Friday, May 6, 2011

Pity Is Treason

Reign of Terror

On this day in 1758, Maximilien Robespierre was born. He was a leading figure of the French Revolution, who eventually came to dominance as the head of the Committee of Public Safety and a chief proponent of the Reign of Terror. It is possible that 40,000 people met their demise during the Terror, executed by guillotine. On July 28, 1794, the Terror was ended with the execution of Robespierre and his allies on the Committee.

It's hard to see such a blood drenched figure in a positive light. His advocacy of Terror and persecution outweighs his interests in egalitarian reform and in the creation of a society in which prosperity was a possibility for all. Certainly, he had good initial intentions, but his actions were unambiguously evil. People were executed merely for voicing criticism or even being suspected of voicing criticism.

I see the French Revolution as being an inspiring movement at the beginning. The Age of Kings needed to be put to an end and their "Divine Rights" forever rejected. There was so much potential good that existed as a part of the Revolutionary Spirit. However, it was coopted by small-minded men, unwilling to work together to form a cooperative government. Instead, there was Anarchy and Terror.

Many people are to blame for the failure of the Revolutionary Spirit, but Robespierre deserves being singled out for special vilification.

Here's a vid about Robespierre:

Here's a link to Robespierre's Wikipedia page.


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