of the whole juridical order and the unrestricted exercise of public power by the king, is not to be confused with the Ancien Regime, in which these guarantees existed to a considerable degree, nor, much less, with the organic medieval monarchy.) It is also entirely evident that a dictatorship may be exercised by a popular chief, a hereditary aristocracy, a clan of bankers, or even by the masses.
In itself, a dictatorship exercised by a chief or a group of persons is neither revolutionary nor counter-revolutionary. It will be either one or the other depending on the circumstances that gave rise to it and the work it does. This is the case whether it is in the hands of one man or in the hands of a group.
There are circumstances that demand, for the sake of the salus populi, a suspension of individual rights and a greater exercise of public power. A dictatorship, therefore, can be legitimate in certain cases.
A counter-revolutionary dictatorship — a dictatorship completely oriented by the desire for order — must have three essential requisites:
It must suspend rights to protect order, not to subvert it. By order we do not mean mere material tranquility, but the disposition of things according to their end and in accordance with the respective scale of values. This is, then, a suspension of rights that is more apparent than real, the sacrifice of juridical guarantees that evil elements had abused to the detriment of order itself and of the common good. This sacrifice is entirely directed toward the protection of the true rights of the good.
By definition, this suspension is temporary. It must prepare circumstances for a return to order and normality as soon as possible. A dictatorship, to the degree it is good, proceeds to put an end to its very reason for being. The intervention of public authority in the various sectors of the national life must be undertaken in such a way that, as soon as possible, each sector may live with the necessary autonomy. Thus, each family should be allowed to do everything it is capable of doing by its nature, being supported by higher social groups only in a subsidiary way in what is beyond its sphere of action. These groups, in turn, should only receive the help of their municipality in what exceeds their normal capacity, and so on up the line in the relations between the municipality and the region or between the region and the country.
The essential end of a legitimate dictatorship nowadays must be the Counter-Revolution. This does not mean a dictatorship is normally necessary for the defeat of the Revolution. But, in certain circumstances, it may be.
In contrast, a revolutionary dictatorship aims to perpetuate itself. It violates authentic rights and penetrates all spheres of society to destroy them. It carries out this destruction by sundering family life, harming the genuine elites, subverting the social hierarchy, fomenting utopian ideas and disorderly ambitions in the multitudes, extinguishing the real life of the social groups, and subjecting everything to the State. In short, it favors the work of the Revolution. A typical example of such a dictatorship was Hitlerism.
For this reason, a revolutionary dictatorship is fundamentally anti-Catholic. In fact, in a truly Catholic ambience, there can be no climate for such a situation.
This is not to say that a revolutionary dictatorship in one or another country has not sought to favor the Church. But this is merely a question of a political attitude that is transformed into open or veiled persecution as soon as the ecclesiastical authority begins to hinder the pace of the Revolution.
The Metamorphoses of the Revolutionary Process
As can be seen from the analysis in the preceding chapter, the revolutionary process is the development by stages of certain disorderly tendencies of Western and Christian man and of the errors to which they have given rise.
In each stage, these tendencies and errors have a particular characteristic. The Revolution, therefore, metamorphoses in the course of history.
The metamorphoses observed in the great general lines of the Revolution recur on a smaller scale within each of its great episodes.
Hence, the spirit of the French Revolution, in its first phase, used an aristocratic and even ecclesiastical mask and language. It frequented the court and sat at the table of the royal council. Later, it became bourgeois and worked for a bloodless abolition of the monarchy and nobility and for a veiled and pacific suppression of the Catholic Church. As soon as it could, it became Jacobin and inebriated itself with blood in the Terror.
But the excesses committed by the Jacobin faction stirred up reactions. The Revolution turned back, going through the same stages in reverse. From Jacobin it became bourgeois in the Directory. With Napoleon, it extended its hand to the Church and opened its doors to the exiled nobility. Finally, it cheered the returning Bourbons. Although the French Revolution ended, the revolutionary process did not end. It erupted again with the fall of Charles X and the rise of Louis Philippe, and thus through successive metamorphoses, taking advantage of its successes and even its failures, it reached its present state of paroxysm.
The Revolution, then, uses its metamorphoses not only to advance but also to carry out the tactical retreats that have so frequently been necessary.
This movement, always alive, has at times feigned death. This is one of its most interesting metamorphoses. On the surface, the situation of a certain country looks entirely tranquil. The counter-revolutionary reaction slackens and dozes. But in the depths of the religious, cultural, social, or economic life, the revolutionary ferment is continuously spreading. Then, at the end of this apparent interval, there is an unexpected upheaval, often more severe than the previous ones.
1. The Revolution in the Tendencies
As we have seen, this Revolution is a process made up of stages and has its ultimate origin in certain disorderly tendencies that serve as its soul and most intimate driving force.
Accordingly, we can also distinguish in the Revolution three depths, which, chronologically speaking, overlap to a certain extent.
The first and deepest level consists of a crisis in the tendencies. These disorderly tendencies by their very nature struggle for realization. No longer conforming to a whole order of things contrary to them, they begin by modifying mentalities, ways of being, artistic expressions, and customs without immediately touching directly — at least habitually — ideas.
2. The Revolution in the Ideas
The crisis passes from these deep strata to the ideological terrain. Indeed, as Paul Bourget makes evident in his celebrated work Le Demon du Midi, "One must live as one thinks, under pain of sooner or later ending up thinking as one has lived." Inspired by the disorder of these deep tendencies, new doctrines burst forth. In the beginning, they at times seek a modus vivendi with the old doctrines, expressing themselves in such a way as to maintain a semblance of harmony with them. Generally, however, this soon breaks out into open warfare.
3. The Revolution in the Facts
This transformation of the ideas extends, in turn, to the terrain of facts. Here, by bloody or unbloody means, the institutions, laws, and customs are transformed both in the religious realm and in temporal society. It is a third crisis, now fully within the field of facts.
A. The Depths of the Revolution Are Not Identical to Chronological Stages
These depths, in a way, are echeloned. But an attentive analysis shows that the operations of the Revolution within them are so intermingled in time that these different depths cannot be viewed as a number of distinct chronological unities.
B. The Differentiation of the Three Depths of the Revolution
These three depths are not always clearly differentiated from one another. The degree of distinctness varies considerably from one concrete case to another.
C. The Revolutionary Process Is Not Irrepressible
The movement of a people through these various depths is controllable. Taking the first step does not necessarily imply reaching the last and thereby sliding into the next depth. On the contrary, man's free will, aided by grace, can overcome any crisis, just as it can stop and overcome the Revolution itself.
In describing these aspects of the Revolution, we act like a physician who depicts the complete evolution of an illness right up to death, without meaning by this that the illness is incurable.
The March of the Revolution
The previous considerations gave us some data about the march of the Revolution, namely, its processive character, its metamorphoses, its outbreak in the innermost recesses of the human soul, and its externalization in acts. As can be seen, the Revolution has a whole dynamic of its own. We can attain a greater appreciation of this by studying additional aspects of the Revolution’s march.
1. The Driving Force of the Revolution
A. The Revolution and the Disordered Tendencies
The most powerful driving force of the Revolution is in the disordered tendencies.
For this reason, the Revolution has been compared to a typhoon, an earthquake, a cyclone, the unleashed forces of nature being material images of the unbridled passions of man.
B. The Paroxysms of the Revolution Are Fully Present in Its Seeds
Like cataclysms, evil passions have an immense power-but only to destroy.
In the first instant of its great explosions, this power already has the potential for all the virulence it will manifest in its worst excesses. In the first denials of Protestantism, for example, the anarchic yearnings of communism were already implicit. While Luther was, from the viewpoint of his explicit formulations, no more than Luther, all the tendencies, state of soul, and imponderables of the Lutheran explosion already bore within them, authentically and fully, even though implicitly, the spirit of Voltaire and Robespierre and of Marx and Lenin.
C. The Revolution Aggravates Its Own Causes
These disordered tendencies develop like itches and vices; the more they are satisfied, the more intense they become. The tendencies produce moral crises, erroneous doctrines, and then revolutions. Each of them, in turn, exacerbates the tendencies. The latter then lead, by an analogous movement, to new crises, new errors, and new revolutions. This explains why we find ourselves today in such a paroxysm of impiety and immorality and such an abyss of disorder and discord.
2. The Apparent Intervals of the Revolution
The existence of periods of accentuated calm might give the impression that at such times the Revolution has ceased. It would thus seem that the revolutionary process is not continuous and therefore not one.
However, these calms are merely metamorphoses of the Revolution. The periods of apparent tranquility - the supposed intervals - have usually been times of silent and profound revolutionary ferment. Consider, for example, the period of the Restoration (1815-1830).
3. The March from Refinement to Refinement
From what we have seen, each stage of the Revolution, compared with the preceding one, is but a refinement. Naturalistic humanism and Protestantism were refined in the French Revolution, which in its turn was refined in the great revolutionary process of the Bolshevization of the contemporary world.
The fact is that disordered passions, moving in a crescendo analogous to the acceleration of gravity and feeding upon their own works, lead to consequences which, in their turn, develop according to a proportional intensity. In like progression, errors beget errors, and revolutions prepare the way for revolutions.
4. The Harmonic Speeds of the Revolution
This revolutionary process takes place at two different speeds. One is fast and generally destined to fail in the short term. The other is much slower and has usually proven successful.
A. The Rapid March
The precommunist movements of the Anabaptists, for example, immediately drew in various fields all or nearly all the consequences of the spirit and tendencies of the Pseudo-Reformation. They were a failure.
B. The Slow March
Slowly, during the course of more than four centuries, the more moderate currents of Protestantism, moving from refinement to refinement through successive stages of dynamism and inertia, have been gradually favoring, in one way or another, the march of the West toward the same extreme point.
C. How These Speeds Harmonize
The role of each of these speeds in the march of the Revolution should be studied. It might be said that the more rapid movements are useless, but that is not the case The explosion of these extremisms raises a standard and creates a fixed target whose very radicalism fascinates the moderates, who slowly advance toward it. Thus, socialism shuns communism, which it silently admires and tends toward.
Even earlier, the same could be said of the communist Babeuf and his henchmen during the last flare-ups of the French Revolution. They were crushed. Yet, little by little, society treads the path along which they wished to lead it. The failure of the extremists is, then, merely apparent. They collaborate indirectly, but powerfully, in the advance of the Revolution, gradually attracting the countless multitude of the "prudent," the "moderate," and the mediocre toward the realization of their culpable and exacerbated chimeras.
5. Objections Refuted
Having considered these notions, we can now refute some objections that could not have been analyzed adequately before this point.
A. Slow-speed Revolutionaries and “Semi-counterrevolutionaries”
What distinguishes the revolutionary who has followed the rhythm of the fast march from the person who is gradually becoming a revolutionary according to the rhythm of the slow march? When the revolutionary process began in the former, it found little or no resistance. Virtue and truth lived a superficial life in his soul. They were as dry wood that any spark could set afire. On the contrary, when this process takes place slowly, it is because the spark of the Revolution encountered, at least in part, green wood. In other words, it has confronted considerable truth or virtue that remains hostile to the action of the revolutionary spirit. A soul in this situation is divided and lives between two opposing principles, that of the Revolution and that of order.
The coexistence of these two principles may give rise to very diverse situations.
a. The slow-speed revolutionary allows himself to be carried along by the Revolution, which he opposes only with the resistance of inertia.
b. The slow-speed revolutionary who has counter-revolutionary “clots” also allows himself to be carried along by the Revolution, but on some concrete point he rejects it. Thus, for example, he will be a socialist in every respect except that he retains a liking for aristocratic manners. Depending on the case, he may even go so far as to attack socialist vulgarity. This is undoubtedly a resistance. But it is a resistance on a question of detail, made up of habits and impressions. It does not return to principles. For this very reason it is a resistance without any great importance, one that will die with the individual. If it should occur in a social group, sooner or later, by violence or persuasion, the Revolution inexorably will dismantle it in one or several generations.
c. The “semi-counterrevolutionary” differs from the preceding only in that the process of “coagulation” was more forceful in him and reverted to basic principles — only some principles, of course, and not all of them. In him, the reaction against the Revolution is more pertinacious, more lively. It is an obstacle that is not merely inertia. His conversion to an entirely counter-revolutionary position is easier, at least in thesis. Any excess of the Revolution might cause in him a complete transformation, a crystallization of his good tendencies into an attitude of unshakeable firmness. However, until this felicitous transformation takes place, the “semi-counterrevolutionary” cannot be considered a soldier of the Counter-Revolution.
The ease with which both the slow-speed revolutionary and the “semi-counterrevolutionary” accept the conquests of the Revolution is typical of their conformity.
While affirming, for example, the thesis of the union of Church and State, they live with indifference in a regime of their separation, without any serious effort to make possible an eventual restoration of the union of the two under suitable conditions.
B. Protestant Monarchies and Catholic Republics
An objection could be made to our theses: If the universal republican movement is a fruit of the Protestant spirit, then why is there only one Catholic king in the world today while so many Protestant countries continue to be monarchies?
The explanation is simple. England, Holland, and the Nordic nations, for a series of historical, psychological, and other reasons, have a great affinity with monarchy. When the Revolution penetrated them, it could not prevent the monarchical sentiment from "coagulating." Thus, royalty obstinately continues to survive in those countries, even though the Revolution is penetrating deeper and deeper in other fields. "Surviving" ... yes, to the extent that dying slowly can be called surviving. The English monarchy, reduced largely to a role of mere display, and the other Protestant monarchies, transformed for most intents and purposes into republics whose heads hold life-long hereditary office, are quietly agonizing. If things continue as they are, these monarchies will die out in silence.
Without denying that other causes contribute to this survival, we wish to stress this very important factor, which falls within the scope of our exposition.
On the contrary, in the Latin nations the love for an external and visible discipline and for a strong and prestigious public authority is, for many reasons, much smaller.
Consequently, the Revolution did not find in them such a deep-rooted monarchical sentiment. It easily swept away their thrones. But heretofore, it has not been sufficiently strong to overthrow religion.
C. Protestant Austerity
Another objection to our work could arise from the fact that certain Protestant sects have an austerity verging on exaggeration. How, then, can one explain all of Protestantism as an explosion of the desire to enjoy life?
Even here the objection is not difficult to resolve. When the Revolution penetrated certain environments, it encountered a very strong love for austerity. A "clot" formed. Although the Revolution was entirely successful in the matter of pride, it was not so in the matter of sensuality. In such environments, life is enjoyed by means of the discreet delights of pride and not by the gross pleasures of the flesh. It may even be that austerity, encouraged by an intensified pride, reacted in an exaggerated way against sensuality. But this reaction, however obstinate, is sterile. Sooner or later, through lack of sustenance or by violence, it will be destroyed by the Revolution. The breath of life that will regenerate the earth will not come from a rigid, cold, and mummified puritanism.
D. The Single Front of the Revolution
Such "clots" and crystallizations normally lead to clashes between the forces of the Revolution. Considering them, one might think that the powers of evil are divided against themselves and that our unitary concept of the revolutionary process is false.
Such an idea is an illusion. By a profound instinct that reveals they are harmonic in their essential elements and contradictory only in their accidents, these forces have an astonishing capacity to unite against the Catholic Church whenever they face her.
Sterile in the good elements remaining in them, the revolutionary forces are only truly efficient in evil. Thus, each of them, from its own side, attacks the Church, which becomes like a city besieged by an immense army.
It behooves us not to fail to include among these forces of the Revolution those Catholics who profess the doctrine of the Church but are dominated by the revolutionary spirit. A thousand times more dangerous than her declared enemies, they combat the Holy City from within her walls. They well merit what Pius IX said of them:
Though the children of this world be wiser than the children of light, their snares and their violence would undoubtedly have less success if a great number of those who call themselves Catholics did not extend a friendly hand to them. Yes, unfortunately, there are those who seem to want to walk in agreement with our enemies and try to build an alliance between light and darkness, an accord between justice and iniquity, by means of those so-called liberal Catholic doctrines, which, based on the most pernicious principles, adulate the civil power when it invades things spiritual and urge souls to respect or at least tolerate the most iniquitous laws, as if it had not been written absolutely that no one can serve two masters. They are certainly much more dangerous and more baneful than our declared enemies, not only because they second their efforts, perhaps without realizing it, but also because, by maintaining themselves at the very edge of condemned opinions, they take on an appearance of integrity and irreprehensible doctrine, beguiling the imprudent friends of conciliations and deceiving honest persons, who would revolt against a declared error. In this way, they divide the minds, rend the unity, and weaken the forces that should be assembled against the enemy.
6. The Agents of the Revolution: Freemasonry and Other Secret Forces
Since we are studying the driving forces of the Revolution, we must say a word about its agents.
We do not believe that the mere dynamism of the passions and errors of men could coordinate such diverse means to achieve a single end, namely, the victory of the Revolution.
The production of a process as consistent and continuous as that of the Revolution amid the thousand vicissitudes of centuries fraught with surprises of every kind seems impossible to us without the action of successive generations of extraordinarily intelligent and powerful conspirators. To think that the Revolution could have reached its present state in the absence of such conspirators is like believing that hundreds of letters thrown out a window could arrange themselves on the ground to spell out a literary piece, Carducci’s “Ode to Satan,” for instance.
Heretofore, the driving forces of the Revolution have been manipulated by most sagacious agents, who have used them as means for carrying out the revolutionary process.
Generally speaking, one can classify as agents of the Revolution all the sects — whatever their nature — engendered by it, from its origin to our days, to disseminate its thought or to concatenate its plots. The master sect, however, around which all the others are organized as mere auxiliaries — sometimes consciously and other times not — is Freemasonry, as clearly follows from the pontifical documents, especially Leo XIII’s encyclical Humanum genus, of April 20, 1884.
The success of these conspirators, and particularly Freemasonry, is due not only to their indisputable capacity to organize and conspire, but also to their clear understanding of the Revolution’s profound essence and of the use of natural laws — the laws of politics, sociology, psychology, art, economics, and so forth — to advance the attaining of their goals.
In this way, the agents of chaos and subversion are like a scientist who, instead of merely relying on his own strength, studies and activates natural forces a thousand times more powerful than he.
Besides largely explaining the success of the Revolution, this provides an important indication for the soldiers of the Counter-Revolution.
1. The Revolution Par Excellence
As already stated, this critical process we have been considering is a revolution.
A. Meaning of the Word Revolution
By Revolution we mean a movement that aims to destroy a legitimate power or order and replace it with an illegitimate power or state of things. (We have purposely not said “order of things.”)
B. Bloody and Unbloody Revolution
In this sense, strictly speaking, a revolution may be bloodless. The one we are considering developed and continues to develop by all kinds of means. Some of these are bloody, others are not. For instance, this century’s two world wars, from the standpoint of their deepest consequences, are chapters of it, and among the bloodiest. On the other hand, the increasingly socialist legislation in all or almost all countries today is a most important and bloodless progress of the Revolution.
C. The Amplitude of the Revolution
Although the Revolution has often overthrown legitimate authorities and replaced them with rulers lacking any title of legitimacy, it would be a mistake to think this is all there is to the Revolution. Its chief objective is not the destruction of certain rights of persons or families. It desires far more than that. It wants to destroy a whole legitimate order of things and replace it with an illegitimate situation. And “order of things” does not say it all. It is a vision of the universe and a way of being of man that the Revolution seeks to abolish with the intention of replacing them with radically contrary counterparts.
D. The Revolution Par Excellence
In this sense, one understands that this is not just a revolution; it is the Revolution.
E. The Destruction of the Order Par Excellence
Indeed, the order of things being destroyed is medieval Christendom. Now, medieval Christendom was not just any order, or merely one of many possible orders. It was the realization, in the circumstances inherent to the times and places, of the only authentic order among men, namely, Christian civilization.
In his encyclical Immortale Dei, Leo XIII described medieval Christendom in these terms:
There was a time when the philosophy of the Gospel governed the states. In that epoch, the influence of Christian wisdom and its divine virtue permeated the laws, institutions, and customs of the peoples, all categories and all relations of civil society. Then the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, solidly established in the degree of dignity due to it, flourished everywhere thanks to the favor of princes and the legitimate protection of magistrates. Then the Priesthood and the Empire were united in a happy concord and by the friendly interchange of good offices. So organized, civil society gave fruits superior to all expectations, whose memory subsists and will subsist, registered as it is in innumerable documents that no artifice of the adversaries can destroy or obscure.
Having begun in the fifteenth century, the destruction of the disposition of men and things according to the doctrine of the Church, the teacher of Revelation and Natural Law, is almost complete today. This disposition of men and things is order par excellence. What is being implanted is the exact opposite of this. Therefore, it is the Revolution par excellence.
Indubitably, the present Revolution had precursors and prefigures. For example, Arius and Mohammed were prefigures of Luther. Also, in different epochs, utopians dreamed of days very much like those of the Revolution. Finally, on several occasions, peoples or groups tried to establish a state of things analogous to the chimeras of the Revolution.
But all these dreams and prefigures are little or nothing in comparison to the Revolution in whose process we live. By its radicality, by its universality, by its potency, the Revolution has penetrated so deep and is reaching so far that it stands unmatched in history. Many thoughtful souls are wondering if we have not in fact reached the times of the Anti-Christ. Indeed, to judge from the words of Pope John XXIII, it would seem they are not distant.
We tell you furthermore that in this terrible hour, when the spirit of evil seeks every means to destroy the kingdom of God, we must exert ourselves to the utmost to defend it, if you do not wish to see your city lying in immensely greater ruins than those left by the earthquake of fifty years ago. How much more difficult it would be then to raise up the souls, once they had been separated from the Church or enslaved to the false ideologies of our times!
2. Revolution and Legitimacy
A. Legitimacy Par Excellence
In general, the concept of legitimacy is focused on only in the context of dynasties and governments. Though heeding the teachings of Leo XIII in the encyclical Au milieu des sollicitudes, one cannot ignore the question of dynastic or governmental legitimacy, for it is an extremely grave moral matter that upright consciences must consider with all attention.
However, the concept of legitimacy applies to other problems as well.
There is a higher legitimacy, characteristic of every order of things in which the Royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the model and source of legitimacy for all royalties and earthly powers, is effectuated. To fight for legitimate rulers is an obligation, indeed a grave one. Yet it is necessary to see the legitimacy of those in authority not only as a good, excellent per se, but also as a means to an even higher good, namely, the legitimacy of the entire social order, of all human institutions and ambiences, which is achieved through the disposition of all things according to the doctrine of the Church.
B. Catholic Culture and Civilization
Therefore, the ideal of the Counter-Revolution is to restore and promote Catholic culture and civilization. This theme would not be sufficiently enunciated if it did not contain a definition of what we understand by Catholic culture and Catholic civilization. We realize that the terms civilization and culture are used in many different senses. Obviously, it is not our intention here to take a position on a question of terminology. We limit ourselves to using these words as relatively precise labels to indicate certain realities. We are more concerned with providing a sound idea of these realities than with debating terminology.
A soul in the state of grace possesses all virtues to a greater or lesser degree. Illuminated by faith, it has the elements to form the only true vision of the universe.
The fundamental element of Catholic culture is the vision of the universe elaborated according to the doctrine of the Church. This culture includes not only the learning, that is, the possession of the information needed for such an elaboration, but also the analysis and coordination of this information according to Catholic doctrine. This culture is not restricted to the theological, philosophical, or scientific field, but encompasses the breadth of human knowledge; it is reflected in the arts and implies the affirmation of values that permeate all aspects of life.
Catholic civilization is the structuring of all human relations, of all human institutions, and of the State itself according to the doctrine of the Church.
C. The Sacral Character of Catholic Civilization
It is implicit that such an order of things is fundamentally sacral, and entails the recognition of all the powers of the Holy Church, particularly those of the Supreme Pontiff: a direct power over spiritual things, and an indirect power over temporal things whenever they have to do with the salvation of souls.
Indeed, the purpose of society and of the State is virtuous life in common. Now, the virtues man is called to practice are the Christian virtues, and the first of these is the love of God. Society and the State have, then, a sacral purpose.
Undoubtedly, it is the Church that possesses the proper means to promote the salvation of souls, but society and the State have instrumental means for the same end, that is, means which, set in motion by a higher agent, produce an effect superior to themselves.
D. Culture and Civilization Par Excellence
From the foregoing it is easy to infer that Catholic culture and civilization are the culture and civilization par excellence. It must be noted that they cannot exist save in Catholic peoples. Indeed, even though man may know the principles of Natural Law by his own reason, a people without the Magisterium of the Church cannot durably preserve the knowledge of all of them. For this reason, a people that does not profess the true religion cannot durably practice all the Commandments. Given these conditions, and since there can be no Christian order without the knowledge and observance of the Law of God, civilization and culture par excellence are only possible within the fold of the Holy Church. Indeed, as Saint Pius X stated, civilization
is all the more true, all the more lasting, all the more fecund in precious fruits, the more purely Christian it is; it is all the more decadent, to the great misfortune of society, the farther it withdraws from the Christian ideal. Thus, by the intrinsic nature of things, the Church becomes also in fact the guardian and protector of Christian Civilization.
E. Illegitimacy Par Excellence
If this is what order and legitimacy are, one easily sees what the Revolution is, for it is the opposite of that order. It is disorder and illegitimacy par excellence.
3. Pride and Sensuality and the Metaphysical Values of the Revolution
Two notions conceived as metaphysical values express well the spirit of the Revolution: absolute equality, complete liberty. And there are two passions that most serve it: pride and sensuality.
In referring to passions, we must explain in what sense we use the word in this work. For the sake of brevity, adhering to the usage of various authors on spiritual matters, whenever we speak of the passions as promoters of the Revolution, we are referring to disordered passions. And, in keeping with everyday language, we include among the disordered passions all impulses toward sin existing in man as a consequence of the triple concupiscence, namely, that of the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life.
A. Pride and Egalitarianism
The proud person, subject to another’s authority, hates first of all the particular yoke that weighs upon him.
In a second stage, the proud man hates all authority in general and all yokes, and, even more, the very principle of authority considered in the abstract.
Because he hates all authority, he also hates superiority of any kind. And in all this there is a true hatred for God.
This hatred for any inequality has gone so far as to drive high-ranking persons to risk and even lose their positions just to avoid accepting the superiority of somebody else.
There is more. In a height of virulence, pride could lead a person to fight for anarchy and to refuse the supreme power were it offered to him. This is because the simple existence of that power implicitly attests to the principle of authority, to which every man as such — the proud included — can be subject.
Pride, then, can lead to the most radical and complete egalitarianism.
This radical and metaphysical egalitarianism has various aspects.
a. Equality between men and God. Pantheism, immanentism, and all esoteric forms of religion aim to place God and men on an equal footing and to invest the latter with divine properties. An atheist is an egalitarian who, to avoid the absurdity of affirming that man is God, commits the absurdity of declaring that God does not exist. Secularism is a form of atheism and, therefore, of egalitarianism. It affirms that it is impossible to be certain of the existence of God and, consequently, that man should act in the temporal realm as if God did not exist; in other words, he should act like a person who has dethroned God.
b. Equality in the ecclesiastical realm: the suppression of a priesthood endowed with the power of Orders, magisterium, and government, or at least of a priesthood with hierarchical degrees.
c. Equality among the different religions. All religious discrimination is to be disdained because it violates the fundamental equality of men. Therefore, the different religions must receive a rigorously equal treatment. To claim that only one religion is true to the exclusion of the others amounts to affirming superiority, contradicting evangelical meekness, and acting impolitically, since it closes the hearts of men against it.
d. Equality in the political realm: the elimination or at least the lessening of the inequality between the rulers and the ruled. Power comes not from God but from the masses; they command and the government must obey. Monarchy and aristocracy are to be proscribed as intrinsically evil regimes because they are antiegalitarian. Only democracy is legitimate, just, and evangelical.
e. Equality in the structure of society: the suppression of classes, especially those perpetuated by heredity, and the extirpation of all aristocratic influence upon the direction of society and upon the general tone of culture and customs. The natural hierarchy constituted by the superiority of intellectual over manual work will disappear through the overcoming of the distinction between them.
f. The abolition of the intermediate bodies between the individual and the State, as well as of the privileges inherent in every social body. No matter how much the Revolution hates the absolutism of kings, it hates intermediate bodies and the medieval organic monarchies even more. This is because monarchic absolutism tends to put all subjects, even those of the highest standing, at a level of reciprocal equality in a lower station that foreshadows the annihilation of the individual and the anonymity that have reached their apex in the great urban concentrations of socialist societies. Among the intermediate groups to be abolished, the family ranks first. Until it manages to wipe it out, the Revolution tries to lower it, mutilate it, and vilify it in every way.
g. Economic equality. No one owns anything; everything belongs to the collectivity. Private property is abolished along with each person’s right to the full fruits of his toil and to the choice of his profession.
h. Equality in the exterior aspects of existence. Variety easily leads to inequality of status. Therefore, variety in dress, housing, furniture, habits, and so on, is reduced as much as possible.
i. Equality of souls. Propaganda standardizes, so to speak, all souls, taking away their peculiarities and almost their own life. Even the psychological and attitudinaldifferences between the sexes tend to diminish as much as possible. Because of this, the people, essentially a great family of different but harmonious souls united by what is common to them, disappears. And the masses, with their great empty, collective, and enslaved soul, arise.
j. Equality in all social relations: between grown-ups and youngsters, employers and employees, teachers and students, husband and wife, parents and children, etc.
k. Equality in the international order. The State is constituted by an independent people exercising full dominion over a territory. Sovereignty is, therefore, in public law, the image of property. Once we admit the idea of a people, whose characteristics distinguish it from other peoples, and the idea of sovereignty, we are perforce in the presence of inequalities: of capacity, virtue, number, and others. Once the idea of territory is admitted, we have quantitative and qualitative inequality among the various territorial spaces. This is why the Revolution, which is fundamentally egalitarian, dreams of merging all races, all peoples, and all states into a single race, people, and state.
l. Equality among the different parts of the country. For the same reasons, and by analogous means, the Revolution tends to do away with any wholesome regionalism - whether political, cultural, or other — within countries today.
m. Egalitarianism and hatred for God. Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches that the diversity of creatures and their hierarchical gradation are good in themselves, for thus the perfections of the Creator shine more resplendently throughout creation. He says further that Providence instituted inequality among the angels as well as among men, both in the terrestrial Paradise and in this land of exile. For this reason, a universe of equal creatures would be a world in which the resemblance between creatures and the Creator would have been eliminated as much as possible. To hate in principle all inequality is, then, to place oneself metaphysically against the best elements of resemblance between the Creator and creation. It is to hate God.
n. The limits of inequality. Of course, one cannot conclude from this doctrinal explanation that inequality is always and necessarily a good.
All men are equal by nature and different only in their accidents. The rights they derive from the mere fact of being human are equal for all: the right to life, honor, sufficient living conditions (and therefore the right to work), property, the setting up of a family, and, above all, the knowledge and practice of the true religion. The inequalities that threaten these rights are contrary to the order of Providence. However, within these limits, the inequalities that arise from accidents such as virtue, talent, beauty, strength, family, tradition, and so forth, are just and according to the order of the universe.
B. Sensuality and Liberalism
Along with the pride that breeds all egalitarianism, sensuality in the broader sense of the term is the cause of liberalism. It is in these sad depths that one finds the junction between these two metaphysical principles of the Revolution, namely, equality and liberty, which are mutually contradictory from so many points of view.
a. The hierarchy in the soul. God, Who imprinted a hierarchical mark on all visible and invisible creation, did the same on the human soul. The intelligence should guide the will, and the latter should govern the sensibility. As a consequence of Original Sin, a constant friction exists within man between the sensible appetites and the will guided by the reason: “I see another law in my members, which fights against the law of my mind.”
But the will, even though a sovereign reduced to governing subjects ever attempting to rebel, has the means to always prevail . . . provided it does not resist the grace of God.
b. Egalitarianism in the soul. The revolutionary process aims to achieve a general leveling, but frequently it has been no more than a usurpation of the ruling function by those who ought to obey. Once this process is transposed to the relations among the powers of the soul, it leads to the lamentable tyranny of the unrestrained passions over a weak and ruined will and a darkened intelligence, and especially to the dominion of a raging sensuality over the sentiments of modesty and shame.
When the Revolution proclaims absolute liberty as a metaphysical principle, it does so only to justify the free course of the worst passions and the most pernicious errors.
c. Egalitarianism and liberalism. This inversion — right to think, feel, and do everything the unrestrained passions demand — is the essence of liberalism. This is clearly shown in the more exacerbated forms of the liberal doctrine. On analyzing them, one perceives that liberalism is not interested in freedom for what is good. It is solely interested in freedom for evil. When in power, it easily, and even joyfully, restricts the freedom of the good as much as possible. But in many ways, it protects, favors, and promotes freedom for evil. In this it shows itself to be opposed to Catholic civilization, which gives its full support and total freedom to what is good and restrains evil as much as possible.
Now, this freedom for evil is precisely freedom for man as long as he is “revolutionary” in his interior, that is, as long as he consents to the tyranny of the passions over his intelligence and will.
Thus liberalism and egalitarianism are fruits of the same tree.
Incidentally, pride, in breeding hatred against any kind of authority, induces a clearly liberal attitude. And, in this regard, it must be considered an active factor of liberalism. However, when the Revolution realized that liberty would result in inequality if men, being unequal in their aptitudes and their use of them, were left free, out of hatred for inequality it decided to sacrifice liberty. This gave rise to its socialist phase, which is but a stage in the process. The Revolution’s ultimate aim is to establish a state of things wherein complete liberty and complete equality would coexist.
Thus, historically, the socialist movement is a mere refinement of the liberal movement. What leads an authentic liberal to accept socialism is precisely that under it a thousand good or at least innocent things are tyrannically forbidden, while the methodical satisfaction (sometimes with a show of austerity) of the worst and most violent passions, such as envy, laziness, and lust, is favored. On the other hand, the liberal perceives that the broadening of authority in the socialist regime is no more than a means within the logic of the system for attaining the so intensely desired goal of final anarchy.
The clashes between certain naive or backward liberals and the socialists are, therefore, mere superficial incidents in the revolutionary process. They are harmless misunderstandings that disturb neither the profound logic of the Revolution nor its inexorable march in a direction that, when one sees things clearly, is simultaneously socialist and liberal.
d. The rock-and-roll generation. The revolutionary process in souls, as herein described, produced in the most recent generations, and especially in adolescents of our days who hypnotize themselves with rock and roll, a frame of mind characterized by the spontaneity of the primary reactions, without the control of the intelligence or the effective participation of the will, and by the predominance of fantasy and feelings over the methodical analysis of reality. All this is fruit, in large measure, of a pedagogy that virtually eliminates the role of logic and the true formation of the will.
e. Egalitarianism, liberalism, and anarchism. In accordance with the preceding items, the effervescence of the disordered passions arouses, on the one hand, hatred for any restraint and any law, and, on the other, hatred for any inequality. This effervescence thus leads to the utopian conception of Marxist anarchism, in which an evolved humanity, living in a society without classes or government, could enjoy perfect order and the most complete liberty, from which no inequality would arise. As can be seen, this ideal is simultaneously the most liberal and the most egalitarian imaginable.
Indeed, the anarchic utopia of Marxism is a state of things in which the human personality, having reached a high degree of progress, would be able to develop freely in a society with neither state nor government.
In this society — which would live in complete order despite not having a government — economic production would be organized and highly developed, and the distinction between intellectual and manual labor would be a thing of the past. A selective process, not yet determined, would place the direction of the economy in the hands of the most capable, without resulting in the formation of classes.
These would be the only and insignificant remnants of inequality. But, since this anarchic communist society is not the final term of history, it seems legitimate to suppose that these remnants would be abolished in a later evolution.
The Intelligence, the Will, and the Sensibility in the Determination of Human Acts
The previous considerations call for an explication on the role of the intelligence, the will, and the sensibility in the relations between error and passion.
It could seem that we are affirming that every error is conceived by the intelligence to justify some disorderly passion. Thus, a moralist who affirms a liberal maxim would always be moved by a liberal tendency.
That is not what we think. The moralist may arrive at a liberal conclusion solely through weakness of the intelligence affected by Original Sin. In such a case would there necessarily be some moral fault of another nature, carelessness, for instance? This is a question beyond the scope of our study.
What we do affirm is that, historically, this Revolution had its ultimate origin in an extremely violent ferment of the passions. And we are far from denying the great role of doctrinal errors in this process.
Authors of great worth — de Maistre, de Bonald, Donoso Cortes, and so many others — have written numerous studies on these errors and the way each was derived from the other, from the fifteenth to the sixteenth century, and so on till the twentieth century. Therefore, it is not our intention to insist on this matter here.
It does seem to us, however, particularly opportune to focus on the importance of the passional factors and their influence in strictly ideological aspects of the revolutionary process in which we find ourselves. For, as we see it, little heed is paid to this point. On account of this, people do not see the Revolution in its entirety and consequently adopt inadequate counter-revolutionary methods.
We will now add something about the way in which passions can influence ideas.
1. Fallen Nature, Grace, and Free Will
By the mere powers of his nature, man can know many truths and practice various virtues. However, without the aid of grace, it is impossible for him to perdure in the knowledge and practice of all the Commandments.
This means that in every fallen man there is always a weakness of the intelligence and a first tendency, prior to any reasoning, that incites him to rebel against the Law.
2. The Germ of the Revolution
This fundamental tendency to rebel can, at a certain moment, receive the consent of the free will. Fallen man sins thus, violating one or more of the Commandments. But his rebellion can go further and reach the point of a more or less unconfessed hatred for the very moral order as a whole. This hatred, which is essentially revolutionary, can generate doctrinal errors and even lead to the conscious and explicit profession of principles contrary to Moral Law and revealed doctrine as such, which constitutes a sin against the Holy Ghost.
When this hatred began to direct the deepest tendencies of Western history, the Revolution began. Its process unfolds today, and its doctrinal errors bear the vigorous imprint of this hatred, which is the most active cause of the great apostasy of our days. By its nature, this hatred cannot be reduced simply to a doctrinal system: It is disorderly passion exacerbated to an extremely high degree.
Such an affirmation, which applies to this particular Revolution, does not imply that there is always a disordered passion at the root of every error. Nor does it deny that frequently it was an error that unleashed in a given soul, or even in a given social group, the disorder of the passions. We merely affirm that the revolutionary process, considered as a whole and also in its principal episodes, had as its most active and profound germ the unruliness of the passions.
3. Revolution and Bad Faith
One could pose the following objection: If the passions are so important in the revolutionary process, it would seem that its victims are always, at least to some degree, in bad faith. If Protestantism, for instance, is a child of the Revolution, is every Protestant in bad faith? Does this not run contrary to the doctrine of the Church, which admits there may be souls of good faith in other religions?
It is obvious that a person who has complete good faith and is endowed with a fundamentally counter-revolutionary spirit may be caught in the webs of revolutionary sophisms (be they of a religious, philosophical, political, or any other nature) through invincible ignorance. In such persons there is no culpability.
Mutatis mutandis, the same can be said of those who accept the doctrine of the Revolution on one or another restricted point through an involuntary lapse of the intelligence.
But if someone, moved by the disorderly passions inherent to the Revolution, shares in its spirit, the answer must be otherwise.
A revolutionary in these conditions may have become convinced that the Revolution’s subversive maxims are excellent. He will not therefore be insincere, but he will be guilty of the error into which he has fallen.
Also, a revolutionary may have come to profess a doctrine of which he is not convinced or is only partially convinced. In this case, he will be partially or totally insincere.
In this respect, it seems to us almost unnecessary to stress that when we affirm that the doctrines of Marx were implicit in the denials of the Pseudo-Reformation and the French Revolution, we do not mean the adepts of these two movements were consciously Marxist before the Marxist doctrine was put into writing and were hypocritically concealing their opinions.
The orderly arrangement of the powers of the soul and, therefore, an increase in the lucidity of the intelligence illuminated by grace and guided by the Magisterium of the Church are proper to Christian virtue. This is why every saint is a model of balance and impartiality. The objectivity of his judgments and the firm orientation of his will toward good are not even slightly weakened by the venomous breath of the disorderly passions.
On the contrary, to the degree a man declines in virtue and surrenders to the yoke of these passions, his objectivity diminishes in everything connected to them. This objectivity becomes particularly disturbed in the judgments a man makes of himself.
In each concrete case, it is a secret of God to what degree a slow-marching revolutionary of the sixteenth or of the eighteenth century, his vision beclouded by the spirit of the Revolution, realized the profound sense and the ultimate consequences of its doctrine.
In any event, the hypothesis that all were conscious Marxists is to be utterly excluded.
The “Semi-counterrevolutionary” Is Also a Son of the Revolution
Everything that has been said herein provides grounds for a practical observation.
Spirits marked by this interior Revolution might conserve a counter-revolutionary attitude in respect to one or many points due to an interplay of circumstances and coincidences, such as being reared in a strongly traditional and moral milieu.
Nevertheless, the spirit of the Revolution will still be enthroned in the mentality of these semi-counterrevolutionaries.
In a people where the majority are in such a state of soul, the Revolution will be irrepressible until they change.
Thus, as a consequence of the Revolution’s unity, only the total counter-revolutionary is an authentic counter-revolutionary.
As for the “semi-counterrevolutionaries” in whose souls the idol of Revolution begins to totter, their situation is somewhat different. We shall discuss it later.
Culture, Arts, and Ambiences in the Revolution
Having described the complexity and scope of the revolutionary process in the deepest levels of souls and, therefore, in the mentality of peoples, we are prepared to point out the full import of culture, arts, and ambiences in the march of the Revolution.
The revolutionary ideas enable the tendencies from which they originate to assert themselves with appearances of acceptability in the eyes of their adherents and others. Used by the revolutionary to shake the true convictions of the latter and thus to unleash or exacerbate the rebellion of their passions, these ideas inspire and shape the institutions created by the Revolution, and are to be found in the most varied branches of knowledge or culture, for it is nearly impossible for any of these branches not to be involved, at least indirectly, in the struggle between the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution.
Given that God established mysterious and admirable relations between, on the one hand, certain forms, colors, sounds, perfumes, and flavors and, on the other, certain states of soul it is obvious that, through the arts, mentalities can be profoundly influenced and persons, families, and peoples can be induced to form a profoundly revolutionary state of spirit. It suffices to recall the analogy between the spirit of the French Revolution and the fashions created during it, or the analogy between the revolutionary turmoil of today and the present extravagances in fashion and in the so-called advanced schools of art.
Ambiences may favor good or bad customs. To the degree they favor good ones, they can oppose the Revolution with the admirable barriers of the reaction, or at least the inertia, of everything that is wholesomely customary. To the degree they favor bad customs, they can communicate to souls the tremendous toxins and energies of the revolutionary spirit.
4. The Historical Role of the Arts and Ambiences in the Revolutionary Process
For this reason, in point of fact, it must be recognized that the general democratization of customs and life-styles, carried to the extremes of a systematic and growing vulgarity, and the proletarianizing action of certain modern art contributed to the triumph of egalitarianism as much as or more than the enacting of certain laws or the establishing of certain essentially political institutions.
It also must be recognized that if a person managed, for example, to put a stop to immoral or agnostic movies or television programs, he would have done much more for the Counter-Revolution than if, in the course of the everyday proceedings of a parliamentary regime, he had brought about the fall of a leftist cabinet.
The Revolution on Sin and Redemption, and the Revolutionary Utopia
Among the multiple aspects of the Revolution, it is important to emphasize its inducement of its offspring to underestimate or deny the notions of good and evil, Original Sin, and the Redemption.
1. The Revolution Denies Sin and the Redemption
As we have seen, the Revolution is a fruit of sin. However, if it were to acknowledge this, it would unmask itself and turn against its own cause.
This explains why the Revolution tends not only to keep silent about its sinful root but also to deny the very notion of sin. Its radical denial applies to Original and actual sin and is effected mainly by:
• Philosophical or juridical systems that deny the validity and existence of Moral Law or give this law the vain and ridiculous foundations of secularism.
• The thousand processes of propaganda that create in the multitudes a state of soul that ignores morality without directly denying its existence. All the veneration owed to virtue is paid to idols such as gold, work, efficiency, success, security, health, physical beauty, muscular strength, and sensory delight.
The Revolution is destroying the very notion of sin, the very distinction between good and evil, in contemporary man. And, ipso facto, it is denying the Redemption by Our Lord Jesus Christ, for, if sin does not exist, the Redemption becomes incomprehensible and loses any logical relation with history and life.
2. Historical Exemplification: The Denial of Sin in Liberalism and Socialism
In each of its stages, the Revolution has sought to de-emphasize or radically deny the existence of sin.
A. The Immaculate Conception of the Individual
In its liberal and individualistic phase, the Revolution taught that man is endowed with an infallible reason, a strong will, and orderly passions. Hence the concept of a human order in which the individual-supposedly a perfect being-was everything and the State nothing, or almost nothing, a necessary evil provisionally necessary, perhaps. It was the period when it was thought that ignorance was the only cause of errors and crimes, that the way to close prisons was to open schools. The immaculate conception of the individual was the basic dogma of these illusions.
The liberal’s great weapon against the potential predominance of the State and the formation of cliques that might remove him from the direction of public affairs was political freedom and universal suffrage.
B. The Immaculate Conception of the Masses and the State
Already in the last century, the inaccuracy of at least part of this concept had become patent, but the Revolution did not retreat. Rather than acknowledge its error, it simply replaced it with another, namely, the immaculate conception of the masses and the State. According to this concept, the individual is prone to egoism and can err, but the masses are always right and never get carried away by their passions. Their impeccable means of action is the State, their infallible means of expression, universal suffrage — whence spring parliaments imbued with socialist thought — or the strong will of a charismatic dictator, who invariably guides the masses to the realization of their own will.
3. Redemption by Science and Technology: The Revolutionary Utopia
In one way or another, whether placing all its confidence in the individual alone, the masses, or the State, it is in man that the Revolution trusts. Man, self-sufficient thanks to science and technology, can resolve all his problems, eliminate pain, poverty, ignorance, insecurity, in short, everything we refer to as the effect of Original or actual sin.
The utopia toward which the Revolution is leading us is a world whose countries, united in a universal republic, are but geographic designations, a world with neither social nor economic inequalities, run by science and technology, by propaganda and psychology, in order to attain, without the supernatural, the definitive happiness of man.
In such a world, the Redemption by Our Lord Jesus Christ has no place, for man will have overcome evil with science and will have made the earth a technologically delightful paradise. And he will hope to overcome death one day by the indefinite prolongation of life.
1. Science Will Bring an End to War, the Military, and Police
In the technological paradise of the Revolution, peace has to be perpetual, for science has shown that war is evil, and technology can overcome all its causes.
Accordingly, there is a fundamental incompatibility between the Revolution and the armed forces. These will have to be abolished. In the universal republic there will only be a police force which will be abolished as soon as scientific and technological advances have completed the eradication of crime.
2. The Doctrinal Incompatibility Between the Revolution and the Uniform
The uniform, by its mere presence, implicitly testifies to some truths that, although undoubtedly somewhat generic, are certainly of a counter-revolutionary character:
– the existence of values that are greater than life itself and for which one should be willing to die — which is contrary to the socialist mentality, wholly characterized by abhorrence of risk and pain and by adoration of security and utmost attachment to earthly life;
– the existence of morality, for the military condition is entirely based upon ideas of honor, of force placed at the service of good and turned against evil, and so on.
3. The Temperament of the Revolution is Contrary to the Military Life
Lastly, there is a temperamental antipathy between the Revolution and the military spirit. The Revolution, before it has full control, is verbose, declamatory, and scheming. The resolution of matters in a direct, drastic, straightforward way — the military way — displeases what we could call the present temperament of the Revolution. We stress present in allusion to the current stage of the Revolution among us, because there is nothing more despotic and cruel than the Revolution when it is omnipotent. Russia has provided an eloquent example of this. But even there the divergence remained, since the military spirit is quite different from that of the executioner.
* * *
Having analyzed the revolutionary utopia in its various aspects, we close the study of the Revolution.
1. The Counter-Revolution: A Specific and Direct Fight Against the Revolution
If such is the Revolution, what is the Counter-Revolution? In the literal sense of the word — therefore stripped of the illegitimate and demagoic connotations given it in everyday language — the Counter-Revolution is a reaction. That is to say, it is an action directed against another action. It is to the Revolution what, for example, the Counter-Reformation is to the Pseudo-Reformation.
2. The Nobility of This Reaction
The Counter-Revolution derives its nobility and importance from this character of reaction. Indeed, if the Revolution is killing us, nothing is more indispensable than a reaction that aims to crush it. To be adverse in principle to a counter-revolutionary reaction is the same as desiring to deliver the world over to the Revolution’s dominion.
3. A Reaction Turned Against Present-Day Adversaries
It must be added that the Counter-Revolution, in this light, is not and cannot be a movement in the clouds, one that fights phantoms. It has to be the Counter-Revolution of the twentieth century, waged against the Revolution as it is in fact today. Therefore, it has to be waged against the revolutionary passions as they are inflamed today, revolutionary ideas as formulated today, revolutionary ambiences as seen today, revolutionary art and culture as they are today, and against the individuals and currents of opinion that, at whatever level, are the most active promoters of the Revolution today. The Counter-Revolution is not, then, a mere recitation of the evil deeds of the Revolution in the past, but an effort to bar its course in the present.
4. The Modernity and Integrity of the Counter-Revolution
The modernity of the Counter-Revolution does not consist in ignoring the Revolution nor in making a pact with it, even in the slightest degree. To the contrary, it consists in knowing the Revolution in its unchanging essence and in its relevant contemporary accidents, and combating the former and the latter intelligently, astutely, and systematically, using every licit means and the assistance of every child of light.
1. What Is To Be Restored
If the Revolution is disorder, the Counter-Revolution is the restoration of order. And by order we mean the peace of Christ in the Reign of Christ, that is, Christian civilization, austere and hierarchical, fundamentally sacral, antiegalitarian, and antiliberal.
2. What Is To Be Innovated
However, by force of the historical law according to which immobility does not exist in temporal things, the order born of the Counter-Revolution must have its own characteristics that will make it different from the order that existed before the Revolution. Of course, this affirmation does not refer to principles but to accidents. These accidents are, nevertheless, of such importance that they deserve to be mentioned.
Since it is impossible for us to go into this matter at length, we will merely note that, in general, when a fracture or a laceration occurs in an organism, the zone of mending or healing is marked by special safeguards. It is the loving care of Providence acting through secondary causes against the possibilities of a new disaster. This can be observed in the case of broken bones, whose mend forms as a reinforcement in the very zone of the fracture, or in the case of scar tissue. This is a material image of an analogous fact that takes place in the spiritual order. As a general rule, the sinner who truly amends has a greater horror for sin than he had in the best years before his fall. Such is the history of the penitent saints. So, also, after each trial, the Church emerges specially armed against the evil that tried to prostate her. A typical example of this is the Counter-Reformation.
By virtue of this law, the order born of the Counter-Revolution will have to shine even more than that of the Middle Ages in the three principal points in which the latter was wounded by the Revolution:
• A profound respect for the rights of the Church and of the Papacy, and the sacralization, to the utmost possible extent, of the values of temporal life, all of this out of opposition to secularism, interconfessionalism, atheism, and pantheism, as well as their respective consequences.
• A spirit of hierarchy marking all aspects of society and State, of culture and life, out of opposition to the egalitarian metaphysics of the Revolution.
• A diligence in detecting and combating evil in its embryonic or veiled forms, in fulminating it with execration and a note of infamy, and in punishing it with unbreakable firmness in all its manifestations, particularly in those that offend against orthodoxy and purity of customs, in opposition to the liberal metaphysics of the Revolution and its tendency to give free rein and protection to evil.
The Counter-Revolution and the Craving After Novelties
The tendency of so many of our contemporaries, children of the Revolution, is to unrestrictedly love the present, adore the future, and unconditionally consign the past to scorn and hatred. This tendency gives rise to a series of misunderstandings about the Counter-Revolution that should be brought to an end. Above all, it seems to many that the traditionalist and conservative character of the Counter-Revolution renders it a born enemy of human progress.
1. The Counter-Revolution Is Traditionalist
As we have seen, the Counter-Revolution is an effort developed in terms of the Revolution. The Revolution constantly turns against a whole legacy of Christian institutions, doctrines, customs, and ways of being, feeling, and thinking that we received from our forefathers and that are not yet completely abolished. The Counter-Revolution is therefore the defender of Christian traditions.
B. The Smoking Wick
The Revolution attacks Christian civilization in a manner that is more or less like that of a certain tree of the Brazilian forest. This tree, the strangler fig Urostigma olearia, by wrapping itself around the trunk of another tree, completely covers it and kills it. In its "moderate" and low-velocity currents, the Revolution approached Christian civilization in order to wrap itself around it and kill it. We are in a period in which this strange phenomenon of destruction is still incomplete. In other words, we are in a hybrid situation wherein what we would almost call the mortal remains of Christian civilization, and the aroma and remote action of many traditions only recently abolished yet still somehow alive in the memory of man, coexist with many revolutionary institutions and customs.
Faced with the struggle between a splendid Christian tradition in which life still stirs and a revolutionary action inspired by the mania for novelties to which Leo XIII referred in the opening words to the encyclical Rerum Novarum, it is only natural that the true counter-revolutionary be a born defender of the treasury of good traditions, for these are the values of the Christian past that remain and must be saved. In this sense, the counter-revolutionary acts like Our Lord, Who did not come to extinguish the smoking wick nor to break the bruised reed. Therefore, he must lovingly try to save all these Christian traditions. A counter-revolutionary action is, essentially, a traditionalist action.
C. False Traditionalism
The traditionalist spirit of the Counter-Revolution has nothing in common with a false and narrow traditionalism, which conserves certain rites, styles, or customs merely out of love for old forms and without any appreciation for the doctrine that gave rise to them. This would be archaeologism, not a sound and living traditionalism.
2. The Counter-Revolution is Conservative
Is the Counter-Revolution conservative? In one sense, it is, and profoundly so. And in another sense, it is not, and also profoundly so.
If it is a question of conserving something of the present that is good and deserves to live, the Counter-Revolution is conservative.
But if it is a question of perpetuating the hybrid situation in which we find ourselves, of keeping the revolutionary process at its present stage, while remaining immobile like a statue of salt, on the sidelines of history and of time, embracing alike what is good and evil in our century, thus seeking a perpetual and harmonious coexistence of good and evil, then, the Counter-Revolution neither is nor can be conservative.
3. The Counter-Revolution Is An Essential Condition for Authentic Progress
Does the Counter-Revolution favor progress? Yes, if the progress is authentic. No, if it is the march toward the revolutionary utopia.
In its material aspect, genuine progress consists in the rightful use of the forces of nature according to the law of God, for the service of man. For this reason, the Counter-Revolution makes no pacts with today’s hypertrophied technicalism, with its adoration of novelties, speed, and machines, nor with the deplorable tendency to organize human society mechanistically. These are excesses that Pius XII condemned profoundly and precisely.
Nor is the material progress of a people the main element of progress in Christian understanding. The latter lies above all in the full development of the powers of the soul and the ascent of mankind toward moral perfection. Thus, a counter-revolutionary conception of progress supposes the prevalence of spiritual values over material considerations. Accordingly, it is proper to the Counter-Revolution to promote, among individuals and the multitudes, a far greater esteem for all that has to do with true religion, philosophy, art, and literature than for what has to do with the good of the body and the exploitation of matter.
Finally, to clearly differentiate between the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary concepts of progress, it is necessary to note that the counter-revolutionary takes into account that the world will always be a valley of tears and a passageway to heaven, while the revolutionary considers that progress should make the earth a paradise in which man lives happily with no thought of eternity.
From the very notion of rightful progress, one can see that the revolutionary process is its contrary.
Thus, the Counter-Revolution is an essential condition for the preservation of the normal development of authentic progress and the defeat of the revolutionary utopia, which has only a facade of progress.
1. In Actuality
The actual counter-revolutionary is one who:
— knows the Revolution, order, and the Counter-Revolution in their respective spirits, doctrines, and methods;
— loves the Counter-Revolution and Christian order, and hates the Revolution and “anti-order”;
— makes of this love and this hatred the axis around which revolve all his ideals, preferences, and activities.
Of course this attitude of soul does not require higher education. Saint Joan of Arc was no theologian but astounded her judges by the theological profundity of her thoughts. So also, animated by an admirable understanding of the Revolution’s spirit and aims, simple peasants of Navarre, for instance, or of Vendee or Tyrol, have often been the best soldiers of the Counter-Revolution.
2. In Potentiality
Potential counter-revolutionaries are those who have one or another of the opinions and ways of feeling of revolutionaries, either because of inadvertence or some other occasional reason, but without the very depth of their personalities being affected by the spirit of the Revolution. Alerted, enlightened, and oriented, these persons easily embrace a counter-revolutionary position. And in this they are different from the “semi-counterrevolutionaries” mentioned earlier.
The Counter-Revolution’s Tactics
The tactics of the Counter-Revolution can be looked at in the light of persons, groups, or currents of opinion in terms of three types of minds: the actual counter-revolutionary, the potential counter-revolutionary, and the revolutionary.
1. In Relation To The Actual Counter-Revolutionary
The actual counter-revolutionary is not as rare as one might think at first. He has a clear vision of things, a fundamental love for coherence, and a strong soul. For this reason he has a lucid notion of the disorders of the contemporary world and of the catastrophes looming on the horizon. But his very lucidity makes him perceive the full extent of the isolation in which he so frequently finds himself in a chaos that to him appears to have no solution. Thus, many times, the counter-revolutionary keeps a disheartened silence - a sad condition: Vae Soli (“Woe to him that is alone”), the Scriptures say.
A counter-revolutionary action must seek, above all, to detect such persons, acquaint them with each other, and lead them to support each other in the public profession of their convictions. This can be done in two different ways:
A. Individual Action
This action must be carried out first of all at the individual level. Nothing is more effective than the frank and proud counter-revolutionary stand taken by a young college student, an officer, a teacher, a priest especially, an aristocrat, or a blue-collar worker who is influential within his circle. The first reaction will sometimes be one of indignation. But if he perseveres, after a period that will vary depending on circumstances, gradually others will join him.
B. Combined Action
These individual contacts naturally tend to raise up in the different milieus several counter-revolutionaries who unite in a family of souls whose strength is multiplied by the very fact of their union.
2. In Relation To The Potential Counter-Revolutionary
Counter-revolutionaries should present the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution in all their aspects: religious, political, social, economic, cultural, artistic, and so on. This is necessary because potential counter-revolutionaries generally see the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution through only one particular facet. Through it they can and should be attracted to the total vision of the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution. A counter-revolutionary who argues in only one sphere — for example, politics — limits his field of attraction greatly, exposing his action to sterility and thereby to decay and death.
3. In Relation To The Revolutionary
A. The Counter-Revolutionary Initiative
There are no neutrals in face of the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution. There may indeed be noncombatants, whose will or velleities are in one of the two camps, whether consciously or not. By revolutionaries we mean, then, not only the integral and declared partisans of the Revolution but also the “semi-counterrevolutionaries.”
The Revolution has progressed, as we have seen, by hiding its complete face, its true spirit, and its ultimate aims.
The best way to refute it among revolutionaries is to show it in its entirety, whether as regards its spirit and the general outline of its action, or as regards each of its apparently innocent and insignificant manifestations or maneuvers. To thus snatch away its veils is to deal it the harshest of blows.
For this reason, the counter-revolutionary effort must dedicate itself to this task with the greatest diligence.
Secondarily, of course, other resources of well-conducted dialectics are indispensable for the success of a counter-revolutionary action.
There are certain possibilities of working together with the “semi-counterrevolutionary” as well as with the revolutionary who has counter-revolutionary “clots.” This collaboration creates a special problem: Up to what point is it prudent? As we see it, the struggle against the Revolution can only be properly developed by uniting persons who are radically and entirely free of the virus of the Revolution. It is very conceivable that counter-revolutionary groups may be able to work with the aforesaid elements for some concrete objectives. But to admit a total and continuous collaboration with persons infected with any influence of the Revolution is the most flagrant of imprudences and the cause of perhaps most counter-revolutionary failures.
B. The Revolutionary Counteroffensive
As a rule, the revolutionary is petulant, verbose, and strutting when he has no or only weak adversaries to face him. However, if someone proudly and daringly confronts him, he grows quiet and organizes a campaign of silence. One perceives amid the silence, however, the discreet buzz of calumny or some murmuring against the “excessive logic” of his adversary. But it is a confused and shamed silence that is never broken by any worthwhile rejoinder. In face of this silence of confusion and defeat, we could say to the victorious counter-revolutionary the spirited words written by Veuillot on a certain occasion: “Question the silence, and no answer will it make.”
4. Elites And Masses In The Counter-Revolutionary Tactics
To the extent possible, the Counter-Revolution should try to win over the multitudes. However, it should not make this its chief goal in the short run. The counter-revolutionary has no reason to be discouraged because of the fact that the great majority of men are not presently on his side. Indeed, an exact study of history shows us that it was not the masses who made the Revolution. They moved in a revolutionary direction because they had revolutionary elites behind them. If they had had elites of the opposite orientation behind them, they likely would have moved in the opposite direction. An objective view of history shows that the factor of mass is secondary; the principal factor is the formation of elites. For this formation, the counter-revolutionary can always use the resources of his individual action, and can therefore obtain good results in spite of the shortage of material and technical means with which, at times, he may contend.
1. A Preference For Great Means Of Action
Of course, in principle, counter-revolutionary action deserves to have at its disposal the best means: television, radio, major press, and a rational, efficient, and brilliant publicity. The true counter-revolutionary should always tend to use these means, overcoming the defeatist attitude of some of his companions who immediately surrender all hope of using them because they constantly see them in the hands of the children of darkness.
However, we must recognize that, in point of fact, counter-revolutionary action will often have to be undertaken without these resources.
2. The Use Of Modest Means: Their Efficacy
Even so, and with the humblest of means, counter-revolutionary action can obtain very appreciable results if such means are utilized with uprightness of spirit and intelligence. As we have seen, a counter-revolutionary action is conceivable even if reduced to mere individual activity. But it is inconceivable without individual action, which, if well accomplished, opens the way for every progress.
Small journals of counter-revolutionary inspiration, if their standard is good, are surprisingly effective, especially in the foremost task of acquainting counter-revolutionaries with one another.
Equally effective, or more so, are books, a speakers’ platform, or a professorship at the service of the Counter-Revolution.
1. Pitfalls To Be Avoided Among Counter-Revolutionaries
The pitfalls to be avoided among counter-revolutionaries very often consist of certain bad habits of agents of the Counter-Revolution.
The themes of counter-revolutionary meetings or publications should be carefully chosen. The Counter-Revolution should always be ideological in its approach, even when dealing with matters fraught with detail and incidentals. To go over questions of current or recent party politics may be useful, for example. But to overemphasize small personal questions, to make a struggle with local ideological adversaries the main objective of the counter-revolutionary action, to portray the Counter-Revolution as if it were a mere nostalgia (even though this nostalgia is, of course, legitimate) or a mere obligation of personal loyalty, however holy and just, is to depict the particular as if it were the general, the part as if it were the whole. It is to mutilate the cause one desires to serve.
2. Slogans of the Revolution
At other times, these obstacles consist of revolutionary slogans that are frequently regarded as dogma even in the best circles.
A. “The Counter-Revolution Is Out of Date”
The most prevalent and harmful of these slogans claims that the Counter-Revolution cannot flourish in our day because it is contrary to the spirit of the times. History, it is said, does not turn back.
If this peculiar principle were true the Catholic religion would not exist, for it cannot be denied that the Gospel was radically contrary to the milieu in which Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles preached. Also, Germano-Romanic Catholic Spain would not have existed, for nothing is more like a resurrection, and hence in a certain way like a return to the past, than the full reconstitution of the Christian grandeur of Spain after the eight centuries from Covadonga to the fall of Granada. The Renaissance, so dear to revolutionaries, was itself, from various points of view at least, a return to a cultural and artistic naturalism that had been petrified for over a millennium.
History, then, contains comings and goings along the paths of good and the paths of evil.
Incidentally, whenever the Revolution considers something to be consistent with the spirit of the times, caution has to be exercised, for all too often it is rubbish from some pagan time that it wishes to restore. What is new, for example, about divorce, nudism, tyranny, or demagoguery, all of which were so widespread in the ancient world? And why is the advocate of divorce regarded as modem while the defender of indissoluble marriage is considered outdated? The Revolution’s concept of modern amounts to everything that gives free rein to pride and egalitarianism as well as to pleasure-seeking and liberalism.
B. “The Counter-Revolution Is Negativistic”
According to another slogan of the Revolution, the Counter-Revolution, by its very name, defines itself as something negative and therefore sterile. This is a mere play on words, for, based on the fact that the negation of a negation corresponds to an affirmation, the human spirit expresses many of its most positive concepts in a negative form: infallibility, independence, innocence, and others. Would it be negativism to fight for any of these values just because of their negative formulation? Did the First Vatican Council perform a negativistic work when it defined papal infallibility? Is the Immaculate Conception a negativistic prerogative of the Mother of God?
If insistence on negating, attacking, and continuously watching the adversary is termed "negativistic" in current speech, then perforce the Counter-Revolution, without being merely a negation, has in its essence something fundamentally and wholesomely negativistic. It is, as we have said, a movement directed against another movement, and it is unthinkable for one adversary in a fight not to have his eyes fixed on the other, maintaining an attitude of polemics, attack, and counterattack.
C. “The Counter-Revolutionary Is Argumentative”
A third catch phrase criticizes the intellectual works of counter-revolutionaries for their negativistic and polemical character, whereby they overemphasize the refutation of error instead of simply explaining the truth in a clear manner indifferent to the correction of error. These works are deemed counterproductive, for they irritate the adversary and drive him away. Save for possible excesses, this seemingly negativistic approach is profoundly justified. As previously stated, the doctrine of the Revolution was contained in the denials of Luther and the early revolutionaries, but it was only made explicit very gradually over centuries. Accordingly, counter-revolutionary authors sensed from the very beginning — and legitimately so — that in all revolutionary formulations there was something which transcended the formulations themselves. Within each stage of the revolutionary process it is much more important to consider the mentality of the Revolution than simply the ideology enunciated in that particular stage. If such work is to be profound, efficient, and entirely objective, the progress of the Revolution’s march must be followed step by step in a painstaking effort to make explicit what is implicit in the revolutionary process. Only in this way is it possible to attack the Revolution as it should be attacked. All this has obliged counter-revolutionaries to keep their eyes fixed on the Revolution, while elaborating and affirming their theses in terms of its errors. In this arduous intellectual labor, the doctrines of truth and order that exist in the sacred deposit of the Magisterium of the Church constitute the treasury from which the counter-revolutionary draws things new and old to refute the Revolution as he sees deeper and deeper into its tenebrous abysses.
Thus, in several of its most important aspects, counter-revolutionary work is wholesomely negativistic and polemical. For analogous reasons, the ecclesiastical Magisterium more often than not defines truths in relation to the heresies arising in the course of history, and it formulates these truths as a condemnation of the opposing errors. The Church has never feared that she would harm souls by acting in this way.
3. Wrong Attitudes In Face Of The Revolution’s Slogans
A. Ignoring Revolutionary Slogans
The counter-revolutionary effort must not be bookish. In other words, it cannot content itself with dialectics against the Revolution at a purely scientific, academic level. While recognizing the great, even very great, importance of this level, the Counter-Revolution must habitually keep its sights trained on the Revolution as thought, felt, and lived by public opinion as a whole. In this sense, counter-revolutionaries ought to give very special importance to the refutation of revolutionary catch phrases.
B. Eliminating the Polemical Aspects of Counter-Revolutionary Action
Sadly, the idea of presenting the Counter-Revolution in a more “sympathetic” and “positive” light by preventing it from attacking the Revolution is the most efficient way to impoverish its content and dynamism.
Anyone who employs this lamentable tactic displays the same lack of sense as a chief of state who, in face of enemy troops crossing his border, were to halt all armed resistance in the hope of neutralizing the invader by gaining his sympathy. In reality, he would destroy the impetus of the reaction without stopping the enemy. In other words, he would surrender his homeland.
This does not mean that the language of the counter-revolutionary should not show nuances befitting the circumstances.
The Divine Master, when preaching in Judea, which was under the proximate influence of the perfidious Pharisees, used strong language. On the contrary, in Galilee, where the simple-hearted people predominated and the influence of the Pharisees was smaller, His language was more tutorial and less polemical.
1. There Is a Counter-Revolutionary Process
It is evident that, like the Revolution, the Counter-Revolution is a process, and therefore its progressive and methodical march toward order can be studied.
Nevertheless, there are some characteristics that profoundly differentiate this march from the movement of the Revolution toward complete disorder. This results from the fact that the dynamism of good is radically different from the dynamism of evil.
2. Typical Aspects Of The Revolutionary Process
A. In the Rapid March
When discussing the two speeds of the Revolution, we saw that some souls arc gripped by its maxims in a single moment and at once draw all the consequences of error.
B. In the Slow March
We saw also that others accept the revolutionary doctrine slowly, step by step. In many cases, this process develops continuously down through generations. A “semi-counterrevolutionary” who is strongly opposed to the paroxysms of the Revolution has a son who is less opposed to them, a grandson who is indifferent to them, and a great grandson who is fully integrated in the revolutionary flux. The reason for this, as we have said, is that certain families have in their mentality, subconscious, and ways of feeling a remnant of counter-revolutionary habits and leaven that holds them partly bound to order. In such families the revolutionary corruption is not as dynamic, and therefore error can only advance in their spirits step by step, as it were, disguising itself.
This same slowness of rhythm explains how many people change their opinions enormously in the course of their lives. For example, as adolescents, they have a severe opinion about indecent fashions, according to the environment in which they live. Later, as customs “evolve” in a more dissolute direction, these persons adapt themselves to the successive fashions. As they grow old, they applaud styles of dress that in their youth they would have strongly condemned. They reached this point because they have passed slowly and imperceptibly through the nuanced stages of the Revolution. They had neither the perspicacity nor the energy required to perceive where they were being led by the Revolution, which was acting within and around them. Gradually, they ended up going perhaps even as far as a revolutionary of their own age who in his adolescence had opted for the first speed. Truth and goodness lie defeated in these souls, but not so defeated that, in face of a grave error and a grave evil, they might not suffer a start that at times, in a victorious and salvific way, will make them perceive the perverse depth of the Revolution and lead them to take a categorical and systematic attitude of opposition to all its manifestations. To avoid these wholesome shocks of the soul and these counter-revolutionary crystallizations, the Revolution moves step by step.
3. How To Destroy The Revolutionary Process
If this is bow the Revolution leads the immense majority of its victims, by what means can one of them separate himself from this process? Is this means different from that by which persons dragged by the high-speed revolutionary march convert to the Counter-Revolution?
A. The Many Ways of the Holy Ghost
No one can set limits to the inexhaustible variety of God’s ways within souls. It would be absurd to attempt to reduce such a complex matter to schemata. One cannot, then, in this matter, go beyond indicating some errors to be avoided and some prudent attitudes to be proposed.
Every conversion is a fruit of the action of the Holy Ghost, Who speaks to each one according to his necessities, sometimes with majestic severity and at other times with maternal suavity, yet never lying.
B. Nothing Should Be Hidden
Thus, in the journey from error to truth, the soul does not have to contend with the crafty silences of the Revolution nor with its fraudulent metamorphoses. Nothing it ought to know is hidden from it. Truth and goodness are thoroughly taught to it by the Church. Progress in goodness is not secured by systematically hiding from men the ultimate goal of their formation, but by showing it and rendering it ever more desirable.
The Counter-Revolution must not, then, disguise its whole breadth. It must adopt the eminently wise rules laid down by Saint Pius X as the normative code of behavior for the true apostle: “It is neither loyal nor worthy to hide Catholic status, disguising it with some equivocal banner, as if such status were damaged or smuggled goods.” Catholics should not “veil the more important precepts of the Gospel out of fear of being perhaps less heeded or even completely abandoned.” To this the Holy Pontiff judiciously added:
No doubt it will not be alien to prudence, when proposing the truth, to make use of a certain temporization when it is a matter of enlightening men who are hostile to our institutions and entirely removed from God. Wounds that have to be cut into, as Saint Gregory said, should first be touched with a delicate hand. But such skill would take on the aspect of carnal prudence if made a constant and common norm of conduct. This is all the more so since in this way one would seem to have very little regard for Divine grace, which is conferred not only upon the priesthood and its ministers but upon all the faithful of Christ, so that our words and acts might move the souls of these men.
C. The “Shock” of the Great Conversions
Though we have decried the attempt to reduce this matter to simple schemata, it nevertheless seems to us that complete and conscious adherence to the Revolution as it concretely presents itself is an immense sin, a radical apostasy, from which one can only return by means of an equally radical conversion.
Now, according to history, it seems that the great conversions usually occur by a fulminating thrust of the soul caused by grace on the occasion of a given internal or external fact. This thrust is different in each case but often has certain similar features. In fact, when a revolutionary converts to the Counter-Revolution, this thrust not infrequently takes place along the following general lines:
a. In the soul of the hardened sinner who, in the rapid march of the process, went immediately to the extreme of the Revolution, there are always resources of intelligence and common sense and tendencies toward good that are more or less defined. Although God never deprives these souls of sufficient grace, He frequently waits until they have reached the very depths of misery, wherein He suddenly brings home to them the enormity of their errors and sins as if in a fulgurant flash. Only when he had fallen into the state where he would fain have filled his belly with the husks of the swine did the prodigal son really see himself as he actually was and return to his father’s house.
b.In the lukewarm and shortsighted soul, which is slowly shipping down the ramp of the Revolution, there still act certain supernatural leavens not entirely refused; values of tradition, order, and religion still glow like embers under the ash. Such souls, by a wholesome shock in a moment of extreme disgrace, may also open their eyes and instantly revive everything that was pining and wasting away within them; it is the rekindling of the smoking wick.
D. The Likelihood of This Shock in Our Days
Now, since all humanity finds itself in the imminence of a catastrophe, this seems to be precisely the great moment prepared by the mercy of God. Both high — and low — speed revolutionaries can open their eyes in the terrible twilight in which we live and be converted to God.
Without demagoguery, without exaggeration, but at the same time without weakness, the counter-revolutionary must zealously take advantage of the tremendous spectacle of this darkness to bring the facts home to the children of the Revolution, and thus produce in them the saving “flash.” To boldly point out the perils that beset us is an essential feature of an authentically counter-revolutionary action.
E. Showing the Whole Face of the Revolution
It is not sufficient to point out the risk that our civilization may disappear altogether. We must know how to reveal amid the chaos that envelops us the whole face of the Revolution in its immense hideousness. Whenever this face is revealed, outbursts of vigorous reaction appear.
For this reason, during the French Revolution and throughout the nineteenth century, the counter-revolutionary movement in France was stronger than ever before. Never had the face of the Revolution been seen so well. The immensity of the maelstrom in which the old order of things had been shipwrecked had suddenly opened the eyes of many people to a host of truths silenced or denied by the Revolution down through the centuries. Above all, the spirit of the Revolution had become clear to them in all its malice and in all its profound connections with ideas and habits long considered innocent by most people.
Thus, the counter-revolutionary must frequently unmask the whole face of the Revolution in order to exorcise the spell it casts upon its victims.
F. Pointing Out the Metaphysical Aspects of the Counter-Revolution
The quintessence of the revolutionary spirit consists, as we have seen, in hating, in principle and on the metaphysical plane, all inequality and all law, especially Moral Law. Moreover, pride, rebelliousness, and impurity are precisely the factors that most impel mankind along the way of the Revolution.
Therefore, one of the very important parts of counter-revolutionary work is to teach a love for inequality considered on the metaphysical plane, for the principle of authority, and for Moral Law and purity.
G. The Two stages of the Counter-Revolution
a. With the radical change of the revolutionary into a counter-revolutionary, the first stage of the Counter-Revolution ends in him.
b. The second stage may take quite a long time. In it, the soul proceeds to adjust all his ideas and ways of feeling to the position taken in the act of conversion.
These two great and quite distinct stages delineating the counter-revolutionary process are presented here as they occur in a soul considered by itself. Mutatis mutandis, they may occur in large groups and even in whole peoples as well.
1. Virtue and Counter-Revolution
We have singled out the dynamism of the human passions unleashed in a metaphysical hatred against God, virtue, good, and especially against hierarchy and purity, as the most potent driving force of the Revolution. Likewise, there exists a counter?revolutionary dynamism, though of an entirely different nature. Passions as such (here referred to in their technical sense) are morally indifferent; it is their disorderliness that makes them bad. However, while regulated, they are good and obey the will and reason faithfully. It is in the vigor of soul that comes to a man because God governs his reason, his reason dominates his will, and his will dominates his sensibility, that we must look for the serene, noble, and highly effective driving force of the Counter-Revolution.
2. Supernatural Life And Counter-Revolution
Such vigor of soul cannot be explained unless supernatural life is taken into account. The role of grace consists precisely in enlightening the intelligence, strengthening the will, and tempering the sensibility so that they turn toward good. Hence, the soul gains immeasurably from supernatural life, which elevates it above the miseries of fallen nature, indeed, above the level of human nature itself. In this strength of the Christian soul lies the dynamism of the Counter-Revolution.
3. The Invincibility of the Counter-Revolution
One might ask, of what value is this dynamism? We respond that in thesis it is incalculable and certainly superior to that of the Revolution: “Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat” (“I can do all things in Him who strengthens me”).
When men resolve to cooperate with the grace of God, the marvels of history are worked: the conversion of the Roman Empire; the formation of the Middle Ages; the reconquest of Spain, starting from Covadonga; all the events that result from the great resurrections of soul of which peoples are also capable. These resurrections are invincible, because nothing can defeat a people that is virtuous and truly loves God.
1. The Counter-Revolution Should Revive The Notion Of Good And Evil
One of the most significant missions of the Counter-Revolution is reestablishing or reviving the distinction between good and evil, the notion of sin in thesis, of Original Sin, and of actual sin. When performed with a profound assimilation of the spirit of the Church, this task does not produce despair of the Divine Mercy, hypochondria, misanthropy, or the like, so frequently mentioned by certain authors more or less imbued with the maxims of the Revolution.
2. How To Revive The Notion of Good And Evil
The notion of good and evil can be revived in various ways, including:
• Avoiding all formulations that smack of secularist or interdenominational morality, because secularism and interdenominationalism logically lead to amorality.
• Opportunely pointing out that God has the right to be obeyed and that, therefore, His Commandments are true laws, which we ought to observe in the spirit ofobedience and not simply because they please us.
• Emphasizing that the law of God is intrinsically good and according to the order of the universe, in which the perfection of the Creator is mirrored. For this reason, it should not only be obeyed, but loved; and evil should not only be shunned, but hated.
• Spreading the notion of a reward and of a chastisement after death.
• Favoring social customs and laws in which uprightness is honored and wickedness suffers public sanctions.
• Favoring customs and laws meant to prevent proximate occasions of sin and even those conditions that, having the mere appearance of evil, may be harmful to public morality.
• Insisting on the effects of Original Sin in man, his frailty, the fruitfulness of the Redemption by Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the need for grace, prayer, and vigilance in order for man to persevere.
• Making use of every opportunity to indicate the mission of the Church as the teacher of virtue, the fountain of grace, and the irreconcilable enemy of error and sin.
The Counter-Revolution and Temporal Society
The Counter-Revolution and temporal society is a theme that has been treated in depth from various standpoints in many valuable studies. This study, since it cannot encompass the entire subject, restricts itself to giving the more general principles of a counter-revolutionary temporal order and to analyzing the relations between the Counter-Revolution and some of the major organizations that fight to better the temporal order.
1. The Counter-Revolution and Social Organizations
Within temporal society, there are numerous organizations dedicated to dealing with the social question and having in view, either directly or indirectly, the same supreme end as the Counter-Revolution: the establishment of the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Given this community of ends, it is necessary to study the relations between the Counter-Revolution and these organizations.
A. Works of Charity, Social Service, Associations of Employers, Workers, and So Forth
a. To the degree that these works normalize social and economic life, they are prejudicial to the development of the revolutionary process. In this sense, they are ipso facto precious auxiliaries of the Counter-Revolution, even if only in an implicit and indirect way.
b. Nevertheless, in this respect, it is worthwhile to call to mind some truths that are unfortunately often obscured among those who devote themselves selflessly to these works.
• There is no doubt that such works can alleviate and, in some cases, eliminate the material necessities that are the cause of so much unrest among the masses. But the spirit of the Revolution does not arise primarily from misery. Its root is moral and therefore religious. Accordingly, to the extent their particular nature allows, these works must promote a religious and moral formation that gives special emphasis to warning souls of the revolutionary virus, which is so powerful in our days.
• Holy Mother Church compassionately encourages everything that might relieve human miseries. She does not blind herself to the fact that she cannot eliminate all of them, and she preaches a holy resignation to sickness, poverty, and other privations.
• Undoubtedly in these works there are precious opportunities for creating a climate of understanding and charity between employers and workers and, consequently, for demobilizing those who are on the brink of class struggle. But it would be incorrect to suppose that kindness always disarms human wickedness. Not even the innumerable benefits conferred by Our Lord during His earthly life deterred the hatred the wicked had for Him. Thus, although in the fight against the Revolution one should preferably guide and enlighten souls in an affable manner, it is evident that, against its various forms — Communism, for example — a direct and express combat by all just and legal means is licit and generally even indispensable.
• It is particularly to be observed that these works should inculcate in their beneficiaries or associates a true sense of gratitude for the favors received, or, when it is not a question of favors but of acts of justice, a real appreciation for the moral uprightness that inspires such acts.
• In the preceding paragraphs, we had principally the worker in mind. It should be pointed out, however, that the counter-revolutionary does not systematically favor one social class or another. While highly zealous for the right of property, he should nevertheless remind the higher classes that it is not enough for them to fight the Revolution in the fields in which it attacks their personal interests, and, paradoxically, to favor it — as one so often sees — by word or example in every other terrain, such as in family life, at the beaches, swimming pools, and other diversions, in intellectual and artistic pursuits, and so on. A working class that follows their example and accepts their revolutionary ideas will inevitably be used by the Revolution against the “semi-counterrevolutionary” elites.
• An aristocracy and a bourgeoisie that vulgarize their manners and dress in order to disarm the Revolution harm themselves. A social authority that degrades itself is comparable to the salt that has lost its savor. It is good for nothing save to be cast out and trodden on by men. In most cases, the scorning multitudes will do just that.
• Although maintaining their station in life with dignity and energy, the upper classes should have direct and benevolent contact with the other classes. Charity and justice practiced at a distance are inadequate to establish links of truly Christian love among the social classes.
• Above all, those who own property should remember that if there are many people willing to prevent communism from encroaching on the right to private property (regarded, of course, as an individual right with a function that is also social), it is because this is desired by God and intrinsically according to Natural Law. Now, this principle refers to the property of the worker as much as to that of the employer. Consequently, the same principle behind the anticommunist struggle should lead the employer to respect the right of the worker to a just wage, in keeping with his own needs and those of his family. It is worth recalling this in order to emphasize that the Counter-Revolution is not only the guardian of the property of the employer but of that of the worker too. Its struggle is not on behalf of groups or classes, but for principles.
B. The Struggle Against Communism
We will now consider organizations whose main purpose is not the construction of a proper social order but rather the struggle against communism. For reasons already expounded in this work, we deem this kind of organization to be legitimate and often even indispensable. Of course, in saying this, we are not identifying the Counter-Revolution with abuses that organizations of this kind may have committed in one country or another.
Nevertheless, we believe that the counter-revolutionary efficacy of such organizations can be greatly increased if their members, while remaining within the sphere of their specialized activities, keep certain essential truths in mind:
• Only an intelligent refutation of communism is efficacious. The mere repetition of catch phrases, even when clever and apt, is insufficient.
• This refutation, when made in cultured circles, must be aimed at the ultimate doctrinal foundations of communism. It is important to point out its essential character as a philosophical sect that deduces from its principles a particular concept of man, society, the State, history, culture, and so on, just as the Church deduces from Revelation and Moral Law al the principles of Catholic civilization and culture. Accordingly, no conciliation is possible between communism — a sect that contains the plenitude of the Revolution — and the Church.
• So-called scientific communism is unknown by the multitudes, and the doctrine of Marx does not attract the masses. An ideological anticommunist action among the general public must be aimed at a very widespread state of spirit that often makes anticommunists ashamed to oppose communism. This state of spirit springs from the more or less conscious idea that all inequality is unjust and that not only great fortunes but even medium-sized ones must be eliminated, for if there were no rich there would be no poor. This reveals vestiges of certain socialist schools of thought of the nineteenth century, perfumed with romantic sentimentalism. It gives rise to a mentality that claims to be anticommunist but, nevertheless, frequently calls itself socialist.
This mentality, which is becoming more and more powerful in the West, is a much greater danger than Marxist indoctrination itself. It leads us slowly down a slope of concessions that may reach the extreme point where nations on this side of the Iron Curtain will have become communist republics. Such concessions, which show a tendency to economic egalitarianism and state control, can be noted in every sphere. Private enterprise is more and more limited. Inheritance taxes are so onerous that in certain cases the federal treasury is the principal heir. Government interference in such things as exchange, export, and import makes industry, commerce, and banking dependent on the State. The State intervenes in wages, rents, prices, in everything. It has industries, banks, universities, newspapers, radio stations, television channels, and more. And while egalitarian statism transforms the economy in this way, immorality and liberalism are tearing the family apart and paving the way for so-called free love.
Unless this mentality is specifically fought, the West will be communist in fifty or one hundred years, even should a cataclysm engulf Russia and China.
• The right of property is so sacred that, even if a regime were to give the Church full liberty and even full support, she could not accept as licit a social organization in which all property were held collectively.
2. Christendom and the Universal Republic
While opposing a universal republic, the Counter-Revolution is also adverse to the unstable and inorganic situation created by the sundering of Christendom and the secularization of international life in modern times.
The full sovereignty of each nation does not prevent the peoples that live within the fold of the Church, gathered as one huge spiritual family, from constituting bodies profoundly imbued with the Christian spirit, and possibly presided over by representatives of the Holy See, to resolve their differences at the international level. Such bodies could also favor the cooperation of the Catholic peoples for the common good in all its aspects, especially with regard to the defense of the Church against the infidels and the protection of the freedom of missionaries in pagan lands or those dominated by communism. Finally, such bodies could enter into contact with non-Catholic peoples for the maintenance of good order in international relations.
Without denying the important services that lay bodies may have rendered on various occasions, the Counter-Revolution should always call attention to the terrible shortcoming that lies in their secularism and alert persons to the risk of these bodies becoming a germ of a universal republic.
3. The Counter-Revolution and Nationalism
In this connection, the Counter-Revolution must favor the maintenance of all sound local characteristics, in whatever field, in culture, customs, and so on.
But its nationalism does not consist of the systematic disparagement of what belongs to others nor the adoration of national values as if they were extraneous to the great treasury of Christian civilization.
The grandeur the Counter-Revolution desires for all countries is and can be only one: Christian grandeur, which entails the preservation of the values peculiar to each and a fraternal relationship among them all.
4. The Counter-Revolution and Militarism
The counter-revolutionary must lament armed peace, hate unjust war, and deplore the arms race of our days.
However, since he is under no illusion that peace will always reign, he considers the military class a necessity in this land of exile, and requests that it be shown all the sympathy, gratitude, and admiration rightfully owed to those whose mission it is to fight and die for the common good.
The Church and the Counter-Revolution
As we have seen, the Revolution was born from an explosion of disorderly passions that is leading to the total destruction of temporal society, the complete subversion of the moral order, and the denial of God. The great target of the Revolution is, then, the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, the infallible teacher of the Truth, the guardian of Natural Law, and, therefore, the ultimate foundation of temporal order itself.
Accordingly, we must examine the relation between the Divine institution that the Revolution wants to destroy and the Counter-Revolution.
1. The Church Is Much Higher and Far Broader Than the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution
The Revolution and the Counter-Revolution are extremely important episodes in the history of the Church, for they constitute the very drama of the apostasy and the conversion of the Christian West. Even so, they are mere episodes.
The mission of the Church does not lie only in the West, nor is it bound by time to the length of the revolutionary process. Amid the storms through which she passes today, she could proudly and tranquilly say: “Alios ego vidi ventos; alias prospexi animo procellas” (“I have already seen other winds, I have already beheld other storms”) The Church has fought in other lands, against adversaries from among other peoples, and she will undoubted continue to face problems and enemies quite different from those of today until the end of time.
The Church’s objective is to exercise her direct spiritual power and her indirect temporal power for the salvation of souls. The Revolution is an obstacle that arose to prevent the accomplishment of this mission. For the Church, the struggle against this specific obstacle (among so many others) is no more than a means limited to the dimensions of the obstacle — most important means, of course, but, nevertheless, only a means. Thus, even if the Revolution did not exist, the Church would still do everything she does for the salvation of souls.
We might make the matter clearer if we compare the position of the Church in face of the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution with that of a nation at war. When Hannibal was at the gates of Rome, all the forces of the Republic had to be marshaled and directed against him. This was a vital reaction against a most powerful and nearly victorious foe. Did it make Rome a mere reaction to Hannibal? Could anyone believe such a thing?
It would be just as absurd to imagine that the Church is only the Counter-Revolution.
In this regard, it should be made clear that the Counter-Revolution is not destined to save the Spouse of Christ. Supported as she is on the promise of her Founder, she does not need men to survive. On the contrary, it is the Church that gives life to the Counter-Revolution, which, without her, is neither feasible nor even conceivable.
The Counter-Revolution wants to contribute to the salvation of the many souls threatened by the Revolution and to the prevention of the catastrophes that menace temporal society. To do this, it must rely on the Church and humbly serve her, instead of vainly imagining that it is saving her.
2. The Church Has the Greatest Interest In Crushing the Revolution
If the Revolution does exist, if it is what it is, then the crushing of the Revolution is within the mission of the Church, it is in the interest of the salvation of souls, and it is of special importance for the greater glory of God.
3. The Church Is a Fundamentally Counter-Revolutionary Force
Considering the term Revolution in the sense employed herein, the words of this heading are the obvious conclusion to what we have said above. To state the contrary would be to say that the Church is failing in her mission.
4. The Church Is the Greatest Counter-Revolutionary Force
The primacy of the Church among counter-revolutionary forces is obvious if we consider the number of Catholics, their unity, and their influence in the world. But this legitimate consideration of natural resources has a very secondary importance. The real strength of the Church lies in her being the Mystical Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
5. The Church Is the Soul of the Counter-Revolution
If the Counter-Revolution is the struggle to extinguish the Revolution and to build the new Christendom, resplendent with faith, humble with hierarchical spirit, and spotless in purity, clearly this will be achieved, above all, by a profound action in the hearts of men. This action is proper to the Church, which teaches Catholic doctrine and leads men to love and practice it. Therefore, the Church is the very soul of the Counter-Revolution.
6. The Ideal of the Counter-Revolution is To Exalt the Church
This is an evident proposition. If the Revolution is the opposite of the Church, it is impossible to hate the Revolution (considered in its entirety and not just in some isolated aspect) and to combat it without ipso facto having the ideal of exalting the Church.
7. In a Way, the Purview of the Counter-Revolution Is Broader Than the Ecclesiastical Ambit
The foregoing serves to show that the action of the Counter-Revolution involves a reorganization of all temporal society. “There is a whole world to be rebuilt from its very foundations,” said Pius XII at the sight of the ruins with which the Revolution had covered the whole earth.
Now, while this task of a fundamental counter-revolutionary reorganization of temporal society must, on the one hand, be wholly inspired by the doctrine of the Church, it involves, on the other hand, innumerable concrete and practical aspects that are properly in the civil order. And in this respect, the Counter-Revolution goes beyond the ecclesiastical ambit, though always intimately bound to the Church in every matter that has to do with her Magisterium and indirect power.
8. Whether Every Catholic Should Be Counter-Revolutionary
In so far as he is an apostle, the Catholic is a counter-revolutionary. But he can be one in different ways.
A. The Implicit Counter-Revolutionary
He may be one implicitly and, as it were, unconsciously. This is the case of a Sister of Charity at a hospital. Her direct action is aimed at the cure of bodies and, above all, the good of souls. She can perform this action without speaking of the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution. She may even live in such special conditions that she is unaware of the phenomenon Revolution and Counter-Revolution. Nevertheless, to the degree that she really benefits souls, she will be diminishing the influence of the Revolution upon them. This is implicitly waging Counter-Revolution.
B. The Modernity of a Counter-Revolutionary Explicitness
Given that our times are immersed in the phenomenon Revolution and Counter-Revolution, it seems to us a condition for wholesome modernity that it be deeply understood and faced up to perspicaciously and energetically as circumstances dictate.
Thus, we believe it is most desirable that all present day apostolate, whenever it be the case, have an explicitly counter-revolutionary intention and tone.
In other words, we believe that — regardless of the field in which he works — the truly modem apostle will greatly add to the effectiveness of his labors if he discerns the Revolution within his field and exerts a corresponding counter-revolutionary influence in all his actions.
C. The Explicit Counter-Revolutionary
No one may deny that it is licit for certain persons to take upon themselves the task of developing a specifically counter-revolutionary apostolate in Catholic and non-Catholic circles. This they will do by proclaiming the existence of the Revolution, describing its spirit, method, and doctrines, and urging everyone to counter-revolutionary action.
In so doing, they will be putting their activities at the service of a specialized apostolate as natural and meritorious as (and certainly more profound than) the apostolate of those who specialize in the struggle against other enemies of the Church, such as spiritism and Protestantism.
To influence the numerous Catholic and non-Catholic circles in order to alert souls against, say, the evils of Protestantism is undoubtedly legitimate, and necessary for an intelligent and efficacious anti-Protestant action. The Catholics who devote themselves to the apostolate of the Counter-Revolution will proceed in an analogous manner.
Possible excesses in this apostolate — which may happen as in any other — do not invalidate the principle we established. After all, “abusus non tollit usum” (“abuse does not abolish use”).
D. Counter-Revolutionary Action That Does Not Constitute an Apostolate
Finally, there are counter-revolutionaries who do not practice an apostolate in the strict sense, for they devote themselves to the struggle in certain fields such as specifically partisan politics or economic undertakings to combat the Revolution. Undoubtedly, these activities are highly relevant and can only be looked upon with approval.
9. Catholic Action and Counter-Revolution
If we employ the expression Catholic Action in the legitimate sense that Pius XII gave it (that is, a group of associations that, under the direction of the Hierarchy, collaborate with its apostolate), then in our view, the Counter-Revolution in its religious and moral aspects is a most important part of the program of a soundly modern Catholic Action.
Naturally, counter-revolutionary action can be pursued by one individual working alone or by several working together in a private capacity. With due ecclesiastical approval, this action can even culminate in the formation of a religious association especially dedicated to fighting the Revolution.
Obviously, counter-revolutionary action in the strictly partisan or economic terrain is not part of the goals of Catholic Action.
10. The Counter-Revolution and Non-Catholics
May the Counter-Revolution accept the cooperation of non-Catholics? Are there counter-revolutionary Protestants, Moslems, and others? The answer must be carefully nuanced. There is no authentic Counter-Revolution outside the Church. But it is conceivable that certain Protestants or Moslems, for instance, are in a state of soul in which they begin to perceive all the wickedness of the Revolution and to take a stand against it. Such persons can be expected to form obstacles, at times even great ones, against the Revolution. If they respond to grace, they can become excellent Catholics and, therefore, efficient counter-revolutionaries. Until then, they at least oppose the Revolution to some degree and can even force it back. In the full and true sense of the word, they are not counter-revolutionaries. But their cooperation may and even should be accepted, with the care that the directives of the Church demand.
Catholics ought to be particularly mindful of the dangers inherent in interdenominational associations, as Saint Pius X wisely warned:
Indeed, without mentioning other points, the dangers to which — because of associations of this sort — our people expose or certainly can expose both the integrity of their faith and the just obedience to the laws and precepts of the Catholic Church are incontestably grave.
Among non-Catholics, our best apostolate should focus on those who have counter-revolutionary tendencies.
Revolution and Counter-Revolution
Twenty Years After
In 1976 the author was asked to write a preface to a new Italian edition of Revolution and Counter-Revolution. He deemed it better, instead, to present an analysis of the evolution of the revolutionary process in the nearly twenty years since the essay’s first edition. He therefore added this third part, which was first published in 1977. In 1992, in the aftermath of the fall of the Iron Curtain, the author updated this analysis with some commentaries published herein. – Ed.
The Revolution: A Process in Continual Transformation
Since so much time — marked by so many events — has elapsed since the first edition of Revolution and Counter-Revolution, one could fittingly ask if there is anything to be added regarding the matters treated in the essay. The answer could only be yes, as the reader will see.
1. Revolution and Counter-Revolution and the TFPs: Twenty Years of Action and Combat
Twenty Years After, the title of a novel by Alexandre Dumas — so appreciated by Brazilian adolescents until the moment now long past when profound psychological transformations destroyed the taste for that kind of literature — is brought to mind by an association of images as we begin these notes.
We just looked back to 1959; 1976 is almost over. Therefore, we are approaching the end of the second decade of this book’s circulation. Twenty years…
In this period, the essay’s editions have multiplied.
It was not our intention to make Revolution and Counter-Revolution a mere study. We wrote it also with the intention of making it a bedside book for about one hundred young Brazilians who had asked us to orient and coordinate their efforts in view of the problems and duties they faced at the time. This initial handful — the seed of the future TFP — soon spread throughout Brazil, which is the size of a continent. Propitious circumstances favored, pari passu, the formation and development of analogous and autonomous organizations throughout South America. The same occurred later in the United States, Canada, Spain, and France. More recently, intellectual affinities and promising cordial relations began to link this extensive family of organizations to personalities and associations of other countries of Europe. In France, the Bureau Tradition, Famille, Propriété, founded in 1973, has been fostering the resulting contacts and approximations as much as possible.
These twenty years, then, were years of expansion. They were years of expansion, yes, but years of intense counter-revolutionary struggle as well.
Considerable results have been achieved in this way. As this is not the moment to enumerate them all, we limit ourselves to saying that, in each country where a TFP or a similar association exists, it has been continuously combating the Revolution, that is, more particularly, so-called Catholic leftism in the religious realm and communism in the temporal realm. In the genuine combat against communism, we include the battle against all modes of socialism, for these are merely preparatory stages or larval forms of communism. This combat has always been waged according to the principles, goals, and norms of Part II of this study.
The fruits thus obtained well show the accuracy of what is said in this work on the inseparable themes of Revolution and Counter-Revolution.
2. In a World in Continuous and Rapid Transformation, Is Revolution and Counter-Revolution Still Current?
The Answer Is Affirmative
At the same time that the editions and fruits of Revolution and Counter-Revolution were multiplying on six continents, the world — impelled by the revolutionary process that has been dominating it for four centuries — underwent such rapid and profound changes that, as we launch this new edition, it is appropriate to ask, as we have already said, whether on account of these changes something should be rectified or added in regard to what we wrote in 1959.
Revolution and Counter-Revolution is situated sometimes in the theoretical field and sometimes in a theoretic-practical field very close to pure theory. Thus, it should not surprise anyone if in our judgment no event has altered the study’s content.
Assuredly, many of the methods and styles of action used by the Brazilian TFP, which was being formed in 1959 — and by its sister organizations — were replaced or adapted to the new circumstances. Others were introduced. However, as all these methods and styles are situated in an inferior field that is effectual and practical, Revolution and Counter-Revolution does not address them. Accordingly, nothing in the text needs to be modified.
All this notwithstanding, there would be much to add if we wished to relate Revolution and Counter-Revolution to the new horizons that history is opening. But this would not fit in a simple supplement. We do think, though, that a summary of what the Revolution did in these twenty years — a review of the world scene as transformed by it — would help the reader to easily and conveniently relate the study’s contents to present reality. This we shall proceed to do.
The Apogee and Crisis of the Third Revolution
1. The Apogee of the Third Revolution
As we have seen, three great revolutions constituted the chief stages of the process to gradually demolish the Church and Christian civilization: in the sixteenth century, humanism, the Renaissance, and Protestantism (First Revolution); in the eighteenth century, the French Revolution (Second Revolution); and in the second decade of this century, Communism (Third Revolution).
These three revolutions can only be understood as parts of an immense whole that is the Revolution.
Since the Revolution is a process, it is obvious that, from 1917 to the present, the Third Revolution has continued its course. It is now at a true apogee.
When we consider the territories and populations subject to communist regimes, we see that the Third Revolution holds sway over a world empire without precedent in history. This empire is a continuous cause of insecurity and disunion among the greatest noncommunist nations. Moreover, the leaders of the Third Revolution control the strings that move, throughout the noncommunist world, the openly communist parties and the immense network of cryptocommunists, paracommunists, and useful idiots infiltrated not only into the noncommunist, socialist, and other parties, but also into the churches, professional and cultural associations, banks, the press, television, radio, the movie industry, and the like. And as if this were not enough, the Third Revolution applies with devastating efficacy — as we shall subsequently explain — the tactics of psychological conquest. With these tactics, communism is succeeding in reducing immense segments of the noncommunist Western public opinion to a foolish apathy. Such tactics enable the Third Revolution to expect, in this terrain, yet more remarkable successes that are even more disconcerting to observers who analyze events from outside the Third Revolution.
The inertia — when not the overt and substantial collaboration — of so many “democratic” governments and crafty private economic powers of the West in face of communism (already so powerful) paints a dreadful global panorama.
Under these conditions, should the course of the revolutionary process continue as it has heretofore, it is humanly inevitable that the general triumph of the Third Revolution will ultimately impose itself on the whole world. How soon? Many would be alarmed if; as a mere hypothesis, we were to suggest twenty years. To them, this period would seem surprisingly brief. In reality, who can guarantee that this outcome will not take place within ten years, five years, or even less?
The proximity, indeed the eventual imminence, of this utter devastation is indubitably one of the notes that indicate the greatest change in the world conjuncture when we contrast the horizons of 1959 and 1976.
A. On the Road to Its Apogee, the Third Revolution Studiously Avoided Total and Useless Adventures
Even though the mentors of the Third Revolution have the capacity to launch themselves at any moment in an adventure for the complete conquest of the world by a series of wars, political blows, economic crises, and bloody revolutions, clearly such an adventure presents considerable risks. The mentors of the Third Revolution will accept running these risks only if it seems indispensable to them.
In effect, if continuous use of classic methods carried communism to the pinnacles of power without exposing the revolutionary process to risks not carefully circumscribed and calculated, it is understandable that those who guide the universal Revolution hope to attain total world domination without exposing their work to the risk of irreparable catastrophes, inherent to every great adventure.
B. Adventure in This Revolution’s Next Stages?
The success of the usual methods of the Third Revolution is endangered by the rise of unfavorable psychological circumstances that have become strongly accentuated over the last twenty years.
Will such circumstances compel communism to choose adventure henceforth?
2. Unanticipated Obstacles To The Third Revolution’s Use Of Classic Methods
A. The Decline of Persuasive Power
Let us examine the circumstances that may force communism to choose the path of adventure.
The first is the decline of the persuasive power of communist proselytism.
There was a time when explicit and categorical indoctrination was international communism’s principal recruiting method.
For reasons too extensive to enumerate, conditions have become considerably adverse to such indoctrination in almost all the West and in vast segments of public opinion. Communism’s dialectics and its full and open doctrinal propaganda have visibly declined in persuasive power.
This explains why in our days communist propaganda is carried out in an increasingly disguised, mild, and gradual way.
Its disguise is effected either by spreading sparse and veiled Marxist principles through socialist literature, or by instilling in the culture of the establishment itself certain principles that, like seeds, later bear fruit, leading centrists to an inadvertent and gradual acceptance of the communist doctrine in its entirety.
B. The Decline in the Capacity of Leadership
This decrease in the Red creed’s direct persuasive power over the multitudes — which the recourse to these indirect, slow, and laborious methods denotes — is accompanied by a correlative decline in communism’s leadership capacity.
Let us examine how these correlative phenomena are manifested and what their fruits are.
— Hatred, Class Struggle, Revolution
Essentially, the communist movement is and considers itself to be a revolution born of class hatred. Violence is the method most consistent with it. This is the direct and fulminating method, from which the mentors of communism expected the greatest results with the least risk in the shortest possible time.
This method presupposes a leadership capacity in the communist parties. In the past, this capacity enabled them to create discontent, transform it into hatred, articulate this hatred in an immense conspiracy, and thus succeed, with the “atomic” force of this hatred’s impetus, in destroying the present order and implanting communism.
— The Decline in Guidance of Hatred and in Use of Violence
But the capacity to guide hatred is also slipping from the hands of the communists.
We will not extend this writing by going into an explanation of the complex causes of this fact. We limit ourselves to observing that violence resulted in fewer and fewer advantages for the communists during these twenty years. To prove this, we need only recall the invariable failure of the guerrilla warfare and terrorism spread throughout Latin America.
It is quite true that violence has been dragging virtually all of Africa toward communism. But this says very little about the tendencies of public opinion in the rest of the world. The primitivism of most of Africa’s aboriginal populations places them in special and unequivocal conditions. The growth of violence there has been due not so much to ideological motives as to anti-colonialist resentments, which communist propaganda exploited with its customary astuteness.
— The Fruit and Proof of This Decline: The Third Revolution Metamorphoses Into a Smiling Revolution
The clearest proof that over the last twenty or thirty years the Third Revolution has been losing its capacity to create and direct the revolutionary hatred lies in its self-imposed metamorphosis.
During the post-Stalinist thaw with the West, the Third Revolution donned a smiling mask, exchanged polemics for dialogue, pretended to be changing its mentality and attitude, and welcomed all sorts of collaboration with the adversaries it had tried to crush through violence.
In the international sphere, the Revolution thus successively passed from the Cold War to peaceful coexistence, then to the “dropping of ideological barriers,” and finally to frank collaboration with the capitalist powers, labeled, in the language of publicity, “Ostpolitik” or “detente.”
In the internal sphere of the various Western countries, the politique de la main tendue (policy of the extended hand), which had been a mere artifice for deceiving a small minority of leftist Catholics during the Stalin era, became a true detente between communists and pro-capitalists. It was an ideal way for the Reds to initiate cordial relations and fraudulent approximations with all their adversaries, whether religious or temporal.
Out of this came a series of “friendly” tactics: the fellow travelers, the legalistic “Eurocommunism” (affable, and cautious toward Moscow), the “historic compromise,” and the like.
As we have said, these stratagems provide advantages for the Third Revolution today. But they are slow, gradual, and dependent on a myriad of variables for their fruition.
At the height of its power, the Third Revolution ceased to threaten and attack and began to smile and request. It ceased advancing in military cadence, shod in cossack boots, in order to progress slowly at a discreet pace. It abandoned the straight path — the shortest and chose a zigzag path marked with uncertainty.
What an enormous change in twenty years!
C. Objection: The Communist Successes in Italy and France
But, someone will object, the successes of these tactics in Italy and France do not permit one to affirm that communism is retreating in the free world, or even that the smiling communism of today is progressing more slowly than the scowling communism of the Lenin and Stalin years.
First of all, in answer to this, one must say that the general elections in Sweden, West Germany, and Finland, as well as the regional elections and the present instability of the Labor Government in Great Britain, attest to the inappetence of the great masses for socialist “paradises,” communist violence, and so on. There are expressive signs that the example of these countries has already begun to reverberate in those two great Catholic Latin nations of Western Europe, thus hindering the communist advance.
But, in our opinion, it is necessary above all to question how authentically communist is the growing number of votes obtained by the Italian Communist party or the French Socialist party (of which we speak since the French Communist party is stagnant). Both parties are far from having benefited only from the votes of their own electorates. Certainly considerable Catholic support — whose real amplitude only history will one day reveal in its full extent — has created entirely exceptional illusions, weaknesses, apathies, and complicities around the Italian Communist party. The electoral projection of these shocking and artificial circumstances explains, in large measure, the growth in the number of people voting for the Communist party, many of whom are by no means communist voters. Nor should we forget the direct or indirect influence of certain Croesuses upon the voting. Their frankly collaborationist attitude toward communism allows electoral maneuvers from which the Third Revolution draws an obvious profit. Analogous observations can be made in regard to the French Socialist party.
3. Metamphosed Hatred And Violence Generate Total Revolutionary Psychological Warfare
To grasp more clearly the scope of these immense changes in the communist panorama, it is necessary to analyze, as a whole, communism’s great present-day hope, namely, revolutionary psychological warfare.
As we have already said, international communism — though necessarily born of hatred and turned by its own internal logic to the use of violence exercised by means of wars, revolutions, and assassinations — was compelled by great, profound changes in public opinion to dissimulate its rancor and to pretend it had desisted from these means.
Now, if such desistance were sincere, international communism would have denied itself to the point of self-destruction.
But this is far from being the case. Communism uses the smile only as a weapon of aggression and warfare. It does not eliminate violence but transfers it from the field of physical and palpable operations to the field of impalpable psychological actuations. Its objective: to gradually and invisibly obtain the victory in the interior of souls that it could not win through drastic and visible means, according to the classic methods, because of certain circumstances.
Of course, this is not a question of carrying out a few sparse and sporadic operations in the realm of the spirit. On the contrary, it is a question of a true war of conquest — psychological, yes, but total - targeting the whole man and all men in all countries.
We insist on this concept of total revolutionary psychological warfare. In fact, psychological warfare targets the whole psyche of man. That is, it acts on him in the various powers of the soul and in every fiber of his mentality. It targets all men: partisans or sympathizers of the Third Revolution as well as neutrals and even adversaries. It uses any means. At each step it needs to have at its disposal a specific factor to lead each social group and even each man imperceptibly closer to communism, however slightly. And this is so in every area: in religious, political, social, and economic convictions; in cultural attitudes; in artistic preferences; and in the ways of being and acting in the family, in the workplace, and in society.
A. The Two Great Goals of Revolutionary Psychological Warfare
Given the Third Revolution’s present difficulties in carrying out ideological recruitment, the most useful of its activities is aimed not at its friends and sympathizers, but at the neutrals and its adversaries:
a. to deceive and slowly put the neutrals to sleep;
b. to divide at every step, disarticulate, isolate, terrorize, defame, persecute, and block its adversaries.
These are, in our view, the two great goals of revolutionary psychological warfare.
In this way, the Third Revolution becomes capable of winning - not so much by increasing the number of its friends as by destroying its adversaries.
Obviously, to carry on this warfare, communism mobilizes all the means of action it possesses in Western countries as a result of the apogee attained there by the Third Revolution’s offensive.
B. Total Revolutionary Psychological Warfare: A Result of the Third Revolution’s Apogee and Current Problems
Total revolutionary psychological warfare therefore results from a combination of the two contradictory factors previously described: on the one hand, communism’s peak of influence over almost all key points of the great machine that is Western society; on the other, its diminishing ability to persuade and lead the profound levels of Western public opinion.
4. The Third Revolution’s Psychological Offensive Within The Church
It would be impossible to describe this psychological warfare without carefully examining its development in what is the very soul of the West, that is, Christianity, and more precisely the Catholic religion, which is Christianity in its absolute fullness and unique authenticity.
A. The Second Vatican Council
Within the perspective of Revolution and Counter-Revolution, the greatest success attained by the smiling post-Stalinist communism was the Second Vatican Council’s enigmatic, disconcerting, incredible, and apocalyptically tragic silence about communism.
It was the desire of this Council to be pastoral and not dogmatic. And, in fact, it did not have a dogmatic scope. But its omission regarding communism might make it go down in history as the apastoral Council.
We shall explain the special sense in which we make this statement.
Imagine an immense flock languishing in poor, arid fields and being attacked on all sides by swarms of bees and wasps and birds of prey. The shepherds begin to irrigate the fields and drive away the swarms and birds. Can this activity be termed pastoral? In theory, certainly.
However, if at the same time the flock were under attack by packs of voracious wolves, many of them covered with sheepskins, and the pastors fought against the insects and birds without making any effort to unmask or drive away the wolves, could their work be considered pastoral, proper to good and faithful shepherds?
In other words, did those in the Second Vatican Council who wished to scare away the lesser adversaries but gave free rein — by their silence — to the greater adversary act as true pastors?
Using “aggiornate” tactics (about which the least that can be said is that they are contestable in theory and proving ruinous in practice), the Second Vatican Council tried to scare away, let us say, bees, wasps, and birds of prey. But its silence about communism left full liberty to the wolves. The work of this Council cannot be inscribed as effectively pastoral either in history or in the Book of Life.
It is painful to say this. But, in this sense, the evidence singles out the Second Vatican Council as one of the greatest calamities, if not the greatest, in the history of the Church. From the Council on, the “smoke of Satan” penetrated the Church in unbelievable proportions. And this smoke is spreading day by day, with the terrible force of gases in expansion. To the scandal of uncountable souls, the Mystical Body of Christ entered a sinister process of self-destruction, as it were.
The historic declaration of Paul VI in the allocution Resistite fortes in fide, of June 29, 1972, is fundamental for a better understanding of the calamities in the post-Conciliar phase of the Church. We quote the Poliglotta Vaticana.
The same Pontiff, in an allocution to the students of the Pontifical Lombard Seminary on December 7, 1968, had affirmed:
His Holiness John Paul II also painted a somber picture of the Church’s situation.
In a similar vein, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith, later stated:
History narrates the innumerable dramas the Church has suffered in the twenty centuries of her existence: oppositions that germinated outside her and tried to destroy her from outside; malignancies that formed within her, were cut off by her, and thereafter ferociously tried to destroy her from outside.
When, however, has history witnessed an attempted demolition of the Church like the present one? No longer undertaken by an adversary, it was termed a "self-destruction" in a most lofty pronouncement having world-wide repercussion.
From this resulted an immense debacle for the Church and what still remains of Christian civilization. The Ostpolitik of the Vatican, for example, and the massive infiltration of communism into Catholic circles are effects of all these calamities. And they constitute additional successes of the psychological offensive of the Third Revolution against the Church.
On reading these lines about Ostpolitik, someone could ask if the enormous changes that took place in Russia resulted from an ingenious move by the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
Perhaps the Vatican, on the basis of the best information, foresaw that communism, corroded by internal crises, would begin in its turn to self-destruct. And to encourage the world headquarters of materialistic atheism to this autodemolition, the Catholic Church, situated on the other extreme of the ideological spectrum, feigned her own destruction. Perhaps this is what led communism to markedly diminish its persecution of the Church. After all, if both were moribund, and arrangement would be understandable. In other words, it is to the flexibility of the Church that we should attribute the conditions for the flexibility of the communist world.
It would be fitting to reply that if the members of the Sacred Hierarchy knew that indigence and ruin would force communism to self-destruct, they should have denounced the misery and convoked all the peoples of the West to prepare the way for rehabilitating Russia and the world as soon as communism effectively collapsed.
They should not have remained silent, letting the phenomenon evolve without benefiting from Catholic influence and the generous and solicitous cooperation of Western governments, since only this denunciation could have prevented the Soviet collapse from reaching its present dead end, wherein everything is misery and imbroglio.
In any case, it is false to say that the self-destruction of the Church has hastened the self-destruction of communism - unless there were a secret treaty between the two in this regard.
But such a treaty — or suicidal pact — would lack any legitimacy and usefulness for the Catholic world, not to mention everything in this mere hypothesis of offense to the popes in whose pontificates this double euthanasia was supposedly arranged.
B. The Church: Today’s Center of Conflict Between the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution
In 1959, the year we wrote Revolution and the Counter-Revolution, the Church was considered the great spiritual force against the worldwide expansion of the communist sect.
In 1976, innumerable ecclesiastics, including bishops, figure as accomplices by omission, as collaborators, and even as driving forces of the Third Revolution. Progressivism, installed almost everywhere, is converting the formerly verdant forest of the Catholic Church into wood that can easily be set afire by communism.
In a word, the extent of this change is such that we do not hesitate to affirm that the center — the most sensitive and truly decisive point in the fight between the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution — has shifted from the temporal to the spiritual society.
The Holy Church is now this center. In her, progressivists, cryptocommunists, and procommunists confront antiprogressivists and anticommunists.
C. Reactions Based on Revolution and Counter-Revolution
Has the efficacy of Revolution and Counter-Revolution been annulled by these numerous changes? On the contrary.
In 1968, the TFPs then existing in South America, inspired in particular by Part II of this essay ("The Counter-Revolution"), organized national petition drives addressed to Paul VI, requesting measures against leftist infiltration into the Catholic clergy and laity of South America.
Altogether, 2,060,368 people in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay signed the petition during a 58-day period.
To our knowledge, it is the only mass petition - on any subject - signed by the sons of four South American nations. And, as far as we know, it is the largest petition in the history of these four countries.
The answer of Paul VI was not merely silence and inaction. It was — how it pains us to say it — a series of acts whose effect continues to give prestige and facility of action to many promoters of Catholic leftism today.
At the sight of this rising tide of communist infiltration into the Holy Church, the TFPs and like organizations did not become discouraged. And in 1974 each of them published a declaration expressing their inconformity with the Vatican Ostpolitik and their resolve “to resist to the face.”
One of the declaration’s passages, referring to Paul VI, expresses the document’s spirit:
On our knees, gazing with veneration at the person of His Holiness Pope Paul VI, we express all our fidelity to him. In this filial act we say to the Pastor of Pastors: “Our soul is Yours, our life is Yours. Order us to do whatever you wish. Only do not order us to cross our arms in face of the assailing Red wolf. To this our conscience is opposed.”
Not stopping at these efforts, the TFPs and like organizations in their respective countries promoted during the course of 1976 nine editions of the Chilean TFP best-seller, The Church of Silence in Chile: The TFP Proclaims the Whole Truth.
In almost all countries, the respective edition included a prologue describing numerous and impressive national events analogous to what had occurred in Chile.
The response of the public to this great publicity effort can be termed a victory: 56,000 copies were printed in South America alone, where, in the most populous countries, the total pressrun of a book of this nature, when successful, is usually 5,000 copies.
In Spain, more than 1,000 secular and regular priests from all regions of the country signed an impressive petition giving the Sociedad Cultural Covadonga their firm support for the courageous prologue of the book’s Spanish edition.
D. The Usefulness of the Action of the TFPs and Like Organizations Inspired by Revolution and Counter-Revolution
In this specific battlefield, what has been the practical effect of the counter-revolutionary activity of the TFPs, inspired by Revolution and Counter-Revolution?
By denouncing the danger of communist infiltration to Catholic opinion, the TFPs have opened the eyes of Catholics to the snares of unfaithful pastors. Consequently, the latter are leading fewer and fewer sheep along the paths of perdition onto which they themselves have wandered, as even a summary observation of the facts leads one to conclude.
This is not a victory in itself, but it is a precious and indispensable condition for one. The TFPs give thanks to Our Lady for being able, within the spirit and methods of the second part of Revolution and Counter-Revolution, to do their share in the great struggle in which other wholesome forces — one or another of great scope and capability for action — are presently engaged.
5. An Assessment Of Twenty Years of The Third Revolution According To The Criteria Of Revolution and Counter-Revolution
The situation of the Third Revolution and the Counter-Revolution has been outlined herein on the basis of how they appear shortly before the twentieth anniversary of the publication of this book.
On the one hand, the apogee of the Third Revolution makes a success of the Counter-Revolution in the near future more difficult than ever.
On the other, the same anti-socialist allergy that presently constitutes a grave obstacle to the victory of communism creates medium-term conditions that are decidedly favorable for the Counter-Revolution.
The various counter-revolutionary groups spread throughout the world have the noble historic responsibility of making good use of these conditions.
The TFPs have strived to contribute their part to the common effort, having spread during the last twenty years across the Americas, with a new TFP in France, giving rise to a similar dynamic organization in the Iberian peninsula, and projecting its name and contacts in other countries of the Old World with the strong desire of working with all the counter-revolutionary groups fighting there.
Twenty years after the launching of Revolution and Counter-Revolution, the TFPs and similar organizations stand shoulder to shoulder with the front-line organizations in the counter-revolutionary struggle.
The Aborning Fourth Revolution
The panorama presented here would be incomplete were we to fail to mention an internal transformation in the Third Revolution. It is the Fourth Revolution that is being born of it.
It is being born, yes, in the manner of a matricidal refinement. When the Second Revolution was born, it refined, overcame, and dealt a mortal blow to the First Revolution. The same occurred when, by an analogous process, the Third Revolution sprang from the second.
Everything indicates that the Third Revolution has now arrived at the moment, at once culminating and fatal, when it generates the Fourth Revolution and thus exposes itself to being killed by it.
In the clash between the Third Revolution and the Counter-Revolution, will there be time for the process that generates the Fourth Revolution to develop entirely? Will the latter effectively open a new stage in the history of the Revolution? Or will it be simply an abortive phenomenon, which will rise up and disappear without having a major influence in the clash between the Third Revolution and the Counter-Revolution? The greater or lesser space to be reserved for the Fourth Revolution in these hurried and summary notes would depend on the answer to this question — an answer that only the future can give completely.
Since what is uncertain should not be treated as if it had the importance of what is certain, we will devote a very limited space to what seems to be the Fourth Revolution.
1. The Fourth Revolution Foretold By The Authors Of The Third Revolution
As is well known, neither Marx nor the generality of his most notorious followers (whether orthodox or heterodox) considered the dictatorship of the proletariat to be the final phase of the revolutionary process. This dictatorship is, according to them, nothing but the most refined, dynamic aspect of the universal Revolution. And, in the evolutionist mythology inherent to the thinking of Marx and his followers, just as evolution will develop to infinity over the centuries, so also the Revolution will be endless. From the First Revolution, two other revolutions have already been born. The third, in its turn, will generate another. And so on…
It is impossible to predict within the Marxist perspective what the Twentieth or Fiftieth Revolution would be like. However, it is possible to predict what the Fourth Revolution will be like. This prediction has already been made by the Marxists themselves.
This revolution will necessarily be the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a result of a new crisis. Pressured by this crisis, the hypertrophic state will be victim of its own hypertrophy. And it will disappear, giving rise to a scientistic and cooperationist state of things in which — so the communists say — man will have attained a heretofore inconceivable degree of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
2. The Fourth Revolution And Tribalism: An Eventuality?
How shall this come to pass? We cannot but wonder if the tribal society dreamed of by today’s structuralist currents provides the answer to this question. Structuralism sees in tribal life an illusory synthesis between the height of individual liberty and of consentaneous collectivism, in which the latter ends up devouring liberty. In this collectivism, the various “I’s” or the individual persons, with their intelligence, will, and sensibility, and consequently with their characteristic and conflictual ways of being, merge and dissolve in the collective personality of the tribe, which generates one thought, one will, and one style of being intensely common to all.
Of course, the road to this tribal state of things must pass through the extinction of the old standards of individual reflection, volition, and sensibility. These will be gradually replaced by forms of thought, deliberation, and sensibility that are increasingly collective. It is, therefore, principally in this field that the transformation must take place.
In what manner? In tribes, the cohesion among the members is assured mainly by a way of thinking and feeling common to all, from which result common habits and a common will. Individual reason is reduced to almost nothing, in other words, to the first and most elementary movements that this atrophied state permits. “Savage thought,” the thought that does not think and is turned only to what is concrete — such is the price of the tribal collectivist fusion. It belongs to the witch doctor to maintain, on a mystical level, this collective psychic life by means of totemic cults charged with confused “messages” but rich in the ignes fatui or even fulgurations emanating from the mysterious world of transpsychology or parapsychology. By acquiring these “riches,” man would compensate for the atrophy of reason.
Reason — formerly hypertrophied by free interpretation of the Scriptures, Cartesianism, and other causes, divinized by the French Revolution, used to the point of the most unabashed abuse in every communist school of thought — would now be atrophied and enslaved by transpsychological and parapsychological totemism.
A. The Fourth Revolution and the Preternatural
“Omnes dii gentium daemonia” (“All of the gods of the gentiles are devils”), say the Scriptures. In this structuralist perspective, in which magic is presented as a form of knowledge, to what degree may a Catholic perceive the deceitful flashes, the canticle (at once sinister and attractive, soothing and delirious, atheistic and fetishistically credulous) with which, from the bottom of the abysses where he lies eternally, the Prince of Darkness attracts those who have denied Jesus Christ and His Church?
This is a question that theologians can and should discuss. We mean the real theologians, that is, the few who still believe in the existence of the devil and hell, especially the few among these few who have the courage to face the scorn and persecution of the mass media and to speak out.
B. Structuralism and Pre-tribal Tendencies
To the extent that one sees the structuralist movement as a more or less exact (but, in any event, precursory) figure of the Fourth Revolution, one must view certain phenomena generalized over the last decade or two as preparing and driving the structuralist impetus.
Thus, the overthrow of the traditions of dress in the West, increasingly eroded by nudism, obviously tends toward the appearance and consolidation of habits that will tolerate, at most, the cincture of feathers worn by certain tribes, substituted, where the cold demands it, with coverings somewhat like those used by the Laplanders.
The rapid disappearance of the rules of courtesy can only end up in the absolute simplicity (to use only this qualifier) of tribal manners.
The growing dislike for anything that is reasoned, structured, and systematized, can only lead, in its last paroxysms, to the perpetual and fanciful vagabondage of jungle life, alternating, likewise, with the instinctive and almost mechanical performance of some activities absolutely indispensable to life.
The aversion to intellectual effort, notably to abstraction, theorization, and doctrinal thought, can only induce, ultimately, a hypertrophy of the senses and of the imagination, resulting in the "civilization of the image," about which Paul VI felt duty?bound to warn mankind.
Also symptomatic are the ever more frequent idyllic eulogies of a cultural revolution that will generate a postindustrial society, still ill-defined but whose first specimen would be — some say is — Chinese communism.
C. An Unpretentious Contribution
We know full well that panoramic views — always vast and summary — lend themselves to many objections.
Necessarily abbreviated due to the constrictions of the present chapter, our overview is but an unpretentious contribution to the studious reflections of people gifted with that daring and unique finesse of observation and analysis which, in all epochs, enables some men to foresee tomorrow.
D. The Opposition of the Banal
Others, instead of using foresight, will simply do what banal and timid souls have been doing throughout the centuries. Smiling, they will term such transformations impossible. Why? Because they clash with their mental habits; these transformations violate common sense, and for banal men, history normally follows the path of common sense. So, in face of these perspectives, they will incredulously and optimistically smile, just as Leo X smiled about the trivial “quarrel of friars,” which was all he saw in the nascent First Revolution. Or they will smile like the “Fenelonian” Louis XVI smiled when he saw the first ferments of the Second Revolution in splendid palace salons, lulled at times by the silvery sound of the harpsichord, or glittering discreetly in bucolic ambiences and scenes like his wife’s Hameau. His smile was no different from that of many high — and some of the highest — dignitaries of the Church and of Western temporal society before the manipulations of smiling post-Stalinist communism or the upheavals announcing the Fourth Revolution.
If one day the Third or Fourth Revolution, aided by ecumenical progressivism in the spiritual realm, takes over the temporal life of humanity, it will be due more to the carelessness and collaboration of these smiling optimistic prophets of common sense than to all the fury of the revolutionary hosts and their propaganda.
E. Ecclesiastical Tribalism and Pentecostalism
Obviously, it is not only the temporal realm that the Fourth Revolution wants to reduce to tribalism. It wants to do the same with the spiritual realm. How this is to be done can already be clearly seen in the currents of theologians and canonists who intend to transform the noble, bone-like rigidity of the ecclesiastical structure - as Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted it and twenty centuries of religious life molded it - into a cartilaginous, soft, and amorphous texture of dioceses and parishes without territories and of religious groups in which the firm canonical authority is gradually replaced by the ascendancy of Pentecostalist "prophets," the counterparts of the structuralist-tribalist witch doctors. Eventually, these prophets will be indistinguishable from witch doctors. The same goes for the progressivist-Pentecostalist parish or diocese, which will take on the appearances of the cell-tribe of structuralism.
3. The Duty of the Counter-Revolutionaries in Face of the Aborning Fourth Revolution
When innumerable facts grouped in a reasonable way suggest hypotheses like this one on the beginning of the Fourth Revolution, what can the counter-revolutionary still do?
In the light of Revolution and Counter-Revolution, it behooves him, first of all, to emphasize the preponderant role that the Revolution in the tendencies has in the generative process of this Fourth Revolution and in the world resulting from it. He should prepare to fight, not only alerting men against this preponderance of the tendencies, which is becoming the rule today even though fundamentally subversive of good human order, but also using all legitimate and appropriate means in the tendential field to combat this same revolution in the tendencies. The counter-revolutionaty should also observe, analyze, and foresee the new steps of the process in order to erect as soon as possible every obstacle against the supreme form of tendential revolution and of revolutionary psychological warfare: the aborning Fourth Revolution.
If the Fourth Revolution has time to develop before the Third Revolution attempts its big adventure, the fight against it might call for another chapter of Revolution and Counter-Revolution. Such a chapter, all by itself might take up as much space as that devoted to the three previous revolutions. Why? Because processes of decadence tend to complicate everything almost infinitely. This is why each phase of the Revolution is more complex than the preceding one and obliges the Counter-Revolution to make efforts that are likewise more detailed and complex.
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With these perspectives on the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution and on the future of the work that must be done in face of both, we end these considerations.
Uncertain, like everyone, about tomorrow, we prayerfully raise our eyes to the lofty throne of Mary, Queen of the Universe, while addressing her in a paraphrase of the Psalmist’s words to Our Lord:
Ad te levavi oculos meos, qui habitas in coelis. Ecce sicut oculi servorum in manibus dominorum suorum, sicut oculi ancillae in manibus dominae suae; ita oculi nostri ad Dominam Matrem nostram donec misereatur nostri. (Unto thee I lift up my eyes, unto thee, who dwellest in the heavens. See how the eyes of servants are fixed on the hands of their masters, the eyes of a handmaid on the hand of her mistress! So our eyes are fixed on Our Lady and Mother, waiting for her to have mercy on us.)
Yes, we turn our eyes to Our Lady of Fatima, requesting of her the contrition that will obtain for us the great pardons, the strength to wage the great battles, and the abnegation to be detached in the great victories that will bring the establishing of her Reign. We desire these victories with our whole heart, even if to reach them, the Church and the human race must undergo the apocalyptic — but how just, regenerating, and merciful — chastisements she predicted in 1917 at the Cova da Iria.
Having updated the first (1959) edition of Revolution and Counter-Revolution by the addition of the preceding pages, we wondered if the brief conclusion to the original text and to subsequent editions should be replaced or at least modified. After rereading it carefully, we are convinced there is no reason to omit it or even alter it.
We say today as we said then: In view of what is stated herein, the present-day scene is very clear for anyone who acknowledges the logic of the counter-revolutionary principles. We are in the extreme throes of a struggle between the Church and the Revolution, a struggle that would be mortal if one of the contenders were not immortal. Therefore, in concluding, it is right that we, sons of the Church and fighters in the battles of the Counter-Revolution, should filially consecrate this book to Our Lady.
It was the Immaculate Virgin who crushed the head of the Serpent, the first, the major, the eternal revolutionary, the instigator and foremost upholder of this Revolution, as of any before or after it. Mary is, therefore, the Patroness of all those who fight against the Revolution.
The universal and all-powerful mediation of the Mother of God is the counter-revolutionaries’ greatest reason for hope. And, at Fatima, she already gave them the certainty of victory when she declared that, even after an eventual surge of communism throughout the world, “finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”
We beseech the Virgin, therefore, to accept this filial homage, a tribute of love and an expression of absolute confidence in her triumph.
We would not wish to end this work without a tribute of filial devotion and unrestricted obedience to the “sweet Christ on earth,” the pillar and infallible foundation of the Truth, His Holiness Pope John XXIII.
“Ubi Ecclesia ibi Christus, ubi Petrus ibi Ecclesia” (“Where the Church is, there is Christ; where Peter is, there is the Church”). It is then to the Holy Father that we direct our love, our enthusiasm, our dedication. It is with these sentiments, which have animated all the pages of Catolicismo since its foundation, that we have ventured to publish this work.
We have not the slightest doubt in our heart about any of the theses that constitute this work. Nevertheless, we subject them unrestrictedly to the judgment of the Vicar of Christ and are disposed to renounce immediately any one of them if it depart even slightly from the teaching of the Holy Church, our Mother, the Ark of Salvation, and the Gate of Heaven.
After reading the previous words, the reader will necessarily wonder where the revolutionary process stands today. Is the Third Revolution still alive? Or does the collapse of the Soviet empire permit us to affirm that the Fourth Revolution is erupting in the deepest levels of the political reality of Eastern Europe, or even that it has won?
We must make a distinction. Today, the currents of thought that advocate the implantation of the Fourth Revolution have spread — though in different forms — throughout the world and reveal nearly everywhere a marked tendency to increase in volume.
In this sense, the Fourth Revolution is in a crescendo that is promising to those who desire it and threatening to those who oppose it. However, it would be exaggerated to say that the present order of things in the former U.S.S.R. is already totally modeled according to the Fourth Revolution and that nothing of the Third Revolution remains there.
The Fourth Revolution, although having also a political dimension, identifies itself as a cultural revolution. In other words, it broadly encompasses all aspects of human existence. Therefore, the political clashes that may occur among the nations that once formed the U.S.S.R. could strongly condition the Fourth Revolution, yet they will hardly dominate the events, the ensemble of human acts encompassed by the cultural revolution.
But what about the public opinion of the former Soviet countries (many of them still ruled by old communists)? Has it nothing to tell us about this, since, according to Revolution and Counter-Revolution, it had such a great role in the previous revolutions?
This question cannot be answered unless other questions are answered first. Is there truly a public opinion in these countries? Can it be induced to participate in a systematic revolutionary process? If not, what are the plans of the top national and international leaders of communism for orienting this public opinion?
These questions are difficult to answer, as presently public opinion in the former Soviet world is evidently indifferent, amorphous, and immobilized by the weight of seventy years of total dictatorship. Under this tyranny, every individual feared to manifest his religious or political opinion in many circles, even to his closest relative or most intimate friend. A probable denunciation — veiled or open, true or false — could consign him to indefinite hard labor on the frozen expanses of Siberia. Nevertheless, these questions must be answered if we are to render a prognosis of the course of events in the erstwhile Soviet world.
Moreover, the international media continues to publicize the eventual migration of famished semi-civilized — ergo semi-barbarian — hordes to the prosperous European countries living under the regime of Western consumerism.
Starved not only of food but of ideas, what do these pitiable people understand of the free world, at once supercivilized and gangrenous? On meeting it, would they not clash with it? And what would result from this clash, both in an invaded Europe and, by extension, in the old Soviet world? A self-managing, cooperationist, structuralist-tribalist revolution or an immediate world of total anarchy, of chaos and horror, which we would not hesitate to call the Fifth Revolution?
At the moment this edition goes to press, any answer to these questions would be manifestly premature. Not that they should not be asked now, for the future is so unpredictable that it might be too late to ask them tomorrow. Indeed, of what use are books, thinkers, or remnants of civilization in a tribal world beset by the hurricanes of the disordered human passions and the deliria of structuralist-tribalist “mysticism” — what a tragic situation, in which nobody would be anything in the empire of Nothingness.
* * *
Gorbachev is still in Moscow, where he will remain, at least as long as he does not accept the highly preferential invitations quickly extended him by the prestigious universities of Harvard, Stanford, and Boston after his downfall, or the regal hospitality offered by Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, in the renowned palace of Lanzarote, on the Canary Islands, or the university chair to which he was invited by the famous College de France.
Defeated in the East, the communist ex-leader’s only difficulty seems to be choosing among the many flattering invitations he is receiving from the West. Thus far, he has decided to write a syndicated series of articles for newspapers in the capitalist world — a world whose highest levels continue to provide him fervent and inexplicable support — and to travel to the United States amid great publicity to raise funds for the Gorbachev Foundation.
Thus, even though Gorbachev is overshadowed in his own country — and seriously questioned in the West — Western magnates endeavor in various ways to maintain the floodlights of a flattering publicity beamed on the man of perestroika, who made a point, throughout his whole political career, of showing that his reform is not communism’s contrary but its refinement.
As for the weak Soviet federation that was agonizing when Gorbachev was overthrown, it became a quasiphantasmal "Commonwealth of Independent States," whose inter-member friction worries statesmen and political analysts. Several of these republics have nuclear weapons and the capability to launch them at a neighbor (or at the enemies of Islam, whose influence grows daily in the former Soviet world), causing great apprehension among those concerned for global balance.
The effects of these eventual atomic aggressions could be multiple. Principal among them could be the exodus of populations formerly contained by the Iron Curtain. Driven by the rigors of bitter winters and by the dangers of immense catastrophes, they might feel redoubled impulses to "request" the hospitality of Western Europe. and of American nations.
In Brazil, Lionel Brizola, Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, has already proposed (to the applause of the nation’s minister of agriculture) attracting farmers from Eastern Europe through government land-reform programs. Argentine president Carlos Menem, in contacts with the European Economic Community, has said he is willing to have his country accept many thousands of these immigrants. The head of the Colombian Foreign Office, Mrs. Nohemi Sanin, has stated that her country’s government was studying the possibility of admitting technicians from the East.  This is how imminent the waves of invasion may be.
And what of communism? What happened to it? Enthralled at the perspective of a long-lasting universal peace, or even an everlasting peace that would abolish the terrible specter of a global nuclear hecatomb, most of Western public opinion was gripped by the sensation that communism had died.
The West’s honeymoon with this supposed paradise of amity and peace is gradually losing its harmony, as evidenced by the above-mentioned threat of all sorts of aggressions thundering in the territories of the defunct U.S.S.R. Will the Western impression that communism has ended prove any more reliable?
At first, the voices that questioned the authenticity of communism’s demise were few, isolated, and poorly documented.
Nevertheless, little by little, shadows began to appear on the horizon. It was noted that in countries of central Europe, the Balkans, or the former U.S.S.R. some of the new holders of power had been important figures in the local communist party. The move toward privatization in all these countries, with the exception of the old East Germany, is generally more apparent than real, proceeding at a snail’s pace that reveals the lack of an entirely defined direction.
So, did communism die in these countries? Or did it simply enter into a complicated metamorphosis? The doubts in this matter are growing just as the last echoes of the universal rejoicing at the supposed collapse of communism are discreetly fading away.
The Western communist parties had withered in the sight of all at the crash of the first cave-ins of the U.S.S.R.
But already today several of them are reorganizing under new names. Is the change of names a resurrection? A metamorphosis? I am inclined to opt for the second hypothesis. As for certainties, only the future can give them.
This updating of the general scene in face of which the world is taking a position seemed indispensable for any attempt to impart a little light and order to a horizon in whose quadrants chaos is predominating. And what is the spontaneous path of chaos if not the unintelligible worsening of itself?
Amid this chaos, only one thing will not fail, namely, the prayer transcribed a little earlier and which is in my heart and on my lips, just as it is in the heart of all who see and think as I do:
Unto thee I lift up my eyes, unto thee, who dwellest in the heavens. See how the eyes of servants are fixed on the hands of their masters, the eyes of a handmaid on the hand of her mistress! So our eyes are fixed on Our Lady and Mother, waiting for her to have mercy on us.
Behold the affirmation of the unvarying confidence of the Catholic soul, which kneels but remains firm amid the general convulsion — firm with all the firmness of those who, in the storm, and with a strength of soul even greater than it, continue to affirm from the bottom of their heart: “Credo in Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam et Apostolicam Ecclesiam” that is, I believe in the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, against which, as promised to Saint Peter, the gates of hell will never prevail.
Today, after more than forty years, the struggle is at its height, permitting one to foresee developments of an amplitude and intensity difficult to measure. In this struggle we are gladdened by the presence in the ranks of the TFPs and like organizations of so many new brothers‑in‑ideal, in over twenty countries on six continents. It is legitimate also on the battlefield for the soldiers of the good to say to one another: "Quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum" ("Behold how good it is and how pleasant where brethren dwell together in unity") (Psalm 132:1).↑