Wednesday 10 February 2010

Why revolution is always evil and was the very first sin (3)

This is further reinforced by the principles of just war.

As St Thomas teaches (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q.40, A.1):

'In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary.

First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged. For it is not the business of a private individual to declare war, because he can seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of his superior. Moreover it is not the business of a private individual to summon together the people, which has to be done in wartime. And as the care of the common weal is committed to those who are in authority, it is their business to watch over the common weal of the city, kingdom or province subject to them. And just as it is lawful for them to have recourse to the sword in defending that common weal against internal disturbances, when they punish evil-doers, according to the words of the Apostle (Romans 13:4): "He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil"; so too, it is their business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending the common weal against external enemies. Hence it is said to those who are in authority (Psalm 81:4): "Rescue the poor: and deliver the needy out of the hand of the sinner"; and for this reason Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 75): "The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who hold the supreme authority".

Secondly, a just cause is required, namely that those who are attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some fault. Wherefore Augustine says (QQ. in Hept., qu. x, super Jos.): "A just war is wont to be described as one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects, or to restore what it has seized unjustly".

Thirdly, it is necessary that the belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil. Hence Augustine says (De Verb. Dom. [actualiter Can. Apud. Caus. xxiii, qu. 1]): "True religion looks upon as peaceful those wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and of uplifting the good". For it may happen that the war is declared by the legitimate authority, and for a just cause, and yet be rendered unlawful through a wicked intention. Hence Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 74): "The passion for inflicting harm, the cruel thirst for vengeance, an unpacific and relentless spirit, the fever of revolt, the lust of power, and such like things, all these are rightly condemned in war".'

Thus it could not be clearer:

Only the legitimate ruler has the right to declare war.

No private citizen has that right.

Edouard Manet. Execution of Emperor Maximilian. 1867.
HIRH Archduke Maximilian of Austria, brother of the Emperor Franz Josef, was invited by the people and government of Mexico to become their emperor. He agreed. But a revolution came, overthrew him and cruelly executed this most mild of men. As so often, the idle, heartless and faithless mob lean on the wall vainly watching their own sovereign being shot, too dull and stupid to realise that it also meant the death of their own peace and freedom - as indeed proved exactly so. Mexico went from bad to worse and eventually revolutionary government banned all religion and massacred Christians. It was illegal for clergy to wear clerical dress. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was only finally thrown out of government in 2002. Even now, much of Mexico is a poverty-stricken, chaotic, crime-ridden backwater ruled by inept rulers.

A private body of men do not have that right and if they usurp it then they are making themselves rulers or kings which they have no right to do . Indeed, it is a defiance of God who is the author of all authority.

If, however, a legitimate king were unlawfully exiled or deposed then he could command his subjects to make war to restore him and, if the war fulfilled the other just war criteria, then they could - and indeed probably should - do so.

Thus the following, being restorations, qualify as just (if, where appropriate, the other just war criteria are met):

  • The Incarnation of Jesus Christ
  • The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • The Jacobite uprising
  • The uprisings against the usurping Bonaparte
  • The Carlist uprising in Spain against the usurping Isabellinist liberals
  • The uprising of the Russian Whites against the Communist Reds
  • The uprising of the Mexican Cristeros against the Communists
  • The uprising of President Gabriel Garcia Moreno in Ecuador against the usurping Freemasons
  • The uprisings in Eastern Europe against the usurping Communist regimes

The Battle of Prestonpans in which the Jacobites routed the Hanoverian forces.
The Jacobite uprising was a lawful - and very nearly successful - attempt to restore the rightful ruler. It was thus a restoration and not a revolution. The Hanoverians had no right to rule, were usurpers and there were 57 claimants (all Roman Catholic) with a better right to rule Britain than King George I.
However, by the time of King George III, proportionality, unlikelihood of success and the benevolence of the King caused the Jacobite dynasty to relinquish any claim and so an uprising would have been, by just war principles, unjust. Flora MacDonald herself supported King George III against the American revolutionaries. Modern Jacobites acknowledge and loyally obey the Queen but reserve a continuing reverence and respect for the older, senior line.

And the following were manifestly unjust rebellions against authority:

  • The revolt of the Devil
  • The trial, judgment and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
  • The Protestant Reformation - that great source of evil and revolution ever since
  • The English Revolution of 1642
  • The so-called "Glorious Revolution" of 1688
  • The American Revolution of 1776
  • The French Revolution
  • The political revolutions of the 19th century against popes and monarchs
  • The Italian nationalist revolution
  • The Nazi revolution
  • All Communist revolutions: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc
  • The Irish nationalist rebellions
  • The youth "revolution" of the 1960s
  • The rebellions against morality that have followed ever since

The logic is quite simple:

Revolution - immoral and evil

Restoration - moral and good

Rebellion is sin and sin is rebellion.

And revolution is no more than a continuation of the Devil's arrogant claim out of which all evil began: non serviam - "I shall not serve".

Goodness, humanity and justice flow from service and thus all good men should be ever-ready to say: serviam - I shall serve.

The crest and motto of HRH the Prince of Wales - Ich Dien - I serve.
And that is what all rulers and kings must do.



TH2 said...

I have a friend from Mexico - an atheistic fatalist - who should read your comments on the Mexican aspect of the post.

Thanks. Great blog, by the way.

Tribunus said...

Thank you!

Yes, poor Mexico - it has been pummelled by successive atheist governments for daring to be Catholic.

When the liberal Freemason, Benito Juarez, seized power he, like all Freemasons in Mexico, restored slavery - even tho' he was half-Indian himself!

The opposition to Monarchy and Catholicism from Freemasons in South America was largely an opposition to the laws against slavery introduced by the Spanish Catholic Kings in 1512 with the Laws of Burgos.

They wanted to be "Free"-masons so that they could be "free" to exploit, oppress and make money out of the native Indians.

The Church and the Monarchy sought to protect the Indians.

And look at the state of Freemasonry-governed South America today - a rotten mess for the most part!

Flambeaux said...


Do you intend to continue this series?

Ttony said...

Keep them coming, Tribunus. No comment usually means that I have nothing to add or to subtract!

Theodore Harvey said...

Excellent series of posts. I am as fully in agreement with you as an Anglican can be, and I wish more Roman Catholics thought as you do.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful posts- both this and the previous post on Relativity/QM. A Query- - as a Traditionalist Catholic- and a monarchists- to whom do I owe allegiance? If in Indiana- which was once part of France- under the Kings- do I transfer it to HRH Queen Elizabeth? If so, under what reasoning? Thank you in advance.

Volpius Leonius said...

You missed out the protestant revolution against God.

Tribunus said...

Thanks, Volpius - fair point. I'll add it!

Tribunus said...

If you wish, Flambeaux.

Tribunus said...

Thanks, Theodore. I wish more RCs did, too. But too many of them have been brought up badly, alas.

Tribunus said...


Well, as the saying goes "bloom where you are planted".

So your allegiance must be to the USA and its Constitution and to the state of Indiana.

It may be a republican state and constitution but it is the one you were born and grew up in and therefore is your patria or fatherland.

One owes allegiance to the country of one's birth and up-bringing by virtue of the 4th Commandment.

And there is a sense in which America is an elective monarchy.

It certainly retains a lot of constitutional elements from the days of kings e.g. the President retains the right to appoint his own cabinet.

And this does not stop you having an affection and respect for the monarchs of other countries.

France is an interesting case since the traditional Bourbon claimant to the throne is a traditional Catholic, HRH Prince Louis XX de Bourbon.

The other claimants to the French throne are HRH the Count of Paris, the junior Bourbon claimant of the Orleanist line, and the Bonapartist claimant, Prince Louis Napoleon.

These two come from the lines that were very hostile to the main Bourbon line, especially, of course, the Bonapartist.

However, I am happy to report that these days all 3 lines are traditionalist Catholics!

So you could retain an affection for all of them.

But Louis XX is the real claimant.

Flambeaux said...

Thank you for these posts. It wasn't clear from my prior comment, but my wife and I are enjoying them and learning much.

Stephen D. said...

Regarding your response to Anonymous from Indiana and the connection you make between the 4th Commandment and the advice to "bloom where you're planted," I can see the wisdom of that advice unless one is willing to leave their country of birth and become a citizen or subject of another. However, if one did take the latter course of action, would you view it as violating that commandment? I imagine that you would agree that the "bloom where you're planted" advice would not be applicable to a non-Catholic thinking about becoming Catholic (as was the case with me several years ago). Would you then say that the difference in applying such advice in these two cases has to do with the difference between the 1st and 4th Commandments?

I read with interest the article to which you linked in a previous post, concerning whether or not Americans were justified in rebelling against King George III. As I like to think that I would have been a Loyalist had I lived then, it is hard to feel that I am an American "patriot," especially when American patriotism is understood as having an unquestioning belief in the justice and nobility of the Declaration of Independence and looking upon the "Founding Fathers" as oracles of wisdom. As the citizens of all republics in Europe and the Americas find themselves in the same position, I suppose we have to conceive of a somewhat different understanding of what being a patriot means. I live in Washington, DC, and I recently attended a function where Cardinal Schoenborn of Vienna was speaking. I found myself seated next to a French expatriate who finds himself in a similar position as me in that he does not celebrate Bastille Day.

Regarding the French legitimist claim of Prince Louis-Alphonse de Bourbon as King Louis XX, do you believe that his position is justifiably thrown into doubt by assertions that the children of Queen Isabella II of Spain were not fathered by her husband, Prince Francisco d'Asis de Bourbon? Comparative DNA testing with other Bourbon men could reveal if he, as well as King Juan Carlos of Spain, are actually of patrilineal Bourbon descent. Or is that question dismissed by Prince Francisco d'Asis never asserting that Isabella II's children were not his (if in fact he never asserted any such thing)?

Thank you.

Volpius Leonius said...

Have you ever read any of Bellocs works Tribunus?

He puts all those later revolutions down to the protestant revolution, its very important not to overlook the source of all the other revolutions in Christendom.

Tribunus said...

Dear Stephen,

Emigration is obviously not a sin. How could it be?

Neither could it ever be “blooming” to be planted in error and if you belong to a false religion – and know it – then you should obviously move from the false to the true. Congratulations on doing so.

As I said recently to someone else, a little common sense goes a long way. If you find yourself defying it then you can be sure you are on the wrong track.

There is no need to get tangled up in abstruse arguments about which commandment applies since one of them are contradictory. But, yes, the 1st Commandment is clearly higher than the 4th Commandment.

This applies, also, to your next question. The answer must obviously lie in the definition you use for “patriotism”.

American patriotism is understood as having an unquestioning belief in the justice and nobility of the Declaration of Independence and looking upon the "Founding Fathers" as oracles of wisdom.

It is not patriotic to want what is bad for your country, is it? How could it be?

One should do what the Church does when converting heathens. Take the best of their culture and christianise it and reject what is evil.

Parts of the Declaration are acceptable and some of the Founding Fathers said some good things, some of the time. If one is forced to discuss the subject, then focus on that. Equally, however, it is important to say, in all honesty and truth, that revolution against lawful authority was wrong then, just as it is now.

In Britain, we have the same issue: we do not accept the Protestant Reformation or the 1688 revolution but that does not prevent us being patriotic in the proper sense.

As to French legitimism, the real issue is the renunciation by King Philip V of Spain - was it valid or not? Either position is arguable.

What is not arguable (in my view) is the Orleanist or Bonapartist claims since both claims very clearly arise from usurpation.

My own preference is for Louis XX.

Tribunus said...

Volpius, I agree.

Cobbett says the same thing (even tho' he was a Protestant!).

Anonymous said...

interesting website. Don't know that I agree with all the content, but it shows that a lot of thought went into it.

Tribunus said...

Thanks, Anon. Yours looks good, too!

Anonymous said...

And what, Volpius Leonius, does Belloc put the Protestant revolution down to?

It was no revolution against God, and you know it. It was a revolution against a Catholic church grown grossly decadent.

There was no analogous reformation in the East because the Eastern church hadn't warped the faith.

Tribunus said...

Dear anonymous Protestant,

Belloc put the Protestant revolution down to revolution, rebellion, sin and Satan.

It is a characteristically stupid form of argumentation to say of your opponent's principal opposing point that it is wrong "and you know it".

This is the form of argumentation used by someone who has no argument at all.

Far from the Catholic Church being so it was the Protestant revolutionaries who were "grossly decadent".

Luther was a notorious rake, drunkard, lecher and debauchee and thus a hypocrite into the bargain.

Calvin was a mad fanatical, proto-Fascist who executed people for merely being human and wanting to dance, sing and have a quiet drink.

King Henry VIII was not only a rake, lecher and debauchee but also a thief, robber, oppressor of the poor, tyrant, swindler, crook and wife-murderer into the bargain.

Queen Elizabeth I, like her father, was a villainous murderer of the innocent, a robber, despoiler, liar, cheat, tyrant, traitress, harlot and Jezebel.

Who then was "grossly decadent"?

Henry VIII at first despoiled not the big monasteries and abbeys which might have been characterised as corrupt but rather the smaller monasteries with an annual income of less than £200.

He then moved on to the bigger ones when he was politically able to do so. In so doing he despoiled and raped the patrimony of the poor, stealing away from them the largest system of private social welfare that the world has ever seen i.e. the monasteries.

Having beggared the poor, he then made it a hanging offence to beg and hanged legions of poor beggars whom he had, himself, beggared.

Having destroyed all the religious houses, he left England for over 8 years without a single hospital since all of them had been religious houses, too.

And it was not until Elizabeth was shamed into it that the first Poor Laws came into being to try (very badly) to make up a little for the social welfare system that had been smashed by Henry when he raped the monasteries.

The Protestant heresiarchs were the biggest collection of villains that Europe had ever seen.

By contrast, the Catholic Church was home to some of the most saintly, holy and gentle men and women that ever lived.

In England, we have clear and extant records of at least 350 martyrs who died heroically and courageously for Christ, brutally murdered by a savage, cruel, tyrannical and hypocritical Protestant government.

These martyrs include such famous men as St Thomas More and St Edmund Campion to name but two - men who had been offered riches and promotion by corrupt Protestant rulers if they betrayed their consciences.

Thus any fool can see that your comments fly back in your own face and out of your own mouth you condemn yourself and your own Protestant, truth-hating, God-insulting and man-oppressing religion.

Take care that you do not blaspheme the Holy Ghost by resisting the known truth and dying impenitently with your slanders still on your lips.

For, if you do, you shall go to Hell with Satan and all his evil demons, there to be deprived of God and tormented for ever.

I earnestly pray for you that such a fate will never overtake you.

As to your claims regarding the East, this is more hypocrisy because, firstly, many Eastern Christians are Catholic, and, secondly, as I am sure you know, the Eastern Orthodox retain a huge array of those Catholic doctrines which Protestants so much object to.

And you are further wrong to say there was "no analogous reformation" in the East because in fact there were many such spurious "reformations".

Your knowledge of history is severely lacking.

Anonymous said...

Sir: Given that this article's theme is revolution I propose two hypotheticals for your consideration:

Imagine a Catholic institution which funds an initiative:

Would you consider it appropriate for said initiative to be headed by a Catholic commentator of questionable association who approves of the use of condoms for married couples where one partner is hiv+ ; who has so far been reticent to support His Holiness in the recent clerical-abuse scandals to the extent that he has used the crisis to report [without counter] anti-Papal comments from the Church's enemies and suggest a relaxation of celibacy and women priests as solutions ?

If such a position could be approved [with reservation] - should it be in the remit of the institution's directors to acknowledge, register and relay certain concerns to the party or parties involved and expect a swift rectification of demeanour and future compositions?

Would you also consider it appropriate for said institution to provide funding for such an initiative which included the hiring of a media consultant whose environmentalist obsession included writing articles in a 'Catholic' journal to advocate and promote population control ?

Would it be tenable for a person of some influence within said institution to inform the head of said initiative to order the employee with such gravely intrinsicaly morally disordered ideologies to , like Noah before them, "Go forth and multiply" ?

I bow to the superior intellect in such quandaries.

Tribunus said...

Not sure I understand your questions, Anonymouse.

What has it to do with the topic of revolution?