The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Descent Into Madness’

Posted on | December 28, 2013 | 80 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?




80 Responses to “‘Descent Into Madness’”

  1. WarEagle82
    December 28th, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

    Not sure if you are joking or not but Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr. is a registered Democrat who ran for office in Kansas several times as a registered Democrat.

    In 1992 he got 31% of the Democrat primary vote when he ran for the US Senate.

  2. NeoWayland
    December 28th, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

    Honestly it’s not something that came up.

  3. NeoWayland
    December 28th, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

    If that were true, there would be no reason to fight bad law.

    Probably no ability either.

  4. jt
    December 28th, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

    mein gott amazing writing

  5. RKae
    December 28th, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

    The very concept of legislation, as opposed to “every man for himself” and just letting people fight it out, is a moral code. Trial by jury and “innocent until proven guilty” are part of a moral code.
    Punishing people for “hate speech” is a moral code (and a bad one).
    Punishing someone for punching another person in the face is a moral code (and a good one).
    And “You can’t legislate morality”
    is a cliché and a bumper sticker. It’s also the argument used against the abolitionists, who were called “moral busybodies” and “finger-wagers.”

  6. Dianna Deeley
    December 28th, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

    It is, isn’t it? I enjoyed this piece immensely.

    What’s more, I think he’s right.

  7. Dianna Deeley
    December 28th, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

    The Shakers were celibate, certainly, but their beliefs were rather heterodox. They had some practices that were more reminiscent of Voudon than most Christian sects.

  8. Quartermaster
    December 28th, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

    “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?”

    Yes. But that answer will occur to you only if you are sane.

  9. Quartermaster
    December 28th, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    I really don’t think you read what you supposedly respond to. You make yourself odious by dancing around the issue by citing your experience, which is moot to the discussion.

    If you wish to be taken seriously, take yourself seriously first. At this point mu earlier judgment of you being insane is unchanged for lack of any new evidence to the contrary.

  10. Quartermaster
    December 28th, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

    Law is a society’s expression of morality.

  11. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    December 28th, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

    Describing it as heterodox is putting it mildly compared to most Protestant religious traditions. But when you think about it in practice, they had a monastic life that was really not that different than other older monastic celibate traditions (other than combining male and female together in communal effort–yet still keeping them apart for obvious reasons). They did do some great architecture, furniture, and inventions. They were known for their honesty and good works. Something to be said to taking that sexual drive and channeling it into other productive pursuits.

    There was not a lot of Shaker scandal, but the whole tenant of their faith was trying to avoid sexual scandal.

    I am not so sure of the Voudon reference. Shakers were more akin to Quakers and anabaptists.

  12. NeoWayland
    December 29th, 2013 @ 7:04 am

    You’re saying that humans must be ruled or “fight among themselves.” I don’t agree.

    Not all legislation has a “moral” basis. Sugar subsidies come to mind, as does Daylight Savings Time. There are many other examples. And that is without going into the immoral laws.

    Passing a law saying that a behavior is illegal doesn’t stop the behavior. Prohibition is the best known failure. Pick a vice law, any vice law for others.

    Legislation is not morality, and morality certainly isn’t legislation. The distinction must be made. Otherwise politicos wrap themselves in the flag AND hide behind the most convenient faith/moral code they can find. Arguing over morality keeps us honest. We’re better when we verbally defend our ideas to people who don’t necessarily share our beliefs.

    Societies work best when the moral and legal authorities are separate.

  13. NeoWayland
    December 29th, 2013 @ 7:05 am

    Of course I read before replying. My perspective is just a tad different. Does that make me wrong? Well, that’s an interesting question, isn’t it?

    I’ll give you another. If I’m right, does that make you wrong?

    Oh, and remember that I prefer not to use either/or situations.

  14. RKae
    December 29th, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

    Prohibitions are not meant to erase behavior (Hey! We’re losing the war against rape! We’d better legalize it!); they are meant to show a community standard, and they certainly make the behavior more difficult. They also minimize the damages, and help contain the behavior.
    Here in Seattle the stench of pot is disgusting. The Seattle Center grounds are repulsive now. But for years the f*cking stoners said, “You can’t tell me what I can do in my own home.” Truth is exactly what I always said it was: Keeping it illegal is the ONLY thing keeping it in your home and out of the public places.

  15. RKae
    December 29th, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

    BTW: You made NO argument that legislation and mortality are separate. None.

  16. NeoWayland
    December 29th, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

    Prohibition as in Prohibition, and yes, it certainly was meant to stop behavior. Instead it created a huge black market and made large scale organized crime possible and highly profitable.

    The various vice laws are certainly meant to stop behavior.

    So are the laws creating “protest zones” at political conventions and certain high profile political events.

  17. NeoWayland
    December 29th, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

    You mean other than giving concrete examples of laws without a moral basis?

    Or will you argue that Daylight Savings Time is moral?

  18. Quartermaster
    December 29th, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

    You missed the point, but that’s not surprising.

  19. NeoWayland
    December 29th, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

    I didn’t. I just made my own.

  20. Quartermaster
    December 29th, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

    You missed the point. That’s why you changed the subject.

  21. Quartermaster
    December 29th, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

    The later Anabaptists, not the earlier version. Quakers were always on the strange side.

  22. NeoWayland
    December 30th, 2013 @ 7:07 am

    But I didn’t. It’s just another point of view.

  23. JeremyR
    December 30th, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    Having enough light to read by is certainly immoral, as is using too much water. We only have just so much water on our planet, once its gone, its GONE!
    Besides, only a felon would protest at a political convention, best to keep them quarantined.

  24. Quartermaster
    December 30th, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    You engage in your mental meanderings if you wish.

  25. JeremyR
    December 30th, 2013 @ 11:04 am

    That was because 69% of the dems saw through him and realized that he was a conservative masking his identity. It was for the same reason that his friend, manbearpig lost in Kansas as well, Phred suported him and the association rubbed off. Al is as conservative as they come, he wants us all to conserve.
    / <- note the slash, it means something.

  26. NeoWayland
    December 30th, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

    Now now, how am I supposed to appreciate my lunch unless I am in a properly bitter and defeatist mood?


    Thanks, I needed that today.

  27. NeoWayland
    December 30th, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

    Somehow it’s still enough to provoke your response.

    Let’s back up a couple of steps, just to give you something else to think about.

    I’m a libertarian pagan commenting on a conservative and mostly Christian website. I certainly can’t “take myself seriously” if I pretend to be something I am not. I don’t seek validation for my thoughts and behavior, instead I accept responsibility.

    Or if you prefer, “I am what I am.”

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