Two hundred twenty-years ago today, on this the feast of St. Agnes, the last absolute king of France died, Louis XVI. His downfall was in part his own doing, his willingness to accommodate demands for reform, his slowness to take initiative, his endorsement of the financial drain that was the American Revolution. And yet he was also a good man, caught attempting to smuggle his family into friendly Austria and away from the Revolutionary rubes. His death marked the beginning of the end of absolute rule in major Western nations, starting the slow progression into that oddest of governmental structures called modern democracy (which ought not be confused with republicanism).
As he has stated elsewhere, the Rad Trad endorses no specific forms of government, although he is more than eager to criticize his own given the grievous presidency of Barack Obama. Still, Louis' death ended the old order. As Edmund Burke wrote in his Reflections on the Revolution in France: "Chivalry is dead in Europe." The Revolution failed and brought France, and the rest of Europe for that matter, that domineering and demented dwarf who brought over two decades of havoc to the world. When the entire reformed system collapsed socialism, atheism, materialism, existentialism, and bad art filled the void and birthed modern Parisian culture, which in turn influenced 20th century American politics and high intellectual culture. Much of the nonsense taught in American universities today about the [lack of] nature of man, the importance of material equality, the wickedness of religion and of previous ages, and the infinite perfectibility of man owes itself to the movements which eventuated and succeeded the French Revolution.
So let us remember him and his family in our prayers for today and also pray that the world may recover from lingering decadence that consumed him.