“The public space of freedom was not preserved by either of the two revolutions mainly discussed in On Revolution, and we should include their failure alongside that of the Bolsheviks when we read Arendt’s appreciation of the fact that Rosa Luxemburg ‘was far more afraid of a deformed revolution than an unsuccessful one’”.
Posted in agonism, Arendt, democracy, founding, freedom, governance, Nota Bene, revolution, tragic politics
Tagged American Revolution, French Revolution, Rosa Luxemburg
“Must radical political change generate uncontainable violence? The French Revolution is both a cautionary and inspiring tale.”
“The French Revolution was a spiritual phenomenon, a manifestation of the sacred. Its legacy and commemoration have become a religion with rituals, festivals, and idols. This was the provocative thesis of Émile Durkheim.”
“The exhibition Revolutionary Generation: French Drawings (1770-1815) from the Fabre Museum illustrates how, as the Rococo movement went out of fashion, France’s insurrectionist artists drew on ancient Greek and Roman art for inspiration.”
“Spontaneously, the reference to the French Revolution constituted for the Yellow Vests the only historical reference, because only it carries the collective memory of a social and political upheaval with which they can identify.”
“We can only fall back on Lenin’s maxim: ‘Either revolution – I would say, communist politics – will prevent war, or war will provoke revolution.’ Let’s hope for the first alternative, but time is pressing…”
“The revolutionary zeal to reform all aspects of society burned so intensely that it altered the very names of the days and months. As part of a project of rationalization and dechristianization, the new calendar marked the establishment of the first French Republic in 1792, the first year of the new order.”
“Dechristianization was a key feature of the revolution, but so too was rechristianization, or at the very least, a revolutionary recalibration of faith.”
In a new textbook, The French Revolution and Napoleon: The Crucible of the Modern World, metropolitan France is still central, but the global context now plays a much more significant role, explain the authors.
“After the Reign of Terror and the fall of Robespierre, Hegel took a more somber and often times very critical view of Jacobinism in his later Jena period, right through to the publication of his masterwork, the Phenomenology of Spirit. But it is important to understand how Hegel understood the Jacobins’ role as not entirely retrogressive, but progressive to the development of human freedom, or what Hegel calls the development of human spirit in history.”