5 thoughts on “Happy Bastille Day!

  1. I don’t wish to discount the symbolic importance of the fall of the Bastille, but, according to several sources I have seen, there were very few prisoners (7 or fewer) being held, including a couple of mentally ill persons and one minor aristocrat who had ticked off the king – he was limited to having his wife, his mistress, his cook, his valet, and no more than five freshly starched shirts a day.
    Who knows what the truth really was! Makes for a good story.
    You might check into the Bolsheviks’ storming of the Winter Palace – same sort of thing – huge symbolism around a faily insignificant event.
    I had occasion once to read Louis XVI’s diary entry for July 14, 1789 when his diaries were on display at the French National Archives in Paris:
    He was sitting at home at Versailles – “nothing special” he wrote for that day.
    Best,
    Patrick Florer
    Dallas

  2. “It’s hard not to like a holiday which celebrates the storming of a prison and the end of a monarchy.”
    Monarchy is much underrated. Elected politicians are perpetually trying to get re-elected, which leads to policies which are short sighted and populist rather than serving a longer term goal. While monarchies obviously have other flaws, if you were faced with a choice between someone ruling you because they spent 40 years actively seeking power or someone ruling you because they felt a deep sense of duty to do so, which would you prefer?

  3. Well,Nicko, there is Ivan the Terrible, mad George III and Nicholas II, to mention a few people who had a sense of duty. Id rather take my chances that every so often we elect someone who will do a good job.

  4. Nicko, the problem is a monarchy doesn’t ensure that the ruler is someone who feels a sense of duty. It may just be someone who happens to be next in line, and is only interested in furthering their own wealth and power. When politicians turn out to be only in it for themselves, at least they can be removed from office. Monarchs cannot be removed. (Except through the “.38-caliber recall,” as Tennessee Williams once put it.)
    Now, I think a constitutional monarchy does have some things to recommend it. I often think the U.S. suffers for having its most powerful politician also serving as the ceremonial head of state. Most constitutional monarchies separate the two, with power resting with a prime minister and the ceremonial leadership resting with the monarch.

  5. I hope it comes a day in Iran we do the same for EVYN prison. END OF ISLAMIC IRANIAN GOVERNMENT.

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