Writing in TakiMag about the diverse anti-modern faction in American politics known loosely as "paleos," Charles Coulombe makes a provocative observation relevant to monarchists such as himself: "I am, myself, a Catholic Monarchist at base; Robespierre was not. Yet he was more a man of the Ancien Regime than I could ever be, just I am much more a man of the Revolution. The reason, of course, lies in the periods of our upbringing, and the influences of the culture around us."
This is a problem I have thought about but had never seen summarized so succinctly and brutally. It is frankly difficult for 21st-century monarchists, especially those of us living in a country which lacks not only a monarch but any post-independence monarchical tradition of its own, to achieve the authenticity of, say, a French royalist in the 19th century when the question of "Monarchy versus Republic" was still very much part of mainstream public discourse, kings still reigned or had reigned within living memory, and society's prevailing values were still essentially conservative. And our lives are in many ways more "modern," more thoroughly shaped by the legacies of the anti-monarchist Revolutions than those of the original advocates of those Revolutions--just as many contemporary "conservative Christians" routinely dress in ways that would have seemed indecent to secular progressives of a hundred or even fifty years ago and listen to "music" the latter would have dismissed as noise. That is the nature of the Revolution; it ultimately influences even those who believe themselves opposed to it. To a certain extent we have to accept this--no monarchist today can actually live, consistently, as if it were still 1788--but I'm sure my friend Mr. Coulombe would agree that that is no reason to give up!