In Regards to the French Revolution
And the Trenches
Recently I had a bit of a quibble over the nature of the French revolution - specifically, the Reign of Terror - with a writer for The Trenches.
My view was, and is, that the French revolution was the polar opposite of the American Revolution, an example of "good revolutions gone bad." A great evil from which we can all learn what not to do in politics.
My opponent, on the other hand, made the curious observation that the Reign of Terror was a necessary step in rooting out the French monarchy. I don't recall the exact wording, but it had something to do with the French having to be a bit more brutal than the Colonials because the French monarchy was right there, and the British monarchy was so far away from America.
I also recall some positive remarks in regards to Napoleon having given the "people the vote." I believe there was even a favorable comparison between Napoleon and George Washington. Needless to say, I think this is a severe and dangerous mis-reading of the historical record.
One believed in freedom, and abhorred the lust for power. The other cared only for himself, viciously rooted out opposition based on innnuendo and whim, brutally enslaved other countries and installed his family members as puppet rulers of those countries. He was a proto-Hitler, a mafioso writ large across the European continent.
Oh sure, one can admire the midget's ability to win land battles with cannon. But from all the biographies I've ever read about the man, on a personal level Napoleon was an obscene monkey flinging excrement. A rude thug, prone to epithets, harassment, abusive towards women, freakishly displaying all the symptoms of hypomania and fits of psychotic rage.
One can imagine that, if he were alive today and had access to Twitter, he'd be out there trolling with the best of them, taking every utterance as a personal attack, rooting out his "enemies" in fits of rage and curses.
No. Napoleon was the anti-Washington, who to the contrary and in all respects was a measured man, who felt it best to hold his tongue until it was absolutely necessary. Washington was the opposite of the tin-pot showboat.
That Napoleon eventually left his first wife, Josephine, in order to marry Marie-Louise of the Austrian royal line, further buttresses the point that this was a sick man who craved only personal glory. So if he had to marry into European royalty in order to subjugate mankind to his own DNA, so be it.
He was a lowly creature determined to destroy the royal Mt. Olympus and replace it with his own. One governed not by arbitrary rules of heredity, but the competency of monomaniacal, psychopathic behavior. He was a midget jealous of, and desperate to be, Zeus.
When he had himself crowned emperor, he famously took the gaudy jewelry away from the Pope and placed it on his own head.
Beware of men who appoint themselves to any position of power and authority.
None of Napoleon's evil achievements could have been possible had history not given him The Reign of Terror, which filled the French populace with terror and made them pine for a strong leader to provide personal security. It was instituted largely by one Robespierre, who became the poster child for psychopathic government, which summarily executed people for treason on flimsy evidence, or no evidence at all.
Anyone could be accused of anything.
In a curious twist that lends credence to the hand of God being ever present in the events of history, Robespierre was the very last man guillotined for treason during the Reign of Terror. His psychotic methodology of outing "traitors" was finally, at last, turned upon himself. Branded as a traitor by his fellow psychopaths, he unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide but only managed to shoot himself in the chin. He was finally sliced into a bloody headless mess before a cheering fiery throng. A seething mass of a mob, it must be noted, that he himself had stoked for so long himself.
On that day he was not the only one to see the guillotine - others on his so-called "Committee of Public Safety" saw the afterlife before him.
What can be learned of all this? While history does not repeat itself, I do believe it rhymes.
I hope that the chief take-away for those otherwise good people who are unwittingly and cheerily going along with self-appointed "leaders" who have notions of outing "traitors" based on innuendo, association and bile goes something like this: take a damned good look at what you're doing, less the immeasurable hand of God decides to rhyme your own fate with your own actions.
Update 1: An alert reader reminds me that Napoleon was not short for the time, which is indeed true, and so comments about his midgethood do a disservice to the truth. Here's a good bit of info for those inclined to trivia:
After the famous general and emperor died in 1821, his body was autopsied in France, and his height was noted as 5 foot 2 inches. This measurement was in French feet (pieds de roi) and was never correctly converted to standard English measure. In English feet, Napoleon stood 5 foot 6.5 inches tall. So the poor guy was shorted a full 4.5 inches in height.
In his day, 5'6.5" was a perfectly respectable, nothing-to-be-ashamed-of height for a man. In fact, Napoleon was actually slightly taller than the average Frenchman of 1800.
So the diminutive size the emperor is so noted for was, in fact, a mere miscalculation. And as one observer points out, "It is also probable that the men of his Imperial Guard, with whom he 'hung out,' were very tall, creating the illusion that Napoleon was short."
So he was an average-height tin-pot proto-Hitler.
Update II: Excellent thoughts in regards to George Washington from Smitty, and a link to the Newburgh Conspiracy.
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