Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution [Full-Length Documentary]

Maximilien Robespierre

By: Brent Parrish

I stumbled on this excellent BBC drama-documentary about the French Revolution recently. The documentary covers the notorious and brief reign of Maximilien Robespierre and his role in what was known as “The Terror” during the French Revolution. During the 365 days that Robespierre sat on the Committee of Public Safety, the French Republic descended into a bloodbath. Some 55,000 were slaughtered during “The Terror.”

Robespierre claimed to be a great lover of humanity and subscribed to the notion of “perfected man”—meaning: only through continuous conflict and struggle can humanity be perfected … humanity can become divine—godlike.  This sort of utopian ideology forms the basis of dialectical materialism, the bedrock of Marxist-Leninist philosophy.

It was the members of the Committee of Public Safety who introduced the term “thought crime” to Europe. French citizens could be jailed or killed for a merely making a facial expression that could be construed as counter-revolutionary by the revolutionaries.

One hallmark of tyrants and the violent social movements they lead is the emphasis on “struggle.” Hitler laid out his plan for struggle in his infamous work Mein Kampf (My Struggle). Islamic terrorists speak of Jihad (Struggle). For some, it is “Hope and Change.” The leaders of the French Revolution also held fast to this notion of eternal struggle, or revolution. The only real satisfaction for the true revolutionary is the struggle itself, hence the need for permanent revolution and conflict.

For those who sat on the French Republic’s Committee of Public Safety, the revolution was sacrosanct. Robespierre hid behind the watchwords of liberty, equality and camaraderie. But the reign of terror unleashed on the French population under the guise of bringing about equality and fairness was astonishing in its bloody brutality.

Maximilien Robespierre is yet one more tragic example from history on how dangerous it is when one places themselves above God and man. Robespierre and the members of the Committee of Public Safety loved humanity so much they wiped out any human beings that stood in their way. So did Lenin, Stalin, Hilter, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

So, beware when you hear King Obama talk of “the dawn of a new man,” for this could be code for his own agenda of perfecting man. History warns that the cost in human suffering and lives is of no consequence to the devoted Marxist revolutionary, as long as it furthers the cause, i.e. “struggle.” They call it “progress.”

Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution (BBC documentary 2009)

About Brent Parrish

Author, blogger, editor, researcher, graphic artist, software engineer, carpenter, woodworker, guitar shredder and a strict constitutionalist. Member of the Watcher's Council and the Qatar Awareness Campaign. I believe in individual rights, limited government, fiscal responsibility and a strong defense. ONE WORD: FREEDOM!
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