Friday, March 21, 2008

Type 2: "Revolutionary"

. Friday, March 21, 2008

The second most perverted mindset across the psychological spectrum of politics and governance is that of the revolutionary. It is the mind of the revolutionary and his fanatical need to correct some perceived injustice, even if it means murder on a large scale to achieve his political ends, that yields the next most repressive form of government.

The storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789 during the French Revolution

Mindset: "Personal trauma has caused an abnormal personality disorder in me. I spend most of my waking hours focusing my hatred and anger from this past event upon a perceived 'political' enemy and wrapping my uncivil criminal and violent agenda in a sanitising cloak of 'a people's political cause'. The immediate result of my revolution ranges from social deconstruction and balkanisation to anarchy and genocide. The governments I may form rely on fear, intimidation and tyranny to control dissent to my authority."

Model of Government: Totalitarian Dictatorship (One Party Rule) after a short period of Mob Rule and Provisional Government.

Intellectual: The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Rights (Jean-Jacques Rousseau), The Rights of Man (Thomas Paine) debunked by Edmund Burke following Reflections on the French Revolution, The Communist Manifesto (Marx and Engels), State and Revolution (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin), Giovanni Gentile, etc. History has completely debunked these latter intellectuals, and much of this debunking was accomplished by the insight and intelligence of one man - George Orwell (1984).

Misguided Quote: "Man is naturally good, loving justice and order. There is absolutely no original perversity in the human heart, and the first movements of nature are always right". Rousseau apparently never believed in our great propensity towards sin.

Practitioners: The leaders of the French, Russian, German and Chinese Revolutions... Jacobin France, Soviet Communism, German Nazism, Red China, Viet Cong, Khmer Rouge, Sandinistan Nicaragua...Robespierre, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Nicolae Ceausescu, Che Guevara...revolutionary "leaders" and their puppets share the megalomania of "type 1" despots.

Manifestations: 18th C. Jacobinism, 19th C. Anarchism, 20th C. Marxism/Communism/National Socialism, all spawning a kind of atheistic despotism, now giving way to 21st C. Islamic Terrorism. This perverse extreme left wing mindset has many commonalities with classic imperialist thinking, but is usually distinguished by a popular political movement whose leaders generally do not share the malignant narcissim of bemedalled tinpots in dark shades. Thus you get modestly dressed peasants like Stalin or Mao or even Hitler, compared to the pomposity of classic imperialists. Hitler, it must be said, seems to straddle both mindsets, for here is a national socialist revolutionary out to conquer Europe and the world for Germany's racist/nationalist glory.

Notable Results: The Reign of Terror, The Great Purge, The Holocaust, The Great Leap Forward, The Killing Fields, Al Qaeda Sep 11th...

Contemporary: Dear Kim of North Korea, Cuba's Castro, Chavez's Venezuela, Zimbabwe's Mugabe, the Black Panther Party in the United States and other residual Marxists/terrorists. Obviously Osama Bin Laden carries the mindset of a revolutionary with an ancient grudge, holed up in the mountains with his people planning their next attack.

Not Included: The Right to Revolution and the Two Treatises of Government by John Locke, the mindsets that led to the 'Glorious Revolution' and George Washington to switch allegiance and lead the American Revolution, nor the rebel mindset of William Lyon MacKenize, who led the revolt against the Family Compact during the Canadians Rebellions, which in turn led to responsible government.

Comments: The rationalistic and revolutionary values spawned by the Enlightenment gave us - in the name of Progress - guillotines, gaols, gallows, gas chambers, gulags and a repertoire of genocides that continues to this day. We have wrongly been conditioned to think of medievalism as a kind of backwards morality, but compared to the fear, slaughter and tyranny since Jacobinism first took root, the Middle Ages were probably a living paradise. I know Robespierre kept ranting about virtue and probably saw himself as sea-green incorruptible, but I still can't help thinking that loyalty, chivalry, nobility and the ancient and natural values espoused by monarchist societies are still superior to the equality rights of man. The real question is this: what form of government offers its people the greatest measure of liberty? An ancient monarchy whereby people rarely came into contact with the state, or big modern expensive bureaucracies tasked with bringing ever greater 'equality', 'progress' and 'social justice' to the people as a result of those revolutionary ideas that were unleashed during the Enlightenment?


Realist said...

The slogan of the French revolutionaries was "liberte, egalite, fraternite."

"Tyrannie, idéotie, boucherie" would have been more accurate, and more honest.

Lord Best said...

The problem with France was that the ancien regime was genuinely corrupt and oppressive. Both Louis XV and XVI came to the throne intending to do good things, but were defeated by the monstrously corrupt 'system'. It is small wonder the Revolution broke out, and it is worth noting that many of the intial Revolutionaries wanted little more than what was acquired in the Glorious Revolution and in the British reform bill of 1832, unfortunately they were ousted by the rabid lunatics, inflamed by the resistance of the regime to these changes.
Not trying to redeem the Revolution here, it was one of the worst catastrophies ever to befall mankind. Just saying there is a reason it happened, and that was the ancien regime.

Kipling said...


I must lodge a compliant, or perhaps a request for clarification, in this so far excellent series. John Locke does NOT deserve to be spoken of in the same breadth as that rotter Rousseau.

He was not a Revolutionary in the sense that word has acquired since 1789 - recall that in 1688 the word revolution meant to return to its original intention or meaning, it was a 360 degree turn. Locke's Second Treatise was an evolutionary step in the development of the liberties of the subject tracing back through Coke to Magna Carta and further into the mists of Anglo-Saxon history. I know you made an exception for the Glorious Revolution but Locke should be omitted, he was not a revolutionary and even Burke thought him sound, though they differed on the concept of natural rights.

I also must protest at the use of the term Enlightenment. The Anglo-Dutch Englightment must be kept separate from the Franco-German Enlightenment. The horrors you speak of are the products of Continental thought, not English and Dutch speaking thought. The Jacobins had their admirers in England, the New Whigs, which Burke famously denounced. As for Thomas Paine, the Rights of Man was written after Reflections, as a critique of the former and greater work. I have not read Paine in quite some time, but as I recall naive and superficial might be the best description of that work.

Rationalistic is also ambigious. I do not think you mean Reason in the sense that Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas or Francis Bacon (either) or the thinkers of the British Enlightenment. Rationalisitc correctly describes the philosophy of Descartes and Rousseau, reason divorced from reality and empirical evidence, reason as a kind of Platonic geometry.


Publius (Kipling)

Beaverbrook said...

I think I agree with everything you just said, Kipling. My inclination is to separate ALL the intellectuals from the practitioners, as I would not even want to speak of Marx in the same breath as Stalin, just as I would not speak of Socrates in the same breath as Tamerlane. I also do not want to give the impression that all revolution is bad and should be avoided at all costs, since I believe people have the right under extraordinary circumstances to depose of a tyrant. But that is a very different mindset to the Paris of 1968 or the hotbed of radical leftists you find at today's university campuses. The key thing here in my very general approach is to focus on the mindset and the results they give in terms of governance. I offer no criticism of Locke, but I do reserve plenty for the Painette rabble.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Not trying to redeem the Revolution here, it was one of the worst catastrophies ever to befall mankind. Just saying there is a reason it happened, and that was the ancien regime.

Actually, the reason the French Revolution broke out was that the French state was bankrupt as a result of her support of the rebel colonists in the American War for Independence.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

The real question is this: what form of government offers its people the greatest measure of liberty? An ancient monarchy whereby people rarely came into contact with the state, or big modern expensive bureaucracies tasked with bringing ever greater 'equality', 'progress' and 'social justice' to the people as a result of those revolutionary ideas that were unleashed during the Enlightenment?

Very good question indeed!

Beaverbrook said...

I thought you'd like that JKB!

I've done as Kipling implied, and removed John Locke from the intellectual list, to remove any possibility for confusion.

Lord Best said...

"Actually, the reason the French Revolution broke out was that the French state was bankrupt as a result of her support of the rebel colonists in the American War for Independence."

One of many reasons, it certainly laid the foundation for the abject poverty of the peasants and workers which helped fuel the Revolution.

The Trusty Tory said...

"Model of Government: Totalitarian Dictatorship (One Party Rule) after a short period of Mob Rule and Provisional Government."

This sounds an awful lot like how Communism in practice ended up. In the manifesto, I believe it was phrased "a dictatorship of the proletariat" until the "utopia" was realized. It's bloody scary.

Beaverbrook said...

Trusty Tory, I like the look of your jib!

The Trusty Tory said...

"Trusty Tory, I like the look of your jib!"

Why thank you. Sir Isaac Brock. General and defender of the Canadas for King and Country. Killed at the Battle of Queenston Heights during the War of 1812 repelling an American invasion.

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Rex Murphy: Kennedy, Churchill, Lincoln - The rousing bon mot is no more
Gerald Warner: Don't shed a tear for Diana cult in its death throes
The End of Grandeur: Rich, chincy Canada puts Strathmore on the blocks
Confessions of a Republican Leftie: "The Queen charmed the pants off me"
The King's Own Calgary Regiment: Cpl. Nathan Hornburg is laid to rest
The Royal Gurkha Rifles: Prince William grieves the death of Major Roberts
Queensland Mounted Rifles: Trooper David Pearce, 41, killed in Afghanistan
The Order of Canada: 100 investitures later, Canada's highest honour turns 40
Prince Edward on Prince Edward Island: Troop's link to monarchy important
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN: Unveils the UK Armed Forces Memorial
Great Britain: "A rotten borough with a banana monarchy" - by Europhile
Peers of the Realm: The decline and fall of the House of Lords - Charles A. Coulombe
Remembering 'Smithy': An obituary tour de force by Andrew Cusack here, here and here.
NOT AMUSED: Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Quebec not invited to Quebec's tercentenary