Thursday, January 9, 2014

Saving the Culture

From BusinessMirror:
It may be considered a contradiction of sorts that the American Revolution and War for Independence would have reached perhaps a different outcome if King Louis XVI of France had not forked over to American patriots guns, goons and gold in what today may amount to as much as $20 billion.

This extraordinary expense—along with a social and financial meltdown caused by, among other things, the Seven Years’ War with Britain, harvest wipeouts and rumors that Marie Antoinette was gambling away the kingdom’s coffers by buying diamonds—led to the French Revolution that raged from 1789 to 1799 and the guillotine for “Louis the Baker” and his Hapsburg wife, who was thought by many to be nothing more than an “Austrian whore.”

Later, the new France, reeling from the transition from absolute monarchy to democracy, would sent a representative to study how it could further help America, or how it could save itself. The visitor toured the former British colony for around two years and gave an eyewitness account back home.

His name was Alexis de Tocqueville, and he had a glowing report now compiled into a book, Democracy in America, which is preferred reading for those embarking on a political career in the democratic tradition. Tocqueville said America was like a lifeboat brimming with humanity. He could have mused that it was a piece of flotsam, a bite of floating wreckage teetering on the verge of a nervous breakdown on the high seas. (Read more.)

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