What’s Old Is New Again
Posted by Moose
I recently read the novel Scaramouche, by Rafael Sabatini. The story is set in the period of the French revolution and in the first chapter of the book we are introduced to protagonist, Andre-Loius, and he makes some very wise statements about government to his soon to be deceased friend and plot driver, Vilmorin.
The conversation goes as such;
AL“Evidently not. They are just governing classes, and I never heard of governing classes that had eyes for anything but their own profit.”
V“That is our grievance. That is what we are going to change”.
“You are going to abolish governing classes? An interesting experiment. I believe it was the original plan of creation, and it might have succeeded but for Cain.”
“What we are going to do,” said M. de Vilmorin, curbing his exasperation, “is to transfer the government to other hands.”
“And you think it will make a difference?”
“I know it will”
“I assure you that I am quite serious. To do what you imply would require nothing short of divine intervention. You must change man not systems. …My dear Philippe, the future is to be read with certainty only in the past. Ab actu ad posse valet consecutio. Man never changes. He is always greedy, always acquisitive, always vile. I am speaking of man in the bulk.”
Philippe strove with his impatience. “At least you will admit – you have, in fact, admitted it – that we could not be worse governed that we are?”
“That is not the point. The point is should we be better governed if we replaced the present ruling class by another?”
And thus the case is made against Socialism then as it is now. There is no point to replace an elite ruling class with the rabble if the rabble is soon to form their own ruling class, which is exactly how it is now. Any Republican sanity in the French revolution was soon forgotten as it was swept away as the rabble and the ruling elites still clashed ever after they had seem to come to arrangement on a Republic. In the end it took the strong leadership of one man, Napolean Bonaparte, to give France its last spasm of greatness before it finally and fully succumbed to the disease of Socialism of which is never recovered.