From "rights" to duties, alt.1776 edition
Background: Two of the episodes in the best radio series ever, 'Strange as it seems', deal with the role played by the rich and powerful Morris family in the American and French revolutions. The two episodes have opposite viewpoints, which struck me as odd.
is about Robert Morris, who lent his fortune to finance the revolution, then got stiffed by NYC (as usual) after it was over. The writers are clearly on Robert's side.
The other episode
shows Gouvernour Morris (Robert's brother) betraying Tom Paine.
Paine was an evil rabble-rouser, spreading "rights" and riot and ruination across USA and France. Closest modern equivalent would be Che Guevara. After he stirred up the Revolution here, he moved to France and stirred up the Revolution there. Because the French were extremely serious
about Paine's concept of "rights", they killed everyone who couldn't quite keep up with the rapidly changing "morality" of "rights"; including Paine himself. Sounds familiar.
According to the 'Strange' episode, Paine was in jail awaiting the chop. Gouv was sent to investigate. Gouv decided to leave him there. Paine was saved by an error, and later released by a new emissary. Here the writers are clearly on Paine's side.
There's a peculiar mismatch between the two attitudes. I decided to find a history of the times written from Gouv's view. I wanted to go back before
Madman Lincoln burned down half of the country and all of the rationality, but after
the events of 1775 to 1793 were finished and understood. This 1838 biography of Gouv
fits the timeslot. It's a real eye-opener, and NOT just about the Morris family.
I haven't digested the part about Paine in Paris yet; it's complicated by a lot of extra characters. I need to understand the other characters before trying to understand the story.
Meantime, the book offers a tremendous archive of alternate thinking about 1776.
The revolution, like the tyranny that continues today, was run by NYC for NYC.
Many of the people we consider to be traitors were not anti-independence, they were just anti-NYC.
Here's one nice item:
The NYC tyrants were short on guns, and true to NYC principles they couldn't possibly IMAGINE paying for anything. NYC never pays. NYC always steals. So NYC sent out soldiers to steal guns from civilians in the rest of NY state. Transcribing the best part:
The people conceal all their arms, that are of any value. Many declare that they know nothing about the Congress, nor do they care anything for the orders of the Congress, and say that they would sooner lose their lives than give up their arms, and that they would blow any man's brains out, who should attempt to take them away.
Amazingly demon NYC decided to abandon the seizure, but the same battle between demon NYC and America has continued through the centuries.
= = = = =
Continued and concluded here.
Labels: From rights to duties