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.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

It almost escaped my notice that today is Bastille Day which is otherwise known in France as La Fête Nationale. What jogged my memory was a series of photos on MilitaryPhotos.Net of the military parades associated with this day in France.

Say what you will about the French, they do parades well!

Flyover seen from the Louvre.

French armour driving down the Champs de Elysee
French Foreign Legion led by their Pioneers

Below is a report on the parade by French television.

Of course, there is this alternate celebration of Bastille Day by the band Rush from their 1975 album Caress of Steel.