Left and Right

Society is Founded Upon Blood and Torture

By AntiBoomerEquation  ProphetBattlestone’s Amysterium

Joseph de Maistre and Society Red in Tooth and Claw

Joseph de Maistre is one of the greatest thinkers of the right in history. Not a reactionary, he is rather a realist on the bloody nature of sovereignty and nature in general. He (like Georges Sorel) sees violence as necessary for society, and the liberal fantasy of world peace and reason as inevitably ending in the Jacobins, as force reasserts itself and imposes order. Unlike the true reactionaries he did not believe that the French Revolution could be undone, but that nonetheless men must submit to sovereignty backed by the torturer if they were to live in society.

Like Stirner (and, again, Sorel) he sees that most men are not ‘rational ‘and apparently cannot be, and what is really behind all authority is myth and power. Joseph de Maistre was a large influence on the brilliant German jurist Carl Schmitt (some say Schmitt misunderstood Joseph de Maistre).

This talk is by Isaiah Berlin, a twentieth century liberal who, while not sympathetic with Joseph de Maistre, is at least intellectually honest. The warnings to the Czar not to accept immigrants, as they were men of disagreeable nature who couldn’t get along in their own lands, could be a more articulate version of by Trump (they’re not sending their best), and is also a criticism of early American Protestant settlers that many anti-modernist/anti-liberal thinkers today express.

The Hermitix Podcast also has “The Life and Work of Joseph de Maistre”.

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1 reply »

  1. I am reading some other stuff on socialism and Islam right now, but I will return to de Maistre soon. He (along with Schmitt, Sorel and Stirner, all mentioned in this little entry) is far more influential on how I think of politics than Rothbard or Mises (whom I do praise for their economic theory).

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