Monday, October 25, 2010

The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel

I fear Revolution.  And I especially dread the possibility of French-style Revolution--where specific "enemies" are identified, gathered together, and executed.

In the past couple of years, as I was exposed to bits and pieces of "The Scarlet Pimpernel", the idea occurred to me:  In the event of such a Revolution, I should create a Scarlet Pimpernel Society, for the purpose of saving as many people from such groups as possible.

Last Saturday, my family took me to see "The Scarlet Pimpernel" played locally, in Theatre in the Round.  It was the first time I saw the musical in its entirety, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! even despite its sometimes cheesy musical score.

And I learned that the Proper Name for my society would be "The League of The Scarlet Pimpernel".

Seeing the play, and reading the program, also helped me to understand just how the French Revolution was different from the American one.  When we rebelled, we were pushing against continuous attempts of the British to try to "reign in" those American rogues.  We wanted to be free, and we didn't want masters ruling over us.  We wanted to be masters over ourselves.

When the French pushed against their masters, they immediately decided to become the new masters--and to execute any "master" of the old regime, and any who sympathised with that regime, regardless of innocence.  As Rose Wilder Lane explained, when the French rebelled, they merely overthrew the old masters, so that they could replace them with new ones, that hopefully wouldn't be as oppressive as the first.

I would also add that it would seem that England, even with aristocracy that was probably just as clueless as French aristocracy, probably avoided Revolution simply because they were more free--they had a greater tendency to respect life, liberty, and property--and that this freedom is far more ingrained in the English psyche than it is in the French.

And, to a large extent, I'm confident that Americans will be able to face adversity, and be more likely to come out of it with some semblance of freedom afterwards, because freedom is far more ingrained in the American psyche than it is in the English!

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