What Is a Counter-Revolutionary?

April 9, 2020



What is a counter-revolutionary? One may answer the question in two ways:
1. In Actuality

The actual counter-revolutionary is one who:

— knows the Revolution, order, and the Counter-Revolution in their respective spirits, doctrines, and methods;
— loves the Counter-Revolution and Christian order, and hates the Revolution and “anti-order”;
— makes of this love and this hatred the axis around which revolve all his ideals, preferences, and activities.

The Trial of Joan of Arc, Painting by Louis Boutet de Monvel

Of course this attitude of soul does not require higher education. Saint Joan of Arc was no theologian but astounded her judges by the theological profundity of her thoughts. So also, animated by an admirable understanding of the Revolution’s spirit and aims, simple peasants of Navarre, for instance, or of Vendee or Tyrol, have often been the best soldiers of the Counter-Revolution.

La Vendée

2. In Potentiality

Potential counter-revolutionaries are those who have one or another of the opinions and ways of feeling of revolutionaries, either because of inadvertence or some other occasional reason, but without the very depth of their personalities being affected by the spirit of the Revolution.

Victory of Andreas Hofer at Bergisel, 1809.

Alerted, enlightened, and oriented, these persons easily embrace a counter-revolutionary position. And in this they are different from the “semi-counterrevolutionaries” mentioned earlier.1

1. See Part I, Chapter 9.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution(York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993),Ch. IV, Pgs. 81 & 82.



Previous post:

Next post: