Democracy against the Nation: Corneliu Zelea Codreanu

Democracy against the Nation

By Corneliu Zelea Codreanu

Corneliu Zelea Codreanu Democracy against the nation

C.Z. Codreanu (Sep 13, 1899 – Nov 30, 1938)

I wish, in the pages that follow, to present several conclusions of my daily experience in such a manner that they can be understood by any young legionary or workingman. We live in the clothing, the forms of democracy. Are they, I wonder, good? We do not yet know. But one thing we do see: we know precisely that part of the greater and more civilized European nations discarded these clothes and put on some new ones. Did they shed them because they were good? Other nations too, make strong efforts to shed them and change them, Why? Could it be that all nations went mad? That only Romanian politicians remained the wisest men in the whole world? It seems, I cannot quite believe that. Certainly, those who changed them or who wish to do so, have their own reasons.

But why should we be concerned with somebody else’s reasons? Let us better be concerned with the reasons which would make us Romanians shed these clothes of democracy.

If we have no reasons for discarding them, if for us they are suitable, then we should keep them, even if all Europe should discard them. However, they are not good for us either, because:

1. Democracy breaks the unity of the Romanian people, dividing it into parties, stirring it up, and so, disunited, exposing it to face the united block of the Judaic power in a difficult moment of its history. This argument alone is so grave for our existence that it would constitute sufficient reason for us to change this democracy for anything that could guarantee our unity: namely our life; for our disunity means death.

2. Democracy transforms the millions of Jews into Romanian citizens, by making them the equals of Romanians and giving them equal rights in the state. Equality? On what basis? We have lived here for thousands of years; with the plow and with the weapon; with our labor and our blood. Why should we be equal to those who have been here for hardly 100, 10, or 5 years? Looking at the past, it was we who created this state. Looking at the future, it is we Romanians who hold the entire historical responsibility for Greater Romania’s existence; they have none. How could Jews be made responsible before history for the disappearance of the Romanian State? To sum up: they have neither equality in the labor, sacrifice and fighting that created the state, nor equality of responsibility for its future. Equality? According to an ancient maxim, equality means treating unequal things equally. On what basis do the Jews demand equal treatment, political rights equal to those of Romanians?

3. Democracy is incapable of continuity in effort. Divided into parties that govern one, two or three years, it is incapable of conceiving and accomplishing a long range plan. One party nullifies the plans and the efforts of another. What was conceived and built by one today is demolished next by another. In a country in need of construction, whose historical moment is that very construction, this drawback of democracy constitutes a threat. It is as if on a farm the owners would change yearly, each coming with different plans, doing away with what the predecessors did, their work only to be done away with by the next owner coming tomorrow.

4. Democracy makes it impossible for the politician to do his duty to his nation. A politician of the greatest good will becomes, in a democracy, the slave of his supporters; he either satisfies their personal appetites or they destroy his backing. The politician lives under the tyranny and permanent threat of the electoral agent. He is placed in the position of choosing either the renunciation of his lifetime’s labor or the satisfaction of his supporters. And then the politician satisfies their appetites; not out of his pocket, but out of the country’s pocket. He creates jobs, positions, missions, commissions, sinecures, all of them loading down the national budget which burdens more and more the ever more bowed backs of the people.

5. Democracy is incapable of authority. It lacks the power of sanction. A party, for fear of losing its supporters, does not apply sanctions against those who live through scandalous business deals running into the millions, through thievery or embezzlement; nor does it apply any sanctions against political adversaries lest they expose its own shady deals and incorrectitudes.

6. Democracy is in the service of great finance. Because of the expensive system and the competition among various groups, democracy needs a lot of money. As a natural consequence it becomes the slave of the great Jewish international finance which subjugates it by subvention. In this fashion the fate of a people is given into the hands of a caste of bankers.

ELECTION, SELECTION, HEREDITY

A people is not led according to its will: the democratic formula; nor according to the will of one individual: the dictatorial formula. But according to laws. I do not talk here of man-made laws. There are norms, natural laws of life; and there are norms, natural laws of death. Laws of life and laws of death. A nation is headed for life or death according to its respect for one or the other of these laws.

There remains one question to be answered: Who, in a nation, can understand or know intuitively these norms? People? The multitude? If this were the case I believe that too much is expected. Multitudes do not understand much simpler laws. These must be explained to them by repeated insistence in order to be understood – yes, even by punishment if need be.

Here are a few examples of laws that are imperatively necessary to the life of the people, which multitudes understand only with difficulty: that in case of contagious illness, the sick must be isolated and a general disinfection is needed; that sunlight must enter homes, therefore a house should have large windows; that if cattle are better fed and cared for they yield more for man’s nutrition, etc.

If the multitude does not understand or understands only with difficulty several laws that are immediately necessary to its life, how can it be imagined by someone that it – which in a democracy must be led through itself – could understand the most difficult natural laws; or that it would know intuitively the most subtle and imperceptible norms of human leadership, norms that project beyond itself, its life, its life’s necessities, or which do not apply directly to it but to a more superior entity, the nation?

For making bread, shoes, ploughs, farming, running a streetcar, one must be specialized, is there no need for specialization when it comes to the most demanding leadership, that of a nation? Does one not have to possess certain qualities?

The conclusion: a people is not capable of governing itself. It ought to be governed by its elite. Namely, through that category of men born within its bosom who possess certain aptitudes and specialties. Just as the bees raise their “queen” a people must raise its elite. The multitude likewise, in its needs, appeals to its elite, the wise of the state.

Who chooses this elite – the multitude? Supporters could be found for any “ideas,” or votes for anyone running for public office. But this does not depend on the people’s understanding of those “ideas,” “laws” or “candidates” but on something entirely different: on the adroitness of individuals to win the goodwill of the multitudes. There is nothing more capricious and unstable in opinions than the multitude. Since the war, this multitude was, in turn, Averescan, Liberal, Nationalistic, National-Peasant, Iorgan, etc. hailing each, only to spit on each a year later, thus recognizing its own error, disorientation and incapacity. Its criterion for selection is: “Let us try some others.” Thus, the choosing is done not according to judgement and knowledge, but haphazardly and trusting to luck.

Here are two opposite ideas, one containing truth, the other the lie. Truth – of which there can be but one – is sought. The question is put to a vote. One idea polls 10,000 votes, the other 10,050. Is it possible that 50 votes more or less determine or deny truth? Truth depends neither on majority nor minority; it has its own laws and it succeeds, as has been seen, against all majorities, even though they be crushing.

Finding truth cannot be entrusted to majorities, just as in geometry Pythagoras’ theorem cannot be put to the multitude’s vote in order to determine or deny its validity; or just as a chemist making ammonia does not run to multitudes to put the amounts of nitrogen and hydrogen to a vote; or as an agronomist, who studied agriculture and its laws for years, does not have to turn to a multitude trying to convince himself of their validity by their vote.

Can the people choose its elite? Why then do soldiers not choose the best general?

In order to choose, this collective jury would have to know very well:
a) The laws of strategy, tactics, organization, etc. and
b) To what extent the individual in question conforms through aptitudes and knowledge to these laws.

No one can choose wisely without this knowledge. If the multitude wishes to choose its elite, it must necessarily know the national organism’s laws of leadership and the extent candidates to this leadership conform by qualifications and knowledge to said laws. However, the multitude can know neither these laws nor the candidates. That is why we believe that the leading elite of a country cannot be chosen by the multitude. To try to select this elite is like determining by majority vote who the poets, writers, mechanics, aviators or athletes of a country ought to be.

Thus democracy, based on the principle of election, choosing its elite itself, commits a fundamental error from which evolves the entire state of wrong, disorder and misery in our villages. We touch here upon a capital point; because it is from this error of democratic conception that we could say all the other errors originate.

When the masses are called to choose their elite they are not only incapable of discovering and choosing one but choose moreover, with few exceptions, the worst within a nation.

Not only does democracy remove the national elite, but it replaces it with the worst within a nation. Democracy elects men totally lacking in scruples, without any morals; those who will pay better, thus those with a higher power of corruption; magicians, charlatans, demagogues, who will excel in their fields during the electoral campaign. Several good men would be able to slip through among them, even politicians of good faith. But they would be the slaves of the former.

The real elite of a nation would be defeated, removed, because it would refuse to compete on that basis; it would retreat and stay hidden. Hence, the fatal consequences for the state. When a state is led by a so-called “elite” made up of the worst, most corrupt, most unhealthy it has, is it not permitted a person to ask why the state is headed for ruin?

Here then is the cause of all other evils… immorality, corruption and lust throughout the country; thievery and spoliation in the state’s wealth; bloody exploitation of the people; poverty and misery in its hoites; lack of the sense of duty in all functions; disorder and disorganization in the state; the invasion from all directions of foreigners with money, as coming to buy bankrupt stores whose wares are being sold for a pittarice. The country is auctioned off…

“Who pays higher?” In the last analysis this is where democracy is going to take us.

In Romania, particularly since the war, democracy has created for us, through this system of elections, a “national elite” of Romano-Jews, based not on bravery, nor love of country, nor sacrifice, but on betrayal of country, the satisfaction of personal interest, the bribe, the traffic of influence, the enrichment through exploitation and embezzlement, thievery, cowardice, and intrigue to knock down any adversary.

This “national elite,” if it continues to lead this country, will bring about the destruction of the Romanian state, Therefore, in the last analysis, the problem facing the Romanian people today, on which all others depend, is the substitution of this fake elite with a real national one based on virtue, love and sacrifice for country, justice and love for the people, honesty, work, order, discipline, honest dealing, and honor.

Who is to make this substitution? Who is to place this real elite in its place of leadership? I answer: anyone but the multitude. I admit any system except “democracy” which I see killing the Romanian people.

The new Romanian elite, as well as any other elite in the world, must be based on the principle of social selection. In other words, a category of people endowed with certain qualities which they then cultivate, is naturally selected from the nation’s body, namely from the large healthy mass of peasantry and workingmen, which is permanently bound to the land and the country. This category of people becomes the national elite meant to lead our nation.

When can a multitude be consulted, and when must it be? It ought to be consulted before the great decisions that affect its future, in order to say its word whether it can or cannot, whether it is spiritually prepared or not to follow a certain path. It ought to be consulted on matters affecting its fate. This is what is meant by the consultation of the people; it does not mean the election of an elite by the people.

But I repeat my question: “Who indicates everyone’s place within an elite and who sizes up everyone? Who establishes the selection and consecrates the members of the new elite?” I answer: “The previous elite.”

The latter does not choose or name, but consecrates each in his place to which he elevated himself through his capacity and moral worth. The consecration is made by the elite’s chief in consultation with his elite. Thus a national elite must see to it that it leaves an inheriting elite to take its place, an elite not based, however, on the principle of heredity but only on that of social selection applied with the greatest strictness. The principle of heredity is not sufficient in itself. According to the principle of social selection, continually refreshed by elements from within the nation’s depths, an elite keeps itself always vigorous. The main historical mistake has been that where an elite was created on the basis of the principle of selection, it dropped next day the very principle which gave it birth, replacing it with the principle of heredity thus consecrating the unjust and condemned system of privileges through birth. It was as a protest against this mistake; for the removal of a degenerated elite; and for the abolition of privilege through birth, that democracy was born. The abandonment of the principle of selection led to a false and degenerate elite which in turn led to the aberration of democracy.

The principle of selection removes alike both the principle of election and that of heredity. They cancel each other out. There is a conflict between them; for, either there is a principle of selection and in that case the opinion and vote of the multitude do not matter, or the latter votes in certain candidates and in that case selection no longer operates.

Likewise, if the principle of social selection is adopted, heredity plays no part. These two principles cannot go together unless the heir corresponds to the laws of selection.

And if a nation bas no real elite – a first one to designate the second? I answer by a single phrase which contains an indisputable truth: in that case, the real elite is born out of a war with the degenerate elite – the false one. And that, also on the principle of selection.

Therefore, summing it up, the role of an elite is:
a) To lead a nation according to the life laws of a people.
b) To leave behind an inheriting elite based not on the principle of heredity but on that of selection, because only an elite knows life’s laws and can judge to what extent people conform by aptitudes and knowledge to these laws. It is like a gardener who works his garden and sees to it that before he dies he has an inheritor, a replacement, for he alone can say who among those working with him is best to take his place and continue his work. […]

INDIVIDUAL, NATIONAL COLLECTIVITY, NATION

“Human rights” are not limited only by the rights of other humans but also by other rights. There are three distinct entities:
1. The individual.
2. The present national collectivity, that is, the totality of all the individuals of the same nation, living in a state at a given moment.
3. The nation, that historical entity whose life extends over centuries, its roots imbedded deep in the mists of time, and with an infinite future.

A new great error of democracy based on “human rights” is that of recognizing and showing an interest in only one of these three entities, the individual; it neglects the second or ridicules it, and denies the third.

All of them have their rights and their duties, the right to live and the duty of not infringing on the right to life of the other two. Democracy takes care of assuring only the rights of the individual. That is why in democracy we witness a formidable upset. The individual believes he can encroach, with his unlimited rights, on the rights of the whole collectivity, which he thinks he can trample and rob; hence, in democracy, one witnesses this rending scene, this anarchy in which the individual recognizes nothing outside his personal interest.

In its turn, national collectivity exhibits a permanent tendency to sacrifice the future – the rights of the nation – for its present interests. That is why we witness the pitiless exploitation and the alienation of our forests, mines, oil reserves, forgetting that there are hundreds of Romanian generations, our children’s children to come after us, who likewise expect to live and carry on the life of our nation. This upheaval, this breach of relationship brought about by democracy constitutes veritable anarchy, an upsetting of the natural order, and is one of the principal causes of the state of unrest in today’s society.

Harmony can be re-established only by the reinstatement of natural order. The individual must be subordinated to the superior entity, the national collectivity, which in turn must be subordinated to the nation. “Human rights” are no longer unlimited, but limited by the rights of national collectivity, these in turn being limited by those of the nation. […]

THE NATION

When we say the Romanian nation, we mean not only all Romanians living in the same territory, sharing the same past and the same future, the same dress, but all Romanians, alive and dead, who have lived on this land from the beginning of history and will live here also in the future.

The nation includes:
1, All the Romanians presently alive.
2. All the souls of our dead and the tombs of our ancestors.
3. All those who will be born Romanians.

A people becomes conscious of itself when it attains the consciousness of this whole, not only of its own aims.

The nation possesses:
1. A physical, biological patrimony – her flesh and blood.
2. A material patrimony – the soil of her country and its riches.
3. A spiritual patrimony which contains:
a) Her concept of God, the world and life. This concept forms a domain, a spiritual property. The frontiers of this domain are determined by the horizons to which the brightness of her concept reaches. There exists a country of the national spirit, a country of its visions obtained by revelation or by her own efforts.
b) Her honor which shines to the extent that the nation has conformed during her history to the norms stemming from her concept of God, the world and life.
c) Her culture, the yield of her existence resulting from her own efforts in the domain of arts and thought. This culture is not intemational. It is the expression of national genius, of the blood. Culture is international as far as its luminescence may reach, but national in origin. Someone made a beautiful comparison: both bread and wheat can be international as consumption items, but they carry everywhere the stamp of the earth in which they grew.

Each of these three patrimonies has its importance. A people must defend all three. The most important bowever is its spiritual patrimony, for only it carries the stamp of eternity, it alone endures through all the centuries. The ancient Greeks are not remembered because of their physique – nothing but ashes is left of that – nor their material riches, had they had any, but because of their culture.

A people lives in eternity through its outlook, its concept of honor, and its culture. That is why the nations’ leaders must reason and act, not only according to the physical or material interests of the people, but also by taking into account its historic honor, its eternal interests. In other words, not bread, but honor at any price.

(Excerpt, To My Legionaries)

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One Response to Democracy against the Nation: Corneliu Zelea Codreanu

  1. The Indofiles says:

    ISKCON’s founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada from West Bengal India often crticized democracy in his lectures and books, terming it “demon-crazy”.

    ISKCON stands for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, otherwise known as “Hare Krishnas”. Remember those guys? They’ve gone mainstream now.

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