Did people just gloss over the Reign of Terror when learning about the French Revolution? The slogan “liberte egalite fraternite” is a great slogan and great things to rally around but they were never really achieved… Once the Reign of Terror happened the revolution was shot to hell… Do you really want to be comparing your movement to it?
I would argue rather that the Terror happened because the revolution was in the process of “being shot to hell,” to use your phrasing, not the other way around. We are talking about a time when revolutionary France was dealing with external and internal wars, inflation, food supply problems, etc. In other words, pretty much anything that could conceivably go wrong was going wrong. This kind of situation doesn’t exactly lend itself to a great deal of stability in “normal” times, let alone a time when you’re in the midst of figuring out exactly how to reconstruct the political, social, and economic institutions of your country after hundreds of years of repression and general monarchical mismanagement. To save the revolution and to stop all the gains - and let us not forget that there were so, so many gains made for ordinary people during the revolution; it’s completely inane to brush them off to the side, as some people are wont to do, with a cry of “BUT BUT BUT THE TERROR” - that had been made in the past several years from disappearing, it was necessary to take strong actions.
Was everything that happened under the Terror, then, roses and sunshine and virtue? No, god, of course not. One need only look at, say, the massacres in Lyon and Nantes to come to that conclusion.
Was the Terror - at least the idea of it, if not the implementation - necessary? I shudder (as a number of the revolutionaries themselves did), but I say yes; given the facts of the time in which this policy was formulated, I don’t think there were many other options to stop the total collapse of France.
But was the Terror in the form that it actually took throughout France in 1793 and 1794, then, justified? This is a question that, after taking stock of the situation, of everything that was at stake, and of everything that resulted, one must answer for oneself. Suffice to say, though, that the answer is far more complicated than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and anyone who confidently says that they can answer it as such is kidding themselves, hasn’t done their research particularly thoroughly, or both.
…And this has been your ‘Chelsea likes to sit around and pontificate about the French Revolution instead of doing coursework’ digression of the day.
To get back to the original post itself, though, I don’t think the French Revolution comparison (but perhaps I should say “threat,” rather, because that seems to better describe how I’ve seen it used by movement supporters) is a particularly bad one if it’s meant in the sense that one of the causes of the French Revolution was the vast social and economic inequality that existed in France in 1789, and that this very type of inequality has been growing to monstrous proportions in the United States over the past 30 or 40 years. If nothing is done to check it, then something French Revolution-esque could very well erupt here. Not now, perhaps, but further down the line, if we do nothing to change our trajectory? Certainly.
Fox News has a new poll up. I think you know what to do.
As important as Gn’R getting into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame is…
…this is more important. Don’t give Fox News an excuse to say that the Occupy Wall Street protests don’t reflect the opinions of the people!
Take a second and make your self heard. No emails or text imput needed. Just click the button.
Time for a good old-fashioned tumblr poll bomb.
casually reblogs again
I can’t help but think that a lot of the NOs are people who are uneducated on what the protests are really for.
Occupy San Francisco solidarity march, October 5, 2011
New York City: Tens of thousands of people marched in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street during a citywide demonstration initiated by labor unions, October 5, 2011.
Photo by Brenda Sandburg
New York City: Members of Transportation Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 speak at the Occupy Wall Street encampment.
“Excuse me,” she said to a man in a tan raincoat. “Would you like a copy of The Occupied Wall Street Journal?”
Today we received unconfirmed reports that over one hundred blue collar police refused to come into work in solidarity with our movement. These numbers will grow. We are the 99 percent. You will not silence us.
Sometimes I am very proud of my city.
The peaceful Occupy Wall Street protest march turned violent as the NYPD corralled and pepper sprayed the participants. Mass arrests were made and loaded onto a NYC bus further locking traffic. The protest march took a route from Zuccotti Park to Union Square on East 14th Street. The protesters were marching back to Zuccotti Park when the NYPD turned violent. Hitting, arresting and forcing protesters into a small area. At that point a NYPD supervisor yelled shut up to one of the protesters and shot pepper spray into her eyes point blank range and hitting a half dozen protesters (including 3 police officers) when they had nowhere to go. The same supervising officer was seen (photographed) laughing after the arrests while looking at his text messages.
Land of the free
Fucked up shit, man.
From Pronto Pizza, just off of Zucotti Park at “Occupy Wall ST”