Skip to comments.French vs American Revolutions -- Vive La Différence!
Posted on 07/19/2012 3:29:55 PM PDT by Aspenhuskerette
The French celebrated Bastille Day last week, 219 years after beheading Marie Antoinette in the French Revolution's Reign of Terror. To this day, she's the poster child for upper-class excess, entitlement and insensitivity the ultimate 1 percenter.
However, Think Again before believing every demonization you hear. In fact, though a privileged aristocrat, Marie Antoinette was not only a faithful Good Samaritan, she actually never uttered the notorious catchphrase Let them eat cake. Never mind social justice was at stake!
French revolutionaries declaring liberty, equality and fraternity ushered in an anti-democratic period of unlimited governmental power, civil strife and economic despair, though eventually Enlightenment principles transformed France into a vibrant democracy.
Today, France has Europe's most state-directed economy
(Excerpt) Read more at aspentimes.com ...
More like “La Difference’ Delenda Est”.
To be perfectly fair to the French revolutionaries, something I’m not particularly fond of being, America had it easy.
The French had to put their Revolution through in the teeth of massive foreign invasion and armed domestic resistance. We were at peace when we worked up our Constitution.
That said, I basically agree with the author. Every bad political notion of the last 200 years was given a road show tryout in the French Revolution.
I would also object to the author’s contention that the eventual triumph of democracy in France was due to Enlightenment principles. The problem here is that every single one of the French revolutionaries thought he was implementing the Enlightenment, and ready to kill anyone who had a different opinion on how to go about it. This was the French Enlightenment. Voltaire, Rousseau and that bunch.
The American Revolution, OTOH, was largely based on English and Scottish Enlightenment principles. Two very different kettles of fish.
Our revolution was led by different men, particularly, George Washington, who was twice offered great power, and twice turned it down.
Ann Barnhardt has something to say about the French Revolution, and it’s not flattering.
liberty, equality and fraternity became
liberty, equality and fraternity or death
French Revolution= epic failure. 5 republics, interspersed with several dictatorships. And winding up with socialism to boot.
They didn’t heed Nadison’s warning:
In framing a system which we wish to last for ages, we should not lose sight of the changes which ages will produce. An increase of population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labor under all the hardships of life, and secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country, but symptoms of a leveling spirit, as we have understood, have sufficiently appeared in a certain quarters to give notice of the future danger.
Their revolution was not the creation of something new, as ours was, but a mere redistribution of the existing feudal wealth and powers.
As all systems but ours are.
good story at that link
Think I`m gonna put the Scarlet Pimpernel in the player
And after all that French revolutionary bloodshed, eleven years later they were back to an emperor named Napoleon. That is completely bizarre...
The American colonies seceded from England, but the elite in the colonies remained elite and the elite in England also remained the elite. Thus it was not a Revolution at all.
Theirs was in the 1700’s...
Ours is next year!
Thousands of loyalists would disagree. And even some of those elites who remained would be ruined as time went on.
It doesn’t appear people commenting actually read the column. It’s really about how French statist policies have been adopted in the US over the last 100 years and how they’re coming to a head now in the US. Also, the parallel between Marie-Antoinette and Mitt Romney (both wealthy and unfairly demonized) is key.
It was such a disaster Napolean Bonaparte was a breath of fresh air.
The article does become more interesting as it comtinues and turns topical.
“French revolutionaries declaring liberty, equality and fraternity ushered in an anti-democratic period of unlimited governmental power, civil strife and economic despair.”
‘Anti-democratic’? Nothing’s more democratic than a mob- a mob is the epitome of democracy. And unfettered democracy always, always produces dictatorship to provide a countering order in society so it can function and individuals have ‘rights’. Rights are exceptions to the ‘leveling spirit’ of democracy.
The belief that democracy is good in itself is a fallacy, it is ‘good’ as part of a mixed system.
(Yes I’m very irritated when the terrible aspects of democracy are denied as in the quote. Democracy is a mob where the strong in numbers take from the few.)
The French needed to tear down their feudal society and they never did- though they certainly tried!
We did not have to tear down what we had, we had only to grow on new ways to what we had, which was pretty good.
The statist policies we’ve adopted in the past generation are indeed the consequence of the increased democratization of our government. Naturally.
‘parallel between Marie-Antoinette and Mitt Romney ‘
didn’t catch that. Nice subliminal touch.
Yes, the modern political tragedy started in France.
Got to fly - see tagline.
And what is even more bizarre is that the French think that he is the greatest Frenchman who ever lived.
Seen the edifice they built for him?
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