We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's a rich historical essay, and would serve as a fine intro to Burke's work. Just one quote from it:
The grand distinguishing feature of the Reflections is the power of Burke’s insight into the character of the French Revolution, then at an early stage. This insight is so acute as to endow him with prophetic power. He sees what way the Revolution is heading. No one else seems to have done so at the time. The spring and summer of 1790 — the period in which Burke wrote the Reflections — was the most tranquil stage, in appearance, in the history of the Revolution. It was a period of constitution-making, of benevolent rhetoric, and of peaceful jubilation, as in the Déclaration de Paix au Monde on May 21, 1790, or the Fête de la Fédération on July 14, 1790, celebrating the first anniversary of the fall of the Bastille.
Contemplating that attractive scene, in the spring and summer of 1790, most people seem to have assumed that the French Revolution had already taken place, and that all that remained was to reap its benign consequences. Burke sensed that the Revolution was only beginning. In the penultimate paragraph of the Reflections, Burke warned that the French “commonwealth” could hardly remain in the form it had taken in 1790: “But before its final settlement it may be obliged to pass, as one of our poets says, ‘through great varieties of untried being,’ and in all its transmigrations to be purified by fire and blood.”
I re-read the CC O'B piece from NRO and was again amazed by the brilliant mind of Edmund Burke. Burke knew human nature like few men of his era, or any era, and his predictions about the course of the French Revolution are indeed prophetic if not eerie.
And as CC O'B pointed out, the same pattern held true for the so-called Russian Revolution as well, just another coup d'etat pulled off by bloodthirsty tyrants in the name of the people. When closely examined, this is the nature of all so-called "people's revolutions".
Will we ever learn? Burke, perhaps the most quotable wise man who has ever taken pen to paper or given a speech in Parliament, said it best:
" When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." Words of inspiration for Americans in 2009.