Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bush and the French Revolution

Francois Furstenberg in his piece in today's New York Times.... "Bush's Dangerous Liaisons"..... draws fascinating parallels between The Decider's administration and the Jacobins who emerged from the French Revolution of 1789.

Does this sound familiar? An ideology that divides the world between the defenders of liberty versus its enemies... "a crusade for universal liberty." Appropriating the rhetoric of patriotism to promote political programs.... insisting partisan views are identical to the national will and opponents are treasonous. Expansion of government's police powers at the expense of civil liberties because "the homeland was in danger."

It was the French Terror. "No liberty for the enemies of liberty" was the Jacobin battle cry eventually taken as a mantle by a radicalized Robespierre.

So, what became of Robespierre? By July of 1794 personal hostilities and political differences divided members of France's powerful Committees of Public Safety and General Security.

A month before a leading member of the Committee of General Security.... annoyed that Robespierre and his group were abusing their powers.... ridiculed Robespierre's religious views by arresting an eccentric prophetess, Catherine Theot, who proclaimed Robespierre as the new Messiah.

And, Robespierre's virtual assumption of the role of high priest at the Festival of the Supreme Being (I'm not making this up) aggravated several deputies. These disagreements proved fatal to Robespierre's followers who were conquered by the opposition in the Convention on July 28.

It was the Jacobian worldview, their "my way or the highway" mentality, that was responsible for the term "terrorist".... "A terroriste was, in its original meaning, a Jacobian leader who ruled France during la Terreur."

Since the members of our current "Convention".... Congress.... seem unable to stop the excesses of the current Jacobinist administration, it will fall to the voters a year from November to end the reign of terror of the enablers of "Supreme Beings" Bush and Cheney and their neocon lackeys.

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