Posted on | December 28, 2013 | 79 Comments
Otto Muehl was a radical artist who in 1978, at age 53, founded a commune in Austria known as the Friedrichshof, which had as its goal “the destruction of bourgeois marriage and private property.” Instapundit linked to an article about a new documentary:
Paul-Julien Robert grew up on a country estate with dozens of adults; but he had no idea which one was his father. In the European free-love commune, where he was born in the late 1970s, pretty much all of the men had slept with his mother, any of them could be his dad.
Founded as a utopia where possessions, childcare, and love were communal, traditional family structures were banned. Paul-Julien was an unwitting participant in a social experiment that would end in police raids and the commune’s architect jailed for having sex with minors.
Otto Mühl, who was also a celebrated artist, founded the commune at Friedrichshof near Vienna in Austria in pursuit of a better society, but also to cure his loneliness. At the head of this sprawling collection of men, women, and children, the power he assumed over so many lives drove him to take an ever more authoritarian approach. By the end Friedrichshof was effectively a cult.
The commune’s descent into madness was documented on video by the inhabitants . . .
Whoa. Full stop. “The commune’s descent into madness”? Wouldn’t it be more correct to say that the commune was founded in madness, and that the insane principles of its founding were then manifested in ways any wise person could have predicted?
Here’s a clue for you kids who have never studied history: Whenever someone uses “bourgeois” and “traditional” as epithets, you need to stay the hell away from whatever utopian scam that person is trying to put over on you. Hostility to private property and contempt for sexual morality are anti-social attitudes betokening the kind of dangerous radicalism that has only ever led to anarchy and totalitarianism (first one, then the other). The charismatic misfit’s destructive impulses are disguised as a sort of humanitarian idealism. The existing order is denounced as cruel and unjust, and its overthrow is advocated as the necessary first step on the road that will lead to Heaven on Earth. Gathering around him other ambitious dreamers, and attracting to his radical cause such natural-born fools as are easily deceived by talk of “Peace” and “Equality,” the leader requires of his followers sacrifices that serve chiefly to aggrandize the leader.
This is the basic story of many radical movements — you could read Daniel Flynn’s A Conservative History of the American Left to study the remarkable persistence of certain themes — but those of us who remember the 1960s and ’70s need little reminding of the Manson cult, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Jonestown massacre.
Anyway, it was as predictable as clockwork that the founder of a “free love” cult like the Friedrichshof would ultimately prove to be a selfish pervert. Exactly how many young girls he had, or at what age he preferred to have them, most online sources aren’t clear, although one does find this quote: ”I’m not a child molester. This is nonsense. The girls were all developed.” Trace that back to its original source and translate from German:
Interviewer: They were 13, 14 years old.
Muehl: So what? Charlemagne married a twelve year old.
One obituary in German quoted him:
About the then 14-year-old who testified in the trial against him, he even remarked: “She undressed herself, the door was open. I’m not a hypnotist.” And: ”Why should the government dictate when you should have sex?”
See? It’s just an old guy banging 14-year-olds, why should the government care? You silly bourgeois! They were “developed”!
This “descent into madness” was the logical destination of the Friedrichshof for pretty much the same reason that sexual assault plagued the encampments of “Occupy Wall Street.” The alleged high-minded idealism of radical leaders is always exposed as a hypocritical mask for selfishness, and the idiots who are attracted to radical movements never have the kind of common-sense skepticism that would cause them to examine the leader’s altruistic pose and ask, “What’s in it for him? What’s his cut of the action?”
“I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.”
You didn’t expect me to believe that crap, did you?