5 comments on “Notes: The Guerilla, Haiti and Massachusetts

  1. Yes, the doings in Jacobin France certainly scared America’s ruling rich, especially it’s slave-owning component, when Robespierre’s republic did away with slavery in 1794. It took another sixty years…and a civil war to do the same thing here. In America, someone like Thomas Paine was considered an extreme radical. In France, he was a mere moderate, aligned with the Gironde, the bourgeois opposition to the Jacobins.

    I would, however, beg to differ with Monty Python. “The Patrician pretenses of the “Founding Fathers” provide a fitting basis for a capitalist system of government of the few over and against the many, of the rich over and against the poor. The Greco-Roman references, from the architecture to the eagle and fasces (also Il Duce’s calling card) still on the walls of the Senate, are all appropriate for a property owners (and originally, a slave owners) republic.

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  2. Lest we forget, the “separation of powers,” hailed as a pillar of “democracy” by its apologists, was, in fact, designed by those in power to separate themselves from those without it, or rather to ensure that the latter never got any to begin with.

    And while we are talking about the ample array of antiquated, un-democratic institutions of bourgeois “democracy” still in operation, let’s not forget the electoral college, the most un-democratic of all and the un-elected Supreme Court, which gives it a close run for the money.

    Can you imagine a regime calling itself “democratic” having officials appointed for life? Who are these guys supposed to be, anyway, Julius Ceasar? Then again, ancient Greece and Rome, with their slave-owners “democracy,” were always the “classical” model for the bourgeoisie. Tells you something about just how “democratic” they intended their “democracy” to be in the first place.

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    • The more I read about it the more I’m convinced that the Constitution, as opposed to the Declaration for example, was a counter-revolutionary document. It’s aim was to stop the calls for equality and restrict popular expression, then challenging the rule of the planters and big merchants. It wrote slavery into law and with it the power of the slave-owning class. The separation of powers is as you say. And there is so much more. The Bill Of Rights is an after-thought to placate the accusations of a new tyranny raised as the revolution waned. And look how limited those rights are as well. Whatever happened to life, liberty and happiness. None of those are guaranteed. France scared the shit out of them as well. Far from being sacred, it should be scrapped. The dung heap of history and all that. To paraphrase Monty Python “the Patrician pretenses of the “Founding Fathers” is no basis for a system of government.”

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      • “All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well-born, the other the mass of the people…The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government.”
        – Alexander Hamilton

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      • elian- it’s great when it comes straight from them. we ought to put that up on billboards around the country along with other choice opinions of the founders.

        mnroy- yeah, it has done pretty well by them for 200 years

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