Ellis Washington
September 7, 2013
French Revolution and the triumph of liberal fascism
By Ellis Washington



Liberty leading the people by Eugène Delacroix

"There are only two parties... the people and its enemies. We must exterminate those miserable villains who are eternally conspiring against the rights of man... [W]e must exterminate all our enemies."

~ Robespierre

For the progressive left, all roads lead to the French Revolution (1789-99) which was the first totalitarian revolution, the genesis of modern totalitarianism, and the spiritual foundation for the Russian Communist, Italian Fascist and German Nazi revolutions. A nationalist-populist rebellion, it was established and controlled by a small intellectual braintrust hellbent on killing God, Christianity, capitalism and objective truth thus devolving Western civilization into a savage society based on a political religion that deified "the people," anointed the revolutionary elites as their priests, and destroyed the rights of individuals. As Robespierre put it, "The people is [sic] always worth more than individuals... The people is sublime, but individuals are weak" – or collectively, dispensable.

In this case, I believe that American presidential history over the last 100 years has (or soon will) establish the Wilson, the FDR, the LBJ and the Obama administrations as the direct descendants of the world's first fascist movement: the French Revolution.

Since history is the final judge of our deeds (JFK), it's incredulous how any rational person today would doubt the fascist nature of the French Revolution. Few doubt that it was tyrannical, terrorist, nationalist, conspiratorial, and populist. It created the first modern dictators, Robespierre and Napoleon, and functioned on the foundation that the nation had to be ruled by a progressive avant-garde, a pagan oligarchy who would personify as the authentic, organic expression of the "general will" according to the political philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78). The fanatical Jacobin character made the revolutionaries more vicious and evil than the king they supplanted. Some fifty thousand people eventually were murdered in the Great Terror, a majority in political show trials that British historian Simon Schama defines as the "founding charter of totalitarian justice." Robespierre summed up the totalitarian nihilism of the Revolution: "There are only two parties in France: the people and its enemies. We must exterminate those miserable villains who are eternally conspiring against the rights of man... [W]e must exterminate all our enemies."

Jonah Goldberg, in his essential treatise, "Liberal Fascism," connected modern liberalism directly to the French Revolution writing:
    But what truly makes the French Revolution the first fascist revolution was its effort to turn politics into a religion. (In this the revolutionaries were inspired by Rousseau, whose concept of the general will divinized the people while rendering the person an afterthought). Accordingly, they declared war on Christianity, attempting to purge it from society and replace it with a "secular" faith whose tenets were synonymous with the Jacobin agenda. Hundreds of pagan-themed festivals were launched across the country celebrating Nation, Reason, Brotherhood, Liberty, and other abstractions in order to bathe the state and the general will in an aura of sanctity. As we shall see, the Nazis emulated the Jacobins in minute detail.
The American right and classical liberals embraced the American Revolution (1775-83), which was fundamentally conservative, while rejecting categorically the evil deeds and fanaticism of Jacobinism. However, if the French Revolution was fascist, then subsequent generations should have deduced that this diabolical movement rightly as the fruit of this poisoned tree and fascism and be relegated to its proper place in history as the genesis of political liberalism. This would lead to a major paradigm shift in the leftist worldview; therefore, liberals turned to the irrational and willingly embraced to cognitive dissonance and revisionist history rooted in pseudo-scientific ideas like Social Darwinism, scientism, scientific racism, evolution atheism and postmodernism.

Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), the infamous theologian, philosopher, poet and literary critic is perhaps unjustly credited with establishing the intellectual foundation for Nazism, borrowed heavily from Rousseau's neo-pagan political arguments returning mankind back to his original savage state of nature and reformulated them into an existential cultural struggle (e.g., Kulturkampf of Otto von Bismarck [1871-78]). According to Herder, Rousseau's "general will" was exclusive in each nation since its history, culture and traditions were unique to a particular Volk (people). This Romantic, nationalist worldview led different intellectuals and artists to champion the individuality or supremacy of races, nations, and cultures leading inexorably to scientific racism and race-based genocide against minority and religious groups.

Rousseau's utopian society is not expressed by ethnicity or geography or tradition, nevertheless, Rousseau's deification of the nation under the rule of the dominate State, his glorification of neo-pagan ideas led directly to the Golden Age of twentieth century tyrants (e.g., the Ottoman Turks, Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Pol Pot, Iranian Ayatollahs, etc.) all who systematically implemented Rousseau's savage utopia worldview as public policy leading to democide – the government sponsored deaths of people in the hundreds of millions – and that's just in the twentieth century alone.

Rousseau's ideals established by the general will and the dogmas of what he called a "civil religion" was controlled by the omnipotent God-state (e.g., Nietzsche's "Will to Power" and "god is dead" philosophy). It's effect meant that Jews, Christians, critical thinkers, intellectuals and people who rebelled against Rousseau's collective community (spirit) of the society are forced outside the State and have no claim on its protections (e.g., Mussolini: Everything inside the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State). In reality, the pagan State is not only required to identify and guard against unsociable individuals or subcommunities (i.e., the church), it is mandated to eradicate them (e.g., Darwin's natural selection, survival of the fittest, Galton's eugenics, Hitler's holocaust, abortion, etc.).

Jonah Goldberg continues his historical critique establishing the French Revolution as the first fascist movement:
    Fascism is indebted to the French Revolution in other ways as well. Robespierre appreciated, as did Sorel and his heirs, that violence was a linchpin that kept the masses committed to the ideas of the Revolution: "If the spring of popular government in time of peace is virtue, the springs of popular government in revolution are at once virtue and terror: virtue, without which terror is fatal; terror, without which virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is not so much a special principle as it is a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs."
"For the first time in history," proclaimed historian Marisa Linton, "terror became an official government policy, with the stated aim to use violence in order to achieve a higher political goal." The paradox seemed lost on the Bolsheviks – self-proclaimed heirs of the French Revolution – who championed fascism, rather than their own method, as an "openly terroristic dictatorship."

The usefulness of terror as a proven strategy to seize and maintain absolute power to the Jacobins as to modern day liberals, socialists and progressives was totalizing, but amid its dominant objectives was its penchant to preserve a permanent sense of crisis – Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) called it the "Perpetual Revolution." Saul Alinsky (1909-72) and his acolytes Rahm Emmanuel, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Democratic Socialist Party use existential crisis which is historically identified as a central role of fascism because it ends debate and democratic discussions (e.g., "never allow a crisis to go to waste"). Therefore, all fascistic movements put forth considerable effort to extending a perpetual state of emergency – a perpetual revolution that never ends. Historically speaking, the French Revolution was the direct descendant of both World War I and II and in our present era has established the rise of radical Islam, thus spawning a new, globalist Age of Terror (9/11-present).


Book Notice

It's been 5 years since publishing my last book and now I've published two new volumes – THE PROGRESSIVE REVOLUTION (University Press of America, 2013):

Vol. 1 @ https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780761861102

Vol. 2 @ https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780761861126

However, before the book is officially released to the public I have to place 100 pre-publication orders (50 orders per each volume). I need your help to make this happen ASAP. Please place your order today for volumes 1 & 2. Of course if you can order all 100 copies today, the book will become official tomorrow.

Please circulate this flyer to all your email contacts & Facebook/Twitter followers who may be interested in reading this opus. Thanks in advance to all my friends, associates and colleagues for your valuable support!


Invitation for manuscripts

I am starting a new a program on my blog dedicated to giving young conservatives (ages 14-35) a regular place to display and publish their ideas called Socrates Corner. If you know of any young person who wants to publish their ideas on any subject, have them send their essay manuscripts to my email at ewashington@wnd.com.

© Ellis Washington

 

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Ellis Washington

Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute. He is an adjunct professor at the National Paralegal College where he teaches Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, Contracts and Advanced Legal Writing... (more)

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