Happy Bastille Day

The storming of the Bastille in Paris happened on this day in 1789. It was one of the defining moments of the French Revolution and is considered the symbolic start.

The French usually mark it with military parades and jet flyovers. They will still have those but it will be different. I think the picture below captures the difference.

This spring and summer have felt a bit like the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror that followed. Instead of crowds chanting, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité, we hear “tear it down”.

Instead of the unity and indivisibility proclaimed in the poster, it feels more like disunity and division.

I read something this morning regarding revolution and specifically why revolutions fail. The great Anglo-Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke was quoted. One of his great works is Reflections on the Revolution in France. It is considered one of the great works of conservative thought.

As the article noted:

In his “Reflections on the Revolution in France,” Burke warned of political revolutions that despise everything that came before them: “People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.”

We know the rest of the story. Barely a decade after executing their hated monarch—and after years of political instability, social chaos, and the remorseless violence of the guillotine—the freedom-loving revolutionaries installed an emperor to replace him. Napoleon Bonaparte, dictator for life, would plunge continental Europe into war.

Antifa, anarchy, the tearing down of statues, cancel culture, the subservience of “progressive” politicians to the mobs, etc, etc. It feels like a modern day version of 1793 France and I, for one, am fearful of the consequences. The longer it goes on, the more it takes a life of its own. Politicians who are now using it for their own political ends and think they can control it will soon find themselves at the mercy of the mob just like Maximilien Robespierre.

Perhaps the best way I can celebrate Bastille Day is to go to the range and shoot my Manurhin MR-88 revolver.

2 thoughts on “Happy Bastille Day”

  1. Putting on your masks AFTER you are all standing together in a small group?

    It is unfortunate that the leadership in various states (and the federal government although I think a federal response to this issue was initially inappropriate and generally fraught with serious political danger due to the media) chose to allow the widespread rioting and to express mixed response to COVID transmission issues. The response to the rioting, however, dates back several years. I think it started at the WTO meetings in Seattle and steadily increased through the 2016 elections and to today. If the rioters had been arrested and sent to prison then, I suspect we wouldn’t see nearly the level of mayhem now. They have been emboldened. Of course when much of the leadership of both major political parties actually believes that America is a racist country and is willing to sacrifice others in order to be the last one into the cannibal pot, what can we expect. Every time someone defends themselves, however, they will be charged and held up as an example, much like the liberal couple on the east coast recently who are not radical right conservatives by any stretch of the imagination. They are, however, being portrayed that way.

  2. Better Napoleon than Robespierre.

    It was actually Britain that declared war first although Napoleon was messing around in the internal politics of Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Rhineland which Britain considered provocations. Probably related to Britain’s long struggle with France rather than anything else. Napoleon inherited wars with Austria and Russia which he ended successfully for France.

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