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Thread: Will a 2nd American Revolution be French?

  1. #1

    Will a 2nd American Revolution be French?

    http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.3131

    In an email exchange, a friend expressed his belief that America would soon have a second revolution that was brought about by political and economic instability. My immediate thought was "if that happens, I expect it will more closely resemble the French Revolution than the one in 1776." Then I sat back and tried to figure out why I had arrived at that instant conclusion, and whether it had any merit. As a proximate cause, I think the conclusion popped up as a result of some reading I did last night and from listening to CNN this morning as I did the ifeminists newsfeeds. CNN had two stories that clashed together in my mind: 1) there had been a sharp increase in the number of millionaires in the U.S.; and, 2) unemployment benefits now run for 99 weeks in order to alleviate the severe and widespread suffering of the jobless. To me that means the gulf between the haves and have-nots is widening and quickly so.

    America has become a society of elites. Specifically, those in the political class who enjoy an endless economic bounty that comes from the sweat and blood of taxpayers. At the pinnacle are politicians with rich salaries, plush expense accounts (not counting bribes), platinum pensions and health insurance, etc. Then there are the millions of civil servants who are paid considerably more than their private-sector counterparts, who have greater job security due to unions, and who enjoy a pension plan that others can only dream about. The devouring appetite of these elites is fed by the ever-increasing taxes, fees and other money-grabs from the private, productive sector of society. As the level of theft increases, more productive people are being driven in poverty, homelessness and a despair that could easily turn into rage.

    Last night I was reading about the conditions in 18th century, pre-Revolutionary France. (Specifically, I was reading about the Physiocrats who were precursors to libertarianism.) The parallels to the U.S. did not escape my notice.

    Under Louis XV (and Louis XIV for that matter) France was plagued by fairly constant and ruinously expensive warfare along with economic instability. There was a huge schism between the haves and the have-nots. The haves basically consisted of the nobility and the clergy, both of whom were exempt from taxes; they lived off the sweat and blood of average people (mostly peasants) in the private sector. The foundation of the private sector was agriculture, even though very few citizens owned land. The nobility and clergy (some 600,000 in a population of roughly 25 million) held most property. For example, the church owed about 1/5th of the total land; in some provinces, it owed up to 2/3rds. Moreover, the Church had feudal privileges that continued from the Middle Ages and bound something like one million people to the land as serfs.

    Even though France was a comparatively wealthy nation, the peasants existed at near-starvation level because they were so burdened with taxation in myriad forms. A direct tax ate as much as 50% of the earnings of the non-exempt. The collection process was particularly brutal because tax collector were 'entrepreneurs' who paid the king a flat amount for the privilege of collecting taxes; anything over that amount became profit.

    There were a slew of other taxes as well, some of them quite creative. For example, there was a salt monopoly tax by which everyone over the age of 7 (as I remember) was required to purchase several lbs of highly-inferior government salt each and every year. The law also proscribed how the salt could be used and imposed heavy fines for misuse, such as in preservation of meat. Many other commodities had their own separate taxes. Fees were levied at every stage of manufacture, upon transportation, at time of sale to retailers and, then, to customers. It has been estimated that these taxes literally doubled the cost of goods. The list scrolls on and on, including many customs duties that were not merely imposed on goods passing into and out of France but often on goods traveling between different provinces within the nation.

    And, of course, there was the constant bribery, unofficial theft by authorities, etc. for which France was notorious and which ran rampant through all levels of government. Unfortunately, it is impossible to even estimate how much corruption cost the average person. Even without this factor, however, it has been estimated that the nobility (including the king) and the church probably took about 75% of the wealth produced by peasants -- many of whom lived on the margin to begin with. Over taxed, often homeless, unemployed, hungry and with no hope of justice from the 'system', the vast majority of French citizens were nevertheless not blind. They saw the starvation of their own children and the riches lavished on the velvet-clad children of the elite -- riches that had been stolen from them and from the mouths of their own families. When the desperation of peasants erupted abruptly into unbridled rage, the French Revolution had arrived. And, at least in the beginning, it was a grassroots revolution around which the disenfranchised rallied for justice. They soon demanded revenge.

    These are the some of the thoughts I had upon listening to the two CNN stories this morning. I'm sure it is at least part of the reason the French Revolution came to mind immediately upon reading my friend's email. By contrast, the American Revolution was not rooted in a long-standing class structure that split people into widely disparate, permanent and unjust economic sectors.
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  3. #2
    If you haven't done so, read Germinal by Emile Zola.

  4. #3
    This is disturbing because that is not the kind of revolution we want, but it seems more and more likely.

  5. #4
    The Jacobin "Reign of Terror" is the root of the word "terrorism".

    D'oh!

    Stupid poetic justice.

  6. #5
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    Our society is composed more of children masquerading as adults as opposed to responsible citizens. They will not respond kindly when when the redistribution crumbs run out. Thankfully, there are enough armed patriots cloaked in the shadows, who will be there to grab the rudder when society breaks down. These naked socialists operating in the universities have nothing on some of the hardened members of the patriot and militia movement. It's like comparing boys with men.
    Last edited by AuH20; 03-11-2010 at 02:09 PM.

  7. #6
    I do not know much about the French Revolution, I just know that apparently is wasn't pretty. Everyone I know that knows anything about the subject all said it was ugly.

    I know America is quickly approaching the revolution stage, however, it will not be one ideology behind it, it will be several classes of people, from all backgrounds, mad at different areas of our society. It will be chaos. And rest assured America will not be as big geographically as it is now, when it's over. I can easily see America being split up into several different nations. Of which i am for. It is Far to hard to please 300 million. So, If i am alive to see such a thing happen, i will "Vote with my feet" and move to the part that best approaches my ideal society. And rest assured, it is not liberal, progressive, conservative, or libertarian. It is more along the lines of Conservative (no gay marriage, no abortion) Libertarian (no central bank, no trade barriers, no gun regulation, no free speech zones)

    I need to read up on the subject, does anyone know of any good books on the french revolution?
    "Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory,
    there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me.
    Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox
    with my brave men, my sword in my right hand."
    - Robert E. Lee to Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale (D-Texas), 1870

  8. #7
    books?
    "Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory,
    there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me.
    Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox
    with my brave men, my sword in my right hand."
    - Robert E. Lee to Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale (D-Texas), 1870

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by AuH20 View Post
    Our society is composed more of children masquerading as adults as opposed to responsible citizens. They will not respond kindly when when the redistribution crumbs run out. Thankfully, there are enough armed patriots cloaked in the shadows, who will be there to grab the rudder when society breaks down. These naked socialists operating in the universities have nothing on some of the hardened members of the patriot and militia movement. It's like comparing boys with men.
    This is such a great post. I agree.



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  11. #9
    A revolution at this point would be terrible for America. Maybe when a more sizable number of Americans truly believe in liberty, but not now.
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  12. #10
    Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism
    by Augustin Barruel



    Originally published in 1797, this definitive account of the rise of the Illuminati and its influence in shaping the murderous French Revolution is an invaluable resource for history fans and defenders of the Constitution. (2002ed,846pp,hb)

    SOURCE:
    http://www.shopjbs.org/index.php/boo...acobinism.html
    ----

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  13. #11
    During the French Revolution, pregnant women were crushed to death in grape presses and baby limbs decorated bayonets.

  14. #12
    I hope not. The French Revolution was a blood bath that led to dictatorship.

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Brykein View Post
    A revolution at this point would be terrible for America. Maybe when a more sizable number of Americans truly believe in liberty, but not now.
    I disagree with you on this, knowing the first revolution only involved about 3% of the population at the time. I don't see a large minority or majority ever believing in liberty.

  16. #14
    I've been saying this for a long time already.. If you go back and look at my posts here I've made a few comments where I compare what's going on to the French Revolution... Not that I'm excited about it.

    Oh, and lets hope that whoever is elected or thrusted into power by this "Revolution" (not our R3volution, but just what's going on in general within the country) doesn't end up as the 20th century Robespierre..

  17. #15
    When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? - Miguel de Cervantes, (Don Quixote)

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  18. #16
    A revolution is a horrible idea because leaders lead revolutions, so revolutionaries will look to leaders after the revolution to be their government.

    Consider the ideas approach to liberty:

    YouTube - Ideas Change the World



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  20. #17
    we're already in a revolution!

  21. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mediahasyou View Post
    A revolution is a horrible idea because leaders lead revolutions, so revolutionaries will look to leaders after the revolution to be their government.

    Consider the ideas approach to liberty:

    YouTube - Ideas Change the World
    That's why we must be there to fill the vacuum.

  22. #19
    Much easier to have a not-so-bloody revolution when you are rebelling against an imperial center on the other side of a vast ocean. We don't have that luxury this time.

    If the King of England were stationed in New York, I can almost guarantee that his head would have been chopped off before the end of the revolution.

    The only real chance that we have at a repeat of the first revolution would be succession, rather than attempting to free the whole country at once. That is certainly a viable option.

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by tmosley View Post
    Much easier to have a not-so-bloody revolution when you are rebelling against an imperial center on the other side of a vast ocean. We don't have that luxury this time.

    If the King of England were stationed in New York, I can almost guarantee that his head would have been chopped off before the end of the revolution.

    The only real chance that we have at a repeat of the first revolution would be succession, rather than attempting to free the whole country at once. That is certainly a viable option.
    I agree. There are groups of people in the US that simply can not agree on how things should be. Either a truly federal system that allows for those differences, or some groups will try to eliminate their opponents.
    Out of every one hundred men they send us, ten should not even be here. Eighty will do nothing but serve as targets for the enemy. Nine are real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, upon them depends our success in battle. But one, ah the one, he is a real warrior, and he will bring the others back from battle alive.

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  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by t0rnado View Post
    During the French Revolution, pregnant women were crushed to death in grape presses and baby limbs decorated bayonets.
    wow, are you serious? I've never heard that before. How could it have been THAT bad?
    "Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory,
    there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me.
    Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox
    with my brave men, my sword in my right hand."
    - Robert E. Lee to Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale (D-Texas), 1870

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by V4Vendetta View Post
    wow, are you serious? I've never heard that before. How could it have been THAT bad?
    That's nothing. Saddam Hussein was throwing Kuwati babies out of incubators and the German was eating Belgian babies and gassing and making soap and lampshades out of Jews

  26. #23
    It's sure as hell not going to be another 1776......... I'm thinking it's going to go more in the Zimbabwe direction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by denison View Post
    If they government ran off of profit it would be more effect and could deliver good service.

  27. #24
    The French Revolution isn't the kind of direction we want to be headed towards. It immediately led to dictatorship, preemptive warfare, and mass killing, all within four years of its occurance.



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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Brykein View Post
    A revolution at this point would be terrible for America. Maybe when a more sizable number of Americans truly believe in liberty, but not now.
    Maybe a second revolution will get them to that point.

    I'd hope that it is more along the lines of Tiananmen Square and Martin Luther King . . .

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    But Eisenhower was smart enough to realize upon leaving office that this was
    really gonna be quite a monumental force the future generations would be up against.

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