Learning TO love The Law

Monday, July 24, 2006

the death of a traitor

The revolution
has taken an inalterable turn.
Even robespierre understands
that things have gone too far,
he people cannot manage
the revolution on their own.
They need guidance,
an iron hand.
And with the power of his words,
the incorruptible rises
to the forefront as the man
who will guide the revolution.
Robespierre had once pushed
for a constitutional monarchy.
Now he believes there is
no longer room for the king.
A momentous decision is made.Es
france will put its own king
on trial.?Thsp
with the verdict
a foregone conclusion,
the only debate left
is punishment.
The moderates, the girondins,
call for sparing louis' life,
which isolates them
in the convention.

The gironde really
crystallized as a faction
in the convention
over the debate overiaing,
because they, while they
certainly wanted a republic,
they were less sure
that the king
should actually have to die.

But the girondins
are outnumbered
by the jacobin call for blood.

Why did the jacobins want
to kill the king?
I think they wanted
to kill the king because,
as robespierre brilliantly said,
you have to kill the king
so the revolution can live.
If the king is right,
then the revolution is wrong.

In any system
there had ever been,
there's only one penalty
for treason, and that is death.
So in this sense, if the king
is guilty of betraying
the country in a time of war,
then the argument is
that he must suffer
the death of a traitor.

Friday, July 14, 2006

And the sansculottes went

et la patrie est sauvéE."
"Boldness, more boldness,
forever boldness,
and the fatherland is saved."
He's really one of the people
who manages to rally the country
against the invaders.
It's an extraordinary moment.

With so many
able-bodied men leaving
for the front,l en
paris is lrit defenseless,
its jails bursting
with political prisoners.
An unsettling fear floods
the city.
The growing mass of prisoners
may be impy to contain.
Marat puts out
a bloodthirsty call
for revolutionary citizens
to descend upon the prisons
and slaughter all inside.

The foreign armies
were advancing on paris.
Had they linked up in paris
with these bitter enemies
of the revolution
and the prisoners, of course,
then the results would have been
fairly horrific from
the standpoint of the people.

In the first week
of september, disastrous news
arrives from the front.
Prussia has taken verdun,
a town on the road to paris.
The enemy is now
just miles away.
The fear gripping paris
into the prisons and unleash
a furious assault
on the city's inmates.
They will leave no traitor

And the sansculottes went
to the prisons, particularly
the prisons where refractory
priests were being held,
where nobles were being held,
where political prisoners
were being held.
And they started carrying out
their own impromptu trials
that were very short
and that very often
simply ended with slaughter.

Monday, July 03, 2006

those without knee pants.

With the french
army already suffering
huge loses on the border,
word reaches paris
that austria's ally prussia
has joined the invasion.
The enemy troops are mobilized
under the command
of the duke of brunswick,
a prussian general.
Tension pervades the streets
of paris.
And then the newspapers print
a letter from the duke
of brunswick, a manifesto
threatening the destruction
of paris if any harm comes
to their royal majesties
the king and queen.
The misguided threat
wildly backfires.
August 10, 1792.
27,000 armed citizens
fueled by indignant rage
head to the tuileries palace
and fall upon the king's guards
in a savage attack.
By the end of the day,
over 800 from both sides
are dead.
The king flees to safety
in the assembly,
but the monarchy is no more.
Louis is officially stripped
of his title.
The french republic is born.
The blade of the guillotine
is christened with the blood
of louis' remaining guards.
And robespierre,
once a staunch opponent
of the death penalty,
has had a change of heart.
The birth of the new republic
can only begin with the death
of a king.

Dr. Guillotin's
chilling new device hangs
over paris like a warden,
the penalty for defying
revolutionary law and order.
Freshly christened with the
blood of the king's guards,
it will soon put an end
to the king himself.
By august 1792, with the king
deposed and the royal family
secluded in the temple prison,
robespierre and his jacobins
are locked in a battle
with the moderates
of the assembly, the girondins,
for control
of the national government.
And on the streets of paris,
a new political movement
takes hold.
As a symbol of their rejection
of aristocratic tradition,
ordinary citizens refuse
to wear the knee britches,
or culottes, of the aristocrats.
They call themselves
the sansculottes,
"those without knee pants."

The sansculottes considered
themselves the true people
of france.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hello world

Happy 4th of July