Saturday, October 22, 2011

Revolution, Retribution, and Restoration

Oppressed people will press back.

How hard they press will determine if their actions will devolve into retribution or restoration.

Revolution by its nature must be conservative if it is to succeed. One group cannot savage the rest of the country and then claim to have asserted its rights.

England's Glorious Revolution of 1688 was glorious because it was bloodless. Catholic King James II attempted to reestablish a divine-right, religious hegemony over the countryside, a development which appalled many Englishmen of all ranks and backgrounds. With united opposition closing in around the absolutist monarch, James II fled for his life to France, and Parliament extended the crown to William of Orange and his wife Mary, the daughter of the deposed king.

By and large, the American Revolution was successful because Englishmen were asserting their rights as Englishmen against the British Government. Resorting to history, tradition, and faith, they established a firm ground for their rebellion, which bolstered their efforts without resorting to rampant destruction and anarchy.

In both instances, the people were asserting their rights, not detracting from others'.

The French Revolution, rejecting all trappings of history, respect, and honor, waged war en masse against the mass, the the middle class masses, and amassed wealth, promoting ideas of liberty, equality, and brotherhood, when in fact it was chronic carnage of one class of intellectuals against the middle class, and any one who defended religion, order, and natural law. A Revolution only for its powerful resurgence of destruction, the French Revolution devolved into tyranny then dictatorship, in which everyone treated as equals become cogs in the wheel of the monolithic state, with a Corsican dictator trashing the Continent in its wake.

The French Revolution waged retribution against classes of people whom low-brow demagogues denounced as traitors to the French people. Rather than restoring an equitable order of peace and commerce, the ongoing terror that fed into the corrupt Directory paved the way for the faux-revival of the Roman Empire, with Napoleon Bonaparte as First Consul, then short-statured and short-lived Emperor. Vengeance gave way to greater servitude, and no one was the better for it.

The Revolutions of 1848 were also a war of class against class, rather than man against tyrannical government. When insurrections broke out all over Europe, the raving masses were not demanding freedom from government, but instead expected the government to do more for their class instead of respect the rights of all men. French men did not bind themselves together, but splintered across class and loyalties. In Germany, the confused uprisings petered out when King William of Prussia refused to accept a pan-Germanic crown "from the gutter." i.e. the horde of writhing confused masses more interested in bloodshed and change than the proper respect of man as free agent, endowed with God-given, natural rights.

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