Beyond the Revolution

Back to the Garden

Lurking just beneath the surface of every revolutionary movement is the same deceitful dream.  Once upon a time, long, long ago, men and women lived in peace and justice and unity, until into this garden entered the snake: the capitalist, the patriarch, the man of war, the bishop.  Come the Revolution, we shall all “get ourselves back to the garden,” whether that garden is ancient Sparta, the Church of the Apostles, or the State of Nature.  Along the way we shall probably have to eliminate aristocrats and businessmen, unaltered males, and clergymen who speak with authority—not just the “Nazi in the Vatican,” but every Lutheran Herr Pastor and Baptist preacher whose voice has changed.  No price is too high for others to pay in the pursuit of human solidarity.

In Europe one of the more persistent revolutionary aspirations has been the reintegration of Europe.  Once upon a time, Europe was unified in the Roman Empire.  For some revolutionaries, the fall of the Western Empire could be seen as basically a good thing, because it meant our hardy ancestors reinvigorated Europe with their good red blood and quaint folkways that made the early Dark Age a Hobbesian nightmare.  For some of the French Jacobins, however, the Frankish conquest of Gaul did not so much bring down a failing empire as it subjugated the native Celtic population.

Mythical quibbles aside, the unification of Roman Europe...

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