Over the weekend I had an interesting discussion about the roots of today's Leftist insanity in America in the French Revolution excesses of the Jacobines, so I looked more into it. Here is a summary of the results in form of a short essay with some interesting links which were the source of much of what you can see below. My only contribution other than the title and a few paragraphs, is selecting, slightly editing, and putting together what you can see if you follow those links. Once revolutionary movements accelerate, they must devour their own to ensure revolutionary purity, whether in fifth-century Greece, Republican Rome, revolutionary France, 1919 Russia, or Mao’s China. During the French Revolution, Jacobins were members of the Jacobin Club, a revolutionary political movement that was the famous political club who exacted the Reign of Terror when a series of massacres and numerous public executions took place in response to revolutionary fervor, anticlerical sentiment, and accusations of treason by the Committee of Public Safety headed by Maximilien Robespierre. The Revolutionary Tribunal allowed the defendant only to defend himself, and had only two outcomes - acquittal or death. The club got its name from meeting at the Dominican rue Saint-Honoré Monastery of the Jacobins. The Dominicans in France were called Jacobins because their first house in Paris was the Saint Jacques Monastery. In the early 20th Century, Bolshevism and Jacobinism were linked. Russia's notion of the French Revolution permeated educated society and was reflected in speeches and writings of leaders, including Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin. They modeled their revolution after the Jacobins and the Terror with Trotsky even envisioning a trial for Nicholas II akin to that for Louis XVI. Lenin regarded the execution of the former tsar and his immediate family as necessary, highlighting the precedent set in the French Revolution. At the same time, the Bolsheviks consciously tried to avoid the mistakes they saw made by the French revolutionaries. Lenin referred to Robespierre as a "Bolshevik avant la lettre" and erected a statue to him. Other statues were planned or erected of other prominent members of the Terror as well as François-Noël Babeuf. The Voskresenskaya Embankment in St. Petersburg was also renamed Naberezhnaya Robespera for the French leader in 1923; it was returned to its original name in 2014. Relying on Karl Marx, Lenin saw the overall progress in events in France from 1789 through 1871 as the French Bourgeois Revolution. He adhered to the Montagnards' policies of centralization of authority to stabilize a new state, the virtue and necessity of terror against oppressors and "an alliance between the proletariat and peasantry" ("the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasants"). He would refer to his side as the Mountain or Jacobin and label his Menshevik opponents as the "Gironde". Moving forward to today's America, we are watching a rare revolutionary phase as Leftists have devoured Democrats. Progressives ate liberals. And progressives are now being devoured by socialists, and soon no doubt socialists will be eaten by hard leftists, Communists, anarchists, and nihilists. In such revolutionary logic, perhaps only Antifa will emerge as pure. The result is that the 2020 election will offer the starkest choices in the past 50 years, far eclipsing the radical contrasts of 1972. The current parade of would-be Democratic presidential hopefuls is already apologizing for their past sins of Democratic centrism, in fear of being politically guillotined. The History tells us what will happen next. The only question is if the American Republic which stood up to 246 years of Leftist insanity siege, is strong enough to resist this time. What each one of us will do will make a great difference. You can help at least by spreading this around so people get a sense of what is going on.

Radu Vanco

July 2021