Gerald Warner is an English conservative with no sympathy for revolutionary celebrations.
Pompous parades will today celebrate the event that triggered the French Revolution, that is to say, the most appalling bloodbath anterior to the Russian Revolution. Seven prisoners were released from the Bastille â€“ four counterfeiters, an accomplice to murder and two lunatics – whose return to the community was hardly beneficial. The attack on the prison, reserved for the well-off, was orchestrated by the Marquis de Sade and Camille Desmoulins on behalf of the Nine Sisters masonic lodge.
There followed the September massacres, the marriages republicains in which people of opposite sexes were stripped naked and lashed together in obscene postures before being drowned, mothers forced to watch their children being guillotined and the massacre of 400,000 Catholic royalists â€“ the majority of them women and children â€“ in La Vendee. Sounds like the perfect excuse for a celebratory knees-up.
There are two countries called France. One is the sluttish Republic â€“ “Marianne” â€“ the other is the timeless, civilised doyen of Christendom, the nation of Clovis and St Louis, of the Valois and Bourbon kings, the Catholic and monarchic civilisation that fell with Charles X in 1830 but still defiantly survives in many enclaves. That pulse will beat quietly today while the heirs of the sans-culottes strut their stuff, proclaiming French nationalism under the figurehead of a Hungarian president and his Italian wife.
It is all hollow, even on their terms: the lodges and the heirs of the Jacobins have migrated to Brussels and are working on a more ambitious project, still aimed at the de-Christianisation of Europe and the elimination of freedom and tradition. France without its monarchy and the Church of which it was proudly termed the Eldest Daughter is a desert.
Today is when the posturing Pantaloons bedecked with tricolour sashes enjoy their 15 minutes of fame. God send, at some time in the future â€“ however distant â€“ the restoration of the glittering monarchy whose downfall in blood is so vulgarly celebrated today. Long live the present-day heir of the Bourbons, the Duc d’Anjou, rightful King of France. Vive Louis XX.
The Marquis de Sade had been imprisoned in the Bastille at the request of his family for his offenses against morality. The crowds regularly gathered at the foot of the prison to protest it. De Sade would take the funnel he used as a urinal and used it as a megaphone to urge the crowd on to do its worst. De Sade was freed from the prison before its downfall.
Why the love of monarchy? It doesnâ€™t matter what monarchy, in what era you speak of, the simple fact is that monarchâ€™s ancestor bonked someone elseâ€™s ancestor on the head, and told him to pay up, and get in line, or be killed.
The day merry England decides to put Excalibur to work eliminating current spec welfare cheating royalty, Iâ€™ll pay admission or, work the gate doing crowd control.
Indeed, Fusil Darne. There’ve been some high-minded nobility in history, who’ve done positive things, but I don’t get the attraction to the institution of monarchy, much less the implication that it’s a viable alternative in the present. Given the repulsive form that the concept of Noblesse Oblige has mutated into in the modern age, it hardly seems to me like our problem is a lack of legal sanction and enforcement power for the activities of the entitled classes that we do have. The problem is the values, or lack thereof, that they subscribe to.
All that said, the French Revolution as a whole was an ugly enough affair that it hardly seems appropriate for unreserved celebration. That’s probably why they’ve latched onto this particular, cinematic-though-insignificant event, on which to focus the festivities, as opposed to one of the many more significant, but problematically ugly, ones.
My observations on the French are twenty years dated, and may be incorrect. But, I saw a culture, at that time where the average native Frenchman was staring at 60 or more years of age, and depending on colonial immigrants to support him in his golden years, despite the fact these immigrants didnâ€™t speak French and cared not the least for France, Frenchman or French culture.
I figured a revolution was coming that was going to make the original seem like a tea party on a sunny afternoon.
So far, Iâ€™m wrong.
Gee. Maybe someone will devise a system that keeps the parade moving along without putting everything into the gutter on one side or the other….
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