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Molnar's intentions are laudable--""to bring counter-revolutionary thought into focus, to examine the reasons for the neglect in which counter-revolutionary authors are held, and the reasons for their repeated failure to influence decisively the political, social, and cultural events of our time""--but the execution, verges on the laughable. The study degenerates into a scenario of Manichean struggle between subversion and the misunderstood, victimized counter-revolutionaries, working quietly and nobly to defend society and the principles of ordered community against this moral gangrene. From the time of the French Revolution these revolutionaries have employed the same mechanism of conquest, eroding a society at its foundations through a monopolistic manipulation of the media to set the intellectual fashion and create a mental-moral climate in which legitimate governments (like the ancien regime) are psyched out to the point of doubting their own authority. The characteristics of revolutionary thought from the philosophes on down is a predisposition toward fanciful utopianism, intolerance, insatiable restlessness, and a susceptibility to the ""totalitarian temptation."" Counter-revolutionaries are hamstrung by their rejection of modern methods, their tendency is to react rather than initiate. But they must persevere in saving those last bastions of civilization, the United States and the Catholic Church. Even sympathetic readers will be confused by the nebulousness of what and who are revolutionary and counter-revolutionary, and scholars will be appalled by how little actual analysis there is of counter-revolutionary thought and by the almost total disregard of the related phenomena of fascism and the radical right (incisively linked in Ernst Nolte's Three Faces of Fascism--1966). Oversimplified, unblushingly biased.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls