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 Bastille Day 
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Christophe wrote:

I must disagree. They were willing to die, and did by the thousands. The Vendee should be proof enough of that.

Here here!

Many tens of thousands of people were exterminated in the Vendée by revolutionary leaders, to a large degree for their faith and the Church played an important rôle in defying the new administration.

The language used was quite clearly that of genocide, the people of the Vendée being considered as a race to be exterminated, which explains the brutal concentration on women and children, seen as future brigands or mothers of future brigands. The "mariage républicain" where a mother and a son, or husband and wife were tied together naked, placed in a suggestive and lewd posture and then drowned is symbolic of this ideology, the like of which has maybe not equalled until the extermination of the jews. This happened in France and is the fragile and corrupt base on which this republic was formed.

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Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:28 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
baron de batz wrote:
Christophe wrote:

I must disagree. They were willing to die, and did by the thousands. The Vendee should be proof enough of that.

Here here!

Many tens of thousands of people were exterminated in the Vendée by revolutionary leaders, to a large degree for their faith and the Church played an important rôle in defying the new administration.

(Surely you meant "hear, hear"?)

Au contraire, the Vendee is the exception that proves the rule.

Had the French people in the great majority truly felt a deep and real Catholic faith, they would have been far more afraid of what a vengeful God would do to a country that slaughtered its clergy and destroyed its churches than of mere human death.

They weren't. Most of France let these things happen, rather than risk a similar fate. And again, this is not a surprising reaction from a people who had witnessed the worst excesses of highly placed members of the clergy who often held their offices for reasons that had nothing to do with piety and whose luxurious lives were financed by their tithes. Or who had watched aristocrats, living off their labor, gleefully violate the commandments.

If you're going to dispute what seems to me an evidence, please, use examples that apply to most of France. Cherry-picking exceptions makes no point at all.

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Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:19 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
The Vendee is the most obvious and dramatic example, but not the only one. In Mme de la Tour du Pin's memoirs, she mentions peasants hiding a non-juror priest at great risk to themselves. And this was in the Bordeaux region, not the Vendee. A peasant family also hid du Pin's husband, a hunted man, for nearly six months, indicating that support of the Revolution among the lowest classes was by no means universal.

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Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:01 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
I really don't know how many ways to say this or repeat this: the majority of the French did NOT oppose - and may even have supported - the Revolution's anti-clericalism. I'm sure one can find all manner of exceptions. But that's what they were: exceptions.

The main point is: was the majority of France truly and devoutly Catholic? The fact that the majority - whatever exceptions you care to cite - let the clergy (and yes, even the poor clergy, who often WERE devout) be persecuted makes it pretty clear the majority was not.

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Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:18 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Obviously, I couldn't disagree more. The lack of widespread insurrection does not equal popular support, particularly under conditions of extreme intimidation. All too often historians tend to confuse the sentiments of Paris with the rest of France. Anti-clericalism, along with the Terror itself, grain and land seizures and conscriptions all served to alienate the majority of France from the Paris Revolution. This is why the Jacobins resorted to increasingly extreme measures in the first place, not just against the Church, but everyone: because they lacked popular support and were forced to resort to brute force. And it worked, for a short while. But note the reaction against Jacobinism immediately after the fall of Robespierre. Note the ease with which Napoleon re-instated the Church a few years later. If the French were so ready to throw off the mantle of Catholicism they would never have put it on again so quickly.

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:35 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
And again I repeat myself: which is more intimidating - the threat of being guillotined or the threat of eternal damnation?

Anyone who truly believed in the latter would not have hesitated to risk the former in order to avoid what, for a believing Catholic, could only have been viewed as a full-on assault against God. I'm fully willing to believe people were frightened. But the fact that they were more frightened of men than of God pretty much sums their level of belief up.

And this certainly wasn't true only in Paris. The town of Abbeville, once known for its devotion and numerous churches and convents, allowed many of these to be destroyed. The city's professed faith of former years simply melted away in the face of revolutionary fury. Compare that to the faith of someone like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was willing to face torture and execution in order to free Germany of Hitler, and who died, it is said, without the least doubt he was going on to eternal life.

The "Catholic" people of France. for the most part, showed no such faith, courage or fidelity.

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:41 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
I couldn't disagree with your more. Revolutionary France still remained in its' overwhelming rural composition, despite the imposition of an anti-clerical régîme, a deeply seated Catholic country.

Jim Cheval wrote:

If you're going to dispute what seems to me an evidence, please, use examples that apply to most of France. Cherry-picking exceptions makes no point at all.

I would hardly call the Vendée uprising and its' brutal suppression "cherry picking". The West generally maintained Royalist sympathies and its' attachment to the Church. As to disputing what seems to you an evidence, who says Jim Cheval detains the eternal truth? My endeavour will be to argue against you and in so doing bring you down from your high cheval. :wink:

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:20 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Here is an article by Austrian scholar Eric von Keuhnelt-Leddihn which describes the resistance to the Revolution on the part of the common people and the unequaled brutality with which it was put down. This article appeared originally in Criticon, 22 Knoebelstrasse 36/0, 8000 Muenchen 22. It was translated from the original German by E. Michael Jones.


To quote:
Quote:
The year 1989 A.D. was the cause for celebrating the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution in many countries. By the year 1880 in France, July 14, the day of the fall of the Bastille, had already been the occasion for all sorts of frivolity. By then the last witnesses to the revolution were long dead. One was dependent by then on historians who idealized this far-reaching event in our history, because with the French Revolution, democracy underwent a revival after the moral nose dive it had taken with the death of Socrates.

The French Revolution, however, didn't come like a bolt out of the blue. Charles I had been executed 140 years before In Whitehall by religio-political fanatics, and as Jean Lacroix has convincingly argued, the Republic rests on "the death of the Father." Fraternity and Equality can apparently only be realized through parricide. The impetus for change in France came not only from Switzerland, rather It came from French Anglophiles and a completely false understanding of what had just happened in America. It was, in a way, the first great Euro-American misunderstanding. On the other hand, Governor Morris, the American envoy to Paris, told the conceited Lafayette at the beginning of the revolution: "I am against your democracy, Monsieur de Lafayette, because I am for freedom." In 1815 he began a speech with the words, "The Bourbons are back on the throne; Europe is once again free" -something which today hardly an American would understand after so many years of school-inculcated fatuity.

THE VULGAR INTERPRETATION

The vulgar interpretation of the French Revolution (not unlike that of the Russian Revolution) is based on the theory of the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction. The impoverished and oppressed people, led by highly intelligent idealists shook off the unbearably oppressive rule of monarchs, aristocrats, and priests and created a new order, in which Liberty, Fraternity and Equality were realized. Hadn't Goethe already told us that legislators and revolutionaries who announce Freedom and Equality simultaneously are frauds and charlatans? When there is no such thing as a "natural equality," it can only be brought about by raw violence. In order to bring equality to a hedge, one needs garden shears. Equality, the left-wing ideal, is closely bound up with identity. One hundred pennies makes a dollar, but each dollar of a certain year isn't identical with every other dollar printed at that time.

The first phase of the French Revolution, which played itself out as economic boom, as well as state financial crisis and a series of liberal reforms, had a predominately aristocratic character. The "new ideas" of the first enlightenment - the misunderstood American war of independence, Anglomania, the visions of Rousseau, Voltaire's (a man who held the common man in contempt) critique of religion, and the still turbulent Jansenist controversy - all this had confused the spirit of the upper classes. Freemasonry, newly imported from England, also played a role in this transformation. It is possible that even Louis XVI was a freemason. Beyond a doubt he was a devoted reader of the Encyclopédie. As a result a huge vacuum of belief came into existence, which was quickly filled by radical left-wing ideology, which just as quickly infected large segments of the population. The left-wing "Intelligentsia " acted as the ice- breaker for the revolution in such a way that, at the beginning at least, the monarchy's existence was hardly questioned, while aristocracy and clergy abdicated and "married" the bourgeoisie.

The signal event of the French revolution wasn't so much the alliance between the estates after the meeting at Jeu de Paumes as the storming of the Bastille, in which one man played a role every bit as crucial in the course of events as that of Rousseau:

I'm talking about the Marquis de Sade. He is mostly known now as the eponym of "sadism." However in his endless pornographic and extremely boring writings, there are long philosophical and political passages in which he reveals himself as a rabid, leftwing, materialist atheist. He was primarily responsible for the storming of the Bastille because at the request of his mother-in-law he was - thanks to a lettre de cachet - held prisoner in the Bastille along with seven counterfeiters, cardsharps, fools, and people in debt. From the Bastille, Sade incited the people of the quartier through his makeshift megaphone into coming to their assistance and liberating them. De Launay, the governor of the Bastille, was helpless. He didn't dare put the prisoner in a straitjacket (or in a dungeon) but instead asked the king to deliver him from this prisoner. As a result Sade was transferred on July 4, 1789 to the hospital for the criminally insane at Charenton and released in 1791. He then became chairman of the revolutionary Section des Piques in which "Citizen Sade" was active as a radical Jacobin until he quarreled with Robespierre and was once again committed to the hospital for the criminally insane. Sade, along with the masochistic neurotic Rousseau, who wrote pedagogic novels and committed his children to orphanages, is the true renewer of democracy in our time and naturally also a hero of our left-wing intellectuals.

THE STORMING OF THE BASTILLE/MORAL COLLAPSE

The storming of the Bastille on July 14 and its immediate consequences showed what the French Revolution was all about, namely, the consequence of a moral collapse that had been prepared by the left-wing, radical chic, literati of its day. De Launay negotiated with the mob, which promised him and his tiny garrison of invalids and Swiss mercenaries free passage. Yet no sooner were the defenders in the open, than the mob attacked them and murdered in the most brutal manner possible. It was above all the invalids, who couldn't flee, who were torn to pieces. For a while the mob tried in vain to decapitate de Launay; however, their knives were too dull. Finally someone got a hold of a butcher's assistant, qui savait faire les viandes, to cut the governor's head from his by then cold body. It was then carried in triumph through the city.

Attempts to establish a constitutional monarchy failed. The drive for identity and equality, brought to a boiling point by hate and envy, prove the truth of Benjamin Constant's words: "In some epochs one must travel the entire gamut of madness in order to come to reason again." Everything even remotely different was damned and persecuted. Conformity celebrated orgies.

Only the fall of Robespierre in July of 1794 hindered further leveling plans, which Babeuf in all probability would have realized. So Robespierre planned not only to put all Frenchmen (and women) in uniform (like Mao's "blue ants"), he also planned to raze all church steeples as "undemocratic." They were higher than the other buildings and as a result stood out because of their "aristocratic" bearing. (In Strasbourg, preparations were already underway for the barbaric mutilation of the cathedral there.) Another problem that needed to be solved was the language of the Alsatians, qui ne parlent pas la Iangue républicaine, otherwise known as French. Someone suggested taking the children away from those in Alsace-Lorraine or resettling the entire German-speaking population throughout out all of France. Those were costly plans and as a result a more practical solution was worked out, namely, the complete extermination of the germanophone population. As one can see, the French Revolution was not only interested in the good Doctor Guillotin's deployment of mechanical mass murder, it was also interested in genocide and not only in Alsace but also in other regions of the République Une et Indivisible.

The French Revolution has been seen by most authors as predominately a political, social or (under Marxist influence) even as an economic event. Burke, Young, Rush, as well as other British and American visitors to France before the revolution point the finger at the aristocracy, the clergy and the upper classes; however, both skepticism and atheism had made inroads into the highest circles, and there existed among the clergy what Spengler called the "priestly rabble," or what we would call today our left-catholic "progressives." Censorship in the hand of the forerunners of the liberals, who suffered from moderno-snobbery, favored the left-wingers and persecuted the right, so as not to be labeled "reactionary. " All that gradually influenced the middle and lower classes as well.

NIGHTMARE

There is no other way to understand the nightmarish circumstances surrounding the slaughter of Princess de Lamballe. This friend of the queen was arrested but refused to take the oath to the constitution in the La Force prison. As a result of her refusal she was handed over to the screaming mob. That happened just before the September murders of the year 1792, so carefully organized by Danton, a "moderate" Republican. The protagonists in this bloodbath received six livres apiece and all the wine they could drink for their troubles. The jails were emptied in a veritable orgy of killing, during which not only politcial prisoners but also prostitutes and juveniles, often mere children, were slaughtered. Scenes which remind one of Goya's desastres de la guerra took place in Bicetre and Salpetriere. (The extermination of prostitutes was also carried out mercilessly by those favorites of the left, the Spanish Republicans, probably brought on by the spread of venereal disease among the brave defenders of democracy.) In the year 1792 at the fall of the Tulieries, the Swiss guards, true to their oath, fought to the last man. The Swiss who fell into the hands of the mob alive were then mutilated and cut to pieces. A cook's helper, who attempted to defend the royal couple, was basted in butter and then burnt alive.

QUALITATIVELY WORSE

From these and other similar occurrences one sees something else very clearly: from a purely quantitative point of view the atrocities of the red and brown socialists were worse than those of the French Revolution, however, from a qualitative point of view the whole business takes on a different hue. The crimes of the National and International Socialists were carried out for the most part in concentration camps and dungeons by their own trained thugs, whereas the atrocities of the French Republicans were committed under the slogan of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality to a great extent by the people themselves or at least accompanied by the applause of delighted spectators - all in broad daylight with full publicity. The guillotinings were not just general holidays; they were carefully thought out, sadistic happenings, during which (to give just one example) an aristocrat with his hands bound and his head already on the block was forced to listen to a long-winded ironic speech about the victories of the Republican armies so that he could share them with his forbearers in the afterlife. The completely natural transformation of democracy into socialism, from political to financial equality, had its beginnings back then. Not only aristocrats but the rich as well because of their wealth were handed over to notre chére mère la guillotine. (Actually only 8 percent of those guillotined were from the aristocracy: over 30 percent were peasants.)

The "moderates" fared just as badly. Cities like Lyon, Toulon and Bordeaux, which were led by the Girondists against the Jacobins, were partially leveled and their inhabitants decimated. When the guillotining threatened to go too slowly, many victims were drowned and others were executed with shotguns, so that the crowds could revel in seeing them slowly bleed to death. (Napoleon, a Jacobin, and close friend of Robespierre, achieved his first victory by subduing "unruly" Toulon.)

....One must keep in mind that the Vendee was a peasant's revolt that carried the aristocracy along with it. The leadership of the Chouannerie was partially peasant (Cathelineau) and partially aristocratic (Larochejacquelein); in addition Charles Armand Tuffin, Marquis de la Rouerie, a friend of Washington, met their end in this battle. (His corpse was dug up and decapitated after the fact.) The terror involved in this deliberate genocide was announced in advance by the atrocities in Paris, especially in the extensive defiling of graves and cemeteries, because the main who can rage against the dead - against kings, and aristocrats but also against saints - will have no qualms about doing the same thing to the living. (I have to confess here, however, that the defilement of corpses practiced by the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War - especially in the cemetery of Huesca - is in the same league with what the French Republicans did.) In his forward to Reynold Sechers' book. Le Génocide Franco-Francais. Professor Jean Mayer says that the author held much back and that the worst could not be described here. The truth is much more appalling....

Even in Arras, where the Jacobin leader Lebon observed the mass guillotinings from his balcony with his dear wife, the decapitated corpses of men and women were undressed and then bound together in obscene poses as batteries nationales maniacs out of Sade's 120 Nights of Sodom. Similar practices took place in the Noyades in the Loire where men and women were tied together naked and then thrown still alive into the river as a "repubilican wedding." When the mob couldn't find enough men and women, they organized the "tying of the knot" in homosexual fashion. Carrier, who also finally ended up losing his head, was the director of all this. He called these atrocities, Le flambeau de la philosophie, an expression he got from the Marquis de Sade. Quite naturally the main victims of these male-perpetrated atrocities were women (as well as their children, often murdered before their eyes.) The sadistic misogyny of the Revolution reached unbelievable proportions.

The story of the atrocities perpetrated by the Jacobins in Girondist cities has yet to be told. Most of what we know concerns the pandemonium in the Vendee and neighboring regions. Here the Republicans (as well as their brave Girondist collaborators) planned nothing less than the complete extermination of the population, even if that entailed the destruction of "patriots" and their families as well - One couldn't be too choosy. An entire "treasonous landscape" complete with its inhabitants was to disappear from the face of the earth. We're talking here not about the type of genocide practiced by the Russian international socialists or the German National Socialists; we're talking her about the satisfaction of perverted sexual lust, something undertaken with diabolical thoroughness. Saint-Just had declared (10/X. 1793) that not only the traitors but also the indifferent would have to be exterminated. Danton had said that aristocrats and priests were guilty because they placed the future in question by their very existence, and Robespierre wanted a "quick, strict and unflinching Justice as result of the virtue and consistency of democratic principles." All of this focused itself on the Vendee, whose name was officially changed into "Vengee," or "revenged."

"THERE IS NO MORE VENDEE"

General Westermann eventually reported to the welfare committee: "There is no more Vendee, my republican fellow citizens! It died beneath our sabers along with its women and children. I just buried them in the swamps and woods of Savenay. According to your orders, the children were trampled to death beneath the hoofs of our horses; their women were slaughtered so that they couldn't bring any more soldiers into the world. The streets are full of corpses; in many places they form entire pyramids. In Savenay we had to make use of massive firing squads because their troops are still surrendering. We take no prisoners. One has to give them the bread of freedom; however, mercy has nothing to do with the spirit of the revolution." Westermann, however, soon met his nemesis; he was guillotined a short time later with his friend Danton.

Le Mans was the scene of further brutality; women, the aged, and children hiding in the houses of this large city were discovered and then under the eyes of Barbott and Prieure had their clothes torn from their bodies with sabers and bayonets; women and girls were raped, and since there weren't enough living females for the "boys in blue," the corpses were violated as well. This at least partially necrophilic orgy ended when the mob, accompanied by the rejoicing of the government's soldiers, bound the cadavers together as "republican batteries" as they had done at Arras. In Angers, however, the mob decapitated those it had already hanged and demanded of the doctors that they prepare the heads so that they could place them on the battlements of the wall surrounding the city. Since the physicians were too slow at their work, the mob quickly decapitated another group of prisoners, among who was a saintly, 82-year-old abbess.

DEATH MARCHES

Another amusement for the "Bleus," who referred to themselves as colonies infernales, was to roast women and children in baking ovens. In order to get maximal sadistic pleasure from this practice, the victims were placed in cold ovens, which were then heated. One general, who couldn't stop this sort of entertainment among his troops - Mergeau Desgraviers - became so melancholy that he was happy to die in 1796 in the battle against the Austrians. General Turreau was told that his soldiers behaved worse than cannibals; however, he he himself had given the order to burn down all houses (which was also carried out). Everywhere one could see the batteries nationales made up of human corpses. Turreau, the leader of these Promenades, as the death marches were termed, was to go onto a long successful career. From 1803 to 1811 he was the French envoy to the United States (where he worked on the alliance against England); he was later immortalized in stone on the east face of the Arc de Triomphe.

As we have already indicated, the Girondists were hardly less involved in these atrocities than the Jacobins. Barere, who began his career as a Girondist, declared that he intended to to transform the Vendee into a cemetary. It is, however, especially the units which were promoted in the last years of the revolution, which reveal its fully sadistic and masochistic character. Because the men of the Vendee fought in battle, the atonement had to be made by their women and children - even the smallest. (The British did the same thing in principle in their concentration camps during the Boer Wars.) In the Vendee, however, a particularly popular sport among the Blues was to throw children out of windows and to catch them with their bayonets. Equally popular was the practice of slicing open pregnant women in order to chop their unborn children into pieces and then let the mothers bleed to death. Other pregnant women were crushed to death in wine and fruit presses. Also popular was the burning of victims in houses and churches. This bloodlust increased so vehemently that Commander Grignon gave the order that everyone they met was to be immediately killed, even if they were Republicans. A particularly gruesome case involved one girl who was tied naked to two tree branches after being raped and then had to undergo repeated attempts to cut her in half. The Bleus lacked nothing in imagination. With hindsight, one can see the hardships, the unending suffering that the "progressive" defilers of people, graves and churches have brought over all of Europe. (The interiors of old French churches show to this day what these brutish barbarians have destroyed.)

ANYTHING POSITIVE?

Did the French Revolution leave anything positive to posterity? Only the metric system, which admittedly grew out of the democratic predilection for eternal measuring and counting. What about then the Declaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen? It was a purely anthropocentric document, a typically declamatory product of the first Enlightenment, which was conceived in 1789 and finally engrafted into the constitution of the Sadist-Republic in 1793. In the schoolbooks one reads about the period of the terror, "Le Terreur était terrible mais grande!" Even with all that a good number of moderates came under the blade too. Historically they had it coming because they hadn't considered what happened when one destroyed the old order. Charlotte Corday d'Armont, an enthusiastic Girondist, murdered the bloodthirsty Marat and was executed; Andre de Chenier, the great liberal lyric poet, died on the scaffold; the Marquis de Condorcet, chief ideologue of the "moderates," committed suicide in order to escape the chére mère. Madame Roland de la Planière, also a Girondist, exclaimed from where she was to be executed, "Oh liberty, what crimes are committed in your name. (Metternich on the other hand comments in the face of such flourishing "fraternity" that if he had a brother he would now just as soon call him a cousin.) Especially tragic was the fate of Chrétien de Malesherbes, a highly enlightened Liberal who remained true to the king. He defended Louis XVI and had to stand by and watch as his daughter, his son-in-law, and his grandchildren were decapitated before the guillotine brought an end to his own despair.

One shouldn't forget that much of what may appear positive to us today - liberality, intellectuality, humanitarianism - had all been already brought to us by the liberal, courtly absolutism, while the French Revolution which used all these words in reality did nothing more than brutally extinguish them. One is reminded of the reaction of Coffinhals, who replied to the uproar created by the defenders of Lavoisier, who cried, "You are condemning a great learned man to death," by saying, "The Revolution has no need of learned men." The good man was right; since the French Revolution only quantities, ciphers and numbers, have any value. The speech of the elite is hardly tolerated anymore.

From an intellectual point of view, the French Revolution was a conglomeration of un-thought out but fanatically believed inconsistencies, but it showed clearly, as so many other revolutions have, the true character of the great majority of the Genus Humanum.

In the French Revolution the scum of France succumbed to blood lust and opened the door to evil. In our day of electronic stultification, it's a sure bet that now, 200 hundred years later, this monstrosity will be the focus of orgiastic celebrations. The average man always clings despairingly to cliches. If one takes them away from him, he has to do his own research, his own thinking and deciding and has to begin anew. One can't really expect this sort of elitist behavior from such poor folks. Those whom the gods would destroy, they first rob of their reason.

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:56 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Therese wrote:
Here is an article by Austrian scholar Eric von Keuhnelt-Leddihn which describes the resistance to the Revolution on the part of the common people and the unequaled brutality with which it was put down.

So far as I can see, it describes no such thing. It is above a litany of the worst excesses of the Revolution most of which, so far as I know, were real enough, but unrelated in most cases to any resistance by the common people. In fact, the author says:

Quote:
the atrocities of the French Republicans were committed under the slogan of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality to a great extent by the people themselves


Quarrels between the Girondists and the Jacobins hardly represented any kind of action by the common people, whose main part seemed to be in enjoying the subsequent executions:

Quote:
The "moderates" fared just as badly. Cities like Lyon, Toulon and Bordeaux, which were led by the Girondists against the Jacobins, were partially leveled and their inhabitants decimated. When the guillotining threatened to go too slowly, many victims were drowned and others were executed with shotguns, so that the crowds could revel in seeing them slowly bleed to death.


Quite far from describing popular resistance (except in the ever-cited and ever-exceptional Vendee), the article is full of references to the "mob", the "crowd", etc.

Some of the article is just nutty:

Quote:
. He [Sade] was primarily responsible for the storming of the Bastille


Like hell. He tried to incite a riot, but didn't get very far at all. The storming of the Bastille was directly related to fears among the people and the fact that gun powder had been moved there for safekeeping. De Sade played virtually no role in this. But the author seems determined to make connections between the sulfurous marquis and the Revolution.

Quote:
Sade, along with the masochistic neurotic Rousseau, who wrote pedagogic novels and committed his children to orphanages, is the true renewer of democracy in our time and naturally also a hero of our left-wing intellectuals.


While I certainly know that some of these atrocities were horribly real, things like the cook's helper being soaked in butter I've never seen referred to anywhere and I suspect the author of taking every rumor that would further darken the Revolution as gospel.

It is not one would call a carefully thought out critique of the Revolution; it is a relentless diatribe. And the author certainly has no love for the common people, except when they were being massacred by the Revolutionaries.

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Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:05 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
baron de batz wrote:
I couldn't disagree with your more. Revolutionary France still remained in its' overwhelming rural composition, despite the imposition of an anti-clerical régîme, a deeply seated Catholic country.


A deeply seated Catholic country would have done everything it could - including risking death - everywhere to save its clergy. That would include marching on Paris if necessary. It didn't.

Saving one's skin for most people was far more important than saving their souls. If, in fact, they really believed they had them (in which case they were being mighty careless with them.)

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Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:12 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
jimcheval wrote:
Therese wrote:
Here is an article by Austrian scholar Eric von Keuhnelt-Leddihn which describes the resistance to the Revolution on the part of the common people and the unequaled brutality with which it was put down.

So far as I can see, it describes no such thing. It is above a litany of the worst excesses of the Revolution most of which, so far as I know, were real enough, but unrelated in most cases to any resistance by the common people.

It is not one would call a carefully thought out critique of the Revolution; it is a relentless diatribe. And the author certainly has no love for the common people, except when they were being massacred by the Revolutionaries.


Jim, the article does describe the efforts of the common people. It is not a relentless diatribe, just because it is not in accord with your views. You may not agree with him, which is your right, but Von Keuhnelt-Leddihn was not "nutty." More about him HERE:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_von_Kuehnelt-Leddihn
To quote:
Quote:
Kuehnelt-Leddihn was born in Austria. At the age of 16, he became the Vienna correspondent of The Spectator. From then on, he wrote for the rest of his life. He studied civil and canon law at the University of Vienna at the age of eighteen. From there, he went to the University of Budapest, from which he received an M.A. in economics and his doctorate in political science. Moving back to Vienna, he took up studies in theology. In 1935, Kuehnelt-Leddihn travelled to England to become a schoolmaster at Beaumont College, a Jesuit public school (UK). Subsequently he moved to the United States, where he taught at Georgetown University (1937–38), Saint Peter's College, New Jersey (head of the History and Sociology Department, 1938–43), Fordham University (Japanese, 1942–43), and Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia (1943–47).

After publishing books like Jesuiten, Spießer und Bolschewiken in 1933 (published in German by Pustet, Salzburg) and The Menace of the Herd in 1943, in which he criticised the National Socialists as well as the Socialists directly or between the lines, he could not return to Nazi-occupied Austria.

After the Second World War, he resettled in Lans in Tyrol where he lived until his death. However, he was an avid traveller: he had visited the USSR in 1930–31, and eventually travelled to every state in the United States.

Kuehnelt-Leddihn wrote for a variety of publications, including Chronicles, the Rothbard-Rockwell Report and the Catholic World. He also worked with the Acton Institute, which declared him after his death "a great friend and supporter,"[2] and was an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute. [1]


I see no signs of mental aberration in the life of such an accomplished scholar.

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Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:02 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Therese wrote:
jimcheval wrote:
Jim, the article does describe the efforts of the common people.
That is not the main point of the article by any means and as I noted (with quotes) he has far more ill to say of the common people than any good. His main point is how many awful things were done under the Revolution (and many were). But he certainly doesn't present the common people in general as resisting the Revolution, nor its worst excesses as being due to their resistance (with the regularly repeated exception of the Vendee).

But it should be simple enough to quote where he does what you say. So I'll gladly wait for those quotes.

I said some of his assertions were nutty. I have no idea what his own mental state was overall. (Not that distinguished scholars aren't often nutty; the two are far from mutually exclusive.)

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Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:39 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
I've found the book that may be interesting for you. I think I will order it but it would help if anyone has read it and can post more about his arguments.

Quote:
The book explains how the French Revolution encountered opposition not only from the privileged but also from the common people. It examines and analyzes various forms of resistance that arose when it became apparent that the hopes of 1789 could not be realized. The Terror of 1793 4 aimed to annihilate this resistance and remake human nature, but its violence and financial policies crippled successor governments and liberal institutions.

About the Author
D. M. G. Sutherland has been Professor of History at the University of Maryland since 1986. Before that, he taught in Canada and in the United Kingdom. His first book, The Chouans: A Social History of Popular Counterrevolution in Upper Brittany, 1780–1795 (1982), received honourable mention from the Canadian Historical Association. He also shared the Koren Prize awarded by the Society for French Historical Studies for the best article in a given year. He has received a number of other awards and fellowships of which the most recent is the Guggenheim Fellowship for 2001–02.


http://www.lavoisier.fr/notice/frBWO2X22A3RW2XO.html

http://www.amazon.com/French-Revolution ... 0631233636

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Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:37 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Jim Cheval wrote:

A deeply seated Catholic country would have done everything it could - including risking death - everywhere to save its clergy. That would include marching on Paris if necessary. It didn't.

For me more and more the excesses and ideology of the French Revolution are similar to that of the process of indoctrination and control of power that was seen in Nazi Germany. It was a well know fact that delation was widespread and that a language, an acceptable way of addressing one's fellow "sans culotte", was developed. Jean de Viguerie in his essay on "Anti-religious persecution" during the Revolution writes that the process of dechristianization was instrumentalized by the revolutionary government with systematic care. Most importantly it is replaced by another sort of religion, no doubt influenced by the Revolution's masonic roots, which one sees clearly in such examples as the temple of the Nation erected at the first Fête de la Féderation, to which one had to swear allegiance, the conversion of the Church of Sainte Geneviève into the Panthéon, a heathen temple to the glory of France's great men, and such ceremonies as that carried out on the 10th November 1793 in the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, where the cult of reason was inaugurated with an opéra dancer, Mlle Maillard, dressed in a white dress and a blue cloak with a red bonnet incarning the Nation. So this new form of religion was not a choice but a law, and clearly, as indeed we saw in occupied France, open resistance to an imposed law in France was not always widespread. France clearly remained an eminently catholic country, as the restoration proved when its' people embraced the ancient Catholic faith anew, but the martyrs prepared to die for their religion were not legion. Self preservation, survival instinct, burying one's head in the sand, call it what you like, but it was possible to remain a deeply seated Catholic and live in revolutionary France if one kept quiet enough about it. There were exceptions: 8000 non juror priests were put to death, the Vendée and the western departments rose up in defence of their "sacred religion" and their King finally applied his veto and suffered himself the inevitable consequences. It was declared illegal to assist at a mass by a non-juror priest, and many are those who went the the guillotine for having defied this law. Obviously the great mass of the population did not die for its' religious beliefs but that was clearly because so few have the courage to die for a cause. But after the revolution died away only the Freemasons were left with their cult of the supreme being.

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Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:25 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Quote:
Self preservation, survival instinct, burying one's head in the sand, call it what you like, but it was possible to remain a deeply seated Catholic and live in revolutionary France if one kept quiet enough about it.


Of course. But that is a Catholicism of forms, not the deeply rooted faith of someone who really believes that destroying churches wholesale is a massive sin likely to bring divine judgment down on the offending country.

This is precisely why the Church was welcomed back along with lots of other structures (not least with Napoleon's help, since he was expert at manipulating imperial and religious forms to support his own legitimacy). What people wanted after so much chaos was familiarity and structure. Again, the outward forms.

But that's not certainly not real, deeply held faith - the kind of faith that doesn't scurry into hiding when it becomes dangerous in human terms. The kind of faith that led some French and Polish Catholics to protect Jews even knowing what it might cost them.

The Catholicism of Old Regime France was an outward faith, the kind of faith that fell away or went into hiding when threatened. There were exceptions - notably, one can compare Louis XVI's relation to his beliefs to that of the two preceding kings. Ironically, the bishop of Amiens whom Voltaire so fiercely attacked in the La Barre case was a rare and saintly man. But the kind of faith you're talking about is like that of a certain Catholic mayor of New York who went on about family values, but did not hesitate to humiliate his wife by very publicly announcing his adultery with another woman. In other words, as long as you go to Mass and Confession, as long you keep up the outward forms, then you've done your duty - even if you (like so many "Catholic" aristocrats and even some bishops) have/had a mistress.

And again, there's a simple question of numbers. If the great majority of the French had felt loyalty even to this somewhat self-serving idea of their religion, they wouldn't have to have been afraid because no party would have dared to do the things that were actually done. But those things were done and enough of France either accepted or actively participated in them that those who might have disagreed felt cowed. You can disagree about whether the attacks on the Church were inspired (as I believe) by long-held resentment of blatant abuses and an amoral hierarchy, but the fact of the destruction is incontrovertible, and not just, as has been suggested, in Paris.

This simply could not have happened in a country where the great majority were devoted to their faith.

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