“In the Legislative Assembly, the more violent revolutionaries had congregated, at first simply by chance, on the higher benches to the left of the president’s chair, from which they became known as “the Left” or “the Mountain.” (The persistence to this day of the former term, along with its opposite, “The Right,” is a forceful reminder of how much the legacy of the French Revolution is still with us.) Perhaps in a feeble attempt to diffuse political labels and hatreds, when the National Convention met, the president’s chair had been set up on the opposite side of the Riding School, so the high benches where the radicals had set were now on his right. But they held resolutely to their benches, and so marked had the political connotation of the term “the Left” already become that it did not matter to anyone that the Left in the National Convention was now physically on the right. The deputies opposite them were the Girondins, who at first had been the radicals, and were quite uncomfortable with their new role as conservatives. Those in between, because their seats were lower down, were known as “the Plain.” As they skulked lower and lower with the passing months in an increasingly desperate effort to keep out of sight and trouble, some wits began calling them ‘the Marsh.’ “
- (Warren Carroll, The Guillotine and the Cross)
So shifted The Will of the People during the French Revolution. Rather, one might say, so shifted The Dictatorship of the People through the People’s representatives during the French Revolution. For “The People” were now free of their Monarch and were duly “represented” by supposed leaders proclaiming Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality! Those leaders of “the People” knew what “the People” needed and implemented their program through one of the most unmerciful dictatorial regimes in history. Poor Louis XVI could not have even imagined using his Monarchical powers to demonstrate such totalitarian control as did “the People” after they came to power. No wonder Lenin, more than a century later, so admired the French Revolutionaries. He was, as well, all about “the People.” You might recall that in both revolutions, the French and the Russian, the respective Monarchs (more or less with their families) had been executed in favor of more “free” “Republics.”
What was once considered “revolutionary” (liberal) in the French scheme had somehow eventually come to be viewed now as “conservative.” The median continued to move leftward. Radical became more leftward radical, while conservative shifted leftward and became, well, more leftward radical. Before long the Girondins, those formerly considered revolutionary, had to run for the hills for now being too conservative as those “further to the left” assumed more control of the apparatus that would eventually yield “The Reign of Terror.” This Reign (as distinct from the much kinder Reign of their former Catholic King) came complete with the almost non-stop, up and down rhythm of guillotines for the non-revolutionary “People,” including, and especially, those loyal to the Catholic Church and the “ancien régime.” The revolutionaries, having severed themselves from their Catholic King and Queen (Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette), or, more literally, having severed the heads of their Catholic King and Queen, had now set “the People” free. The Church with her Monarchs would no longer tell “the People” what is right and what is wrong. “The People” will be free to determine their own course.
Their freedom, however, was merely a freedom to drift into darkness in the same manner that a boat tied to an anchor for safe-keeping is “freed” during a storm to drift away, lost on the high seas to perish (in a shipwreck of “democratic” totalitarianism). For this is the historical record of “the People” every time they try to “free” themselves from God (as represented through His Church), be that in the vulgar and grotesque Sixties Revolution in America, the early 20th century Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the 18th century French Revolution, the 16th century Protestant Revolution, or even all the way back to the Adam and Eve Revolution at the dawn of mankind.
“Freedom,” by turning the authentic order of God on its head such that morality, i.e., determining what is right and what is wrong, is dictated by “the Will of the People” from below rather than by God from above, leads to anarchy and then to slavery. Such is the historical record, I will argue anyway. No wonder God told Adam and Eve that they were “free” to eat of any of the trees in the garden except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. For, God, and God alone, establishes the authentic order for what is right and what is wrong. Only by setting ourselves firmly in that Divine Order do we then find our Freedom “to eat of the fruits of all the other trees in the Garden.” But don’t tell that to the hippies (who now control the American political apparatus which is predictably preparing for a new “Reign of Terror” on religious people), or the communists, or the French Republicans, or the Protestants, or, for that matter, to Adam and Eve.
Therein is the issue and the subtle but distinct point of separation between the Catholic Monarchy and the Democratic Republic. Note that I am not saying, between the Catholic Monarchy and Democracy, for there is no reason that the Monarchy cannot hold dear to itself robust democracies at the state and local level. To frame the issue as “Monarchy vs. Democracy” as so many do, is to frame it poorly if not completely incorrectly. Democracy can exist in both models. The issue has to do not with “Monarchy vs. Democracy” but with “the Will of God vs. the Will of the People” as defined by the proper order of things. This is fundamentally important. As we have seen in our historical examples, missing the proper order of things can lead one to a life under tyranny, if one is not ultimately relieved from it all by the guillotine in the hands of “the People.”
The issue between the Monarchy and the Republic, then, is one of authentic order, not one of democratic freedom. This is the arch-issue that has plagued mankind in its rebellious spirit from the moment we began our walk in the Garden. God establishes what is right and what is wrong (“You may eat of any of the trees in the Garden, except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”). Within that scheme, which comes to us from the Will of God above and not from The Will of the People below, we find our true democratic freedoms (you are free to eat of any of the trees, except…). The Catholic Monarchy most closely adheres to this authentic order by establishing God’s law (as known infallibly through His Church in matters of faith and morals) from the top down, which allows for the proper development of societal norms and a life-giving culture. Within those boundaries, we are free to joyfully exercise our “Will” in the rest of the Garden where God blesses us.
The Republic, on the other hand, with its Will of the People, decides, like the falling Adam and Eve, that it will eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Will of the People will become its own god. Abortion is fine because that is “the Will of the People.” Homosexuality is natural, glorious, and fun because defining it such is “the Will of the People.” Shutting down religious organizations or otherwise telling them how they must change their beliefs in order to accommodate “The Will of the People” is fine because that is, well, “the Will of the People.” Never mind God. According to the Will of the People in a Republic, God is whoever we wish (h)im to be and (h)e supports whatever we choose because that is the “Will of the People.” Thus, in the Republic, God obeys the Will of the People rather than the other way around. That, my friends, is not an authentic order. It is disorder. Is it any wonder that Republics tend to fall into disordered tyranny?
The Catholic Monarchy, though as subject to illicit and disordered tendencies in the individual Monarchs as in any human being, is, however, fundamentally and objectively structured to better secure the authentic order of freedom, that of God (through His authoritative teaching Church) deciding what is right and what is wrong, and then leaving us “in the garden” (rather than being escorted out) to enjoy our democratic freedoms (of all the trees, except…) within that framework. The Will of God must be first established as a higher authority than the Will of the People. There we will find true freedom.
This is the rub between the Monarchy and the Republic. There is where the Republic generally fails. It fails in fulfilling exactly its purpose for which it supposedly exists, that is, to make us “free.” Just ask the victims of the hippie generation, of the Bolshevik Revolution, of the French Republic, of the Protestant Revolution, and even of the Adam and Eve Revolution. (You might fairly retort that I should ask the victims of the inquisition about my Catholic Monarchical model; yet, I will answer that “inquisition” is clearly as much a secular tool as a religious one and that our historical examples demonstrate that it is far more dangerous in the hands of seculars than churchmen. The Spanish Inquisition killed a few thousand through its most violent ten years, while the French anti-Gods sent more than 40,000 to the chopping block in Paris alone. We’re not even going to mention Lenin).
I fondly remember my youthful days on the High Plains in the great state of Oklahoma. The dogmas of the Republic which were taught to me made absolute sense at the time. The reason they made sense is because “the People” in our area were generally the most solid, trustworthy, God-fearing, salt of the earth folk anywhere in the country. It was easy for me to believe that the Will of the People was effectively the same as the Will of God because most of these farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and teachers were, in fact, holding fast to the authentic order or things. However, I did not realize at that time how precarious, shifting, and amorphous was the general Will of the People. Naive, I realized that in the great Republic, where the Constitution was supposedly the safe-guard of the People, the Constitution was itself subject to the People, whatever “the People” might believe on any given day, but did not imagine that a new day would come about that revealed such an anti-God, secular Will of the People as we are witnessing today in America. Yes, that day has changed. It has changed in a big way. The Will of the People is thoroughly corrupted. The People are eating once again from that forbidden tree.
What was it again that Our Savior told us to pray? “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” In America, we have our own version: “The People’s Kingdom come, The People’s will be done, in heaven as on earth…”
Things are disordered in the Republic. It is time to restructure our government to a Catholic Monarchy such that we agree to leave that one tree alone. Then, and only then, will we be truly free to enjoy the fruits of all the other trees in the Garden.