American Vision

‘You Say You Want a Revolution.’ You Might Want to Think about That

The following article, ‘You Say You Want a Revolution.’ You Might Want to Think about That, was first published on The American Vision.

We all want to change the world. But there is a great deal of disagreement on how to do it without blowing it up.

In years past, idealistic revolutionaries turned to The Beatles for inspiration. For example, “The People’s Summit” held in Chicago during a Bernie Sanders rally kicked it off with The Beatles’ song “Revolution.” A laughable idea to anyone who knows how to read or listen to lyrics. (Red State)

“Revolution” is not what they think it is. It’s a song expressing skepticism about changing society via revolution! Here are some of the lyrics:

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out.

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

Rioting, killing, and burning may seem like a quick way to get results for social justice, but if history is any indicator, it’s a bad methodology. Simón Bolívar (1783–1830), a Venezuelan military and political leader, is reported to have said, “Those who have served the cause of the revolution have plowed the sea.” Once the revolutionaries start, there is no way to stop it. The water immediately fills in the furrow made by the plow, so the revolution continues forever and leaves disaster in its wake.

Bolívar has been described as the “George Washington” of South America, but unlike Washington, he died an “exhausted and disillusioned idealist.” Some months before his death Bolívar wrote:

There is no good faith in [Latin] America, nor among the nations of [Latin] America. Treaties are scraps of paper; constitutions, printed matter; elections, battles; freedom, anarchy; and life a torment. [1]

Those who believe their chaos in tearing down the “system” will net great benefits are fooling themselves. The chaos continues unabated until the old revolutionaries are done away with and a new more tyrannical group of chaos makers take over. When they fail, there’s another group waiting in the wings.

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The assumption here is that things will get better if America falls apart. When this happens, so the argument goes, the people will rise up and throw off their oppressors, like they did during the Russian and Cuban revolutions. Those revolutions turned out well, didn’t they?

Think French Revolution, celebrated in France and is often compared to our War for Independence. The American Revolution was not a revolution but a war for independence. There was no uprising of the people but a joining of 13 individual governments to defend their sovereignty.

The murdering mobs that attacked the nearly empty Bastille (at the time of the siege there were only seven non-political prisoners) believed their actions were for a better France, similar to what today political revolutionaries have in mind. The storming of the Bastille was a catalyst for what became known as the reign of terror. “French society underwent an epic transformation as feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from left-wing political groups and the masses on the streets.” How bad was it?

Internally, popular sentiments radicalized the Revolution significantly, culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins and virtual dictatorship by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror from 1793 until 1794 during which between 16,000 and 40,000 people were killed.

Did you get that? Between 16,000 and 40,000 French citizens were killed for a better France. Consider the following:

Ordered by the king [Louis XVI] to surrender, more than 600 Swiss guards were savagely murdered. The mobs ripped them to shreds and mutilated their corpses. “Women, lost to all sense of shame,” said one surviving witness, “were committing the most indecent mutilations on the dead bodies from which they tore pieces of flesh and carried them off in triumph.” Children played kickball with the guards’ heads. Every living thing in the Tuileries [royal palace in Paris] was butchered or thrown from the windows by the hooligans. Women were raped before being hacked to death.

The Jacobin club . . . demanded that the piles of rotting, defiled corpses surrounding the Tuileries be left to putrefy in the street for days afterward as a warning to the people of the power of the extreme left.

This bestial attack, it was later decreed, would be celebrated every year as “the festival of the unity and indivisibility of the republic.” It would be as if families across America delighted in the annual TV special “A Manson Family Christmas.” [2]

In time, the just cause of the revolutionary mobs got out of hand, and people began to notice. “During the Reign of Terror, extreme efforts of de-Christianization ensued, including the imprisonment and massacre of priests and destruction of churches and religious images throughout France. An effort was made to replace the Catholic Church altogether, with civic festivals replacing religious ones. The establishment of the Cult of Reason was the final step of radical de-Christianization.”

It was at this point that the people became disillusioned with the revolutionary ways of the radicals, but not before more atrocities were committed for the salvation of the people and the nation. As revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat declared, “Let the blood of the traitors flow! That is the only way to save the country.”

Have you seen this?

Real or Fake? Either way, it’s an attempt to inflame, divide, and incite. The flyer was said to have been found outside the Colorado Capitol building during protests.

Once the mob starts down the road of violence to justify the first “just cause,” there is no way to stop the radical remedy because there’s always one more thing that needs to be changed. They already had killed tens of thousands, what’s ten thousand more?

Don’t say it can’t happen here. The people in France, Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela probably said the same thing.

  1. Quoted in Edward Coleson, “The American Revolution: Typical or Unique?,” The Journal of Christian Reconstruction, Symposium on Christianity and the American Revolution, ed. Gary North, 3:1 (Vallecito, CA: Chalcedon, 1976), 177.
  2. Ann Coulter, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2011), 107.

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Source: American Vision