There are those who sing the praises of democracy, but they don't realize that, for all its advantages, democracy is essentially a middle-class phenomenon which, like novelistic fiction, canvas painting, and symphonic music, stretches from a late-stage grand-bourgeois age to an early-stage petty-bourgeois one ... as a kind of materialistic hybrid in between autocracy and theocracy, and that, with the emergence of a late-stage petty-bourgeois age, it becomes effectively anachronistic, though subject to extensive modification ... in the interests of an attempt to bring it into line with an age of pseudo-democracy, that form of democracy germane to state socialism, with its so-called People’s democracy.
For people's democracy, despite its proletarian implications, is essentially a late-stage petty-bourgeois phenomenon, existing at the tail-end of a democratic spectrum, beyond the pale of genuine democracy but not, on that account, a chronologically inferior development! On the contrary, simply a more contemporary one, relevant to the second-half of the twentieth century - like colour photography, colour film, and rock music. Pseudo-democracy is, in effect, the antithetical equivalent of Cromwellian dictatorship, a form of political dictatorship posing as democracy, no less the end of the middle spectrum of social affairs than Cromwell's dictatorship was its inception, back in the seventeenth century, when the English bourgeoisie revolted against royalist autocracy. Socialism, by contrast, signifies a revolt against democratic pluralism, with its capitalist base. However, capitalism and socialism are not, contrary to what is commonly supposed, antithetical. Rather, socialism is the antithetical equivalent of feudalism, with capitalism coming in-between.
However, the middle, or democratic, spectrum is flanked by two others, which we may characterize as an autocratic spectrum beneath (if we imagine these spectra of evolutionary development lying parallel to one another in a horizontal course), and a theocratic spectrum above, the former beginning in pagan antiquity under aristocratic auspices, and the latter beginning with an early-stage grand-bourgeois epoch in Western Europe, the one manifesting in authoritarian monarchism, the other in Roman Catholicism. Let us take each spectrum separately.
Beginning with the ancient kingdoms of rural antiquity, authoritarian monarchism (royalism) signified worship of the God-King, the nearest equivalent on earth to the Creator or, as Christians prefer to say, the Father, whose status, at least in theory, was omnipotent, the ultimate tribunal over life and death, the maker or breaker of men. Gradually, as evolution progressed, the powers of the monarch were curbed, and by the seventeenth century Cromwell was able to lead a successful revolt in England against authoritarian monarchism which resulted, albeit briefly, in the dethronement of autocracy and its replacement by a democratic dictatorship.
Since then the powers of the monarchy have been further curbed in all Western societies, with the result that it has become - where still surviving - constitutional, or subject to parliamentary sanction, the reigning monarch little more than a figurehead of state, bereft of independent power, and consequently functioning in a pseudo-autocratic context. We may contend that constitutional monarchy is the norm for those societies which have retained an autocratic spectrum while being centred, as in Britain, on a democratic one, and that pseudo-autocracy is, by and large, a late-nineteenth/early-twentieth century phenomenon, the autocratic spectrum coming to an end with an early-stage petty-bourgeois era, after which time the extension of the first or bottom spectrum will take the form of a military dictatorship, as germane to a late-stage petty-bourgeois era, and thus become quasi-fascist, as in so many Third World countries since World War II.
Of course, where a constitutional monarchy
is already deeply entrenched, as in
Can one therefore speak of a military dictatorship as being reactionary from a democratic point of view? Certainly it signifies a reaction, very often, from the middle-spectrum democratic traditions of the imperial power to the bottom spectrum of autocratic tradition, though not on monarchic terms. Rather, military dictatorship is more contemporary than democracy, a development paralleling the tail-end of the middle spectrum in pseudo-democracy, as pertaining to Marxist-Leninist states, both of which relate to late-stage petty-bourgeois criteria.
So, paradoxically, there is more
progression than reaction to a military dictatorship in recently-liberated
This brings me to a discussion of the third and highest spectrum, namely the theocratic one, which began on early-stage grand-bourgeois terms in the form of Roman Catholicism and was superseded, in those nations destined for democracy, by Protestantism, that democratic religion, equivalent to drawing in art and to the concerto in music. Unfortunately, due to historical pressures, Roman Catholicism became increasingly autocratic, a religious complement to authoritarian monarchy, and was subject to a revolt by the bourgeoisie, whose Protestant triumph led to the persecution of Catholics and their relegation to second-class citizenship throughout the era of bourgeois hegemony, roughly from a late-stage grand-bourgeois to an early-stage petty-bourgeois age, spanning the 17th-20th centuries.
With the dawn of a late-stage petty-bourgeois era, however, Fascism made its appearance on the top spectrum as the antithetical equivalent of Roman Catholicism, a necessarily anti-democratic ideology with a religious mission, though less one favouring the development of a True World Religion, the successor to all old-world religions, than one partial to Roman Catholicism, if more so in Italy than Germany, while retaining a quasi-religious status for itself as vested in the dictator, who became an approximation, in effect, to God. If Roman Catholicism found its aesthetic equivalent in stained glass, then fascism had light art, that successor to drawing on the penultimate section, as it were, of the top spectrum, the section preceding holography, which would be relevant to the proletariat, and no less so than Social Transcendentalism, the means to the True World Religion, the successor to fascism and ideology, so far as I am concerned, of 'Kingdom Come', necessarily hostile to both royalism and military dictatorship, liberalism and socialism, Protestantism and fascism (considered as a late-stage petty-bourgeois movement), because beyond and above all of these, the principal exponent of truth!
Social Transcendentalism would be beyond antithetical equivalents because extending the top spectrum into an absolute stage of evolution, a stage antithetical, in constitution, to the authoritarian monarchism of the bottom spectrum, before bourgeois relativity intervened in the form of parliamentarianism. Beyond all bourgeois relativity, no less than autocratic absolutism was beneath it, Social Transcendentalism would open out towards the superhuman millennium and, consequently, the eventual supersession of man by his post-human successors, the only way towards definitive salvation, the only way forward. No proletarian humanism, like socialism, but a post-humanist concern with evolutionary progress towards future transformations in advancing life, man being something that, in the Nietzschean dictum, 'should be overcome'.
Humanism pertains to the middle spectrum, not the third, which has little respect for ethics once it reaches that stage, as with Social Transcendentalism, where truth is attained to and systematically endorsed. Only the Protestant part of the top spectrum kow-tows to ethics, as during the hegemony of the age of democratic relativity. Social Transcendentalism, even more than fascism, is 'beyond good and evil', those antithetical attributes of the Christian civilization. Only that is 'good' which furthers truth, and every act must be judged according to this criterion. Only in truth does man aspire towards the Holy Spirit, only in the context of pure awareness.
The ethical good act has nothing to do with divinity, considered in its ultimate sense. Goodness pertains to Christ, the temporal divinity between the two absolutes of alpha and omega, the strong and the true, the Creator and the Ultimate Creation. Neither strength, which pertains to the bottom spectrum, nor goodness, that ethical compromise between the extremes, can have any place in the absolute phase of the top spectrum. Neither a worship of the Father nor an emulation of the Son will prevail in that society dedicated to the realization of truth. Only an aspiration towards the Holy Spirit can have any value there, and only that which brings such an aspiration closer to ultimate realization is 'good'. We have lived long enough in the world of the Strong and the Good. Now we must live for the truth!