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 Democracy and the Revolution 
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Post Democracy and the Revolution
Hello everyone, I haven't visited here in a while I have been so busy with University starting, so I thought I better come in and share my excitement for one of my assignments this semester in my course Australian Politics and Power!

We have a choice out of a few political questions to do with the government etc, but of course, as soon as I saw .....

'Discuss the history of the philosophy and systems behind 'democracy', from its initial beginnings in Ancient Greece, its reassertion in the French Revolution, to the form it takes place in contemporary Australia' my heart was pumping! I was already gathering resources in my head, one being this forum and all your expertise in this area d'accord!

Because of my admiration for Marie Antoinette and the trails and tribulations she, her family and friends went through, I really want to put forth an amazing argument. However I am scared my views on this subject are going to be seen as biased, for when I look at the revolution I do not see the modernization of democracy (which is what this course is stating), but mass histeria and murder. I don't feel that way about the actual notion behind the revolution, for it was indeed fundamental for modernizing democracy with ideals of freedom, but there have been many ideals of freedom and equality that have ended up in corruption. The example I am thinking of is Communism, 'for the people'.... well I don't really have to elaborate on that one. What the French revolution brought about with it was sheer terror and something I would not feel proud about writing as the 'modernisation of democracy'.

My lecturer was also going on about how the French revolutionists were influenced by the English thinkers such as Darwin with his notion of individualism, but revolutionists didn't just abolish the upper classes, they annihilated most of them! I don't see how this makes society free at all. Also that revolutionists wanted to grant opportunities for all to have education, surely there could have been a much more peacefull way?

Is it wrong that I feel this way....? I would really love to know what your opinions are on this so I can put forth some good arguments this semester on this topic. I know you guys in my situation would be burning away with your knowledge on this , so please enlighten me!

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Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:00 am
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
Jasmine d'Adelaide wrote:
Is it wrong that I feel this way....? I would really love to know what your opinions are on this so I can put forth some good arguments this semester on this topic. I know you guys in my situation would be burning away with your knowledge on this , so please enlighten me!


Do not think you're wrong! I am sure what you wrote is correct. Your opinion is my opinion. It is so important topic I think, I'm frequently thinking about it... Not just because of Marie Antoinette and her tragical fate, but because of my interest in any historical procession :geek:

Jasmine d'Adelaide wrote:
The example I am thinking of is Communism, 'for the people'.... well I don't really have to elaborate on that one. What the French revolution brought about with it was sheer terror and something I would not feel proud about writing as the 'modernisation of democracy'.


If I were you, I'd compared FR to some genocides or revolutions. Maybe to English Civil War 1642-1651-1688/9. Also interesting, for example, Communism. Among others, it rooted on the French Revolution... Not Stlalinian Communism, of cousre (it was such a fossil idea :lol: ) but I think the base of the theory of Marx that enthroned of the labour campaign was the Jacobin notion.
Other Communism, like Asian, was propagandize by French Revolution. Think of Mao's China... or Pol Pot's Cambodia. Khmer Rouge (1975-79) idea was also a twisted form of the Revolution's ideas, plus Agrarian Communism :disgust: . Pol Pot's wedding was on jubilee of Bastille Day :shock:

So, you can find so many infos to compare FR to any other regimes. And if you do not want to compare, it's still a great topics with a good many links to read. I can recommend you The black book of Communism, if you are interested in other regimes and its roots, you can find in it some info that similar to FR.

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Last edited by Anouk on Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:36 am
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
This subject is the subject of my life! In order to love the 18th century and M.A. you must have a strong attitude towards the revolution. You must think, read, discuss it… I believe in freedom, equality, democracy but I see the revolution as the pure REVENGE. One average peasant was trilled with the idea of killing the Austrian whore and raping her beautiful friends, it was great to stop the hard life and feel important, to change the regime and get the taste of revenge. Ideals were for the intellectuals (always unable to see the difference between the theory and the practice); mob wanted severe leaders.

Jasmine d'Adelaide wrote:
Because of my admiration for Marie Antoinette and the trails and tribulations she, her family and friends went through, I really want to put forth an amazing argument. However I am scared my views on this subject are going to be seen as biased, for when I look at the revolution I do not see the modernization of democracy (which is what this course is stating), but mass histeria and murder.


I know exactly how you feel because I was in the same situation. I have chosen the revolution as a final project for my school (in order to pass the final class we had to defend our work). Still, I am very interested in the French revolution, psychology of the mob and the impact on the world that revolution had.

You may use English poet William Wosford (correct my spelling) as an example. He was trilled because the revolution…until he went to France. Find his poems and compare them, before and after. You will have an excellent point!

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Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:08 pm
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
I agree! You gave me a good idea by this message about Wosford, thanks :)
What do you think about celebrating July 14 in France? I do not want to chip in other country's affairs, though my opinion is that this upturn of July 14 is idiocy. I have never understood why remember a bloody event. (Of course, for a good many person this is the celebration of freedom). Maybe there are some other events in French history that are worth to celebrate more?

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Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:45 am
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
Anouk wrote:
I agree! You gave me a good idea by this message about Wosford, thanks

You’re welcome!

What do you think about celebrating July 14 in France? I do not want to chip in other country's affairs, though my opinion is that this upturn of July 14 is idiocy.

I wouldn’t debate that. Revolution won and French peoples ancestors were mostly for the revolution. I would feel strange being against the revolution when my ancestors believed in it and its goals. It’s easy to discuss it from the comfort of home but those poor people did suffer under the conditions of the old regime and noble people showed big greediness. However that can’t justify all those horrible violence.

I think that the 14 July should be a quiet holiday that people celebrate without music and joy. That should be the day that symbolizes the power of people, fight for better goals but also a warning how that fight had gone too far. The French revolution is one big important history lesson.

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Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:41 pm
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
Of course, French do like celebrating :)

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:34 pm
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
I hope we helped you somehow Jasmine d'Adelaide, I am waiting to hear something more from you about this subject. I am also very interested.

Anouk wrote:
Pol Pot's wedding was on jubilee of Bastille Day


I didn’t pay attention on this information.
What an irony!:o

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Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:52 pm
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
yes indeed :biggrin:

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Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:06 pm
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
Anouk, Marija Vera,

Thankyou so much for your posts, (sorry I didnt read them sooner, been busy with Uni/defending Antoine lol) I am so happy to see that I do not stand alone in my views on the revolution.

Anouk,

you posed a very good insight about the revolution and communism, in particularly Pol Pot (what a coincidence/Bastille day/ his wedding day!) Also about July 14th Bastille Day, I don't understand how it can be celebrated either after all the bloodshed and warfare it reeked. I don't know if this is similar, but I am from Australia and we celebrate Australia Day but it is increasinlgy becoming popular to be represented as the day Britain invaded this country and annihalited the First Nations people (Aboriginals). Yet most of us celebrate it every year with nationalist pride, its strange.

Marija, I am counting on us both to score some good grades for our assignments (which I am sure we will given the fact we r quite driven to defend Antoinette to the teeth!) I have not heard of this English writer William Wosford, was he pro-revolutionist until he went to France? He sounds very interesting I will get right onto it. I cannot believe how humans beings could even think that way (your peasant example of killing/raping Antoinette) and yet, there were some, a very minute number, but some who felt sorry for her. I remember reading about a grocer who most likely would have also been poor, heard the fruit being bought by Rosalie was intended for Antoinette whilst she was imprisoned and he did something nice like give her the fruit free? Im not too sure but I remember he also said something along the lines of 'Not all of France is her enemy..'

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Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:16 am
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
Jasmine d'Adelaide wrote:
Marija, I am counting on us both to score some good grades for our assignments (which I am sure we will given the fact we r quite driven to defend Antoinette to the teeth!)

I passed it already with excellent grades but the argument wasn’t that fierce as I hoped. :(

Jasmine d'Adelaide wrote:
I have not heard of this English writer William Wosford, was he pro-revolutionist until he went to France? He sounds very interesting I will get right onto it.


The real name is William Wordsworth and I know something about him from one documentary that was dealing the English poets in the time of revolution. William Wordsworth was an English romantic poet who believed in the ideals of the revolution. He had visited France in 1791 and he fell in love with a French woman who gave birth to their child. He was foreign in the revolutionary France so therefore he had to return to England; apparently he had also a money problem. His attitude towards the revolution had changed with the Reign of terror. At first he was a very passionate supporter.

Here is one part of the poem that is referring to the French revolution in which he than believed -

" [...] 'Twas in truth an hour
Of universal ferment; mildest men
Were agitated; and commotions, strife
Of passion and opinion, filled the walls
Of peaceful houses with unique sounds.
The soil of common life, was, at that time,
Too hot to tread upon."
(The Prelude, ix, 163-9)


Wordsworth visited again France in 1802, in order to see the woman he had abandoned with his daughter. His attitude about the revolution had completely changed which we can see in these parts of his poems -

Domestic carnage, now filled the whole year
With feast-days, old men from the chimney-nook,
The maiden from the busom of her love,
The mother from the cradle of her babe,
The warrior from the field - all perished, all -
Friends, enemies, of all parties, ages, ranks,
Head after head, and never heads enough
For those that bade them fall.

...'Twas in truth an hour
Of universal ferment; mildest men
Were agitated; and commotions, strife
Of passion and opinion fill'd the walls
Of peaceful houses with unquiet sounds.
The soil of common life was at that time
Too hot to tread upon; oft said I then,
And not then only, 'what a mockery this
Of history; the past and that to come!
Now do I feel how I have been deceived,
Reading of Nations and their works, in faith,
Faith given to vanity and emptiness;
Oh! laughter for the Page that would reflect
To future times the face of what now is!'


Please, have in mind that I gave you some brief information, that I know, and there is surely a lot to be known about this poet and the way how he changed his opinion with the progress of the French revolution. However I think that he can be the important example in order to show what the same intellectuals or idealists who wanted the revolution or supported it passionately, felt after seeing it for what it really was.

Good luck!

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Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:33 am
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
I found two rather interesting quotes, by men who are often seen in sympathy with the ideas of the Revolution:
Quote:
I would rather be ruled by one lion than a hundred rats - Voltaire

Quote:
France will always need an aristocracy - Mirabeau

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Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:41 am
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
Wow! Mirabeau was so right :D

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Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:42 am
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
I love the first. In the real world, hundred rats chose the biggest to run them all. :?

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Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:42 am
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
Thank you for the quotes, Délicate Fleur. Maybe we should start a topic of quotes :) It would be nice

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Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:17 pm
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Post Re: Democracy and the Revolution
Good idea Anouk!

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Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:41 am
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