Derb - The ghost of Erik Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn moves me to find a different, more sad, meaning in the Montenegro vote. This signals the true and final demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When my decks are cleared, one of these days, I’m going to take up the cause of marshalling a “two cheers for the Hapsburgs” argument for NR. Certainly one can make the case that the 20th century would have been lovelier with it than without it.

Update: A couple readers offer the narrowly factual objection that neither Serbia nor Montenegro were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. To which I say: this is precisely the sort of nuanced point my future defense of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would take into account! I do know that the Hapsburgs wanted the S&Ms in their empire — and they would have been lucky to be in it! Anyway, I shall hit the books harder before venturing further down this path. ~Jonah “Lie For a Just Cause” Goldberg, The Corner

Taking the easy shot at Goldberg’s remarkable ignorance would be too simple. So instead I have two points. Assuming he was a ghost, Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s spirit would not be talking to Jonah Goldberg under any circumstances, unless it was to scare him out of the National Review offices. It is more likely he is residing in the reflected glory of the Beatific Vision, or so we can hope. Okay, here’s a third point: Kuehnelt-Leddihn would be horrified by the Montenegrin vote because of its democratic and nationalistic character. That is what a real K-L reader would take away from the story immediately. Identitarianism was bad enough for K-L, but identitarianism based on a fairly insubstantial national identity would have to be even worse! The fact that the independence movement is led by a crook and monumental swindler in Djukanovic doesn’t help at all. As a committed Kuehnelt-Leddihnist, I won’t stand for Jonah Goldberg lowering the name of the great man with such preposterous posts.

Update: I encourage all people of Serbia-Montenegro (it’s still one country at the moment), their kin in this country and everyone with any respect for this people to give Goldberg a lot of grief for dismissively referring to their folk as “S&Ms,” which can only have been intended as a tasteless joke. And there is nothing worse than facetious admiration of the Habsburgs. Why only two cheers?