Babylon is Falling
The satanic character of the French Revolution does not lie in the deposing or even in the execution of a king but in the raising up of that ancient god, the State, in place not of the king but of God Himself. “The general will” is what the regicide Saint-Just called it, identifying it with morality and virtue that come to be by the inexorable march of historical development. “Our aim is to create an order of things,” he said, “which establishes a universal tendency toward good.” [Italics are mine]. And the State is a pitiless god, mainly because the State is not personal at all. Saint-Just needed no pity for Louis Capet: he was not a man prosecuting a man, but historical inevitability prosecuting the very idea of kingship. “Either the virtues or the Terror,” said Saint-Just, and by “the virtues” he meant conformity with the general will. Be politically correct, or die.
Anthony Esolen’s quote of one of the Prime Movers of the French Revolution, Antoine St-Just is jaw-dropping. Not just because of the irrational nature of St-Just’s words but more their awful relevance to these precise days while we await the outcome of an election in which half of the country seems hell-bent on replacing the Creator of the Universe with The State.
speaking about the revolution of the sixties.: “my revolution” and maybe yours. More on that video in a moment. With ease, unfortunately, I can recall my arrogance about what was right and wrong, of the hypocrisy of religion, of the fact that the only difference between men and women is physiological and that my mother had wasted her life by staying home to be a wife and mother. I could go on but suspect you get it.
Of course, I was hardly unique. They were very heady times for the college-aged of my generation: all the rules were questioned…especially those governing women and their roles. And for most of us, just like the revolutionaries of today, we had no idea of what we were unleashing. Again, precisely like the majority of today’s insurgents, we thought we understood the revolution-based history of America and its contemporary across the Atlantic, the French Revolution.
At twenty-one years old, St-Just “electrified” the newly created French National Convention with his commanding speech about the deposed King of France: “As for me”, he declared, “I see no middle ground: this man must reign or die! He oppressed a free nation; he declared himself its enemy; he abused the laws: he must die to assure the repose of the people, since it was in his mind to crush the people to assure his own.”
Many of us believe that the French Revolution mirrored ours. Who could argue with Liberty, Fraternity and Equality? Who could argue with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1789?
Unless the words are carefully read and understood.
Unless one carefully notes the words that do not appear,
Bishop Fulton Sheen efficiently extinguishes any similarity between the American and the French Revolution calling ours the Jeffersonian revolution and the French, that of St-Just. In just twenty-four minutes, his talk, Quo Vadis, America, amplifies Anthony Esolen’s characterization of St-Just’s revolution as Satanic.
Sheen begins by stating that there are two kinds of revolutions. He distinguishes the “Jeffersonian American Revolution” versus St-Just’s this way:
the Democratic nominee for President, Joe Biden has won the popular vote and “is the 46th President of the United States” awaiting the Electoral College meeting in mid- December. More sorrowful for that decision of my fellow Americans than any of my words can adequately express, I look to one of the founders of our country:
“It may be the will of Heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting and distresses yet more dreadful. If this is to be the case, it will have this good effect, at least: it will inspire us with many virtues, which we have not, and correct many errors, follies, and vices, which threaten to disturb, dishonor, and destroy us. The furnace of affliction produces refinement, in states as well as individuals. And the new governments we are assuming, in every part, will require a purification from our vices, and an augmentation of our virtues or there will be no blessings… But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence; in which, unfashionable as the faith may be, I firmly believe.”
John Adams, July 3, 1776
A quick postscript for those of us-like me- who overlooked the fact that Biden is projected to be the winner of this election. Father Frank Pavone a video recorded today called Biden Has Not Won! the head of the Pro-Life movement for the Catholic Church reminds is of the Constitutional process of which the media has no part. The media are manipulating viewers-Gasp!
Each state must certify that either Biden or Trump has won. Hundreds of thousands of ballots are still being counted in many states. Further, he reminds us, in states where the margins are “razor thin,” there will be a recount.
And we thought it was over…