Revolution that eats its children nibbles at Hollywood’s Daryl Hannah, Alec Baldwin, Roseanne Barr.
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The city of Lyons was seen in the day as “almost the capital of French capitalism” — the 18th century French version of New York City and Wall Street.
Robespierre issued his edict:
The city of Lyons shall be destroyed. Every habitation of the rich shall be demolished…
A “Temporary Commission” was created to judge the entrepreneurs of Lyons. Those suspected of possessing any signs of wealth would receive a “trial.” All private wealth was to be confiscated, “the rich” and others to have their property taken. When a petition signed by ten thousand women begged mercy for their family and friends already now imprisoned, the response was the public execution of sixty of the “prisoners.” Then another 209 the next day. Then three days later another 200. All shot to death with “showers of slugs or grapeshot from a row of cannon.” A proposal was floated that all rich people should be put to death.
Prices rose amid the blood, in direct contradiction to the promise of the Revolution. Lines formed for bread, milk, meat, butter, oil, soap, candles and wood. Which only increased demands to increase the power of the state. The “laws” tumbled forth proclaiming “free, universal primary education” and the establishment of a welfare state. Rationalism was the order of the day, and religion was to be replaced. In Paris, the Cathedral of Notre Dame was momentarily renamed “The Temple of Reason.”
By the time this was all over, with revolutionaries turning on each other with swift judgment, the total number of victims in this swirling madness is estimated to have reached some 40,000.
Eventually, predictably, the attention of the Revolutionaries now busy devouring their own children turned on one of its fathers — Robespierre himself.
He met the guillotine on July 28, 1794. Jacques Roux, the head of the Enraged Ones had preceded Robespierre — the latter having already turned his sights on his one-time political soul mate and imprisoning him over a disagreement of political ardor. Roux committed suicide in prison six months before the blade finally came around to Robespierre’s own neck — when Robespierre’s comrades decided their leader had been found wanting.
Alas for the world, there was more to come from the believers of “economic justice.”
The philosophy of the Nazis, the German National Socialist Labor Party, is the purest and most consistent manifestation of the anti-capitalistic and socialistic spirit of our age.
So wrote the famous biographer of the idea of economic justice in practice, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises in his landmark book Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis.
Mises noted that the Nazi slogan Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz — the commonweal ranks above private profit — “implies that profit-seeking business harms the vital interests of the immense majority and that it is the sacred duty of popular government to prevent the emergence of profits by public control of production and distribution.” The Nazis applied this “justice” argument not only economically inside Germany itself, it formed the basis of their belief in the need for Lebensraum (living space). Which is to say, the Nazis demanded not only the redistribution of income — but the redistribution of land, of physical living space outside of Germany — and the resources that went with it. They demanded “Nahrungsfreit” — freedom from importing food. Which began the Nazi takeovers of Czechoslovakia, Austria, and eventually on to the rest of Europe. Nazism, says Mises, “was nothing but the logical application of [the tenets of economic justice] to the particular conditions of comparatively overpopulated Germany.”
Mises goes on to note that German academia had for decades previous to the rise of Hitler “eagerly imbued their disciples with a hysterical hatred of capitalism, and preached the war of ‘liberation’ against the capitalistic West.… When the Soviet policies of mass extermination of all dissenters and of ruthless violence removed the inhibitions against wholesale murder… nothing could any longer stop the advance of Nazism.” Adolf Hitler was a “maniac” and “sadistic gangster” but…and this is important to note…he was not the founder of Nazism — he was the product of it. Not only did the Nazis aim to abolish free-market economics, they intended to abolish the laissez-faire production of human beings. They would become the managers of a “breeding farm” intent on “rearing superior men and eliminating inferior stock.” To wit: Jews, gays, the disabled, gypsies, and so on and on.
The mass slaughters that horrified the world, as Mises describes them, were the result of “the logical and consistent applications of doctrines and policies” in a society that had been swept away by socialist doctrine — the doctrine of economic justice.
This, of course, does not touch the murderous reign of the Italian Fascists, their program as adopted in 1919 described by Mises as “vehemently anti-capitalistic.” Nor can one leave out the obvious: Marxism in the Soviet Union as detailed in The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online