Z Man: American Vendée
SFC Steven M Barry USA RET
Although it has never happened in history, I understand the author’s enthusiasm for the American Myth of “the people” (whoever they are) rising up in rebellion against an oppressive government. But using the Vendée as an example is simply bad intellectual history.
Quotes by Z Man in italics followed by comment…
“The key insight of the Jacobins was to send representatives out into the smaller towns and cities to organize radicals and incite rebellion.”
The “radicals” [sic] referred to where largely Huguenots who, with the usual Protestant addiction to revolution, were only too happy to lay wreck to the Catholic society they infected. The Jacobins were also adept at finding and loosing upon French society pockets of the Albigensian heresy that had been ruthlessly suppressed by a formal Crusade in the 13th Century. (Heresies never die; they simply go underground to fester and become Secret Societies.)
“Many rural peasants welcomed the revolution as it meant some degree of freedom and the redistribution of lands seized from the Church and aristocracy.”
The “degree of freedom” imposed on “many rural peasants” by the Revolution was suffocating compared the the true liberties enjoyed by them under the Estates and Manors. The rural peasant saw exactly nothing of the “redistribution” of lands, and the properties “seized from the Church” and turned over to the Republic laid waste a far reaching and ancient infrastructure of charitable institutions (hospitals, orphanages, schools, etc.) that left the peasantry destitute. Those hereditary properties seized from the aristocracy were sold off to bureaucrats who ran them as businesses reducing the peasantry to penury.
The only peasants who “welcomed the revolution” were the criminal, the depraved, and heretics.
“The enraged populace took up arms and quickly formed a Catholic Army.”
That is not true.
And here, Oh! rebellious “the people” is where you must pay strict attention. “The enraged populace” did not take matters into their own hands. While it is true there was an initial uprising over the course of 36 hours that overwhelmed the sleepy garrisons of one small town a hand-full of villages, they immediately went to and demanded of the local Nobility and Aristocracy (or shamed them into it) that it was their duty to defend Altar and Throne and lead them against the depredations of the Revolutionaries. And the Nobility and Aristocracy who agreed made it very clear, in unambiguous terms, that the “enraged populace” appealing for counterrevolution was now under martial disciple and that nothing less than perfect obedience (upon the usual penalties) was demanded of them. It bears repetition and considerable emphasis… “The enraged populace” sought lawful authority to command and lead them in counterrevolution and accepted the discipline of martial order from their betters.
The “enraged populace” did not form “a Catholic Army.” The Nobles and Aristocracy formed and commanded the Catholic Army, the “enraged populace” manned it.
“[T]he Committee For Public Safety was limited only by its imagination (ff).”
The author seems to imply that the “revolt of the provincials” against the “cosmopolitan elite” of the East coast (we know who they are) should follow the example of the Committee For Public Safety against the Vendée. (If I am wrong in my reading of Z Man’s last couple paragraphs he should tell me how I misread him.) In other words the end justifies the means. Which is pure Leninism. Or, as I am fond of saying, “Liberty Movement” folks would have been welcomed as Comrades on the barricades of the Communist Revolution of 1848.
It is useless for the “Liberty Movement” (and other anarchists) to appeal the the Vendée as an example of “the people” resisting oppression. The Vendée fought and died defending Altar and Throne against the Freemasons, their Protestant allies, and other heretics. You know, those same delinquents who founded the United States.
The battle cries of the Vendée were, “Vive le roi! Vive les bons prêtres! A bas la République!” Battle cries – along with all their implications — that would cause “Liberty Folks” to recoil in horror. In other words, the Vendée violently resisted those very things the “Liberty Movement” stands for.
Further, the Vendée were a people. The US is a mongrel. The Vendée had a long and ancient history. The US is a myth. The Vendée was a country. The US is a wholly artificial construct. The Vendée had a culture. All the US has is advertising. And the Vendée had a Just Cause. All the “Liberty Movement” has is the damned “Revolution of ’76” – which delivered them unto where they are now.
There is a lot of talk these days about a civil war in the US. The definition of civil war is two domestic political powers contending by arms for control of the government. The Vendée was a civil war; Royalist and Catholic against the Revolutionaries. There are no two contending political powers in the US. Just two contending factions squabbling about their interpretations of the damned Constitution they both believe in. One faction having control of the damned thing, the other faction appealing to it.
No. There will be no civil war.
If you want to see what a civil war looks like study the Spanish Civil War. The Catholics called it “The Crusade.” Of course, the US, which supported the Communists and Anarchists, called it a fight for “Liberty.”
Don’t look to Catholic counterrevolution to inspire your revolutionary dreaminess. There is nothing there for you except “in signum cui contradicetur.”