Left and Right

Remembering Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

By F. Cooper Adamo Chronicles

The Dark Horse of Liberty

When Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn wrote his 1974 book Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse, he dedicated it to “the Noble Memory of Armand Tuffin, Marquis de la Rouërie.” Tuffin was a French aristocrat born in 1751, and one of the first Europeans to come to the aid of the American colonies—even before Marquis de Lafayette—and one of the last to leave. By 1781, after the Siege of Yorktown, Tuffin was promoted to Brigadier General and became a friend of George Washington. He fought for each “free and independent” state in America, for liberty, and for republican ideals. Tuffin, who died in 1793, was also the leader in France of the Breton Association, a counterrevolutionary group that fought against the increasingly radical French revolutionaries.
Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909-1999) saw his project in the same vein as Tuffin’s. They were both European aristocrats who fought for liberty in the States, in their own respective ways. Tuffin fought in the American War of Independence and Kuehnelt-Leddihn devoted much of his life to educating an American audience about the danger that their democratic system could devolve into tyranny. Yet today hardly anyone knows the work of Kuehnelt-Leddihn. Though he was a monarchist he admired the American system; he wrote in defense of liberty and despised democracy and egalitarianism. Given that many Western societies are currently threatened by mob rule, centralization, and illiberality, there is no thinker who deserves renewed attention more than Kuehnelt-Leddihn.

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