Guillaume Durocher

  • Animal Conservation or Bison Supremacism?

    I have a general rule in dealing with the politically-correct: look at what they do, not what they say.

    I was very struck when I recently came across the efforts to restore the “genetic purity” of North American bison, the overwhelming majority of which have been tainted by cattle DNA through cross-species interbreeding. While it is dogma in the humanities and social sciences that race, gender, and everything else human are social constructs with no biological basis, conservation biologists are determined to preserve the unique genetic architecture of the American bison.

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  • Plato’s Racial Republic

    Plato

    Plato
    Republic (Robin Waterfield Trans.)
    New York: Oxford University Press, 1994

    Egalitarians have argued that notions of nation and race are largely modern constructs. Marxists in particular have typically claimed that Western ruling classes invented these ideas to consolidate the power of bourgeois states or as a mere pretext to divide the working class along (supposedly imaginary) racial lines and to oppress their colonial subjects.

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  • Hitler & Clausewitz: The Philosopher as War Cry, Part Two

    Part 2 of 4

    Clausewitz in the Third Reich I: A National Hero

    Clausewitz’s presence in this period of German history cannot be reduced to Hitler. As a Prussian patriot and the preeminent theorist of modern war, Clausewitz was unsurprisingly enthusiastically celebrated in the Third Reich. This had obvious benefits for the glorification of both Germany and warfare. Furthermore, the National Socialists were eager to portray their movement as being in the lineage of the Prussian/German tradition of politics and warfare, from Luther through Frederick the Great to Bismarck. Clausewitz was a natural part of this, and the least one can say is that much of his life and work – the dogged resistance to foreign domination, the deference to authority, the enlistment and inspiration of the masses, the necessity of violence, the importance of emotions and “moral forces,” the need for iron will, and so on – are eminently compatible with National Socialism.

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  • Hitler & Clausewitz: The Philosopher as War Cry, Part One

    Part 1 of 4

    All intellectuals dream that their ideas will not be confined to the dead letters of books accumulating dust on library shelves, but should possess the world. An underexplored but highly fertile field in this respect is the influence of the great Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz upon the German dictator and warlord Adolf Hitler. This is an extremely controversial issue. Clausewitz is the preeminent military theorist, rivaled in fame only by the ancient Chinese sage Sun Tzu. His influence is profound, being cited by figures as varied as Moltke the Elder, Lenin, and Mao, and by military schools and doctrinal publications across the Western world up to the present day.

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  • The Willful State: Frederick the Great’s Report on the Prussian Government

    Julius Schrader, Frederick the Great after the Battle of Kolin

    Frederick the Great
    Exposé du gouvernement prussien, des principes sur lesquels il roule, avec quelques réflexions politiques
    Berlin, 1775-1776[1]

    One often encounters people who have no faith in the ability of a small nation to achieve anything worthwhile.[2] Yet one typically does not have the luxury of choice. One may prefer to live in a large and populous country, but in any event one must work with what one has. Furthermore, the fact is that small states can and do on occasion “punch above their weight” and influence the course of history. In support of the proposition that even the smallest of nations may dare to be ambitious, I give a most powerful example: the Kingdom of Prussia.

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  • Enlightened Patriarchy: Frederick the Great’s Principles of Lawmaking, Part 2

    Statue of Frederick the Great in front of Schloss Charlottenburg

    Part 2 of 2

    Moderation & Humaneness

    The sovereign has authority but, as with the father, this must be deserved. Frederick notes dispassionately that Publicola, one of the founders of the Roman Republic, had legalized tyrannicide. The laws must be fair and appropriate to the nation concerned, otherwise they will soon be abolished and the people will revolt:

    The legislators who establish laws in monarchies are typically themselves sovereign: if their laws are gentle and equitable, they will maintain themselves by their own accord, all individuals find their advantage in them; if they are harsh and tyrannical, they will soon be abolished, because they need to be maintained by violence, and the tyrant is alone against an entire people who only desire to eliminate them.

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  • Enlightened Patriarchy: Frederick the Great’s Principles of Lawmaking, Part 1

    friedrich_ii_campenhausen-236x300Perhaps the most impressive Western tradition of statecraft, at least in the modern era, is that of Prussia. To be sure, the liberal-democratic tradition launched by the United States and France is formidable, and it is not without reason that it today dominates our world. But the greatness of America and France also relied upon a prosaic factor: sheer demographic and geographic size. Little Prussia in contrast accomplished feats with absolutely miserable resources, raising herself up among the great powers and founding the German nation-state through sheer force of will. The Prussian “authoritarian” tradition, with its emphasis on hierarchy, community, and martial prowess, is then a useful counterpoise to the liberal-democratic one we take for granted today. Clausewitz and Carl Schmitt must be read beside Jefferson and Tocqueville.[1]

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  • Tocqueville’s Patriotic Republic: Nationalist Themes in “Democracy in America,”

    tocqueville

    Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America[1] is one of the great classics of the American political tradition, alongside the best writings of Thomas Jefferson or the Federalist Papers. This is no small achievement for a Frenchman. Indeed, Tocqueville’s magnum opus is, I believe, the only foreign-language book to be included in the Library of America series.

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