Saturday, 15 August 2015

What was the worst error of the French Revolution?

Blessed Pierre-Louis de La Rochefoucauld-Bayers opposed it. It was the Constitution Civile de la Clergé.

Of course the real black day for that one is not July 14th but August 4th.

Even that day had the good point of abolishing "servage" even if that was not very much in use any more.

Were there good things about the French Revolution too?

I think the erasing of the Bastille was such a thing.

The king who was nearly a martyr (or who was a martyr, but is not yet canonised) was going to abolish the Lettres de Cachet, but he was late. And he was not abolishing the beginnings of psychiatry. There was a mental hospital in Paris (or in what is now Paris) since 1768. For the three fools, getting from Bastille to Mental Hospitals was a bad thing. For the forger, there was a death penalty (if it was forgery of money) that he avoided by the Bastille (unless penalties had been mitigated). But there was also the future Citoyen Égalité.

He was not a fool, but he was what would now be considered by the ideology using such terms as "having issues" or "attitude problems". He had tried to get a duel with the man who was considered the best duelist of France, and had been locked up into the Bastille as equivalent of suicidal.

Normally a duellist could be exiled.

So, normally the man would have been perhaps liable to exile for trying to get a duel, but in so far as it was known the one he was trying to fight was "the best duellist of France", it was also known that that man was liable to exile, or even decapitation. And if it was not known, how could one reason the Young man was "suicidal" for trying to get the duel?

The King was late in liberating him. He let a mass of insurgents do it for him. He was not forgetting the humiliation, hence his self-renaming Citoyen Égalité. But he was not an exemplary Jacobin - he was killed by Robespierre under the Terror.

Would it have been better of the King had NOT graced the insurgents who took the Bastille?

I think some aristocrats were already corrupted by freemasonry and Voltaire, already prepared to become an administration of totalitarian reglimentation, enforced by cruelty. Some, not all. I do not think the 15 de La Rochefoucauld were that kind. But Joseph François Foullon de Doué might well have been that.*

In order to take revenge for Taking of Bastille, the King would have had to give more power to people like Foullon de Doué.** Precisely as that kind (often from somewhat lower families than Under l'Ancien Régime) came to power during La Terreur.

The King was not confronted by just one move by the Freemasons which he could oppose or not. He was confronted by a double move. Not revenging the taking was what it was, as far as conséquences were concerned, his loss of crown and life. Revenging it would have been making monarchy more and more similar to what eventually La Terreur became - in other words, it would have been his corruption, as well as that of his heirs.

I am thankful for his clemency.

But I am sad he was not quicker in abolishing La Bastille himself, it might have spared France some very bad years, probably the worst, not quite excluding even Occupation from that comparison.

1791 to 1815 included some gloire for militaries, but it was not the best period to live in France, especially not for a Christian. Especially not the years up to 28 of July 1794.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Our Lady's Assumption

* If he was guilty of saying what he's been considered as saying : "let them eat grass". ** Or like whoever was really capable of saying such things as "let them eat grass."

No comments:

Post a Comment