On War #289: His Majesty’s Birthday

by William S. Lind

January 27, 2009

This week marks the birthday of my liege lord and reporting senior, Kaiser Wilhelm II. As usual, I placed a call over my 1918 telephone to offer my felicitations and ask how our poor world looks from the heights of Mount Olympus.

This time, my call was routed from Berlin to our naval airship base at Nordholz. His majesty, it seems, has taken to the air.


After congratulating der Allehoechster on the anniversary of his birth, I enquired where he had been flying. To Capri, perhaps?

“Guess again,” the Kaiser replied. “I’ve just led a bombing raid on London, flying in L-70, our finest Zeppelin. We laid our eggs right down Whitehall.”

“So we’re still bombing England, even in Heaven?”, I asked.

“Oh yes, of course. The ordnance has changed. We now bomb with sausages rather than explosives. This time we hit them with echte Goettingen Bratwurst, right at supper time. It was retaliation for a raid on Duesseldorf last week by 100 Handley-Pages, dropping bangers. Just yesterday the French shelled our fortress at Metz with whole fois gras. Every Prussian soldier now looks rather like Max Hoffman.”

“A delightful prospect,” I replied. “Please save any artillery duels with the Austrians until I get there. In the meantime, may I enquire whether Heaven has any reaction to America electing its first Black President?”

“As Uncle Deng likes to say, we don’t care whether a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice,” His Majesty answered.

“And is President Obama likely to prove a good mouser?”, I ventured.

“Judging by most of his appointments, he seems better at catching fleas,” the Kaiser replied. “This ‘democracy’ business is such a joke. All you get is a different slice from the same sausage. Now, when kings died and their sons took the throne, you saw real change. Just think of the differences between Bertie and my grandmother Queen Victoria. Not a change for the better, let me add.”

“Yet your generation of monarchs also got blindsided by history,” I suggested.

“Yes, we did, as poor mortals always will,” the Kaiser said. “All earthly leaders are time-blinded. We saw backward too clearly and forward hardly at all.”

“My generation of kings and emperors were fixated on the age-old contest between dynasties. Would the houses of Hapsburg and Hohenzollern defeat those of Romanoff and Savoy or the other way around? We could not see the paradigm shift welling up all around us, the onward rush of democracy and equality and socialism and all the rest of that garbage. What we needed was an alliance of all monarchies against democracy. Instead we wiped each other out, putting the levellers in charge everywhere, to the world’s ruin.”

“Does that hold any lessons for our time?”, I asked.

“From Olympus, the picture could not be more clear,” His Majesty replied. “As we were mesmerized by dynastic quarrels, so your politicians cannot see beyond the state. They think only of states in conflict. Will America be threatened by China? Should India go to war with Pakistan? Is Iran a danger to Israel? They cannot see that states are now all in the same, sinking boat, just as all the dynasties were in 1914.”

“What should states then do?”, I enquired.

“Form an alliance of all states against non-state forces, what you call the Fourth Generation,” the Kaiser answered. “The hour is late, and the state system itself has grown fragile. That is the lesson of America’s quixotic war in Iraq. You destroyed the state there, and now no one can recreate it. That is what will happen almost everywhere when states fight other states. But none of your leaders can see it, because they, too, are time-blinded. It is the human condition.”

“So is ‘democracy’ both the culmination of the state and its end?”, I asked.

“Indeed,” Kaiser Wilhelm replied. “If states have a future, it will be monarchy, not democracy. A good monarch is above politics. When governments fail, people do not blame the king, who remains as the symbol of the state. The state obtains some distance from political failure, which helps the state endure such failures. In the times you are about to face, political failures will be common.”

“So our future is ….?”

“Chaos or the return of the king. And now I must go, as the Imperial train is waiting.” His Majesty rang off, leaving me with some interesting words to ponder, along with dreams of 42 cm. Skoda siege guns hurling vast Malakofftorte. War in Heaven, it seems, it is not always hell.

William S. Lind, expressing his own personal opinion, is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.

To interview Mr. Lind, please contact (no e-mail available):

Mr. William S. Lind
Free Congress Foundation
1423 Powhatan Street, # 2
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Direct line: 703 837-0483

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