Towards Kiev

I have, I suppose, an animal’s notion of freedom, or as we say in politics, an animal’s “vision” of it. I do not, however, have a sophisticated theory. Quite plainly, I want to be left alone. So to say: my belief in freedom is “absolutist.” It is endowed by God, or must be, since it is shared (without exception) by all the creatures in the creation He has made.

It is the one thing that, at every level of calculation, from Earthworm to Einstein, must exceed even the calculation of death, and may be demonstrated to do so by, for instance, even the most humble, disarmed Ukrainian soldier. For he would rather die, than surrender his freedom to the Russian invader.

Democracy, I argue at the Catholic Thing today, is a Communist plot; though I do not say this in so many words. The editor apportions me one thousand words, which allows space for a certain number of distractions. ¬†The reader must make a few logical and rhetorical leaps in the course of them. (If I did this myself, I’d likely have my bank account frozen.)

But this is the strange state of affairs, in the annals of paradox. Democracy is the opposite of freedom. It is a system of compulsion, based on voting, and it has always been resisted by those who prize aesthetic tranquillity, and independence of mind. It does not matter who you think will win the election, or if you care, it is likely for the party that will lose. For as our ancestors knew, “The Voice of the People is the Voice of Satan.”

Let me throw caution to the wind, and supply a missing connection. It is that the fashion in worldly argument has, since the eighteenth century, pitted a Left against a Right. Perhaps you have read how this started in the Parlements of France. Of course, one needs a Speaker to judge which is which, so that representatives in a legislature may arrange themselves on his two flanks. By instinct, they sat upon his left, or right, according to their political leaning.

There was a profound difference between them, as there is between good and evil. To the Speaker’s right, the forces of order and sanity migrated, naturally. To his left, those of disorder and madness. This was not a perfect alignment, however, for imperfect men sat on either side.

In brief, Communists, and their fellow crazies, Girondists, Jacobins, the Fascists and the Nazis, have always, instinctively, sat on the left.

Alas, this is concealed by the American and Continental habit of designing semi-circular legislatures, and the British parliamentary custom of placing the governing party to the Speaker’s right, even if the government is made up of demented Leftists.

Be that as it may, the Left has always been fashionable, as it has always been intensely fashion-conscious. It has always claimed to represent The People, while despising them, and promoting its own élites. The Democrats are to the left, and those to the right they smear as the Enemies of Democracy.

The Left rules, when it rules, or misrules, by compulsion, and spits upon the advocates of voluntary acts.

Murder is the definitive act of compulsion.

To get all the way from Moscow to Kiev, would take some additional leaps, however.