Author: Dr. András László Translation: PCC (Laszlo Kovari)
There was an eminent and paradigmatic personality who, in the advanced stage of modernity, in the age of increasing and self-renewing, overt and covert, anti-traditional, left wing offensive, managed to remain internally unperturbed. In spite of all seemingly extreme or fateful hesitations, he managed to keep the empire -where after the ruler he was second in command- and indirectly, also the allied empires up, where his personality also played a significant political role.
In regards to the idea and factual reality of ‘Imperium’ or, in a stricter sense, ‘Imperium Monarchicum’, as well as all its possibilities, the name of Clemens Wenzel Lothar Fürst von Metternich Winneburg must be mentioned, at least briefly.
Metternich was ‘Außenminister’ (minister of foreign affairs), ‘Haus-, Hof und Staatskanzler’, (chancellor of the House, Court and the State) ‘President des Staatsrates’ (president of the State Council) in the empires ruled by the Habsburg-Lothringen dynasty, as well as one of four, in more than one aspects most significant ‘Ständige Mitglied der Staatskonferenz’ (permanent member of the State Conference). He received these functional-operative ranks successively, always keeping the previous ones.
The Austrian Empire was established in 1804, while the Holy German-Roman Empire ceased to exist only in 1806; even during this period prince Metternich enjoyed significant political influence and this only increased until 1814/15 and beyond. By the way, Metternich recommended to the Austrian Emperor and Hungarian Apostolic King Francis I in 1814/15 that he should -as much as this was still possible- reinstate the Holy German-Roman Empire and while keeping his title as Austrian Emperor, to retake his title, rank and dignity as Emperor of the Holy German-Roman Empire which he -based on realpolitical considerations- gave up in 1806. According to Metternich, with the disappearance of Napoleon’s influence from the European political-power structures, the opportunity presented itself to unite all German powers, ideally including that of Prussia; otherwise, if the Austrian Empire had been reinstated (through throne succession either by elections or based on primogeniture), it would have contributed significantly to achieving and balancing the political influence of Prussia. Unfortunately – and contrary to the general practice- Emperor Francis had not accepted prince Metternich’s recommendation, thus it soon became irrelevant.
Metternich’s greatest achievement was perhaps the establishment of the Holy – Alliance. According to our knowledge, the basic idea (at the time in a germinal stage) for this con-national and transnational-supranational organization, whose judgment may only have been/maybe positive then and now, first had been conceived by Mrs. Krueder, the confidante of Russian emperor Alexander I, who immediately took it up, and after perfecting it to some degree, presented it to the Austrian emperor, to the Prussian king and to Metternich. At first glance, nobody liked the idea; both emperor Francis I and Metternich considered the idea in the given form as unfeasible and not serious, but they didn’t refuse it because Metternich already had a plan: that he’d give the basic idea of emperor Alexander I a proper perspective and that he’d make significant changes through such subtle changes in wording of the plan so that that Alexander I would probably not notice it and thus everybody would in the end consider Alexander I as the founder of the Holy Alliance.
We can’t deal here in details with the Holy Alliance and its significance; it’s enough to note that it was indeed an almost perfect, flawless alliance. Its only imperfection was that it couldn’t be more of what it was supposed to be and the reasons for this came down to exterior factors. Its banal critiques that are generally extremely negative in tone and that lack any foundation in historic theory reflect antitraditional-antimonarchical-antiimperial-anticonservative, i.e. leftist manipulation and this is also indirect proof of the positive nature of the Holy Alliance both in regards its foundation and in its details. Generally, the Holy Alliance is referred to nowadays -on a leftist and pseudo-rightist basis- as the most extreme ultra-reactionary alliance in its orientation, in terms of its goals and in its essence and character. In regards to this we must note that the Holy Alliance, by its essence, didn’t represent a reaction but an autonomous actionality. Naturally, besides all this, it also had to be reactionary; this was unavoidable and they never intended to avoid this. In this respect it was indeed one of the most reactionary, if not the most reactionary alliance of history, in addition to its essential autonomous actionality – and this must always be emphasized. This reactionary character -from a truly right wing point of view- is absolutely not negative, nor is it a mere necessity, but is truly positive. Of course, the left, the anti-left and the pseudo-right perceives and propagates this the opposite way, but the opinions and contra-opinions coming from this side are worth less than nothing in our eyes. We don’t underestimate how dangerous they are, but we will never accept that even a sparkle of validity or value may present itself -even as a possibility- in their opinions.
The Holy Alliance, which was originally supposed to be set up as a three way alliance eventually came to life as a four-way alliance. The founding core of the Holy Alliance was formed by the Austrian Empire and together with it with the Hungarian Apostolic Kingdom, the Russian Empire (the Empire of the Czar) and the Prussian Kingdom. England actually joined the four way alliance, but not the Holy Alliance (which it didn’t identify with it). The Holy Alliance, that was formed as a three way alliance and which in certain aspects expanded into a four way alliance (in regards England), was not deserted even in its three way aspect, considering that all of the European monarchies joined it with the exception of the Pope (directly, next to the Pope, the Papal State, the Apostolic Holy See and indirectly the entirety of the official Church). The Pope was supportive to and in agreement with the Holy Alliance, but was not willing to join it because the protestant Prussian Kingdom and the East-orthodox Christian Russian Empire were also members. (Regrettably, in this respect the earthly Head of the Holy Roman Catholic Christian Church deemed to be myopic.) Prince Metternich wanted to win over not only the Pope to join as a member, but he also wanted the Turkish Empire (Sultanship) to join the Holy Alliance in some capacity; he thought that it was not impossible to win over the Turkish Sultan to this idea. He was probably right, but he (would have) had to face the opposition of all Christian monarchies, so he didn’t take this further beyond putting out feelers and it was never seriously considered to actually persuade -in serious, official form- the Turkish Empire to consider the membership. Some (carefully) accused prince Metternich that he was not a faithful son of the Catholic Church. This, of course, was not true, but without doubt, he was far from any kind of bigotry. He was Catholic Christian, but even more so he was traditional – irrespective of whether he considered this himself. (From the right wing point of view, the fact that the Turkish Empire was left/stayed out of the Holy Alliance (in its diplomatic name: Sainte-Alliance) may have been/may be considered as a weakness of myopia.)
Alas, the significance of the Holy Alliance diminished over time. The true and significant occasion when the ideology of the regressing Holy Alliance could practically assert itself was the Hungarian revolution of 1848/49 that expanded to a civil war, which in turn expanded into an internal war (and the possibility of further expansion was also not excluded). On the request of His Excellency Franz Joseph I, emperor of Austria and (absolute legitimate) Apostolic King of Hungary, Czar Nicholas I’s Empire of Russia – in the spirit of the Holy Alliance- was willing to assist in suppressing the revolution that escalated into a domestic war; the military powers faithful to the Emperor-King would have been also able to repress the revolution but only through huge bloodshed and long standing chaos. Some people are fond of drawing analogies between this -in our view positive- intervention and the annexation of Hungary in 1944/45, ending between April 10-19, 1945 by enemy hordes, as well as the bloody defeat of the 1956 freedom-uprising and (the first, so far last and only true) freedom fight of annexed Hungary, once again by enemy forces in context of an attack as an act of war. This analogy is invalid and the parallels they are seeking follow false principles: In 1944/45 Hungary was not in war with the Russian Empire of the Czar, but with the basest horror-state and contra-empire in the history of man kind. Hungary was not annexed by Russians and the bloody suppression of the Hungarian freedom uprising and freedom fight was also not performed by Russians but by the Soviet Union and by Soviet troops. The differences are significant and we can’t speak about any analogies; drawing any kind of analogy is possible only
- in the distorted idea-world of the representatives of liberal-democratism as well as the left-wing, pseudo-rightist, contra-leftist and extreme rightist circles (that -good willed as they may be- are infected by contra-left currents) of social-democratism that intend to disclose bolsevistico-communism;
- in the feeble minds of those, who succumb to the history-falsifying propaganda due to the lack of their intellectual faculties on the one hand and to the combination of their lack of culture and extreme gullibility, on the other.
After this necessary detour, let’s now return to the person of Clemens Wenzel Lothar Fürst (von) Metternich Winneburg (Ochenhausen). Prince Metternich found himself at a transition between the political types of the previous era and those of the modern world. He is undeniably a politician both in the modern sense and according to the criteria of the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries. Not only did he stand his ground by principles more than anybody in the 19th Century, but if by some miracle he was alive today, there would have been nobody more eminent than him also in the whole 20th and very likely in the 21st Century either. In this sense prince Metternich was unique: a perfect ‘real-politician’ and in the same time -and this is even more important for us- a perfect ‘ideal-politician’. Not only did he embody the perfect synthesis of these two basic political types that never manifest themselves together perfectly, he was more than this, more than the perfect unity of theses two perfect forms. Prince Metternich, while on the outside he perfectly adapted to his era within the confines of modernity (although not in today’s sense), according to his inner essence he belonged to a much more ancient era that represents eternity to a much larger degree. On the surface he was perfectly a worldly man, witty and verbose, but internally he belonged to the world of heights and depths. He knew how to be and how to keep quiet, but the Metternich-diplomacy, this highest diplomacy of subtle hues and tones was not a diplomacy of lies as that of later eras; in regards his essential level he transcended even the Talleyrand type of diplomacy of his own era (which he was similar to on the surface) by incomprehensible degrees of heights.
No politician with operative power since then came close to the level of prince Metternich. Prince Bismark, the chancellor of the German Empire -whose eminence has always been beyond doubt- may have approached him in certain areas, but when considering all aspects even he couldn’t come close to Metternich. There may have been some who, by possessing the same degree of power could have reached, perhaps even surpassed the political level of prince Metternich, but in the end, this can’t be decided with certainty. Perhaps Julius Evola -as the ruler of Europe- could have surpassed even Metternich in terms of consistent representation of metaphysical traditional principles in politics – but of course this can’t be decided with certainty either.
How close prince Metternich was to the above mentioned traditional basic principles is almost completely unknown. Traditionality, in Metternich’s era had not manifested itself in philosophical-metaphysical terms. Traditionality appeared -as a rightist, as an ideological rightist concept- only at one author: at Comte Joseph Marie De Maistre. Many similarities may be observed between the basic thoughts of De Maistre on the level of ideologies and Metternich’s practical/applied concepts, and the differences, although not insignificant, are never really fundamental. Metternich may have known the works of De Maistre and we may seriously assume that he in fact did known them. It’s possible that he’d considered many of De Maistre’s concepts unfeasible and he may have articulated many practical objections, but it is unlikely that he’d had fundamentally disagreed with the essence of the basic principles.
Prince Metternich proved his traditional, right wing and conservative character by his life and his political acts; he manifested an independent, autonomous action-proneness in all possible cases; he proved that besides this he was extremely reactionary (in that he always reacted to revolutionary movements with the utmost decisiveness).
The question may be raised if prince Metternich was really anti-Hungarian, as it is whipped into the minds of children and youth from the first grades in elementary schools until the end of university studies through base and demonic manipulations in terms of shaping opinions. Let’s state it categorically: Metternich was absolutely not anti-Hungarian: nothing proves or supports this. On the other hand, based on archive research and the examination of various credible memoirs we can consider it to be proven that he was – in his reserved, cool and distinctive way- Hungarian friendly.
Prince Metternich was the president of the State Council, he was state chancellor and the permanent member of the State Conference that operatively exercised the rights of the emperor-ruler. The president of this latter body was archduke – prince royal Louis and it counted among its members the crown prince archduke – prince royal Franz Karl, Metternich himself, as well as Franz Anton Graf (von) Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky who was responsible for internal affairs, more specifically he held the highest responsibility for police matters (approximately equivalent to minister of internal affairs). Those members of the State Council who held the highest responsibility for an open issue of a given department often appeared as non-permanent members. Normally the two archdukes always accepted Metternich’s proposals; in questions of foreign affairs and those concerning the basic interests of the empire fully, but in questions of internal and police affairs – despite the fact that Metternich had a voice in these and from the 1840s he did intend to voice his views more and more in these matters, the archdukes – in sense of some ill-conceived ‘balance politics” allowed too big of a leeway to the views (that directly or indirectly intended to oppose those of Metternich’s) of count Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky. Essentially, there were no fundamental differences between the views of Metternich and Kolowrat, but the fact is that almost all of the (mostly police) measures that were subsequently considered to be offensive and often attributed to Metternich were almost exclusively initiated by Kolowrat. We must note that these, from a right wing point of view can’t really be considered offensive. It is likely that in all such matters Metternich himself would have also launched measures, but these would have surely happened with much more sophistication than they ended up happening. Although count Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky was not as anti-Hungarian as he was later rumored to be, we truly can’t consider him Hungarian friendly, similarly to baron Kübeck who, although not a permanent member of the State Conference, was one of the often invited members of the State Council, responsible mostly for matters of finance.
Kübeck, Metternich and Kolowrat, although friendly and courteous on the surface, were almost enemies in the background. This had almost no other reason than Kolowrat’s vanity who sort of considered it to be his responsibility to – through subtle methods- sabotage all of Metternich’s interventions in internal affairs and their becoming ordained through the signature of the Emperor. When the revolutionary insurrections broke out in Vienna and Metternich was forced to resign by the State Conference, almost all of Metternich’s previous positions were taken over by Kolowrat. The revolutionary mob, at least for a while, didn’t have any objections about this, since Metternich’s image as an enemy had already leaked to the “people” so they considered Kolowrat almost as revolution-friendly; they were of course fundamentally wrong about this, but retrospective we can rightfully resent count Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky, first of all because due to his personal vanity and extreme ambition he sabotaged the ‘opus’ of Metternich who was incomparably greater and more talented than he was and this despite the fact that Kolowrate was otherwise a very talented, excellently trained and superior personality. So Metternich’s anti-Hungarian sentiments are nothing more than a pseudo and contra legend born out of evil inspirations similarly to those demented and stupid views according to which His Excellency emperor and king Franz Joseph was anti-Hungarian, which is of course completely false. It is also false that Feldzeugmeister Julius Jakob Freiherr von Haynau (military chief commander between May 30th, 1849 and July 6th, 1850) was anti-Hungarian. It is, however, certain that Julius Jakob Freiherr von Haynau, prince Metternich and emperor Franz Joseph I were all uncompromising opponents and enemies of insurrections and revolutions and the civil and domestic wars that resulted from these. This was not their flaw but their holy responsibility and from another point of view their highest virtue. Irrespective of what the open or covert left or their contra-left, invert variations think about all this, the true, traditional, radical conservative and the conservative ultra-right position may not defer from those outlined above in a qualitative manner either in details or, especially, concerning the essential provisions. And we say this not only due to our con-nationalistic and trans-nationalistic-super-nationalistic position but also due to our Hungarian and truly right wing and anti-leveling nationalism which has nothing to do either with the left wing or with the right wing or extreme right nationalisms that are contaminated by leftist and contra-leftist currents.
Metternich’s politics protected not only the Austrian Empire but -together with it- the Hungarian Apostolic Kingdom, as well. Members of the Habsburg Lothringen dynasty were not Hungarian or Austrian or German, nor did they belong to any other nations and of course they were not mixed either, but they were supra-national: Habsburgs and Habsburg-Lothringens; they didn’t have Hungarian blood, they had Turul blood, Arpad’s and Attila’s blood (through the female line). The members of the House of Arpad and the members of the Turul dynasty were not Hungarians either: they belonged to the House of Arpad, they were Turul. Great dynasties are like independent nations, in a sense of supra-nationality. The concept of national kingdoms is an anti-traditional delirium. A true and anti-leveling right wing nationalism must and does accept all these; if not, than this nationalism is obviously pseudo-right, infected by anti-left nationalism and may define itself as purely right wing nationalism only because it simply doesn’t understand any of this.
The king is the king of the empire but he is also the king of the nation or nations that live in his kingdom. But not as an employee above the people and recognized by them as such, because the people and the peoples, the nation and the nations all belong to the king. The king has immeasurably more to do with the people and with the nation than anybody who belongs to the people and to the nation. The king doesn’t belong to the people or to the nation irrespective of how many of them he rules. He doesn’t, he can’t and he may not belong to any of them – because he’s their king. This denotes a connection that is infinitely more and that originates from infinitely higher and that works infinitely deeper than belonging to a nation by blood. A national king by blood – precisely by his contingent nature- can’t be a true king. He may be an excellent military general or political leader exercising royal rights but even in the most positive cases this is hardly more than usurpation. If there is no real king, then it must be the governor – ruler who stands as the head of the country or empire. This may be a legitimate solution as long as this person also has certain royal qualifications and an inner realization reaching in supra-national dimensions; being bound to the given people or nation is absolutely not a prerequisite, what’s more, this may be specifically disadvantageous and contra-inductive and ‘in concreto’ it truly is.
These thoughts lead rather far from our starting point, from the character of chancellor prince Metternich, but only seemingly, since these considerations correspond with Metternich’s ideology. The nature of metapolitics is such that it may open both towards politicality and apoliticality. If we wanted to open from metapolitics toward politicality, it would be impossible to doubt Metternich’s paradigmatic character; in the same token, Metternich’s character must be respectable also in the eyes of those who want to open specifically toward apoliticality. The character of prince Metternich remained -unquestionably- intact in all its aspects, in all circumstances. Such great personalities as He was, could and may have had -forgivable- flaws, but prince and chancellor Metternich -we can say without reservations- did not have flaws; if he did have some, these were probably so insignificant that they are indeed not worth mentioning.
The character of prince and chancellor Metternich (almost) perfectly corresponds with the paradigmatic character of the perfect statesman. The only reason why he was not fully perfect is because the signs of times manifested themselves also in His being although He was fighting against the very powers of his era and this significantly compensates against all related features. Metternich’s character serves as a leading example in the eyes of everybody with traditional and true, pure and unambiguously right wing orientation who intend to open towards politicality, but his character is highly respectable also for those who turn away from everything external, from all politics and intend to open only toward apoliticality because having a theoretical right wing orientation is valid also in such cases. The author of these lines -in addition to his other spiritual goals- defines it as his special mission to present historical personalities in their original light, who are close to the principles of traditionality. Such personalities include emperor and king Franz Joseph I, chancellor and prince Metternich, as treated above, Marshall and chief commander Alfred Fürst zu Windisch-Grätz, chief commander Haynau, but also those Hungarians faithful to the emperor, who fought in not insignificant numbers against the insurrectionist horde troops of Bocskai, Bethlen, Thököly, Rákóczi and Kossuth that triggered domestic, internal wars. This author is compelled to do this by his imperio-monarchist orientation and by his being a devoted Hungarian – by the recognition that the honor of Hungarians must be sought there where it is truly to be found and not there where it was gambled away.