by Don Hank
A look back at the French revolution reveals many surprising commonalities with today’s situation in America.
Yet, if the Tea Party Revolution succeeds, it will not be due to a revolutionary mindset as best described by Olavo de Carvalho (my review; full text). It will be the opposite, but with a similar historical lead-up and tactics ( hopefully with less bloodshed).
The main factors in both revolutions are:
One of the main factors in the French Revolution was an economic one: worldwide famine caused by a weather anomaly. What later came to be known as the Little Ice Age contributed mightily to the timing of the revolution, as detailed by Brian Fagan.
In our case, while there is no famine, there is a shrinking economy, and a looming double-dip recession or even a full-blown depression, as predicted by economist Paul Krugman. Many realize government policy actually caused the initial failure of banks and the consequent economic slide. Most do not.
Regardless of the origin of this current economic malaise, it will eventually parallel the situation in France in 1788/9. Already, the number of unemployment recipients is staggering and is further gnawing at our national treasury, just as the excesses of Louis XV and XVI gnawed at and eventually drained, France’s treasury.
Added to this in France was the intellectual factor, i.e., the wide circulation of the ideas of the enlightenment, which generally called for equality among all people, undermining the notion of divine right of the nobility. In fact, the successful American Revolution added fuel to this equality movement.
But the American Revolution also contributed in a political way to the revolution: In an attempt to vindicate his father’s waste of national funds in the unsuccessful Seven Years War against traditional enemy Britain, Louis XV, Louis XVI, the incompetent king and husband of Marie Antoinette, decided to help the Americans in their war with Britain. Success in that war did not translate into political success for Louis XVI, however, because the aid the French had sent us bankrupted France and further undermined the King’s authority and popularity. Other political factors include the popularity of revolutionary-minded Minister Jacques Neckar and of Maximilien Robespierre. The former’s dismissal gave more fuel to the movement while the latter’s oratory inspired the people to revolt.
It bodes ill for Michelle Obama that her extravagant vacations and leisure life are garnering her the monicker “Michelle Antoinette” – even among Democrats.
It is intriguing that the scenario of the French Revolution is now being turned upside down:
Economically, while most of the ills caused by the government in France were unrelated to the will of the public, the ills in our country were by consent of the governed, who foolishly installed politicians imbued with Keynesian economic ideas. A close look at globalist G.W. Bush, son of globalist George Bush Sr., would have shown us this flaw in his character. Obama, obviously driven by leftwing ideology, could scarcely have been expected to reject the idea of bailouts for banks and businesses, which then could be controlled by the government. This amassing of power in the hands of globalists and Marxists was accomplished by stealth, but it was ultimately the uncritical masses who chose them.
Intellectually, while the ideas that bolstered the French Revolution were strictly leftist revolutionary, the ideas of the Tea Party, promulgated by media personalities and a few politicians, and increasingly, by bloggers and internet activists, are spreading and causing a new kind of movement that could best be called antirevolutionary, if we accept the definition of the Revolution as set down by revolutionaries themselves over the centuries (again, I refer to the masterful work by Olavo de Carvalo).
Spiritually, the French revolution marked an upsurge in the religion of humanism, which has held for centuries, while the tea party revolution marks a turn toward traditional Christian values and beliefs that the French would call “reactionary.” It is no exaggeration to call humanism a religion in this context. The spiritual descendants of Voltaire include Sartre, Camus and a host of artists dedicated to proselytizing for atheistic humanism. A look at French cinema (works like “Jean de Florette,” “The Stranger” and “Madame Bovary,” for example) make this fanatical missionary spirit abundantly clear. Meanwhile, in America, the new heretics, like Jim Wallis and wishy-washy feel-good, “cool” pastors are being rejected for what Americans see as the “real thing,” solid men of God dedicated to the winning of souls from perdition.
Politically, the situation is similar between France then and the US today. The National Assembly in the 1780s had been at loggerheads with the King over issues like equality of taxation (only the commoners were taxed, nobility and clergy were exempted). It was the people against the tyrant at the top. Today we see the will of the people in Arizona, for example, being thwarted by the heavy hand of Obama and an activist court. In reaction to the general perception of such tyranny, the true patriot tea party candidates (as distinct from the GOP-led imitations) are overthrowing incumbents in many elections. The GOP establishment, even with endorsements from once-popular heavy hitters like Sara Palin and Jan Brewer, is no longer able to sell their wishy-washy candidates at face value. Given the economic climate, the established church is no longer able to sell open borders and amnesty to their parishioners. Even popular icon Ann Coulter can’t pied-piper her followers into accepting a coalition with the homosexual agenda. The establishment is slowly cracking.
Conservatives and libertarians are forming a natural coalition and spreading the ideas of liberty and constitutional government but without the leftwing claptrap.
It is too early to predict anything, but the climate is right for a revolution that is, like the first American Revolution, not a revolution at all but rather a return to common sense, natural law and the God of our fathers.