Back in the days of distant antiquity, deep in another century when I was young, and in the habit of falling in love with mellifluous, classical girls who were German and Catholic, and with one of them in particular, I remember trying patiently to read Bertolt Brecht. It was less the language than the man himself who prevented me from liking him. He seemed to be what I had come to despise: the exponent of a political mysticism naturally opposed to the spiritual mysticism of the beloved R. M. Rilke.

What made him bad were his verse rhythms, as I sounded them (ineptly) in my mind’s ear; Brecht was a prophet of Sendung, and inclined to percuss like a military band. Later, I discovered that this was unfair.

Sendung, I think, refers to that part of prophecy that is broadcast, that is delivery or performance, that is mission or some kind of consignment. In other words, it is not really prophetic. Today, the word may have shrunk to an entry in the television listings. But it was once a Prussian concept, with pretence to grandeur; a psychotic “national mission.”

I am not especially prejudiced against the Germans, or German poets, whom I rank according to their natural inability to form a military band. I am, however, prejudiced against Prussians, and in favour of that form of Germany that is rather Bavarian (omitting Augsburg), or better still, Austro-Hungarian — the sort of German that can sense paradox, and mixes sincerity with drollness. Martin Mosebach is currently my favourite German, even though he is from Frankfurt. (See: The Heresy of Formlessness, 2012.)

Perhaps, “Catholic,” with the capital letter or without, is the larger background condition, that rises above nationalism and any other “ism” (Marx-ism, for instance) that can be adopted by the Left, and used to “direct” us, purposefully. It is, in a sense, the story of what we have been facing throughout modernity, since the Reformation, this fake mysticism from a constantly changing fake religion, in the cause of a very material, political order. It expresses itself invariably as Sendung, and you get it as much in France as in Germany.

Always, “the Left,” posing as enlightened moderates, propose to rescue us from the “Far Right.”

Long live the Far Right!