Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Those who forget the past....

Maybe I'm too imbued with history but, when I view footage or read articles about the French riots, I keep thinking that this is not France's first incident of citizens rioting through the streets -- and I'm not talking about the student riots in the 1960s. In 1358, a century that saw the Black Plague and the beginning of the Hundred Years' War, the Jacquerie stormed the countryside, killing every noble they could find -- and, sometimes, eating them. Considering that the French nobles has completely impoverished France with their insane military policies during the first phase of the Hundred Years' War, this dietary augmentation might not be so peculiar. The Crown eventually squished this Rebellion, mostly by butchering the peasants. Leaping ahead a little more than three hundred years, we get the French Revolution, inaugurated with the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. I'm sure the word "guillotine" will remind you of everything you need to know about that little incident when French citizens took to the street. This Revolution, of course, ended with the French successfully butchering the Crown. Fast forward about sixty years, and we get to the revolutions that swept Europe in 1848. Unsurprisingly, given the bloodbath that the 18th Century French revolution sparked, European governments cracked down ferociously. Again, the citizens were on the receiving end of the bloody knife. One wonders if what we're seeing in France today is the next great French cataclysm, and which side, the government or the street, will prevail.