posted on Feb, 13 2014 @ 08:49 PM
I guess you mean to challenge an idea that the revolution signifies a peoples overcoming a power structure.... without any "head" behind them?
Was it ever thought (really?) that a revolution can happen without anyone behind the scenes and action acting as the brain- stimulating action,
projecting goals and intent, using whatever provocations necessary to stir up emotion and action, in order to attain their own power in the
Yes, in a way. While it is understood that a revolution needs a brain, someone in control, the role of this leadership is too often subsumed by
romantic notion of a popular revolt. For example, while your French friends recognize that someone took power in the vacuum left by the aristocracy,
try asking them who
took power, and I'm sure you'll get some curious answers. I'm willing to bet it will be vague. The identity of the
leadership is unimportant, because they're always assumed to be representatives of the movement, they're assumed to be part of the greater whole.
The concept of a leadership whose intentions are incompatible with the stated ideals of the movement is harder to swallow. I'm not so much
challenging the idea that a people can overcome a power structure with no leadership, so much as I'm challenging the idea that this leadership cannot
twist and manipulate the movement at will.
My point being- even if one thought there were no behind the scenes ambitious people orchestrating the french revolution, and it has just come into
awareness for you,
that doesn't take away from the ultimate lesson of the revolution- that the power of numbers (and the crowd mentality) is a formidable and highly
flammable force to consider for anyone in a position of power and responsibility.
It was Gustave Le Bon who wrote "The Crowd: a Study of the Popular Mind" (a french man) which tells me that the revolution taught them a lot
about the power of the people... and how to use it.
I agree with you there. This lesson is still valid. But the tricky part here is "...and how to use it". I'm writing in this thread to point out
that it has been used, and is still being used today. The power of the people is formidable, but is it a means or an end?