Zitate von Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

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Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Geburtstag: 31. Juli 1909
Todesdatum: 26. Mai 1999

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Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, ab 1919 Erik Maria Kuehnelt-Leddihn, war ein rechtskonservativer österreichischer Publizist.

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Zitate Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

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„Now, there is a genuine social justice which proceeds not from the principle of equality, but from the principle: Suum cuique — to each his own. It is true that to deprive the workman of his just wage is not only a sin, but a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. When one hinders social advance by putting barriers in the way of the diligent and the talented, one not only commits a personal injustice, but damages the common good of the whole nation, which always requires a genuine elite of ability and the contribution of extraordinary brainpower in every walk of life. And it would be socially unjust if a few individuals or certain groups had so much material wealth that, in consequence of this concentration of property and income, other classes had to live not only in povery, but in misery. Whoever lives in real abundance has a Christian duty to assist those living in wrechedness. Before we proceed, however, let us affirm that the notion of misery is different from that of poverty. Péguy has already drawn the distinction between pauvreté and misère. To live in misery means to suffer genuine physical privation: to know cold and hunger, to have no proper dwelling, to be dressed in rags, to be unable to secure medical attention. The poor, by contrast, have the necessities of life, but scarcely any more. They can borrow books, no doubt, but cannot buy them; they can hear music on the radio, but cannot afford a ticket to a concert; they cannot indulge in little extras of food and drink, but should, by self-discipline, be able to save a little. The poor have, therefore, the normal material preconditions for happiness — unless plagued by acquisitiveness or even envy, which has become a political force in the same measure as people have lost their faith. The fact that there are happy poor (alongside unhappy rich people) is beside the point. Demagogues know how to stir up terrible and murderous unrest even among the happy poor, as has been demonstrated clearly by the history of the left from Marat to Marx to Lenin to Hitler.“

—  Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
The Timeless Christian (1969), Pgs 53-54

„When then is liberalism correctly understood? Liberalism is not an exclusvely political term. It can be applied to a prison reform, to an economic order, to a theology. Within the political framework, the question is not (as in a democracy) “Who should rule?” but “How should rule be exercised?” The reply is “Regardless of who rules—a monarch, an elite, a majority, or a benevolent dictator—governments should be exercised in such a way that each citizen enjoys the greatest amount of personal liberty.” The limit of liberty is obviously the common good. But, admittedly, the common good (material as well as immaterial) is not easily defined, for it rests on value judgments. Its definition is therefore always somewhat arbitrary. Speed limits curtail freedom in the interests of the common good. Is there a watertight case for forty, forty-five, or fifty miles an hour? Certainly not…. Freedom is thus the only postulate of liberalism—of genuine liberalism. If, therefore, democracy is liberal, the life, the whims, the interests of the minority will be just as respected as those of the majority. Yet surely not only a democracy, but a monarchy (absolute or otherwise) or an aristocratic (elitist) regime can be liberal. In fact, the affinity between democracy and liberalism is not at all greater than that between, say, monarchy and liberalism or a mixed government and liberalism. (People under the Austrian monarchy, which was not only symbolic but an effective mixed government, were not less free than those in Canada, to name only one example.)“

—  Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
Leftism Revisited (1990), p. 21

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