Excerpts from Ann Coulter's Demonic Part 1
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The French Revolution: When Liberals Attack

    To understand liberals, one must
understand the French Revolution.

    It’s difficult to track the precise
chronology of the French Revolution because there is no logic to it, as there
never is with a mob. Basically, the mob would hear a rumor, get ginned up, and
then run out and start beheading people. Imagine CodePink with spikes. From
beginning to end, the French Revolution was a textbook case of the behavior of
mobs. As Le Bon de-scribed mobs about a century after the French Revo-lution:
“[A] throng knows neither doubt nor uncer-tainty. Like women, it goes at once
to extremes. A sus-picion transforms itself as soon as announced into
in-controvertible evidence. A commencement of antipa-thy or disapprobation
which in the case of an isolated individual would not gain strength, become at
once fu-rious hatred in the case of an individual in a crowd.”
[i]

    Liberals don’t like to talk about
the French Revolution because it is the history of them. They ly-ingly portray
the French Revolution as if it too were a revolution of the mob, but merely to
list the signposts of each reveals their different character. The American
Revolution had the Minutemen, the ride of Paul Revere, the Continental
Congress, the Declaration of Independence, and the Liberty Bell.

    The markers of the French
Revolution were the Great Fear, the storming of the Bastille, the food riots,
the march on Versailles, the Day of the Daggers, the de-Christianization
campaign, the storming of the Tuile-ries, the September Massacres, the
beheading of Louis XVI, the beheading of Marie Antoinette, the Reign of Terror,
and then the guillotining of one revolutionary after another, until finally the
mob’s leader, Robespi-erre, got the “national razor.” That’s not including
ran-dom insurrections, lynchings, and assassinations that occurred throughout
the four-year period known as the “French Revolution.”

    Here are the highlights of the
French Revolution to give you the flavor of the lunacy.

    As with most rampages during
France’s revolution, the storming of the Bastille was initiated by a rumor. The
mob began to whisper that the impotent, indeci-sive Louis XVI was going to
attack the National Assem-bly, which had replaced the Estates General. For some
reason, the people were particularly enraged over the king’s firing of his
inept finance minister, who had nearly bankrupted the country with Fannie
Mae-style accounting. The rabble needed weapons to defend themselves from this
imaginary attack on their new populist assembly.

    Massing in the streets for days
after the presentation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the
Citi-zens to the Assembly, the people became more and more agitated. By the
morning of July 14, 1789, about 60,000 French citizens armed with pikes and
axes were running back and forth between the Hotel de Ville (Town Hall), and
Les Invalides, a barracks for aging soldiers, demanding weapons and ammunition.
Finally, the mob broke through the gate of the In-valides and ransacked the
building, seizing 10 cannons and 28,000 muskets, but they could find no
ammuni-tion.

    Then they rushed off to the
Bastille for ammunition—and also because they considered the Bastille an
eye-sore. Once a fortress, then a jail, the Bastille was in the process of
being shut down. It held only six prisoners that day. But the Parisian mob
irrationally feared the Bastille based on its menacing appearance and false
rumors of torture within its walls.

    With legions of Parisians banging
on the gates of the Bastille and demanding ammunition, the prison’s commander,
Marquis de Launay, invited representatives of the mob inside to negotiate over
breakfast. They requested that the cannon be removed from the towers because
mounted guns frightened the people. De Launay agreed and the cannon were
withdrawn.

    Meanwhile, the mob outside became
more frenzied, believing that their representatives inside, lingering over
breakfast, had been taken hostage. The mob in-terpreted the withdrawal of the
cannon to mean that the cannon were being loaded, in preparation of firing into
the crowd.

    As the mob grew larger and angrier,
the Bastille’s guards  warned them to
disperse, shooing them away by waving their caps and threatening to fire. The
people interpreted the waving of hats as encouragement to continue the attack.

    And so it went, with periodic
gunplay interrupted only by De Launay’s repeated attempts to surrender. The mob
secured its own cannon and began firing at the prison, hacking at the
drawbridge, and scaling walls into the courtyard of the Bastille. Facing tens
of thousands of angry citizens, De Launay made a final offer to surrender total
control of the Bastille to the mob, provided it be accomplished peacefully. He
threatened to blow up the entire city block unless his demand for a bloodless
transition was agreed to.

    His offer was refused amid angry
cries of “No capitulation!” and “Down with the bridge!” De Launay surrendered
anyway.

    The mob poured in and ransacked the
entire fortress, throwing papers and records from the windows, kill-ing some
guards, and taking others as prisoners. One captured guard who was marched
through the street said there were “masses of people shouting at me and cursing
me,” as “women gnashed their teeth and brandished their fists at me.”

    De Launay was triumphantly paraded
through the streets of Paris with the people cutting him with swords and
bayonets until he was finally hacked to death, whereupon the charming Parisians
continued to mutilate his dead body. A cook was given the honor of cutting off
De Launay’s head, which he accomplished with a pocketknife, kneeling on his
hands and knees in the gutter to do it. De Launay’s head, along with the head
of a city official, Jacques de Flesselles, who had failed to assist the mob’s
search for weapons that day, were stuck on pikes and waltzed through the
streets of Paris for more celebratory jeering.
[ii]

    This is the revolutionary event
celebrated by the French—the murderous barbarism of a mob.

    Or as the Parisians called it,
“Tuesday.” The incident at the Bastille was merely a particularly aggressive
version of the rampaging and pillaging they had been doing for weeks, all based
on this or that rumor.

    Apart from the feral viciousness of
the attack on the Bastille, the madness of it was that the Third Estate—peasants
and the middle class—had already won them-selves a republic. Under the old
system, the French people had had a legitimate grievance: The Third Estate,
composed of the great mass of citizens, paid all the taxes but got none of the
government jobs. Those were reserved for the nontaxpaying nobility and clergy. (It
was much like rich Democrats today—Tim Geithner, who failed to pay Social
Security and Medi-care taxes but was still confirmed as Obama’s treasury
secretary; U.S. senator Claire McCaskill [D-Missouri], who failed to pay
$287,000 in taxes on a private plane; Tom Daschle, proposed Obama nominee to be
Health and Human Services Department secretary, who failed to pay all his
taxes; Nancy Killefer, proposed Obama nominee to be White House chief performance
officer, who failed to pay all her taxes; Zoë Baird, proposed Clinton nominee
as attorney general, who failed to pay all her taxes; and Charlie Rangel,
Democratic congressman censured by the House Ethics Committee for failure to
pay all his taxes.)

    When the Third Estate walked out on
the Estates General and formed the new, classless National As-sembly, asserting
that only it could make laws, and the king recognized this new legislative
body, they had won.

    Nonetheless, the people decided the
utterly pointless attack on the Bastille had been a tremendous success. And so,
a few months later, Parisian peasant women decided to storm the Palace of
Versailles and murder the queen, Marie Antoinette.

    As Alexander Hamilton politely
warned American Revolutionary hero the Marquis de Lafayette, after the storming
of the Bastille, “I dread the vehement character of your people, whom I fear
you may find it more easy to bring on than to keep within Proper bounds, after
you have put them in motion.”
[iii]

    Initially, the mob had worshipped
Maria Antonia, the Austrian princess, christened “Marie Antoinette” upon her
arrival in France to marry the future king, Louis-Auguste. Antoinette was
young—only fifteen years old—slender, fair, and beautiful. Mobs like that sort
of thing, so the people worshipped her. When An-toinette made her first public
appearance in Paris, the cheering crowds were so thick, her carriage was fre-quently
stopped for an hour at a time. The besotted Parisians presented the princess
with flowers, fruits, salutes, and speeches all along her ride. Most enthusi-astic
were the common people. As Antoinette stood on a balcony gasping in
astonishment at the throng cheering her, a nobleman, Marechal de Brissac, told
her, “You have before you two hundred thousand persons who have fallen in love
with you.”
[iv]

    When Louis-Auguste assumed the
throne a few years later, the masses hailed a new era of youth, freedom, hope,
and change under their twenty-year-old king and nineteen-year-old queen. Though
the new king and queen had done nothing and promised nothing, the masses adored
them, putting their portrait up in all the shop windows.
[v]
They were the French Obamas!

    But as so often happens with mobs,
the people’s passionate love would soon turn into equally passion-ate hate. As described
by Le Bon, mobs “only entertain violent and extreme sentiments,” so “sympathy
quickly become adoration, and antipathy almost as soon as it is aroused is
transformed into hatred.”
[vi]

    One sees the trace of the
phenomenon today in liberals’ love-to-hate feelings toward Hillary Clinton,
John McCain, Tony Blair, Joe Lieberman, Israel, the Supreme Court, wood-burning
fireplaces, free speech, cigarettes, and warm weather. Liberals went from love
to hate with Christopher Hitchens when he attacked Clinton—but then he won them
back with his attack on God. (What a Cinderella story!)

    Inflamed by ugly gossip as well as
food shortages and fiscal crises, the crowd began to detest the queen. She was
called “L’Autrichienne,” meaning the Austrian, but with the stress on
“chienne,” meaning “bitch.” In pamphlets and gossip, Antoinette was accused of
being a nymphomaniac and a lesbian, of holding sex orgies in the palace, and of
engaging in unnatural acts with her dog and infant son.
[vii]

    Antoinette was nearly the exact opposite
of the image invented by the mob and passed down in popular my-thology. She was
genuine, charitable, kind, and good-natured—more like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holi-day than Hillary Clinton
pocketing the White House silverware. She was not given to excess, avoided
ostentation in her decorating style,
[viii]
and was compassion-ate towards the poor. Antoinette eliminated the class-based
segregated seating at the royal palace and often invited children from
working-class neighborhoods to dine with her children.

    This “lovely woman with the gentle
eyes,” as Antoinette biographer Stefan Zweig called her,
[ix]
told her mother that what had touched her most about the cheering crowd for her
in Paris “was the affection and zeal of the poor people, which, though crushed
with taxation, was overflowing with joy at the sight of us.” She called such
love “infinitely precious.”
[x]
Even years later, when the masses abused her, Marie Antoinette still described
them charitably as “persons who de-clare themselves well-intentioned, but who
do and will continue to do us harm.”
[xi]

    Marie Antoinette never uttered the
words “Let them eat cake.” Fittingly, that phrase came from the
revolu-tionaries’ philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who claimed he overheard
it on the lips of some nameless princess. This was written in his Confessions, some-time before 1769
[xii]--back
when Marie Antonia was still a preteen making mud strudels in Austria. But the
masses were upset by a hailstorm that had damaged the crops and impaired the
food supply, so the French seized on this myth and it has lived on
forevermore—just as it will live on forevermore that Dan Quayle apol-ogized on
a trip to Latin America that he never learned to speak Latin.

    The mob was riled up; there was no
time for calm reflection or consideration of the evidence.

    And so, on October 5, 1789, angry
fishmongers and other market women stormed the Versailles Palace in-tent on
offing the queen. Called “8,000 Judiths,” the rabble included some men dressed
like women.
[xiii]
They were armed with pixes, axes, and a few cannon, hol-lering that they would
“cut the Queen’s pretty throat” and “tear her skin to bits for ribbons.”
[xiv]

    Rallying outside the palace all
day, by evening, the rabble was half-naked, having taken their clothes off on
account of the rain, much like the audience at a Rage Against the Machine
concert. Early in the morning, around 2 a.m., a gaggle of women broke into the
palace, decapitating two guards on the way. They made a wild dash towards
Antoinette’s bedroom, shouting, “Where is the whore? Death to the Austrian!
We’ll wring her neck! We’ll tear her heart out! I’ll fry her liver and that
won’t be the end of it! I’ll have her thighs! I’ll have her entrails!”
[xv]

    The dulcet shrieks of the
fishmongers call to mind George Washington exhorting his men, “Remember
officers and Soldiers, that you are free men, fighting for the blessings of
Liberty—that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you
do not acquit yourselves like men.” This was not the American Revo-lution.

    The queen fled her bedroom one step
ahead of the howling mob. The crazed women proceeded to smash all the mirrors
in the queen’s boudoir and slash her bed to bits. After a standoff between the
palace and the mob, the king capitulated, and the royal family was marched to the
Tuileries Palace in Paris by triumphant hoi polloi. Leading the procession were
the heads of the decapitated guards bouncing along on pikes. The king and his
family were effectively put under house arrest at the Tuileries, with a guard
stationed in Marie Antoinette’s room at all times, even when she dressed and
slept. The family would never see Versailles again.

    The king signed a new constitution,
relinquishing most of his power, and the French people lived in lib-erty and
happiness from that moment ever after. No, wait—it didn’t happen that way.

    The political clubs, once
gentlemen’s debating societies, suddenly assumed actual political impor-tance
during the revolution. The Jacobin Club went from being a prestigious
institution of distinguished individuals with little power to a motley
collection of left-wing radicals that launched the monstrous revo-lutionary
leader Maximilien Robespierre. Soon, re-spectable members quit the Jacobin
club, leaving only the reprobates behind—much as happened to the American Bar
Association in the 1980s.

    On the one-year anniversary of the
storming of the Bastille, some of the political clubs built model Bastilles, so
that they could again be sacked by the people.
[xvi]
If there had been a Franklin Mint back then, the “Storming of the Bastille”
chess sets would have been a bestseller.

    The rabble, often led by the
Jacobins, proceeded to smash every trace of the past—religion, law, the social
order, eventually even the weights and measuring system and, most absurdly, the
calendar.

    On November 2, 1789, just a month
after the storming of the Tuileries, the Assembly declared ev-erything owned by
the Catholic Church to be property of the state. Three months later, the
Assembly severed by the French Catholic Church’s relations with the pope,
dismissed about fifty bishops, dissolved all clerical vows, reorganized the
church under the civil constitu-tion, with priests elected by popular vote, and
re-quired all the clergy to swear an oath of loyalty to the state. Convents and
monasteries were seized and turned to prisons to house any recalcitrant royals
and priests.
[xvii]
A few years later, the Assembly would pass a law forbidding priests to be seen
in public wearing clerical garb.
[xviii]

    Having a general idea where this
godless fanaticism was headed, the royal family attempted to flee Paris on June
20, 1791. They got lost and stopped to ask directions, whom the king tipped
with a gold Louis d’or. The boy recognized the king from his visage on the coin
and quickly ratted-out the fleeing royals to revolutionary authorities.
[xix]
The royal family was marched back to the Tuileries under a rain of stones, with
effigies of the king dangling from trees along their path.[xx]

    A few months after the royal
family’s flight, the leftist Jacobins and the comparatively moderate Girondists
forced the king to sign yet another new constitution. Louis XVI was reduced to
a mere figurehead—and a prisoner.

    The mob had no fear of punishment,
certainly not from Louis XVI, the David Dinkins of kings. So they exploded in
animalistic fury. The bourgeoisie had riled up the masses to storm the Bastille
and Versailles. Now they would pay the price. As historian Erik Dur-schmied
says, the king “had been the only constitutional instrument that could stand up
to the extremists,” but now the moderates had “opened the door to raging madmen
willing to use mob brutality.”
[xxi]

    On August 10, 1792, Parisians were
out of sorts over more military setbacks in France’s war with Austria and
Germany—not to mention the absence of an “exit strategy”—so an armed mob stormed
the Tuileries, forcing the royal family to flee to the National Assem-bly for
safety. From there, the weak king, frightened by the sound of cannon fire,
ordered the Swiss guards who were defending him to surrender. (This strategy,
known as “unilateral surrender,” would later become the cornerstone of the
Democratic Party’s national security policies.)

    Refusing to believe such an insane
command, the guard’s commander went to see the king for himself, telling him,
“The rabble is on the run! We must vigor-ously pursue them!”

    Minutes ticked by with Louis XVI
unable to make a decision. This was the king, after all, who had written in his
diary the day of the storming of the Bastille, “July 14th: nothing.”
Finally, he repeated his surrender or-der. The incredulous commander demanded
that it be put in writing. The king wrote, “We ourder Our Swiss to put down
their arms immediately and withdraw to their barracks. –Louis.”[xxii]

    Ordered by the king to surrender,
more than 600 Swiss guards were savagely murdered. The mobs ripped them to
shreds and mutilated their corpses. “Women, lost to all sense of shame,” said
one surviv-ing witness, “were committing the most indecent mu-tilations on the
dead bodies from which they tore pieces of flesh and carried them off in
triumph.”[xxiii]
Chil-dren played kickball with the guards’ heads. Every liv-ing thing in the
Tuileries was butchered or thrown from the windows by the hooligans. Women were
raped before being hacked to death.

    The Jacobin Club, the MSNBC of the
French Revolution, demanded that the piles of rotting, defiled corpses
surrounding the Tuileries be left to putrefy in the street for days afterward
as a warning to the peo-ple of the power of the extrme left. (This was easily
arranged, as it coincided with a national strike by Paris’s garbage
collectors.) The next day, foreign ambassadors fled France.[xxiv]

    This bestial attack, it was later
decreed, would be celebrated every year as “the festival of the unity and
indivisibility of the republic.”[xxv]
It would be as if fami-lies across America delighted in the annual TV special
“A Manson Family Christmas.”

    Back at the National Assembly, the
king was arrested and the last flickers of the monarchy extinguished. King
Louis XVI would henceforth be known as “Citizen Louis Capet.” This time, the
royal family was locked up in the filthy Temple prison. Mobs gathered outside,
night and day, refining their nuanced political philosophy by chanting, “Death
to the king!”

    Executive authority was vested in
the new National Convention, elected by all the people, including foreigners
such as Thomas Paine—but no women, which is the only fact taught about the
French Revolution in American schools today.

    Maximilien de Robespierre, future
president of the Convention, was the first among equals in the Revolution, the
engine of the terror, who argued, following Rousseau, that a “Republic of
Virtue” could only be achieved by “virtue combined with terror.” Alas, the
French got mostly terror. He and his fellow Jacobins took the seats high up at
the Convention, for which they were nicknamed the Montagnards, or the
Moun-taineers.

    With the royal family rotting in
the Temple prison, the mob ran wild. Depressed by the news of their army’s
defeat at Verdun, the French went on a murderous rampage in the fall of 1792
known as the September massacres.”[xxvi]
Propagandists of the revolution warned that traitors to the revolution were
planning a comeback from their jail cells and must be given “prompt justice.”
Revolutionary star Jean-Paul Marat wrote in his newspaper  titled L’ami
Du Peuple
—Friend of the People, “Let the blood of the traitors flow! That
is the only way to save the country.”

    On September 2, 1792, a
revolutionary mob on the outskirts of Paris surrounded a caravan of twenty-four
clergymen being transported to prison and began slashing at the priests through
the windows of the carts. One assailant brandished his bloody sword to-ward
onlookers and shouted, “So this frightens you, does it, you cowards? You must get
used to the sight of death.” At some point, an “ascetic priest” emerged and
tried to calm the ruffians, a few of whom were his own parishioners.[xxvii]
He was promptly hacked to death.

    The rest of the mob joined in the
slaughter, until all the carts were dripping with blood. The gruesome car-avan,
full of mangled carcasses, loped along to the pris-on, where another crowd was
waiting to butcher any priests who had managed to survive the first attack.[xxviii]

    Around the same time, another mob
besieged a Carmelite convent in Paris, where 150 priests were be-ing given
revolutionary trials. Armed with guns, clubs, pikes, and axes, the hoodlums
shot the first priest to approach them and demanded to see the archbishop.
After saying a prayer, the archbishop presented him-self and was immediately
chopped to death by the crowd, whereupon the assailants began indiscrimi-nately
murdering all the priests. Some priests escaped to a nearby church just long
enough to give one an-other last rites before the barbarians burst in and be-gan
chopping them up, too.

    After a few batches of clergymen
had been killed, the revolutionaries decided to hold mock trials for those who
remained. One by one, the priests were called to a makeshift court presided
over by a grimy sansculottes ruffian named “Citizen Maillard.” Most of the
“sansculottes” were lawyers and journalists who dressed like peasants—without
the culottes, or knee breeches, worn by gentlemen—but Maillard was the real
thing.

    He ordered the priests to swear
loyalty to the state. Not one would take the heretical oath. And so one af-ter
another, the clerics were dragged to the courtyard and sliced to pieces. Their
bodies were dumped in fields or down a well, where, seventy years later, 119
skeletons were discovered.[xxix]



[i]
Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the
Popular Mind
(Dover, 2002) (1895), 22.

[ii]
Christopher Hibbert, The Days of the
French Revolution
(Harper Perennial 1999), 65-82.

[iii]
Alexander Hamilton, Writings (Library
of America, 2001) (letter dated October 6, 1789, 521.

[iv]
Stefan Zweig, Marie Antoinette: The
Portrait of an Average Woman
(Grove Press, 2002), 60-61.

[v] Ibid.,
73.

[vi]
Le Bon, 38.

[vii]
See, e.g., Zweig, 29.

[viii]
Zweig, 105.

[ix]
Ibid., 114.

[x]
Ibid., 62.

[xi]
Ibid., 289.

[xii]
“At length I recollected the thoughtless saying of a great princes, who, on
being informed that the country people had no bread, replied, ‘Then let them
eat pastry!’ ” Jean Jacques Rousseau, The
Confessions of Jean Jacques Rousseau
(pa-perback) (Nabu Press 2010), 220.

[xiii]
Zweig, 259-60.

[xiv]
Hibbert, 100.

[xv]
Hibbert, 101.

[xvi]
Kennedy, 194

[xvii]
See, e.g., T. Jeremy Gunn, “Religious Freedom and Laicite: A Comparison of the
United States and France,” Brigham Young
University Law Review
, January 1, 2004.

[xviii]
Michael L. Kennedy, The Jacobin Clubs in
the French Revolution
, 1793-1795 (Berghahn Books, 2000)m 164-66.
[xix]
Erik Durschmied, The Blood of Revolution:
From the Reign of Terror to the Rise of Khomeini
(Arcade Publishing 2002),
21.

[xx]
Ibid., 21

[xxi]
Ibid., 22.

[xxii]
Ibid., 25-27

[xxiii]
Hibbert, 161

[xxiv]
Henry Goudementz, Historical Epochs of
the French Revolution
(Hard Press, 2006) [No page numbers] available at www.scribd.com/doc/2379520/His….

[xxv]
Ibid.

[xxvi]
See, e.g., Gunn.

[xxvii]
Durschmied, 30.

[xxviii]
Hibbert, 170.

[xxix]
See, e.g., Hibbert, 170-71; Durschmied, 30.


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