December 16, 2018
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
BEETHOVEN’S BIRTHDAY, the Fall of France, and the Duke of Wellington
Today we commemorate one of those significant anniversaries in the continuum of our Western Christian civilization, one that perhaps will go unnoticed or uncommemorated by the vast majority of our fellow citizens….but should not be forgotten.
Tomorrow, December 17, 1770—248 years ago—the great musician and composer Ludwig van Beethoven was baptized in the city of Bonn in the Rhineland in what is now the Federal Republic of Germany, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. Traveling to Vienna as a young man, he spent much of his life there as perhaps the greatest composer of music of all time. His compositions and his persona continue to resound through the ages—as long as there is a Western culture to admire and celebrate.
Biographies of Beethoven abound, and I will not spend time recounting facts and events that are easily obtainable via the Internet or in hundreds of books written about him.
What I wish to do is simply emphasize the importance of cultural giants like Beethoven who have left us a precious and unique heritage, a heritage that is critically threatened in our time by demonic and Gnostic demiurges who seek nothing less than the complete perversion of two millennia of Culture founded upon the philosophy of ancient Greece, the religious gift of the Hebrews, and the classical traditions of Rome.
Beethoven was an integral part of that continuum. And like so many others who have contributed to our inherited corpus of art, music, architecture, literature, folklore, customs, and legends, not to mention our beliefs and religious credo which characterize our historic civilization, he stands above the ages athwart the disintegration and the frenzied assaults on the legacy of that “rocking cradle in Bethlehem”—that “rocking cradle” from which our culture proceeds.
Just as the post-Marxist and Progressivist academics and mobs and their allies in our cowardly political and media elites wish to put all reminders of our past—those monuments and symbols—whether Confederate or colonial, in remote museums, safely away from the inquiring eyes of most of our citizens, so too those Epigones of Evil, those cultural vandals who would destroy our inheritance, wish to lock up our sacred traditions of music, literature, and the arts away from our population for whom that inheritance is a birthright. Or, separate them and make them practically inaccessible. Or, far worse, “re-interpret” them using new templates based entirely on “race” and “gender”—thus, “women’s studies” which views literature and music through the lens of “masculine oppression” and “toxic masculinity” throughout the ages.
In December 1940, at the end of a live national Saturday broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment, the famous soprano Lily Pons advanced to the front of the stage, and holding a French flag aloft, sang “La Marseillaise.” The audience erupted in emotional enthusiasm…not just there in New York, but across the entire nation where as many as forty million listeners tuned in and heard her salute to a defeated France. Forty million Americans in every state and territory (out of around 130 million), were united not only in remembering fallen France, but by and in a culture and musical tradition they all shared, and, even if not devotees of opera, they at least understood to be part of their precious patrimony.
Today that unity no longer exists. It has been rent asunder by the very guardians of that cultural inheritance, those entrusted with its care and transmission, who have succumbed to the Dark Lord and the enticements that emit from the foulest voices and most fetid enemies of our civilization.
And it is they who have now in great part become the Enemies of our heritage. It was the Roman poet Juvenal two millennia ago in his Satires who wrote, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?,” which translated means: “Who is guarding us against the guardians?” Today we must ask the same questions: Who is guarding us against the cabal of our Intelligence Agencies which are now controlled as instruments of the Deep State?—Who is guarding us against a political class bought and paid for by globalists who have no loyalty to country or to faith, but rather only to their secularized vision of a global Godless Utopia?—Who is guarding us against the academic elites who control our educational system and pollute the minds of our children?—Who is guarding us against the feculent pollution of our cultural and artistic heritage?
In recent weeks millions of Frenchmen have demonstrated against the pro-European Union statist government of Emmanuel Macron, who was supposed to be the “new leader” of a united Europe (replacing perhaps the discredited Angela Merkel). Indeed, did we not hear those vaunted Fox All-Stars, the cream of Neoconservative “opinion,” Jonah Goldberg and Marc Thyssen, endorse Macron when he was challenged by Marine Le Pen in the past French national election? Le Pen, you see, was a French nationalist…a “Make France Great Again” type person—too much like Trump—too much a “populist,” or to use Goldberg’s hackneyed catch-all epithet for anyone who opposes his globalist lunacy, just maybe a “fascist?”
These Neoconservatives are nothing more than a wing of the same Army of the Night that seeks to undo our civilization. Just consider how they—from Goldberg, the late Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, to so many others—have evolved on such issues as feminism, racism, same sex marriage, and transgenderism, not to mention their own frenzied secular designs to impose a universal egalitarianism on the rest of the world, whether those other peoples desire it or not: a New World Order, without God, without Grace, and without, most assuredly, Hope.
After an initial flirtation with what he thought Napoleon might achieve, Beethoven later in his life became a strong supporter of the Habsburg monarchy…and an avowed foe of the Napoleonic destruction of the Old Order. He understood what that meant, just as Thomas Jefferson late in life understood the deleterious effects of equality and the fanatical desire to centralize the American nation.
In 1813 to celebrate the great victory of the Marquess (later Duke) of Wellington over the armies of Napoleon at the Battle of Vitoria in Spain (June 21, 1813), Beethoven composed a wonderful little ceremonial piece—“Wellington’s Victory”—a kind of short visually evocative symphonic poem depicting that momentous battle that freed Spain from Napoleonic tyranny. In it he interpolated both French and British airs and songs, including "Rule, Britannia!" and a rousing version of “God Save the King.” It stands as a symbol of both the cultural reaction that Old Europe offered to “the great thief of Europe” as well as a paean to military triumph over the forces of Revolution.
For us my wish is that it become once again our hymn of crusade against our powerful enemies who seek nothing less than our extinction.
I offer a Youtube of it here; I think you will like it (even if you prefer Kentucky Bluegrass!):