Recently a lot of unexpected references to the French Revolution have cropped up. First let us settle that with some history. The French Revolution narrowly happened, and that is with 95% of the population disenfranchised by the Aristocracy/Clergy in the Assembly. Basically the concern was, why that 95% of the people could be overruled by the clergy and titled lords, when it seemed none of them had a clue how to solve their problems. Note that Lords only, since women had essentially zero political force in France, both before and after the revolution. They actually had less rights post overthrow, let that sink in.
So the big complaint was about the unexpected mishandling of the federal budget, the Parisian concern over bread, and the feeling of frustration towards a leader seen as indecisive.
Marie Antoinette figured in only as a symbol of what was asssumed to be Austrian meddling(Maximilian being Putin’s Russia) and more importantly, usurping the role of queen and actually trying to do governing work.
This ridiculous tweet received ever 15,000 retweets. Let’s go through this…
Man. Arguing against feeding kids while you golf at government expense is up there on the Marie Antoinette list of Not a Good Look.
— Ted Underwood (@Ted_Underwood) March 16, 2017
Now, a lot of people blame financial causes for the revolution, and that only matters because 50% of the budget of 1789 France went to debt service, and 6% to Royal Budget.
Obviously the $180 million per year for Trump Tower security comes to mind. That could be the bracelet affair.. which turned out to be nothing more than a political hit piece. So let’s assume that cog in the ‘French Revolution Algorithm’ fits. Was Trump elected? Louis XVI wasn’t either. However, Louis XVI was blamed for not doing the job he had to do, and being remarkably unable to commit to any course of action. If anything, Trump is lambasted for being too decisive, and remarkably able to commit to things that his critics find appalling.
So how does the Marie Antoinette comparison match up? Trump is DOING his job (regardless of your opinion of how good or bad it is) and for the Antoinette angle to fit we’d need someone like Ivanka Trump or Steve Bannon to step in and take over. But even here you run into the tautalogical fallacy of the narrative “Trump Listens to Nobody” versus “Trump is being controlled by someone else” so that falls flat too.
The strongest connection is to Russia, who seems to be the Count Axl Gustav von Fersen of the whole affair. I’m going to stop here, because if you don’t know at least a lot about everything I’ve said so far, you are unqualified to make any connection between the French Revolution and 2017 America.
But again, let’s assume that the narrative of Marie Antoinette to Donald Trump makes perfect sense. Who would be the external influence? Russia? The only reason Austria wanted Maria Antoinette to influence Louis XVI(a task she herself declared failure on) was to attain a lasting peace treaty, and considering the eventual invasion of Austria to France precipitated the Guillotine obsessive reign of terror, it seems, in retrospect, that might have been a good thing. In Fact, were it not for the ridiculous indecisiveness of Louis at his flight from Varennes, and the lack of any real lasting international influence, the entire French government could have adopted a slow transfer under new constitutional ratification and controlled dismantling of the Ancien Regime much more similar to England than the bloody mutinous affair that occurred instead.
In fact, it seems here we have a government, dedicated to fixing previous financial oversight, dealing with a fractious interior… Historically this situation has much more in common with the plight of King John, taking over after Richard had wasted all the treasury on war with France. Once again, the role of the existing power regime lines up more with the historical precedent of the Magna Carta than anything else. California, our own untamed Wales, with a magnificent Llewellyn in the form of Nacy Pelosi threatening to secede. This means that our Normandy will be either Guam, Puerto Rico or the much more likely Panama Canal(where our claim, historical matched “tenuous at best” rings true).
It might be worth noting the revolution kept the church, requiring the moral authority of the regime to first sign an oath to uphold whatever values they declared (absent of biblical authority) combined with the unpleasant notion that Louis XVI outlawed the death penalty, only to get it, and the Lord in charge of the Bastille killed 100 rioters to one death on his own side only to have mercy for the mob and surrender the fortress to prevent more bloodshed, only to die himself at the hands of those he sought to spare. That’s a lesson, I’m not sure in what, but it’s a good one.