Hitler, like Napoleon, was often referred to by his social betters as “the little corporal.”
Both of these leaders reaped the discontent with the former leadership class to attempt to right the wrongs caused by them, to popular adulation and acclaim. The collapse of the old order gave them the opportunity that they had hoped for, and they both seized it, taking it all the way to the end.
We know how their stories ended because it’s in the past. But many people in the general opposition to the current world order do not draw the conclusion that popular revolt is not the universal cure for misrule. Popular revolt, the old scholars knew, is more often the preface to an extended period of tyranny and disorder.
The importance of classical learning in such a case helps the natural elites within a country, to the extent that any remain, to make critical decisions which are better informed. In England, after the Civil War, they restored Charles II, despite the misrule of Charles I. Had general opinion been different, Richard Cromwell might have stayed in charge, and the restoration might never have happened. There are certainly many criticisms to bring up with what followed for England, but they at least managed to spend a century or two in charge of most of the known world, which as empires go, is an impressive performance.
Popular revolt seems like it should be a purging action that restores justice and order to a country. It is more often a time of recriminations, violence, and disorder. Given that the Western leadership actively believes in the holy power of populist revolt, it would not be surprising if such a revolt eventually consumes the West once again. This sort of regular auto-cannibalization will keep happening until general opinion within the influential classes of people shifts back towards favoring natural hierarchy over the weight of mass opinion.
In universities, they try to teach people in the liberal arts to do whatever they can to essentially ‘prevent another Hitler,’ at the same time as they affirm the same mass-democratic means that have been routinely annihilating the West since 1789 and even before that time. In Ukraine, the American State Department even funneled support to Ukrainian fighters styling themselves after the Third Reich. So much for all those Hitler specials on the History Channel, not to mention all that sensitivity training that they must have all undergone at the Kennedy School for Government.
That school’s name may have been appropriate, because the War in the Ukraine has been the most humiliating failure of the American secret services since the Bay of Pigs.
Mass opinion favors what is popular now. Rule by aristocracy takes into account what is true, with reference going back even to the distant past. Chesterton described tradition as the “democracy of the dead,” but it is a democracy in which only a handful of people really get much of a vote.
While it is still a competition for the opinions of living people, it is to encourage the living to respect what the dead learned in their short time, rather than to get them to rally-round the latest incarnation of the little corporal. Whipping up high emotions among the ignorant and impressionable is one of the most effective ways to get them all killed. If you care about your people, then you will work to preserve their characters, rather than sacrificing them for nothing.