Every year, I telephone my sovereign lord and reporting senior, Kaiser Wilhelm II, on his birthday to offer my best wishes. He likes to surprise me–some fool of a historian recently wrote that he had no sense of humor–and this year he did. The night before, he paid me a visit.
Like my old friend Mr. Scrooge, I first thought a bit of undigested cheese might be giving me a strange dream. Then I wondered if the figure in my bedchamber were the ghost of Imperial birthdays past, present, or to come. It turned out to be a bit of all three, but His Majesty was no ghost. Neither was the person he had with him.
I stretched to attention and quickly recognized my other visitor’s Austro-Hungarian uniform, decorated with the Golden Fleece. Before I could say “Happy Birthday” to His Majesty, he introduced his companion: Kaiser Karl. He was clearly a Hapsburg, but not the last Kaiser of Austria-Hungary, at least from the photographs I had seen (my landlady in Vienna in the ’70s had known him well).
“May I present my friend Kaiser Karl of the Holy Roman Empire?” said my Kaiser. “Get dressed. We’re going to visit his domain.”
Curiouser and curiouser, I thought, as I threw on knee breeches, green Jäger jacket and a Feldmütze. My usual cuirassier’s uniform takes an hour to get into, and a valet.
Out front, a zeppelin awaited, stretching the length of my block. We boarded the control car, the commander (Mathy, no less) set the engine telegraph to “Future,” and with the “Up ship!” we were off. I asked Kaiser Karl, “So I take it the Holy Roman Empire has made a comeback?”
“It has,” he replied, smiling.
“And the House of Hapsburg again rules Austria?”
“The House of Hapsburg has always ruled Austria,” he responded. “In the divine Economy, an Austrian republic is an impossibility.”
Our tour of the restored Holy Roman Empire took us first over northern Italy, where the double eagle black-and-yellow flag flew proudly from Milan to Venice. “The northern Italians were so glad to come home, “Kaiser Karl said. “They have as much in common with southern Italians as a horse has with an aardvark. Northern Italy knew it was part of Mittleuropa.”
“And the south?” I enquired.
“Again the Kingdom of the the Two Sicilies,” answered Kaiser Karl. “Naples is once more one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.”
We flew quickly over Vienna (a return for tea at Schönbrunn was planned for the afternoon) and landed in Berlin. The Imperial Tram was waiting to give us a quick tour of the city. The first surprise was that, in addition to the Prussian eagle, the double eagle was also on all the important buildings. “My house now rules Germany in fief from the Holy Roman Emperor,” Kaiser Wilhelm said smiling.
“And what had Bismarck to say to that?” I asked.
“Oh, you know Bismarck,” answered Kaiser Wilhelm. “He grumbled, but a goodly present of fois gras settled him down.”
“So there is fois gras in Heaven?” I asked hopefully.
“Don’t you read Chesterton? Heaven is eating fois gras to the sound of trumpets.”
Our quick tour of Berlin brought other, perhaps more important surprises. There were children everywhere, most of them blond, blue-eyed German children. People were again well-dressed, with coats, hats, and gloves. Most men were smoking a pipe or cigar. Strikingly, not a mosque or a Islamic head scarf was to be seen, and no shop sign was in a language other than German.
“What happened to all the Islamics?” I asked.
“Most converted, and the others went back to their part of the world,” Kaiser Karl answered. “The official religion of the Holy Roman Empire is Christianity. Otherwise it could not be holy. We tolerate some other religions, but not all. Violent religions are outlawed. As was already clear by your time, Islam is violent, because it consider forced conversion or adherence legitimate. Our choices were either outlaw Islam or suffer an endless war on our own soil.”
“So all of Europe has done this?” I questioned.
“Some countries, including Sweden and Britain, allow Sufis, who are the only non-violent Islamic sect,” answered Kaiser Wilhelm.
“But even the Swedes eventually had to face reality. And all the nations of Europe now require immigrants, regardless of where they come from to acculturate. There are no more foreign enclaves on Europe’s soil.”
“And all the nations of Europe are real nations once again,” added Kaiser Karl. “We have reversed the globalist process of homogenization. The British wear bowler hats and take afternoon tea. The French have dinner mid-day and allow two hours to enjoy it. A movement called Retroculture has spread across Europe. Those who join pledge to restore the old ways of their land, their people, in their own lives. Retroculture’s motto is, ‘What worked before can work again.’ And it does.”
One big question had been bubbling up inside me through our tour. Finally I let it out. “In my time, Europe was finished, a dying theme park governed by a bad copy of the Soviet Union called the EU. Between the tyranny of the globalist market and the nihilism of the culturally Marxist European elite, it had no future. How did it turn itself around?”
The two Emperors looked at each other and smiled. “That is a surprise we won’t spoil for you, replied Kaiser Wilhelm. “Let’s just say that for the secularists, it was a real jaw-dropper.”
“Can’t you give me a hint?” I begged.
“Remember what Pope John Paul II said toward the end of his life, answered Kaiser Karl. “‘Things will continue bad for a little while longer, then they will get better.'”