It has frequently been emphasized that the French Revolution aided at least the cause of reason and reasoning. One remembers the worship of reason on the Champs de Mars; yet it was a very one-sided form of reasoning which made such headway during the French Revolution, a reasoning without that deeper understanding which Peter Wust calls Vernunt in juxtaposition to Verstand. It was a distorted and rather Cartesian Verstand which became the measure of all things, and thus made possible the smooth evolution from theocentrism, over anthropocentrism, to geocentrism. Due to the elimination of the firm belief in another world the point of gravity was shifted to our earthly existence, and the happenings and events of this life became automatically “weighty,” final, irrevocable, unbearable. Humor died a lingering death. The transcendental levity of Christian culture was gone; there was no final consolation, no otherworldly relativity but only gray, inescapable fate. A hunchback was now all through his existence a hunchback, a man born blind all through his existence a blind man, a proletarian all through his existence a stepchild of life, whereas in the framework of Christian belief these shortcomings would last only for the earthly decades of a person’s existence, i.e., until his death. Things would change radically afterward. But with this truth lost to sight, life became a terrible load.

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, The Menace of the Herd, or Procrustes at Large (1943)


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