The French Revolution
There are periods in American and world history almost too revolting to contemplate. Yet what is worse than contemplation is complaisance - to ask no questions at all.
What most Americans of my generation (post 1960's) tend to know about history, and particularly the history of France, tends to deal with factoids (inarguable, vague, one-sentence summaries of opinions, not including statistics as recorded by historians.) Americans tend to be educated in their French history by reading the works of Charles Dickens who - no matter how broad-minded he may have been - was still British, and it was also Dickens who could have made the Holocaust of the 1930's understandable to a child. This is not an insult, but a compliment.
The problem is, in our education today, is that children understand history better than we do as adults. The reason for this is multi-fold: Good historians tend to relate history as a bad nightmare, especially when trying to reach to children. Parents, when being overly-rational, tend to deny there is such a thing as a nightmare. Dickens himself described this in A Christmas Carol when Scrooge denied the ghost of Jacob Marley as being a bit of undigested potato.
Having grown up in America, rather than France, we tend to be influenced by the American perception of history as it relates to Americans. Yet, given how much we perceive American history to be watered-down, or watered-up, by Americans for Americans, we believe most history books anywhere tend to be rather white-washed, or black-washed, or red- or yellow-washed, depending upon which governments or religions are squabbling for control of nations at any given time.
It is also true that much of what follows is from the perception of my 1776'ers. This is what they say.
The French history is very important to Americans, as well as to Britons - this is a fact that cannot be overstated. While not making a big to-do of the subject, the fact is that Britain has Stonehenge, and France has Carnac (spelling arguable), and neither country really knows what to do with these large stone obelisks - the mere presence of these stones predate recorded history, and their explanation is generally left to myth and superstition.
On this note, it is important to point out that just because these "factoids" do predate history is not the same thing as saying they have no historical record. To put it bluntly, and without wasting any more time, the Christian historians wiped these records out. The "purpose" of both Stonehenge and Carnac ceased to exist AFTER the incarnation of Jesus of the Christ, but more specifically, after Saint Patrick and the ethnic cleansing of the fourth century in Ireland, and after Rome, as an imperialist nation, decided it was in the world's best interest to "not be bothered by these trivialities" anymore.
It is hard to know how to address the French Revolution. History records how many people escaped from the bloody holocaust. Even Charles Dickens, in his very artistic, linear way, very tastefully dealt with the subject in a mature adult fashion in his novel Tale of Two Cities. It is fair to credit Dickens with having drawn the broad strokes of comedy and art with making the French Revolution a mere class war, and therefore disposable to many people who might themselves have been sensitive to class distinction.
Romance novels innumerable have dealt with the holocaust of the French Revolution by dispensing with any real suffering. The hero or heroine always gets away, and sails into smoother waters. If the hero/heroine is French, then the peasant class revolting was "beastly!" If the hero/heroine was British, then the peasant class was "bloody awful!"
But what about the testimony of the people who were there? Who saw it happen, who saw it coming... Does anybody talk about how things really WERE in France, at the time, or what the world trends were, at the time?
History records that a number of Americans were in France at the time, including Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams, and assorted Lee's and Randolph's of Virginia, and many others who were intrinsically involved with fashioning the concept of "democracy" in America. Actually, it is misleading to say they were trying to fashion the concept of democracy; it is more accurate to say they were in France trying to EXPLAIN the concept of democracy, in order to borrow money in America's war against Great Britain. It was in America's best interest to persuade France that it was in her best interest to support the American cause.
This was in the period shortly after the United States declared Independence from Great Britain, and while that fight was going on, there were several U.S. delegations abroad trying to secure diplomatic relations with powerful nations. The purpose was two-fold; 1) to persuade nations that to attempt to "gobble up the States" as an imperialistic move would not be to their advantage, as they would lose trade and other economic privilege; and 2) that to support the U.S. as a new nation would actually encourage access to trade and other economic privilege of a relatively new and (as yet) unpillaged nation. (Money, again. Aren't most wars, one way or another, a matter of financial realignment?)
Given what we've just said, we're admitting that the United States, in the latter 1700's, had a pretty dismal plate of bargains to lay upon the international tables, but to give the diplomats (such as Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, and the Lee's) credit, they understood that it was their job to "soft-sell" aristocrats of a foreign nation to ask for assistance should there be a necessity to go up against the "Mother Country" in an out-and-out confrontation, as retaliation against the War of Independence.
What the delegates never talked about - what is not recorded in the history books - is the individual perceptions and experiences of the American delegates to France. I wish I could rely upon my spirits who were incarnate at the time to tell me what really happened during the French Revolution, but it is apparently so awful, so unspeakable, that I am going to have to filter this through astral perception.
We know that the American delegates fled France within bare months - practically days - before the Revolution. Something must have heated up so awfully, they knew they had to get out. They must have known that they themselves were perceived as aristocrats, even if from a "bastard country." No one, no matter how plebian - by our standards - could mistake a Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, or Lee, as "common rabble". They HAD to leave.
But, who gave them this advice? How did they KNOW?
More importantly, what did they know, or see? We mentioned Charles Dickens, earlier, as being somewhat of a composite historian of the 19th century; anyone reading this now might find it strange for me to cite Ann Rice and her Vampire Chronicles for having some profound esoteric lore. I can't pretend to have read the same books as Ms. Rice has, but I can validate my own belief that much of what she writes, or suggests, is true or based on truth, including that children were regularly "bled" in Church, which contributed to a mass appearance of "widespread anemia" to U.S. delegates. It never occurred to them to ask why the native French children were so pale. There was no one to ask. No one would have understood the question, anyway. "Pale children" - especially in the upper classes - were considered normal. And seems to be so considered today.
It is also true that a word used frequently in the 20th century to refer to British art as "decadent" should actually be embarrassing, because if British artists wished to offend anyone, they were 200 years behind the times of their French cousins, who actually defined "decadent."
So when did the French Revolution change roles in history, and gain artistic status? Never: it simply rewrote its role in history. The truth is that the French Revolution is one of the bloodiest ever known, and that the full reasons for that revolution have never really been disclosed, nor admitted by those who lived through it. Part of the "denial" is simply that the French are for the most part a pure and beautiful and artistic people. "Le Bonhomie" - what is will be. France is a tiny "cultural island" having to fight the world (yet, Hitler apparently thought that "tiny cultural island" was worthy of note and conquest. Considering that Hitler had some great interest in esoterics himself, this question ought to take on a greater importance.)
Why, then, was France the host of a bloody revolution, and what effect did that have upon the "white-collar countries" who were interested?
France was the pinnacle, the summation, of culture, decadence, and education, in the 18th century. There were many powerful European nations at the time, as there always are, but at that time, France seemed to be the epicenter of literature and art, as well as philosophy and other erudite studies, and frankly, France - as a composite culture - viewed itself as a composite of Humanity - especially in its elitist sense - just as the Romans had done, but which history had already expunged in its more grotesque egotistical moments.
France, in short, still had the ego - and the rebellion that always goes with it. The blood that spilled was for many a man who thought he was more important than he is, and that applied to a lot of men. Too many men thought they were important for the destiny of France, and that's why they had to be killed. It wasn't just a war of class; it was a war of ego, the ego of the common man, and the ego of the man who thought he could be greater than the common man. Charles Dickens said it well. He spoke for the common man even when he was appalled.
France became the latter-day battleground of the class war that has plagued Humanity since its beginning.
No one who's civilized could stand this war; every Soul within proximity lived upon the proverbial razor's edge (pun intended). Never has there been a period in Earth history when reason and instinct have been so pitted against one another. Fitting, it seems, that this battle was played upon the guillotine; an instrument devised to separate the head from the body, and usually in front of an audience, guaranteed to spill the font of blood, and also to hear the "thud" of a head bouncing, and perhaps rolling, across, a wooden deck. How satisfying that must have felt, to those cruel beings who felt that such animalism demonstrated that "justice" had been achieved. (An eye for an eye, a thud for a thud.)
The "horror" of the French Revolution still has not finished its reverberations, to this day. How many of us have read diary accounts of day-to-day life at the time? I have not, but have read romantic novels alluding to the subject, yet, given the nature of romantic novels, it is fair to say that a certain amount of dispassionate, cold, analytic perception simply wouldn't have been available. The "real" diaries of the "real" people who survived this period would not - out of decent respect for and restraint regarding the Profane - have acknowledged the horrors implied or explicit. To have addressed the horrors outright would have been to trivialize them. (There simply is no Diary of Anne Frank or even a totalitarian version of Go Ask Alice available.)
I looked in the Vault of Spirit Information, and found a bunch of folders all labeled "closed." I can't open closed files, but I can ask why files were closed, and I can certainly ask for public records. I've read a lot about key players during this period, and while public history is nebulous at best, because that which is public tends to be that which is least offensive distilled to its nth degree.
I do not have access to the French perception (of those incarnate at the time) of the French Revolution. I do, however, have access to the American perception. And, the American perception was that if it could happen to France, it could happen to America. Moreover, it was a very powerful lesson in the dangers of Imperialism, motivated by Christianity or otherwise. This is why James Madison became such an important Player in the early 1800's. Madison was distinguished - in a number of ways - but importantly, because he was young, he was new, and he was able to learn from the mistakes of others. (Which today, we call a mark of true leadership.) Madison is also called the Father of the Constitution of the United States.
What not everyone may not perceive is that Madison's teachers were such as Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, the Lee's, George Washington, and others.) And while this "factoid" might seem irrelevant, he was also the last of the first-blood Virginians to be elected to Presidential office.
The question, then, that seems most relevant, at this time, is what did Madison know about the French Revolution, and how did this influence him in presidential decisions, and what effect did this have upon America, and where does America stand in the world today because of those decisions?
Madison knew, as did the men before him, that certain strains of European blood had bred a certain animosity, and a certain defeatist attitude. He also knew that a certain strain of "honor conquers all" mentality plagued both France and England.
A subject simply never discussed in any history books, of any country, is an acknowledgement that "over-breeding" has ever been a problem in any country upon the Earth. It is simply not acknowledged upon this planet that a certain amount of Incest is inevitable. Ignorance regarding the crimes of incest is forgivable; what is not forgivable is the ignorance of not understanding that incest - and the product of Incest - will create inherent Evil - because Incest at its worst tends to bring out the lowest common denominator.
Having said that, we venture to say that France (200 years ago) was overbred, and bred within itself, was therefore incestuous, and found itself in a position of murdering its own creations. However, we would not be entirely responsible if we pretended to blame over-breeding as a sole or primary cause for revolution. Over-breeding certainly had been a problem, and it is unlikely any historian would argue otherwise.
A simple explanation, perhaps, is that France, or the French, were as tired of being victimized, manipulated and exploited by Christian Imperialism as the English Anglo-Saxons were.
To put it bluntly, in modern-American terms, the American delegates, in the summer or two before the Reign of Terror really kicked in, probably seemed downright prude, by French standards at the time. They may have seemed naive - really! that a group of colonials would actually stand up and defy the British throne. That must have seemed laughable - yet also to be envied. To be even more crude, it is fair to describe the American delegates as "little men with big balls." The French would surely sympathize, appreciating "the nerve" if nothing else. A spectacle!
Yet, who could have foreseen that a handful of Americans in France could have had such a devastating effect. (I now understand the silence.) They felt responsible, somehow, and yet, they couldn't get out of their dilemma of knowing they had their own nation to save first. They could not save France from itself.
There was also a certain amount of guilt regarding duplicitous conscience, which in essence said that if weren't for the fact that money had to come from somewhere to pay for the War with Great Britain, the Americans would not have fooled with France for one minute, knowing it was on the brink of disaster as surely as Great Britain was, and other great nations that had grown too fat with tyranny and exploitation.
Without pleading sympathy in any way, it was what the visiting Founding Fathers saw in France that confirmed, more than anything, that they had done the right thing in rebelling against Great Britain. What they were not counting on was this starting a groundswell revolution - and a bloody massacre at that. The Americans were still gentlemen, and to the best of their ability, they fought a rather gentlemanly war with Britain, in the sense they excluded torture, public death spectacles, and mob lynchings. The American soldiers who fought the Revolutionary War did what they could to fight as "decent" a war as possible. (The Revolutionary War took twice as long as the American Civil War, but shed less than half the blood, because Mercy was a cosmic factor invoked by the Freemasons at the time.)
The French Revolution, as it occurred, caused thousands of deaths, all public, and it was less the death but the blood that drew crowds. In America, the (once) traditional method of death was hanging, which was what Great Britain did with its convicted criminals. In a normal hanging, the neck is snapped by a rope, the body goes limp and dies. Not much of a spectacle unless someone is unusually agile and resilient, in which case the body might bounce and flounce for a bit before giving up the ghost, so to speak. But at least with a hanging death, what is part of the body remains part of the body.
Decapitation, on the other hand, requires not only separation of body parts, but a great loss of blood. We say that the Reign of Terror, the Bloody Revolution, was in fact a spectator sport at its most heinous. This particular heinousness was enabled by the guillotine - the first mass-produced murderous product of the Industrial Revolution, creating assembly line death-to-order perfect for the spectacle-starved masses.
I have a relative who has a weird pet peeve - as do we all... He simply cannot stand to hear the sound of people drinking from milk cartons. He describes it as a "glug, glug, glug" sound. I can't help wondering if that's the sound that blood spilled on a wooden floor sounds, after the head has been separated from the body but the heart is still beating. The sound becomes more prevalent as the day wears on, where the dripping of blood does not become absorbed into pine planks, but is instead plied layer upon layer of unwashed, unmopped blood.
And somehow, the Reign of Terror was supposed to be the "birth-pains of revolution" leading to a new democracy. How is massacre, bloodletting, and cleaving of identity with tradition supposed to embody democracy? By doing away with any semblance, any pretension to class, distinction, order, or appearance at leadership? By eliminating the bottom (not to say "lower") classes of society, they were, in effect, destroying the various layers of social demarcation that allowed them to exist at the levels they did in the first place.
We do not blame the French people for this Revolution. No one deserves this kind of action. But it is fair to say that something about the position the polite society of France, at the time, did invite the envy and malice of the general population. France had become the epitome of condensed polite society.
This condensed polite society had become so strangulated that French society had truly become Us versus Them. We can think of no instance in world history where the demarcation between class and class-absentia had become so cleaved - not even amongst American slave-owners and their human property, for which the French pretended to despise, even though, at the time, their bottleneck was much more furiously tight than America's ever was -- even at the height of its 400-years of profiting at the expense of human misery.
To put it bluntly - once and for all - the difference between the French system of slavery, and the American system of slavery: the Americans fed their slaves, even as valued property, or livestock, if you will, whereas the French had got to the point where they were so condescending of their livestock, they would not even feed them, and preferred - for their own sport - to let the "stock" feed upon itself and each other - thereby assuring their own assurance of class status and necessity in the "femme rank" of society. Rome, under Caligula, had reached the same bulkhead, by letting the weary poor beasts entertain the festivals simply by preying upon even wearier, hungrier beasts.)
The bottom (not to say "lower") classes had their fill of nothing, and with nothing to lose, seized upon anger as a fuel to feed, much as vampires do, and it was the upper classes that bred these vampires. They bred their own monsters through selfishness, elitism, and the sheer arrogance of a ridiculous rank system. In short, the shiny, clever sophisticated monsters of the gentry created the clumsy, brutish and grubby monsters of the rabble. Who won?
We will go so far as to say that Franco-society at this time embodied the Roman Empire at its worst, and for many of the same reasons. It was karmic, but a karmic pattern that could have been avoided if enough of the famous French philosophers had stuck to their guns, so to speak, by putting their money where their mouths were, and hadn't skipped out to leave the Americans holding the bag. But no, they were too busy being French intellectual aristocrats. They were very present in French society until the very day they left without notice, escaping to all four-corners of the world, with nary a clue for another gentleman to learn by.
The following is an example of typical remarks made by French elite society as to why they couldn't be bothered by the French Revolution:
Please, I can't think right now, I have been surrounded by imbeciles all day and have a head-ache. Or, please, I can't listen right now, I have been surrounded all day by horrible commoners, and my stomach hurts. Or please, I can't speak right now, my tongue has been taxed all day trying to get through to those ridiculous mercantile artisans, who simply cannot comprehend the difference between a widgie and a wadgette.
This is the kind of answer the American delegates generally received when they attempted to approach the French philosophers, thinkers, and artists, thinking - that because the French intelligentsia was so noble and esteemed worldwide - might have some answers that would help the struggling Americans to support their literally newborn nation against worldly predators.
Never for an instant did the American delegates - until that time - suspect that the commoners would ever turn against the leading classes. By the American - and almost Puritan - point of view, it was generally accepted that Hobbes' thesis regarding Government's Pact with Humanity, namely that the governors agreed to govern with decency, compassion, and reason, and the governed class agreed to abide with trust and cooperation, to a purpose of mutual fulfillment.
In France, during the Bloody Revolution, it seems that particularly theory was shot to hell in a handbasket. Or, that is to say, that someone took the particular hypothesis away from the learned men, removed the agreed-upon apriori, and turned Satan loose upon Humanity for a few bloody hours of all-Time to show all wise men they truly had no power over Destiny, itself.
The lesson: Human nature has no master in this dimension.
Thus, the wise men who managed to leave France before the tumbrels rolled were able to salvage a lesson, and if they could not save a foreign nation best equipped (financially) to assist it in its growing pains, then perhaps they could absorb those lessons and build such knowledge into the fabric of the United States Constitution to preserve an innocent and honest nation as if it were an orphan child - as America very much was.
Ben Franklin, himself, a man harmonious among French, British, and American citizens, did refer to America as a bastard nation. No insult is intended when we point out that Franklin did have at least one child out of wedlock, who chose to represent the British Parliament during a critical period of Colonial history, and was denied by Ben Franklin himself, for not having the spirit, even if he did have the blood, of his father's values.
Since we mention Franklin, it is correct to say that we have heard the jokes that while George Washington was named the Father of our Country, Ben Franklin is the real father of our country... Well, yes, both answers are true. Washington was the first to take upon him the mantel of responsibility. As the first general, he was truly in position of leadership and guidance. Washington's struggle was to divine - like all leaders - what his true esoteric purpose was, to follow that and hope for the best.
The governor of New Jersey (the Rev. John Witherspoon, who replaced Franklin's illegitimate son as governor of New Jersey) was to interject during the editing process of the Declaration of Independence, (penned so nobly and beautifully by Thomas Jefferson) was the one who asked "what could we hope to achieve" without the assistance of Divine Providence? (Frankly, John Adams was irritated - as he was by each and every amendment to Jefferson's original treatise - because he felt Jefferson got it right the first time. Adams, as usual, was probably right - but only time would tell.)
So, Washington, as a fellow Virginian along with Thomas Jefferson and Richard Henry Lee, were keenly aware of Divine Providence, and wondered how they fit in with what today we call the Master Plan.
Ben Franklin, an outspoken esotericist, also asked the same question. These men KNEW they were Men of Destiny, and consequently felt very responsible for what they created. Thus, they had a very parallel relationship with France, even though they knew the only thing they really had in common was a distrust of Great Britain and her environs.
Frankly, the Americans didn't like France any better than they did England, politically, which we suppose might have made them hypocrites by our standards, but what they were really trying to do was to appeal to what the French sold - as they themselves advertised at the time - as nobless oblige, and to what their Italian commercial supporters would have called "bon ami d'affaires" - meaning, "we have things in common."
Perhaps too much. The French Revolution lesson still has not really been learned. This particular bit in history is still looked upon as an "au du voissant" period in human history, rather than as a lesson of the aberration of humankind. If America was being born, and France was about to die, then is there any lesson in the bringing forth of one nation and the passing of another? Was one related to another? Was there a link of descendance, or, like spirits jumping from one body to another, was there another terminal spirit of Death to jump from one body into another, namely from France to America?
Was the karma of Rome transplanted from France to America? If so, how to transcend that karma? First, the lesson must be absorbed. But what was the lesson?
Humanity, no matter how stupid, no matter how dull, no matter how numb or pacified, will rebel. It is an animal spirit beyond - worse - than a thinking spirit. It is a feeling spirit with animal intelligence, and like an animal, will turn upon the master when it sees itself as enslaved, with but one condition for freedom - to destroy the master.
In France, thousands of masters were destroyed. Many, many heads were put on chopping blocks, and many kerchiefs were dipped into the blood of the masters' blood for good luck, because of a pagan drive to dip kerchiefs into the blood of so-called class-citizens, believing they could steal the mystical power of magic and manifestation from the so-called leaders. It never occurred to them for a minute that dipping into the blood of a violent death might have a retro-active karmic effect upon them. This is understandable only in the sense that these people already thought the world had come to an end... (But it never really does, does it? Thus, there is truly no excuse for hanging up on Humanity at the last minute.)
The last to go, in this revolution, were the men who had called for the Revolution, who had become so blood-thirsty themselves, that even the rebelling classes they drove recognized they were driven, and rebelled against their new owners. In short, this revolution - like most others - turned inward against itself. But, this seems to be a lesson Humanity never learns. Change is cyclical. Revolution - especially violent revolution - never really does anything except escalate its own movement. It really does not create a new movement, or a new outward form of expression.
Revolution, on this planet, seems to be an inward, circular motion to absorb itself in its own destruction. All it really does it make the spiral tighter, and harder for everyone to breathe.
We have not exactly answered the question as to why the Revolution occurred in the first place, though it is fair to say that revolution generally occurs when people are starving. We do not sit around being sympathetic to hungry people - we are hungry, ourselves - but it is fair to say that people rebel when they realize they are not starving because the food supply is limited - but when they realize that food is kept from the hungry at the hands of the government. In short, Man against Nature tends to take his chances and to accept the terms, but when Man realizes he's hungry because of another Man's political ambition to rule, then yes, there will be revolution - and rightfully so - because no Man truly keeps another Man from his bread unless he is trying to control him. This is an idee accompli.
Why is this relevant today? Well, it should be obvious, shouldn't it? We have world politics, world resources, global communications, international transport devices, and yet, there are a lot of hungry people in this world, and they are only hungry because of politics, money, power, and greed.
200 years ago, gentlemen would not have been as aware of the global interchange and direct cause-and-effect from one locale to another - though they surely suspected its existence. There was no such thing as a world map, a telephone, or an intercontinental transport system. Today, there is enough food on the planet to feed every human on the planet. Yet, some people, in subsidized nations (including America) are paid NOT to grow food, or not to export it, because they might "upset some delicate balance" somewhere else in the world.
If we could go back to being human beings, and remembered the same basic social studies principles we learned at 12-years old, namely the laws of supply and demand, we might be able to feed every human, and God-willing, even hear their opinions - and, oh! what might we learn!
The problem then, with the French Revolution, is that it didn't have to happen at all. There was enough food to feed the French, but the food (or at least the quality food) wasn't being released into the "general population", as they say. The masses were getting the dregs, the leftovers, and the crumbs. (If it was me, I would have been offended, too.)
There are some who believe, and I am among them, that the French Revolution was the first test of power among the international power brokers. Some call this the Illuminati, some call it the SSG, some call it euphemistically, the "smoke-filled back room" - which is my favorite analogy, and very fitting. Taylor Caldwell, in The Captains and the Kings referred to them as "The Men who Matter" - but she was referring to what JFK himself referred to as "the gnomes of Zurich." (This is documented. It's also another clue.)
Let me make it abundantly clear that I no longer believe there are such (active, potent) organizations, but I'd be lying if I said I believe no such organizations ever existed. And in all honesty, I must say I believe that - if ever such thieves against Humanity did exist - they existed within the parameters already existent within Humanity itself - in other words, these men weren't demons or unfeeling monsters - they were simply the result of "super-race breeding" among various Earth societies through several generations. In other words, I can't even blame them for being monsters of society, if society is what created them. But, what I can do, is to decry the creation, and ask Humanity to stop creating that which leads to its own downfall.
The French Revolution is important because no one's really looked at it, yet, esoterically speaking. No one has examined, empirically, just what a spectator sport it really was. The Reign of Terror has a name in history that's pretty romantic, but considering what was at stake, the number of people murdered, and the absolute lack of discrimination as to who was murdered, as well as the overwhelming mass-media approach regarding who deserved to die, then we would think that of all the ruling classes - those who knew they were potential targets - Paris should have had a population of about five by 1793.
So what was France - a colony of martyrs? If so, they can count themselves among many respected but forgotten cultures. No one but Christians really keep up with martyrs, and the French, at the time, really were not prevalently Christian. They were - as we are today in America - generally an olio of society with a smattering of Christianity, paganism, neo-paganism, and superstition. Many French nobles, at the time (and before) of the French Revolution believed that a little bleeding was good for the soul, and the bleeding of children (the wealthier the better - "quality" blood, you know) was good for a lot of souls, because of their powers of remuneration. France already had a bloody culture steeped in vampirism, rather than cannibalism, forms which later governments took, and it seemed a good idea at the time for being novel.
Why is this important today? What is the real reason we dredge up this old history that's half-baked anyway? Because, while America is a child of England, it is a cousin to France, imperialistically speaking, and we're somehow an aunt to Russia, as well as first-cousins to Germany and to Australia. To Oriental nations, we are as step-siblings, and to Muslim nations, we are the interfering matronly babysitters with grey hair and 19th century ash-colored suits and popsickle stick crosses for Jesus.
We now have governments, rather than societies, steeped in cannibalism in a mechanistic, commercial environment. Vampirism is easy - one being feeds off another for sustenance but doesn't necessarily kill it. Cannibalism, on the other hand, requires consumption of fellow humans, with the assumption that the Divine Presence of any individual is absorbed into a mass group - preferably a governmental body that pretends to feed the masses.
It might be a little late in this address to mention that the guillotine did not just separate heads from bodies - it also separated titles from their property. Has anyone ever done a clinical survey to find out just exactly how the wealth was redistributed after the end of the Reign of Terror? We'd be curious to know what new nations were created as a result of this redistribution of this wealth, and what new businesses thrived, and what new industries were encouraged. Also, we would like to know, in an abstract sort of way, who encouraged those industries, including the propagation of massive, hysterical religions in the goldmine of the American West.
In short, how did the power struggles in France redistribute the power structures of Colonialism and Imperialism all over the Earth? To tell the truth, and this answer is more frightening than any second guessing... The French Revolution forced America to take the identity of New Crown, by virtue of being a new nation with a relatively clean slate. You can bet your bootie the more learned, thoughtful Americans perceived this and were scared out of their socks. Is it really a coincidence that Thomas Jefferson was the first newly elected president of the 19th century? Is it really a coincidence he was the wheeler-dealer behind the Louisiana Purchase?
Jefferson had his own problems, including occupational depression, migraines, etc., but he was clearly in touch with his own reality, and he knew who was who and what was what. He also had a clear and distinct record demonstrating his allegiance to the general welfare of Mankind.
It is true that Napoleon wanted to unload the American property as a way to raise money for his own imperialistic interests in France. It is also true that Jefferson saw the deal for what it was - an absolute bargain (at 3 cents an acre) and a lovely opportunity to build - in military terms - a buttress of society - something to back up the East Coast of America against invasion from European militants and plunderers.
Let us learn from history not to repeat its mistakes. This requires some understanding of history, and just enough understanding of geography to know how the world map has been realigned with every conquest. We are, in the 21st century, obliged to understand there are seven continents, five oceans, and an available square footage on this planet that would suit every human in comfort if everyone were to give attention to the concept of Planetary Economy. There is enough on the planet to feed us all, and for all of us to live well, but we have an abusive power structure that tends to monopolize planetary resources, and to compel citizens to have to fight for those resources in the name of a deity.
We must be more responsible. Most people, like the Puritans of John Adams' ilk, would be happy with their "lot", as long as it was their lot and not abused or stolen. Humans really aren't greedy until they're encouraged to be greedy, and they're generally not resentful until they're told they're being shortchanged by some guy on the other side of the planet. We call that technique Divide and Conquer: Tell me my neighbor is plotting against me, and tell my neighbor I am plotting against him. All of a sudden, my neighbor and I hate each other's guts, all because the guy across the street lied to both of us. Once me and my neighbor destroy each other because of what the guy across the street said, the guy across the street snatches up whatever property and wealth we left behind.
Learn from the French Revolution. Humans, unfortunately, tend to have an addiction to blood, violence, and mob reaction. The group hysteria tends to take over (this worked in Germany, too.) I'm sorry to say this pattern became apparent when Jesus committed suicide, as a martyr to Humanity, and the trend has been locked in place ever since.
Every one of the thousand souls that put their head into the guillotine was a martyr, regardless of the life they'd led. The shedding of blood was like a bad fantasy replaying over and over in a schizophrenic's mind. The nation, itself, was crazed. Martyrdom was pointless if no one understood the sacrifice. The people doing the sacrificing didn't even have a purpose, and eventually became so bloodthirsty they sacrificed their own leaders. What a neat, clean, tidy death is the guillotine. Phump, thud, gush, squish, and back again. An exercise in insanity.
We're humans. Don't we deserve more from life - and death? There must be reason, and lessons to be learned. Otherwise, it is as if we have never been at all... We are spirits, souls, wandering adventurers, etc. We must live, and make the best of life for ourselves and our brothers.
C'est la vie.