Virtue and its emanation, terror 2

Yesterday a revolutionary terrorist armed with a gun and bombs advanced in an Antifa mob to attack a US institution of law-enforcement. Fortunately, police shot him dead before he effected mass murder.

Matt Vespa writes at Townhall:

So, when can we call Antifa a full-blown domestic terror organization? Over the weekend, police killed an activist from this progressive mob after he tried to assault an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Tacoma, Washington. Willem Van Spronsen, 69, was armed with a rifle and incendiary devices … This man is … part of a larger mob of progressive thugs who hate this country and any authority figures that seek to uphold law and order. …  A friend of Spronsen thought this was a suicide, believing this assault was meant to spark a larger conflict.

Spronson’s friends praise him as a hero and martyr. They believe themselves to be virtuous. Most virtuous.

So we have it on the authority of Seattle Antifascist Action (Antifa) that this would-be mass-murderer was “kind”, and “deeply loved” by “many communities”.

Who and what are these communities who deeply loved this kind man? Implied are persons of legendary oppression grouped together by their Antifa champions according to their class, race, or abnormal sexual preferences. For them – made virtuous by their oppression – the enforcers of the law must be killed and government overthrown.

Yesterday, July 14, was Bastille day, and as usual France celebrated it.

Roger Kimball wondered why.

He writes at American Greatness:

Since I am writing on Bastille Day, I am prompted to wonder why the French—or anyone else, for that matter—celebrate this infamous date. After all, the “storming” of that royal keep in 1789 was the spark that started the conflagration of the French Revolution. Unlike the American Revolution, in which the rule of law and the institutions of civil society survived the change of governments, the French Revolution was one of the signal bad events in world history. It consumed civil society and the centuries-old institutions of civilization. It was an unalloyed triumph of the totalitarian spirit, and in this respect it presaged and inspired that even greater assault on decency and freedom, the Bolshevik Revolution, the opening act of one of the darkest chapters in human history. The butcher’s bill for the French Revolution is many hundreds of thousands. Soviet Communism was responsible for the deaths of tens upon tens of millions and the universal immiseration of the people whose lives it controlled. …

One canard that we were all brought up on is that the Bastille was a loathsome dungeon full of innocent political prisoners. In fact, it harbored not hordes but precisely seven inmates when the mob stormed it. Contrary to what you have been told, the prisoners were detained in good conditions. At least one was attended by his own chef.  Bernard-René de Launay, the governor, was by all accounts a fair and patient man. But that did not save him from the mob’s “revolutionary justice”. They dragged him out of the fortress and stabbed him to death.

By rights, Bastille Day should be a day of national mourning or contrition. That it is not tells us a great deal—about the persistence of human credulousness, for example, and the folly of subordinating the imperfect, long-serving structures of civilization to the demands of impatient people infatuated by their own unquenchable sense of virtue. Tocqueville, in his book on the ancien régime at the eve of the revolution said that the “the contrast between benign theories and violent acts” was one of the Revolution’s “strangest characteristics”.

Strange it may have been, but it has turned out to be a regular feature of the totalitarian sensibility. What could be more benign sounding than slogans about “liberty, equality, fraternity”, O Citoyen, but how oppressive, how murderous, were their implementation “on the ground”? Robespierre cut to the chase when he spoke of “virtue and its emanation, terror”. He knew that the index of the sort of virtue he proselytized—a heady confection inherited from Rousseau—was the rapidity with which le rasoir national, the guillotine, pursued its grisly business. The pursuit of virtue by communists is a hundred, a thousand times bloodier and more soul blighting.

And here in America, “Kill, kill, kill,” say the Antifa assassins, thirsty for our blood.

Note: Antifa is the military wing of the Democratic Party, self-appointed maybe, but not rejected.

Posted under France, revolution, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 15, 2019

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