When I began my love affair with historical truth about six years ago, I was distinctly amazed at how many sickening crimes were perpetuated in the name of great ideals. What was much worse, however, was that these events were either deliberately left out of history books altogether, or were made to seem less evil. Foremost among these, and the first in what I hope to be an eye opening series of articles about the evils of the State throughout history, is the French Revolution. Though many anarchists, like me, have a critical attitude towards the history that was spoon fed to us in government schools, they may be profoundly horrified to see how much was left out. The French Revolution in particular is often painted as a positive event in world history. After all, it brought "holy" democracy to Europe, and destroyed many of the "ancient ideas" that had been the mainstay of European social organization since the fall of the Roman Empire. A great and all-consuming evil lies behind the smoke screen of "progress", however (1). Without further adieu, let us begin our discussion of the French Revolution.
The origins of the Revolution have their intellectual backings primarily in the teachings of two men, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Donatien Aphonose Francois Comte de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade (2). De Sade's philosophy in particular looks ominously close, not only to the current state of affairs, but also to the philosophy of modern followers of democracy. He believed in complete egalitarianism, to the point in which he proclaimed that all men were equal. His egalitarianism took a turn so sickening that the Communists have thankfully not even contemplated it. He insisted that brilliant children should either be sterilized or be forced to beget children with the mentally inane. His hatred of the family went to such extremes that he advocated mandatory incest between brothers and sisters (a theme which, ironically enough, has been consistent throughout the early history of leftist though). Promiscuity, in his view, should be made mandatory for women so that no man may know which children are his. For fatherhood, he substituted the fatherland, which, in his view, benefited the State quite nicely. De Sade was an ardent atheist and indeed a nihilist, and it is quite possible that his moral relativism stemmed from his own sexual cruelty and debauchery. (3) His nihilism was to the point where he believed that murder and destruction were not "bad", but merely the self-expression of those who believed that their use was justified. After all, he seemingly reasoned, destruction is also the work of nature, so why can't it be the work of man as well? (4) Rousseau was more moderate, but he deserves an equal share of the guilt. His concept of man as an inherently good being (a concept that I find to be misguided at best) led to the ideologies of democracy no less than de Sade's nihilistic atheism and egalitarianism. Rousseau shared a doctrine that is disturbingly present in the minds of many. He thought that society was what held the good nature of man back, and that human nature and human society must be changed to fit the ideal of the "noble savage", forcibly if necessary (emphasis added). Both men agreed that democracy was the preferable form of government, but disagreed as to its scope. Rousseau, for all his failings, at least realized that democracy only "works" in a small area. De Sade, however was what we could call an "international democratist", on the level of such tomfoolery as Francis Fukuyama. This intellectual foundation led to one of the most profoundly evil events in history, the French Revolution.
Often enough, the violence inherent in the majoritarian form of rule manifests itself subtly. In the French Revolution, however, it was very blatant. During the September Massacres (1792) military prisoners, prostitutes, and criminals were cut down by hordes of "volunteers" who were paid and given as much wine as they could imbibe for their sinister efforts. One is left to wonder why the prostitutes were also murdered, but the Nazis (the intellectual heirs to the French Revolution) murdered them for "hygienic" reasons. Perhaps the French did the same, for one would not want his butchers to catch syphilis while they are performing their grisly work. The horrors of the guillotine are nearly impossible to imagine for a sane human being. Sadistic experiments were often performed, in which the doomed were asked to blink after their heads were divorced from their bodies. Tens of thousands were murdered in this manner, and most were tortured before their lives were ended by decapitation. Oftentimes, murder was committed for its own sake, during the Revolution. However, men like Gracchus Babeuf and Joseph Lebon (5) were not interested in building only a democratic society. They, more often than not, began to slaughter the rich and privileged as well.
Rape was very common and even sometimes encouraged during the revolution, and outright massacre often followed it. General Turreau slaughtered entire towns full of people in the Vendée and in Brittany (6). In a vicious and sickening fashion, before the massacres took place, all the females within each village were raped. Women and girls from two-year-olds to ninety-year-olds were gang raped and then had their throats slit. They were stripped of their clothing and put into the vast piles of corpses along with the already murdered men. Often, the corpses were arranged in suggestive and obscene positions before they were torched or buried. Men were not saved from the horrors of this kind of activity, however. In the Loire, the young boys were raped along with the young girls, and all were killed, decapitated, and then placed in the same crude positions as in Brittany before the bodies were disposed of. Sometimes, the macabre, the cruel, and the profoundly horrifying were mixed into a single and very devilish concoction of which the true darkness manifests itself openly. At Le Mans this manifested itself. The young boys and all females were raped once again. Their throats were then slit, and their corpses were violated once more. That is right, you did not misread, there were REAL orgies of necrophilia. After the execution of the Princesse de Lamballe by a Paris mob, her clothes were torn off, her arms, legs and breasts removed, and her genitals were mutilated. There are even accounts of the poor girl's blood being drunk and her heart eaten by the bloodthirsty mob. These, coming mainly from English or reactionary sources are sometimes held as untrue.
One is left to wonder, after hearing of all this atrocity, how noble is the common man? Those who hold that that he is inherently good have obviously misjudged him. Democracy, the government in which the society's "lowest common denominator" rules over all the rest has shown that he is, without a doubt, not benevolent. Those who are quick to judge that men are inherently evil miss the point of all this, though. Man is inherently self-interested, and that can lead him to do evil things or good things, based on what choices he has in front of him. If it is more beneficial for a man to mind his morals, pray nightly, and work hard, then he will act in such a way. If, however, it is more beneficial to rape, glut, and steal from his brothers who happen to be more materially wealthy, then it will occur. The ideology of the Democratic State is the parent of the butchery and slaughter that took place during the French Revolution. Leftists may attempt to defend the Revolution by the numbers. Truly, the Revolutionaries did not murder nearly as many as the Nazis or Soviets, but this was because they did not have the technology to do so. If they were provided with machine guns, poison gas, and death camps, one can be sure without a doubt that these instruments would have been used. In the next piece in this series, we will take a break from Europe and the past, and head to Africa, where Statists are committing horrors as grave as those of the French Revolution, and in the name of very similar ideals.
To Be Continued….
1. When I speak of progress here, I mean it in the Marxist, Whig, or Hegelian sense. Since all three of these schools believe that history is progress, they often find it necessary to put a sugary coating.
2. Much of the information upon the Marquis de Sade and his teachings was gleaned from the late Prof. Erik von Kuenhelt-Leddhin's book Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse Information from this book will be cited frequently in this article, and it is truly a must read for anyone interested in discovering the complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Left.
August 20, 2002
|Matt Lancaster is an anarcho-capitalist fanatic from Northwest Indiana. He is a history obsessed student that will be enrolled at Purdue University this autumn.|
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