It’s a sad commentary on the quality of our educational system that so many Americans seem to think that Bastille Day is simply the French version of our own Independence Day. It is nothing of the sort. The American Revolution was a fight for individual liberty and against oppressive government. The French Revolution, 13 years later, produced the mindless Reign of Terror dramatized so well in Charles Dickens’ great novel A Tale of Two Cities and Baroness Orczy’s romantic adventure The Scarlet Pimpernel (both made into excellent motion pictures, starring Ronald Colman and Leslie Howard, respectively). — “Celebrate Bastille Day Without Me,” F.R. Duplantier
“Going from the frying pan into the fire.” It’s a cliché, but a good one — and it applies to most of the revolutions of the last 200+ years, beginning with the overthrow of the French monarchy in 1789. A few examples:
- Louis XVI –> Robespierre
- Nicolas II –> Lenin/Stalin
- Battista –> Castro
- The Shah –> The Ayatollah
- Somoza –> Ortega
Clearly, in each case, things went from bad to worse. So, if you want peace, by all means work for justice, but steer clear of the radicals and the revolutionaries. Tyranny is not repugnant to them; they just want to be in charge of it.