Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reflections on the Revolution in France - Kevin D. Williamson

How does revolutionary France compare to modern America?


It was a new dawn, a day of hope and change, the ancien rĂ©gime and the theocrats and the plutocracy having been supplanted by fresh new faces dedicated to Reason and promising to fundamentally change France. That turned out to be an expensive proposition, and the new government found itself in a bind: It was unwilling to cut spending or to raise taxes. The country, Mr. White writes, “found itself in deep financial embarrassment: There was a heavy debt and a serious deficit. . . . There was a general want of confidence in business circles; capital had shown its proverbial timidity by retiring out of sight as far as possible; throughout the land was stagnation.” A source of particular annoyance to the Jacobins and the rest of the Left was the fact that businesses and investors were sitting on a great deal of cash but refusing to spend or to invest, and many were sheltering their capital abroad.

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