The functions of individual parts have importance for the whole and ideologically their functions may be “equal,” but to all practical purposes their hierarchy is evident. A chimney sweep is a valuable as well as necessary member of society, but his function in earthly relation is to sweep chimneys, to beget children, to pay taxes, to lead with charity and authority his family as well as his apprentices, and to raise his voice in these few public matters which by his education, knowledge, and wisdom he is able to judge. His function is not to operate upon cancer patients, to drive locomotives, or to direct the foreign policy of the country. All these functional divisions are matters of reason and prudence. If we need new clothes we will go to a tailor, if we have a bodily ailment we will call upon a doctor, if the country needs a military or a budgetary reform it is reasonable and prudent to enlist the aid of a military or financial expert for this purpose; it would certainly be sheer nonsense to ask a tailor or a doctor to remedy such situations.

Yet ochlocrats who never tired of accusing conservatives and Catholics of superstition, illogical traditionalism, and “unscientific” procedure make an act of faith in the inner illumination of the individual and the infallibility of numerical majorities. Phrases like “forty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong” display, nevertheless, a gross misunderstanding of logic; never in history has there been a more farcical and insipid amalgamation of Lutheran and Rousseauan confusion than in the interpretations underlying elections and the general franchise. Luther already was certain that everybody ought to be his own Pope by making use of his own wits in a private interpretation of the bible after dispensing with expert theological judgment; every interpretation was more or less right and had to be tolerated provided it did not conflict with the general line of the Reformers’ intention, and provided — last not least — that it did not lead back to Rome. The ochlocratic “liberal” is indeed in a difficult position toward the followers of terroristic heresies and his belief that “truth stands by itself” has often proved to be suicidal. He is therefore inclined to abandon his liberalism and to turn ochlocracy into a brutal totalitarianism. Luther with his ducal and baronial disciples was followed by terrorists of the type of Calvin, Thomas Münzer or Jan van Leyden, just as Robespierre succeeded Mirabeau and Noailles

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

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