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Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution

Simon Schama1990




Loses their Minds

Anarchy scares most people, and perhaps it should, but I think it's still an open question whether people are up to self-government. If it's possible, a good anarchy would require people mostly emotionally and intellectually ready to be governments of one, able to operate on commonly respected protocols for interfacing each little decentralized governmental node.

The French revolution was mostly vandalism of government out of hungry desperation, to be replaced by groups or individuals acting on their fear of those against true patriots, vagabond mobs, and signals of forces of invasion.

The author makes the claim several times that most people wanted more government, not less, assuming such provided bread at reasonable prices.