My dear friends at Breitbart London seem slightly-bemused by a historian’s description of Napoleon as a modern liberal, proto-EU poster child. A modern liberal, however, is precisely what Napoleon was; initially a supporter of the Jacobins, he was a child of the Enlightenment, an eager partisan of progress and modernity, which is of course precisely why he needed to be stopped.
One look at Napoleon’s record as a civil ruler is enough to make any gentleman of sound political mind and opinion cringe. That accursed Corsican scoundrel instituted numerous liberal reforms, eradicated the last remnants of the feudal system in France, and consolidated and strengthened sate power at the expense of the Catholic Church. Moreover, his conquering armies spread secularisation, liberalisation, and nationalism wherever they went, the consequences of which we are still dealing with today.
In fact, had Napoleon’s legions of mustachioed, garlic-breathed crapauds not trampled across Europe there is a slight chance, however unlikely, that perhaps the poisonous Jacobin ideologies that sprang forth from the French Revolution, and have wreaked devastation upon Western civilization ever since, could have been contained in France, never to afflict more than a few generations of Frenchmen.
But alas, Napoleon, the liberal, “Enlightened” reformer who dreamed of a united Europe, was a bloody good soldier. And not only did he ensure the survival and spread of post-Enlightenment, liberal ideas, but his actions also resulted in the development of what was easily one of the worst ideas to ever afflict the hearts and minds of men: German nationalism.
Surely if Napoleon is in large part directly responsible for the creation of modern France, and both directly and indirectly responsible for the creation of modern Germany, I see little wrong in laying some of the blame for the existence of the E.U. at his feet. But Napoleon arguably deserves blame for more than just laying the distant foundations of the European Union. Despite the valiant efforts of men like Metternich to clean up his mess, Napoleon’s encouragement of secularism, liberalism, and nationalism turned Europe into a powder keg, and he left in his wake a lit fuse that, just under a century later in 1914, would ignite that powder keg in the most spectacularly devastating way imaginable.
Napoleon rightly deserves to be counted amongst the likes of Luther, Calvin, Rousseau, and Marx; an agent of demonic destruction who sacrificed Truth and tradition on the altar of “progress”, and in doing so made his own special and lasting contribution to the collapse of traditional, Western civilization.