DOWN WITH ANY ELITE
Occupy the 1%!
13. Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793), Revolutionary!
-- March 19 2012 --
Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793), Revolutionary
Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793), one of the leaders in the French
Revolution, was murdered while taking a bath. He was already in poor
health because for two years he had been kept on the run by
anti-revolutionary forces and had to live in very bad surroundings.
He propagated that the “Revolution
will be a kind of guerrilla in which we can attack the enemy in all
places where the army cannot be used. This means that we can deprive the
enemy of all his advantages”.
He participated and stood behind the poor in the
struggle against rich people. Later he was revered in leftist circles
for his revolutionary attitude but his ideas were hardly used. He
pointed to the importance of the struggle against powerful persons and
introduced the idea of forming patriotic clubs to control
One of the clubs was
the “Societé des Vengeurs de
His revolutionary “People’s
Friend” was time and again disturbed by magazines with the same name,
that propagated other policies. But Marat wrote that
“it was easy
to distinguish the sham magazines from the true “People’s Friend”
because their authors (humbugs) always preached peace, tolerance,
patience, submission to laws, obedience etc”.
“The 'Friend of the People' has never been directed against common
citizens. It has only attacked people in the civil service, unreliable
bookkeepers, magistrates who neglected their duties, representatives of
the people who forgot their obligations and betrayed their principals.
And its respect for justice was so high that the paper even found
laudable exceptions in the most corrupt circles”.
Marat did not want to use only words against the people at the top. He
proposed the formation of Patriotic Clubs that should analyse and
examine the deeds of leading people:
“The only goal is the punishment of the
perpetrators of crimes against public and individual freedom and safety.
Therefore the clubs are not open for people who are attached to the
Marat did not want the misdeeds of members of the leading class to be judged and tried by other members of that class as is normal in our present society. He did not limit the height of the punishments: “When now some heads are spared then in the future much more blood will have to ran in the streets....”. Because of this remark, Marat has been portrayed as one of the most bloodthirsty characters of the French Revolution. His goal was simple, “to stop corruption and other crimes of the leading class that caused too much misery and also too many dead common citizens from the lower regions of society”. He was very close to an idea common in many revolutionary movements: “punish one in order to educate a hundred”.
Marat proposed an attack on two
fronts. “Between the clan of the privileged
and The People, between the small number and the masses, reconciliation
is not possible. But also is needed a fight against the apathetic people
who are also called reasonable”. Marat
claimed the right of the oppressed on violent actions.
In those turbulent times Marat wanted to protect the achievements of the
French Revolution with his Patriotic Clubs. He wanted to prevent that
the old leading class should regain the power they lost to The People.
The current situation in the rich Western countries is not very
turbulent. But the organisation of society in the time of Marat does not
differ principally from the present situation. Our democracy has his
roots in the French Revolution and the ideas of Montesquieu about the
Trias Politica. There exists a deep separation between the 1% and the
99%. The Trias Politica regulates in the first place conflicts inside
the 1%. The influence of the 99% was small and is two hundred years
after the French Revolution still negligible.
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