"Reaction is the consequence of a nation waking from its illusions."
In the 1960's, when those of us who are now "of a certain age," as the old-fashioned French expression goes, were young, we used to talk about the Revolution. I remember one excited student at little Haverford College, on the Main Line outside of Philadelphia, saving that things had gotten so bad, it would soon be time to get our rifles and set out for the mountains to fight the government. "You're going to fight in the Poconos?" I asked. "No!" he exploded, "not the Poconos. The Rocky Mountains. We'll hide by day and strike by night." Many of those putative revolutionaries went on to graduate school, or law or medical school, and are now serving the United States government as bureaucrat, professor, or some other type of shill.
We used to talk, in those days, about Regis Debray, the young Frenchman who went from school in Paris to Cuba and fought with Che Guevara in Bolivia. He was captured when Che was killed in 1967, and French President Charles de Gaulle telegraphed the Bolivian authorities to ask them to spare his life. The government did so and, after some unpleasant years in prison, Debray returned to France, one of the few intellectuals of his time who had actually risked his life trying to rouse indigenous peoples to...